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Help: Wiring Blow Molds


xtremevette
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Need some help with wiring. I don't know much about electrical except for the basics. I read a thread about 3 tap and posted this there but nobody replied. I don't follow what 3 tapping is. How can I wire up 5 reindeer and a sleigh. Ultimately going to have 9 reindeer and a sleigh. I was thinking of cutting the plugs all off but one and tieing all the positives together and negatives together, running extra cord in between so when done I only have one long cord with each piece branching off of it. Can you do it this way? Or is that looking for trouble and may cause an overload? How do you guys do it and please keep it in laymens terms lol...sorry.

 

 

Thanks

Jeff

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Hey Jeff,

 

I think what they are referring to is a female vampire plug that can be put in the middle of an extension cord as opposed to the end.  It is called an in-line female plug.  I made a bunch of them for my fire sticks. 

 

They can be found here:

 

http://www.creativedisplays.com/product/806/ELECTRICAL-PLUGS-FOR-ZIP-CORD-WIRE/

 

Use the drop down box to find them.

 

Dennis

Edited by Takoda
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Jeff, I have some blow-molds wired like that. I have 4 snowmen with 1 plug, I have 3 carolers with 1 plug, I have 3 elves with 1 plug. I have had them wired like this for years without an issue. I wouldn't go more than 4 on one plug. It doesn't matter which wire is common and which is hot, just make sure they don't touch.

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Hey Jeff,

 

I think what they are referring to is a female vampire plug that can be put in the middle of an extension cord as opposed to the end.  It is called an in-line female plug.  I made a bunch of them for my fire sticks. 

 

They can be found here:

 

http://www.creativedisplays.com/product/806/ELECTRICAL-PLUGS-FOR-ZIP-CORD-WIRE/

 

Use the drop down box to find them.

 

Dennis

I just looked into the inline female vamps, I was going to order some, and i was going order some male vamps, then when I got to check out, they wanted $39.84 to ship, are they crazy?? $39.84 to ship $20 worth of small vamps?? That's insane.

Edited by 55cgas
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Yeah, that seems really high.  You might want to give Paul a call.  He's great to work with and if that's what it costs, that's what it costs.  But there might be some problem with the website also.

 

I also feel I need to respond to your statement " It doesn't matter which wire is common and which is hot, just make sure they don't touch."  Technically, this is not accurate.  To be compliant with the NEC, the tracer on the zip cord is neutral.  Also, the wide blade on the plugs is designated as neutral.  You should line these up.  Why?  If you are just going to use them for lights, it probably doesn't matter.  But if you use the cord for anything else, you will be applying "hot" where the device expects neutral, and will be switching neutral to turn it off and on.  To be safe, you would always be switching neutral. 

 

Dennis

Edited by Takoda
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Thanks to both of you. Unfortunately way over my head lol. I guess I need to take a basics electrical course. I can follow directions just fine but it's the terminology that's stumping me. I guess I'll just see what type of lengths the plugs are and see if all will reach to a multi out outdoor extension cord.

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Yeah, that seems really high.  You might want to give Paul a call.  He's great to work with and if that's what it costs, that's what it costs.  But there might be some problem with the website also.

 

I also feel I need to respond to your statement " It doesn't matter which wire is common and which is hot, just make sure they don't touch."  Technically, this is not accurate.  To be compliant with the NEC, the tracer on the zip cord is neutral.  Also, the wide blade on the plugs is designated as neutral.  You should line these up.  Why?  If you are just going to use them for lights, it probably doesn't matter.  But if you use the cord for anything else, you will be applying "hot" where the device expects neutral, and will be switching neutral to turn it off and on.  To be safe, you would always be switching neutral. 

 

Dennis

Yes, true, but most of my blow mold cords are pre large blade, lol.. And you are also correct, for lights it doesn't really matter.

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Need some help with wiring. I don't know much about electrical except for the basics. I read a thread about 3 tap and posted this there but nobody replied. I don't follow what 3 tapping is. How can I wire up 5 reindeer and a sleigh. Ultimately going to have 9 reindeer and a sleigh. I was thinking of cutting the plugs all off but one and tieing all the positives together and negatives together, running extra cord in between so when done I only have one long cord with each piece branching off of it. Can you do it this way? Or is that looking for trouble and may cause an overload? How do you guys do it and please keep it in laymens terms lol...sorry.

 

It appears that there is confusion about the term "triple tap".  I think it's actually a slang term but in any case a triple tap is simply an adapter that you plug in to a single outlet which branches into 3 outlets.  The simplest way to plug in 5 reindeer (five?) and a sleigh would be to use 2 cords that have 3 outlets each.  I would not go to the trouble of wiring all those cords together.  That could limit your options for future setup.  If you want to make a custom cord then make a custom extension cord with outlets where you need them rather than splicing up all your light cords.

 

TED

 

P.S.  So Rudolf, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen took off and left Comit, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen behind?  Was Santa ok with this?

Edited by TED
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Jeff, we have been using the vampire plugs for years and are very happy with them.  Using vampire plugs and spt2 zip cord, there is no reason that you couldn't make a one cord using spt2 zip cord and six female vampire plugs spaced where you want them for the spacing of your deer and sleigh and not be overloaded on the cord.  SPT2 electrical cord is good for 10 amps, for safety you only want to use 80% of the rating so you can safely have 8 amps on that cord.  Your five deer have five 7 1/2 watt bulbs and if the sleigh has a 40 watt bulb you will only be drawing 87 1/2 watts.  You should be able to safely use 800-900 watts on the SPT2 cord as long as you don't have an extremely long cord.

 

We have a snowman row that is on one side of the driveway that has 35 snowmen spaced 5' apart.  I made two cords using SPT2 zip cord and vampire plugs, one cord has 17 plugs and the other cord has 18 plugs, these cords are about 100' each.  I plug those cords into a 16//2 cord in the middle of the row.  A couple of the snowmen use C7 lights and the rest use 40 watt CFL bulbs which, if I recall correctly, draw 9 watts each for less then 200 watts on each of the two cords, which is way below the safety margin.

 

The female plugs can easily be moved on the cord if you decide you want to change the spacing in the future.

 

I highly recommend that you do not cut the ends off the light cords as you mentioned because you might someday want to change your display around and that would really limit what you could do with them, it would also limit your chances if you ever decide to sell them in the future.

 

Here's a link to where we purchased our vampire plugs.

 

http://www.actionlighting.com/

 

Mel

 

IMG_86311200.jpg

 

IMG_2632800.jpg

Edited by Mel Fischer
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I highly recommend that you do not cut the ends off the light cords as you mentioned because you might someday want to change your display around and that would really limit what you could do with them, it would also limit your chances if you ever decide to sell them in the future.

 

Here's a link to where we purchased our vampire plugs.

http://www.actionlighting.com/

 

That's exactly what I was trying to say but you expressed it much better!  I also wondered what supplier you prefer for the zip cords and supplies.  Action Lighting is great.  (I have ordered other stuff from them with good results.)  Although I have not bought any I like the zip cord that Creative Displays sells because it has UV inhibitor added to the insulation (so in theory it should last longer).

 

I love the long line of snowmen!

 

TED

Edited by TED
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Something I use in my displays for main runs of power are multi outlet or "stringer" extension cords, like this one . If you don't feel comfortable with your electrician skills, this with a triple tap in each outlet is robust way of obtaining many outlets. 

 

I use the stringer cords as the backbone of my power distribution. I will then run extension cords with molded on triple tapes on their ends (like these ) out of each outlet in the stringer. And then out of THOSE secondary cords I'll run zip cord extensions out to each blow mold. Basically, its circuits branching out like a tree. 

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