Photocell is both wack and zany.

OK, so the flagpole is up, and lighting installed. 150watt Halogen, with a 25' underground run to the building, using 12 gauge wire.
I installed a photo sensor on the circuit, at the building.
1st photocell: Light does not shut off.
Quadruple checked all my wiring....red from photoswitch to load, black from photoswitch to hot, white from photoswitch and load to neutral.
Took photocell back to the store.
2nd photocell: Light does not come on, no matter how many rolls of tape I wrap around the eye, or what time of night it is.
Quadruple checked all my wiring....red from photoswitch to load, black from photoswitch to hot, white from photoswitch and load to neutral.
Took photocell back to the store.
3rd photocell: Light does not come on, no matter how many rolls of tape I wrap around the eye, or what time of night it is.
Quadruple checked all my wiring....red from photoswitch to load, black from photoswitch to hot, white from photoswitch and load to neutral.
At this point I'm thinking the only common thing in all this is ME, surely the chances of buying 3 bad photocells are too astronomical for even Mr Spock to calculate.
Hmmmmm, says I, and grasping at straws I decided to mount the photoswitch at the lamp, instead of on the building.
It's working fine now.
I can't believe there is a distance limitation on a photoswitch with respect to the load it's connected to.
Anyone else have any similar experience?
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Matt wrote:

I have never had it happen, but I would guess it is due to the additional resistance. Maybe making sure all the connections were clean and tight and or maybe using a larger lamp, or adding a lamp on the load side nearer the sensor may have corrected it. Interesting anyway.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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You know there's time delay from the time the cell goes dark until it switches off (or on) the device? Can be a coupla minutes.

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Craven Morehead wrote:

Yep, was aware of it. The symptoms/tests described above with each new photocell ran for at least 30 minutes before powerdown and reinspection of the wiring.
The light is still working fine, with the same photocell (and wiring) that would not work when it was mounted 25' away.
I still don't understand what is going (went) on, but it's one of those things that I'm willing to let go as long as it works now.
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Matt wrote:

Just a wild thought. Is there something near the original location that might be a heat source? That could be interpreted as a light by some sensors.
Bill Gill
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Nope... Basically the conduit comes up out of the ground about 1.5'; and terminates into a weatherproof box which is then fed from the inside.
It's was very bizarre/frustrating. The 2 sensors that wouldn't turn the light on WOULD light it when power was first applied (normal, according to the instructions). Then they would shut off after about 1-2 mins; and then would not come back on; I even had somebody come back at night to see if maybe the heat from the sunlight was messing with it. No dice.
The other sensor would turn the light on when power was applied, and it would never go off - I let it sit for about 2 hours in the on state.
Then finally everything worked when I moved the sensor to the fixture.
The only other thing that may be a contirbutor is that there is a GFI receptacle feeding the circuit - but I can't see a photocell being within 1' of a GFI having anything to do with the problem.
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Matt wrote:

Well, sometimes I think there is a little black magic involved in modern electronics. And somehow you hit a place where the magic didn't work.
Bill Gill
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