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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-30-2007, 11:50 PM
Ok everybody... lets hear it!

I would like to know all of your knowledge, thoughts, opinions and experiences with Toroidal Transformers.....

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting John Tremaine from Q-tran Transformers here in Muskoka at his summer home. He had me walk him through an initial design for a lighting system and then started talking about his business (Toroidal Transformers). So, from that meeting and subsequent discussions with him I have learned a bit.

Lets hear what everyone else has to say.

Have a great day.

pete scalia
10-31-2007, 12:08 AM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=199346

NightScenes
10-31-2007, 08:05 AM
I've tried to contact Q-Tran but have not heard back from them. I got to see one of their subterranean transformers while I was in NY visiting with Janet Moyer and Tom Williams. It looked pretty sweet so I sent them an email. I guess I may have to do it again. I would think that if someone made contact with them that they would at least reply though.

As for toroidal transformers, I use Kichler pro series units which are toroidals and I don't think that I would use the old EI type. They seem to be more energy efficient and operate cooler.

JoeyD
10-31-2007, 09:47 AM
Been discussed. The link that Pete put up was only discussed about a month or so ago so it is all pretty recent James.

steveparrott
10-31-2007, 11:02 AM
Joey, it sounds like you're trying to squelch this subject.

JoeyD
10-31-2007, 11:19 AM
Not at all. I was trying to be helpful. It's Just one we have been down. What I said then is still the same thing I would say today. If you have something new to offer I am sure everyone would love to hear the input. I dont think anything has changed in regards to Toroids and EI's in the last month has it??

Eden Lights
10-31-2007, 03:28 PM
I think a really good starting point would be to read the piece over on Cast's web site and then if your not a believer then post your rebutal here. We all know the Pro's, does anyone have any Con's? I agree with all the Pro's, but if I was buying a trans there are some installer friendly features that to me out way all of the Pro's of a Toroidal such as large, large, large lugs, quality secondary breakers, Large conduit knock out on the bottom (min-1.125") A lot of room under the lugs for your hangs, smooth stainless edges, easy door or cover access, room for a UPB control module, multi-tap with no missing voltages. (12-15V min.) and etc. are more important than is it a Toroidal is my book, but Toroidal is a plus, just not a deal breaker for me.

pete scalia
10-31-2007, 10:07 PM
When is someone going to manufacture a proper transformer. I'm doing a remodel on a banged up 4 month old project that someone else attempted right now. It has a 1200 watt transformer manufactured by a company that manufactures for more than 50 percent of the industry. Now on a 1200 there are going to be alot of homeruns right? You tell me how to get all the wiring into the terminals when there are 4 commons (1 per circuit) and 4 power taps 12-15V. I had to stop at 10 wires since that's all I could fit (I have 2-8', 4-10's and 4-12's) . As chance would have it 6 of the cables need to go to the 14V tap. I'm tapped out. Not only isn't there enough room to work under the terminals since they are so close to the bottom. but it's freaking near impossible to get the multiple wires into the taps so that they will be tight and not create problems. This is with the door dropped down which is another Nightmare when you are using 1 1/2" conduit into the trans.
Who designs these things?

I have to use another transformer on the other side of the yard since I have 5 more cable runs to make and there is no way they will fit. What good is a 1200 watt transformer when I can't get the required wires into it? Is anyone listening? Help!!!!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-31-2007, 10:26 PM
When is someone going to manufacture a proper transformer. I'm doing a remodel on a banged up 4 month old project that someone else attempted right now. It has a 1200 watt transformer manufactured by a company that manufactures for more than 50 percent of the industry. Now on a 1200 there are going to be alot of homeruns right? You tell me how to get all the wiring into the terminals when there are 4 commons (1 per circuit) and 4 power taps 12-15V. I had to stop at 10 wires since that's all I could fit (I have 2-8', 4-10's and 4-12's) . As chance would have it 6 of the cables need to go to the 14V tap. I'm tapped out. Not only isn't there enough room to work under the terminals since they are so close to the bottom. but it's freaking near impossible to get the multiple wires into the taps so that they will be tight and not create problems. This is with the door dropped down which is another Nightmare when you are using 1 1/2" conduit into the trans.
Who designs these things?

