On Sun, 27 Apr 2008 14:49:22 GMT, Wayne Boatwright
There are not powerline-carrier devices, but hardwired (temporarily).
I have my holiday lights flashing at about 1Hz. X10 devices are too
slow for this. I have the relays linked using 6-wire telephone-type
cable. The relays themselves are installed in plastic electrical boxes
along with the controlled receptacles. They are located inside and
plugged into a GFCI, with cords going out windows. The control signal
comes from an old computer (Pentium 166) through a simple RS232-level
buffer I built with a MAX233 IC.
BTW, The wires are assigned like this:
1 (white) exclusion line. This is on when the lights are and can be
connected to NC relays to disable things that shouldn't be used at the
same time as the holiday lights.
2 (black) lights on (+12V from wall-wart will be present from sunset
3 (red) flash 1. Output from computer serial port to flash lights. The
computer switches the DTR line (connected to this) to say "Happy
Holidays" in Morse code.
4 (green) flash 2. Logical NOT of above. However, both these lines can
be made active to turn all lights on to take still pictures.
5 (yellow) ground. As you might have guessed, I originally planned
this for 4 wires.
6 (blue) [reserved for future use]
These wires carry no voltages outside the range of -10V to +12V. The
normal current is no higher than the few mA needed to operate the
I think he is saying it would be better to put the GFCI in the <inside>
box you have open. That way, if rain does happen to leak into the wire
through the wall and shorts it out, the GFCI should trip. With the GFCI
in the outside box, that short run that is near the weather is not
protected. In general, the GFCI should be on the upstream end of any
On Sat 26 Apr 2008 05:11:48p, aemeijers told us...
I understand your logic, and did that in the first house where I installed
exteriors. However, considering the overall construction, the problem you
describe is very unlikely to occur. Also, it's quite inconvenient if
something outdoor trips the GFCI inside and whatever is using the outlet on
the inside also goes out.
If you read Tony's subsequent post, I don't think mounting it inside is
what he meant.
Thanks for your comments, however.
I like your method. Each 'outside' outlet is its own GFCI and
accessible from outside if/when it does trip.
It protects whoever/whatever is plugged into that outside outlet in
the event of anything causing a current unbalance in the live and
neutral leads, such as leaky outdoor electric tool etc. Without
disabling the whole circuit or tripping a GFCI breaker at the main or
secondary circuit breaker panel somewhere inside the house.
Which reminds me still have one outside outlet hardly ever used, not
itself equipped with or protected by an upstream GFCI.
Thanks for the reminder. terry
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