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lawn_racer
01-06-2014, 09:29 PM
Hello,

I have been trying to gain some further information about the Dirkcheap ssr. I have read the wiki about the Dirkcheap, and it has great instructions, but I am still a little confused of what is is capable of and its benefits. I see that it is very inexpensive, which is why I'm interested. And I see that it has limited load capacity per channel, which is fine.

I am wondering if this controller is primary used for LEDs, and if so does it require DC power? Also, how is it controlled? I only have experience with renard controllers, so I am wondering if this is similar to those controllers.

How have people been using them?

Sorry if these are really basic questions, but just trying to broaden my horizons on this topic.

scootchu
01-06-2014, 09:36 PM
It's controlled with one of the normal Renards, not the SS's which have the SSR's built in. You just connect it to the Renard Controller with Cat 5 cable and connect the SSR to 120v AC. Good for LED's but I believe it has a 1 amp per channel limit so as long as your under that you'd be good. I use them for LED floods, Blowmold and the like.

amps
01-06-2014, 09:40 PM
Dirkcheaps are AC SSRs. They connect to a distributed Renard controller (like the Simple Ren32, Ren64, etc.) just like any other SSR.

Each would have a male AC plug to feed it power and an RJ45 connection to control it. It then has 4 AC outputs.

The limitations are:

Each channel can feed a max of about 0.8A safely. This makes it ideal for LED strings but also very usable for regular minilights provided you don't run more than a few strings off each channel.
No onboard fusing for safety
When sealed up, a pain to service

The benefits are:

SUPER small. Mine are all stuffed into small 6" lengths of PVC pipe which can easily be hid or zip tied to your props.
Dirt cheap. At about $4-4.50 a board and with the cost of enclosures almost non-existent, you can run your entire display for pennies compared to a typical SSR. Also, it makes it easy to toss them and replace if you have a failure.
They work damned well. This is my second year running 16 of them and I haven't had one bad channel despite horrendous weather this year.

You really can't wrong if you're gonna go the distributed route.

lawn_racer
01-06-2014, 10:56 PM
Great, sounds just like what I am needing. I have a very spread out display and am needing s few extra channels here and there. This might just do the trick. Thanks for the information.

steve honour
01-07-2014, 05:53 AM
Hi Guys wet and cold here in the uk, so my question is can you build these for 240 v for use in the uk and what would I need to change ? to make it work.
I have only just started in this hobby / obsession.
the reason I like the sound of this bored is the fact that if you say its only a few $ then double that for the uk and I can just about afford them. I'm using vixen 2:1x and an arduino mega, have just managed to get an 8 channel relay board to work so im looking for other alternatives, would I be right or wrong thinking that if I used these board I could forget the arduino and just come straight out of vixen to the board and from the board to my lights.
thanks

JDAWGBAILZ
01-07-2014, 10:57 PM
Hi Guys wet and cold here in the uk, so my question is can you build these for 240 v for use in the uk and what would I need to change ? to make it work.
I have only just started in this hobby / obsession.
the reason I like the sound of this bored is the fact that if you say its only a few $ then double that for the uk and I can just about afford them. I'm using vixen 2:1x and an arduino mega, have just managed to get an 8 channel relay board to work so im looking for other alternatives, would I be right or wrong thinking that if I used these board I could forget the arduino and just come straight out of vixen to the board and from the board to my lights.
thanks

I'm also new here and with the hobby but that is not possible. You will need some type of micro controller between the board and the feed coming from Vixen. You can use a Renard, Arduino, and there are also some other ones out there. I'm not sure if you can use them for 240v (I don't think you can, but don't quote me on that)

aclarksr
01-08-2014, 12:12 AM
Steve,

Just looking at the PCB schematic and the specs on the optocouplers used you should be able to adapt these to a 240vac single phase circuit. I would assume that the current limitation would be reduced by the higher voltage, Ohm's law and all. I am just starting out with this hobby so you may want to wait for a Senior Member to respond.

Drew from Deer Park, TX

ukewarrior
01-08-2014, 03:11 AM
If the chip will handle 220V AC, then the next consideration is trace spacing. THAT is where some of the SSRs and Controllers fall apart in the transition from 120V to 220V. For example, that is the reason, if think, that the SS series of Renard Controllers aren't rated for use with 220V. When I did the SSRneon, that was one area where peer review was very helpful.

CaptKirk
01-08-2014, 09:25 PM
Since these are Mr. Nerkle's design, you will likely get quicker response from the man himself if you ask on his site over at diychristmas.org... just a thought.

steve honour
01-09-2014, 07:14 AM
Thanks for the input guys.
im thinking a little more research needs to be done