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Why doesn't anyone use the larger high output LED's.
I know DC cannot go great distances. Is this an issue for us using 100 feet of trunk line?
I am sure this is why the low voltage landscaping lights use AC.
The larger LEDs can definitely be used, as long as you take into account the current needs. I have a few of these that I've been playing with, & let me tell ya - these suckers are bright!

100 feet shouldn't be a problem for D.C. volts.
 

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Telephone wire is (generally) 24 gauge which has a max free air amp rating of 3.5. So as long as you keep your total current per conductor below 3.5 amps & don't cram a bunch of it some place with no air flow (heat de-rates the amp rating) you'd be OK. For safety's sake, I'd stay well below 3.5 amps - maybe limit it to 2 - 2.5 max.
POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines are 48 volts DC. Not sure about the current, but it's not much.
 

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First off, I deny any and all responsibility for using the following information. Proceed at your own risk!!!! If you are uncomfortable applying this information, than consult a professional. You are working with electricity!!! PLEASE use common sense.

With that said, CPS's are hacked by the millions for use in various testors and powering other circuitry. They are extremly versatile, powerful and are the workhorse of the haunting community. They can run Wiper motors, experimental circuitry, and many other things.

Here are a few pictures that might help explain some of my last post on Power supply Hacking.

In this first photo, it shows some typical connectors that are attached to an OLDER Computer power supply. The connector on the left is a small one used for newer hard drives. Your finished LED arrays fit nicely into the holes for testing purposes. It's not a rock solid connection so you might have to play with it a little. Note that the resistor is plugged in the slot where the black wire is. I happen to connect my resistor on the negative side of my LEDs. You may do it differently.

The middle connector is used to attach to the motherboard directly. This model does not have a switch attached, so NOTE the paperclip with tape on it that acts like an "ON" switch by connecting the Green wire, and one black wire. This power supply would NOT turn on without the LED's plugged in. It needed that load attached before I used the paperclip as a temporary switch. Some would say that my Paperclip is Dangerous..... well it can be a little dangerous if you aren't careful... SOO BE CAREFUL!! or DON"T do it! I'm doing it for demonstration purposes only. I usually use this technique ONLY to test if a power supply is working before I spend ANY time permanantly hacking it.

The connectors on the right are additional Hard Drive plugs. I like to cut one of these larger connectors off to make my connection to your landscape wire or testor. Again, Yellow is +12V and the black is ground (-)



This is the same power supply from a distance.


This next picture is an example of another OLDER power supply that was removed from it's computer with a switch intact. The switch is the little black square on the left connected to the thick black wire. This switch was originally mounted on the front of the computer and you pressed it to turn the computer on. It was removed from the computer "as is", and now it just turns on the power supply. Again this CPS wouldn't start without the LED array attached for a startup "Load"


NEWER (ATX) power supplies either have a switch directly mounted on the back OR the wires connect to the switch THROUGH the motherboard before it get's to the front of your computer. That's why you sometimes need to attach a switch to the correct wires as shown in the first two pictures above.

In this photo is my first Hacked power supply. If you look closely you can see that the green wire and the black wire next to it have been cut. They were pulled inside the CPS box, where I drilled a hole, installed a switch, and soldered the wires to the switch instead of using a paper clip (MUCH SAFER!!!). Also Notice that adjacent to that switch is a "Built in LED" which was installed by the factory. I don't need to add any additional "Load" for this power supply to turn on since it's already built in. You can add an LED just like this one, but the resistor value will be different since there's only 1 LED instead of 3 (for our spotlights). You can also just buy a resistorized LED from radio shack rated at 12V. It has threads and a retainer nut. Just drill the hole and attach to a black and yellow wire using proper polarity (Positive still goes to positive).


Lastly, since I didn't want to add to the confusion during this Mini- tutorial, your power supply also has other voltages that can be used for other purposes. That's what (most of) the other colored wires are for. It is common for a typical modern CPS to have +3.3V, +5V, +12V as well as -12V and -5V and possibly -3.3V.
Great info! PC power supplies are a great resource.

I'll throw this out there - the switch on the older AT power supply in the 3d image switches mains voltage - 120VAC here in the U.S. If you find one of these and decide to use it, BE CAREFUL with this switch and it's connectors. Make sure it's well insulated, even when the power supply is turned off.
AT supplies are getting harder to find so it's probably not much of an issue, but if you come across one just be aware.

The trigger wire (green wire on the main connector) is very low current & is likely not too dangerous. I regularly bench test supplies by jumpering the green and black wires with a bare paperclip with no problems. Still we're talking about electricity here, so better safe than sorry!

ATX power supplies can be had for very little money online. I probably wouldn't put a $9.99 power supply in a computer, but I've used several in a yard haunt!
 
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