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Old 12-17-2008, 07:47 AM   #46
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electricity 750 ft away!?


Unless there is a specific need for 120 V, it should be avoided. It is dangerous and just another point of power waste at the inverter. Wire 4 LED head-band lights to some speaker or phone wire. Put a switch at the entrance. A motorcycle battery would run these lights continuously for days, if not weeks. A car battery, even longer. If you only use the lights at night, a small solar trickle charger would be plenty to keep it charged.

Build a vented battery box, with a lock to keep the kids out. Wire the lights and switch to a 5 amp fuse. Wire the solar charger in, and place it somewhere the sun hits t.
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:50 AM   #47
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electricity 750 ft away!?


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Unless there is a specific need for 120 V, it should be avoided.
He mentioned his wife wanting to do work out there, so I assume a laptop charger maybe. And inverters are dirt cheap. Though I do agree he should use lighting that can go directly on the battery instead of through the inverter.
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:53 AM   #48
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electricity 750 ft away!?


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Originally Posted by Gigs View Post
He mentioned his wife wanting to do work out there, so I assume a laptop charger maybe. And inverters are dirt cheap. Though I do agree he should use lighting that can go directly on the battery instead of through the inverter.
I thought he mentioned keeping the kids out there so his wife could get some work done? That is, kids in the tree house, mom in the office.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:02 AM   #49
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electricity 750 ft away!?


I'm a little disgusted by this thread.

Give the kids a pile of lumber, and let them build their own damn fort/treehouse. That's how it was done when I was a kid. It will keep them busy all summer, and they will learn something and get some exercise at the same time.

It sounds like the OP is going to build a place for them to sit and play video games all day and get fat and lazy just so the wife isn't bothered by her kids.

Give them flashlights

Or maybe just pay attention to the kids instead of trying to get rid of them.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:34 AM   #50
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electricity 750 ft away!?


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
This is the perfect time to call an electrician. Seriously.
This is NOT as simple as it might seem.
I agree. And since the treehouse is a separate building/structure, there are NEC rules that apply that are different from rules for simple outdoor receptacles.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:36 AM   #51
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electricity 750 ft away!?


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Originally Posted by Silk View Post
I'm a little disgusted by this thread.

Give the kids a pile of lumber, and let them build their own damn fort/treehouse. That's how it was done when I was a kid. It will keep them busy all summer, and they will learn something and get some exercise at the same time.

It sounds like the OP is going to build a place for them to sit and play video games all day and get fat and lazy just so the wife isn't bothered by her kids.

Give them flashlights

Or maybe just pay attention to the kids instead of trying to get rid of them.
Not a bad idea; the flashlights, that is.
A good LED flashlight will run for a couple days on a set of AA batteries, and provide enough light for whatever the kids will be doing.
The video games don't need an electric service. When the batteries run down, it's time for them to stop playing anyway!
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:08 AM   #52
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electricity 750 ft away!?


I think they should have a try in building it, maybe some father and children bonding of some sort?

I think that a 12v battery and some led lights are the way to go.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:14 PM   #53
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electricity 750 ft away!?


You could also go with an auto alt. from a junkyard and a bicycle to spin it and get hp worth of elec. power, or 1 hp for 20 seconds.
World Class, you could get hp for 20 minutes (≈ 100 wh).
BTW, do you own a horse?

Last edited by Yoyizit; 12-17-2008 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:25 PM   #54
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electricity 750 ft away!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Silk View Post
I'm a little disgusted by this thread.

Give the kids a pile of lumber, and let them build their own damn fort/treehouse. That's how it was done when I was a kid. It will keep them busy all summer, and they will learn something and get some exercise at the same time.

It sounds like the OP is going to build a place for them to sit and play video games all day and get fat and lazy just so the wife isn't bothered by her kids.

Give them flashlights

Or maybe just pay attention to the kids instead of trying to get rid of them.
I came to this forum to get electrical advice, not parenting advice. You did not mention one thing that helped me in any manner and I would appreciate it if you kept your pretentious comments to yourself. I am building it with my two sons so they will learn about construction and carpentry, something I am a little more fluent with. I always wanted electricity in my tree house when I was a kid and I know they would enjoy it as well. I don't know if you have children, but I certainly don't want mine fooling around with this amount of electricity.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:43 PM   #55
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electricity 750 ft away!?


OK, if it's electrical advice that you want, I would run a multiwire branch circuit, it will give you 2 times the current/power with the same voltage drop as a single branch circuit. Bury the cable. You need it to be GFCI protected. I would go with 10/3 w/g UF cable, 20 amp breaker(s)

I think it's great if the kids are involved, sorry if I got the wrong idea.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:53 PM   #56
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I almost forgot, if you are direct burying the cable, GFCI protected and not more than 20 amps, it needs to be 12 inches down and protected by conduit where it emerged from grade up to 8 feet above grade.
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:58 PM   #57
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electricity 750 ft away!?


