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Help - How do I extend my Big W light string Lead wire?

Discussion in 'Computers, Cabling & Other Miscellaneous Hardware' started by melrob, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. melrob

    melrob New Elf

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    Hi,

    I've just opened the boxes and realise the lead in wire before the MFC is only 2 metres?

    Can anyone tell me how to extend this. Most will be hooked up to a LOR DC controller.

    Any good videos/how to websites with pics would be great.

    Sorry if it's answered somewhere else on here, but I can't seem to find it anywhere and I thought it would be such a common problem for beginners.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Grab yourself a roll of 4-core security cable. I use the black 14/0.20 version but you can get it in white as well.

    You'll also need some heatshrink tubing, 60/40 leaded solder (0.7mm is a good size) and a reasonable soldering iron.

    Here's a quick video I made a while ago that shows how to solder the wires together:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO0xTassruU&list=UUwi2SjI-KcC2TAqwdwOXndQ
     
  3. OP
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    melrob

    melrob New Elf

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    Ok I think I may have it but am missing steps:

    1. Cut the led light string near the MFC. This leaves 3 wires. Strip wires about 2cm.
    2. Ok so there are 3 wires that need to go into a 4 cores (4 wire cable). Do any of the 3 wires get joined together (such as the 2 positives) or do all three go to a separate wire in the 4 core cable. Does it matter which colour they go to in the 4 core cable?
    3. Tin each wire.
    4. Slide on heatshrink
    5. Solder connecting wires together.
    6. Slide over heatshrink and shrink it with heat gun.
    7. Possibly apply some sort of silicon at each end of heatshrink to make extra water proof (type of silicon? Brand?).

    Also without getting into technical talk, would extending this all with a 10 m 4 core cable make the lights dimmer, or because it's so low voltage (talking 200 light strings here - 30vdc with a 30v DC Power) it should be fine. If not, how do I fix this?

    Thanks again for any advice. Sorry about all the questions, but I just can't find a great comprehensive answer anywhere (without to much technical language beyond my ability).




    Strip the cable cover off about 2 cm


    You'll also need some heatshrink tubing, 60/40 leaded solder (0.7mm is a good size) and a reasonable soldering
     
  4. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I run Big W strings on 25m extension with no issues.

    Use any colours for the +ve and channel wires, but write it down and stick to it. :)

    You could double up the +ve wire, but honestly it's not worth it for such a low current.

    I don't bother with silicon over / in the heatshrink unless there's a gap.
     
  5. OP
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    melrob

    melrob New Elf

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    Ok well that's great and sounds simple.

    Is there any reason why I should use 4 core security cable and not 2 or 3 core cable?
     
  6. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    You can use 2 core if you don't want separate channels on the Big W string.

    You don't really see 3 core cable apart from mains cable which is overkill and way more expensive.

    Security cable is very common and cheap in the 4 and 6 core varieties.
     
  7. OP
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    melrob

    melrob New Elf

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    Well that's good to know. We just rang our local electrical store and they have some 4 core 100m cable offcut - $20.

    Awesome. Jaycar was going to charge $6 per metre.

    Okay so the 4th wire in the 4 core security cable just gets Tinned but not fused to any other wire, and is just wrapped up with the others under the heatshrink.

    Hopefully this will help other newbies.
     

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