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Ok, so being new, and doing some basic math leads me to believe this...

I am getting the 32 channel controller (2 16 channel controllers). It says it can control up to 18,000 lights...so basic math says that that is 500 lights per channel. Now, if I don't put as many lights on a different channel, does that mean I can put 1000 lights on one channel, or is that to much no matter what?

Greg

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You can have any combination of amperage on any channel, so long as you do not violate the following rules:

1) (Assuming you have the heatsink) no more than 8 amps per channel.
2) No more than 15amps per side. (Channels 1-8 or 9-16.) [see LORWiki.com on how to go up to 20amp per channel.)
3) Do not go over the rating limit of the board.

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So basically .33 amps for a string of 100 minis (I believe that's the rating) times 10 stings...basically is 3.33 amps...so that is good for 1 channel.

Thanks so much Don!!

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Ponddude wrote:

So basically .33 amps for a string of 100 minis (I believe that's the rating) times 10 stings...basically is 3.33 amps...so that is good for 1 channel.

Thanks so much Don!!


Yes, but you can't do that for every channel. You need to average a little less than two amps per channel - to not go over 15 amps per ch. 1-8 and 9-16, if you have a 30 amp controller.

Using .33 amps per string, you could use 24 strings on one channel, but the other 7 channels could only handle 7 amps all together.

Keep track of how many amps you are pulling as you design your layout. Do your design first.

Have fun!

Michael B
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I'm really glad this topic came up because it helped me decide which LOR controller to purchase. I'm only going to be running 16 channels due to the cost involved and the size of our home. I believe that 16 channels is more than enough for what I need this year (next year I'll upgrade).

I'm searching LORWiki.com to find the 20 amp per channel tip, but have yet to find it. I know that the LOR CTB16KD can handle 20 amps per side, so I'm assuming that to handle 20 amps on a channel all other channels on that side must be off. Can anyone shed some light on that?

thanks!

Eric

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icemanodo wrote:

I'm searching LORWiki.com to find the 20 amp per channel tip, but have yet to find it. I know that the LOR CTB16KD can handle 20 amps per side, so I'm assuming that to handle 20 amps on a channel all other channels on that side must be off. Can anyone shed some light on that?

thanks!

Eric
http://www.lorwiki.com/en/index.php/Hardware#CTB-16D

You said channel and side in your message. It's probably a slip of the fingers on your part, but it's 20amps per side. You can only go up to 8amps per channel.

Everyone should also read the LOR Faq - General - Question 1.
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Wait, still confused. Did you mean to say 20 amps per side on your above post?


Don wrote:

You can have any combination of amperage on any channel, so long as you do not violate the following rules:

1) (Assuming you have the heatsink) no more than 8 amps per channel.
2) No more than 15amps per side. (Channels 1-8 or 9-16.) [see LORWiki.com on how to go up to 20amp per channel.)
3) Do not go over the rating limit of the board.



Anyway, now I'm pretty sure it's 20 amps/side not per channel since I think I read that the triacs are rated for 16 amps :]
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icemanodo wrote:

Wait, still confused. Did you mean to say 20 amps per side on your above post?

*sigh* yes, 20amps per side.

It was icing in Dallas this morning. It confused me. :)
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Michael, thank you so much. I actually had planned to have one channel have 1000 lights for 1 whole controller (same thing for another controller). So basically if I do that and I just watch my amps for the rest of the side, I should be good. Seems simple enough. But I am certainly beginning to understand the whole LED crazy between everyone. I definately understand why now...:laughing:

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Michael B wrote:


Keep track of how many amps you are pulling as you design your layout. Do your design first.



I've found out that the layout really does need to come first! I had all my mini trees (8 of them) on channels 1-8, and the rest of the display on channels 9-16. Channels 9-16 were WAY overloaded! OOPS! To top it off, I've even sequenced 5 songs and 4 short audio clips. Newbie/rookie mistake :?

I can balance everything out by moving some of the mini trees to the other side. Luckly I didn't go over the total amps for the controller. I've got 8 amps to spare! Now what can I add......

