Best option to run 12v power supplies

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by nato595, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    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!
     
  2. fasteddy

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

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    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.
     
  3. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    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.
     
  4. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    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
     
  5. fasteddy

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

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    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.
     
  6. OP
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    nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    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!
     
  7. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    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!
     
  8. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    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.
     
  9. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    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!
     
  10. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    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).
     
  11. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

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    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.
     
  12. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    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?

     
  13. OP
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    nato595

    nato595 Let's do this!

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    David, was this making use of your DMX controlled power relay boards that I asked about in another thread?
     
  14. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    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. :)
     
  15. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    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.
     

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