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air_run
09-22-2011, 12:56 AM
Greetings fellow DIYC's,

I have decided to do a "Centralized Topology" for my layout. I have read the Wiki on this but, I wanted to get some feedback on the pitfalls, advantages, etc from some of you that have gone this route. I am not sure if it is because I am new to the hobby (Dec of last year) but I really haven't seen or heard much on a lot of people going this route. I chose this route as I feel I could protect my electronics better and be easier for troubleshooting purposes and setting up in the future years to come. Not to mention just kill the breakers and slap on the doors.

I am really excited about it and for the first time since December of last year my wife or "O-Master-Of-The-Finances" is finally seeing where all the $$$ is going and getting on board as she is a visual person, and even helping out, yay! But, that's another topic... More pics to follow as I get main power, SSR's, CAT5 cables, etc in there.

Aaron

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rjchu
09-22-2011, 01:15 AM
When I saw the subject line I was expecting to read about plans for Ren64's in the garage and SSR's out in the yard. Based on the pictures though it looks like you're planning to put your Ren64's, SSR's and plugs/outlets all together in the garage and run extension cords to the light strings and display items in the yard. This approach will certainly work, I'm just curious about why you've designed things this way vs putting the SSR's in the yard or if consolidating in the garage, not going with Ren24SS's or something similar that have SSR's built in? As I said, there's nothing wrong with this and it'll certainly work, just curious as perhaps you've stumbled upon a design/setup that I could benefit from as well!

-Joni-

PS: you've got a VERY clean, dare I say pretty, setup there! Call me jealous! ;)

air_run
09-22-2011, 01:46 AM
This approach will certainly work, I'm just curious about why you've designed things this way vs putting the SSR's in the yard or if consolidating in the garage, not going with Ren24SS's or something similar that have SSR's built in?

Hi Joni,

I knew that someone would mention this, but I didn't expect it that quickly, funny! When I first got into this hobby I stumbled on and studied Kevin Cook's setup on his website, thus leading me here to DIYC. I knew that's what I wanted to do (REN64's with external SSR's) so I went that route. The central topology wasn't in my plans until about a couple of months ago. Long story short, one of my best friends is an electrician by trade and had these panels laying around their shop due to an incorrect order. He asked me if I wanted them as he knew of my Blinky Flashy plans. The panels were "Donated" to me and ALL other electrical parts were at his cost, thus, leading me to this post today. It just so happens the panels worked out perfectly for my components.

In just the past few months (well after ordering and building all components) I have expanded my knowledge to other controllers/options that are out there. Go figure, I could have saved a lot of time/space, but it looks really cool! :cool:

Aaron

jboyles7
09-22-2011, 09:28 AM
I love the look. Disadvantage -- extension cord costs. Advantage -- heated garage.

underdog
09-22-2011, 10:08 AM
AMAZING, absolutely tremendous. I tend to like this idea for the on board SSR boards, but even with spoke systems like the Grinch, Olsen 595, Ren64xc, I can see a lot of advantage. Perfect, and if you move, you can take it with you! Tremendous, great job!

g2ktcf
09-22-2011, 10:16 AM
Aaron, that is bloody fantastic...let me know when you get this all wired up as I want to see in person.

N7XG
09-22-2011, 10:28 AM
Hi,

I kind of agree with an earlier post in regards to extension cords. Looking at your pictures you will have up to 512 extension cords running from your garage to your display. That will be a huge chunk of wire.

The nice thing about a controller like the Ren64 and 4 channel ssr is that you can place the ssr'as close to the display elements. I have been working with Mac (he is designing the new Simple 32) and will be producing some 8 and 16 channel ssr's.

Any, your design is quite an accomplishment and I/we hope you provide up more pictures.

LabRat
09-22-2011, 10:46 AM
Where's the on/off switch?

air_run
09-22-2011, 11:46 AM
I kind of agree with an earlier post in regards to extension cords. Looking at your pictures you will have up to 512 extension cords running from your garage to your display. That will be a huge chunk of wire.

Hi Dean,

There will only be 192 extension cords heading out of the garage as I am only running (3) REN64's. The plugs/boxes in the upper main panels w/ the monitors are the individual circuits for the main power for the SSR's. Unless, there is something I missed, or miss-calculated?

