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Mike M
12-27-2007, 12:36 PM
Does anyone know the volt taps for the older nightscaping power centers? I have one with 4 settings for a black switch, something like: long bulb life, extended bulb life, regular, and off.

I think it's a "T-1000 SS" as per my notes, installed over ten years ago. There are about four other transformers similar to it on the property, but smaller.

The transformer has terminals color-coded as black, red, blue, yellow, with type D fuses for each.

Called the number on the box, of course today is Bill's memorial, no one there. God bless him and may he rest in peace.

Mike M

Mike M
12-27-2007, 12:39 PM
I'll be back there soon and can just check with my meter, but I'm trying to work with my plans before hand, thanks. Only one transformer there has line voltage still connecting to it, so I can't check the other-sized transformers (looks like 300 and 600 watts?)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-27-2007, 12:54 PM
Mike: Read your Private Messages.

Mike M
12-27-2007, 01:04 PM
Read yours.

Mike M
12-27-2007, 01:05 PM
James: Mike, read yours again.
Mike: James, read yours again.
James: Mike, read yours again.

LOL.

pete scalia
12-30-2007, 02:39 PM
Does anyone know the volt taps for the older nightscaping power centers? I have one with 4 settings for a black switch, something like: long bulb life, extended bulb life, regular, and off.

I think it's a "T-1000 SS" as per my notes, installed over ten years ago. There are about four other transformers similar to it on the property, but smaller.

The transformer has terminals color-coded as black, red, blue, yellow, with type D fuses for each.

Called the number on the box, of course today is Bill's memorial, no one there. God bless him and may he rest in peace.

Mike M

If it's not a multi-tap then recommend changing it. At 1000 watts capacity once you put a near capacity load on that thing you'll have 9-10 volts coming out of the taps. Worthless. I can't believe more than a 300 watt 12 volt transformer is even being built in today's world. Even then you'd better have all your fixtures mounted within 2 feet of the transformer if you want to have proper voltage at the fixtures. 10 fixtures all grouped within a 2 foot distance of the transformer-priceless. Get it outta there. Next.

Pro-Scapes
12-30-2007, 02:42 PM
keep in mind the transformers he is refferencing are 10 years old.

I agree with replacing them. Can o worms trying to work with something like that. If it was a newer multitap I probably would not have any issues with reusing it for the client provided the performance of the unit is up to snuff. I do think with the job your refferencing mike you will end up banging your head come voltage testing time.

pete scalia
12-30-2007, 02:51 PM
keep in mind the transformers he is refferencing are 10 years old.

I agree with replacing them. Can o worms trying to work with something like that. If it was a newer multitap I probably would not have any issues with reusing it for the client provided the performance of the unit is up to snuff. I do think with the job your refferencing mike you will end up banging your head come voltage testing time.

voltage drop was no different 10 yrs ago then it is today. And this unit comes from the company that invented LV lighting? As far as I know they still produce this unit at 1,000 watts and 12v output. What does that say about their grasp of voltage drop?

Mike M
12-30-2007, 05:02 PM
Billy I'm already banging my head from you making me worried about banging my head.

Pete, thanks for the 1,000 watt comparison with the 300, I didn't have a clue about that. There are a few 300's on the property and a 600 that I can swap since they won't be used. I could actually put the 1000 where there will only be less than half capacity.

Also, Billy, I did check the volts at fixtures, had some low ones, but also had 11.3 further out than I thought would have it. I will aslo be using 10 gauge wire instead of the 12 that was there, as I included in my estimate.

Well both Billy and Pete, I agree. Newbie mistake, thinking those coils should be fine and wanting to please the customer so much. I did, however, refuse to use any preexisting wires or fixtures.

Here's the problem I ended up with, because of property renovations, all but one transformer is currently getting line voltage. This is where new multi-taps would have been great.

The contract states that all the line voltage needs to be repaired, and that I can get new tranformers if the old ones don't cut it, but I should have just put my foot down from the start.

pete scalia
12-30-2007, 05:33 PM
Billy I'm already banging my head from you making me worried about banging my head.

Pete, thanks for the 1,000 watt comparison with the 300, I didn't have a clue about that. There are a few 300's on the property and a 600 that I can swap since they won't be used. I could actually put the 1000 where there will only be less than half capacity.

Also, Billy, I did check the volts at fixtures, had some low ones, but also had 11.3 further out than I thought would have it. I will aslo be using 10 gauge wire instead of the 12 that was there, as I included in my estimate.

