older nightscaping T q

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    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
     
  2. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    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?)
     
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    Mike: Read your Private Messages.
     
  4. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

  5. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    James: Mike, read yours again.
    Mike: James, read yours again.
    James: Mike, read yours again.

    LOL.
     
  6. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    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.
     
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    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.
     
  8. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    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?
     
  9. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,955

    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.
     
  10. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    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.
     

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