Best option to run 12v power supplies

nato595

Let's do this!
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
126
Location
Reno, Nevada
Last year, my first light show year, 95% of my display was AC, with the only DC items being a couple DMX controlled dumb RGB floods running off of one 12v supply. The question that I am leading up to assumes that as last year my 120V AC to 12V DC power supply was always plugged in, and essentially wasting power when the show was not running.
This year I am planning that much more of my display will be DC components.
I am wondering if leaving all the AC-to-DC power supplies plugged in to constant power all the time is the best strategy, or is it something like the LOR 16 channel DC board that I have no experience with? If the latter, how to I sequence these components; sequence the DC power on 100% of the show and use DMX RGB channels to sequence the actual light activity? Or should I have the AC-to-DC power supplies plugged in to my LOR AC boards and again just have them sequenced as on 100% of the show?
I'm a bit lost here...
Thanks!
 

fasteddy

I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
6,645
Location
Albion Park NSW
Nothing wrong with leaving the power supplies plugged in, but even just sitting there with no load they will still draw some current. I turn mine off every night after the show and turn them back on before the show starts.
 

Bird

LOR user
Joined
Nov 8, 2011
Messages
1,746
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Consider DC power supplies and controllers the same as the LOR AC controllers.
They are plugged in (turned on) for the entire show.
Example my controllers are on a standard timer, each day turning on approx. 15 minutes before show start, turning off approx 15 mins after show ends.
The blinking lights are sequenced (controlled) by the software and controllers.
The LOR AC unit is one unit containing both the controller and lights power supply.
RGB simply has (usually) different (seperate) units for controller and power supply.
 

kane

Dedicated elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
1,033
Location
Trigg (Northern suburbs of Perth)
ɟɐsʇǝppʎ said:
Nothing wrong with leaving the power supplies plugged in
Only potential concern is that some of the cheaper power supplies may not handle being powered on the whole time - I know David has said he wouldn't trust them enough to leave them powered 24x7..

Many of us use electrical timer switches to have them come on and off at appropriate times.. Myself, I use dmx-relay boards to turn all my power supplies on 10 minutes before the show, and off 10 minutes after it finishes
 

fasteddy

I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
6,645
Location
Albion Park NSW
Kane said:
ɟɐsʇǝppʎ said:
Nothing wrong with leaving the power supplies plugged in
Only potential concern is that some of the cheaper power supplies may not handle being powered on the whole time - I know David has said he wouldn't trust them enough to leave them powered 24x7..

Many of us use electrical timer switches to have them come on and off at appropriate times.. Myself, I use dmx-relay boards to turn all my power supplies on 10 minutes before the show, and off 10 minutes after it finishes
This is a good point, the cheaper Ray Wu ones may not be the best leaving them on 24/7, the meanwells on the other hand should handle this.
 

nato595

Let's do this!
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
126
Location
Reno, Nevada
Kane said:
Myself, I use dmx-relay boards to turn all my power supplies on 10 minutes before the show, and off 10 minutes after it finishes
Thanks for everyone's input. Kane, I'm intrigued by this "dmx relay" you speak of. What can you tell me, or can you refer me somewhere for more info. Basic timers I am familiar with, but relays I know nothing about outside of the few I have installed for special projects on my car.
Thanks!
 

kane

Dedicated elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
1,033
Location
Trigg (Northern suburbs of Perth)
nato595 said:
Kane, I'm intrigued by this "dmx relay" you speak of. What can you tell me, or can you refer me somewhere for more info. Basic timers I am familiar with, but relays I know nothing about outside of the few I have installed for special projects on my car.
Check out this thread - they're built by David at AVD - I have two of them, which control the two banks of power supplies.. I have 1-2 power supplies hooked up to each of the relays
http://auschristmaslighting.com/forums/index.php/topic,1563.0.html

They work well for me!
 

logandc99

Dedicated elf
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
1,151
I left my Ray Wu power supplies on for the whole month of my display 24/7 and they were all fine. Admittedly I only had four (1st blinky light display) but they never missed a beat.
 

kane

Dedicated elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
1,033
Location
Trigg (Northern suburbs of Perth)
logandc99 said:
I left my Ray Wu power supplies on for the whole month of my display 24/7 and they were all fine. Admittedly I only had four (1st blinky light display) but they never missed a beat.
Although it's probably pretty unlikely they'll explode, I think that the less time they are running, the better. In my case, most of my power supplies are in my garage, which gets VERY hot over summer, which could cause issues - even at night time, the fans seem to run at high speed.

