Jump to content

SPT2 cord


Recommended Posts

Ok, I know this has been discussed before and I've looked at some of the threads but when it comes to electrical, I want to be sure.

There is no issue with using lamp cord outside, in below freezing temps and under a foot of snow? I would not put much on them. I'd likely keep my flood lights on larger cords, unless you guys think I could actually do that as well (one flood per channel).

Right now, I've got 14 channels of Walmart candy canes, two canes on each channel, 12 flood lights, three bands of LED lights on my porch columns, three colors of C9 LED lights for the house and garage outline and incandescent strings around each window. Right now, I've got 14 16 gauge cords running the canes, which is overkill from a load perspective. I also don't want my GFCI's tripping a lot either.

I know I'd get grief from my brother-in-law general contractor, but he said the controllers themselves are dangerous (too much plugged in, not UL approved). I'm more real-world scenario focused.

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DavidPeterson wrote:

I know I'd get grief from my brother-in-law general contractor, but he said the controllers themselves are dangerous (too much plugged in, not UL approved). I'm more real-world scenario focused.

Thanks

SPT Lamp cord is fine...if you are worried about it, get SPT-2 with the thicker insulation (as opposed to SPT-1).

As for your brother-in-law general contractor, the LOR controllers in the metal enclosures ARE UL approved...

from the LOR Website:

http://www.lightorama.com/ShowtimePro.html

Commercial environments require electrical inspections and many of our ShowTime Pro series controllers are manufactured and shipped with the UL508 certification. Rest assured these controllers have passed rigorous safety tests.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should have specified, I have the PC units in the plastic enclosures. Personally, I think he's just an idiot. He lives in central Ohio and was telling us he disconnected the gas line into his house and uses space heaters because of the gas prices.

Just remembered, my flood holders are three prong so those would need to be on regular extensions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DavidPeterson wrote:

Personally, I think he's just an idiot. He lives in central Ohio and was telling us he disconnected the gas line into his house and uses space heaters because of the gas prices.

Gas won't burn his house down... :)

and personally, I don't see how metal enclosure make them any "safer"...but it is just a requirement to get an UL rating...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm using 1200' of SPT1 here in NE Ohio, and we got 15" of snow last week, and about 24" of snow this week, with temps below 20 degrees the past 2 days, without an ounce of problem. Most SPT wire is 18 gauge (rarely will also find 16 gauge) which can support 7 Amps. So even your floods would be fine on such wire, but you will have to have an adapter to connect a 3-prong flood holder, so probably just easier to use a regular extension cord.
An easy way to convince others that this is fine is that if you think about it Christmas lights are only on 22 gauge wire, so this is a huge upgrade in wire size. With regards to GFCI, any extension cords, including SPT, are less likely to let in water compared to light strings. With GFCIs, the problem isn't the water itself, but the debris/contaminating chemicals that the water carries (from the ground usually).

I suggest getting a kill-a-watt meter so you can easily measure exactly how many amps the load is that you are plugging in to each channel (have these at lowes, home depot, sears, walmart, etc.)
Kill-a-watt

But based on what you listed, it seems that you are way under the limitations of the controller, and anything you would put on SPT wire.
http://www.planetchristmas.com/FigurePower.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually was looking at the cord at CDI since it has the UV coating, so it'd last longer.

I actually have a killowatt, but most everything I have that would go one them is very low power. Each candy cane is about 25 mini lights.

Now if LOR were to release the XMAS Floods, I might add them to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DavidPeterson wrote:

Actually was looking at the cord at CDI since it has the UV coating, so it'd last longer.
...
Now if LOR were to release the XMAS Floods, I might add them to it.


It may last longer. I don't think the UV index is very high around here this time of year, nor do I think the UV penetrates the snow that is usually cover my cords. :) That is probably more of an issue if being left outside year round. I wouldn't spend too much more for that alone.

I waited as long as I could stand for the XMAS flood and finally went with the Rainbow Floods this year. I am very pleased. Not sure what the delay is on the XMAS floods--I think LOR lost a lot of business this year to the RGB alternatives.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, do note that what CDI calls SPT-3 is actually, dimensionally, SPT-1. They are justifying the SPT, plus UV inhibitor as SPT-3. Meanwhile, if you go look up actual specs on SPT-3, most of it contains ground wires, is more robust that SPT-2, and is not as uniform in dimension as SPT-1 or SPT-2.

So, you can get UV inhibited SPT1, or you can get the thicker SPT-2. And nearly all black pigments are pretty good UV inhibitors, they just aren't rated to be labeled that way...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DavidPeterson wrote:

I may do the rainbow floods, but always confused by DMX and how exactly to do lights with holders and assembly.
Rainbows aren't DMX. They just use a DC controller (CMB-16D-QC) which is very similar to a PC controller, but instead of outputting AC power it outputs DC power. You just have to attach a power supply to it to power it (something like this 12V DC 12.5A 150W Regulated Switching Power Supply ). This is simple. The lights connect to the controller via cat5 cable rather than extension cords. I was intimidated by it all when I was reading others talk about it, but bit the bullet and realized it wasn't a big deal after got them and saw how they work. If you have worked with a LOR PC board, you are very capable of doing these.

I bought the rainbow flood boards assembled (I don't solder well). I just twist tied mine into a flood enclosure like this ($10 at walmart):
02BrinksLight.jpg

And my spots in this:
a8d1495b-b3af-4950-a5a0-9bf4802b2b75_300.jpg
Others have used a variety of other enclosures. Either way, you just run the cat5 into the enclosure and plug it into the rainbow flood jack.

