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CDI 2009 LED M5 Samples


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I'm starting this thread for a panel of your peers. I have just sent samples of our 2009 LED M5 strings to be tested by your peers. I have asked them to post an unbiased opinion of the product. Give them a little time to start responding to this post. Thanks,

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Thank You Paul,

Will the other types of LED strands (C6, etc) be tested as well? C6 is my choice. Also, the length of strands had something to do with problems from this past order (from my experience). So are different lengths of each type being tested as well?

Thanks again,

Tom

I'm starting this thread for a panel of your peers. I have just sent samples of our 2009 LED M5 strings to be tested by your peers. I have asked them to post an unbiased opinion of the product. Give them a little time to start responding to this post. Thanks,
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Thank You Paul,

Will the other types of LED strands (C6, etc) be tested as well? C6 is my choice. Also, the length of strands had something to do with problems from this past order (from my experience). So are different lengths of each type being tested as well?

Thanks again,

Tom

If/when these work fine - all will work fine!

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Paul,

I notice that the talk is about changing the pcb board and upgrading the parts including the Capacitor, is the capacitor staying in the circuit and isn't that going to give us problems dimming them again?

RJ

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Paul,

I notice that the talk is about changing the pcb board and upgrading the parts including the Capacitor, is the capacitor staying in the circuit and isn't that going to give us problems dimming them again?

RJ

As far as I can tell the capacitor has been the single biggest pain in drain on this years string. All 2009 products have NO capacitor!!! NO NO NO capicitor :eek:

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Preliminary Report:

UPS just delivered my LED package from CDI this afternoon.

Opened the box and found 5 strings of M5 LED lights.

First let me say that I have not used CDI LED's in the past so my perspective is clean and not biased at looking at the 2008 issues. I have used other vendors in the past years. I will not compare the CDI LED's with the other vendors LED's in my evaluation.

Colors received: Red, Green, Blue, Warm White, Bright White.

LED Count per string: All 5 strings has 100 LED's.

Current needed per String after 30 seconds: (Using a Fluke 77 in series with the AC Plug)

Red = 37.5 ma.

Green = 22.5 ma.

Blue = 19.0 ma.

Warm White = 18.0 ma.

Bright White = 25.5 ma.

Brilliance=1 to 5 with 5 being the brightest : This is just using me and my wife's vision.

Green = 5

Blue = 4

Bright White = 3

Red = 2

Warm White = 1

Color: Again my wife and I determined this with our comments.

Green = Looks like a Lime Green, not a Dark Green.

Red = Has a slight Orange Tint, not a Deep Red Color.

Blue = OK

Cool White = Good, has no blue tint color.

Warm White = Good color to mimic a mini.

Plugs and Receptacles: A Paul said no wieners on the wires, the Plugs and receptacles size is 1" W x 5/8" D x 2" L. No piggy back Receptacle on the Plugs.

Lights are fixed in the sockets as one piece, dose not have the look like two pieces are glued together. On the bottom of the LED socket the two wire are not sealed and look like the replaceable LED sockets.

Negatives:

Applying power to the strings for the first time one of the RED M5 LED's was out but the rest of the strings was OK.

Residual:

Next is a short test on a LOR CBT16PC controller using a mDirector with a test sequence from LOR for arch patterns, this includes Fade up and down both Fast and Slow, also OFF/ON patterns fast and slow.

First thing I noticed was when the lights did a on/off function not all the colors acted the same going OFF. The GREEN slowly faded and did not have enough time to completely go off before the next on command, second not to far behind was the Blue. The Warm White and Bright White looked OK. The RED was super fast. it beat the Whites.

On the Fade Downs you could see how slow the Green and Blue are in dimming, the Red would stay on at full brilliance until the very end of the fade.

Doing a leap pattern made it hard to see the leap and fades right.

I now have them running the patterns and will report later on my next set of tests.

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Dennis, have you noticed if the greens turn off slowly just plugging and unplugging them from an AC outlet? (If so, I'd suspect capacitance somewhere in the string.)

I'd also like to suggest you unbundle the strings. Many of mine ran fine until stretched out. Then, they failed by the handfull, sometimes spewing goop, smoke, and flame.

I hate the piggyback receptacle has disappeared from the plugs.

By the way - thank you for volunteering to test these strings.

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Dennis, have you noticed if the greens turn off slowly just plugging and unplugging them from an AC outlet? (If so, I'd suspect capacitance somewhere in the string.)

