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View Full Version : Wiring Renard SS 24's to Lights



dpitts
01-15-2011, 03:09 AM
I am thinking of using SPT2 wire and vampire connections. Is this considered to be a "Best practice". And if it is can I just not put the male plug on and wire directly to Renard SS board. It seems like a waste to wire 24 small 1 to 2 foot cables with females just to plug SPT2 wire with mating male into. The only reason i could think of for not wiring directly is if you tripped over the wire it may disconnect at union of male female rather than pulling at the terminal on the board.

What is the correct way to wire with SPT2 wire and why?

Thank you.

griffixdc
01-15-2011, 03:21 AM
Its up to you it takes more time to make individual cables with plug Female ends on them but truely is the best versatile way to use the board....but the esiest way and more cost effect way is to hard wire but like you said you run the risk of ruining your board if you snag the cord or trip on it....i am sure if you have a mega tree you can hard wire it and have no problem but areas where you might walk you probably need plugs.....on the other hand your still going to pull the board off from where it is mounted if you trip on with a pug ends on it. my suggestion is to just wire it in the easiest cost effective way possible......i know LOR units come with plug extensions but come on do you need them?

bnradams
01-15-2011, 09:10 AM
Another easy and 'cheap' way is to use 6' extension cords. Just cut off the male plug and wire directly to the board leaving a 6' female end comming off the board. Last year I got mine from wally world for .92 cent each. Thats close to the cost of a vampire plug and 6' of spt2 wire. Plus the extension cord end is molded onto the wire reducing corosion problems and should last for many years. Last year I ran 4 SS24 boards for a total of 96 channels and for my layout I only needed 8 extra extension cords for items not within 6' of the nearest controller. But thats what worked best for my display, plan your layout then deside what works best for you for your average distance of lights from controller.

jmccoh
01-15-2011, 10:51 AM
I'm with bnradams on the 6' cords. Doesn't help now but next year watch Target for the after season clearance. This year I was able to snag 20 3-packs at $ 0.82 - so less than 30 cents each out the door. I have at least 200 of their cords and I've paid less than $ 0.40/each for ever one of them.

Gebbinn
01-15-2011, 11:52 AM
Another thing to consider is change. Some people like to change up their displays year to year. By putting Female ends on your boards, it gives you the versatility to move things around quite a bit. You can use the controllers for other things as well, such as a 4th of july light show or a halloween show.

Storage is another issue. By hard wiring the boards, when it comes time to store them, you either have to unwire the board, or work out some option of storing the board with the mass of lights. that option creates a hassle next year when it comes time to put the display back up, and you have to untangle that cluster you-know-what. By putting female plugs on the board, storage becomes much simpler and quicker, and you will thank yourself next time you want to pull out and use a board.

g2ktcf
01-15-2011, 12:17 PM
I use the 6' "cube tap" cords on all my controllers and SSRs. Very nice to have the extra ports. I got 12 cases of 50 at Lowes one year for $0.70/each...took all they had! lol

Wayne J
01-15-2011, 02:20 PM
I use the extension cords myself also.

griffixdc
01-15-2011, 02:36 PM
if its a cost factor now...LOR sells 16 plug taps for 8 dollars with a heavy duty jacket around the wires its like the ones shown in Holdmans How to videos. if you did not get the good deals on plug extension cords like these lucky sons of B**'s did (kidding kidding :) just jealous) this might be your cheaper option. Just throwing it out there....the only problem is it comes with a ground wires and depending on your enclosure you use you might not have room for 24 more extra wires

dpitts
01-15-2011, 03:16 PM
Thanks for the replies. I knew there were other factors I was not taking into account. If I go the six foot extension cord route do I need to cover the union between lights and cord and get them off the ground. It snows here in Colorado Springs. Although the snow is dry usually.

michaelc
01-15-2011, 03:42 PM
I use to just lay the controllers on the ground, wire them up then cover with a large black garbage bag held down by rocks. This year while I still use the bags, where you can't see them, I built plywood "Christmas Presents" that I use to cover everything. I still lay the controllers on the ground but after I connect all the wires, I bundle the cable on TOP of the controllers and then cover with the present. Not only does it help with water, but I think the extra layer helps keep the controllers a bit warmer also which will become important when I go wireless.

