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I am currently working on putting together my first Light-O-Rama controller from the hobbyist kit, and have a couple of questions.

Since I like in Wisconsin, our winters involve a lot of snow. For this type of enviroment, would you recommend the board in a case and plugs hanging out, like the showtime boxes, or with the plugs built in, like the controllers here: http://planetchristmas.mywowbb.com/view_topic.php?id=6119&forum_id=25?

If I am going to build it like a Showtime box, would you recommend I get the power cables from Light O Rama (http://store.lightorama.com/rewigr18.html) or buy a bunch of extension cords?

If I should go with the built in outlets, any recommendations on how to do that?

I plan to place the controller in a slightly hidden area, just behind our front yard, so it will be out of sight from the street. The only drawback is that my extension cord runs to the light will be longer, as it is further away. Is this a good idea, or should I try to get it more in the center?

That's all the questions I can think of for now. :)

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That setup you mentioned sure looks cool, and is a lot easier to handle, without 16 power cords dangling from it. Jsut keep in mind a couple of things. You need to make sure those outlets are fasing downward so rain or other moisture mishaps could not get it.

I'd also make sure you have a lip going all the way around the bottom where those outlets are, to prevent any rain/liquids that might spill on the top of the box from running down the side and collecting on the bottom where the outlets are. Mount it so that the bottom is at least a foot off the ground. You might even consider putting a trash bag over it once all your connetsions ar emade, jut give the unit breathing room to vent off any heat.

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I myself favor the Showtime box approach...using power cords rather than the duplex outlets.

They are MUCH easier to keep weather tight in my opinion!

Th cords provide a built in drip loop (as long as they come from the bottom of the enclosure), and allow the box to be a bit more compact since you only need a small area for the cords to exit as compared to the outlets.

The cords that Dan sells I have heard are pretty high quality, and also have the advantage of being pre-stripped which saves ALOT of work! (Trust me...I did the other way! LOL!)

If you can get the controller closer to the lights you are controlling...the better off you will be.
The advantage is making the major length of your power run with only one or two heavy cords (to power the controller) verses 16 cords coming from the control running to the individual lights.

Some people build some unique outer enclosures to conceal their controllers. (That giant "gift wrapped box" conceals the controls)

Thats my 2 cents...:cool:

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I have nearly completed 4 boxes very similiar to the ones in the photo.
However my plugs are located in the bottom of the box.
The box is mounted on legs so the cords can plug in the bottom. It rarely
rains "up" here in Michigan. I am using waterproof cat 5 bulkheads for
comms. I will include some pictures soon. I am planning on "decorating" them when I'm done. Before I went LOR I used this same configuration for a heavy duty relay control box and never had any weather related problems.

Good luck,

Gary Slater

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Thanks for the suggestions. I just finised soldering the board together, and will probably get the cords from Light-O-Rama, and put it in a watertight box. I want to start out simple, then will look at making built in boxes later.

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