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Large Displays... 80+ channels power requirements


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Ok, I am well on my way to creating my first LOR show (48 channels) and I was already wondering about next year.... What doesn everyone do that has 80+ channels... for power requirements.

If I figure out that each LOR controller needs 30 amps (2 15amp circuits) and I want to run 8 controller (or at least 5) do I need to add power to my house? I currently have 200 amp service... Do most people increase their service or do they just survive and tricky wiring and use the standard 200 amp service.

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It depends on what you're going to control on those 80 channels. If it's just LEDs there is nothing to worry about if it's a ton of c-9s you have to think it through.

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My question was more general then specific. I will probably have many more mini-lights than anything else.... Right now I have 48 channels and am trying to stick with the 3 lights per channel rule. The big thing I want to add next year is a mega tree.. so thats where I was questioning my power requirements.

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I just added a mega tree to my strained power situation but it is all LED so it doesn't draw much power at all. I want to say it was under 5 amps for the tree.

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joco wrote:

My question was more general then specific. I will probably have many more mini-lights than anything else.... Right now I have 48 channels and am trying to stick with the 3 lights per channel rule. The big thing I want to add next year is a mega tree.. so thats where I was questioning my power requirements.

First LOR with heatsinks can handle about 24 - 100 minilight strings per channel-maximum load 8 amps per channel. The 3 string rule applies to connecting minis end to end. Focus more on the load the new items will add to your display then allocate it across your controller channels. A 16 segment megatree with 3 strings per channel is only 15.8 amps for the whole controller load. If you did three colors you would be drawing 47 amp IF you ever turned it all on at one time. One other thought you can set the maximum intensity in the LOR Hardware to say 90% which would bring the load per controller in my example to just over 14 amps.
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Don,

First I have to say thanks to you... your show has been one of three that has been my inspiration to start this whole thing... So a BIG thank you to you. I just LOVE your sequence to Overature....

One question for you.... how do you meaure your amperage draw?

Lastly did I read somewhere that you CAN replace s standard 15a breaker with a 20a?

Thanks,

Joe

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joco wrote:

Don,

First I have to say thanks to you... your show has been one of three that has been my inspiration to start this whole thing... So a BIG thank you to you. I just LOVE your sequence to Overature....

One question for you.... how do you meaure your amperage draw?

Lastly did I read somewhere that you CAN replace s standard 15a breaker with a 20a?
Thanks,
Joe

You're welcome.

There are several ways. Some use a "Kill-o-Watt" (or Kill-a-watt?) to measure how many amps they are pulling. You can also look at the labels of most lights to get an idea.

The best way (in my opinion) is to get a "Clamp Meter" which goes around the wire running to the breaker (or any other "hot" wire) and measures the current. You can also get a 'line splitter' to go with your clamp meter. This is a funny looking device that plugs into the wall, and has two square holes in it. You can clamp your meter around these holes to measure the output of individual strings, etc.
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I have 80 channels full of mini lights, 4 strands of c9 lights, 5 floodlights and more mini lights.

I installed a temporary power pole for this year.

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Don wrote:

I don't go over 20amps per controller, which allows me to run each controller on one circuit.

It's all in how you plan it out.


Umm, I was suppose to have a plan?:shock: Now someone tells me!
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Don wrote:

I don't go over 20amps per controller, which allows me to run each controller on one circuit.

It's all in how you plan it out.


I have ten controllers, eight of them are powered by 20amp breakers. With everything in my display turned on I run about 8 to 12 amps average on each board. I wired 2 boards so they were split with two 15amp circuits on both making them good for 30amps. It was overkill I didn't need. One has 9 amps, and the other 12...

I wired all this up, and then Rick Williams released the controller load calculator. That was when I realized I didn't need the capacity I was providing. After the season is over, I will probably change up some of the circuits. Splitting the boards up caused me GFCI problems with the shared neutrals. That and the fact that I can use the extra two circuits to justify a couple more LOR boards:laughing:

:waycool:

jeff
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I have 80 Channels this year and I have 200 amp service. What you have to remember is that 200 amp service is at 220 which makes it 400 amps at 110. When everthing is ON, I pull about 150 amps which is less than 50% of my total power coming into my home. Now if I start adding a lot more, I would not be able to run my dryer and other high amp devices during my show. At that point I would have to upgrade to 400 amp service.

Here is a breakdown of my 5 controllers that equals 80 Channels.

amps.gif

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I have three phase power going to my house. (No, really! I run the A/C off of it.) I've never figured out how many amps I have coming in, but I figured it has to be at least 300. But it doesn't matter.

I've got a 64 channel display that is 100% LEDs. A modest 7k lights (cause those darn LEDs are expensive). Power? It is all plugged in through ONE STANDARD OUTDOOR ELECTRICAL PLUG that draws a peak load of 6 amps. With an average load of 1.5 amps.

Truely, it is a matter of what you hook up to it. You could just have one channel that eats 15 amps. You've got to figure out how many lights, of what type, you're putting out there, and do the math like RichardH has.

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