Connectors coming out of a controller box.

What type of connector would you have on the bottom of a controller box that lights plug into?

  • Flexible pig tail

    Votes: 5 100.0%
  • Rigid bulkhead fitting/panel mount

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5

RedneckAlbertan

New elf
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
6
I am new to this hobby, and am sitting around scratching my head pondering what and how I want to do things. Which leads me to my question of the day: Is there a preferred type of connector to use to connect a string of lights to a weatherproof box? I am not asking about xConnect, vs. Ray Wu connector, vs. Amphenol or other style of connector. I am interested to know if you were to start over from scratch would you rather have a flexible pig tail hanging out of the bottom of a controller box or a rigid panel mount/bulkhead type connection? I realize that there may be a host of different factors that play into this, like environment, in my case I am in central Alberta and it is not uncommon to have a foot of snow sitting on the ground in the middle of December. I am planning on using a weather proof connection, and having the weather proof box that the controller sits in a couple feet off of the ground. Most boxes that I have seen, either professionally made or diy boxes have flexible pig tails hanging out of the bottom. It could be that there are lots of boxes that have a rigid connection on there that I haven’t seen examples of, but there may also be good reason why all the boxes that have a flexible pig tail have them that I have not thought of. For myself I thought it would make more sense to keep the connections as high as possible so they are not sitting on the ground in potential ice or hanging out in the accumulated snow. But on the other side of the coin I also don’t want to have the box three or four feet off the ground where my wife will be upset with the eyesore. Any thoughts or advice to share?
 

OzAz

Senior elf
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
811
Location
Newcastle
In a perfect world all enclosure boxes should have weatherproof bulk-head connectors. I think the pigtail was just a cheaper easier way of doing things so became the norm.
 

TerryK

Retired Elf
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
156
Location
West Central Ohio
As 'OzAz' indicated, cost. Decent quality fluid resistant bulkhead connectors are more expensive than using a cable gland and pig-tail to pass through an enclosure wall. With that said however, I would suggest weatherproof female to female bulkhead ethernet connectors. Pig-tailing an Ethernet connection through a cable gland is a 'pain' and considering the 8 wires and their color coding, a bit prone to wiring errors. Rather pricey but justifiable considering the 'headache factor'.

Here is an Amazon link as an example.
 

OzAz

Senior elf
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
811
Location
Newcastle

tooms

12v4life
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
170
Location
Kalgoorlie
I buy Ray-Wu 3 or 5 metre 3 pin connector extension leads and cut them in half, I use half of the lead acting as a pigtail from the controller enclosure and the other half on a prop, overall my props are never more than 3-5 metres from a controller, I figure the less connections the better. In regards to ethernet cable I just use a gland and cut off the 8P8C connector most seasons and re-terminate the next season, it's a 0.15c plug that takes about 30 seconds to crimp onto a cat5/6 cable. bulkhead and panel connectors all look nice and all, but essentially it's another element to the display that can go wrong, time can sometimes be spent better elsewhere and theirs plenty of people running displays with cables attached to a plastic Tupperware container hung upside down to keep the rain out.
 

SAALTFAM

Sparky with Blinky Lights ;-)
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
114
Location
Bentley Park
A couple of points.
There is no real wrong or right as it is only ELV.
That will get a few going . Most just use pig tails through glands.
I have something similar not IP68 rated but my boxes are on stands and the connectors are on the bottom. Currant rating is not a big issue if you are going to only use the controller and not power inject. Most boards are 4 to 7 amps per port. But what connectors you use and how much power you need to inject is the real issue.
Don’t over load your controller and have good power injection is the big key with the ground/negative/-ve all connected is the big key to less trouble.
 
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