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Mike Bluford

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Everything posted by Mike Bluford

  1. OK Thats the information I was looking for, Thanks!
  2. What I mean by this is I know there is things to be done, but with most running the displays from Thanksgiving through New Years do you ever let it run unattended? How do you go shopping, dinner get togethers with family or friends etc? Seems like if you turned it off for a night it would first disappoint some who come to see it and would secondly be a huge indication you weren't home. Do you go outside and just hang out every night, even when the show has been going for almost a month and traffic is light? I searched for this subject but couldn't find anything and was wondering what a normal
  3. Just read your blog and thats a good article! I started to get into this a few years back and for different reasons didn't, but I have been thinking more about it lately and enjoyed reading your thoughts. The only thing I could point out, and it really has nothing to do with the article itself, is I didn't see a link from part 1 to part 2 (I read part 2 first then clicked the link for part 1) and the picture is gone for the 16 channel controller. I appreciate you taking the time to write this and it confirmed in my mind that a smaller well done display is better than a large sloppy display. Th
  4. I know someone wants this!! http://www.ecrater.com/product.php?pid=442992
  5. jen grissett wrote: I bet I know which one you are talking about Jen! I have a real good friend who is a county commissioner and he says 75-80% of the calls he gets is about what people are doing in their yards, or to the house. I have heard horror stories about HOA's in this area (prob the one Jen was talking about). My subdivision has restricted lots (mines not one) but the restrictions are about farmyard animals in the front yard and such.
  6. Just got my bill today...0.07376 per kilowatt hour. Just in case you are wondering, thats $70.59 for 957 kilowatt hours. Year ago, same time bill, $71.85 (I don't know what I did, but I like it!) Hope it don't make you homesick Jen!! lol Now lets not get started on natural gas!!:shock:
  7. terrypowerz wrote: I think we were saying the same thing only different ways! I just know that you have to be very careful when going into a house just in case someone has done a "helping job" ahead of you.
  8. dschwab9 wrote: Actually there is things in the NEC covering that. It covers a wide range of outdoor temp lighting (such as Christmas displays) and grounding. All of my lights have always been on GFCIs and I've never had a problem, use quality wiring with good connections and moisture won't bother it. I use the "indoor" extension cords for my display along with some homemade cords, but make sure the connections are a good tight fit and I put one multi outlet strip (which feeds a wireframe snowman) in a large freezer bag.
  9. thyno z wrote: In firefox hit "END" then hit return...works for me!
  10. Since my earlier post, I have tempered my aversion to shared neutrals. I still wouldn't wire up a house that way. It is true, that if on opposite poles, the neutral will not be overloaded, the worse case is one hot unloaded (or open) and the other loaded to the maximum - then current flows back to the source only through the neutral. Remember we are talking about house wiring for Christmas lights, this could happen, but probably with not much problem. On the other hand, if I flip the breaker to work on a circuit, I want both the hot and neutral to be dead, not me if I disconnect the neutral. Y
  11. That is why I answer some of the questions like I do on here. I hate to seem harsh or anything, but I guess I figure if you have to ask very many questions about wiring, call an electrician. We all have little questions every now and then, as all workers in all fields do, but electricity is dangerous, if you don't understand...don't touch.
  12. Since my earlier post, I have tempered my aversion to shared neutrals. I still wouldn't wire up a house that way. It is true, that if on opposite poles, the neutral will not be overloaded," The worse case is one hot unloaded (or open) and the other loaded to the maximum - then current flows back to the source only through the neutral". Remember we are talking about house wiring for Christmas lights, this could happen, but probably with not much problem. On the other hand, if I flip the breaker to work on a circuit, I want both the hot and neutral to be dead, not me if I disconnect the neutral.
  13. Have you got any elderly folks living in your area that can't decorate? I'm sure they would love for you to put up a string or two at their place.
  14. Analogvideo wrote: A Journeyman electrician is one who has completed 5 years af apprentice training, a "junior" electrician is called an apprentice and he must work under a journeyman. In any craft the journeyman is the top of the craft.
  15. You can wire a sub panel using the 240 volt wiring for a dryer, if it has 2 blacks a white and a green or bare ground. Do NOT try and wire it up as two 120 volt plugs using a black on each and sharing the white (neutral). The neutral carries the same amps (load) as the hot. Circuit breakers and fuses limit the current the hot can carry, but nothing protects the neutral from carrying twice its rated load. Your best bet is to get a qualified electrician and let him look, you would be surprised what we can do sometimes!
  16. You can wire a sub panel using the 220 volt wiring for a dryer, if it has 2 blacks a white and a green or bare ground. Do NOT try and wire it up as two 120 volt plugs using a black on each an sharing the white (neutral). The neutral carries the same amps (load) as the hot. Circuit breakers and fuses limit the current the hot can carry, but nothing protects the neutral from carrying twice its rated load. Your best bet is to get a qualified electrician and let him look, you would be surprised what we can do sometimes!
  17. If you are only running 1 or 2 outlets per breaker it is cheaper, when you get higher it isn't. In the cases here I know most are 1 per breaker so you are right. If you are using plugs in a house circuit or garage circuit, then change the breaker or the first outlet in the circuit and be protected, not every outlet.
  18. Now that I think about it, it wouldn't be a bad idea when anyone gets a subpanel put in for outdoor Christmas lights, just to go ahead and get a combo breaker (high amp, arc fault(black to white) and GFCI(black to ground)) installed for every circuit. This would be max safety without worrying about the plugs, pigtails, etc.
  19. Remember that if you have more than one outlet on a circuit, and you run the second (and third, fourth etc) from the load side of the GFCI, only the FIRST outlet has to be a GFCI because it will protect all the rest on the SAME circuit past it. If you don't have GFCI outlets, there is a pigtail that is about 2 feet long with a built in GFCI that makes any outlet safe. This is one example http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/iid/11580/cid/3017 I know these work, we use them on all power tools where the extension cord isn't plugged into a GFCI outlet. Don't plug the
  20. This is exactly the thing that burns me up. The little freaks didn't steal items for profits (not that that any good either, but another rant) they just flat out did destruction. I'm afraid one of these days we are going to read about someone shooting a teenager in the yard for this exact thing, maybe not anyone here, but someone somewhere...over Christmas decorations to beat all. This is suppose to be the time of year when people are a little kinder and open hearted...I guess that only applies to some and not all. I will remember you and your family in my nightly prayers Rich.
  21. Scott, if you are going to have things like this on your site, looks like you gonna need alot more bandwidth!
  22. Looks like the minimum input voltage is 1.5 volts DC and it should work fine with 3-5 volts. I believe most are 3-32 volts DC, they say 1.5 volts but that is a bare minimum and wouldn't try and run it all the time there. The Zero-Xing lines means it switches only at the zero point of the sine wave, so you can turn things on and off, but no dimming.
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