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Decoder System Design

Decoder Outputs, Power Factors, and Inrush

The individual decoder station outputs are designed to operate standard 24 VAC irrigation solenoids. While solenoids vary, inrush current is normally around 0.250 Amps AC on a Hunter solenoid, with a holding current of around 0.200 Amps AC. Solenoids from other manufacturers may vary considerably, and there are high-draw solenoids which may greatly exceed these values.

An ICD decoder output normally has enough energy to operate 2 standard Hunter solenoids. They may not necessarily operate 2 solenoids for any model of solenoid, and the exact solenoid specifications should be consulted before planning a system.

Each color-coded station output from a decoder module generates energy to operate 24 VAC solenoids. However, this energy is not running at 50/60 Hz and will not look like 24 volts on a conventional volt meter.

Special Note about Amps: The decoder path current is different than 24VAC line current (running at 50/60 Hz). The decoder output modules and

ICD-HP measure decoder amperage, and this is why a solenoid on an active decoder station may show 40 milliAmps, when the same solenoid in a 24VAC system is consuming 200 milliAmps of traditional AC current.

The Power Factor for decoders defaults to "2" and represents the amount of energy supplied to the solenoid. Leave this setting at "2" unless advised to change it by Hunter technical personnel.

The Inrush setting defaults to "5" and this is also the correct setting for most applications. Some high draw solenoids and Pump Start Relays may require higher inrush settings, but this is also best determined with Hunter Tech Support.

Wire runs from decoder-to-solenoid over 20 ft/7 m should be twisted wire, to aid in surge suppression. Experienced installers in high lightning regions know this works, and it is a wise precaution in any decoder system. It is possible, but not necessary, to use IDWIRE for decoder-to-solenoid wiring. There are also webbed decoder to solenoid (DTS) wires available for a neat solution to longer runs (for example, Paige Electric DTS wires spec P7351D).

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