Remote Photo Cell Transformers

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Go Halogen, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Go Halogen

    Go Halogen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    Let's all get back to what we are good at....Well, what most of us are good at anyway. Who uses RP transformers? I would like to hear positives and negatives. I use the MT600RP a lot, but I do run into issues every so often.

    -Andy
     
  2. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,837

    Please explain. What is a remote photocell?
     
  3. Eden Lights

    Eden Lights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 805

    Remote Photocells are for old men who still use Nightscaping.

    Ok, Ok, I am sorry, I couldn't pass that one up. On a serious note, I have not installed a PC in over two years and I don't miss them at all.
     
  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,141

    Hey Andy,
    I use the MT300 - MT1200 "Vista Line for those wondering". I keep using them even though there are things I don't particularly like about them. Such as the small lug size, secondary breakers that don't seem to always "break". Which is why I am going to start fusing individual circuits thanks to the inspiration from Joey and Unique. Chris the RP or Remote Photocell is just an add on attatchment for placing at the transformer or up to 30 feet away if necessary to get it out to daylight. I have been looking at other transformers, but just havn't had anybody convince me which way to go. I just need to get my hands on some other ones and try them out I guess.
     
  5. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    Tim,

    If you 'sort of' like the Vista transformer, take a good look at the FX line. A little bit more money, but you see it when you use them. Large slotted lugs, clean edges to the stainless steel, consistent power output, and zero failures so far for me. They don't have a 1200 watt model, but I hardly go above a 600 anyway. I'm a one-man show and hanging a 900 watter by myself is more work than I like. Hanging a 1200 watter seems like I would need a crane. The FX 600 weighs less than the Vista 600. The FX rep explained to me its the way the coil is wrapped; square copper versus round wire - one needs more coils around than the other to get the same output. I think they would be worth a look if you are as discontent with the Vistas as you sound.
     
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    With the arrival of reliable digital astronomic timers on the market, I haven't installed a photo cell in a system in over two years.

    I have found them to be problematic over time. Photo Cells that I have installed up to 9 years ago have failed, become overly sensitive or not sensitive enough to ambient light and generally been a service problem. I think their time has past.

    Have a great day
     
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,180

    while not as drastic as James or Eddie we too have not installed a PC in about 7 mo since we went to the astro time clocks and more automation options.

    We never had a situation where we needed a remote cell tho only the trans mounted one. I do carry one of each tho just in case. As photo cells I have out there fail they will be replaced with in trans astro timers.
     
  8. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933


    The weight has very little to do with the wire. We use a square copper on our secondary wind and our 1120 is heavy but nothing like most 1200 units from competion. The reason is when you buy a 1200w TF you are really getting 4 300w TF's in one. That is what makes it so heavy. A 900 is 3 300w units. All of our units becuase we make them ourselves are true single core winded units therfore keeping the size and weight down.
     
  9. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,933

    Personally I cannot stand a PC in my system only because it is one more component that could fail. I do see the benefits of them being used as a backup should the timer fail or get the time all wacked out.

    For those that like them we do have a standard what we call SNPC (Snap in Photo Cell) and a SNPC-RM which is a remote version you can order in any length. When you use a TF that you can legally install uin a garage you may use a SNPC-RM to run outside of the garage to catch the light.
     
  10. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 960

    Joe as much as I hate to disagree with you I have to say that this is not the case regarding the 600= 2X300 , 900= 3X300 etc. I have drilled the rivets on a few majors transformers to see what's inside and I have always found 1 core regardless of it's size 3-6-900. Still Your buddy PeteS :waving:
     

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