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mikecox1
04-09-2009, 11:46 PM
If I was going to have five or six 10/2 lines coming off my home run at a hub, what would be the best method to make that connection? Do I use a series of wire nuts? Is there some product for this application like some sort of distribution block? Should I solder it and apply some form of weatherproofing to it? I want to do this right.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-10-2009, 01:34 AM
Seriously? Or do you mean you are going to have a 10/2 or 8/2 Home run that feeds 5 or 6 12/2 runs to the fixtures?

In any case, the ACE Connector from Nightscaping is the best of the best. It comes in standard and LARGE (Big ACE) sizes.

Regards.

mikecox1
04-10-2009, 09:13 AM
Seriously? Or do you mean you are going to have a 10/2 or 8/2 Home run that feeds 5 or 6 12/2 runs to the fixtures?

In any case, the ACE Connector from Nightscaping is the best of the best. It comes in standard and LARGE (Big ACE) sizes.

Regards.
First of all, thanks for the Ace Connector suggestion, I will hunt some down. As far as the use of 10/2 goes, do you ask if I am serious because my proposed setup would be overbuilt or is there a problem with it that I am not aware of? I can live with with overbuilding my witing. I am using 10/2 for the entire wire run because I have 500 feet of it and might as well use it up rather that spending more money on lighter gauge wire and have a bunch of 10/2 left over. On the other hand, if there are issues with my plan I certainly want to know about it.

JoeyD
04-10-2009, 09:45 AM
10/2 for a fixture wire lead is a bit overkill but wont hurt you at all. You will just need to be able to make up a LARGE connection. ACE connector will work or possibly a large Buchanan Crimp. Worst case scenario and not one I recommend would be a large blue wire nut, filled with di electric grease. Much better off using the ACE or Buchanan.

Pro-Scapes
04-10-2009, 09:57 AM
The large aces will join about 6 10 ga wires I think. The standards will do for about 4 12 ga wires or other combos.

The quarter aces im fond of work well for 12ga to fixture connections.

mikecox1
04-13-2009, 10:34 AM
Do any of you guys know where I can I can buy the large Ace connetors on-line or locally in the Dallas or Fort Wort areas? My web searches aren't turning up anything.

ccfree
04-13-2009, 01:24 PM
Do any of you guys know where I can I can buy the large Ace connetors on-line or locally in the Dallas or Fort Wort areas? My web searches aren't turning up anything.

Hey Mike,

Check out your local Ewing Irrigation Products branch in the DFW area. They have 9 locations.

Mark B
04-13-2009, 02:18 PM
I don't use the blue wire nuts. But they are expensive & messy to use.

Kiril
04-13-2009, 02:27 PM
wire nut encased in epoxy resin.

http://www.paigewire.com/pdf/3M3570.pdf

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-13-2009, 02:52 PM
Do any of you guys know where I can I can buy the large Ace connetors on-line or locally in the Dallas or Fort Wort areas? My web searches aren't turning up anything.

If you are a contractor then Call Nightscaping and they will find your distributor for you: 1-800-544-4840

If you are a DIY'er then you will have to contact a local contractor who would be willing to sell to you or find them retail online.
Online you can check out Terradek, or CLL (California Landscape Lighting). Im not sure if FOLD carries them or not.

Regards.

Mark B
04-13-2009, 03:42 PM
Or you could look at the forum sponsor lighting world. There is a link on the left side.

mikecox1
04-13-2009, 05:13 PM
Thanks guys, you have given me the direction I needed.

LightYourNight
04-14-2009, 02:20 AM
I just ran into the same issue on a subdivision entrance. I had 8/2 lines split into 5 10/2 leads in hubs. I eneded up using copper split bolts you can get anywhere for a buck. Then covered them with grease and shrunk them in 2" heat shrink.

Worked great... I looked at the 3m epoxy mentioned previously but I wasnt sure if all my wires would fit in it properly.

On another note... Has anyone used the new kichler blazing connector. I used a bunch on a job last week and they worked great! I just order a couple hundred. There are holes to test voltage and the connection seemed super solid... Kichler might end up finally getting rid of the quic disc!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-14-2009, 06:18 AM
That new "kichler" connector is actually by Blazing Products. Specifically the BLS-10. I haven't tried it out so no review yet, but it looks mechanically complicated. They are also rather limiting on how many wires and of what gauge size they will accept. The BLS-10 will only accept one to two of #12 or #10 and only of #16 or #18. (Not exactly great for use in hubs or T's)

In any case, I would suspect you can get them a whole lot cheaper from an electrical supplier than you can buying them through Kichler.

