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Board for control wiring

ethicalpaul
ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,822
edited November 2019 in Strictly Steam
Hey all--

For a new boiler install, instead of wiring all my controls to each other with screw-on wire connectors and/or BX, I want to use some kind of board with terminals and labels and test points and status LEDs and even notes (I am going to have a single radiant loop coming off the boiler so there will be an aquastat, a pump, another thermostat, and a relay in a box and I want to be able to see what is happening with ease).

Does anyone know of a maker of "test boards" or something like I have described? (Kind of like the control equivalent of an electronic "breadboard".)

Or do I have to make one myself out of plywood and various terminals?

Thanks!
1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG

Comments

  • SuperJ
    SuperJ Member Posts: 606
    You could use DIN rail mounted connection blocks and relays (Phoenix Contact make some nice ones with LEDs).
    mikeg2015ethicalpaul
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,801
    My own system for boiler involves 4 zone valves, 3 manifolds for infloor tubing, indirect water heater tank, and 2 air handlers/AC...all run by 6 tstats...and probably more that I can't think of right now.
    I use pvc "wiremold" type channel typically used in large control panels. It is about 2" x 1/2" with snap on cover. The sides are slotted for wire entry, low voltage cables jump in and out of it as needed. Most of the ungraceful wire splices are within this channel. There is 8 linear feet on the wall with 2 4' risers to the ceiling. The cover has labeling surfaces as needed.
    You could have 24 volt led pilots poking up thru the slots.

    Any 120 vac is mounted above it in steel boxes connected together by conduit.
    ethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,553
    Terminal strips. Even Amazon has them. Screw terminals, and many of them have covers.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ethicalpaul
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,478
    Hey @ethicalpaul try digi-key electronics online. Or any equivalent company for that matter should be of some help.
    To bad there are no more radio shacks in town. They would of had all of what you are looking for.
    ethicalpaul
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,472
    SuperJ said:

    You could use DIN rail mounted connection blocks and relays (Phoenix Contact make some nice ones with LEDs).

    This is the nice way to do it. They make every component you can dream of in DIN rail. https://hackaday.com/2018/09/13/the-din-rail-and-how-it-got-that-way/
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    ethicalpaulmattmia2
  • coelcanth
    coelcanth Member Posts: 89
    i use terminal blocks like these for low voltage applications:



    not sure i would leave it out in the open if you are making AC connections.. i think some snap on plastic covers are available.
    or, i suppose if it lived inside a junction box it would be ok
    ethicalpaul
  • SuperJ
    SuperJ Member Posts: 606
    I work in commercial HVAC controls and we use DIN rail mounted components extensively. We usually put everything wall mounted inside metal control panel boxes and keep 24 volt wiring separate from 120v.

    If you want neat connections look into ferrules. We don’t use them much in HVAC but when I did industrial controls we used them on every connection.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,822
    Thanks all, I wasn't aware of DIN rails before, I'll learn about those!

    @Intplm. I'm very familiar with digi-key, having a lot more experience with digital and analog electronic circuits than with industrial control circuitry. What product in particular were you thinking of from their massive catalog?
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,437
    You can have custom circuit boards made very inexpensively. You can use Ki CAD to lay them out then send it out to be made. get various pheonix connectors with removable screw terminal blocks and lay out what you need with silk screen labels on the board.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,822
    Nice idea @mattmia2 but for a one-off and knowing my chances of getting it right the first try, I think I better go with something more fixable 😅

    Also to address a good point made earlier, no, I wouldn’t leave any high voltage exposed
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
    STEVEusaPA
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,822
    This looks interesting, I like these terminals better than the old spade lug screw terminals.

    https://www.amazon.com/Electronics-Salon-Position-Terminal-Distribution-Module/dp/B07BFXRBNY/

    Can I put 2-3 wires into these as needed? I didn't see many that had additional "depth" although there were a couple blocks available.
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,437
    Those are some permutation of a phoenix connector. you can put more than one wire in a terminal depending on the size of the terminal and the size of the wire. there may be a version of those with terminal blocs that unplug, that is a lot more convenient to wire. that style of terminal in a pluggable block is what most professional AV equipment uses now.
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,822
    Thank you @mattmia2 , I saw ones that were populated with plugs, I'll check them out!
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Wellness
    Wellness Member Posts: 134
    edited November 2019
    I second @SuperJ. I don't know that you need a "board" per se. A good terminal strip will suffice. I use color coded Dinkle terminal blocks, Also, a good technique is to put a junction box outside your boiler and/or control panel to accept all the low voltage wires from different sources (i.e., out door reset, any system temp probe and boiler and DHW end switch wires


    ) then exit the junction box to the boiler and/or control box with just one 18-8 or 18-6 thermostat wire to reduce all the clutter going into the boiler and the control box.
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 4,822
    edited November 2019
    Thanks, @Wellness, you are right, I don't need a board, but then I didn't need this either ;)

    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/169320/see-wet-steam-in-the-wild

    Also, your hookup looks real nice up there, thanks for the photos
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,478

    Thanks all, I wasn't aware of DIN rails before, I'll learn about those!

    @Intplm. I'm very familiar with digi-key, having a lot more experience with digital and analog electronic circuits than with industrial control circuitry. What product in particular were you thinking of from their massive catalog?

    I didn't have a specific product in mind. However they have a massive selection and thought they would have something that would suit your needs. You can almost find anything from them.

    Sounds to me like you will be making your own board. Some folks that I have worked with will use a electrical box or electrical panel with a door of some sort that will fit there components. I like the terminals from amazon that you posted.
    ethicalpaul
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,826
    I don't have a specific suggestion, but since you're a wirehead, I thought you might like to know about this place, if you don't already.
    https://www.goldmine-elec-products.com
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    ethicalpaul