Supplying Power to collection

MPD 818

Member
May 25, 2010
1,317
Murfreesboro TN
Looking for opinions on the best way to power my light collection. Right now I have several Beacon Rays, a couple of old strobe/rotator bars, and some sirens. I am not looking to run them all at the same time. I have looked at power supplies online, but to get the amps I need they get pretty pricey. My second thought would be to buy a regular car battery, and a trickle charger and just hook everything up to that. Any thoughts or ideas?


Thanks!
 

Jarred J.

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 21, 2010
11,593
Shelbyville, TN
depends on how long often you will be displaying them. if its a once in a blue moon thing, I'd go with a switch box wired to the battery with bar wired to the box. kinda like trucker's lighthouse has they're display wall ( the led 1 not the bar wall).


other wise spend the money for an invertor and get r done.
 

toon80

Member
May 24, 2010
2,489
Laval, Canada
I have 2 power supplies hooked in parallel...


On is 10 amps, the other is 50 amps..., both for 13 volts, more less...


I first bought the 10 amps one as I had 1 beacon to power up. Since the stack grew up, I bought a 50 amps.


Problem is the 50 amps supply can't always take on his own the initial surge of some bars. The 10 amps one in parallel get it to go.


It works very well this way but yeah, it wasn't cheap...


I heard some possible issues about hydrogen release with car batteries. Anybody please chime in on that matter...(???)


If you go with the full power supply, ask the board members about a brand that can take the initial surge of the rotator bars so you don't end up with a big nothing worth over 200$... ;)


I heard "Pyramid" supplies are ok...


Toon
 

Pimp

Member
May 16, 2010
1,872
Louisiana
Astron is a great brand to consider. I have the RS-50A and love it. Got it for $50 used locally.


ai93.photobucket.com_albums_l41_Pimpala03_DSC09643.jpg


ai93.photobucket.com_albums_l41_Pimpala03_DSC09648.jpg
 

MIKET2

Member
May 24, 2010
247
Houston Tx.
I used to have like 2 or 3 of those 52 amp pyramid power supplies to opperate electrical things. Those suckers were expensive.


Mine were $200.00 a piece. They were 12-15 volt but hell their transformers kept overheating and burning out. :roll:
 

GSPD

Member
May 21, 2010
159
NY
I use two different power sources. Since most of my lights are sealed beams, I use a large automotive starter/charger and a 20 amp Astron supply for the electronic sirens. All the bars run great using the large charger. I have a FS switch box with 6 switches fed by the charger and have six lights wired in. I run multiple lights at the same time with no issues. I think the grandkids enjoy the light show almost as much as me!
 

kitn1mcc

Member
May 24, 2010
2,574
Old lyme ct
go with a big astron p/s the newer ones can be parrelled together. the astrton are rated in peak amps so a 50 amp one is 50amps for like 10 mins and 40 or so continues good for lights


also there is a company that makes a Zigbee relay set up that would work good using a lap top


http://www.controlanything.com/
 

Marion Rescue

New Member
Jul 11, 2010
3
Near Green Bay WI
A couple of things to consider:


1 If using a battery, used a sealed type. These are typically used in backup power situations like large UPS supplies, etc. They don't emit hydrogen gas unless the are severely overcharged. Don't use a trickle charger, use a battery maintainer. The maintainers sense the battery voltage and turn the charge on and off automatically.


2. Batteries can supply an almost infinite amount of current for a short period. Use large gauge wire for you feeds, and install a fuse or breaker right at the battery to prevent fires caused by shorts.


3. That being said, an AC supply is a better way to go. Another alternative (and yes I know this sounds goofy) is a small welding power supply. Mig welders are nothing more than variable voltage DC supplies. I use my 250 amp welder to bench test "Q" sirens. I can dial the voltage to anything from 0 to 15 volts.
 

6043ron

Member
Jun 3, 2010
48
USA/Pennsylvania
toon80,

I heard some possible issues about hydrogen release with car batteries. Anybody please chime in on that matter...(???)

I have a marine deep cycle battery supplying my lights. I must say that it isn't the best because I have to deal with the battery acid bubbling out. I do have the deep cell in a case and it is charged with a 1.5 amp battery maintainer. I haven't noticed any smells of gases or anything releasing. It's basically a maintenance nightmare with cleaning and all.


I think now that this thread points out to power supplys, I'm going to look that direction.
 

stansdds

Member
May 25, 2010
3,548
U.S.A., Virginia
Hydrogen gas has no odor, so there is no warning until the the gas is ignited by a spark or open flame.
 

MPD 818

Member
May 25, 2010
1,317
Murfreesboro TN
Well after taking all the input from here and looking around I finally bit the bullet and bought an Astron RS 50A. I got home from vacation tonight and it was there waiting on me. I opened it all excited and the first thing I hooked up to it was my Twinsonic 12X. I was dissapointed though when it did absolutely nothing. I know the Twinsonic works, I have had it hooked up to my car battery before and it does fine. Is it really requiring more than the 50 Amps the power supply is supplying? I hooked various other lights up to it and they worked fine. Looking for some help.


Thanks.
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
10,997
Northwest Ohio
MPD 818 said:
Well after taking all the input from here and looking around I finally bit the bullet and bought an Astron RS 50A. I got home from vacation tonight and it was there waiting on me. I opened it all excited and the first thing I hooked up to it was my Twinsonic 12X. I was dissapointed though when it did absolutely nothing. I know the Twinsonic works, I have had it hooked up to my car battery before and it does fine. Is it really requiring more than the 50 Amps the power supply is supplying? I hooked various other lights up to it and they worked fine. Looking for some help.
Thanks.


If it powers other lights one of 2 things is the case......


The twin is drawing more than 50 amps


The twin has an issue...... ground etc


Try testing the twin with a car battery or charger.


This is why I have 2 power methods. A regulated supply for strobes and LEDs, and a battery charger for older halogen amp hogs.
 

stansdds

Member
May 25, 2010
3,548
U.S.A., Virginia
A TwinSonic 12X should draw around 13 (4416 bulbs) to 21 (4464 bulbs) amps, so that power supply should be more than adequate. I agree with John, if it powers other lights, but not the 12X, then there is something wrong with the 12X unless the power supply is not actually supplying its rated power. Try the 12X on a car batter or a big battery charger.
 

Forum Statistics

Threads
54,255
Messages
450,918
Members
19,233
Latest member
jfelchlia68

About Us

  • Since 1997, eLightbars has been the premier venue for all things emergency warning equipment. Discussions, classified listings, pictures, videos, chat, & more! Our staff members strive to keep the forums organized and clutter-free. All of our offerings are free-of-charge with all costs offset by banner advertising. Premium offerings are available to improve your experience.

User Menu

Secure Browsing & Transactions

eLightbars.org uses SSL to secure all traffic between our server and your browsing device. All browsing and transactions within are secured by an SSL Certificate with high-strength encryption.