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New Controller Box is Overheating

Started by JonD, July 14, 2023, 07:28:16 AM

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I bought some Bud 32026 boxes and am rebuilding several controllers this year.  All of my previous boxes were CG-1500's, and I never had to worry about cooling them.  I was hoping that cooling would not be a problem with the Bud boxes either, but they are really warm just sitting on my counter in an air conditioned room.  I installed permanent lighting on the house this year, so I might want to set out a couple of controllers to run the house lights on summer holidays for a few days.  Would like a couple of them to hold up to summer heat.

I see a lot of videos with people using a single 3.5" vent with no fan, some with one hole and a fan, others 2.5" vents.  I was thinking about installing two Bud 2.5" vents.  One at the bottom right for air intake, one at the top left with a fan blowing air out.  Was curious if any body has any experience trying to keep one cool?

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That's a fair amount of stuff in the one box making heat.  And with you living in Iowa, and needing to stay powered in the summer, you will need to be active about heat.  I would go along with your two vents with an exit fan.  Note, that may NOT be enough - not from electronics generated heat, but ambient.  Also highly recommend remote temperature monitoring so you know what it's doing.  On my pixel tree, the power supplies box is separate from the controllers box.  There is a wired temperature probe in each that are wired back to an environmental monitor in the attic (same place as the network switch that provides E1.31 LAN to the tree).  That will send temperature alarms to my phone if things get too hot.  The other controller boxes have wireless temperature monitoring and alarming (E-Mail to my phone).
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
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That is the problem with the Bud boxes, they are made of a heavy material and are well insulated and pretty much air tight when closed.  They also can be fairly large inside and can hold a lot of heat generating equipment.  This combination can make them real hot boxes.  The CG-1500 OTOH, is made of a lighter material and while weather proof, is far from insulated or air tight allowing for heat to much more easily escape, both from venting and thru the case itself.  I have gone with the CG-1500 because they offer all of the protection that I need and are far less expensive.  I'm glad that Wired Watts still sells them and have stocked up on all that I believe I will need for at least the near future.  You can vent the Bud Boxes to help cool them down but that kills the air tight capability that they have.  I would go with the 2 vent setup to allow for passive airflow when they get hot, even without the fan running.  I would put the fan (if required) on the exhaust vent to protect both the fan and the interior components from liquid water and mist during rain events.


Thanks Jim and tbone321.  I was originally going to build dedicated boxes for the permanent lights, but eventually decided it would be a waste.  (I live on a dead end road... who the heck would even see them)  I figured I could just throw out a couple of controllers out if the mood struck me, but that was before I started to build the bud boxes.  I have a lot more respect for the Aussies running summer Christmas shows! :)  It may make sense to build a couple of small boxes with external outdoor power supplies, to use in the off season.

I ordered the vents and fans today.  Will see how it goes.  Thanks!

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