Obviously everyone will have different experiences, I just think that generally we should recommend people to be cautious - the last thing we want is one of our member's house burning down!

I actually had one power supply die last season - but I am wondering whether that is because I dialled a 27V power supply down to 24V - perhaps it didn't like that!
 

logandc99

Dedicated elf
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
1,151
Kane said:
logandc99 said:
I left my Ray Wu power supplies on for the whole month of my display 24/7 and they were all fine. Admittedly I only had four (1st blinky light display) but they never missed a beat.
Obviously everyone will have different experiences, I just think that generally we should recommend people to be cautious - the last thing we want is one of our member's house burning down!
Yeah, I did wonder about that and possibly erring on the side of caution is a good idea, especially with Chinese power supplies. However, we all have all sorts of things running in our homes all the time like computers and PVRs and TiVOs etc and we don't necessarily turn these things off after every use. And I'm pretty sure a lot of the components of these things come from China. But as you said, being cautious is a good way to go. I couldn't rely on timer switches because the DC LOR controllers were a bit flaky on connecting to the software if the power was turned off and on ( although David's DMX boards connected every time so not sure what the problem issue was there).
 

kane

Dedicated elf
Joined
Dec 23, 2010
Messages
1,033
Location
Trigg (Northern suburbs of Perth)
logandc99 said:
I couldn't rely on timer switches because the DC LOR controllers were a bit flaky on connecting to the software if the power was turned off and on ( although David's DMX boards connected every time so not sure what the problem issue was there).
That's interesting - are you connecting via a USB dongle, or a DR4 or similar? I used 3 LOR DC boards in my setup two years ago, and one last year - and they didn't seem to have any flakiness. Ran them in DMX mode.
 

David_AVD

Bite my shiny metal ass!
Community project designer
Generous elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
4,147
Location
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
Yeah, I used LOR S3 and added a startup and shutdown sequence to the show so the power supplies were automated. Very easy to do in LOR. Should be able to do the same in LSP?

Kane said:
Myself, I use dmx-relay boards to turn all my power supplies on 10 minutes before the show, and off 10 minutes after it finishes
 

nato595

Let's do this!
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
126
Location
Reno, Nevada
David_AVD said:
Yeah, I used LOR S3 and added a startup and shutdown sequence to the show so the power supplies were automated. Very easy to do in LOR. Should be able to do the same in LSP?
David, was this making use of your DMX controlled power relay boards that I asked about in another thread?
 

logandc99

Dedicated elf
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
1,151
Kane said:
That's interesting - are you connecting via a USB dongle, or a DR4 or similar? I used 3 LOR DC boards in my setup two years ago, and one last year - and they didn't seem to have any flakiness. Ran them in DMX mode.
I was using the USB dongle and running them in DMX mode . David's DMX boards would connect instantly with the green lights doing all the right things but the LOR DC boards would have trouble connecting and I would have to disconnect and reconnect the dongle a few times before the boards connected ok. No idea why but did make me reluctant to switch the system off after every show in case they wouldn't reconnect in time. Having said that, missing a show would be preferable to having a fire so maybe this year I'll try shutting things down between shows so I can sleep easier at night. :)
 

David_AVD

Bite my shiny metal ass!
Community project designer
Generous elf
Joined
Jun 12, 2010
Messages
4,147
Location
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
nato595 said:
David_AVD said:
Yeah, I used LOR S3 and added a startup and shutdown sequence to the show so the power supplies were automated. Very easy to do in LOR. Should be able to do the same in LSP?
David, was this making use of your DMX controlled power relay boards that I asked about in another thread?
Yes, I used one of my APC805A relay boards in each of the two controller cabinets I have. The startup sequence turned the power supplies on a few minutes before the show. After the show had finished, the shutdown sequence turned them back off again. That coupled with the show scheduler made it completely automated.
 
Top