Jump to content

Test as you go


Recommended Posts

1st year newbie here. Tested all the lights strings prior to putting them up eventhough they are all brand new. I started the setup from the high spots (roofline) and worked my way down over the last 2 weekends. I am 95% done with the whole setup and started running tests last night, only to find that only 25% of my strobes are functioning. Of course the strobes are the only thing I didn't test because I ran SPT wire along the rooflines and added Twist on Sockets as I progressed. And of course, the strobes are on the highest points of the house. A few of the strobes at the end of the line work, so I know there is power. I figure the vampire prongs just aren't making the connection in the rest. Now I have to climb back up to the peaks without disturbing the rest of the lights to fix. I should have tested as I went. Oh, well. Either I risk messing with the lights that are up and hopefully fix the non-working strobes, or my plan of 50 strobes on the house gets modified to "good enough." Lesson learned.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tip Mike! Fortunately, you have a week or so to make repairs and corrections.

I am another newbie and am taking your advice to heart as I go out tonight to make the electric hook ups and make all of my extension cords. I tested various elements as I was making them or putting them up, but never everything at once. Fingers crossed. My frustration was as I was putting up my arch, it busted the coupler in half! Grrrrr! I am not sure what I did differently this time putting it up. After unwrapping a segment, cutting the pipe and replacing the fitting I will hopefully be able to try again tonight!

I guess this is why we newbies start early - so we have time to hopefully repair, replace, or adjust! Keep the faith! I keep telling myself that this year is more for learning than anything else. Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Luckily, after making all my extension cords, I only had 1 plug that wasn't working and it was near ground level so it was easy to locate and fix. I did have to make 2 extra runs to HD for more wire. If you think you have enough, buy twice as much. Some of my display is far from the controllers and running 2 wires would eat up a 250' spool. I thought I would need about 2500' of wire for extensions but easily used more than double that.

I had one broken coupler when I was bending arches on a small tight bend arch. When I put the new coupler on, I wrapped the snot out of it with duct tape. Held pretty good after that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

True words of wisdom. I'm a bit excessive about my testing, but I think it has saved me countless hours of restringing. I test everything out of the box. Then again when the lights are attached to whatever. Before I put them away at the end of season, I test them and replace/repair/or discard depending. When I bring them out from storage everything get tested again. Like I said, a bit excessive but ultimately a great time-saver.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't test anything in the weeks leading up to Christmas setup. I test them as I setup... "Stuff" happens. SO I check every strand as I'm setting up Then when I get a controller wired I test it also with the hardware utility. Then I test a song with the sequence editor. Then I know I should be good to go... Not always but close to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually test all new items right out of the box, then test them again right before they are hung, and then once again immediately after they are in place. Those same lights are sometimes tested when they are taken down, but this is only crititical to determine what needs repaired during the off season. Same for used lights; they are tested before heading outside, then once again right after they are in place. It's also good to run tests with computer when doing an animated display; I found two of my mini trees were backwards and 4 perimeter fence colors were plugged into the wrong bank. Excessive testing covers both equipment AND human errors :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Along with testing as you go, I also realize now to double the number needed for any installation items - I waaaaay under estimated the amount of extension cords and vampire plugs to name just a few things.

Yeah, that's the Planet Christmas rule #2 "You can never have too many extension cords"

Rule #1 is "You can never have too many lights"

They kind of work together !

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...