94859484

griffixdc
01-15-2011, 04:11 PM
Unless you have ground moisture you dont have to prop off ground. If your running a lot of power through the cords for long periods of time they will melt your snow a little bit and create moisture. so insulating your connections is recommended. you can use the bag technique, the sleeve technique (using a Velcro sleeve) or just wrap each connection with electrical tape; its cheap quick and easy......my suggestion is to use color electrical tape because black electrical tape will leave a black sticky residue all over your cords.

michaelc
01-15-2011, 04:26 PM
I would just warn against taping up the connections. Water has a way of finding it's way in and if it's taped up, it can't find it's way out. My first few seasons in this hobby I taped up everything. I blew GFCI's with every rain storm we had. Now by just laying them out without tape, if it rains, they drain quickly. My big problem now is when we get the cold rain that freezes. I can't tell you the number of times I've gone out there with an ice pick to chip the ice out of the electrical connections before the show.

griffixdc
01-15-2011, 04:41 PM
I would just warn against taping up the connections. Water has a way of finding it's way in and if it's taped up, it can't find it's way out. My first few seasons in this hobby I taped up everything. I blew GFCI's with every rain storm we had. Now by just laying them out without tape, if it rains, they drain quickly. My big problem now is when we get the cold rain that freezes. I can't tell you the number of times I've gone out there with an ice pick to chip the ice out of the electrical connections before the show.

well??
1. this was advice for a dry snow condition.
...and...
2. if you tape it right there should be no problems...i have taped connections and completely submerged them into water and not a spot of moisture when the tape was taken off....but if you were worried about such things, because your right it can and more than likely will happen there are more heavy grade tapes that can be used that offer more insulation/weather retardant

but of course my suggestions aren't the only ones out there there are more things people have used i am sure.

...just thinking quickly there are splice caps that are used for larger wire or insulating splices or ground Kerny's....these come in various of sizes and i am sure you can wrap your connections in that...allowing weather retarding and yet drainage for moisture that could sneak in.

another idea;
i have personally seen on other peoples displays use water drainage tubing the 4" sealed type. the water or moisture will stay in the groves and not touch the wires or connections that are in them and yet protect them from rain fall. another cheap way to route wires especially of you dont want to trip on them :)

dpitts
01-15-2011, 05:32 PM
Great info. Where is a good source for SPT1 or SPT2 and vampire plugs.

dirknerkle
01-15-2011, 06:28 PM
I would just warn against taping up the connections. Water has a way of finding it's way in and if it's taped up, it can't find it's way out. My first few seasons in this hobby I taped up everything. I blew GFCI's with every rain storm we had. Now by just laying them out without tape, if it rains, they drain quickly. My big problem now is when we get the cold rain that freezes. I can't tell you the number of times I've gone out there with an ice pick to chip the ice out of the electrical connections before the show.

There is one tape which outshines all the others -- silicone fusion tape. It melts into itself and after about an hour, the stuff will not come apart. It's like dipping the connection in rubber. It's especially helpful for mains power connections since you stretch it a bit and then wrap it around the connection -- it ends up super tight.

It's made by Gardner Bender (GB) and is their product # HTP-1010. What's cool about it is that you don't necessarily need to wrap a connection with it. Sometimes I just trim off an inch or two, fold it over and pinch it together around the wire. It's a done deal. Fabulous stuff. A little pricey, but worth every penny.

griffixdc
01-15-2011, 06:45 PM
There is one tape which outshines all the others -- silicone fusion tape. It melts into itself and after about an hour, the stuff will not come apart. It's like dipping the connection in rubber. It's especially helpful for mains power connections since you stretch it a bit and then wrap it around the connection -- it ends up super tight.

It's made by Gardner Bender (GB) and is their product # HTP-1010. What's cool about it is that you don't necessarily need to wrap a connection with it. Sometimes I just trim off an inch or two, fold it over and pinch it together around the wire. It's a done deal. Fabulous stuff. A little pricey, but worth every penny.

good to know:)
Sometimes minor extra costs out weigh the stress and un-needed extra work to save money

dirknerkle
01-15-2011, 07:12 PM
good to know:)
Sometimes minor extra costs out weigh the stress and un-needed extra work to save money

Yes indeed! This year, we wrapped the center pole of our megatree with lights, kind of like what you'd do to with arches. We tested it, and all strings were good. Somehow, we broke a couple of those lights on the center pole as we were putting up the megatree. We didn't break just the bulbs -- we actually ripped the sockets off the wires somehow and nobody knew it. We were sure surprized when we fired it up and two of the vertical segments stayed dark. The thought of dismantling the tree to rewrap those two was truly a dismal concept...

