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Relay switch and LOR


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I'm assisting someone with a rather large LOR project, and they are running into a problem. Hopefully someone here will know the answer.

In the median of the street, (Yes, there are permits) there are two trees on one controller which are pulling 11 amps each. It's not an option to split the channels, nor reduce intensity. (Nor is bringing in another controller, and modifying the sequences. Not at this date.)

However, there is plenty of power to control the trees, just not with the LOR controller.

What he's looking for is a device that would sit between the Channel slot on the controller and the tree, which would switch on the power to the outlet. This outlet would be powered by another source, as there is plenty of power available. However, the outlet would need to be controlled somehow.

So, you would have "MAIN outlet -> Controller -> Channels -> Mystery device -> Plug -> lights on tree."

Perhaps it's some sort of relay that can throw the power on a breaker, or other device that I'm not thinking of. (Or he didn't have to mention to me.) In effect, LOR would send amperage down the line that would activate the power for the outlet.

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A solid state relay sounds like it would do the trick. Thats how i control the ac going to my box now. When the computer is turned off there is no 5 volts going to the relay in my box that has the incoming ac hot line. Hope that makes sense.

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Don,

Greg Zimmerman (ggregzim) had a mechanical relay and showed us at the socal plus. Not sure of the time delay... But he does use it in his show... You might try PM'ing him and get more details.

J.

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You should be able to use a SSR (Solid State Relay) that allows for a 120VAC input signal and a 120V output. Most are designed for a low voltage input signal.

Chris

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Agreed that an AC solidstate relay would be good. You most likely would loose fading and dimming however. (maybe not if it is random on)

With 11 amps going through the relay you would want to have a heatsink on it or have it screwed to a chunk of metal or a metal box.

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I had that exact scenario (powerwise, anyway) where my home-built controller can only handle 1A per channel, but I wanted to power two large trees.

I built two of the "110V Triggered Triac" circuit on this page: http://lightsofchristmas.com/ssrs.htm

It worked great. You HAVE to make sure the neutrals are kept straight (use polarized plugs) or you can blow out the channel on your controller!

I'm actually not using mine anymore, and if you thought they would arrive in time, I'd sell them at a nominal cost. The circuit boards are inside weatherproof boxes and designed to stay outside...

-Tim

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My 16ch LOR runs AC mechanical relays fine. ON/OFF time is probably 100msec or so (just a guess) so fast action might be a problem but these can switch 12 amps on each leg.

SSR might be a better option but these dont get hot and have very high capacity to switch.





Don wrote:

I'm assisting someone with a rather large LOR project, and they are running into a problem. Hopefully someone here will know the answer.

In the median of the street, (Yes, there are permits) there are two trees on one controller which are pulling 11 amps each. It's not an option to split the channels, nor reduce intensity. (Nor is bringing in another controller, and modifying the sequences. Not at this date.)

However, there is plenty of power to control the trees, just not with the LOR controller.

What he's looking for is a device that would sit between the Channel slot on the controller and the tree, which would switch on the power to the outlet. This outlet would be powered by another source, as there is plenty of power available. However, the outlet would need to be controlled somehow.

So, you would have "MAIN outlet -> Controller -> Channels -> Mystery device -> Plug -> lights on tree."

Perhaps it's some sort of relay that can throw the power on a breaker, or other device that I'm not thinking of. (Or he didn't have to mention to me.) In effect, LOR would send amperage down the line that would activate the power for the outlet.


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I needed to pull excess amperage load away from LOR for the static part of my display that is turned off during the Musical (Animated) sequences.

To accomplish this, I purchased a mechanical relay and metal housing from Mar Vac Electronics rated at 120v with a 25 Amp capacity. One of my LOR channels is programmed to solely operate the relay. The advantage is that it allows me to run the 18 Amp static display outside of LOR. The down side is that, the relay being mechanical, there is a 1/2 second delay. So it cannot be used during the animations due to the lag time.

This system works very well for this purpose. If anyone goes this route, you must attach light bulbs on the circuit that controls the relay. Per Dan at LOR, LOR must have a resistive load to operate correctly. Adding the relay (that is an inductive load) is then no problem. I just added two C9 bulbs, in case one of them burned out. The channel that operates the relay can ONLY be programmed to ON or OFF, do not use effects, blink, fade, twitter, etc. I suggest housing the assembly indoors. The entire assembly cost about $40.

Greg Zimmerman

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I would like to add that my AC mechanical relay worked correctly without adding a lightbulb however, test before you commit.

Also, I modled my AC relay with a SPICE program (electronic analysis) and found that the inducitive part of an ac relay is NOT an issue (600mH + 3.8Kohm) provides a nearly "in phase" current and voltage relationship across the relay.

The only issue would be if the ON current of the relay is enough to allow the triac to latch afte the gate signal is gone. My LOR operated my AC relays fine so whatever triacs LOR is using has low latching current requirements.

ggregzim did you try it without the lightbulb??

ggregzim wrote:

I needed to pull excess amperage load away from LOR for the static part of my display that is turned off during the Musical (Animated) sequences.

To accomplish this, I purchased a mechanical relay and metal housing from Mar Vac Electronics rated at 120v with a 25 Amp capacity. One of my LOR channels is programmed to solely operate the relay. The advantage is that it allows me to run the 18 Amp static display outside of LOR. The down side is that, the relay being mechanical, there is a 1/2 second delay. So it cannot be used during the animations due to the lag time.

This system works very well for this purpose. If anyone goes this route, you must attach light bulbs on the circuit that controls the relay. Per Dan at LOR, LOR must have a resistive load to operate correctly. Adding the relay (that is an inductive load) is then no problem. I just added two C9 bulbs, in case one of them burned out. The channel that operates the relay can ONLY be programmed to ON or OFF, do not use effects, blink, fade, twitter, etc. I suggest housing the assembly indoors. The entire assembly cost about $40.

Greg Zimmerman
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For what it's worth, my strobe trigger relay is plugged right into LOR with no additional load as well (done out of ignorance :laughing:). But it works.

-Tim

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I'm using a mechanical relay to control 8 channels to switch between colors on mega tree with no problems and don't notice a very notice delay . Got one channel to turn relays on and off. I'm using a ice cube relay. watch my video to see. Yard not complete in video but had to get something on the interent to show friends what a computer Christmas display was. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG-JYZ-uJCs

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