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Extension Cords


bigred7469
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You should get answers all over the map. Most when they start out, look for store bought on sale. Easy & convenient, but if you grow at any decent pace, this way takes a lot of storage and weight. Making your own are not necessarily cheaper, it can be, but the advantage is storage and weight. Plus making your own gives you customization if you need it.

If you make your own, you have 2 choices. SPT1 or SPT2. The difference is the insulation, both are plenty fine for our purposes. SPT2 will be slightly larger and heavier, but not by much. Make a choice now, and stick to it. That way you can buy bulk wire, and vampires. Keep a stock on hand and you will always be compatible. I standardized on SPT2 for the sole purpose as it is compatible with store bought lamp extension cords.

If I had to start over, I would use 12 or 14 gauge store bought cords for my power grid, which is what I do now. Then use SPT2 for all my controller channel connections. 3 years ago, I stopped buying store bought cords (for channel connections) no matter how cheap they were, because I have a ton of them already. Almost literally.

Most vendors will carry both SPT1 or 2 with a few exceptions.

www.SkycraftSurplus.com has deals during the year. Action Lighting or Creative Displays can be used for cord. Others can chime in.

Novelty Lights has had good deals on Vampires, I have also used Action in a pinch. Inventory on vampires will run out this time of year. So when you make a decision, keep stock on hand to get you through the season, and stock up afterwards when sales happen. They usually get announced on the forms.

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Short answer is: both. I have lots of 40-50 foot premade cords and several 100 foot 12G that I use to feed controllers. All of my controller dongles are made with cheap indoor 6 foot extension cords. Then I have lots of SPT2 custom made as well. The custom really comes in handy for those items that don't fit the 40, 50 and 100 foot lengths that a standard cord would. They are great for making "wiring harnesses" as well...

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Vampire are plug ends, either male or female end. They have 2 prongs inside the plug case that you place your 2 wire lamp cord onto and then slide on the cover. The cover will press the wire onto the prongs (which are offset so you don't have to worry about a prong penetrating both wires). This eliminates screwing or soldering wires. These are simple to use. I use SPT 1 18gauge wire or known as "lamp cord" and vampire plugs. Last night I made over 2000 feet of extension cords with around 200 plugs. Took a couple hours while watching TV. You can find these at the big box stores or online. It is better to buy in bulk and buy WAY MORe than you think you need because you will need it.

I bought all of the local Home Depot out of SPT1 yesterday. The guy asked what I needed a half mile of wire for. Haha

Male Slide-On Plug, Case of 100 - 14-330 at The Home Depot

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To add, you can easily notch the female vampire plug to allow the cord to pass through the plug. This allowes for easy wiring of multiple elements on one cord. With this in mind, I buy more female end then mail ends.

Sent from my Droid X

Tis true. Paul at CDI sells plugs molded in this manner. If you can plan ahead it's a real timesaver.

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I've found that I can not make 16,14,12 guage grounded extension cords as cheaply as I can buy them. I also buy a lot of cheap white indoor extension cords to run from shrub to shrub, etc. This year I am building arches, I hope, and I anticipate needing a Lot of extension cords so I will be building my own using SPT3 wire from Creative Displays, along with their vampire plugs. It seems imperative that you buy wire and plugs from the same vendor to be sure they will work, as I have heard stories where they don't always. If you buy from CDI Creative Displays you can enter the discount code of cdifan10 and get a 10% discount which should help cover freight. I got that from Paul by referencing PlanetChristmas forums. I'm not affiliated with CDI and haven't actually used their stuff yet, but I've bought a lot so far this year. They were recommended to me so I'll pass it along.

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