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Holy Cord Length Batman!


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I recently finished assembling my first controller. I used 6 foot grounded female line cord (looks like a HD power cord w/female end). While assembling the controller, I kept the length of the cord stowed in a file cabinet just beneath my work bench. This kept the cords neatly contained while I worked on routing and attaching each cord to the terminal block.....

Well thought and organized- right?!

So, I get done and prepare to examine my handy-work. I pick up the box and pull all of the cords out of the filing cabinet....

I have to hold the controller nearly over my head to keep the cords from dragging around. The weight is a lot more than I had ever though. Trying to then put the controller in a box for storage was as eventful as wrangling a 2 year old at a barber shop.

SO - Please learn from my screw-up.
Take a moment and consider cord length.
Needless to say- I'll be re-doing this box....

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Why not coil them up and ziptie them until your ready to break them back out for Christmas? That's what I did on mine.

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In 2003 I build a LOR controller with 14' cords. My thought was that it could be used without adding extension cords. I still have that controller in my arsenal but it is a tough one to wrangle around and storage is always inconvenient. Since then all of my additional controllers have been built with 16 inch cords.

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I built all my boxes with Dan's 18" cord, but the input power is a 40' extension cord. The 16 channel boxes have 2, the 8 channel have 1. This allows me to power the box without an extension cord (at least in the past). This year I will have to put some extension cords on because there are positions where I will have a controller farther than 40' from the supply outlet. The cords do make storage a bit of a pain, but its worth the extra length when you deploy them. The weight isn't too bad since the majority of the cords are only 18"

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but the input power is a 40' extension cord

You might consider installing a short (6 ft) power cord, then plug that into a standard extension cord once the box is set up. Easier to move around.

Tom
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I did this purposely to avoid the extra extension cord and therefore the extra connection to tape up. It's not that bad, I just coil up the input cords on top the box and carry it flat - not that bad.

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I have a number of boxes with 25 channels each, half have 9ft cords and the other half 15 ft cords... The 15s are a bit hard to move around but I have developed a techniqu where the cords are draped around my neck while I carry the controllers.

They are a bit hard to store but I kind of like having all the cords attached. I think that the Chuck Smith multi connector way of wiring is the way to go. If I were to start my display from scratch it would have lots of those connectors on it.

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I built my first couple of controllers with the 18" cords, but I quickly realized that I ended up having to use 16 extension cords to connect every controller. I've since switched to 6 and 9' cords on all the ones I've built since. They're a little harder to move around and store, but it eliminated a lot of extra cables and mess during setup/teardown.

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LightORama wrote:

I have a number of boxes with 25 channels each, half have 9ft cords and the other half 15 ft cords... The 15s are a bit hard to move around but I have developed a techniqu where the cords are draped around my neck while I carry the controllers.

They are a bit hard to store but I kind of like having all the cords attached. I think that the Chuck Smith multi connector way of wiring is the way to go. If I were to start my display from scratch it would have lots of those connectors on it.


Dan or Chuck, is there a pick of this "multi connector way of wiring"? I still have several controller on the way and might want to try this. thanks
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Scottsgrfx wrote:

LightORama wrote:
........... I think that the Chuck Smith multi connector way of wiring is the way to go. If I were to start my display from scratch it would have lots of those connectors on it.
Dan or Chuck, is there a pick of this "multi connector way of wiring"? I still have several controller on the way and might want to try this. thanks
I just checked Planet Christmas and didn't see any pictures. I think they were 9 pin molex connectors. You can build a 9 wire extension cord that can carry 8 circuits.... Pretty much cut the amount of wire in half and if you hardwire it to the display then your setup becomes much simpler. When you get to mega channel displays trying to get everything plugged into the correct place becomes a challenge in itself.
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Hope this helps. I use 3/4 in hose. Hose and reel garage sale. This one equals 8 extension cords 75 ft long.

glenn


Attached files 51956=3046-DSC00061.JPG

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Scott

Yes, molex connectors, with no 14 wire. Just a side note I use 2 hot wires per one common and ran a ground just in case I needed it one day. That is all the wire I can pull in a 3/4 hose.

glenn

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WOW!! I just saw that picture of that hose and Molex connectors. Now that is what I call throwing away that NEC (National Electrical Code) book. :shock:

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About the NEC code, I agree. Hairs stood up on the back of my neck when I seen the picture, but hey it works ... Laughing

I could see my old German Journeymen, when I was an apprentice. He would literally be rolling on the floor laughing. and he would say in his deep german accent ... "BILL BILL BILL, you are so funny" "don't do that to a religious guy like me" that is what he said when he didn't like what I had done.

I don't mean to be nasty Glenn, *SMILE*

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This is certainly better than running speaker wire on the ground and people here do it a lot and get away with it.:)



Besides, it only matters if there is a problem.:shock:

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Zane wrote:

WOW!! I just saw that picture of that hose and Molex connectors. Now that is what I call throwing away that NEC (National Electrical Code) book. :shock:

Assuming that's being plugged into an LOR controller, it really doesn't have anything to do with the NEC. The wiring in the building up to the outlet is covered by the NEC, but what you plug into it is beyond the scope of the NEC.
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  • 2 weeks later...
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dschwab9 wrote:

Zane wrote:
WOW!! I just saw that picture of that hose and Molex connectors. Now that is what I call throwing away that NEC (National Electrical Code) book. :shock:

Assuming that's being plugged into an LOR controller, it really doesn't have anything to do with the NEC. The wiring in the building up to the outlet is covered by the NEC, but what you plug into it is beyond the scope of the NEC.


I don't think that's true.....

-jim-
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Rather than see PCers double-guessing and making assumptions, it may be worthwhile to visit the Wikipedia page covering the National Electrical Code.

Among the useful information available on that page, I found a quote:

The reason for the National Electrical Code's existence is to codify the requirements for safe electrical installations into a single, standardized source.

The NEC is usually adopted at the state, county, or city level as the rules for how electrical work is to be done. This means the NEC carries the force of law in many jurisdictions.

Bottom line is generally that electrical installations must follow the NEC. If an installation doesn't follow the code and works fine, that's great. But if it doesn't follow the code, and it causes loss or injury, then that's a whole different ballgame. Use caution, common sense, and intelligence when working with electricity. And if you have doubts, call a professional electrician.

Tom
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