AC Lights

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by David_K, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. David_K

    David_K Full Time Elf

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    Hi Guys,
    I am very new to animated light displays, nearly all my lights are Big W which means they are 24V AC, I can only seem to find DC controllers and power supplies. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would appreciate immensely. :-\

    This is an awesome Forum !

    Regards
    Dave
     
  2. DeeJai

    DeeJai Is that Magic Smoke?!?

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    on option for you would be lightorama.com

    they are a packaged deal which will run your AC lights..

    Although, your big w strings can still run through the DC boards, just need a little more work.
     
  3. cozbert

    cozbert Full Time Elf

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    i think you will find that only the power supplys are ac, there is actually a bridge rectifier inside the controller box that converts the ac to dc :)
     
  4. OP
    OP
    David_K

    David_K Full Time Elf

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    Thanks for the help guys, Matt what would I need to do to be able to use Big W lights as I have DC controllers and power supplies from Rays as I do have some DC lighting. any help would be appreciated.
     
  5. DeeJai

    DeeJai Is that Magic Smoke?!?

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    David, sorry i am definately not the man to ask with regards to what to do, however, if you come to chat and ask FestEddy, LithgowLights,Superman or really any of the other OPs in there, im sure they can answer your questions.
     
  6. ryanschristmaslights

    ryanschristmaslights Senior Elf Administrator Generous Elf

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    With a little modification you'll find your 24v AC lights will run on DC (sans the power adapter), usually at a slightly higher voltage like 27v DC and sometimes even 31v DC. Such modification involves opening up the multifunction flasher (if there is one) and soldering two or more sections together. There is an article in the ACL wiki explaining this with some examples, but I can't confirm if the Big W example still applies to this year's lights.

    There are a few people who frequent the chat room who are more cluey with this.

    EDIT: Oops, beaten!
     
  7. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    Actually - to get the BigW lights to run on DC you just cut the power plug and bits off on the "light side" of the 8-way thingumy - leaving you with a string of lights and the lead wire.

    There are two channels of lights - with a little fiddling you can determine which two to twist together and which is the common and then hook up to your DC controller.

    Modifying the controller is needed if the lights will be connected to an AC controller via the supplied power plug....

    Cheers!
     
  8. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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  9. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    LEDs only conduct electricity one way, so regardless if they are supplied by an AC power source almost all will have a rectifier that will change the volts from an AC to a DC source.

    So if you have DC gear then cutting off the controllers and connecting directly to a DC controller will do the trick.

    Be aware that the power packs may be 24VAC but because of the nature of AC current and the sine wave shape of AC volts, the 24 volt AC is a mean voltage rating as the AC voltage peaks will be higher than that. So what you find is the strings when controlled directly from a DC power source and controller will in fact work best between 28 to 31 volts DC and not 24vDC

    Direct DC control is far better as this allows for dimming, shimmer and quick on and offs. If using an AC controller with 240 lights that have power packs will limit to what you can do as the transformers are not designed for fast switching and fading.

    So the best and easiest option is to just cut the controllers off and connect them directly to DC controller as shown on page 51 of the ACL 101 lighting manual.
     

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