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View Full Version : What improvements would you like to see- Transformers


pete scalia
10-10-2007, 09:14 PM
Let's brain storm some ideas for our own benefit and the benefit of the manufacturers that read this board. Not on specific brands but what improvements would you like to see made to transformers that will improve the usability and performance and make your life a bit easier.

Pro-Scapes
10-11-2007, 11:50 AM
more room below the terminal boards (drop downs are a pain in the butt once you have a conduit or 2 in place.

Hour meters

Cut to lenght power cords

Dual 1 1/4" knock outs on larger transformers.

Slightly wider to accept digital time clocks without having to worry if your cord is going to touch the breakers

And while we are dreaming how bout a LCD inside displaying input voltage and amperage lol

JoeyD
10-11-2007, 12:44 PM
more room below the terminal boards (drop downs are a pain in the butt once you have a conduit or 2 in place.

Hour meters

Cut to lenght power cords

Dual 1 1/4" knock outs on larger transformers.

Slightly wider to accept digital time clocks without having to worry if your cord is going to touch the breakers

And while we are dreaming how bout a LCD inside displaying input voltage and amperage lol

Billy,

All great ideas! The power cord thing is tuff becuase UL restricts us on power cord lengths. Knockouts going to 1 1/4", there is some potential there, our new knockouts go to 1".

I LOVE the LCD idea, problem w/ LCD is they do not hold up with heat, it would have to be a some sort of a digital read out but I love that idea. So many people do not use amp probes and they should!!

Hour meters, potential

As far as wiring room, I think you should check out the I Force transformer we make, and if you havent used it yet you got to try it out atleast once. You owe it to yourself to see how easy this thing is wired it!!

Joey D.

NightLightingFX
10-11-2007, 01:14 PM
My biggest complaint about the multi tap transformers is that sometimes I get into a pickle if I have a long run and I am using one of the higher taps. The higher taps will increase by 2's. I end up getting either too low of voltage to my hub or too high of voltage. Adding more wire for a voltage drop is a real pain in the ***. Do you guys have any good suggestions for this problem. I have gone to Kitchlers contractor series transformers - Terradek still has a lot of them in stock. I have also opened the transformers and created an in between tap - Some transformers have unconnected wires for other taps levels unconnected. But that is still a pain.
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

JoeyD
10-11-2007, 01:17 PM
It is tuff. For us it comes down to room on the coil. We do however and will make you custom units. We have customers that want taps 12-20 w/o skipping 17 and 19. We can do it!! We make a lot of custom units for people becuase we make all of our units in house here in CA.

NightLightingFX
10-11-2007, 01:32 PM
It is hard to know what tap you need until you are hooking it up.
~Ned

JoeyD
10-11-2007, 01:37 PM
It is but you can usually determine if you are going to need the 22v tap or not. If you know you definitly wont need the 22v then we can add a 17v.

Pro-Scapes
10-12-2007, 12:15 AM
i know Joey was going to bring up the I force lol... I am planning on using some of them on a project soon but the freakin contractor is like 2 years behind on building this place. I am going to have to use em here because they mounted my sockets in a tight area and no way and i going to pull a houdini and fit my butt behind an ac unit to see what i am doing. I figure I will be able to wire it all up since I am going to have to use flex conduit about 3 ft behind the ac... then hang it in place once all is said and done.

pete scalia
10-12-2007, 12:30 AM
more room below the terminal boards (drop downs are a pain in the butt once you have a conduit or 2 in place.

Hour meters

Cut to lenght power cords

Dual 1 1/4" knock outs on larger transformers.

Slightly wider to accept digital time clocks without having to worry if your cord is going to touch the breakers

And while we are dreaming how bout a LCD inside displaying input voltage and amperage lol

more room below the terminal boards (drop downs are a pain in the butt once you have a conduit or 2 in place. totally agreed

Hour meters- Can you explain your reasoning? I can see if you always change all lamps together as a group otherwise what's the diff?

Cut to lenght power cords- This one I'm trying to understand the value of. Can't you cut any cord wherever you want and wire a 3 prong plug to the end already?

Dual 1 1/4" knock outs on larger transformers. Agreed

Slightly wider to accept digital time clocks without having to worry if your cord is going to touch the breakers Agreed

And while we are dreaming how bout a LCD inside displaying input voltage and amperage lol- LCD screens are expensive how bout satellite tv too?:waving:

Pro-Scapes
10-12-2007, 08:33 AM
more room below the terminal boards (drop downs are a pain in the butt once you have a conduit or 2 in place. totally agreed

Hour meters- Can you explain your reasoning? I can see if you always change all lamps together as a group otherwise what's the diff? To aid in determining actual hours on lamp life. I do not practice relamping at this time but may in the future. I simply change as needed unless there is alot of premature failurs.