It is also interesting to note that the BLS-10 is NOT UL or ULc approved, only the smaller BVS-1 and BVS-2 are. Not sure why this is, but if you are running a professional operation, you might want to wait for those approvals to be applied before using the product.

http://www.blazingproducts.com/products/connectors/index.html

Pro-Scapes
04-14-2009, 07:18 AM
I got a bag of blazing connectors here as a sample and im not all that impressed.

I have never had the need to connect a number 8 wire and 5 number 10's together in a single connection. If I did I would probably solder them then shrink boot it with industrial shrink booting or try to find a larger grease tube.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-14-2009, 08:26 AM
Which Blazing Connector do you have there Billy... They make a bunch of different models. The new BLS-10 is brand new to market.

The L9500 has been around a while now but is not rated for the combination of wires that you suggest above. The L9000 is sized more for irrigation needs than lighting.

LightYourNight
04-14-2009, 09:23 AM
Hi James, Kichler had Blazing redesign the BLS-10 for them. It is super strong and is UL Listed. Kichler is the only place you can get theses. Don't diss what you don't know.

And I'm sure Billy is using the old blazing connectors.

They are great at the fixture where most likely you are using 10 or 12 and 18 or 16.

http://www.landscapelighting.com/portal/products/detail/15529BL

mikecox1
04-14-2009, 09:54 AM
I just ran into the same issue on a subdivision entrance. I had 8/2 lines split into 5 10/2 leads in hubs. I eneded up using copper split bolts you can get anywhere for a buck. Then covered them with grease and shrunk them in 2" heat shrink.

Worked great... I looked at the 3m epoxy mentioned previously but I wasnt sure if all my wires would fit in it properly.

On another note... Has anyone used the new kichler blazing connector. I used a bunch on a job last week and they worked great! I just order a couple hundred. There are holes to test voltage and the connection seemed super solid... Kichler might end up finally getting rid of the quic disc!

When you say you covered them with grease, what kind of grease would that be? I think this route may be the way to go for me.

LightYourNight
04-14-2009, 10:59 AM
You can get corrosion preventative grease compound at any hardware or home stores it comes in a variety of brands. Electrical distributors sell product called De-Ox.

Kiril
04-14-2009, 11:21 AM
I looked at the 3m epoxy mentioned previously but I wasnt sure if all my wires would fit in it properly.

It will fit 2 wingless yellows max per package.

JoeyD
04-14-2009, 12:26 PM
When you say you covered them with grease, what kind of grease would that be? I think this route may be the way to go for me.

we use NovaGard G661


http://www.instrumart.com/assets/108/TKUSTTSGNovagardG661.pdf

mikecox1
04-14-2009, 02:10 PM
we use NovaGard G661


http://www.instrumart.com/assets/108/TKUSTTSGNovagardG661.pdf

Could I use generic lithium grease?

Pro-Scapes
04-14-2009, 02:14 PM
Which Blazing Connector do you have there Billy... They make a bunch of different models. The new BLS-10 is brand new to market.

The L9500 has been around a while now but is not rated for the combination of wires that you suggest above. The L9000 is sized more for irrigation needs than lighting.

I dont know off hand. They are buried someplace in a box in the shop now. I wasnt sold on just twisting wires together and snapping them into a tube. When I use grease tubes I get the suresplice ones.

mikecox1
04-14-2009, 02:18 PM
After changing my mind five or six times on how to wire my hub (some of the changes were due to not having easy access to some of the products you pros use), I am now leaning toward soldering my hub connections, greasing them and shrink wrapping them. Any reason this is not a good idea? I was going to use lithium grease to do this.

Pro-Scapes
04-14-2009, 02:25 PM
After changing my mind five or six times on how to wire my hub (some of the changes were due to not having easy access to some of the products you pros use), I am now leaning toward soldering my hub connections, greasing them and shrink wrapping them. Any reason this is not a good idea? I was going to use lithium grease to do this.

How are you planning to heat your shrink boot ? Torch ? Heat Gun ? Is there a flash point to your grease ?

How are you planning to solder it ? Do you have a soldering pot and liquid flux ?

mikecox1
04-14-2009, 02:58 PM
How are you planning to heat your shrink boot ? Torch ? Heat Gun ? Is there a flash point to your grease ?

How are you planning to solder it ? Do you have a soldering pot and liquid flux ?

I was going to use a pencil torch to shrink the shrink tube. As for the grease's flash point, I had that thought of that as well and had planned on using the torrch at a distance where and only applying enough heat to slowly shrink the tube. I had planned on using rosin core solder.

Is there any problem with this game plan?

