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Paul's and Travis' lights not compatable???


JimCanfield

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Ok, here is my dilemma/problem. I have a roof grid that I made out of 5MM LEDs from Paul. I had a few go out (due to last years problems) so I was going to fix the grid by replacing lights from Travis. The problem is when I plug Paul's lights into Travis' lights Paul's lights do not light up (therefore 1/2 of my grid is not lit up). When I plug Travis' string into the other Travis string it lights. Why do they not work together? As far as I read, the lights work good together. Is it because I am plugging a M5 into a 5MM? This really SUCKS. Just another problem with lights AGAIN.

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I had it happen on a couple strands, but only half the strands would light up, probably a polarity thing.

I ran an extension cord from where I joined the different brands and plugged them both in the channel. On the roof they are all light up and one more cord is not noticeable.

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Since someone besides myself has had problems with Paul & Travis' lights, I figure to try and ask this question. Why can't, (or will not), an American company make LED Christmas lights for us Americans who take Christmas decorating very seriously. Today between rain drops I started installing my driveway arch lights. I usually set them up while plugged in. I use both Paul & Travis' lights, and low and behold one half of one set did not light. Needless to say I was not a happy camper having to take off the bad set and restring it again. I'm guessing there is some kind of quality control in China but my guess that it would be much better here in the good ol' USA,

-General Electric are you listening?

There, now I feel much better!

Jimmy

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1. Jim,

I am going to assume you mean string to string correct? If so my guess would be a wiring issue. You should have line voltage (120 VAC) at the female plug end of the string, if not there is a wiring or plug issue.

Yes, I am stringing end to end. I know the female end has voltage because it lit up Travis' other string of lights.

2. wonder if they convert it to 120V DC? Did you try reversing the plug (assuming it's not polarized?)

I unplugged and re plugged it but am not sure if I reversed the plug (no they were not polarized.) Therefore since it is up on the roof now I have no idea if it had worked. I have some extra of Paul's so I will try that tomorrow.

3. Have you tried going the other way.....Travis's into Pauls?

No, because the strands were already zip tied to my grid and no way I was going to cut and re string lol.

SOLUTION: I just put a 3 way going from my main extention cord then ran 2 indoor (I hate to do it, but was not going to waste outdoor cords for this) cords, 1 to each end of the grid to light the full grid. Of course I finally got it up and when I lit it up this evening of course 1 of the strands I replaced was out!!! I am just hoping the connection is lose. I am thankful it is near the ridge (since I cannot walk my roof) and that the string is the first one and is near the eve so if need be I can use an extention ladder and fix it.

Thank you for all your ideas!

Edited by JimCanfield
coloring answers
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I just posted this in the other thread and then saw this one which discusses this specific issue.

The end-to-end female connector on the S-2133 sets does not output AC! It is outputing half wave 115V DC and 0V AC! The female AC connector is rectified!

Since the rectifier was probably only designed for the load of the one string, there are quite a few safety issues with this, so do not plug anything other than a limited number of LED strands into the ends of these. Plug in too much and the rectifier will overheat (with risk of fire).

Since the CDI 2008 sets use a voltage ladder design, they require AC to function. The S-2133 sets are not providing AC. Although Travis sold these as Holiday Creations LEDs, I have some Holiday Creations sets here and they most certainly do not look anything like these nor do they function in this manner. The way these are behaving is simply unsafe.

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Well I just tested the lights I got from Travis and they are putting out 107.5v DC. These are all the S-2133 UL label.

So from what I understand this is bad. :mad: I have 12 strings pluged into each other along a plastic fence surrounding my yard. I wonder how long it will be before it melts to the ground????:eek: I'm gonna go check the rectifiers/line warts in the morning and see if they are blistering hot.

I pluged in a set of real 2008 Holiday Creations lights into the 2009 Travis brand lights and they light up one way but not if you reverse polarity.

All my S-2133 lights are full wave 5mm 70ct brown wire. The Holiday Creations lights I tried are half wave c-6 50ct.

Edited by ChrisCringle
add details of lights
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... 29 light sets of various manufacturing plugged end to end. rows 1 and 2 are the s-2133 UL labels. the next 6 in row 3 are from Paul this year, the 8 in row 4 are from travis last year. They all seem to be getting along just fine....

http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showpost.php?p=395086&postcount=395

use the photos from this posting as your guide to the lights.

http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showpost.php?p=395086&postcount=395

Edited by mnkyboy
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1. Jim,

I am going to assume you mean string to string correct? If so my guess would be a wiring issue. You should have line voltage (120 VAC) at the female plug end of the string, if not there is a wiring or plug issue.

Yes, I am stringing end to end. I know the female end has voltage because it lit up Travis' other string of lights.

2. wonder if they convert it to 120V DC? Did you try reversing the plug (assuming it's not polarized?)

I unplugged and re plugged it but am not sure if I reversed the plug (no they were not polarized.) Therefore since it is up on the roof now I have no idea if it had worked. I have some extra of Paul's so I will try that tomorrow.

3. Have you tried going the other way.....Travis's into Pauls?

No, because the strands were already zip tied to my grid and no way I was going to cut and re string lol.

SOLUTION: I just put a 3 way going from my main extention cord then ran 2 indoor (I hate to do it, but was not going to waste outdoor cords for this) cords, 1 to each end of the grid to light the full grid. Of course I finally got it up and when I lit it up this evening of course 1 of the strands I replaced was out!!! I am just hoping the connection is lose. I am thankful it is near the ridge (since I cannot walk my roof) and that the string is the first one and is near the eve so if need be I can use an extention ladder and fix it.

