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Making your extention cords


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I notice that making your own extention cords can be handy and seems like most use spt2, which I believe is indoor grade. Do they make a heavire type for outdoor use? Yes, I do know about using indoor cords outdoors lol. I am interested in possibly making my own outdoor grade cords, if possible.

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Well, there's more to the "cost" of something than just the monetary outlay.

I also figure in convenience and performance.

It's much easier for me to whip out my custom cables (which are a LOT lighter than conventional cords) and hook them up. They fit my display perfectly and store in 1/10th the space of "store-bought brands."

In addition, my North Poles require a socket every 12 feet or so - something you can only do with a custom cord.

I do have some regular cords but only use those to run to the controllers.

Do your own math and make your decision accordingly.

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I was comparing using zip cord to make custom cord VS using exterior grade cord to make custom cords

Custom cords can save a lot on having to use multiple extension cords or taps

Your example is one, I have rows of Toy soldiers, candy canes & lollipops that make a custom cord the best solution

But buying exterior grade cord is too expensive for me, At least from what I saw at HD. For the 6 weeks my display is up, indoor cord is fine. I have some indoor extension cords that are a little stiff after 10+ years of use.

I think exterior grade cord could be $1 or more per foot, VS $30 for 250' of indoor cord. Plus the plugs are $5 each or more

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ChuckHutchings wrote:

1000' of wire is $125 (varies based on supply) but still only 13 cents per foot.

Plugs are only 72 cents each - NOT $5.

I'd be VERY interested if you're finding exterior-grade cord and fittings at those prices (and reasonable shipping).

Cheapest fittings I've found locally are $2.75 each. That means a cord is $5.50 before I'd even add wire to it...

-Tim

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest budslights

if you dont care about color i would use orange 100' cords they sell for 8-10 bucks. when i use them i cut them to custom lengths, and use the ground as an extra circuit, since my xmas lights dont have grounds its a dead wire out there. i put a box and a regular duplex outlet at the end, and then wire the other end directly to my lor controller with two hots and one nuetral. also if you look at the cost difference it is probably one of the best deals, if you put it in terms of 1000' then thats about 100 dollars, and you get 3 wires vs. two like in the lamp cord. but the major dissavantage would have to be its color.

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keepCHRISTinchristmas wrote:

I notice that making your own extention cords can be handy and seems like most use spt2, which I believe is indoor grade. Do they make a heavire type for outdoor use? Yes, I do know about using indoor cords outdoors lol. I am interested in possibly making my own outdoor grade cords, if possible.

Let's go back to the basics for a minute and ask, "What is the difference between an indoor cord and an outdoor cord?" The difference is that outdoor cords have UV protection in the insulation or outet jacket so that they don't break down (as fast)from exposureto the Sun's UV rays. (There are some outdoor cords that are only 2 conductor and are essentially zip cord. There are also grounded 3 prong cords that are rated for indoor only.) The zip cord available from Creative Displays has UV inhibitor in the insulation.It may not give you 100% "outdoor" rated cords but probably good enough for seasonal display use.

TED

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ChuckHutchings wrote:

1000' of wire is $125 (varies based on supply) but still only 13 cents per foot.

Plugs are only 72 cents each - NOT $5.

I would appreciate a link to where you can buy this.

I spent a lot more than that yesterday on cords. You can also get 100' 16/2 utility cords at lowes for $11 bucks. Seems how very few xmas lights have 3 prongs I really see no need to have a 3 prong extension cords. It isa waste of money.

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TED wrote:

keepCHRISTinchristmas wrote:
I notice that making your own extention cords can be handy and seems like most use spt2, which I believe is indoor grade. Do they make a heavire type for outdoor use? Yes, I do know about using indoor cords outdoors lol. I am interested in possibly making my own outdoor grade cords, if possible.