Well both Billy and Pete, I agree. Newbie mistake, thinking those coils should be fine and wanting to please the customer so much. I did, however, refuse to use any preexisting wires or fixtures.
12v
Here's the problem I ended up with, because of property renovations, all but one transformer is currently getting line voltage. This is where new multi-taps would have been great.

The contract states that all the line voltage needs to be repaired, and that I can get new tranformers if the old ones don't cut it, but I should have just put my foot down from the start.

Live and learn.

Educate the client that It's going to very expensive to use the existing transformers ie: oversized cable and many more cable runs with limited load on each homerun and they still have 10 yr old transformers in the field. It is almost always more cost effective to install multitaps then to work like this. What is going to happen when your customer wants to add more lights after completion or in the future? You spent all that time and money on judiciously engineering those runs so they are somewhat close to acceptable levels. You add some more load and you are going to have to go back and run more homeruns which is a very ineffecient way to work. Even then the added load will bring down all other homeruns and make things dimmer. It's a trying to escape from quicksand situation. Even after explaining all this to custy if they are cheap and decline your recommendation then you make it plain and clear it comes out how it comes out and they will have to pay to make any further corrections when the job is through. Either way you gotta be careful they know the deal going in. Otherwise you may be headed for trouble.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-30-2007, 07:07 PM
Call Nightscaping and ask their technical department to email you the specifications on those T-1000-SS transformers before you judge them any further.

They are not actually 1x1000w transformers, (that would not meet the code). They are in fact a comination of 4x250w transformers built into one enclosure. Open it up and you will see 4 sets of taps. They were THE transformer in their day and will continue to work in a well engineered system for decades to come. The system design of the units allows you to load them up to 100% of their rating (some would argue because they have been de-rated to 250w) I have found no problems with voltage drop issues at the taps. The H3Os are nicer to work with of course, but there is nothing wrong with those 10yr old T-1000-SS units either. I just comes down to engineering the system properly.

Mike M
12-30-2007, 07:14 PM
Thanks, James. Let me clarify, the 1000 is like four separate 300's, pre-rated for 250 (maybe 240) watts each?

Pro-Scapes
12-30-2007, 07:19 PM
Well both Billy and Pete, I agree. Newbie mistake, thinking those coils should be fine and wanting to please the customer so much. I did, however, refuse to use any preexisting wires or fixtures.

.


Is saving the client money pleasing him when you hand him the keys to his system and he goes to start it and the engine sputters ? Reusing equipment can be a great sales point but often times you will find it hinders the final project. Kinda like buying that ferrari minus the paint job. you know its out there but it aint much to look at.

James has a great point. It is useable as long as it funtions fine. You just need to cordinate the system and limit your runs and loads. Make sure the extra wire and labor needed to make it work is well worth the effort vs buying a new transformer. Also verify your intended control systems will work with the older unit.

pete scalia
12-30-2007, 07:31 PM
Thanks, James. Let me clarify, the 1000 is like four separate 300's, pre-rated for 250 (maybe 240) watts each?

Mike this is garbage information you have received. Disregard it immediately. Forget about the load handling capabilities (ability to handle the load without tripping the secondary fuse which in this case is 4 X 25 amps). that's not what this is about here. It's about being able to deliver 12v to the fixtures in and economical fashion. And I'm guaranteeing you it's gonna cost a boat load using this transformer and like I've said will leave you in trouble when the custy wants to add more.
The voltage output on this 12v relic will be much less than satisfactory once you go beyond 300 watts of lights connected to it. Even worse If you've got long runs then forget it, you will suck the wind right out of the transformer and it will not even deliver you 11 volts from the taps at the transformer. Which means you will have much less when it gets to the fixtures. I am so sick and tired of reading misinformation and overblown claims to protect beloved idols here that it's to the point of redicule. Look Mike, if you want to listen to this trash info and acknowledge it then I am done trying to help you. When are you all going to wake up and combat this misinformation and drum it out of here once and for all?