Pro-Scapes
04-14-2009, 03:17 PM
I was going to use a pencil torch to shrink the shrink tube. As for the grease's flash point, I had that thought of that as well and had planned on using the torrch at a distance where and only applying enough heat to slowly shrink the tube. I had planned on using rosin core solder.

Is there any problem with this game plan?

Im not thrilled about the idea of it. Sounds like your really overdoing this with all thoes 10ga connections. In 3 years I have never had a group of 5 10ga wires like this. I know you said your doing it only because you have the wire already. I would think a T properly layed out might be a better solution rather than your nuclear reactor sized connection. Too much room for error in a connection this size without a proper device or tooling. I hope your torch soldering skills are up to par. Please take pics or have someone video tape this purley for the educational experience. Be careful with that torch so you do not jeapordize the jacket of the wire. Rememeber to heat the work and not the solder.

I have other ideas but doubt the components are readily avalible to you.

Has anyone else wondered if this is Mike Murphy incogneto ?

Ruben Rocha
04-14-2009, 03:25 PM
Normal grease is not what to use. it is a dielectric.
You could go to any home depot and get what you need if you are not aware of other resources.
Home depot sells a underground splice kit, which is a tandem screw lug that comes with a piece of shrink tube.
If it is not large enough you could buy a split bolt from them.
If you can't find some shrink tube to fit over the split bolt then use some no-lox,alumalox etc. Which is a anti oxident and wrap it with electrical tape.
All the items are readily availible in the electrical department. Or just goto a local electrical supply house

mikecox1
04-14-2009, 03:57 PM
Im not thrilled about the idea of it. Sounds like your really overdoing this with all thoes 10ga connections. In 3 years I have never had a group of 5 10ga wires like this. I know you said your doing it only because you have the wire already. I would think a T properly layed out might be a better solution rather than your nuclear reactor sized connection. Too much room for error in a connection this size without a proper device or tooling. I hope your torch soldering skills are up to par. Please take pics or have someone video tape this purley for the educational experience. Be careful with that torch so you do not jeapordize the jacket of the wire. Rememeber to heat the work and not the solder.

I have other ideas but doubt the components are readily avalible to you.

Has anyone else wondered if this is Mike Murphy incogneto ?

No Mike Murphy here, only Mike Cox. Is Mike Murphy a bad guy? I hope not. I hope I am not bugging you guys. I could be characterized as an intensive DIYer. I am always in the process of doing some project that, at its inception is completely foreign to me (building an outdoor kitchen, putting hard wood flooring in my house, working on my car, remodeling the master bath...). Right now that project is landscape lighting. I like to learn how to do things, and do them right. I am a perfectionist 100% of the time without exception. I am "that client" most poor contractors hate to do work for because I want it to be perfect and can't bring myself to accept short cuts. On the other hand I'm not a rich man and thus cost is always paramount. These two factors do not work well together. I used to go with the cheapest contractor which left me with a contractor that was subpar. Ultimately I have come to the conclusion that I can't afford the caliber of contractor that takes pride in their work and does things correctly, so I had better learn to do the work myself so that I can feel good about the end product. That is what leads me to this site. I am old enough and have done enough DIY projects to know that I am clueless and thus can't take anything for granted, no matter how obvious things might seem. That is why I ask so many questions. Having said that I hope that my elementary questions and the random nature of those questions aren't a drain on this board.

Ruben Rocha
04-14-2009, 04:19 PM
The more I think about this. There are so many ways to do this.
Even a Blue wire nut will work. There are special ones for outdoor applications not for burial in the dirt though.
Just strip the wires at least 2-3 inches long and twist them together.
If it makes you feel better use some noalox on the wires before you twist the wirenut on.
Never ever use grease unless it is listed for electrical connections
Also there is a splice connection made by polaris that will work.
The bottom line is if you ever need to open the connection to make a repair to one of the runs. It will be a pain. So probably the blue wire nut would be the the most convenient because you can get them anywhere.When you are ready to re-splice the connection.

Pro-Scapes
04-14-2009, 05:01 PM
Normal grease is not what to use. it is a dielectric.
You could go to any home depot and get what you need if you are not aware of other resources.
Home depot sells a underground splice kit, which is a tandem screw lug that comes with a piece of shrink tube.
If it is not large enough you could buy a split bolt from them.
If you can't find some shrink tube to fit over the split bolt then use some no-lox,alumalox etc. Which is a anti oxident and wrap it with electrical tape.
All the items are readily availible in the electrical department. Or just goto a local electrical supply house

Are you suggesting he just buries the electrical tape ? Spoken like a true electrician. All this so he can avoid spending 75 bucks on a 250 foot pack of 12ga wire and just run a T Seems silly. Im done with this thread.

