Wiring Question - Antique Sign

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  #1  
Old 11-13-14, 08:15 PM
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Wiring Question - Antique Sign

I am working on a antique looking sign with bulbs around the edges. I chose small E10 bulbs and plan on wiring them to some terminal blocks so they are in a series. I have a couple of questions.

1. First, the bulbs are rather small so even after I drilled holes in the wood the bulb bases don't go all the way through so instead of having the contacts on the bottom left and right of the bulb base (think of an inverted T) they are still inside the wood holes. I thought of bending them inwards so they are parallel with base themselves but I am wondering if this will cause an issue since the positive and negative wires will be so close together coming off the base. I will probably have to solder the wires on the contacts which will bring them even closer. I don't want the wires to arc.

2. I want to make sure I am doing this safely. I bought some barrier screw terminal blocks to connect everything together. Is this OK or is there another way that it should be done? Also, is the wiring diagram I attached correct? There will probably be 7 terminal blocks since I can only attach 6 lights to each and there are 34 lights. Is there an easier way to do it?
 
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  #2  
Old 11-13-14, 09:46 PM
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Cool idea.

You didn't mention supply voltage for the bulbs but hopefully you intend to use a transformer to power your bulbs. It's much easier to wire for low voltage as most connections don't need to be insulated.

If you intend to use direct 120vac to run the bulbs.... everything must be insulated.

I wouldn't even use terminals blocks. I'd use point to point wiring like in the diagram below.

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  #3  
Old 11-17-14, 03:44 PM
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If I understand correctly, if I use point-to-point (in a series) wiring I would need a much larger voltage adapter. This is what I was thinking...

Bulb:
4.9v
.3a

So if in a series I would need:

Bulbs: 36 bulbs
Amperage Needed: 10.8a

I found this power supply on eBay...

5V 12A 60W Switching Power Supply Unit 120 240VAC LED Strips Pixels CCTV PSU USA | eBay

Would this work and would I need to do any modifications to make it work? Is 5 volts close enough to 4.9 or is it still too much?
 
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Old 11-17-14, 08:38 PM
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Ok... then you would need to parallel connect the lamps. That is a heavy load and I'm not sure if that power supply will start up with all those bulbs connected. That power supply may see the bulbs as a dead short and stay in protect mode. You'd have to try it to see if it would work.

Ideally you'd like to stay slightly lower than the posted voltage on the bulbs. The closer you get to 4.9v the shorter the bulb life.

You really need a raw transformer. I found a 14vac at 15A. That means you'd have to put three in series and then connect them to the transformer. 6.3v transformers are very popular but will overpower the bulbs and shorten their life considerably.
 
  #5  
Old 11-30-14, 03:29 PM
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I guess I'm sort of confused by what you mean as a heavy load. To me the math works out fine and the power supply I chose would be perfect. Is it just top many amps? Would it be better to use three or four smaller power supplies and connect them together?

How would I use three 14v 15a transformers? If there were three in a series wouldn't i need 12 for 36 lights? And isn't 15a a lot for three bulbs? I think I'm totally confused! Sorry, I'm obviously new to this but want to learn.
 
  #6  
Old 11-30-14, 05:22 PM
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Would it better to use three of these and wire them to a single plug?

Item: DC 5V 4A 20W Transformer Regulated AC-DC Switching Power Supply For CCTV Camera

URL: http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item...420330&alt=web
 
  #7  
Old 11-30-14, 05:26 PM
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You don't want a switching power supply. You want a simple transformer. One source would be an A/C supply house. A control transformer puts out 24 volts. Five 4.9 volt bulbs in series draws 24.5 volts so you could wire it in groups of five series wired with each group parallel wired to the next group of five.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-30-14 at 10:27 PM.
  #8  
Old 11-30-14, 09:49 PM
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Switching power supplies are protected. If they think you have a dead short connected to it.... they will not start.... they will stay in protect mode. That many lights.... cold and connected all at the same time.... can be seen to the power supply as a short.

Every power supply is different. Get the big supply and try it.
 
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