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going from 64 channels to 320 channels - few questions


medman2000
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Ok, I'm jumping in and not looking back.

Last year I had 4 of the LOR1602W with the big metal outside (64 channels). I pushed each 8-channel set to the max, as close as I could to 15 amps on each side carefully balancing strings of lights to keep things safe (used a meter for accuracy). I was freaked about water getting into the controllers that I had outside in Minnesota, and did not want to mount them upright all throughout my yard. So.... I bought big plastic storage boxes from Target, put the controllers inside, drilled holes in the side of the box to allow airflow and cords to in/out, but to keep the controllers completely dry. I them put a big plastic bag over the Target storage box and over the 16 extension cord/controller connections (stakes holding the bag like a tarp, still allowed airflow).

So now that I invision 20 Bag-->Target box-->controller setups in a relatively small front yard, I'm looking for a smaller outside solution. I've also finally calculated how many power cords would need to come from my garage (40) which is more than my 36 outlets in the garage (each pair is on a 20 amp circuit, but only 200 amps to the garage). Luckily I've upgraded almost all of my lights to LED, so I do not expect any single controller to have more than 3-5 amps total.

Ok, my questions:

1) are the metal enclosures for the LOR1602W robust enough to where I could get away with covering them with a small tarp/bag as above, allowing for some airflow but "mostly" shielding from snow/rain? Or is that too risky?

2) I think this is ok but want to be sure.... if I have a power cord rated at 15 amps coming from the garage on its own circuit, can I then split off of this one cord to power 3 separate controllers at 5 amps each? I'll be relatively sure of the total power draw of the controllers with my meter.

Thanks much!

medman2000

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I have used my metal boxes in Mississippi, where we have a great deal of rain without any problems.

As far as the question about the cord goes, I would not want to exceed 80% of the cords rated capacity. Therefore, I would not run more than 12 amps through the cord.

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Dale W wrote:

I have used my metal boxes in Mississippi, where we have a great deal of rain without any problems.

As far as the question about the cord goes, I would not want to exceed 80% of the cords rated capacity. Therefore, I would not run more than 12 amps through the cord.


did you do anything special for your boxes or just on the ground. I was planning on having at least a slight incline so any water could run out, but not mounted vertical or anything.

Thanks!
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Those stands are sweet - I'll have to decide if big protective boxes (flat) or smaller but taller protection like your stands will fit better hidden in the landscaping.

Thanks!

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Medman,

I live in the Chicago Area with Rain, Sleet and Snow - I mount my 1602's outside with no probblem. I also have an MP3 1602 that was mounted outside on a similar stand that mountain man built. The enclosure has handled the Chicago weather for three years now with no problems. The only thing I do is tape the connections at the pigtails.

Also, I have upgraded my power cords to custom 12 ga. and fuses to 20 amps to get more power out of the controllers. I spoke with Dan two years ago from Light-o-rama and this is possible with the 16 ch. 30 amp controllers in the metal enclosures. A few of my controllers are far from the power supply so I have used a custom 10 ga. cord that I made. They work great - I only use 80% to 90% of the capacity as others have stated - an electrician told me I could max out at 90% per side and be ok.

I upgraded them so I would not have to go that far and also have purchased more controllers since then as well.

Bill

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I had 3 boxes last year, all outside, rain and snow. No problems at all. Mine are mounted on 2X4 frame sitting behind my NOEL sign so they dont show from the front. Made it just tall enough to keep the cords up off the ground. You can also see my Easy Linker on the top left of the frame. Adding 4 more boxes for 07 and will do something similar for them. One or two may end up on the back of this frame depending on how I finalize my setup.

lights13.JPG

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Did your GFi ever trip throughout the season or during a show?

I'm only asking because of the Chicago weather my GFI's suck and I can't beat the tripping sometimes

Bill

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  • 1 year later...
Tropical Christmas

Would you mind giving me a hand on adding a new 16 controller to my exisitng 32? It doesn't seem to want to join in the party when the show starts, yet it tests fine. Do you have to do something special to any editors? Or should it just see the third unit and start like the others?



Thanks in advance. Cindy

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Make sure you give the new box an address before you try connecting to the others. Each box needs to have its own address. Some of the deluxe units have dials on the board to set this and some have to be set by software while connected to a computer.

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Cindy,

What type controller? If the PC version you need to hook it up to the HWU and set a unit id before you can even refresh to find it. ON the left side of the HWU is where you assign the ID.

After you do that step then you should be able to refresh and see that controller. Then hook both controllers on the line and refresh again and see if you get both controllers. If you do, then your good to go to test a sequence.

Chuck

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Scott Stegall

I did something similar to william but to keep is simple just mounted the boxes on a sheet of plywood and leaned it against the house under the eaves. No construction skill necessary!

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