I have to use another transformer on the other side of the yard since I have 5 more cable runs to make and there is no way they will fit. What good is a 1200 watt transformer when I can't get the required wires into it? Is anyone listening? Help!!!!

I can feel your pain.

If that was a Nightscaping H3O Powercenter you would have TONS of room for all that wire, and the terminals would easily accept all of the connections too. It may have some sharp edges, and the door access might be a pain over time, but the internal set up of the Powercenter is clearly designed by someone who acutally uses the things in the field.

And the four 1" conduit openings in the bottom of the T-SS-1000 and H3O-SS-1000 make getting all that wire down to the ground nice, neat, and safe.

Have a great day.

pete scalia
10-31-2007, 10:31 PM
I can feel your pain.

If that was a Nightscaping H3O Powercenter you would have TONS of room for all that wire, and the terminals would easily accept all of the connections too. It may have some sharp edges, and the door access might be a pain over time, but the internal set up of the Powercenter is clearly designed by someone who acutally uses the things in the field.

And the four 1" conduit openings in the bottom of the T-SS-1000 and H3O-SS-1000 make getting all that wire down to the ground nice, neat, and safe.

Have a great day.

The last 1000VA Nightscaping muti tap I saw had all the terminals over to the right of the case (not in the usual center) and 6- 15 amp fustats in the lower left. Is that still the case?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-01-2007, 09:12 AM
The last 1000VA Nightscaping muti tap I saw had all the terminals over to the right of the case (not in the usual center) and 6- 15 amp fustats in the lower left. Is that still the case?

I am not aware of any changes to the T1000SS but the last H3O1000SS I Installed had a new terminal layout, and it was a bank of them over to the right side of the case with 4 S25 Amp fustats below.

I would thing that if you found a 1000w Powercenter with 6 - 15amp fustats that it must have been a special custom unit. I have never seen that configuration before.

steveparrott
11-01-2007, 10:07 AM
For cases where you have more wires than a terminal can accommodate, you can use what we call a Transformer Installation Test Lug. You can probably find a similar unit at an electrical supply house. It accommodates up to about (10) #10 wires that are clamped into one end. From the other end you run 2 or 3 #10's (depending on load) into the terminal block.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-01-2007, 10:11 AM
For cases where you have more wires than a terminal can accommodate, you can use what we call a Transformer Installation Test Lug. You can probably find a similar unit at an electrical supply house. It accommodates up to about (10) #10 wires that are clamped into one end. From the other end you run 2 or 3 #10's (depending on load) into the terminal block.

That is a cool Idea Steve. Thanks.

The only problem I can see is using it in a Hadco/Kichler (MDL?) Transformer where they don't provide you with much room at all for wire, slack, connections, accessories, etc.

Have a great day.

SamIV
11-01-2007, 01:12 PM
These test lugs fit in a MDL transformer just fine. Seems you need to take special care in making your connections with these. The bolts you tighten up with an Allen Key are very rounded on the end where it comes in contact with the wire and sometimes the wire slips to either side not making a sound connection.

Burt Wilson
Accent Outdoor Lighting

JoeyD
11-06-2007, 10:03 AM
http://www.uniquelighting.com/product_pages/I-Force.htm

Q-Tran
07-22-2009, 08:31 PM
HI everyone,
This is an excerpt form Wikipedia... As everyone knows reading the thread, you can build a good EI or not and you can build a good toroid or not... We build the best toroid and Unique builds the best EI...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformer

Toroidal transformers are built around a ring-shaped core, which, depending on operating frequency, is made from a long strip of silicon steel or permalloy wound into a coil, powdered iron, or ferrite.[54] A strip construction ensures that the grain boundaries are optimally aligned, improving the transformer's efficiency by reducing the core's reluctance. The closed ring shape eliminates air gaps inherent in the construction of an E-I core.[27] The cross-section of the ring is usually square or rectangular, but more expensive cores with circular cross-sections are also available. The primary and secondary coils are often wound concentrically to cover the entire surface of the core. This minimizes the length of wire needed, and also provides screening to minimize the core's magnetic field from generating electromagnetic interference.