Aaron

air_run
09-22-2011, 11:52 AM
Where's the on/off switch?

Hey Labrat,

In the next couple of weeks my electrician friend and I are wiring a subpanel to feed the display panels. It will be coming into the top left side of the upper panel. Inside the CG-1000 boxes I do have rocker switches to turn off the power to the REN64's.

Aaron

LabRat
09-22-2011, 12:33 PM
Any chance you'd send him up north here, so he can become my friend too?? :cool:

dirknerkle
09-22-2011, 12:47 PM
How long will some of the cable runs be? Any concern about voltage drops?

rjchu
09-22-2011, 12:48 PM
In just the past few months (well after ordering and building all components) I have expanded my knowledge to other controllers/options that are out there. Go figure, I could have saved a lot of time/space, but it looks really cool! :cool:


Sure, you could have saved time and space but then you wouldn't have all of us drooling over your setup. You know, you could use this setup for the blinky flashy in your garage and get more controllers for out in the yard. Just sayin'... ;)

I'm with Chris, when this thing's done, more pics please. I'm a big fan, and I know I'm not along, of blinky flashy pr0n.

Thanks for sharing!

-joni-

air_run
09-22-2011, 01:31 PM
How long will some of the cable runs be? Any concern about voltage drops?

Hey Dirk,

I really do not have that big of a front yard, but my longest runs will be my (7) arches. The last leaping arch (7 Channels) will be my longest at roughly 60 feet. There will be only (1) 100ct mini strand on each channel at this distance. I have acquired 1000 ft of 12/2 wire (it's not the lamp cord or SPT2 wire, but will work for outdoor use) just in case as I have thought about the voltage drop concern. I haven't had the oportunity to test voltage drop yet on the SPT2 wire as I will be headed over to Chris' house soon to pick up the spools. I am not too concerned as my arches will never be "ON" more than a brief flash or twinkle, etc at the most.

Aaron

N7XG
09-22-2011, 01:56 PM
I am surprised that you did not run conduit out to the yard with junctions boxes there.

Hee Hee

dirknerkle
09-22-2011, 03:30 PM
I have acquired 1000 ft of 12/2 wire (it's not the lamp cord or SPT2 wire, but will work for outdoor use) just in case as I have thought about the voltage drop concern.

WHOA!!! Is that stranded or solid? In any event, that's serious-gauge wire!

kychristmas
09-22-2011, 03:36 PM
I started to go this route too at one time. The Cable cost were just too great. I think its much easier to troubleshoot the distributed setup, but most importantly the extra cost for the cable would cover the cost of replacing controllers a couple of times.

Kelly


Greetings fellow DIYC's,

... I chose this route as I feel I could protect my electronics better

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Jrd
09-22-2011, 03:56 PM
Wow, that looks awesome, albeit expensive. Why the two monitors and no computer(s)?

Definitely gonna need some closer pictures when you get further along.

air_run
09-22-2011, 04:20 PM
Wow, that looks awesome, albeit expensive. Why the two monitors and no computer(s)?

Actually, everything you see there in the third pic, (excluding the TA-200 enclosures and monitors) but, including a sub-panel, all breakers and romex only cost me $500. It pays to have a friend that's an electrician! The real cost for me was all the lights (bought them all at once) and of course all the plugs and SPT2 wire. The PC is a Dell Optiplex "Slim-line" desktop computer that is still in the house as I have a little bit more sequencing and testing of SSR's to do. It will go where you see all those boxes of receptacles.

I have tons of monitors and PC's laying around so I opted for the dual setup to show the adjustable preview on one and the sequencing grid on the other if any spectator was interested in the setup and wanted to see how it functioned. ...and I also thought it just added to the coolness of a unique, sort of unorthodox setup.

Aaron

Jrd
09-22-2011, 05:37 PM
Well, yea not necessarily expensive for you but for anyone that might want to copy you. I can easily see how it would be beneficial to have an electrician friend.

I have quite a few computers and monitors lying around also but most of my stuff is probably about 14yrs old. Not as nice as what you've got.

macebobo
09-22-2011, 07:13 PM
Aaron,

You are not only a great graphic artist, you are an electrical artist too. Nice work. Please, more photos when you get it all wired up. -- John