Let's go back to the basics for a minute and ask, "What is the difference between an indoor cord and an outdoor cord?" The difference is that outdoor cords have UV protection in the insulation or outet jacket so that they don't break down (as fast)from exposureto the Sun's UV rays. (There are some outdoor cords that are only 2 conductor and are essentially zip cord. There are also grounded 3 prong cords that are rated for indoor only.) The zip cord available from Creative Displays has UV inhibitor in the insulation.It may not give you 100% "outdoor" rated cords but probably good enough for seasonal display use.

Also, cheap outdoor cords have a very poor UV protection anyways. I have a bunch that go out 1 montha year for xmasand they arefaded almost yellow from orange.

TED

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keepCHRISTinchristmas wrote:

I notice that making your own extention cords can be handy and seems like most use spt2, which I believe is indoor grade. Do they make a heavire type for outdoor use? Yes, I do know about using indoor cords outdoors lol. I am interested in possibly making my own outdoor grade cords, if possible.

I use "indoor" SPT-2 cord and vampire plugs for my display. I was concerned about it not being an outdoor grade until I looked closely at the tags that I was cutting off of the commercial indoor/outdoor lights. These cords for my neyw C9s are SPT-1 (thinner insulation) which is an indoor grade cord and the tag says that it may be used outdoors intermittantly for up to 90 days.

Hmmm, now I don't worry so much about using my SPT-2 outdoors and I even regret a little not using SPT-1 and saving a few bucks.

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I use SPT-2 for all of my cords. As for the plugs, I found it to be cheaper to just buy a 6 foot extension cord and cut the male end of it off, then soldier on the rest of it to my cord that I am making. I can get the 6' cord for about a dollar, where as most of the female ends I see cost about $1.75 each. Hmmm, that was wierd to have to type out.:laughing:

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I hadn't shopped at Creative Displays before so I put together a quick shopping cart there:


1000' zip cord - $125
20 Female attach-on plugs - $16
20 Male attach-on plugs - $16
Ground shipping - $37
Tax - $0

Total: $194 for (20) 50' cords or $9.70 each

(plus two other factors worth figuring in - your time to make them and on the flip side, the convenience of any-sized cord)

I'm sticking to my $8.50 store-bought cords.

Cheers!

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I paid $7.50 at lowes yesterday for orange 50' cords. The green are the $8.50 that everyone is seeing but they are only 40' which is not enough for what I needed. I spent $311 just buying 2-dozen 50', 10-25', 4-100' and a few 15'. The kicker is I still don't have enough even with all my 40' from last year.

The only one bad thing about all this is I feel guilty for spending more on lights than I do on my girls so now I need to "spruce" up their present budget. It will be a good year for them that is for sure.

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Push Eject wrote:

I hadn't shopped at Creative Displays before so I put together a quick shopping cart there:

1000' zip cord - $125
20 Female attach-on plugs - $16
20 Male attach-on plugs - $16
Ground shipping - $37
Tax - $0

Total: $194 for (20) 50' cords or $9.70 each

(plus two other factors worth figuring in - your time to make them and on the flip side, the convenience of any-sized cord)

I'm sticking to my $8.50 store-bought cords.

Cheers!

Which only has a plug at one end, and female at the other

I'm making custom cords thet will allow me to plug in 20 or more decorations along the length of the cord

That's when a custom cord is easier / better

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Also, for my shooting stars I need to run 10 feeds down a 3/16" cable. The custom extensions are MUCH lighter in weight (and can be cut to the exact length needed). The store-bought ones would be too heavy (and unsightly) to be practical.

Edit:

I'm not saying I don't use any store-bought extension cords. I just make 'em when it's more convenient to do so.

So far, I have 4000' of custom and 1-2000 of "store bought". (ish)

Edit 2:

Can you picture 64 "regular" extension cords coming out of this? (Each of those bundles is 16 power lines): :laughing:

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David Balch wrote:

Push Eject wrote

Which only has a plug at one end, and female at the other

I'm making custom cords thet will allow me to plug in 20 or more decorations along the length of the cord

That's when a custom cord is easier / better

I'm glad you see my point!

:)

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