Nate and Joey, where are you to straighten this mess out?

pete scalia
12-30-2007, 07:44 PM
Mike this is garbage information you have received. Disregard it immediately. Forget about the load handling capabilities (ability to handle the load without tripping the secondary fuse which in this case is 4 X 25 amps). that's not what this is about here. It's about being able to deliver 12v to the fixtures in and economical fashion. And I'm guaranteeing you it's gonna cost a boat load using this transformer and like I've said will leave you in trouble when the custy wants to add more.
The voltage output on this 12v relic will be much less than satisfactory once you go beyond 300 watts of lights connected to it. Even worse If you've got long runs then forget it, you will suck the wind right out of the transformer and it will not even deliver you 11 volts from the taps at the transformer. Which means you will have much less when it gets to the fixtures. I am so sick and tired of reading misinformation and overblown claims to protect beloved idols here that it's to the point of redicule. Look Mike, if you want to listen to this trash info and acknowledge it then I am done trying to help you. When are you all going to wake up and combat this misinformation and drum it out of here once and for all?

Nate and Joey, where are you to straighten this mess out?

Nate and Joey,
You said you have extensively tested this and other transformers under various load conditions. Tell us your findings with this 1000 watt 12V transformer in question? Do you even get 12V coming from the terminals when it's close to being fully loaded or is it more like 9-10V? And tell us what the voltage is even 30 ft away with 8 gauge cable when the trans is putting out 10V? Man I'm sick of this nonsense. Misinformation and poor half arsed advice threatens to put us all back into the ice ages for sure.

Mike M
12-30-2007, 08:49 PM
I don't care who is right about what. Math is nature's objective way of saying figure it out for yourself.

The evolution of the lighting industry has realized there is a point when it is more reasonable to have multiple taps than have multiple transformers in close proximity to lights.

For some, the math works to have a few strategically located transformers placed methodically around the property, for others, it is better business to have one transformer to drive their whole system.

In my market, every home built comes with a box with a cover, prewired and ready for an easy mount of a GFCI outlet with weather cover. And the lot sizes are not huge. I want one or two big mothers with multiple taps. Now, since EC's are so flippin busy and expensive, that's what might work for me, keeping their work fast and easy.

Right now, I need to deal with a system that was installed before mulitaps became so popular. In dealing with that system, I will try to make it work. If it doesn't, I have written in my contract the right to replace the transformers.

Now, as for James, maybe he could change his name on lawnsite and pretend he is from Oregon. But the arguments will continue. While some find these offensive, I like them. I am secretly amused and entertained, plus I find important information from all angles.

I only wish that Mike G was still here, so I could read the interactions between him and Pete. ;)

JoeyD
12-30-2007, 09:29 PM
Nate and Joey,
You said you have extensively tested this and other transformers under various load conditions. Tell us your findings with this 1000 watt 12V transformer in question? Do you even get 12V coming from the terminals when it's close to being fully loaded or is it more like 9-10V? You would barely get 11v to the 12v tap with NO LOAD!And tell us what the voltage is even 30 ft away with 8 gauge cable when the trans is putting out 10V? With say 1 35w lamp at 30ft you would probably have about 9.5v if you started with 10v. Man I'm sick of this nonsense. Misinformation and poor half arsed advice threatens to put us all back into the ice ages for sure. Why can't one even be a man of his word and stay away? That didn't last long did it? Can't even be truthful about that. Gimme a break.

Answered in red above. I do not have the exact results of this particular TF but we did use to have one of these hanging on the wall to show the VD just from wall to TF to secondary Tap with and without load. They always were one of the worst performers. Nate probably remembers more.

Mike M
12-30-2007, 09:50 PM
I got 11.3 at a fixture on the site. How, I'm not sure, many variables. I think I can make this work, it will just take some hands on messing around and using my head. If I'm wrong, I'll eat them.

I have to admit, these boxes are still working pretty good.

Oh yeah, real freaky, I opened one of the transformers and a boatload of cockroaches ran out. You gotta love the south. Cockroach crap was caked in there like bat guano.

JoeyD
12-30-2007, 09:53 PM
If you get anywhere close to 12v at your tap you should be able to get atleast one or 2 lights 11-11.5v as long as they are fairly close to the unit. In a perfect world you would just get another unit but in this situation you are doing what you have to do and if you can make it work then thats great.

Mike M
12-30-2007, 10:23 PM
We'll see Joe. I like what you said about a perfect world. When I get better, like tomorrow, I will be confident enough to insist on my own systems, start to finish. Maybe salvage stuff here and there, but by my own choice and control of the situation.

The only real prob with those 12 V trans was that I assumed the line voltage to them was still in tact. I was confident I could power fixtures with no less than 10.7 or so with the close proximity, especially if I upgraded runs to 10 gauge from 12.

