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Several Questions- Time Is Running Out!

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Ok, we had a licensed electrician come in and install more outlets. 20 amps on 2 separate circuits, separate breakers. We are static this year, plan to go LOR next year. We used the dusk/dawn single outlet timers last year and only had half the display come on because of the location. I bought 2 6 outlet digital timers from Walmart to use this year. They have built in circuit breakers. Last night one kept tripping. I believe this was due to some lights laying on the damp ground (tried to do a river with blue net lights) My questions are:

1. Does anyone know how much power those timers can hold in each outlet?

2. What is the maximum number of lights you can plug into those triple tap things?

3. Any suggestions for the river of lights?

My display is all incands. I have some open outlets on the timers, but I have lots more stuff to add and want to make sure I don't need to buy another timer since we are going LOR next year. These timers are really just for this years display.

Questions for the future:

4. Am I understanding correctly that LOR has its own timer of when to begin the show?

5. I assume I need a few hundred of those triple taps in order to get cords across the yard for the controller?

Thanks everyone!

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1 & 2. I have a similar 6 outlet timer... just broke this year :( But you need to look on the tag/box/instruction and it should tell you how many amps the timer can hold without tripping.

Next, I would take that total amps number and divide by .34 (the amps of one string of 100ct mini incandesent lights) and that number is the MAX that you could run on the timer. It's probably not a good idea to got with the max.

3. I have no suggestions for your river of lights. I don't have issues with tripping GFCI's or breakers.

4. The LOR software includes a suit of utilities and applications. There is a Schedule Editor that allows you to schedule your show to turn on and off at specific times. This can be easliy and quickly changed.

5. By tripple tap, I'm guessing you mean a 3-prong exapnsion for a 3-prong extension cord (where you make 3 female ends out of a single female end on an extension cord). My answer is this: I use them to connect controllers to the same extension cord, which are then extended to the outlet box.

I typically use 15' two-wire (SPT wire) extension cords to hook up the lights to the controller. My controllers are 15-20' away from the display. If you have a big yard, and will be hooking up 2 different display items to 1 channell then yes... you will need lots of those. It's a good idea to have them. I find that I need more each year with the addition of extra controllers.

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I concur with a lot of what Clyde is saying :)

Let me offer my two cents too:

With regards to triple-tap, I read that as one of those special adapters that has one male-end and three female-ends...am I incorrect? Are you referring, as Clyde suggests, to a socket with three holes? Either way, once using LOR, you can purchase SPT2 zipcord and SPT2 Vampire Plugs to make your own extension-cords (only two prong, not three). Since most Xmas lights are two-prong anyway, you can make custom-length cords to fit your needs and reduce the spider-web effect of extension cords running every which way.

Also, the two factors that will determine how many LOR controllers is both power and control.

If you want to enter the world of animation, you are going to want to consider what you want to do any how many channels of control that will require. Generally a leaping arch takes 7-8 channels. Lastly, LOR controllers come in 15 AMP and 30 AMP max units. Each channel is limited to 10 amps but the entire box is limited to 15 or 30 (the 30 amp units split the first eight channels and the second eight channels into 15 amp circuits).

My suggestion for your river of lights is more future-bound and creative, not technical.

This product is out of stock for the season but you might like it for the future:


Blessings on your display this year!

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Instead of "assuming" each string of 100 incan. light strings is .34 amps, look at the tag on each string and add them up.I have many 100 light strings that are .6 amp, some that are .41 amp, some .34 amp, and even some that are .20 amp......all are strings of 100 bulbs!!!!! Why you need to look at the tags, or use a Kill A Watt device and actually measure your load!

Edited by merrymidget

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Lastly, LOR controllers come in 15 AMP and 30 AMP max units. Each channel is limited to 10 amps but the entire box is limited to 15 or 30 (the 30 amp units split the first eight channels and the second eight channels into 15 amp circuits).

Lots of good input on this, but I was pretty certain LOR channels are limited to 8 amps each. It also happens to be the same limit as 18 gauge SPT wire.

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If on your unit it is measured in watts you can use this calculator http://www.supercircuits.com/resources/tools/Volts-Watts-Amps-Converter

The damp ground shouldn't cause your breaker to trip. Make sure you do a load calculation. And check to see if all of your open ground on any three prong female extension cords are always facing down. So water can't fill them up.

And also if you are you using spt cable and landscape spikes there could be an issue there.

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I suggest that you use regular extension cords to power the LOR controllers. The voltage drop in the SPT cords may be excessive. Don't go smaller than 14AWG, 12 AWG if the load is expected to be over 15A.

Low voltage causes odd and hard to troubleshoot problems with electronics.

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