Ruben Rocha
04-14-2009, 05:19 PM
Well I am a licensed electrician and electrical inspector..
And no I would not suggest a buried connection in this case. But there are situations that may require that. And there are methods to do the same for a single conductor.

Due to the multiple runs I would suggest at least a box. Even something like a valve box.
I suggested the underground splice kit to help protect the conductors from the outdoor environmental conditions that would corrode the connection.
Things such as water fertilizer and pesticides.

Today trying to solder the connection is pretty much a waste of time unless you use solder for electronic connections.
If you use solder like a plumber uses today there is not enough lead in the solder to make it adhere to the copper conductor properly anymore. To many alloys in both materials.

A splitbolt is designed for multiple conductors. By adding a compound to protect the conductors from corrosion will help and by wrapping it in tape will ensure at least you don't have electrical contact between the grounded conductor and the ungrounded conductor. It also will insulate the ungrounded conductor from contact with the user.
And it will help preserve the anti oxidant on the wire.

mikecox1
04-14-2009, 05:33 PM
Are you suggesting he just buries the electrical tape ? Spoken like a true electrician. All this so he can avoid spending 75 bucks on a 250 foot pack of 12ga wire and just run a T Seems silly. Im done with this thread.

Remember, I am a blank slate here who brings no knowledge to the table. No one has suggested using a T prior to now. This is great information. I would love to simplify this process. I was going to use a hub because I have a fair distance one fixture to the next within each home run, but will give the T a try and see what kind of voltage I get at each of the fixtures.

Thank you very much for your reply, you might have saved me some time.

Mark B
04-14-2009, 07:03 PM
One thing for sure you have had some great advise in what to do.

Pro-Scapes
04-14-2009, 08:10 PM
Ok so im not done with the thread now im amused that you would actually pass such a connection in your inspections. While I do not need my systems inspected here i am quite certain they would pass. Simply taping the connection up not something I would do unless it is a temp install for say a wedding.

The valve box. What a novel idea. Its been used for years.

On the soldering I did ask him if he had a soldering pot and liquid flux. The solder chips I use are made for coating copper wires and it adhears VERY well.

I think the bottom line is this is not a typical low voltage connection and there is probably a better way to do this such as a 10ga homerun to a 10ga T or lollipop. Im not going to get into the wiring of these because they have been discussed in more than enough detail.

You really need to read this thread http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=191190


Have a good week gentelman. Vegas awaits.

mikecox1
04-14-2009, 09:06 PM
Ok so im not done with the thread now im amused that you would actually pass such a connection in your inspections. While I do not need my systems inspected here i am quite certain they would pass. Simply taping the connection up not something I would do unless it is a temp install for say a wedding.

The valve box. What a novel idea. Its been used for years.

On the soldering I did ask him if he had a soldering pot and liquid flux. The solder chips I use are made for coating copper wires and it adhears VERY well.

I think the bottom line is this is not a typical low voltage connection and there is probably a better way to do this such as a 10ga homerun to a 10ga T or lollipop. Im not going to get into the wiring of these because they have been discussed in more than enough detail.


You really need to read this thread http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=191190


Have a good week gentelman. Vegas awaits.


Wow, that linked thread is LOOOOOOOOOOONG. I see why you aked if I was him.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-15-2009, 12:45 AM
Nightscaping also makes a "Big Ace". I am pretty sure that Teradek, CLL or even maybe FOLD (not sure) would be able to sell you these online if you asked them nicely.

K.I.S.S.

mikecox1
04-15-2009, 10:25 AM
Nightscaping also makes a "Big Ace". I am pretty sure that Teradek, CLL or even maybe FOLD (not sure) would be able to sell you these online if you asked them nicely.

K.I.S.S.

Thanks Integra, I actually went ahead and wired my hubs yesterday afternoon. I went with split bolts, grease and shrink tube (things I could get from HD) using 12-2 as the feeder lines (I broke down and bought some 12-2 and am glad I did).

I plan on hooking up the fixtures this weekend. I am excited.

On a separate note, I called all the locations in the Dallas area that I could find that carry the Ace connector (by the way, thanks for the referral to those places guys), and not one of them carried the larger connection in their regular inventory. Are these things that hard to find on a retail basis, or did I just have bad luck and called places that didn't happen to carry them?

