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Extension Cord Question (boring, I know)


wensteve
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I don't have my LOR stuff yet and this is my first year with all this but I was thinking I should start shopping around for extension cords. I've seen some on sale with a triple outlet, does it make sense to buy these for most common setups or do most people just buy regular one outlet extension cords?

 

This will basically be my display this year along with maybe a few more lights on other props in the yard.

 

http://www.wowlights.com/ProductDetail.asp?Category=19&Product=390

 

 

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Do a search in the forum for SPT cord and vampire plugs. This is how we make our own cords so you have exactly the length you need. It is cheaper to buy storebought sometimes if you find them on sale at good prices...but you will have to coil the extra cord out of the way. As to which to buy, this depends upon how much current you will be running through them. Buy appropriately sized cords for the electrical load they will carry. Planning a show layout is an involved process that requires you to follow the steps in order to ensure you have everything you need, but don't overspend on things you don't. As to how many outlets on the cords, it depends upon what you will be plugging in and where. If you need to plug in several devices/strings at one location, and the total current draw of all of the devices is less than the rating of the cord, then a multi-outlet cord makes sense. It is all in the layout planning.

 

My suggestion is to go to the forums and read, read, read.

 

Best of luck!

 

Paul

Edited by Paul R
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Store bought cords (when on sale) are far cheaper & faster than building cords.  If you find them on sale, 6' cords can be had for $.88 and 12' and 15' for $1.50-$2.00 each.  I've even bought the heavy orange/green cords - 25' for as low as $3.00-$4.00.  Note - for some reason the green cords seem to cost more than the orange - most of the time.

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I use a wide assortment of extension cords, sometimes I may use several props on a single channel, so those triple tap extension cords do come in handy at times for that.   I also use "indoor" extension cords outside as well, when I bought mine I paid between .50¢ and .98¢ for them, but those prices usually won't be found now.  Usually bought mine at places like Wal-Mart or Big Lots  And I also use old Christmas light male/female pass through{fused} plugs and female end receptacles and make my own extension cords using SPT2 wire.

 

If you do get a really good deal on indoor extension cords and use them outside, I also invested in child proof outlet caps to cover any exposed or open receptacles, I also invested in a couple of packages of the green push-in-the-ground light stakes, these are used to hold the power connections off the ground to keep them out of dirt, mud and water that may settle in puddles on the ground.   I also use the child proof outlet caps in all light strands female ends and male/female pass throughs as well as any extension cord that has a multi-tap end that I am not utilizing, this is to keep water and debris out of them as well.   I've been using these for going on 4+ years now, never a problem with them.

 

The child proof outlet caps are white, so you may want to invest in a can or 2 of flat black paint to paint them, as light does reflect off them.  You only need to paint the back side only, the side that inserts into the female receptacle cab be left alone, or painted, your preference.

 

Took me about 10-15 minutes to paint around 2,000+ of the child proof outlet caps, used a fast drying paint, so they were ready to use within 2 minutes of painting them.  Just make sure you use a flat black, gloss or semi-gloss will reflect light, not something you really want ro do on a light strand or extension cord within your display.   Want to try and keep them as invisible as possible.

 

How I keep mine hidden is I will run garland and lights along the extension cord together, does a good job of hiding long runs of cord that may need to go to a separate light strand or stand alone prop.   I have black garland I use for Halloween and Green, Silver, Red, Gold, White, Blue, etc. for Christmas.

 

Again, these are just some of the things I do, others mileage and opinions may differ, as we all have ways we prefer to do things, and what works for me, may not work for others.  So take them as suggestions to try or not.

 

The final say on how you do and set up your display{s} is/are yours.  All we can do is give advice on what has worked for those of us that set these displays up each year.

 

Welcome to the hobby, most of all, have fun with it.

Edited by Orville
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