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    Using Terminal Strips Vs. Jacks/plugs/connectors


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    So far, I've been wiring my controllers up to 120V AC outlets in a permanent weatherproof enclosure. Going forward, I will be building some low-voltage DC SSRs and I notice that most of these SSR boards (including my own) use terminal blocks for the external connections. (Up to now I have the outlets wired into these terminal strips so the actual lights just plug into the outlets but I could remove the SSR board if necessary by unwiring them from the terminal strips.)

    With the low-voltage ones, though, I wonder... do people here generally wire low-voltage lights (in my case, LED strings) straight into the terminal blocks each year, or do you take the intermediate step of wiring some kind of connector to the terminal strip, then plugging into that.

    I've considered Anderson PowerPole connectors (another thread just for that here) for that purpose, any other suggestions that have worked for others?

    Thanks!

    -sw

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    Depending on the current requirements, simple Cat 5 may work for you. I use it for my Rainbow Floods. For higher current demands, you might try Molex connectors.

    By Cat5 are you referring to the wire itself or the modular connectors typically used with CAT5? The question I'm going after is whether it's better in people's experience to use any sort of connector at all between the SSR board and light strings (Molex, or whatever), or if you'd just have the light strings end in bare wire and attach directly to the terminal strips of the SSR boards themselves. The main issue I can think of here, apart from convenience of making fast connections) is what happens if someone trips over a wire and pulls on the board.

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    By Cat5 are you referring to the wire itself or the modular connectors typically used with CAT5? The question I'm going after is whether it's better in people's experience to use any sort of connector at all between the SSR board and light strings (Molex, or whatever), or if you'd just have the light strings end in bare wire and attach directly to the terminal strips of the SSR boards themselves. The main issue I can think of here, apart from convenience of making fast connections) is what happens if someone trips over a wire and pulls on the board.

    I am a DIY guy, and use Renard Controllers with external SSR's, both AC and DC. I always use some sort of connector on SSR's, mainly to facilitate hookup. It might be helpful if you describe the type of light strings you are wanting to hook up. What type of connector do the lilghts have on them now?

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    I am a DIY guy, and use Renard Controllers with external SSR's, both AC and DC. I always use some sort of connector on SSR's, mainly to facilitate hookup. It might be helpful if you describe the type of light strings you are wanting to hook up. What type of connector do the lilghts have on them now?

    I'm a DIY guy too :) I was thinking just generally so being a bit intentionally vague there. However, in this case the controllers are boards I designed and made on my own (DIY guy, y'know) but like many of the popular designs here they have terminal blocks for the wiring to attach to. Currently, I have a set of these boards in a permanent enclosure, and 14 AWG wire from the terminal blocks to 120V AC power outlets permanently mounted in the enclosure.

    This time around, I'm making DC SSRs, again the board design I'm coming up with will end in terminal blocks, and the RGB strings I'll attach to the SSR are another DIY project. As they arrive from the factory, they end in bare wires. So it's a choice between screwing them into the terminal blocks and calling it good, or soldering connectors to the ends of the light strings, and making little wire harnesses with connectors to go in the controller enclosure too. I'm leaning toward the latter (putting connectors in there) the more I think about it, though. It'll make hook-up faster and provide a break-away point if the wires get pulled on.

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    • 1 month later...

    This link shows what some of the 'Pro's' are using to connect RGB strings or Pixels to their controller. I don't have any specific part numbers, but you can probably find them at Mouser.

    Actually those pluggable connectors are not currently a Mouser line that i'm aware of, they were first used by J1SYS on the ECG range of pixel controllers (www.j1sys.com).

    To the OP, i have nearly 500 channels of DC control and use the onboard screw connections and just connect and disconnect the wires each year. However i plan to move the the J1SYS connector for future hardware designs.

    Cheers

    Phil

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    I just use zip ties and those stick on zip tie mounts as strain reliefs and they work well. They are also cheap enough to dispose of if desired. I also create strain reliefs for trip zones in the yard using rebar.

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