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Discussion Starter #21
With all due respect you guys are over-complicating this. Eagle Eye LED's don't need 12 gauge wire, even for a very long run.
Our eagle eye LEDs didn't have a problem running off the RCA extension cords we bought. Some of the cords were over 20 feet long. I realize things can change when going from AC to DC, but I figured if it was simply a matter of buying some cable, ring adapters, and a few other parts, it would be worth a try. We're happy trying new things; and in this case, if it doesn't work out, we'll not be out any money except for a bit of electrical wire and hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I figured I was not making myself completely clear, but dc power has a lot of loss on long runs, so depending on what the load is, the distance run, and power load determines the size of the cable. I was thinking 12 gauge wire for a DC wiper motor some one mentioned. the larger the wire the less load the motor puts on the battery, which means the battery will last longer, Just long as you don't get carried away on the cable size . LED lights pull little in the way of power so unless you are running a very long distance between the power source and the lights you don't need a very large cable. Still the best thing to do is keep DC power runs short.
There is a lot to read in this thread, that's for sure. You are totally right about the wiper motor. I jettisoned that idea almost as soon as I posted it. J-man further encouraged that choice. You're driving a final nail into that coffin as is befitting the Halloween Forum. I will keep all our wiper motor critters tethered to AC current. But I still hope that maybe the simpler LEDs can be an effective use of the batteries. They eagle eyes take about .26 amps each, so there is certainly more flexibility to them than any of our motorized props.
 

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Chubstuff,
Again, you're getting a lot of confusing information on this that really is over-complicating your application. I really think one of those batteries will be more than sufficient for your LED's, no need to bother connecting them parallel. There is also no need for an electrician, just keep all the positives connected and all the negatives connected. If you do happen to cross up any of the LED's, no harm done, it just won't light. Use a proper size fuse at the battery and call it a day, really.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
The eye LED lights you have been talking about are a TINY amount of draw from the mains, unless you are talking in quantities of thousands. So, don't worry about them at all. Rather, the motors are your most likely issue. They may be your main circuit breaking trigger. If any are binding, they can draw a lot more current. Perhaps it is better to find a way to add a fuse to each motor plug, and when that motor's fuse blows, you know where the problem is.
We did have four motors running on the same circuit when it tripped. So, you're right, they are probably the culprit overall. It's just that the circuit always tripped when I was adding another 10 watt LED spot light to the mix. Five were fine, but that sixth one kicked everything off. All things returned to normal though when I put the cauldron creep on a different circuit breaker. I'm looking at the various things we currently have, and what we want to add, to see if there's another way to avoid overloading the system. We are an older home, and it was never made for the demands we like to put on it. We had to have the front room rewired with outlets going to a 20 amp circuit breaker just to handle the computers, TVs, and seasonal Christmas lights. Finding a work around like that for the outside may be the next thing we have to do.

Note that batteries don't do well if they are fully discharged, so you need special circuitry to cause them to turn off if they get too low. And don't store them discharged either, or they will rapidly loose their ability to take a charge. Batteries are their own set of things to learn, and if you are not very good with electricity, you may be wasting a lot of effort and trashing an expensive battery.
The batteries are free, they just heading to be recycled if we don't use them. They are specifically made to be paired as a part of a power chair. They're just over a year old and still work well with the chair, just not as well as the owner would like. So, he's getting a new set. We're just seeing if they can have a second life before being recycled.

Someone mentioned putting batteries in parallel. Note that if you do this, you really need to also add some protection diodes. This will prevent a battery with a higher charge from re-charging the weaker battery, perhaps at a higher current than it should be done with... And since rechargeable batteries will tend to vary in how they age, you are going to have issues if you used multiple batteries, unless you also have the special circuitry designed to protect them.
I'm comfortable knowing how to parallel them, but one is probably powerful enough to run the lights on their own. I'll first test using one as it's simply easier to have one recharging while the other is in use. No motors are being powered... just the eagle eyes. I think the draw for a dozen or so of them turned on for four hours a night isn't going to tax the batteries that greatly. It's just if utilizing them rather than finding yet another unused outlet around the house is a better idea. This is sort of the proving ground before going out and actually investing time and money in the idea. Not a great deal of time or money will actually be needed, but still, if it's really won't hold up for a few years, then I would think differently about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Chubstuff,
Again, you're getting a lot of confusing information on this that really is over-complicating your application. I really think one of those batteries will be more than sufficient for your LED's, no need to bother connecting them parallel. There is also no need for an electrician, just keep all the positives connected and all the negatives connected. If you do happen to cross up any of the LED's, no harm done, it just won't light. Use a proper size fuse at the battery and call it a day, really.
Thanks J-man. As you can see, I'm talking myself out of using them in parallel for exactly the same reasons you stated. That's the joy of the forum. I appreciate everyone offering their opinions. I get talked out of certain approaches, and find new ones suggested. I get counseled on things to be wary of, and things I overlooked. This saves me hours of experimenting and hoping I get it right. Last year, you and a host of others helped me figure out how to use the eagle eye LEDs. This year, everyone is making it possible for me to wire them up to batteries that were headed for the battery graveyard.

I'm actually at a point now between the conversations here and my studies out on the net, that I think I can do it just fine on my own. That said, both of my housemates know way more about electrical applications than I do. They will be either doing the work, or watching me very carefully. I'll order parts that I want from China because that's what our budget can handle, but I know now the things I need and will eventually post on here to show everyone the final product.
 
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