Cut to lenght power cords- This one I'm trying to understand the value of. Can't you cut any cord wherever you want and wire a 3 prong plug to the end already?
whats so hard to understand. I dont want to mess with the molded sealed plug on the other end and i dont want 3 ft of wire hanging outside the trans on a 6 ft cord when i only needed 3 ft. Last install the 3 ft cord was about 6 inches short.
Dual 1 1/4" knock outs on larger transformers. Agreed

Slightly wider to accept digital time clocks without having to worry if your cord is going to touch the breakers Agreed

And while we are dreaming how bout a LCD inside displaying input voltage and amperage lol- LCD screens are expensive how bout satellite tv too?:waving:Maybe LCD was the wrong term... How about one of thoes Red LED read out things that just show numbers or s a screen like a calculator just displaying the numbers.

pete scalia
10-12-2007, 09:36 PM
Maybe LCD was the wrong term... How about one of thoes Red LED read out things that just show numbers or s a screen like a calculator just displaying the numbers. Understood


Hour meters- Can you explain your reasoning? I can see if you always change all lamps together as a group otherwise what's the diff? To aid in determining actual hours on lamp life. I do not practice relamping at this time but may in the future. I simply change as needed unless there is alot of premature failurs.
I must insist on an explanation as to the value of this, lamps are not warranted by any manufacturer why should you?

Cut to lenght power cords- This one I'm trying to understand the value of. Can't you cut any cord wherever you want and wire a 3 prong plug to the end already?
whats so hard to understand. I dont want to mess with the molded sealed plug on the other end and i dont want 3 ft of wire hanging outside the trans on a 6 ft cord when i only needed 3 ft. Last install the 3 ft cord was about 6 inches short. The cord is a UL issue. have you tried using a cable tie for a cleaner result

Pro-Scapes
10-12-2007, 10:37 PM
Yes I usually zip tie slack power cord to the backside of my conduit and try to hide it the best I can.

On the hour meters I think its benificial to see how certain bulbs perform and you can take notes of the actual hours... like are ultralines really worth the extra bucks ? I think it would just be nice overall to see how many hours are on your systems

pete scalia
10-12-2007, 10:52 PM
On the hour meters I think its benificial to see how certain bulbs perform and you can take notes of the actual hours... like are ultralines really worth the extra bucks ? I think it would just be nice overall to see how many hours are on your systems- Yes, But how does this add value to the customer since they would be the one paying for your science project.respectfully submitted:)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-13-2007, 04:46 PM
Hour meters are a great maintenace tool. I came up with the idea a couple of years ago and have been installing them in all my larger systems. As most of my clients have no 'normal' operation mode (we are in a seasonal, recreational housing market here, so everyone uses their systems differently) I like the ability to open a transformer and see how long the system has been on for.

The client's like knowing they are not paying for 'premature' service work.

Nightscaping sells a prewired digital hour meter. The part number is T-SS-HM.

Have a great day.

pete scalia
10-14-2007, 11:54 AM
This service meter thing still makes absolutely no sense to me.

"This way the customer knows they are not paying for pre-mature service work"

What does that mean? You go out to a site open every transformer and check the hours the system has been on and determine whether it needs service by the number displayed? Does that meter tell you that half the lights are covered with plant material ? Or that the gardener has broken two pathlights ? Or that you have fixtures out of adjustment. Does it tell you that even though the lamp is working it needs to be replaced cause the reflector wore off?
So you mean to say that if your meter tells you it's not time for service (and I'm assuming it's because of low hrs of operation) you close the transformer boxes get back in your truck and go with no charge for the service call even though you payed for the gas the tech and the truck to get there . That's just plain insanity.
Hours of operation of the system should not dictate a service call. All systems should be put on a monthly service plan 3,4,6 month interval whatever is comfortable for you and your customer. Never and I mean never based on how many hours the system operates for.

People agonize over the lamp life of low voltage lights. The thing is exposed to all elements. Number one a MR 16 was never manufactured for exterior use with the intent to put it in such a small fixture that is exposed to weather extremes, moisture, shock from being kicked etc. So why do you think it should last in this application the whole 4,000-10,000 hrs that they are purportedly (how do you like that word?) rated for. There are no guarantees per se for bulbs so what does that tell you? It's a disposable item. Most will last some will not Move on there are more important issue to concentrate on then micro managing the longevity of light bulbs in outdoor lighting applications.