08CAC9ED-2A5F-4979-94EE-CB2239EEBAF6I am about to buy my first Menards building ,i know you are suppose to use their power supply for there buildings ,i did a search on the forum & it is a little confusing to me as far as what my options are available to use ,my first question is even if you use their power supply is ther an on-off switch with there power supply? ,second question is i want to have a switch just for this building at my control panel ,can i cut the cord & extend it to the length i need to reach the control panel assuming there is a switch already there ?, I found during my search that i can use an ac-to dc converter to hook up to my transformer & adjust the voltage to 4.5 volts ,is this an easier way for me to accomplish what i want to do ? Looking forward to doing this project .

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The simplest way would be the  AC - DC convertor, if you don't have a DC power supply. You would just use your switch on the AC to the convertor and adjust it to  4.5 VDC. I run all my buildings and most accessories on DC from a PC power supply that has 12, 5, and 3 VDC taps available. I run my Miller signs with the 5 VDC tap and a diode to get the  4.5 VDC needed.

John

Located in the real Upstate NY

I think the key to the right path is in your statement "bought your FIRST Menards".    I just bought Menards 5 amp plug-in adapter.  Plenty of current for expansion including Miller Engineering signs.  Menards also sells an accessory plug & play wiring kit for $10 which provides lots of options for easy expansion.    Just run the 4.5 VDC output from the adapter through an ON/Off switch and you are all set.

Steve

One advantage of using the AC-to-DC converter modules is adjustability.  The Menards adapters put out a fixed 4.5V DC.  Many guys report 4.5V is too much brightness on Menards buildings...and lower the operating voltage to 4V or even less.  Obviously this is a matter of personal preference.

I want all my signs and buildings to go on with the Accessories transformer. It comes on before I turn on the Track voltage switch. So I connect my 3 AC to DC power supplies to the Accessories transformer which has an AC output. And the supplies go on with it.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

John H ,Do you mean take the positive AC  wire run it to the switch & then back to the converter & connect it along with the AC negative to the AC in side ? ,then from the dc-out side how would i run the wires to the building ,i would need to be able to plug it into the buildings connector. As you can see i don't have a lot of experience with this type of building.

     Shorling ,If i understand your response i would buy the 4.5 v power supply from Menards ,cut the wire ,run the positive wire to the switch & then from the switch back to the wire reconnect it & i could cut the negative wire & make it as long as i needed to put the switch where i want it to go ,if i am correct in understanding what i need to do ,then this sounds like the easiest way for me ,because i would be able to just plug it right into the building . I haven't bought the building yet i was thinking about getting the strip mall they have i think it is pretty cool.  I just went & looked at where i want the building to go & i don'thave to cut the  negative wire at all ,just the positive wire ,i have an outlet right over where the building is going i can just cut the positive wire run it to the switch & then run it out from the switch & reconnect the wire on the other end .

Gerald Marafioti posted:

John H ,Do you mean take the positive AC  wire run it to the switch & then back to the converter & connect it along with the AC negative to the AC in side ? ,then from the dc-out side how would i run the wires to the building ,i would need to be able to plug it into the buildings connector. As you can see i don't have a lot of experience with this type of building.

     Shorling ,If i understand your response i would buy the 4.5 v power supply from Menards ,cut the wire ,run the positive wire to the switch & then from the switch back to the wire reconnect it & i could cut the negative wire & make it as long as i needed to put the switch where i want it to go ,if i am correct in understanding what i need to do ,then this sounds like the easiest way for me ,because i would be able to just plug it right into the building . I haven't bought the building yet i was thinking about getting the strip mall they have i think it is pretty cool.  I just went & looked at where i want the building to go & i don'thave to cut the  negative wire at all ,just the positive wire ,i have an outlet right over where the building is going i can just cut the positive wire run it to the switch & then run it out from the switch & reconnect the wire on the other end .

Gerald,  you have  it.  Just cut the positive DC output wire from the adapter output and run it through the ON/Off switch.  You can then plug the end of the adapter into your building.  If you purchase the Menards plug & play wire  kit you can easily add buildings, etc by just plugging stuff in using the parts in the kit.

