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extension cords and splicing


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Good Morning,

      I have a 64 channel set up. I had no plan or idea when I started. After 4 years I am to the point of starting over with the whole rewiring with extension cords. I have used 3, 6 and 15 foot extension cords. I now know what my basic layout is and will stay. I would like to splice together the different extension cords to meet the length that I will need to get to that part of my layout. Next time I will buy a 1000 foot roll but for right now I need to use what I have. For example I am using 10 15' cords to reach my longest point. I see no problem with splicing the existing cords but thought best to ask. I was also thinking of using the original male and female plugs. Any problem with this idea? Thanks for your suggestion and direction.

Later in Life,

Mark

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I already have quite a few bucks tied up in individual cord lengths. I need to use the cords I already have before I go out and buy a spool. Besides I can buy another controller during the sale if I recycle the cords I already have. Not really a lot of work for someone who is retired. 

Later in Life,

Mark

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I wouldn't take the risk. Why not visit some yard sales, pawn shops, flea markets, Craigslist, etc between now and next Christmas? See how many long extension cords you can buy for cheap. Too many things can go wrong with splicing that much wire and you end up with far too many places where the newly spliced cord can fail or short out.

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Every "splice" point is another moisture leak point.

Unless heat shrinking each "splice", you'll continually be testing your work against your GFCI's.

If you are heat shrinking, you are spending a lot of time and money.

As others have said, buy SPT & vampires.

Save the existing cords for future props.

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Good Morning And Thanks for the replies. It seems everyone is in agreement on not splicing. I do agree the 1000 ft spool is the way to go. I doubt if the hobby will grow much more. I am still researching and trying to decide to add another controller or to try my hand at RGB. Anyway the cords I have used are your typical Lowes's 13amp 16 gauge spt 2. I was just thinking it would be better to splice/solder the cords together rather than just plugging them in back to back and then tapping them to keep the moisture out. Thanks again for your thoughts.

Later in Life,

Mark 

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Mark,

I don't recall you mentioning. Is the "splicing" of cords for controller power or for light strings/props?

If it's for controller power, SPT wire won't be good. Just run extension cords. If they are plugged in back to back, don't tape them. Just keep the connections of the ground from ground water/puddling.

If it's for light strands/props, using SPT cord with vampire plugs is a better option to make the correct length needed. And looks a lot better than big bulky cords laid out everywhere.

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You mentioned early on that you could buy another controller if you recycle the ones you already have.  If you buy another controller you can mount it a lot closer to your props and use the shorter length cords as-is to reach them.  Problem solved - or just starting another one?????

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No seriously it is not going to grow much more. Torn rotator cuff one year and another year it was in a brace and and a ankle boot. Should have started this a few years earlier. I am looking to get more organized and easier to take down and set up.

Not quite sure about the " Is the "splicing" of cords for controller power or for light strings/props?'  I am using regular spt2 13 amp 16 gauge extension cords from the controller to the string of lights.  

Later in Life,

Mark 

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Thanks for the thought about using the extra cords. My 4 controllers are in the basement but about 10 ft from where all the cords go outside. That is one of the things I had planned to do on the reorganize  by moving them closer to the outside foundation. I just have such a mess of cords and cords coming apart. I have several extension cord harness for the left side of the house that  get plugged into the right side harness and then into the basement to the controllers

Later in Life,

Mark

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My 4 controllers are in the basement but about 10 ft from where all the cords go outside.  I just have such a mess of cords and cords coming apart.

Mark

 

I can see why you have a mess of cords. If the controllers were closer to the props, you wouldn't have as much of a mess IMHO.

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I would agree. Perhaps run the controllers out closer to the display elements. Between now and when you set up your display you could either design and build or buy something to mount the controllers on and purchase some long, heavy duty extension cords and cat5 cable (www.monoprice.com is fairly inexpensive). Just a thought.

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I would agree. Perhaps run the controllers out closer to the display elements. Between now and when you set up your display you could either design and build or buy something to mount the controllers on and purchase some long, heavy duty extension cords and cat5 cable (www.monoprice.com is fairly inexpensive). Just a thought.

Good point, and just to add, for example.

Back in the day, I had my controllers for my mega tree on the front porch behind some bushes to hide them. I ran extension cords for each channel out to the mega tree. It was a wiring mess with 64 channels from the controllers to each strand to the tree for about 20+ feet. A tangled mess.

I finally saw the light and brought my controllers to the tree. Padlocked them to the base/pole/tower (call it what you want).

That shortened my cords to more than half of what they were. Made a HUGE difference!!! Now just 10' long each.

Then I ran just one extension cord to the tree with a multi-plug outlet and a cat5 cable. I was (and still am) running LEDs so one extension cord is all I needed for that longer run.

Again, it made a HUGE difference. And still does today.

This same example is applied to all my multi-props (mini trees, snowflakes) in a group.

Locate that controller to as close to the props/display elements as possible and the mess of cords is way much easier to handle.

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  • 2 months later...

I have almost 2 miles of extension cords, store bought and home made from SPT-2.  I used vampire plugs and sliced using soldering and heat shrink.  Never had a failure and never used any tape on any connection.  Now that we are 100% RGB, we are repurposing the cords for RGB 12v and 5v power.

Edited by LarryDrumAZ
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I put the controller for my mega tree under it... covered  it in it with a plastic box covered with  Christmas paper. It blends right in and isn't noticeable unless someone is really trying to find it. 

 

Dont know about this year yet.... will be using 5 controllers instead of just three.  This year adding 4 singing trees so will probably put it behind them.  Havent decided on how close or where the singing trees will be located at.

 

Ordered a packet (10) full size coro plastic sheets from Home depot should be getting here the first week of may.  May make my singing trees 4" X 8" Havent decided yet how big I want to make them. May just stick to 4 X 4.

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