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LoR Breakout Box? Has anyone tried this?


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Has anyone ever removed all the 1 1/2' female "pigtail" power cords that are connected to the outputs of the LoR 16 channel AC controllers and used a 10 conductor "snake" instead? Sending out all the Neutrals and Grounds seems to be redundant. What if a 10 conductor cable was used for a long run (that's 1 LINE per channel (8) plus a common NEUTRAL (1) and a common GND (1)), then close to were you need to plug-in your lights you had a 'breakout box' that the snake connected to, with the breakout box having 8 switched outdoor outlets?

 

Could money or frustration be saved doing this over having 8 extension cords?

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Have you over thought this? No offense implied but if the breakout box ends at one place - wouldn't it be easier to have the controller there? The controller would need the one or two A/C cables and the data line (or ELL). I think most of us place the controllers next to the props so there isn't long runs of extension cords.

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The concept is quite common in stage / production. Socapex connectors are used to feed 6 circuits down one cable.

 

Im not recommending it, but IF you did get your hands on some of the multi-pin cable, you could do 9 circuits with no shared neutrals. Or if you were all LED loads, you COULD share some neutrals - but if your not careful, this could be dangerous.

 

I like my controllers close to my house, as I can basically lock them under my porch - using multi conductor cable, you could accomplish this

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I used to do this when I wanted to keep the controllers in my garage. Will not work if using GFCI recepticles as it does cause an imbalance in the circuits.

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SPT is cheap. I keep my controllers near the house to help keep vandalism discouraged. They are secured to the ground with screw-in anchors and cable padlocks. Yes, a crook could use bolt cutters, but they usually have bigger targets in mind. Then I use thousands of feet of SPT cord and vampires. I don't like the idea of what you are calling a "snake" laying in the yard. Copper thieves won't know it's really a lot of small cables, so you just became that target I mentioned above. They see one "big wire" and snip, snip, gone. Next morning, you are repairing your show - frantically.

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I have thought this through over and over and have come to the conclusion that making custom length cords with SPT and vampire plugs and bundling them together like a cable is more cost effective and convinient.  The cost of heavy gauge multi-conductor cable plus the weatherproof connectors to go with them add up pretty quick.  Then you still have the breakout box to construct.  SPT zip tied together makes a pretty nice "snake"

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I have ran a complete controller with 17 wires with no issues. Used one common for all with one hot and one ground. Used a multi-conductor cable. Check your amperage as all my lights are LED and amperage was ok for wire gauge.

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 They are secured to the ground with screw-in anchors and cable padlocks

 

Do you have a picture? This is the first year since a move from a small house where I kept the controllers in the garage and ran approximately 40 40' extension cords to the trees. Most of the 40' cords would reach, occasionally I needed to add an extra 40' (for about 6 channels).

 

My new house is on a highly trafficked corner lot and feels much more 'exposed.' I don't have the ability to run cords from the garage at this location. Now I have to consider how to secure the units in the yard.

 

There is one other use case, however, for using a snake, which is when you only need 8 channels for a remote prop (and only use 16 channel controllers). However I concede that Mega Arch makes a good point about the snake being an attractive target that is difficult to rebuild vs. SPT1/2.

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We pretty much do the same thing with a twist.  We put our controllers in a locked plastic footlocker type box outfitted with a cable slot and eyebolt.   Its chained behind the bushes to a deep re-bar stake.  No taking that one, and too much trouble to fight the bushes to cut it.    We color code the bundled zip wire to ease troubleshooting, and the box adds one more level of waterproofing without having to drill holes in the LOR enclosure.   Picture attached. 

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To add to the subject.

 

I have a controller chained to a tree (backside of the tree) for my mini trees on both sides of the driveway.

I also have one chained under a bush close to the house for my window runners.

8 controllers padlocked to my mega tree tower for the strands, floods and pole runner.

A controller in the garage mounted on the wall for the icicles and strobes.

And 4 controllers in the attic for the mega arch and snowflakes.

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Do you have a picture?

Here's a picture showing the screw-in anchors on the left.

The red cable on the right is the padlock that runs around the controller stand and through the anchor.

CONTROLLERW_ANCHOR_zps34d81d28.png

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But now back to the question, yes you can make a snake that will do what your asking just make sure your neutral is large enough to handle the current of all the lights, because all of the lights might come on at the same time. I use this style of cords and have never had a problem, what i use is a 9 pin molex which means (1) neutral and (8) channels per snake and i use gnd. rods on my display components and as i said i have never had a problem

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Steve what i meant by this statement is all my cages for the mini trees and my steel silhouttes have a individual ground driven 4 feet in the ground next to them for earth ground. so you will not get electrocuted if they are wet from rain.also in my panel box where my system gets its power the breakers that control the system are GFCI. so Steve i hope you understand what i am doing i am very cautious when it comes to electricity even though i have been dealing with high voltage RF and AC/DC  for many years as an Electronics and Communication Tech. i do not take chances your life or mine is not worth a Light Show.

Edited by Godney
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i have been dealing with high voltage RF and AC/DC  for many years as an Electronics and Communication Tech.

Hey Godney,

Couldn't help but notice the wording "high voltage RF" and "Electronics and Communication Tech". Do you work for the FAA?

Tom

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No Tom i work for a Sheriff's Office in Florida as an 800 mhz. Communications Tech.

Oh, okay. Just curious. I work at the FAA as an electronics tech on communication equipment so was just curious.

Thanks,

Tom

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No problem Tom , Yeah i have been doing electronic repair and installation since i was 13 i really enjoy it.

Edited by Godney
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