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Keith R
11-19-2009, 11:58 AM
I was wondering if anyone has some good general or specific safety tips on their layouts to either minimize shorts, prolonging the longevity of their shows without a hitch, or anything else having to do with hanging lights.
I have Murphy's Law tattooed on my chest, so many things find me before I find them.

One would be to bag or ziplock all SSR's and/or controllers in the yard (protect them from moisture).
Another would be to use RTV or gasket maker to attach a child's electrical plug cover to the open ends of your strings.
GFCI's.
I am sure there are more.
Please just be safe this Holiday while setting up your lights.
Keith

omzig
11-19-2009, 12:11 PM
Without a doubt...Use GFCI protection on all circuits used in your display. No exceptions!

Wayne J
11-19-2009, 12:12 PM
I was wondering if anyone has some good general or specific safety tips on their layouts to either minimize shorts, prolonging the longevity of their shows without a hitch, or anything else having to do with hanging lights.
I have Murphy's Law tattooed on my chest, so many things find me before I find them.

One would be to bag or ziplock all SSR's and/or controllers in the yard (protect them from moisture).

Another would be to use RTV or gasket maker to attach a child's electrical plug cover to the open ends of your strings.

GFCI's.

I am sure there are more.
Please just be safe this Holiday while setting up your lights.
Keith

Yes... leave the bottom open though, to allow things to breath. (I do the same, 1 quart freezer bages work great! ) Painting them black makes them nearly invisible at night.

No, you trap water in that way.

MOST DEFINATELY!!

WireWrap
11-19-2009, 12:49 PM
Yes... leave the bottom open though, to allow things to breath. (I do the same, 1 quart freezer bages work great! ) Painting them black makes them nearly invisible at night.

No, you trap water in that way.

MOST DEFINATELY!!

#2: I think he's talking about the unconnected female at the end of the strings.

Keith R
11-19-2009, 01:15 PM
Yes... leave the bottom open though, to allow things to breath. (I do the same, 1 quart freezer bages work great! ) Painting them black makes them nearly invisible at night.

No, you trap water in that way.

MOST DEFINATELY!!


Child Safety plugs, even if RTV'd in, will trap water?
I was going to use them at the open end of the strings.

Wayne J
11-19-2009, 01:20 PM
Child Safety plugs, even if RTV'd in, will trap water?
I was going to use them at the open end of the strings.

You will have to RTV the area where the wire goes in also.
It is not needed to do this anyway. Leave them open, off the ground, that way the water just runs out and can dry.

dmcole
11-19-2009, 02:23 PM
Painting them black makes them nearly invisible at night.


My outdoor SSRs are mounted on short posts. I cut up black garbage bags (dark green works too) and ended up with sheets that were about 24 x 24. I then draped the black plastic sheet over the SSR, gathered the edges at the bottom of the SSR and used a long, black zip tie. I didn't cinch it very tight; just tight enough to make sure the sheet didn't blow away (and loose enough that any moisture could drain out). It poured rain a couple of times during last year's season and when I went to do the tear-down, all the SSRs were still nice and dry.

I placed most of the outdoor SSRs underneath or next to bushes; they were nearly invisible in the middle of the day and completely invisible at night.

Similarly, I placed other SSRs in inverted fiberglass boxes, with a black plastic garbage bag over the top. While one of those plastic totes from Wal-, K- or some other mart would do, I used to travel a lot and would have the postman hold all my mail at the PO. When I'd go to pick it up, they'd give it to me in these fiberglass 18 x 12 x 11 tote boxes. Nobody ever asked for them back and I may have used one or two of those in the light show infrastructure last year. Again, the black made them virtually unnoticeable during the day and at night ...

GFCIs, elevate electrical connections so they won't sit in puddles, keep the SSRs and other connections as dry as possible ... that's about it.

Well, maybe a couple of others:

*Turn off circuits or unplug anything you can before trying to fiddle with it. Fiddle and then turn it back on or plug it back in.

*Avoid troubleshooting at night (late afternoon twilight is perfect -- you can see the lights well, but can also see things in the yard); you're bound to make a mistake in the dark, and 110v mistakes hurt.

*Do not, under any circumstances, troubleshoot during precipitation (snow or rain). Yeah, I know you want your show to come off without a hitch; live with the hitch if it's snowing or raining.

*Ladder usage is a two-person job, one to hold the ladder (and/or call 911) and one to perch upon it (remember, the top rung is not a step).

*Test as much as you can in the garage or workshop.

I'm sure there are more.

\dmc

D4rknessxkilla
11-19-2009, 03:28 PM
with ssr's put a bag over them and rubber band them.. keeps the water out cheap, easy, and effective and not really visible at night, dont keep electrical cord in a spool and use them.. the'll get hot and eventually burn out. 2 people when using a ladder..with grinches keep them off the ground and in a plastic container.. theres alot more but the basics is good to start eh?

zaker
11-19-2009, 04:44 PM
My SSR's are on small posts to keep them off the ground, then I put a plastic Folgers coffee can over them. They're off the ground, and protected by the can, so no water gets up there.

tom

tjetzer
11-19-2009, 05:48 PM
*Avoid troubleshooting at night (late afternoon twilight is perfect -- you can see the lights well, but can also see things in the yard); you're bound to make a mistake in the dark, and 110v mistakes hurt.
\dmc

You mean it's a bad idea to unscrew a Ren24 from it's encloser, tilt it upwards to get at the underside without taking off the female power cords, and solder a loose connection at 11:30 at night?

LabRat
11-19-2009, 06:54 PM
You mean it's a bad idea to unscrew a Ren24 from it's encloser, tilt it upwards to get at the underside without taking off the female power cords, and solder a loose connection at 11:30 at night?

Or to place it on your lap/thighs so that you can type on the keyboard... when you have shorts on.

(I shudder still thinking about it)

Reddy_Kilowatt
11-19-2009, 07:46 PM
(I do the same, 1 quart freezer bages work great! ) Painting them black makes them nearly invisible at night.

Yep, The first year, I painted everything black... bags, enclosure's you name it.

Everything disappeared for about three weeks... Then it snowed, and I had no problems finding the enclosures after that. Doh! :cool::-P

Craig

Wayne J
11-19-2009, 07:56 PM
Yep, The first year, I painted everything black... bags, enclosure's you name it.

Everything disappeared for about three weeks... Then it snowed, and I had no problems finding the enclosures after that. Doh! :cool::-P

Craig

Oh, yeah, that stuff. We only get it maybe twice a year.

kboyts
11-19-2009, 08:47 PM
Yep, The first year, I painted everything black... bags, enclosure's you name it.

Everything disappeared for about three weeks... Then it snowed, and I had no problems finding the enclosures after that. Doh! :cool::-P

Craig

Yeah Im suffering from a similar problem. First year setup here and I thought, well if I buy white extension cords they will blend in nicely with the snow...... Yeah all well and good until I set it up the beginning of november and we probably wont have any snow for at least a month- month and a half. 650 ft of white extension cords in the front yard of a small city lot dont hide so well on brown grass...... Oh well what can you do.