IMG_2184.JPG


I can answer any questions you have (as will others here). Greg (ponddude) who sells these is very helpful.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks. I may very seriously do this. I built my pre-soldered LOR controllers easily, and in computing can replace motherboards without a first thought, but for some reason thought this might be above my level. I think it'll add a lot to my display. Besides, it looks like some of my Walgreens floods have fading colors.

Guess I'll be doing another LOR sale ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DavidPeterson wrote:

Thanks. I may very seriously do this. I built my pre-soldered LOR controllers easily, and in computing can replace motherboards without a first thought, but for some reason thought this might be above my level. I think it'll add a lot to my display. Besides, it looks like some of my Walgreens floods have fading colors.

Guess I'll be doing another LOR sale ;)


I think I got the DC board for $79 or $89 during last year's LOR sale. You can start watching ebay for a good price for a DC power supply (or you can read online how to convert a PC power supply to use instead.) Think how many floods you will use to figure out how many amps power supply you need (with room for future expansion). The rainbow floods are 1.06A when fully on.

www.Monoprice.com is where I get my cat5--seems to be the best price I have found.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Still confused on how the floods connect to the controller. If I'm understanding correctly, the power supply would be for the LOR controller, converting my AC power to DC. But how do the floods connect? It sounds like they use power over Ethernet. How do they connect to the quick connects in the LOR board?

One schematic on his site shows an iDMX connected to an LOR board, then a Rainbow Brain. That's starting to get a bit more than I was hoping, the iDMX isn't exactly cheap. Would each flood take three channels, so that one 16 channel board would max out at 5 in channel count?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes the power supply powers your dc controller and the lights being controlled.

The Rainbow Floods are just using the cat 5 for power not ethernet. One end you plug into the rainbow flood with a rj45 connector and the other end gets quick connects that plug into the dc controller.


Red= orange stripe +, and orange-
Green= green stripe +, and blue-
Blue= brown stripe+, and brown-
The blue stripe and green wire in the cat 5 are not used

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also you do not need any dmx at all to run the rainbow floods.

As for how to seperate your channels you have a couple of options, for instance I have five rainbow floods and used three channels for each and the last channel for a 12v fan to cool the power supply (mine gets hot). But you could also put lets say five reds all on one channel, five greens on one channel, and five blues on one channel. That way you would only be using three channels, just remember not to overload one side of your dc card.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DavidPeterson wrote:

Still confused on how the floods connect to the controller. If I'm understanding correctly, the power supply would be for the LOR controller, converting my AC power to DC. But how do the floods connect? It sounds like they use power over Ethernet. How do they connect to the quick connects in the LOR board?

One schematic on his site shows an iDMX connected to an LOR board, then a Rainbow Brain. That's starting to get a bit more than I was hoping, the iDMX isn't exactly cheap. Would each flood take three channels, so that one 16 channel board would max out at 5 in channel count?

No DMX needed (though there is a route to be able to use DMX if desired, but I think most don't--DMX is beyond my understanding too.)

Yes, each Rainbow Flood (RF) uses 3 channels--1 for red, 1 for green, and 1 for blue (hence RGB). You mix the intensities of these 3 channels to create a multitude of colors. Each channel has a (+) terminal and a (-) terminal. Within a cat5 cable there are eight 22gauge wires, 6 of which (2 per channel/color) you are going to use to transmit DC power from the DC board to the RF. On the RF side, you just plug in the cat5 cable to the jack on the RF. On the DC board side, you cut off the cat5 plug and crimp on a quick-connect spade (red in the pics of my controller below) and connect them to the DC board (much like you did on the LOR PC controllers). So yes, you could have 5 sets of RFs on a 16 channel DC board (with 1 channel left unused). I say "sets of RFs" since you can daisy chain 2 RFs together (there is a cat5 out jack on the RF to run a cat5 to the next RF--allowing them to clone each others activity), so you could easily have 10 RFs (5 pairs) per DC board (just make sure you power supply is rated for enough amps to cover how many RFs you plan to have--1.06A per RF).

Now don't think of the cat5 as computer cable, but rather bundles of 22gauge extension cords for power. That is all they are doing--carrying electricity, not data.

Now that hopefully all that makes sense, I added something to make these connections even easier. I bought these RJ45 adapters from Monoprice to connect to the DC board. I attached quick connect spades to the wires hanging out of the adapter and instead connected this to the DC board. So now I have five "permanent" RJ45 cat5 jacks on my board -- that way I just have to plug my RFs in to the jack rather than the quick connects. Now it is just a plug on both ends--on the RF end, and the DC board end. You can see that I bundled my 5 adapters and zip tied them to a bracket to support them. I am presently only using 3 floods. These can be bought here: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10415&cs_id=1041501&p_id=1152&seq=1&format=2
attachment.php?id=11545
Read here if wanting to use these, and they explain which color wire goes where: http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/view_topic.php?id=22648&forum_id=81&highlight=rj45+adapter (half way down thread)


5267227845_1ec72391c5_b.jpg

5267834240_aae4591024_z.jpg

5267834192_10096cd12f_z.jpg


The DC board plugs into your network of PC controllers the same way any LOR controller does (via cat5--for data in this instance).
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...