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Power and control board setups

Discussion in 'Computers, Cabling & Other Miscellaneous Hardware' started by djgra79, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    I'm looking to get some ideas and info on people's controller setups. I've used the Masters boxes for the last couple of years and I know they are not 100% waterproof but it wasn't an issue for me as they were mostly in my garage. I opted to mount the controller on the lid for ease of access and the psu in the base, but I've had some issues with fixings. I've used silicone, old chopping boards, liquid nails and all vary in success, particularly on the hotter days. Ventilation is key I've found.


    So I know I've seen some boxes which are works of art themselves with cable mangement and extra fans for ventilation etc. but I'm wondering what is better: having 1 central large box that houses all PSUs and controllers or multiple small boxes closer to elements that they drive? I'd love some of the finer details too like what size/types of screws/bolts etc used to mount boards? What do you mount the boards onto? What size of fan(s) to use per application?


    Aaaaand GO!
     
  2. JPB

    JPB Full Time Elf

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    No photos of works of art but i use power supplies closer to the elements.
    Power supplies in 5 locations for me.
     
  3. bjpc2716

    bjpc2716 need more lights to light up the world

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    :D look at aussiedoug that is the best set up he used a fusebox
     
  4. AussieDoug

    AussieDoug Full Time Elf

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  5. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Doug has done some nice work and it's great to see that he has 1 of the most important things covered. With metal enclosures (with mains inside) it is a legal requirement that the enclosure and the door are earthed. He also has some nice forced air ventilation which is important for Xmas displays where the ambient temperature can be 30-40C when the lights get powered up.
     
  6. marmalade

    marmalade cats & pixels

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    This is an area of expertise as I design large power/comms enclosures for the mining/commercial sectors :)

    I shudder a little when seeing hardwired power boards etc like the above, although I understand the necessity to do this on occasion. I've even seen them used in residential fuse boxes, which I'm sure doesn't satisfy AS3000!

    The widely accepted industry method is to use din rail,terminals,modules and ducting to create the cable distribution as required. Not only is it safer, but offers far more flexibility and expansion capabilities.

    My general approach is to wire the incoming mains or HV onto a rail, complete with fuse/circuit breaker/EL & isolation modules, and branch these out to each power supply as required. In the case of plug packs there are even din rail mounted GPO's available.

    Unprotected mains should be covered to prevent accidental contact.

    Comms and any I/O get their own dedicated rail, compete with low voltage supply from the power supplies if needed.

    Wires exit via cable glands or via panel mounted plugs/sockets. The protects them and/or makes the enclosure portable. Cabling to the enclosure itself (for door mounted equipment) is sheathed or wrapped, do not rely on the cables insulation alone to offer mechanical protection.

    Cost wise.. probably a little more (we use mostly Klippon gear which is reasonably inexpensive). Probably overkill for smaller boxes but for the one like the above, it makes it both space effective and safer.

    Attached is an example of a small (1100x 600) lighting/comms panel for a client, running 24/7/365 and passes all relevant electrical standards... it's been upgraded twice with minimal cost/labour.

    And off course don't work on mains powered equipment unless you hold a relevant certification.
     

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  7. bpj1980

    bpj1980 Full Time Elf

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    Hey guys, this is my little control centre, little bit of work gone into it, still a few things to change, I am replacing the Positive side Terminal Blocks with Fused Versions so each string has its own fuse, I am also looking at installing a few fans "just in case" although my PSU's didn't even get warm, which I liked, I will connect up the thermostat to my Alarm System as well again "just in case" and because I can, lol.
    I am also considering installing 3 LED Display Voltmeter/Ammeters on the Front Panel so I can see how things look on each of the PSU's without even opening the enclosure,
    The LED strip up the top is just a Dumb RGB connected to a Tamper Switch so it turns off when I close the Door, this is just on its own RGB controller that came with the strip last year, this works so well in the dark, if you need to look into things,
    This is installed in my Garage and the cables all run out to the field, I did have a few 12v Junction Points out there in weatherproof enclosures and that worked fantastic for me,

    [​IMG]
     
  8. OP
    OP
    djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    Hi all, resurrecting an old thread as I'm now at the stage where I want to get my controllers setup as I have built new elements.
    I've decided to stay away from a centralised cabinet as I do not have access to get one big enough like the above examples, so I'll stick with multiple small enclosures.
    [attachimg=1]


    The above shows my layout last year and adds in this year's new elements of spinners, large matrix & stars.
    The yellow boxes are where I previously had PSU & applicable controller in the same Masters enclosure which I'll look to keep with some improvements on ventilation.
    The orange box is where I plan to house just a 5v PSU to power the P10 matrix (25 panels) as the BBB will be mounted on the back of the panels.
    The red box is where i think I should place the F16v2 which will run the 2x 12v spinners, the 5x 12v mini trees and the 4x 5v stars. I think this is (from a data distance) the best location, or perhaps on the left of the front window so it's a bit closer to the left spinner?
    My other query would be were best to locate the PSU(s) required to power the Spinners, mini trees and stars?
     

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  9. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    Best advice I can give is keep the boxes as close as practical to the elements. In saying that, make sure it is accessible, out of the way and out of the weather as much as possible (depending on box) I have an old medicine cabinet that I have mounted to the wall of the house, so it is under eves and close to what ever it controls. I also don't overfill them with too many supplies or controllers so they have plenty of air circulation. The purple one mounts to the pole of the mega tree and controls that and several yard elements. It is a power meter box painted to look like a present (seeing it is under a xmas tree)
    I also have another power box the same which sits on a stand on the veranda with another 3 power supplies, 2 control boards, the Pi and network switch.
    Then I have several plastic "clip it" containers around the yard which purely house dumb rgb controllers.
     

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