Toroidal transformers are more efficient than the cheaper laminated E-I types for a similar power level. Other advantages compared to E-I types, include smaller size (about half), lower weight (about half), less mechanical hum (making them superior in audio amplifiers), lower exterior magnetic field (about one tenth), low off-load losses (making them more efficient in standby circuits), single-bolt mounting, and greater choice of shapes. The main disadvantages are higher cost and limited power capacity (see "Classification" above).

Ferrite toroidal cores are used at higher frequencies, typically between a few tens of kilohertz to hundreds of megahertz, to reduce losses, physical size, and weight of switch-mode power supplies. A drawback of toroidal transformer construction is the higher cost of windings. As a consequence, toroidal transformers are uncommon above ratings of a few kVA. Small distribution transformers may achieve some of the benefits of a toroidal core by splitting it and forcing it open, then inserting a bobbin containing primary and secondary windings.

emby
07-22-2009, 09:52 PM
Steve,

The first time I heard about using that lug was from Duncan and indeed it works great. I will try to find a link later on the particular one that I used recently. This one actually had little plastic caps to cover the allan key screw so that it becomes water proof. Perfect for that new 1200 here in Canada.
Just love your transformers and I WILL NOT use any other period.

Ken

David Gretzmier
07-22-2009, 11:38 PM
I have seen that lug as well at my electrial supply store. The ones I saw were not really water proof ( dunkable) but very likely water resistant. lots of sizes from a 12 guage up to a 4/0 I think.

steveparrott
07-23-2009, 09:28 AM
Side note: I used toroidal transformers ages ago as dimmers for theatrical lighting systems. They used a contact attached to a dial that moves across the coil effectively shortening and lengthening the wire, hence the voltage. These dimmers were wonderful - absolutely silent and rugged as hell.

The biggest one I used was a unit on wheels weighing in at several hundred pounds (this was in Delhi, India). It had six 2k torroids vertically mounted side-by-side in a big cabinet. Instead of dials, it had big levers to control each circuit. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein wielding these levers to bring lights up and down for the production.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-24-2009, 01:57 AM
Steve.... I too started out in theatrical / stage lighting. Back in the 80's we used a rather dated full analog board. I remember having 4 master channels that were dimmed by huge rheostats. Switching over all the lights from scene to scene, toggling all those 20amp switches back and forth, it was the stuff of nightmares!

Not sure that a big Rheo. is the same as a torroidal transformer, but they sure were rugged and worked silently.

steveparrott
07-24-2009, 01:33 PM
James, I'm sure you'll agree that some of the best landscape lighting guys out there started in theatrical and film lighting - it's great training and forces a person to develop a very refined eye for light and shadow, also for learning about light levels and beam control.

I did a lot of on-location lighting for documentaries and worked with some pretty demanding directors who insisted that the lighting look natural, but they also wanted the light to be appropriate to the action, and to enhance the viewers experience.

I think many landscape lighting designers make the mistake of approaching lighting projects with the simple intention of illuminating the architecture and landscape; they fail to embrace the theatrical nature of the scene. It's a sensitive balancing act, making the lighting seem natural while engaging the viewers as they peform their actions in a nighttime landscape. The lighting should enhance their enjoyment of the scene; sometimes the lighting makes the experience, other times it is very much in the background.

There is world of creativity possible for lighting designers if they chose to explore the art.

David Gretzmier
07-24-2009, 03:13 PM
I've never thought about it, but I was the lighting/sound guy in high school over 3 years for our productions we prepared in Speech and drama clubs. The school actually paid me for a few gigs unrelated to drama, more public event stuff. However, I really don't think I draw upon the experience of solo spots or colored floods for music or drama to carry over into landscape lighting. maybe it does and I don't notice. Curtains? house lights down, flash, intermission over? slow fade?

Pro-Scapes
07-24-2009, 04:30 PM
I can definatly see how theater lighting would carry over. How light effects different objects and what in turn looks pleasing to the eye would be very evident while in the control booth. Sure you wouldnt use the colored gels and stuff nor sit there and manually fade lights in and out but I urge you to go to a theatrical play and see the different effects. The way they shadow someone or bring a background to life or even hide elements is clearly evident. The focal point is clearly defined as well.