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DeanCollins
08-24-2009, 06:38 AM
Howdy,

As the season is fast approaching I have been making an early start (I am well intentioned, I swear!) and I have been picking up a bunch of leads and enclosures on special.

I have been trying to find those little "power bubbles" that go over the joined sockets outside to help keep the water out.

We picked up a bunch last year at bunnings but they are very expensive and dont do bulk discounts.

I was wondering if anyone knew of a source or even what I would search for online (I have tried just about every term I can think of!)

Cheers,
Dean

dirknerkle
08-24-2009, 11:05 AM
Don't know what you paid before or how many you want, but here's a link that looks like they're not too expensive... for about $80 you can get 20 covers...

http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/electrical.shtml

I don't know how expensive they'd be for you all down under...

ErnieHorning
08-24-2009, 01:36 PM
I haven’t had a lot of experience with rain since everything usually freezes shortly after everything is setup.

I only have a few places out in the open that I just loosely covered with plastic sheets. I found some black plastic table cloth (over the hill birthday stuff) that I cut into smaller squares and wire tied just tight enough to hold it but also let air flow through.

The first year that I animated, it poured for a week straight. I had no problems with power or ground faults. I chose black because it didn’t show in the dark. After the snow flies, it wouldn’t matter what color I used though.

The large table cloth only cost me $1 and I got about 20 squares from it. Around here, the stores put everything in plastic bags. These are free so the price is even better but your choice is usually limited to white.

I’m pretty cheap when it comes to my display (keeps the wife happy) and these are probably the cheapest thing that I use in my display.

Aurbo99
08-24-2009, 02:24 PM
Interesting site Dirk.

http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/pvc.shtml

Check out the SLIP fittings.. possible applications for Mega trees and other frames..

The 4way fitting beside it, add a 90 degree joint in opposite directions on the through ends and with a length of pvc to set the distance between each and you have a surface mounted Arch support that would hold its own arc. Probably easier to explain with a diagram.

DeanCollins
08-25-2009, 07:35 AM
Thanks for your replies guys, Those covers are pretty much what we have here and I think I paid around $10 each (could have been a little more).

I don't know if our power sockets will fit inside those ones though as they are quite round here (around 7cm).

I would love to just use plastic sheet but our local regulations wouldn't allow it (and I wouldn't feel safe running 240v "open" in the yard).

I will have to try and track down the name of the ones over here and then try to find a wholesale provider...or just bite the bullet and invest in some more :-(

Thanks again,
Dean

dirknerkle
08-25-2009, 09:58 AM
What if you took a short section of PVC that would fit around your connectors, squirted a little insulation foam into each end and let it expand and set. You wouldn't fill the tube -- just put enough in each end so it would expand and seal the ends only, leaving open space in the middle.

When dry, cut off any extra foam coming out the ends and split the PVC lengthwise (with a band saw probably). You could then fit both halves around a plug and tape the side seams shut with electrical tape.

Seems like that would work and it'd be very cheap to produce a bunch of them. I'd think that would protect your 240v pretty well.

DeanCollins
08-26-2009, 08:13 AM
Hmmm, that may just work, that is pretty much what the commercial ones are, they are just polished...lol

Will have to give it a go!

Cheers,
Dean

daviddth
08-31-2009, 04:10 AM
I just use LOTS of black electrical tape lol. A layer of plastic then tape again. Last year after the show I found one 240V plug in a bucket covered with about 5 inches of water & it had been that way for a couple of weeks without issue.

I am cutting down a lot on 240V stuff, but I wont be free of it for many years yet.

AmateurAussie
08-31-2009, 09:39 PM
My first post, I made the same mistake a bought about 10 of the protectors that you are talking about, $12 or so each.
If you go down the Baby safty isle at bunnings there are one for $4.80 They are with the safty gear and are preety hard to find they are near the sockets protectors, magnitec door locks ect (no wear near the electrical section)

Matt_Edwards
08-31-2009, 10:38 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of DIY Christmas Lights.
Baby safety is big business so thanks for the tip in finding extension cord covers.

Another option:
I tent to "hard wire" my light ( inc 240Vac) by splicing an extension, heat shrinking the cable and then a glue lines heat shrink over the lot.

Anyone else find Jurkies or TLE expensive for twin+earth appliance lead?
I just by 20meter extension cords from big W and KMart and cut the plug off.

Cheers
Matt

DeanCollins
09-03-2009, 06:28 AM
I have done the electrical tape and soldering methods but last year I used the socket covers and it made life much easier. I build the SSR boxes with 2m leads pre-wired into them so it is easy for put-up and take-down.

I will check out the baby aisle.

Cheers,
Dean

PS. Welcome AmateurAussie

lboucher
09-08-2009, 10:55 PM
Hi All

Been thinking about this recently also and have a thought/question.
So last year was my first year, only 16 channels but lots of piecemail cords strung together. And of course it rained, alottt. Nothing was really taped and it was all just throw in the yard with no real thought about rain tripping the gfi.
(Also i am working with 120V)

So this year i will have many more channels and want it to work reliably.
So
As i understand it from my reading, the best thing to do is keep all the connections above ground, on a block/rock or something. Do people agree?

Also i noticed last year that the bushes with lights on them were just saturated with water and of course the extension cord/light connection was just jammed into the bush.
Question is, is this a likely spot for tripping a GFI? It is off the ground but a bush is full of water.

One thought i had, was just getting a bunch of mini water bottles, cutting a star pattern in the bottom so you can plug two cords together, then jam them in the bottom of the bottle, the plastic tabs will keep them in, then jam the whole lot into the bush so it stays upright. That should work well/cheap/easily right?

Thoughts?

dirknerkle
09-08-2009, 11:34 PM
Hi All

So this year i will have many more channels and want it to work reliably.
So As i understand it from my reading, the best thing to do is keep all the connections above ground, on a block/rock or something. Do people agree?

Well, air is a pretty good insulator, so that's a good start.



Also i noticed last year that the bushes with lights on them were just saturated with water and of course the extension cord/light connection was just jammed into the bush.
Question is, is this a likely spot for tripping a GFI? It is off the ground but a bush is full of water.


A GFCI trips for different reasons than a circuit breaker. A GCFI trips if the differential between the hot and neutral lines is too great, such as a slight but potentially dangeous leak. A circuit breaker trips if there's a direct short. But in general, dry is good, wet is bad when it comes to electricity.




One thought i had, was just getting a bunch of mini water bottles, cutting a star pattern in the bottom so you can plug two cords together, then jam them in the bottom of the bottle, the plastic tabs will keep them in, then jam the whole lot into the bush so it stays upright. That should work well/cheap/easily right?
Thoughts?

Pretty cool idea, although cutting those nalgene (or other plastic) bottles can leave a very sharp edge -- one that could easily cut the insulation on a cable if you jammed it in there. You could cut the bottom off a bottle, staple it to a stick and pound the stick into the ground so only the open end faces the ground. Then simply insert the plug ends into the bottle and cable-tie the cord to the stick.

Just my two cents worth...