Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

LED retrofit matieral

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Texas_Signmaker, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,734
    1,734
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    What thickness / size of aluminum would you use to make retrofit LED sticks? I'm making 10' spans. Would you use a flat bar or square tube?
     
    Tags:
  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    33,939
    2,500
    113
    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    Did a cabinet about 2 years ago with 10' spans. Bought the ready made sticks and we ended up taking chain and looping it around each lamp in the middle, all the way down. 14 lamps top to bottom. They were single sided and we hadda do it to the other side. The cabinet was almost 4' deep.
     
  3. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    2,001
    441
    83
    Sep 28, 2017
    Arkansas
    Why not go with the distributors sticks? I'd go 1/2" x1/16" wall if I made them myself. Secure with 90 degree brackets along the raceway. Flatstock has a lot more give, and if you've never seen a cabinet with all the sticks in the bottom... I have a picture somewhere.
    If it's a true retrofit, I'd go with premade sticks, otherwise it takes all the speed out of the job if you have to stick every led and screw every 3rd one, then count the modules and figure your load, write instructions (if you aren't installing). Don't forget, a 120 is not 120" long!
     
  4. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,734
    1,734
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Sorry, maybe I should clarify... it's on a double sided cabinet on pole so I'd make the sticks in the shop before going out to install. It looked like it would be a few hundred bucks cheaper making myself and right now I have extra time in shop. Shouldn't be too much extra time in field.

    I like the chain idea Gino
     
  5. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    2,001
    441
    83
    Sep 28, 2017
    Arkansas
    Ah, then for two sets of one sided stick it kinda makes since. Especially with the free time it makes since. For these, I like to use the tap/splice scotchlocks, and then you only have to do a run from the powersupply to the last lamp. Every other lamp can tap into the run. Takes the headache out of daisy chaining.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Stallion Signs

    Stallion Signs New Member

    16
    4
    3
    Nov 6, 2019
    Texas
    I’ve been using 3/4” square aluminum tubing, 1/16 gauge
    Its been working really well
     
  7. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,734
    1,734
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    thank you! I was going to go with 1" at 1/8" and didnt know how low you could go
     
  8. Stallion Signs

    Stallion Signs New Member

    16
    4
    3
    Nov 6, 2019
    Texas
    the thickness of the aluminum is your preference. But the 3/4” is the lowest i can go and still be comfortable with how the modules fit on.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Rocco G

    Rocco G Member

    132
    17
    18
    Feb 27, 2014
    Pennsauken NJ
    The ready made LED sticks do have some give to them on 10' units. The Keystone brand offers a chain with what look like fishing hooks to take the sag out of them. I've even seen fishing line used as well.

    And to answer the OP question, I've made channels from our aluminum scrap bin, 1"-1.5" tall (depending on what drops I have at the time) with 1/2" bends top/bottom. I've also made 1.5" x 1.5" angles from .050 or thicker aluminum. You can use .040 but I think that's a bit thin myself. For short runs you can also use ACM strips, but I'd only use them vertically.
     
  10. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    2,001
    441
    83
    Sep 28, 2017
    Arkansas
    I think you'll find the 3/4" x 1/16" is stiffer than the 1" x 1/8", due to the reduced weight. I've never done comparisons, we just work with a lot of 1x1x.125 and it's pretty dang flimsy.

    All this chain and such, do you guys run into a lot of 10' lamps run horizontally? This was always a big no-no when I was growing up fabbing, it's a b*tch to hold that 10' lamp up still enough to get into the socket, much easier when it's hanging downward...
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    33,939
    2,500
    113
    Jun 7, 2006
    PA
    It's easiest, when you had/have a guy at each end. When you put them up & down, they tend to fail, due to the big buildup of moss, dirt, bugs and other crap that all falls to the bottom and rots. ))) I've literally taken little cities of life outta these signs when working on them.
     
  12. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,734
    1,734
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Yes these are horizontal 10' lamps. The sign is 10'x8' and it would of been too easy to make them 8' vertical. lol I'll have two buckets working on this sign so we can have one guy at each end
     
  13. Rick Tennyson

    Rick Tennyson Member

    120
    15
    18
    Sep 14, 2019
    Mid-South
    Just make sure you support the middles or you will be back to fix the “sag”!!!
    Good luck!
     
  14. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    2,001
    441
    83
    Sep 28, 2017
    Arkansas
    If you are doing a retrofit but not using lamp sockets to make it faster, then you could go with vertical 8 footers. I mean, it won't help any for installation, but it may help when it comes to breaking down power supplies per stick and all. Just a thought.

    I tend to see the Kerplunk of lightsabers inside of cabinets more than sagging!
     
  15. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,734
    1,734
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Will do. I went ahead with the 3/4" square at 1/16". It's half the cost making them myself VS getting the pre-made sticks. $400 savings right now is preferred when I have some extra in-shop time available. Seems like easy in shop work too.

    I've seen vertical sticks fall out and bend too.
     
  16. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,734
    1,734
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I went with the 3/4" 1/16th and they turned out great... very sturdy and no sag.

    20200731_104417.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. MikePatterson

    MikePatterson Head bathroom cleaner.

    I would defiantly build my own sticks. You'll end up with less drivers to install but a bit more wiring. I just did an 8X8 box and had to brace the sag with flat bar screwed down the center. I figured up the drivers and if built from scratch i could have used only 6 to run the sign. But street sticks use 1 driver per stick.
     
  18. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    4,734
    1,734
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Good to know. After a few sticks I got the hang of it and started putting them together in no time. Very easy in shop work
     
  19. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    2,001
    441
    83
    Sep 28, 2017
    Arkansas
    I mean, everything looks like it has no sag when it's still on the table...
     
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  20. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

    2,001
    441
    83
    Sep 28, 2017
    Arkansas
    BTW, get you some pig tails, and clip these on the end:[​IMG][​IMG]
    You can temporarily wire anything and feel a little more secure than jamming them in an extension cord end.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...