The trans I tested was one inside the basement, wired and operational. The others I was told were controled by switch, and I assumed was off.

pete scalia
12-30-2007, 11:01 PM
I only wish that Mike G was still here, so I could read the interactions between him and Pete.
__________________

You bring him back in here and I'll send him a packin' too. He can't deal with my game jack. I'm the undisputed king of pain. The master of disaster. If only I could go one on one with him I tell you I'd show you all what I'm made of. I'm tired of playing second fiddle to him when he's a no show . It's about time I got my propers here. I claimed 600K in sales in 2007. I tell you I'd claim more if it wasn't for Uncle Sam looking over my shoulder. Doesn't that account for anything? Gambino was probably good for 200K maybe 150K. He's a one man band with an out of tune instrument. He is a dinosaur, unable to cope with today's complicated lighting schemes. Why am I constantly defending myself against him. I'm Pete Scalia darnitt! Undisputed heavy weight champion of landscape lighting. I'm tired now I gotta take a break.

pete scalia
12-30-2007, 11:29 PM
Answered in red above. I do not have the exact results of this particular TF but we did use to have one of these hanging on the wall to show the VD just from wall to TF to secondary Tap with and without load. They always were one of the worst performers. Nate probably remembers more.

Joey, thank you for talking some sense here to counteract some of the pure BS that's been put forth in order to push an agenda. Mike, you heard what the man Joey said. This is one of the worst performers out there. All transformers are not created equal and some are just pure worthless.

irrig8r
12-31-2007, 01:02 PM
Mike this is garbage information you have received. Disregard it immediately. Forget about the load handling capabilities (ability to handle the load without tripping the secondary fuse which in this case is 4 X 25 amps). that's not what this is about here. It's about being able to deliver 12v to the fixtures in and economical fashion. And I'm guaranteeing you it's gonna cost a boat load using this transformer and like I've said will leave you in trouble when the custy wants to add more.
The voltage output on this 12v relic will be much less than satisfactory once you go beyond 300 watts of lights connected to it. Even worse If you've got long runs then forget it, you will suck the wind right out of the transformer and it will not even deliver you 11 volts from the taps at the transformer. Which means you will have much less when it gets to the fixtures. I am so sick and tired of reading misinformation and overblown claims to protect beloved idols here that it's to the point of redicule. Look Mike, if you want to listen to this trash info and acknowledge it then I am done trying to help you. When are you all going to wake up and combat this misinformation and drum it out of here once and for all?....


Well Mike,
Pete would have you throw out the baby with the bath water.... best to ignore his biased rants.

I would use the existing transformers where they fit into your expanded design and add others where you need them.

Remember that those Nightscaping Powercenters of the SS design were the first to offer a lifetime warranty to the original owner. Not only do they honor that warranty, but in many cases they exceed it. A couple of times they've sent me brand new replacement units when I wasn't even the original installer.

irrig8r
12-31-2007, 01:16 PM
Correct the above to read "...the first as far as I know to offer a lifetime warranty..."

pete scalia
12-31-2007, 03:13 PM
Correct the above to read "...the first as far as I know to offer a lifetime warranty..."

Word to the wise. Don't take advice Coming from someone who installs 4 new transformers a year. A lifetime warranty won't help bring 12v to the fixture. A dog is a dog is a dog. Worse even when it has fleas.

Pro-Scapes
12-31-2007, 04:07 PM
Happy new years eve to all. Mike I see your struggeling with man y aspects i did when I was in your position not to long ago. Trying to save the client money can in fact make you look like a hero. But... when nothing performs right you look more like ....well you get the idea.

I see 1 absolutly crucial mistake in this. You assumed. After reading about all the hacked installs everyone has encountered you should learn that you can never assume... ESPECIALLY when your not the one who installed it or serviced it.

Mike M
12-31-2007, 05:45 PM
Billy you are absolutely right about never assuming. I wonder how many times you get a lead, and then say: "Oh crap. preexisting system."

This has made me wonder about how it must be to be an auto mechanic. All those after market parts and other guy's work before you. LOL. And the old grease everywhere. I hate dirty grease.

irrig8r
12-31-2007, 06:01 PM
Word to the wise. Don't take advice Coming from someone who installs 4 new transformers a year. A lifetime warranty won't help bring 12v to the fixture. A dog is a dog is a dog. Worse even when it has fleas.

And a mule is a mule is a mule..

And Happy New Year to you too Pete. :dizzy:

pete scalia
12-31-2007, 07:24 PM
And a mule is a mule is a mule..

And Happy New Year to you too Pete. :dizzy:

The dog I was referencing was the transformer. But if the shoe fits............