Village News

Christmas Lights

Design & Equipment - Twelve Drummers

It was necessary to know what the combined loading of all these lights would be so that the control equipment and wiring could be suitably sized. However, there was not much forthcoming on this, and so a rough estimation had to be made, which was based on about 15 watts per metre of lighting, and a “character” having about 10-15 metres rope lighting, giving a total load of around 4.5kW when everything was on. After a couple more discussions, most of the other questions had been answered. Also, as several of the drummers had a second like it, it was decided that “like” ones could be treated in pairs, so that the individually controlled elements could be reduced from 51 to 30 different items. This would reduce the number of the controller’s (“the brains”) outputs and hence cost.

Also, to keep overall installation cost down a novel way of connecting the frames to the control unit was devised. Only one large Arctic blue cable would go to and supply the common “Neutral/Earth” requirements for each frame, (there were 13 frames in all) and the “Live” used for one element. Smaller “twin” cored cables would supply the “Lives” to the rest of the light elements within each frame. This would reduce the number of lighting cables between the control unit and the display from 51 down to 36, and only 13 of these would be of the Arctic blue type, reducing cable cost significantly. This method would also help to reduce the connection time during installation.

However, it would mean a more complex wiring (marshalling) of the junction boxes on the lighting frames so Junction Box wiring sketches were produced to assist with this (picture 3).
Picture 3 – Example of a Frame Junction Box wiring details

Contributions by GordonG

TitleUpdatedType
Installing Onsite - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
Final Fitting - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
Wiring the Components - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
Backplate Assembly - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
Sourcing the Equipment - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
Unit Design - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
Design & Equipment - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
First Impressions - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
The Call to Arms! - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
Program Chart - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
Bringing the Display to Life - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page
Programming the PLC - Twelve Drummers 12 years 49 weeks agoBook page

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