Thank you for all your ideas!

why cant you walk on your roof?

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... 29 light sets of various manufacturing plugged end to end. rows 1 and 2 are the s-2133 UL labels. the next 6 in row 3 are from Paul this year, the 8 in row 4 are from travis last year. They all seem to be getting along just fine....

http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showpost.php?p=395086&postcount=395

use the photos from this posting as your guide to the lights.

http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showpost.php?p=395086&postcount=395

So do your 2009 Travis brand S-2133 lights output ac or dc voltage from the female end connector?

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So do your 2009 Travis brand S-2133 lights output ac or dc voltage from the female end connector?

I did check with a very very reliable source... when using diodes, like these strings do, you can have AC and DC voltage at the same time at a certain point in the string depending on how the circuit is designed. While a VOM shows one thing you actually need an Oscope to see the real picture of the circuit. The VOM is not giving false readings, just not real readings. My source is thinking that the DC voltage is cycled at 60 hertz on both feeds at the female plug, ( think about all those threads on RWR, HWR theories that have floated on PC) thus when the next item is added to the chain, it is seeing a "Psuedo AC" at 113V. A standard VOM wont sow that. An Oscope can see the waveform.

I probed some with my VOM to trace the circuit some, and without totally unwrapping the string the circuit seems quite unique. While some of the "other" strings mentioned the AC feeders seem to take a direct path to the female plugs, these seem to use both Feeders somehow, creating 2 25 LED circuits, thus the VDC at the female plug. Remember what a "rectifier bridge" is, a simple circuit of diodes. Also what are LEDS?? Diodes. Feed AC voltage thru diodes the correct way, what do you get... DC.

I will confirm that you do see 113VDC at the plug with a VOM. BUT I am also seeing 50VAC. But does it really matter?? NOPE, If I am able to string 28 more strings and they light correctly, guess what , the circuit seems to work. I am sure if I wanted to open more boxes of lights that I have, I could easily add another 20 strings of LEDS without problems. I even tested reversing plugs, move different "string types" all thru the "29 string" circuit, and everything worked fine. I even added 2 halfwave strings, and placed all thru the group still worked. I did my best to recreate a scenerio that would cause something to act up as described. I just could not do it!

I left this group of strings plugged together for about 2 1/2 hours... a few of the blobs were tad warm to touch, but I could easily grip tightly in my hands with no problem. Just warm. This was the same for any of the 29 group. I will say the s-2133's were a weeee bit warmer, but not much. I dont have a laser temp meter (1 tool I don't have YET) to have given an acurate temp readings. You'll just have to trust my "hand meter".

I also did one more quick test, well not that quick as it took me a bit to dig up something with incandescent bulb(s). Only thing I could find rather easily was one of my wifes the Studio 56 ceramic houses. When you plug in the C-7, guess what, it lights up perfectly. I even added the C-7 to the end of the 31 light string (2 half wave strings I found while looking for the incandescent added in). Worked fine.

DSC00938.JPG

Now with all that said... I think some may have a few bad strings that something may have gotten crossed in the circuit. If that is the case, they should contact the vendor and request replacments. Maybe one of the wires in the circuit is flipped in the "other good vendors strings", and creating a problem. I am unable to duplicate the issue as described as you can see.

I want to clear up one more thing.. If you ordered HWR product from Travis in the preorder, you got the s-2133 strings, which are full wave strings... The FWR strings I ordered were the larger blob strings.

From my testing, just because you are getting DC voltage at the female plug doesn't mean the strings are defective, nor the circuit is wrong. Evidently it is working properly! You have seen the proof.

Edited by mnkyboy
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Since someone besides myself has had problems with Paul & Travis' lights, I figure to try and ask this question. Why can't, (or will not), an American company make LED Christmas lights for us Americans who take Christmas decorating very seriously. Today between rain drops I started installing my driveway arch lights. I usually set them up while plugged in. I use both Paul & Travis' lights, and low and behold one half of one set did not light. Needless to say I was not a happy camper having to take off the bad set and restring it again. I'm guessing there is some kind of quality control in China but my guess that it would be much better here in the good ol' USA,

-General Electric are you listening?

There, now I feel much better!

Jimmy

This is simple: No one could afford to buy them! Lights would have to be ROHS compliant, meaning no lead in them. So they would have to use a more expensive additive to keep the lights outdoor rated. Plus US building costs, labor costs..etc. You'd be paying $30 a string of lights.

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Regarding "does it matter":

Yes, it does...

For those trying to plug in the 2008 CDI stings into the S-2133 sets it matters because the 2008 CDI strings use a voltage ladder design (doubler/tripler depending on color) instead of a pure rectifier. The voltage ladder design requires AC to function (pulsed DC will not work).

Additionally... maybe we would know better here on PC, but these lights didn't just go to PC members. There are things other than lights that might get plugged into the end of these strands. Not everything is as graceful as a light bulb when it sees DC pulses instead of an AC sine wave. Whenever someone sees an AC receptacle, it is expected that AC devices can plug into it. Strands which violate this rule should be recalled because this is a huge safety issue.

More additionally... without taking apart a rectifier blob I can't say for certain what the current rating of the rectifier diodes are. Given that this is a simple LED strand and it probably was not the design intention to have rectified DC on an AC plug (maybe it was though... I've seen crazier things come from China), I imagine that not more than 1A diodes were used. Fused at 2A, you could push the initial rectifier way over its current rating.

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