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Moisture in the Air


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I have read a lot of your guidance re types of boxes etc my concern is - with the LOR controller card mounted outside on a wall in a weather proof box (plastic IP55 grade)...allowing for it to breath with slightly larger holes at the bottom of the box than the wire ...will this not let moisture in ie condensation etc due to changes in Temp etc ... maybe attracked to the card so when you turn it on .... or am I being to concerned ?

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You should be fine as long as the inside doesn't get direct rain fall or snow. Although, I don't know that the controller has to actually breath as I don't think they get that hot.

I've had a controller out since June 06 and haven't had a problem yet. But then again, it's a showtime controller.

Tom

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Some people put a single c7 or c9 inside the box to dry out any moisture that may accumulate due to outside conditions. Not much of an issue in my area, so I've never tried it...

J.

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I'll speak on the electronics used with Light-O-Rama boards, and why they are my preference. This concern brought up is still a concern, but not very likely to cause any problems. No electronics are fail proof, but the LOR boards are very durable to these conditions. The boards are not using any surface mount parts, and this is in my opinion quite critical in terms of using these units outdoors. All the components are well spaced. Even if condensation did occur, it is unlikely that it would short any of the components for these reasons. The boards are coated, which will protect all of the traces on the boards. In my professional opinion, Dan has taken all the precautions to prevent failure under these conditions. I would not be concerned about condensation, however protection from precipitation and sunlight of course needs to be maintained.

The only component that could need protection from condensation would be the MP3 director card. Consider keeping this unit protected, or indoors. If you use this unit outdoors, please don't leave it outdoors all year, as this unit does use surface mount components, and should be protected from condensation. I will personally use mine indoors.

Also, As I wrote last year, the main concern I have with any of these boards are the CAT5 cables and connectors. These are the weakest link with all light control boards. They are not designed for outdoors, and the only component that I see that could give problems. If you experience problems, this is where I suspect first. I hope these statements help out.

>> Bill

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William Redfern wrote:

[clip]The boards are not using any surface mount parts, and this is in my opinion quite critical in terms of using these units outdoors. [clip]

The only component that could need protection from condensation would be the MP3 director card. Consider keeping this unit protected, or indoors. If you use this unit outdoors, please don't leave it outdoors all year, as this unit does use surface mount components, and should be protected from condensation. I will personally use mine indoors.

As far as using surface mount components outdoors, there is no problem with any of them if you conformal coat the circuit board after you build it.

Basically if you wanted to conformal coat any board, all you need to do is buy a can of clear spray acryllic and spray paint your board, you would want to "Mask" any connectors with masking tape before you paint, Also mask the mounting holes so they don't get gunked up. Also if you have socketed DIPs you may want to mask those if you ever plan on taking them out.
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Thank you all for you input and advise, I dont feel so concerned about mounting my board out side, thank you robogeek for the conformal coat advice (and I have downloaded some of your sequences from the LOR download site) ...do you spray both sides of the board ?:dude:

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Imposterbond wrote:

Thank you all for you input and advise, I dont feel so concerned about mounting my board out side, thank you robogeek for the conformal coat advice (and I have downloaded some of your sequences from the LOR download site) ...do you spray both sides of the board ?:dude:

Yes both sides of the board. one of the main points of this is to seal all the metal that we don't have to have access to. IE all the solder joints on the back. if you have to take your large heatsinks off to get to the back make sure you mask off the back of the triac so we can get a good heatsink connection when you put it back together.

When you mask off the RJ connectors really mask them, just to make sure you don't spray the contacts.

If my wife didn't just take the camera to her confernce I would take a picture of How much should be masked.

Lets just try the very specific description. Starting from the middle Modular connector and wrap the tape around all 3 connectors till you get back to the start. Then, Like you would the end of a chrstmas package, fold the edges that are sticking up over the end of the connector to completely cover all entry points into the connector, Do the same with the Terminal blocks.

We don't want acrylic getting into the connector and making it so you can't get an electrical connection.

by the way this is one of the ways we help the military electronics that I design to be military spec. The full spec requires the board to be completely coated in about .05 inches of urathane though... Good luck getting the urathane off. By the way, at least with the acrylic we use at work it can be removed with some alcohol and rubbing just in case you ever needed to do rework...

Robogeek
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Thank you for you discription .. I intend to do this this coming Saturday ...if you could post any pictures they would be useful but I get the jist of what you are saying.

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