Where to place controllers




This is one topic I should have brought up at the Canberra Mini, but in relation to placement of controllers, I was after some views. I noted that most people had made waterproof covers housing power supplies and controllers and had them out and about in their display.

I personally would prefer to keep them central and out of the way, (i know this would require more cabling) so they are together and I can easily identify a problem if it arises, plus security wise and weather wise they are secure.

Provided i have the right cable (looking to create multi-core runs with breakout cables) - are there any issues I need to be aware of?


I love blinky lights :)
Community project designer
Dec 27, 2010
The biggest issue is likely to be voltage drop with radio interference being a secondary concern. If you are looking at fairly high current lights like incandescants, led dumb strips or pixels then you need to be concerned with the voltage drop. With these types of lights you can be looking at an amp or more per conductor which isn't an issue unless you are going with low voltage wiring. With RGB led lighting the colour is quite dependant on the voltage so a voltage drop must be handled with care. If you're looking at 5V lights the cable is going to have to be fairly big to go any distance. By the time you get to 24V the current is a lot lower and the cable doesn't need to be so thick. If you can put your controllers close to your lights it takes voltage drops out of the equation. In the case of my display I'd have cable runs of 50m with hundreds of conductors to get back to a central point. If you have cable runs of under 10-15m I'd consider coming back to 1 point but if you've got lots of channels on long cable runs then you're potentially in for a nightmare. For the sake of a bit of a bit of waterproofing and taking some security measures all you have to run is power and cat 5 cable rather than 100s or 1000s of metres of multicore cable.


Full time elf
Jan 9, 2011
Belrose NSW
Hi Indudio,
I use a standard meter box (600mm x 600mm) for all my 240volts boards and 24 volt power supplies. This box can be locked up. I run the 24volt cables out to the display to DMX dc channels. Adjusting the power supply +% to get 24 Volts.
This year I am also using 5 volts power supply for pixels, which I will be using a small meter box (300mm x 300mm) set as close to the pixels to reduce voltage drop.
You can pick up these meter boxes from any electrical wholesalers around $125.00
Hopes this Helps