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PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014

LED String Tester Salvage those dead strings! Inspired by Roger Forbes and enhanced by the PlanetChristmas Staff Back in the good old days of incandes-cent Editors note: In the last article (LED Repair and Mods) we got pretty technical. Here’s an article from our July 2012 edition that’s more basic but has proven a good technique to fix LED strings. minilights, most strings could be repaired with a bit of patience and some simple tools. Along came LightKeeper Pro and things got even easier to fix that string buried deep in the tree. Attach the device, pull a trigger and like magic, a bad string would come back to life. The world changed when LEDs came on the scene. Some strings require odd shapped power adapters. Others had funny looking bumps along the string of lights to make them work. So high tech! The biggest challenge was, and still is, most LEDs aren’t meant to be replaced so the sockets are molded directly to the lights. This might be good for weatherizing the lights but fixing anything is pretty tough. It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that LED light string manufacturers prefer you not repair any bad sets so you’ll buy new ones. That might work for people with more money than they know what to do with, but the serious decorator wants to be in total control of when their lights are trashed. Roger Forbes posted some information in the PlanetChristmas forums about how to repair LED strings and it drew a lot of attention. We asked him to write an article for the magazine and he was more than happy to share his knowl-edge with the world. But… As our intern was building Roger’s DC based battery operated device and then testing it in real life, she made some interesting observations. 28  PlanetChristmas  |  September 2014 The Roger Forbes inspired LED String Tester ready to bring life to those lights you’re right on the edge of tossing into the dumpster LEDs will typically only work when electricity is flowing in the right direction. Connecting the tester to a bad light string involved some initial trial and error as you established a refer-ence point. She also noticed the nine volt bat-teries Roger liked so much had this bad habit of wearing out too quickly and nine volt bat-teries had really gone up in price the last few years. After $20 in batteries, she was open for options.


PlanetChristmas Magazine September 2014
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