Steve

If you want to do the wiring, these connectors make it easy. You won't have to cut any of the wall wart cords to include a switch.

Search for     5.5/2.1 coaxial connector     on eBay. These only cost pennies and do not require any soldering, etc. They are the correct size for the Menards connectors.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

Ok guys ,i got it now ,i have done this before what confused me this time was whether or not there was a switch with the Menards power supply & how i would connect it to the building itself ,i have never had to deal with i think what you call the barrel connector before ,but now i can do this with no problem .

CJACK ,I will look at your suggestion for future reference in case i have to do this again. I just looked on e-bay for those connectors & i already have some of those connectors in my tool box ,now i know what else i could use them for.

        Thanks to everyone for your help.

I was thinking that i may want to try & do this with the AC-DC converter ,to see if i am capable of doing this project with the converter which i have never done before ,it seems very interesting to me                    so went on e-bay & ordered this AC-DC converter # 323405457109 ,can this one be used for the power to the Menards building ,& if you scroll down & read the discreption it says ;  THE FRONT OF THE PCB HAS THE NAME OF THE SILK SCREEN TERMINAL ,& THE BACK SIDE ALSO HAS THE NAME OF THE SILK SCREEN TERMINAL. WHEN SOLDERING THE LEAD ,PLEASE RECOGNIZE IT AND SOLDER IT TO PREVENT DAMAGE. I have no idea what they are talking about ,can anyone explain to me what i need to do?

AC to DC converter screw terminals

"Silkscreen" refers to the white lettering printed on the board.  No soldering is required to use this module as there are screw-terminals.  I think they are saying to mind the silkscreen labels and connect your wiring accordingly.  As you can see, I just marked the screw-terminal connectors with a Sharpie.

You will need a DC voltmeter to set the output voltage.

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Stan2004  ,Thank you for the quick reply ,i do have a voltmeter that i can use for either ac ,or dc i was going to do this the other way & the more i thought about it the  more  interested i became ,now i feel comfortable going forward the converter won't be here for a couple of weeks ,coming from China.but that's ok ,i have to move a couple of blinking signs & one building to make room for the Menards strip mall, which i haven't even ordered yet ,but i will be doing so maybe tomorrow . Thanks again for your help.

Ordered the strip mall from Menards today,2 hours later it was on it's way to me ,this is the first time i have ordered from them ,boy was that quick !!!!!  I moved one building ,one telephone pole ,one blinking sign & one building light today to make room for the strip mall ,have to move one more blinking sign & i will be done moving things ,now wait for the strip mall & the AC TO DC converter to arrive & I can hook everything up ,i will post how everything worhs out when i am done ,as i said before this is the first time i am using a AC TO DC converter .

Gerald, in the FWIW category, when you hook up the converter, there is a lot of head room on the adjustment pot.  So don’t think it’s not working, keep turning.  Also, there are mini digital DC volt meter for cheap from off shore sources if you need them.

CE84E8F5-C82D-4DE1-B9F3-04473C69D79B

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TEDW, Thanks for the heads up with the video ,i have everything ready all blinking signs have been moved ,1 building has been also moved ,the only thing i want to do now is run the wire from the switch to the strip mall ,but i wasn't sure if 20 gauge wire was ok to use because the strip mall has over 50 led's ,the wire i have is two wire ,red & black which is the right colors,i don't care if it is over kill i just happen to have  plenty of it ,i just want to make sure it is heavy enough,as soon as i get a response from someone i will run the wire & have it ready when the building gets here ,it was suppose to be delivered Saturday .but has been updated to come Friday ,i have never seen such fast service especially coming from Wisconsin { i think i spelled it right } looking forward to finishing this project.

Thanks John ,just what i wanted to hear ,tonight i will run the wires wherever they need to be so when i get the converter & the strip mall all i have to do is make my connections ,i will post a picture when everything is done { i hope everything works } the converter won't be here probably for 2 weeks ,can't wait .  

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