The next day I had a chance to look at it more closely in daylight. That's when I found the wires -- with the little mini-light spades still on them, but no mini-light socket! Simple fix: I stripped the insulation off a short piece of SPT wire, wrapped it around the two spades, took about two inches of the silicone fusion tape and pinched it tightly around the joint. Did the same with both sockets. Because there was no play in the wire, it would have been impossible to wrap it with tape, but there was just enough room just to coax a small piece of the silicone tape behind it, pinch it down and - taaa-daaaaa!

The megatree is still outside, and still works flawlessly, even though my driveway snow plowing service has shoved a pile of snow into it and it's so bent over now that it's probably permanently ruined. Yet it still works,and those two patched wires are good-as-new.

griffixdc
01-15-2011, 07:18 PM
Yes indeed! This year, we wrapped the center pole of our megatree with lights, kind of like what you'd do to with arches. We tested it, and all strings were good. Somehow, we broke a couple of those lights on the center pole as we were putting up the megatree. We didn't break just the bulbs -- we actually ripped the sockets off the wires somehow and nobody knew it. We were sure surprized when we fired it up and two of the vertical segments stayed dark. The thought of dismantling the tree to rewrap those two was truly a dismal concept...

The next day I had a chance to look at it more closely in daylight. That's when I found the wires -- with the little mini-light spades still on them, but no mini-light socket! Simple fix: I stripped the insulation off a short piece of SPT wire, wrapped it around the two spades, took about two inches of the silicone fusion tape and pinched it tightly around the joint. Did the same with both sockets. Because there was no play in the wire, it would have been impossible to wrap it with tape, but there was just enough room just to coax a small piece of the silicone tape behind it, pinch it down and - taaa-daaaaa!

The megatree is still outside, and still works flawlessly, even though my driveway snow plowing service has shoved a pile of snow into it and it's so bent over now that it's probably permanently ruined. Yet it still works,and those two patched wires are good-as-new.

Great story....sounds like my kinda of tape....the electricians "DUCK TAPE" :)

tstraub
01-15-2011, 08:15 PM
The megatree is still outside, and still works flawlessly, even though my driveway snow plowing service has shoved a pile of snow into it and it's so bent over now that it's probably permanently ruined. Yet it still works,and those two patched wires are good-as-new.

A bent Megatree sounds like a Charlie Brown sequence is in order. But seriously I sorry to here about the damage.

Tyler

WireWrap
01-19-2011, 03:19 PM
A bent Megatree sounds like a Charlie Brown sequence is in order. But seriously I sorry to here about the damage.

Tyler

That's pretty much what it looks like. Dirk posted some pics of what his "Mad Snowplow Driver" had done to his display.... :( :(

(I wonder if he's found his "Tune to" sign again???) :roll: :roll:



:)

dirknerkle
01-19-2011, 05:17 PM
That's pretty much what it looks like. Dirk posted some pics of what his "Mad Snowplow Driver" had done to his display.... :( :(

(I wonder if he's found his "Tune to" sign again???) :roll: :roll:

:)

Oh, I can find it. I just can't get to it. More than likely, can't get it out. And the thermometer is headed for sub-zero temps for the next few days...

To be honest with everyone, I think it's a Canadian conspiracy. The trade winds go across the Pacific Northwest up into Canada, where they do whatever they do to it to cause it to come crashing down onto Minnesota with a brutal effect. That, in turn, starts the chain of events that puts us in a bad way.

No wonder the Norwegians turned to lutefisk. :lol:

griffixdc
01-19-2011, 08:31 PM
Oh, I can find it. I just can't get to it. More than likely, can't get it out. And the thermometer is headed for sub-zero temps for the next few days...

To be honest with everyone, I think it's a Canadian conspiracy. The trade winds go across the Pacific Northwest up into Canada, where they do whatever they do to it to cause it to come crashing down onto Minnesota with a brutal effect. That, in turn, starts the chain of events that puts us in a bad way.

No wonder the Norwegians turned to lutefisk. :lol:

thats insane...right now its about 70F degrees and will be for another few days

bud29
01-19-2011, 08:57 PM
Hey, leave the Canadians out of this! We usually get wicked storms and weather when a Colorado low rolls in, so blame it on those guys. Besides, cold weathers good 4 u guys, lets you know what we put up with for 11 months of the year!