1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
    auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/AusChristmasLighting-101

power supply enclosure?

Discussion in 'Power Supplies' started by penguineer, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mount Tamborine, Qld
    I was going to be using 240V this year, but to do a couple of elements "right" it appears I need to use a couple more channels. I've got a couple of LOR DC boards and some 27V DC MW-type PSUs that I had been holding back , so I intend to use one of the boards for a "megatree" of about 12 channels.

    I've got a couple of waterproof enclosures that I can mount the LOR board in - should be plenty of space in one of the Masters boxes - so I can pretty well put the controller wherever I want it.

    My problem is the PSU.

    I don't have anywhere really undercover or weather protected to put the PSU without having a longish(about 15m) run of DC to the controller.

    So I'm a bit concerned about the weather - it always rains hard at some stage, due to elevation we will get stuck in cloud for a few days - and the heat generated by the PSU (requiring some sort of opening for airflow).

    Whatever I put together I want to build a small cover over the PSU terminals that would need to be removed before exposing any 240V wiring - plan is to have a series of terminals for the DC ouptuts on this cover so the outputs remain accessable.

    Any suggestions on whether a fully-sealed enclosure is the way to go or could I just make up a wooden enclosure with a couple of downwards-facing vents?

    Other options are things like boat battery boxes and the like.......

    Any suggestions?

    Cheers!
     
  2. neilric99

    neilric99 Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Irvine, the OC, CA
    Find Me On:
  3. fasteddy

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

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Messages:
    6,501
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Albion Park NSW
    Find Me On:
    What i have done for ventilation is put two elbows pointing down, one across from the other and one lower than the other, this way i get some form of convectional air flow, Im actually planning on adding some very small 12vdc fans this year to help with the air flow. But the above method has worked 2 years straight for me in very exposed conditions on the roof of the house.
     
  4. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,625
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Eaglehawk
    Find Me On:
    On my signature there's a link to how I've mounted my power supplies and boards. I use the same box for both and because I don't push either the boards or the power supply hard I haven't had to worry about ventilation and I'm actually highly conscious of heat. To ensure that no water enters my $7 boxes I bag the whole shebang with a dog pellet bag. The effect might not be as pretty as what some people do but I've never had a drop of water inside 1 of my boxes and most of my boxes/controllers get hidden behind display elements anyway.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mount Tamborine, Qld
    Hmmmm.....from the sounds of it I may be overthinking things again.

    But a few more options to look into....

    Thanks!
     
  6. JPB

    JPB Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glenwood
    I am using two battery boxes similar to these for power supplies that are out in the yard.
    http://www.biasboating.com.au/product_p/2532.htm

    I have cut a vent hole underneath the handle on one end and screwed a 12volt fan on the inside over the hole, set to blow rather than suck. The lip of the handle providing enough protection for rain coming in. I then hide it under a hedge which gives it extra protection.
    http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=XC5054

    I know that having it suck air into the box would be more efficient but then it could suck a bit of moisture in. While testing last year I had things running in the garage and I tried the box with and without the fan, using a wireless themometer and the fan definitly does drop the internal temperature of the box.

    Jon
     
  7. kool-lites

    kool-lites Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Baulkham Hills
    I use a combination of solutions. For a start the ps has a fan, so it is important that it is able to move air though the power supply. I then have 5mm al pat to mount the ps and controller. The plate is earthed.
    Plastic boxes are pretty big and reside in shaded areas. Where this is not possible, i add a thin al sheet on top and on the western side. This is used a lot in telecom's where Air Con is not an option.
    I also have a number metal boxes similar to switchboard mounted on a south facing concrete wall. No cooling is needed.

    There is no universal solution.

    Fan forcing rain moisture is probably no a good idea unless you have a mechanism to remove the water from the ps and controller or make them moisture tolerent by day conformal coating.
     
  8. flogger7

    flogger7 New Elf

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eddy do you have a picture of how you did this?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mount Tamborine, Qld
    OK - I've used one of the Bias Boating battery boxes and made a small frame that sits inside to support the power supply, a small shield for the 240V terminals and a terminal block to make DC hookup and disconnect easier(without touching the PSU).

    The cords run through holes under the handles of the box, both cables(space for 2 more DC cables) have a cable tie to stop the cables being pulled out(simple strain relief).

    The vents in the lid of the box have been siliconed to prevent water running in, there should be enough space around the lid for a little airflow - it should be enough for the light loads.....

    [​IMG]

    I know it's not a PSU, but this is my DC board in a masters box using much of the same thinking....

    [​IMG]

    Cheers!
     
  10. kane

    kane Dedicated Elf

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Trigg (Northern suburbs of Perth)
    Find Me On:
    Your second one would have been much easier if LOR still had DC boards with screw connectors, instead of the Quick Connects!!
     
  11. OP
    OP
    penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mount Tamborine, Qld
    Not neccessarily. I wanted to remove the ability to break the board by overzealously moving cables around.

    Maybe I'm just being precious about it, but the idea of leaving the board alone as much as possible would still appeal to me, as well as the idea that the terminal setup acts as a "sacrificial strain relief" to protect the board(thinking of anything tugging/tripping on wiring through the yard in the middle of the night).

    But the screw connectors do look better, and not having to crimp so many connectors would be a plus.

    Now thinking of doing my "spare" board up and using it instead of one of the 240V controllers I have - just realised I have a few unised channels and a spare bit of empty yard......

    Cheers!
     
  12. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Lithgow, NSW
    Find Me On:
    Planning on the same setups as penguineer in the masters box, but the boards will actualy sit above the PSU, meaning PSU and DC controllers, or P12R & PSU will fit in the same box
     
  13. Kaden

    Kaden Pixels! I need more pixels!

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2012
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Some of you mentioned using 12v fans for cooling, which seems like a great idea.


    I am using the Masters $10 waterproof enclosure, what 12v fan (I assume a small one) do people use in their boxes and where do you get them from?


    Also do you have matching vents that can be used to stop little fingers getting into the fan blades?
     
  14. BradsXmasLights

    BradsXmasLights WiFi Interactive

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Find Me On:
    I'd just use a cheap 12V 80mm computer fan. ~$9 from Umart or even cheaper from ebay. Or keeping in theme with this site maybe pay slightly more for one with coloured LEDs in it :)
     
  15. lithgowlights

    lithgowlights Senior Elf

    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Lithgow, NSW
    Find Me On:
    I dont use colored LED fans as I want the boxes to blend into the show and not stand out.

    As for the fan guards, I use a 90 degree plastic bend and the end has aluminium flyscreen on it to stop bug entry. Little fingers wont get anywhere near the fans anyway as the yard is a no-go zone
     

Share This Page