I'd also like to suggest you unbundle the strings. Many of mine ran fine until stretched out. Then, they failed by the handfull, sometimes spewing goop, smoke, and flame.

I hate the piggyback receptacle has disappeared from the plugs.

By the way - thank you for volunteering to test these strings.

Just a quick look since I got home late this evening. All colors except red fade when unplugged from AC. The fade lasts for a few seconds. So, seems like there are capacitors in all except the reds.

Other notes: The rectifiers are in the plugs. The plugs themselves are a two piece construction and are subject to coming apart when unplugging from another string. I am going to attribute this to being a prototype and would assume the production version will have the plug/rectifier overmolded. If not, the plugs would be a "no-go" for me. On a related note, the blades on the plugs do not make good contact in all cases. Again, I am assuming these are prototype plugs and the production versions will not have this issue.

I will try to do some more testing tomorrow evening.

Bob

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All colors except red fade when unplugged from AC. The fade lasts for a few seconds. So, seems like there are capacitors in all except the reds.

Thanks, Bob. I was afraid of that.

As an engineer, I'm left dumbfounded. Usually, when you design a large volume consumer product, you do everything you can to eliminate unnecessary components. I can't imagine this cap is needed for filtering, and it causes problems for anything other than static use of the string. I'm stumped.

Of course, I still haven't had time to determine if it's the cap that's actually causing the high number of failures. I've been too busy trying to rescue this year's show...

I'm very discouraged. I can't imagine how awful this has been for poor Paul (who has given me nothing but heroic service).

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Would it be possible to post some photos, perhaps powered on so we can see the colors as well as with a flash so we can see the construction?

Thanks, Randy

If nobody posts pictures by this evening I will try taking a few pictures of the light construction, connector construction, and the lights powered on.

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I have run the run the LED for over 10 hours now. I connected all five strings together on one channel to take away any possible differences in the channel circuits.

No failures so far, light output is still the same.

I have PM'd Paul asking if it was OK to take the strings apart to analyze the circuits and wiring.

The Reds still come on and off very fast, twice as fast as the other colors, the Greens are very slow.

I will try the unbundling of the strings to see if that makes any difference as recommended by McPherd.

I wanted to make a video of the LED's but know that digital cameras don't like LED lights. Will let someone with more experience with a camera do this.

Having 5 strings coming on and off in a dark room all night makes a eerie look from the outside. Looks like flash bulbs going off.

I have not had any problems yet with the plugs coming apart, but am interested in the circuit designs between colors.

Next update later.

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Have any of these been tested outside to see if the weather causes any problems? The C6's I had this year, didn't like the outdoors. Paul is great to deal with. I will buy from him again, because of his customer service.

Possibly during the Christmas season, will use them out doors on something, not much time to test right now.

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Here is a quick update, reserving this spot for the remainder of my review to come later this weekend. I'll have more pictures and a full writeup at that time.

First of all, my initial findings support that these do have capacitors in them. See the picture in the link. Also note that these are very easy to dissect and I'll be able to restore to its original condition easily.

http://www.palombolights.com/images/led%20dissection/newm5.jpg

Fading will just not work well with the capacitors. I reserve the right to change my judgment once I get these through my tests.

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Here is a quick update, reserving this spot for the remainder of my review to come later this weekend. I'll have more pictures and a full writeup at that time.

First of all, my initial findings support that these do have capacitors in them. See the picture in the link. Also note that these are very easy to dissect and I'll be able to restore to its original condition easily.

http://www.palombolights.com/images/led%20dissection/newm5.jpg

Fading will just not work well with the capacitors. I reserve the right to change my judgment once I get these through my tests.

Which string of LED's did you open up?

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Have any of these been tested outside to see if the weather causes any problems? The C6's I had this year, didn't like the outdoors. Paul is great to deal with. I will buy from him again, because of his customer service.

I plan to hose some down and place them in a temperature chamber to simulate a season's use in a few days. I'll run them down to below zero and back up into the 80's or 90's for 20 cycles or so. I want to do some other testing over the weekend, so it will be toward the end of next week before this is done.

As far as getting pictures, I'll try again tomorrow. Just getting too late tonight. I did fade them a few times. Nothing died, but the capacitor reduces the fade range dramatically. In addition, they fade at different rates on the low side of dimming. There is also a big jump in intensity on the low side of the fades. Not very smooth.

On the plus side, the lights are bright and the colors seem reasonably good. They could be a bit richer in color, but by no means is the color a show stopper.

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