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jukingeo
11-10-2009, 09:12 AM
Hello all,

I am working on a first time display for this year and I am probably going to to use a Renard controller.

Now, I have been reading up on the construction of 'super strings' in which you group light strings of a different color together and then as a complete unit, install the string in whatever or wherever you want. With such a string you would have a choice of color to make via the controller.

At first I thought an easier way to making a super string would be to hack the controller off an existing multi-function light string. But before doing so I figured I would ask some important questions first.

With the controller hacked off there would be a single neutral wire and a hot wire for each channel. Now I am presented with a dilemma on how to connect this to my controller which would be a centrally located Renard (dimming) based controller. My first impulse would be to wire a plug to each channel, but this would increase the costs and messiness factor of now having to wire each string to as many as four extension cords. So I am figuring that there has to be a better way than this and that is my first question. With the original multi-function controller gone, how does one wire this into a controller such a Renard 16 or 24 channel controller?

Now along the same lines, what I mentioned above was in the context of a standard multi-function mini-lamp light set. What happens if I get an LED multi-function light set? Do these also run on 110v per channel like a mini light set does? Or do these operate differently and/or need different voltage requirements. So the question here would be; has anyone hacked into an LED multi-function controller and managed to get it to work on a Rendard (dimming) type controller?

Overall is hacking into a multi-function controlled light string a good idea, or would it be better just to gang up a few different colored light strings in a bundle into a "super string"?

Thanx,

Geo

Reddy_Kilowatt
11-10-2009, 11:20 AM
You can do it either way.

Super strings made out of Mini's would be difficult because the bulb spacing varies so much from string to string.

I use chopped off, multi-function C9's for my roof line. From the renard, I ran out 2 1/2, SPT-2 lamp cords to where the multi-function controller used to be, then soldered and heat-shrinked the wires.

-Craig

jukingeo
11-10-2009, 02:58 PM
You can do it either way.

Super strings made out of Mini's would be difficult because the bulb spacing varies so much from string to string.

Yes, this was what I gathered as well. In addition, making your own strings up does take time. The good thing in my case is that I would only need two strings. But still with already bundled strings the work is done for you. So all that would be needed is to make some kind of "adapter" to connect the newly cut and prepared strings to the controller.

Given the fact that wiring in separate plugs is a seemingly messy task, I was thinking about creating a molex extension cord, but now I would need a 4 (or 5) conductor cable rated for line voltage. This WOULD make things much neater AND I wouldn't have to guess which channel was which. Thus pluging in a 3 or 4 channel light string would be as simple as plugging in a single standard plug.




I use chopped off, multi-function C9's for my roof line. From the renard, I ran out 2 1/2, SPT-2 lamp cords to where the multi-function controller used to be, then soldered and heat-shrinked the wires.

-Craig

So you did some kind of patch work as well instead of using standard plugs and sockets, huh?

I figured that being that I have to order parts anyway, I thought of the molex plugs.

You mentioned you are using multi-function C9's. I am going to assume that you mean LED C9's right? So then the inputs to each channel on an LED section IS 120volts? This was one thing I was leary of. I wasn't sure if the same thing that held true for mini-lights was also true for LED's.

I sure would have hated to tear into a new light set to find out that the voltages were different, and potentially ruining an LED light set. That would hurt doubly hard for me as it is LED light sets are much more expensive than standard mini-bulbs.

Thanx,

Geo

Reddy_Kilowatt
11-10-2009, 04:16 PM
Several have used molex plugs with good results.


The multi-function C9's I have, are made up of 110V, elongated incandescent mini type bulb with a colored C9 shaped globe slipped over them.

They draw much less power than standard incandescent C9's but are also a little dimmer.

A link to the type I have:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=201411-25734-82625LO&lpage=none


I agree, that multi-function LED string controllers could put out an odd range of voltages. If I going LED, I would go the super string route.

-Craig

jukingeo
11-11-2009, 12:39 AM
Several have used molex plugs with good results.


The multi-function C9's I have, are made up of 110V, elongated incandescent mini type bulb with a colored C9 shaped globe slipped over them.

They draw much less power than standard incandescent C9's but are also a little dimmer.

A link to the type I have:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=201411-25734-82625LO&lpage=none

Yeah, I was at Lowes tonight and saw those sets. I met another fellow of whom was already there and he was looking at them too. Supposedly he was concerned about the glass cover that goes over the mini-bulb. Yeah, they ARE glass. Lowes didn't have replacement glass covers and they could only be had on-line.

It did look like a nice set at $24 and it consumes 48 watts. Not too bad for 100 bulbs.




I agree, that multi-function LED string controllers could put out an odd range of voltages. If I going LED, I would go the super string route.

-Craig

I was afraid someone would agree with me on that. Given that the LED sets use all sorts of diodes and DC voltages enter the picture to begin with...then you add the proprietary control box on top of it, which more then likely has some kind of transformer...the variables increase.

But I have hacked a mini-light set before and the voltage inputs per branch is 120 volts. So that is for certain.

I do admit the C9 set at Lowes WOULD look good in the bushes that I intended the set to go into.

Geo