Wiring harness???

jade

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Hi all,
Been talking to David_AVD and he mentioned that a few people make a wiring harness to make set up/pull down of lights easier than hardwiring every year... Can anyone expand on how to make one and what components they use? I'm looking at making a megatree next year with probably 30 channels/strings to start with but looking to allow for expansion to 48 channels/strings with the DC48 channel DMX system.
All help greatly appreciated :)
Jade.
 

David_AVD

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Here's some photos of one of my wiring harnesses.

Last tree end of harness with 2x two circuit connectors (4 channels)



Mid points of harness with 2x two circuit connectors (4 channels)



Controller end of harness with 6x two circuit connectors (12 channels) terminated with D25 male connector.

 

David_AVD

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Male and female D25 connectors back at controller enclosure:



D25 connectors secured with hex nuts:



Female D25 harness tail (approx 500mm long) connects to controller:

 

David_AVD

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I used D25 connectors for these harnesses as I had 18 separate wires. I chose to wire each 3 pin Big W style connector independently (no common V+ wires) to avoid any issues with mixed power supplies.

D connectors are rated for about 1 Amp, so are well suited to the low current involved with LED strings. Only use them for low voltage connections though - not 240V !

You can buy D25 plugs and sockets from Jaycar, Altronics, etc.

D25 Male: http://www.altronics.com.au/index.asp?area=item&id=P3200
D25 Female: http://www.altronics.com.au/index.asp?area=item&id=P3210
D25 Cover: http://www.altronics.com.au/index.asp?area=item&id=P3290

The covers I used were a bit fancier and came with thumb screws. I bought them on special from Element14, so would hate to think how much they normally cost.

You'll also need the threaded hex connectors to lock the two connectors together:
http://www.altronics.com.au/index.asp?area=item&id=P3315

You'll still need the D connectors away from the weather. They are not waterproof. I arranged mine so they would be protected inside the power / controller enclosure.
 

jade

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Wow David, very comprehensive, thank you!
I'm not sure I understand why there's a mid point and end point harness "thingy" though (sorry, I know I'm being oh so technical lol)... Your first two photos is what I mean though... wouldn't it be enough to have just the ends of the light strings closest to the controller wired to a harness with the male/female type d25 connector and not have anything any further up the strings or am I missing something?
 

David_AVD

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The harness referred to is set up for 12 channels (six 2-channel Big W strings)

It actually has channels 1-4 at the far end, channels 5-8 about 3 metres back from the end and channels 9-12 another 3 metres back from there. Like so:

[Controller]-----------[2 strings]----[2 strings]----[2 strings]

So I just roll the cable out and plug in each of the 3 trees along the way.
 

jade

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Ahh now I understand... so for my tree even if I end up doing 48 channels, all the wiring harness could just be down the bottom if the controller is only powering that one tree, true?
That makes sense though and useful if doing displays with multiple locations. Will definitely keep in my favourites for when I'm ready to go :) Thanks David.
 

David_AVD

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Here's the harness before being deployed:



jade said:
Ahh now I understand... so for my tree even if I end up doing 48 channels, all the wiring harness could just be down the bottom if the controller is only powering that one tree, true?
It would depend where you want to locate the controller, but you could make a wiring harness that lets you connect all the strings to the controller with just a few plugs.
 

jade

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I'm thinking controller directly at the base of the pole for the tree. And basically have the light strings go 5m up then 5m down, with one end connecting back to some kind of plug system which is set up in the controller.
 

David_AVD

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The Big W strings from the starter packs come with a cable and socket.

Once cut to length, you could just wire those into the controller once, then plug strings in when setting up.
 

jade

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Except for the fact that I'll need 2 x male/female plug sets per 20m string as i've been told I can cut them into 2 (although not sure how that works yet so far as resistors etc) so that I'd have 2 x 10m strings out of each starter set but only 1 set of plugs :(
 
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