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Mounting controlers


solarnet
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I've just ordered my first 2 - 16 channel controllers. These have the plastic enclosures with them. My question is, I've got a metal cabinet in my garage that I was planning to mount the enclosures in and was just curious if I really needed the plastic enclosures or can I mount the cards directly to the metal cabinet.



Thanks

Richard

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John Hertig

The plastic boxes may have the holes in them for the power in, power out and communication cables, and if not, may be easier to put holes in than in metal. May be better at weather resistance too, unless the metal box is specifically rated for weather.

That said, if you have an existing box in which they will fit, without shorting anything which should not be shorted, and which has or can have adequate holes for the wires, why not use it? The weather issue should hopefully not be a problem in your garage...

Another consideration is whether the metal box will hold additional controllers if you have any thought of adding them in future.

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John Hertig wrote:

That said, if you have an existing box in which they will fit, without shorting anything which should not be shorted, and which has or can have adequate holes for the wires, why not use it? The weather issue should hopefully not be a problem in your garage...

Another consideration is whether the metal box will hold additional controllers if you have any thought of adding them in future.


I can alwas add the holes. I just wasn't sure if it would be safe. It's a large metal free standing cabinet the size of a coat rack, originally used for paint storage. It's large enough to put atleast 20 controllers with alot of extra storage room. weather will not be a problem as it will always be kept in the garage. I only have 2 controllers right now but plan to keep adding more as finances allow. Best of all is it locks.



Richard
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Judging by the fact that you got the plastic enclosures, I am guessing you got the PC series controllers. For the most part, the cards are already mounted in the boxes (unless you got the kit) and all you have to do is put on power inputs and outputs. The heatsinks are already installed, and the only thing that actually attaches to the heatsinks are the grounding wires. So what does this mean? It means that if you do take the boards out of the controllers, basically the whole metal cabinet would become a giant grounded box...which I don't think is a problem. I will say this however. The plastic boxes have the strain relief brackets attached to them, which will stop the wires from pulling out. That is very important. You are going to need to find some other way to stop those wires from pulling out and ruining your boards. For the most part, the plastic boxes are very important. If you must take out the boards, you could, but I think you will be better off with the boxes.

Just my thoughts.

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John Hertig

Also, if the cabinet is that big, and is also used for storage, you need a way to prevent someone from touching the exposed 110V contacts when the open the cabinet to 'get something' or 'put something away'. Or something being stored from shorting or damaging a board.

Beginning to sound like mounting the plastic boxes in the metal box may be the optimal course, giving the security and centralization of the metal box, with the safety and mechanical advantages of the plastic box.

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John Hertig wrote:

Also, if the cabinet is that big, and is also used for storage, you need a way to prevent someone from touching the exposed 110V contacts when the open the cabinet to 'get something' or 'put something away'. Or something being stored from shorting or damaging a board.

Beginning to sound like mounting the plastic boxes in the metal box may be the optimal course, giving the security and centralization of the metal box, with the safety and mechanical advantages of the plastic box.


The storage will be christmas thing such as cords and lights only. Also, I will be the only one to have access to it. Altough I'm still leaning on mounting the plastic enclosures in it. God know I don't want to fry myself. Thanks for all the suggestions guys.



Richard
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