Eric

:tree::tree::tree::tree::tree::tree::tree::tree:
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icemanodo wrote:

I've found out that the layout really does need to come first!


I've said this many times. Don't know if people listen or not, but I see some of the same mistakes made every year.

Here is how I got started in '05 with 80 channels.

1) Evaluate my current display. Which elements will I keep? How many channels will those elements use?

2) How many channels can I afford? If this number is less that #1, repeat step one. If more than step #1, see step #3.

3) Buy channels.

4) Design new elements for newly purchased channels.

5) Decide on final layout of display, incorporating new and old elements.

6) Verify electrical loads. Create spreadsheet/document on how you will connect your lights to the controllers.

7) Verify power. Both at the channel level and breaker level. If overloaded at the channel level, redesign display.

8) Only now do you begin the work of sequencing your lights.



Again, using this method I was able to save myself many hours of work. The only reason I had to re-work some of my sequences was because I broke my own rules, and changed some design elements 'late' in the year. (By late, I mean July.)
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Don wrote:

icemanodo wrote:
I've found out that the layout really does need to come first!


I've said this many times. Don't know if people listen or not, but I see some of the same mistakes made every year.

Here is how I got started in '05 with 80 channels.

1) Evaluate my current display. Which elements will I keep? How many channels will those elements use?

2) How many channels can I afford? If this number is less that #1, repeat step one. If more than step #1, see step #3.

3) Buy channels.

4) Design new elements for newly purchased channels.

5) Decide on final layout of display, incorporating new and old elements.

6) Verify electrical loads. Create spreadsheet/document on how you will connect your lights to the controllers.

7) Verify power. Both at the channel level and breaker level. If overloaded at the channel level, redesign display.

8) Only now do you begin the work of sequencing your lights.



Again, using this method I was able to save myself many hours of work. The only reason I had to re-work some of my sequences was because I broke my own rules, and changed some design elements 'late' in the year. (By late, I mean July.)



Amen!



Don is right on. If you skip steps you could and probably will create a big mess for you to clean up!

Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. :shock:

Have fun planning out your display and include your family on some of the planning. Ask their opinions. My wife gave me a couple of very good suggestions for design changes. I incorporated them in the display and they really added a lot to the show.

Having your mate included is important because it is more fun and they usually help in making the financial decisions. ;)

Enjoy!

Michael B

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OK I understand the loads of the controller. My question is to use the full use of 40amps in the controller do you install a 20 amp double pole breaker in main panel and split it at the outlet box -2- 20 amp duplex receptacles and plug each bank in separate receptacle?

This is what I don't understand. If the controller can handle 40 amps (2-20amp fuses in controller) and you plug it in a 20 amp receptacle you can only put 10amps on each bank of the controller, if its 15 amp receptacle you can only put 7.5 amps per because the receptacle is only 20 or 15 amps........Correct? If you install a 20amp 240 volt double pole breaker and split it at the outlet box you would have 2 20 amp receptacles (in a duplex box) and would have 20 amps for each bank........correct or am I off base.

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You need 2 20 amp 120v breakers on the same phase for each 40 amp controller.
If the circuits are on different phases (like they would be with a double pole breaker)
you will get strange results with missing events. Several of us had this happen
last year. If you don't know what I mean my "the same phase" ask an electrician.
So yes, you need 2 20 amp 120v circuits to get the full 40 Amps.

Tim

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Tim Benson wrote:

You need 2 20 amp 120v breakers on the same phase for each 40 amp controller.

Tim

okay...this is the first time I've seen anything about being on the same phase. I assume you mean both sides of the same controller would need to be on the same phase. But you could have a second controller on a different phase?
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Yes, just the 2 feeds into a single controller need to be on the same Phase.
Other controllers can be on a different phase. I think it has something
to do with the zero crossing detection of the triac/opto.
Anyway, that was my expierence.

