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Design Issues and Solutions Tricky... Rope Light Control...

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by mjdld, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. mjdld

    mjdld New Member

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    I need a very simple effect, but I can seem find any reasonable solution.

    I've got 3 wire rope light.

    How do I re-wire the end of the rope light into 2 circuits and run off of 2 dimmers on the board. I can't find a wiring diagram to understand how the rope light is internally wired.

    Also, I can't find a 3-wire DMX Rope light controller that can initially leave all lamps in the rope light on and then have them chase. I found very cheap 3-wire manual controllers, but no DMX controllers.

    Any solutions or answers would be helpful!

    Thanks,
    mjd
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Are you certain it's 120V ropelight [as some is 12 or 24V and won't work with line voltage dimmer(s)]?

    EDIT: Ropelight has a fan/user's forum?! Who knew? See the thread at 2-wire Vs. 3-wire Rope Lights . Now don't everyone abandon ControlBooth to go spending all your time at Rope-Lighting.org .:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  3. mjdld

    mjdld New Member

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    It is 120v rope light. I looked at the Rope-Lighting.org site and still couldn't find answers. I am surprised no one else has done what I am trying to do!
  4. mjdld

    mjdld New Member

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    I believe the middle wire of the rope light is the neutral/ common wire. If I split the neutral to 2 separate plugs and connect into 2 separate dimmers, will the ganging of the neutral damage the dimmers if both dimmers are on?
  5. xander

    xander Active Member

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    I have done something similar to what you are doing. I don't have time to get into details at the moment, but the problem the designer presented me with was as follows:
    When using 3-wire rope light with a chase controller we could plug the controller into a relay circuit to control on/off from the board...Also, the controller was limited to like 250ft of rope or something (I think it was 10A).
    OR
    We could wire the rope light directly into dimmers to be able to control intensity...
    HOWEVER
    Option A only takes 1 dimmer, but there is no ability to dim the intensity from the board and was limited to 10A; option B gives us the dimming, but would then require 2 dimmers to be able to set up any chases.

    We wanted both A and B, chase controlled from the controller and the intensity controlled via dimmer and I had something like 500ft of rope light. So, the solution the TD and I came up with was this:

    Run the rope light off of the dimmer with each hot running through a SPDT relay. The relay was controlled by the rope light controller but all of the power came from the dimmer. This allowed us control the intensity/on/off as though it were just a normal single circuit practical, but the relay (switching back and forth via the rope light controller) made it chase, and I was able to put up to 20A (I think I had 4 different runs) all chasing together.

    This was many years ago, I think I might have also put a SPDT switch inline so I could bypass the relay and just have everything on. It was complicated.

    I'm not quite sure what the point of this story was, but maybe it will help you come up with a solution to your problem.

    -Tim
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  6. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I work with two-circuit, three-wire incandescent rope light all the time. The middle wire is the neutral and the outside wires are the hots. If you have the termination connectors that have three wires into one "edison" connector then you should be able to just cut off the edison connector and put on 2P&G or whatever you need. Just make sure that you keep track of your hots and neutrals and you wire everything up correctly or you may wind up tripping breakers or blowing fuses.

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