In general, it seems as if there are two major classes of LV lighting products, the crap you can get at the big box stores and the stuff the professionals use. I called Nightscaping directly to get the name of a retailer where I could buy the Ace connector and they directed me to a company in California (I forget the name of the company). When I called that company and told them I was a DIYer and not a company they transferred me from one person to the next (transferred 3 different times). Ultimately when I got to a guy who could help me, he ended up telling me that Ace connectors would cost me "a small fortune" and that it would be just as good to use waterproof wire nuts and encase those wire nuts in silicone to ensure they remained water tight. I would have paid whatever they asked for them because I wanted to do this job the right way, but they didn't even want to sell them to me. It seems like you can't buy the better quality products unless you are a professional or are willing to buy large quantities. That was frustrating.

Kiril
04-15-2009, 10:33 AM
Ultimately when I got to a guy who could help me, he ended up telling me that Ace connectors would cost me "a small fortune" and that it would be just as good to use waterproof wire nuts and encase those wire nuts in silicone to ensure they remained water tight.

And he would be right. Next time you see an underground telephone service line being repaired look at what they use.

irrig8r
04-15-2009, 10:50 AM
And he would be right. Next time you see an underground telephone service line being repaired look at what they use.

C'mon Kiril, don't advise the folks over here in lighting until you've done some yourself. I've been doing LV lighting since 1989. The Ace is the best connector I've ever run across.

Telephone lines and LV lighting are apples and oranges.

3M DBYs and DBRs, and other variations on that theme from companies like Northstar (http://www.suresplice.com/), Blazing (http://www.blazingproducts.com/products/connectors/LV9/joiner.html) or King (http://www.kinginnovation.com/products/dryconn-dbsr-black.html) seem to work well, but the Ace is neater, cleaner and more permanent.

Kiril
04-15-2009, 11:09 AM
C'mon Kiril, don't advise the folks over here in lighting until you've done some yourself.

Who says I haven't .... you assume too much. A permanent weatherproof connection is just that .... permanent and weatherproof. There is more than one way to skin a cat. With regard to low volt lighting, FX is one manufacturer that recommends the wirenut & silicon method, maybe there are others?

The Ace is the best connector I've ever run across.

Didn't comment on it .... your point?

Telephone lines and LV lighting are apples and oranges.

BS! Weatherproofing a wire connection is weatherproofing a wire connection. The only difference would be the quality and importance of maintaining a effective seal for telecom over LV.

Ruben Rocha
04-15-2009, 01:20 PM
Looking at the ace connector it is basically the same as a product made by ideal which is at most Home depots at least here is Florida. Of you can get at about any electrical supply house.
Here is one of the sizes:http://www.idealindustries.com/prodDetail.do?prodId=46-402

mikecox1
04-15-2009, 01:35 PM
Looking at the ace connector it is basically the same as a product made by ideal which is at most Home depots at least here is Florida. Of you can get at about any electrical supply house.
Here is one of the sizes:http://www.idealindustries.com/prodDetail.do?prodId=46-402


I did see an product similar to that at my HD and it was made by Ideal but it had a different connector (or what ever you call the metal part). The one I saw was not large enough to take 6 12-2's so I passed on it.

Ruben Rocha
04-15-2009, 01:47 PM
Yea it might have been a crimp type.
Besides you would not want to bury it anyway even though it is rated for it.
But split bolts work just a well.
They have been used for over fifty years at least. And they are easy to take back apart unless they get rusted up after many years.

klkanders
04-15-2009, 02:12 PM
Guys, Keep in mind all these will work however one just needs to see this Ideal product next to an 'Ace' and you will see differences. The biggest and perhaps most important is the thickness of the shrink tube and the quality of the adhesive inside. Paige makes something similar also.

Keith

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-15-2009, 06:01 PM
Last time I checked a telephone wire connection was not carrying upwards of 16amps... Don't compare the type of connection that is required for bell wire and that which is required for LV lighting.

Ruben Rocha
04-15-2009, 06:48 PM
I will reply to the two prior posts .
Yes just because a product looks the same and specks out the same does not mean it is the same. Especially if there is a price difference.
Usually something is different. Such as corrosive resistant material etc.
And yes, a telephone line will usually have a higher voltage that low voltage lighting but have a lower amperage use.
So you have to weigh all the usage requirements for a particular connection.

JoeyD
04-16-2009, 04:29 PM
Greased Wire nuts and Elec. tape should be last resort......

Ruben Rocha
04-16-2009, 05:12 PM
Greased Wire nuts and Elec. tape should be last resort......
Joey, I agree that a standard wire nut will not hold up to the environment they are subjected to in this type of installation. And Silicone grease and or no-alox will help with tape. Band-aid fix.
But the bottom line is as per our prior conversation is to adhere to a NRTL listing, you must follow the installation guide line which is part of the listing for the product installed.

But we all know that sometimes you do what you have to to make it work.

Doesn't mean it is the best method or the worst.