Power Center Strategy

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  #1  
Old 02-20-07, 12:26 PM
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Power Center Strategy

Hello,

Im planning to build a "power center" for a home aquarium (may have noticed me ask about this before). Here's my next question:

- The power cords of some of the devices Im powering may not reach the power center. I've learned that using extension cords is not the best/safest approach long-term. So, which would be the smartest way to accomodate this? Im thinking:

1) Make my own extension cords

2) Install some outlets that will be wired back to my power center

With both of them, I have a bunch of questions that I'll save for later.

And Im sure I need to provide some more detail that is needed to make this decision, so let me know!

Thanks
 
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Old 02-20-07, 12:31 PM
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An extension cord is an extension cord. If you make it or if someone else makes it, it's still an extension cord. Extension cords are for temporary use only, regardless of who makes them.

Move your power center or redesign it so that all the cords will reach it.
 
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Old 02-20-07, 12:37 PM
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Ok, there goes that idea

Well, I cant move it or redesign it, I dont think. The total area that the devices are in is about 10 feet long. Some devices have short cords - like 4-6 feet long, and need to be located on the opposite end of the tank. Short story - I dont think I can move the location of the center.

So, would it be better to install an outlet near the device which is tied back to the power center?
 
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Old 02-20-07, 01:01 PM
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If I recall your previous post, most of what you are running is very low current draw -- on the order of 1A. If this is the case, I would be comfortable recommending an extension cord of reasonable construction to power low current devices. In other words, don't use the $0.49 cords; use a cord which is as close to the required length as possible to avoid coils of excess cord. Do not cover or tightly bundle cords as this leads to overheating. Select a cord with an amperage rating substantially larger than the equipment you intend to power with it.

Cords aren't a problem on their own accord, but quickly become a problem if they are overloaded, exposed to physical damage, or are overheated by covering or coiling.
 
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Old 02-20-07, 01:24 PM
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What's a "power center"?
 
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Old 02-20-07, 01:26 PM
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The OP is building a bank of switches and receptacles to control various pumps, filters, and components of his large aquarium from a central location. There's a thread about it a couple months deep in the archive.
 
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Old 02-20-07, 01:52 PM
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Then I vote for option 2. Install the switches wherever you want them, but put the switched receptacles near the device that will be using them.
 
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Old 02-20-07, 02:09 PM
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Thanks.

IPBooks - yep, youre right on! Yes, most of the devices I guess are low draw - see below.

"In other words, don't use the $0.49 cords; use a cord which is as close to the required length as possible to avoid coils of excess cord. Do not cover or tightly bundle cords as this leads to overheating. Select a cord with an amperage rating substantially larger than the equipment you intend to power with it."

- Definitely, I agree.


Here's some more detail on exactly what Im looking to run on two dedicated 20A circuits with a GFI outlet in the beginning of each run:

# Device Circuit Amperage
1 Mag 18 Return 1 1.36
2 Tunze 1 2 0.14
3 Tunze 2 1 0.14
4 T5 IceCap 660-a 1 2.00
5 T5 IceCap 660-b 2 2.00
6 T5 IceCap 440 2 2.00
7 Heater 1 1 1.67
8 Heater 2 2 1.67
9 Skimmer1 1 1.00
10 Skimmer2 1 1.00
11 Top Off Pump 2 0.50
12 Top Off Powerhead 2 0.50
12 Fuge Light 2 0.15
13 Sump Light 2 0.63
14 Sump Fan 1 0.40
15 Moonlights 1 0.25
16 (OPEN)
Total 15.40

John Nelson - IPbooks is correct. Im looking to put together a panel consisting of some outlets and switches, and two of these devices, one on each circuit:

http://www.acekaraoke.com/american-dj-pc-100-a-8-port-power-center.html

They're used by DJs. So, on the panel I'd like two of these which have 8 plugs each in the back where the devices would plug into. I'd also like to have a few extra outles for misc stuff and things that dont need switches.


Here's a shot of what Im using today --- and why I have a hard time sleeping at night. Basically everything plugs into three power strips housed in an empty home networking box:

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/000_0148.jpg

Oh, and for fun heres a pic of my tank - saltwater, 220 gallons!

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0590.jpg
 
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Old 02-20-07, 03:11 PM
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only thing i just have to critized you is the timer you have you should have " hevey duty A/C and appalince timer because the super hd timer have full three pong set up when you did use the adpator change from 3 to 2 plugs that which is a no no espcally with computer or fishtank system if they have it

merci , marc
 
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Old 02-20-07, 03:21 PM
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marc - you are 100% correct on your observation! But how did you know that?? I've recently learned how bad those 3-prong adaptors are - and that they never really ground anything! Good catch. The current timers are cheap and function that way. Im not sure where I can find the heavy duty ones?

For those following - Marc noticed that I have cheap timers in my current setup. I need to put three of the devices on timers (the lights powered by flourescent ICECAP ballasts).
 
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Old 02-20-07, 06:32 PM
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I GO WITH JOHN. (period)

Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
Then I vote for option 2. Install the switches wherever you want them, but put the switched receptacles near the device that will be using them.
No need to know the draw,equipment or kind of livestock.

Locate the switches/controls and install the receptacles where needed.
Gfci,afci,fdci,ccdi,jahci,drepo...... whatever..... Stay away from cords.
You put alot of thought and effort into this... Do it right.

And then post a Photo, It sounds awsome.
 
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Old 02-20-07, 07:45 PM
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Thanks all! I'll do that.

Ok, one more question:

- Can I connect/hardwire a "remote" receptacle to a switch on the DJ-100? The back of the DJ-100 has plugs but Im wondering if I can open it up and hardwire directly? Is that a bit much?

The reason I ask is b/c some of the devices that cant reach the switches need to be turned off and on periododically. Am i pushing my luck here?


(cool - will definitely post some photos!)
 
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Old 02-20-07, 08:12 PM
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Wink Power center !!?

Keep it up you'll need a control center!


Out of my league now. I like my fish .... never mind....

Good luck. and post that picture.
 
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Old 02-21-07, 06:12 AM
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Thanks lectriclee! I'll have to do some more research to see if this is possible.


Pics? Of the tank or the power center?
 
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Old 02-21-07, 04:47 PM
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Thumbs up I like fish too.

BOTH Please, you could change my mind
 
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Old 02-21-07, 08:41 PM
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Talking

Well, I did some thinking based on comments above, and I just might be able to relocate the power center towards the middle of the setup. That would allow me to plug 99% of my devices in directly! Maybe one ext cord will be needed.


As requested, heres some pics of my fish tank! (I think the VBcode is off which means i cant post these directly - you'll have to copy and past the links into a new browser windor). Enjoy...

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0616.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0617.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0610.jpg



Fish and other inhabitants

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0632.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0599.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0593.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0592.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0840.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0595.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0498.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0497.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0495.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0465.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0463.jpg
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a290/bheron/100_0444.jpg
 
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