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Originally Posted by needshelp View Post
I always wanted electricity in my tree house when I was a kid
We did have an intercom to the "fort", made by modifying a radio. We tapped off the volume control, and used a mic from a telephone handset. Two flashlight batteries were needed to run the mic.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:02 PM   #58
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electricity 750 ft away!?


I will not give you, or anyone else parenting advice. I am not one, so I have no experience in that field. Mine is electricity, and... trains (model sort, and live sort).

My comment about the flashlight was practical, if all you want is lighting.
However, if you are going to put a small TV or other electrionic up there, then of course you will want 110VAC.

If you can, purchase a 1,000 ft spool of 12/2 UF cable. It will cost you the same as or less than the three 250 ft rolls.
Some of the suggestions to install some yard lights, and maybe a couple other receptacles along the way is a good one. Why not get everything you can from this install.

Using the voltage drop calculator at: http://www.csgnetwork.com/voltagedropcalc.html, you will have a 14.4V drop with a 5A load.
Note: Remember that when using this voltage drop calculator, enter the length of cable you will use from the house to the clubhouse. The program asks for 1/2 the length of the run, but remember that the total run is out and back, which for you woudl be 750 X 2 = 1500 ft. So you need to enter 750 for the calculation.
Whether that is acceptable depends on what the load is and what its specifications are. The type of power supplies that are used in computers will run on a very wide range of voltage, usually from 100V to 240V, but the old fashioned TV will probably not function properly on 100V.

If you think the drop will be too much, you can either run #10 (or larger) cable, or buy a transformer for the load end of the run. There are transformers, reguarded as "autotransformers" which can step up a low line of say 100V to 115 or 120V.
The transformer would have to be rated for the load of course, and be fused for that load, since it would most likely not be rated for the full breaker rating.
You could install the transformer for the devices that require 110-120V, and leave the lighting alone, since there would be no harm in having the bulbs a bit dim.
Another thought is to go with the new CCFL lamps instead of incandescent. They draw a fraction of the current the incandescents draw, but provide the same light. Example: a "60 Watt" CCFL only draws 14 Watts of electricity, while providing the same light as a 60 Watt incandescent bulb.

Note 1: Run this cable from a dedicated circuit breaker. If you are using #12 wire, I would use a 15Amp (not a 20Amp that is allowed for #12 wire), to prevent a load that would cause too much of a voltage drop.
Use weatherproof receptacles outside, and in the club house (since the roof could possibly leak). Use GFCI receptacles outdoors, and in the club house, or alternatively, install a GFCI receptacle in the circuit indoors before the cable exits the house, and wire it so that the run outdoors is protected by the GFCI.

Note 2: When I was a kid, I learned about voltage drop the hard way.
I ran about 75ft of #18 gage lamp cord along home-made utility poles from the house to the back yard, with a plug at the house end and a receptacle at the outside end.
There wasn't a real problem when I connected a spotlight (150W) or two to the cord, but when I tried to connect the electric coffeemaker one day during a family barbecue, and the coffee failed to brew, it didn't take me long to realize that the power was being dissipated as heat along the cord, leaving the coffee pot luke warm.
I replaced the 18 gage cord with 14 gage UF cable, and the problem was solved.
If I had to do it again today, I would use #12 cable instead of 14.

When you get to the point where you are ready to connect this cable to your service panel, do you plan to hire an electricion, or are you going to DIY?
Regardless of the fact that some people on this forum may throw in an "off" comment about the purpose of your installation, there are many more who are willing to help you with your electrical questions.
I am not a licensed electrician, but have done a lot of DIY, and understand how electricity works.
I am also studying the NEC (National Electrical Code) so that I can avoid the delays and extra work involved with failing an inspection because I didn't know about some minor detail that is specified by the code.

Last edited by KE2KB; 12-17-2008 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:07 PM   #59
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electricity 750 ft away!?


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I almost forgot, if you are direct burying the cable, GFCI protected and not more than 20 amps, it needs to be 12 inches down and protected by conduit where it emerged from grade up to 8 feet above grade.
Ouch. This is going to be around a $700 project. Not including the cost of the trenching.
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Old 12-17-2008, 04:14 PM   #60
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electricity 750 ft away!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
We did have an intercom to the "fort", made by modifying a radio. We tapped off the volume control, and used a mic from a telephone handset. Two flashlight batteries were needed to run the mic.
Today's "intercom" is the wireless phone!
You could also use the FRS radio system. No license required.
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