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Ryco Engineering Transformers

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by David Gretzmier, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    James is correct- as with every transformer I have installed, yes, the taps will drop when loaded, exponetially so at a nearly 95% load. It would actually be very desirable for the 12v tap to drop down to 11.5 or so for your close in lights to the trans, just for bulb life. but the 15 volt tap should read anywhere from 14.5 to 15.5 at around 120volts in my experience, loaded or unloaded. I would send the unit back and tell them the 15v tap is wired identical to the 14.

    as an update, after 4 years and 3 months all the ryco units I installed continue to work as I have described in all previous posts. I have not installed a new one in quite some time, as I have went to hadco/phillips when looking for a smaller value trans, as they cost about the same as ryco and have a closed door system, and carry a lifetime warranty from a known company. you do have to spend extra on a photocell/timer with the Hadco/phillips, but then they are easily replaceable while the ryco's are not. The photo-cell is the one item I have had issues with the ryco's as stated in previous posts.
  2. mitch10102000

    mitch10102000 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    So I am an electrical engineer and out of curiosity, I decided to open this thing up and see why the 14 volt tap and 15 volt tap had the exact same voltages. It wasn't very hard to see why...they have a jumper wire going from the 14 volt tap to the 15 volt tap! Are you kidding me? I should almost take a picture and post it!!!

    So the transformer has a red, green, brown and black wire coming out of it. Each one is a different voltage (12, 13, and 14) and the black appears to be common. The black is going to the circuit protector and then another wire is going from that to the common terminal. So it appears this transformer only has three voltage outputs, but they still advertise 4?

    The only reasonable explanation was that this transformer's 15 volt tap was faulty or forgotten about after it was sealed at the manufacturer and they used it anyway...since that would be an expensive mistake! Why not just jumper the 14 volt tap to the 15...who's going to notice!?!

    So that solves the mystery. I will be contacting the dealer for a return on Tuesday...or see if he has one that actually has a 15 volt tap! This thing does appear to be solid at least...and the photocell looks super easy to replace (I had the thing apart within 15 minutes).
  3. ELumin8

    ELumin8 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Funny side note, who really uses the higher taps? On 95% of my installations I am able to use the 12-13 volt tap, Personally I would like to see additional 12 volt taps and do away with the higher 14volt taps.
    A little planning goes a long way, a lot of planning goes even farther. Keep in mind I only do new construction and I place the 120 volt sources in well planned locations very early in the project.
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,199

    Since I am still new to lighting, I hesitate to give my opinions.
    But I have wondered all along why the transformers have the taps up to 15 or 16 volts and don't have two or three 12v taps instead. According to Stephen, my idea apparently wasn't so stupid.

    And will the transformers change in this way when LEDs become dominant?
  5. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Messages: 1,275

    There are occaisional projects that do require higher taps because of the large number of fixtures and/or cases where transformers can not be easily positioned close enough to the fixtures.

    Let's not forget, one of the advantages of low voltage lighting is that you don't have to have any 120V lines going out into the landscape. Anytime you put a 120V line into the landscape (to mount a remote transformer) there's a risk the line could be cut or damaged - then you have a potentially fatal safety risk.

    As for projects that require putting the full load on the 12 or 13-volt taps, all CAST transformers can carry the full load on any tap. If all the wires don't fit in one tap then you can use a transformer installation lug to make it happen.

    In a few months we'll be releasing a Journeymen Series 75W transfomer primarily aimed at LED systems. It's a dual-tap transformer - just 12 and 15V. 15V is an ideal tap for most LED systems since (even with some voltage loss) the fixture voltage will be within the 12 to 15V window.

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