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Ok - I've got another slant on UGH transformers that I got from another
list member (Lyndle Schenck) that I think is really the best. The
transformers used in low voltage outdoor lighting appear perfect. I was
over at Lowe's and they had a couple of variations. They all used 12VAC
secondaries and were packaged very nicely for mounting under a tank -
perhaps screwed to the inside of a stand. The transformer is contained
in a housing for outdoor exposure so they are ideal for wet conditions.
Yes.... These are UL listed isolated transformers built for continuous
use. They come in various wattages and usually have a breaker built in
and terminal blocks for wiring the primary and secondary circuits.
The product I remember was a brand called Malibu:
121W unit $30
200W unit $78
300 W ~ $112
500 W ~ don't remember but overly expensive and more than you should
The 121W obviously is the best buy. Be carefull on ratings - I would
always under rate any application by ~1/2 to keep the heat down and the
As to the comment by
> "Torsten Tiedtke" <ttiedtke at bfree_on.ca>
>Subject: More on the "transformers at IKEA" thoughts
>One thing I forgot to mention in my last post is that car battery
>chargers are a fairly inexpensive way to get an undergravel heating
>cable power supply(especially if bought used or "broken"). Since
>many of them have a 6v-12v selector switch, one has the added
>option of controlling the heating wattage...
Interesting idea but most battery chargers are not designed for
continuous use and they can be rather noisy.
If you go this route be sure to derate heavily and look for a heavy duty
design. The average dead battery when charging will only pull 10 Amps
for about 4-5 hours and then it falls off considerably, by 12 hours
later the current is usually below an Amp. My UGH works with a
sustained 6 or 12 Amps (I have two coils) and I switch the primary with
a circuit controlled by a thermostat. If it is very cold in my basement
the circuit can stay on continuously. My transformer is rated for 20
Amps and at 12 Amps it gets rather warm. My Sears heavy duty battery
charger buzzes like an alarm clock and gets so hot that I would not
touch the transformer in the first hours of a charge.
cdwells at concentric_net