Tim

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I'm Missing something here. The link was for 3 phase which isn't residential. I installed a double pole 20amp breaker and split it at the outlet box. I had no problem running 16 channels with the banks split between the 2.

If the controller excepts 240 at the board then what would be the diffrence at the receptacle. You are still splitting 2 hot legs wether its at the board or at the receptacle..correct?

Don't know just asking. Any sparkies on this board?

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I have both Blue Boards and Green (kit) boards. The blue boards all
had problems when split over the 2 phases of normal residential
power. The Green boards did not have the problem. I have not
yet tried a firmware upgrade (which may fix it). like I said,
I'm just reporting what happend to me this year when I used
2 different phases into a single controller.

Tim

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hdrigid wrote:

I'm Missing something here. The link was for 3 phase which isn't residential.

I posted the link because of the symptoms I had more than the electrical application. Hopefully someone will learn from it.

Tom
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I'm probably just going to make matters more confusing, but let me give a bit of a try...

Distribution power is 3-phase. That's what commercial uses. DEFINATELY going to have problems if you try to power these boards off of two different phases. 3-phase means that the cycle of the AC sinewave is offset between the different legs of the feed (hence the name three phase).

One of the phases of the distribution power feeds a transformer on your local power pole [or transformer vault.] The transformer reduces the high voltage down to 240VAC center tapped, which is fed to your house as two wires. Center tap on the transformer is provided as reference or neutral through earth ground. So by going from netural (ground) to >either< of the hot leads you get 120VAC; going from hot to hot gives you the 240VAC (like for major appliances).

Now, in your breaker box, each of the hot lines feed one power rail. The neutral is mechanically tied to ground in the box. The circuit breakers in the box are designed so that a 120V breaker takes a single slot and feeds off of one of hot rails; and a 120v breaker immediately below that one feeds off of the OTHER hot rail. It's arranged this way so that if a 240V breaker is installed (which is a double-wide breaker), it clips on to BOTH of the power rails to get access to the full 240v.

Normally it doesn't matter which rail any given socket in the house is being powered from since there is no interaction. But if you have one of the legs loaded a bit more than the other (which always happens in practice), then the neutral referenced to ground of tha legs moves away from true ground. (This is due to the wire resistance, etc, between where the neutral is mechanically tied to the earth ground in the circuit box and the earthground at the transformer). It's interesting to note that you share the transformers with other houses, so THEY are also affecting the load on each leg. The theory here is that everything will average out so that no leg is far out of whack of any other.

What this means is that if you power one of the dimmer boards from two different legs, one side of the board will establish a "virtual ground" for the board. This will be used by the triacs to detect "zero crossing", that is, when the sine of the voltage crosses zero which is the only time there is no load on the line. That is the only time that a triac can turn on or off. The other side of the board will have a slightly different neutral. So you get a conflict between the detected zero-crossing and the source voltage. Result is a triac misfire, or latchup.

The bottom line is: Feed a single board off of two breakers that are either directly across from one another in the panel and/or a multiple of two away vertically from each other. This assures both are on the same leg (or rail) of the feed. This is ONLY a necessity for the feeds of a single board. Doesn't matter where other boards are powered from.

[Disclaimer: I've >greatly< simplified (or at least tried to :) ) this explanation. I know the explanation is not complete. But hopefully this gives a bit of insight as to what's going on and how to deal with it.]

Joe

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I am very surprised that anyone in a residential situation has had a problem with what leg of the service is used with the two sides of a CTB16D. I do know that in the vast majority of cases it makes absolutely no difference where you plug things in.

Also the fact that there was a difference between a green card and a blue card is surprising. There are minor differences between the two cards but. We will look into this to see what is going on. Anyone that is sure that they had a problem with a controller that was corrected by moving from one leg to the other please send an email to support@lightorama.com and describe the symptoms that were seen that lead you to move the plug to a different leg.

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Joe, I just want to thank you. I am taking from your explanation that you are an electrician, and that explanation was incredible. I did have to read it twice, but thats just me.:laughing: Thank you so much for taking the time...you really helped me out with that!!

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