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Author Topic: LED Lights  (Read 2321 times)

MOONLIGHTING

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LED Lights
« on: November 20, 2004, 01:56:17 pm »

Hello all.
I'm setting up a great color kinetics package and I'm looking into an easy wiring plan. The system will be set up and taken down often so I'm attempting to make it as easy as possible. I had quick disconnects on each of the 3 wires going to each group of lights but thats a little tight and tricky on a ladder. At first I was gonna use standard Edison plugs, or twist lock, but that seems too bulky.
Now I'm gonna try 3 pin XLR connectors unless someone here can convince me not to. I'm send cable out to 5 positions. Power is 24v, with 18 watts at four places and 40 watts at one position. I would be using the connectors on 14 gauge 3 wire cord, not standard mic cables. Specs I've seen on those connectors claims they can handle 6 amps.....
Any thoughts?
Michael Schutte
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rick

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Re: LED Lights
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2004, 02:34:22 pm »

The soldering might be a little annoying, but other than that I see no reason not to use XLRs.

Another thing you might look at since your running low amperage are some of the smaller twist lock connectors.

Rick
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Rob Timmerman

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Re: LED Lights
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2004, 03:33:11 pm »

The XLR is probably the best connector for what you are doing (distributing low voltage), but I wouldn't use 3-pin XLR.  I would use either 2-pin or 4-pin XLR, to make them incompatible with mic and DMX inputs.  You never know when somebody will get careless and put 24v into a mic input.  I'd stay away from twist-lock connectors, because, even though they they are rated for the power you will be using, they are also used for 120v, and you're fixtures probably don't want to see 120v.

Make your connectors incompatible with other uses, and you'll prevent problems.
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MOONLIGHTING

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Re: LED Lights
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2004, 03:44:08 pm »

Good points.
That was also why I didn't want to use Edison, I could imagine someone plugging them in directly into a wall outlet.
Another reason is cost of connectors, I can find 3 pin cheap.
I have read about camera equipment using 4 pin for power, but didn't locate a good place to buy the plugs.
Thanks
Michael Schutte
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Tim Padrick

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Re: LED Lights
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2004, 05:04:36 pm »

fullcompass.com or audiogear.com should have Neutriks in stock in configurations up to seven pins.

Craig Leerman

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Re: LED Lights
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2004, 09:48:28 pm »

Why not Speakon or Powercon plugs?  They will certainly handle the power.

With the 8 conductor speakon, you could wire up each fixture with one plug.
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I'm so old, when I was doing FOH for Tommy Dorsey, to balance out the horn section I would slide their chairs downstage and upstage to mix!


Adam Feldstain

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Re: LED Lights
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2004, 07:40:55 pm »

5 pin DIN type connectors or a MIDI plugs are good to use for “idiot proof” reasons as well and they are both widely available.
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Adam Feldstain
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Brian Ship

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Re: LED Lights
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2004, 12:31:29 am »

As Rick says, it can be done - in fact that’s what I was doing on Friday in making some 25' jumpers for a some Color Blasts.

You might find that first, the 14ga wire is a bit of overkill in that it’s rated for 15 amps not 6 amps.  Six amps is about 18ga. wire.  Speaking of 18ga wire, that’s what is already on the fixtures and does fit very well inside of the XLR plug.  Otherwise a 16ga especially a SJT wire should fit also and prevent against voltage drop on a long run.  Make sure that you have good solder joints and that you insulate around the terminals to prevent them from shorting.  

Rob has a good point about using a other than 3-pin XLR on the other hand.  While 3-pin XLR is what the place I work for uses, for the most part only trained people (in theory) are installing it and it’s nowhere around the sound gear.  Or at least in the year we have been using the equipment nobody has blown it up yet.  Packaged them badly or dropped them - yes, blown them up no.  Than again the designer in not understanding why I had to build some had to be explained why he could not just use some XLR data cable to power them up so it might be safest not to go with 3-XLR plugs.

You might be able to get away with using a 2-pin XLR given you use the body of the plug for your ground wire but I think a 4-pin plug will be a little small in terminal size however given a 18ga or especially a 14ga wire.  Question will be if doing a frame mounted ground at the panel - given a panel mounted instead of cord mounted outlet will it cause problems with the electronics in not going to the circuit board first?


In other types of plugs, something such as a ML-2 or ML-3 plug depending upon the voltage in the line should work just fine.  I frequently use such plugs for oddball gear.  I would vote for something along this line of NEMA plug such as a Leviton #ML3-P
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