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Converting Half-wave To Full-wave For $0.50


BrightChristmas

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XmasLightGuy - Thanks! So, just to clarify. In my attachment I am illustrating 6 individual "sections/strands", connected as one "set". I will have one rectifier pigtail at the head. Where are the resistors typically installed on these strands? Do I add the TOTAL resistance in the set of 6 and install ONE resistor (where)? Or, do I need to install one resistor per "strand". Sorry, I really should know this already.

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I overpaid for a rectifier today at Radio shack (2.69) for testing purposes. I had 2 strings to "play with" One 100ct multi dome leds and one set of Martha stewart red 60ct c3's. On the 100 ct. I saw a noticeable difference in the brightness. Very nice. I did not swap the two wires for the last 50 bulbs yet as this will be a post light show project for me before I put everything away.

The M.S. light set however did not want to cooperate. I plugged it in both ways and all I get is a very dim set of lights. There are no resistor blobs on this set, just large plugs on both ends. Also there are 4 wires on the set going into 3 at the center point. Can anything be done with this set that you know of?

Funny thing is the M.S. c3 60 ct. light sets which I got at 75% off last year, are the sets which give my show the most problems. They do not fade at all... Thanks,

Steve

There is a fading solution for M.S. sets. I'll start a new topic since this affects a number of folks and it will just get lost in this thread.

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@InDashMP3 for some reason I can't see your pictures (even though it says "Attached Images" right below your post) but for a 60ct, each strand is generally split into 2 'sections' of 30. Just use 1 resistor for each of those sections. (each section will have 1 or more "resistor blobs" in it, if there's just one, measure its resistance..if there's more than 1, measure each individually then add together (all will probably have the same value)

There should be 3 wires along the set, place the resistor in the wire with sockets attached (can be between any 2 sockets within the section, but I personally try to go s couple bulbs from the beginning/end). Just as a note: at the center point between sections there will be only 2 wires - thats the one spot you wouldn't want to cut/install resistors LOL (the easiest way to find that separation between sections is simply to remove a bulb & plug in the set)

@BrightChristmas I'll have to check that new topic just incase I ever need to modify a M.S. set :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I joined a number of mini LED strings this past season and ended up with close to 200 plug pairs. I've also got a number of the rectifiers and heat shrink to make about 100 pigtails.

Would anyone be interested in buying assembled pigtails? With parts and labor, I'd need to charge about $2 per pigtail to make it worth my time.

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I thought I'd mentioned this...but must've been on another site or thread LOL

No need to cut/splice wires between sections! : On the 2nd half of the set -- just pop the wires out of the first & last socket, untwist the string of sockets from the set, then turn it around so the last socket is now the first. Then simply re-twist the sockets back onto the set & reconnect wires. Now both halfs of set will be wired in-phase like the shoulda been to begin with (if its a set with 3 sections, do this to the middle one)

I've done this with plenty of sets :) not because I'm converting to full-wave, but because they work better with some flasher controls. (even though I can clearly see the half-wave flicker, at this point I don't feel like getting a bunch of resistors & splicing them into sets for conversion to full-wave)

Any chance you could post pictures or a drawing of this or direct me to that other thread? I can't visualize the process. Why do you need to untwist the wires? It sounds like you could just pop the wires out and reverse the section. I'm sure that must not be the case but that's why I need the pictures. :unsure:
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@plasmata The only part I'm reversing is just the sockets...so they need to be untwisted from the other 2 wires on the set.

I've got a couple pics on my other computer that sorta show it (I was working on a YouTube vid/slideshow for modifying LEDs)

Ever since they "upgraded" the forum here I've never been able to get pictures to work...but when I have the other computer on I'll see what I have.

That other thread is a couple years old, but I'll see if I can find it.

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Thanks for digging that up but it didn't help in clearing this up for me. But I think somehow what you are describing might have finally sunk through my thick skull. You are just reversing where the 3rd wire attaches to the second section. So now I have to ask, how do you pop the wires out and is the 3rd wire not soldered? Sorry about asking so many questions but I have some GE 100 LED's being delivered today and I want to convert them to full wave as easily and unobtrusively as possible.

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LOL Its kinda tough to describe what I did there, I'm not moving the wires, but rather flipping end-to-end the whole strip of 30 sockets. no soldering/unsoldering needed I'm going to try uploading a pic from the vu=id I was doing - that shows a set partially taken apart...

Note that some GE lights are already full-wave (usually those in a green box are full-wave, & a blue/white box are half-wave) so they might be ready to go :)

Edit: sorry, but can't get the attach/picture thingie to work

post-1434-0-92117400-1326158730.jpg

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That's okay. I understand what you are doing now and I do see your picture of the string untwisted. Plus the GE's I ordered are the green box version so I shouldn't have to mess around with modding them (I'll give them the spin test to verify). But I will be busy pulling each bulb to apply dielectric grease. :( It'll be a lot of work but I bought the C5 100 counts for $6.97 each so I think its worth it.

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Guys, a question:

I have many boxes of 60 ct mutli (red, green, blue, yellow) dome mini's from target. there are 15 bulbs of each color with two resistor blobs, on two circuits of 30. I want to convert these to full wave and also make them all single color strings consisting of the 4 colors. I am going to be using the 4 separate diodes for full wave conversion, and install them on each end of the string.

My question is this:

I am assuming I will need to add resistors to the red and yellow and possibly the blue and green.

How should I go about determining the resistors I should use?

Should I cut out the resistor blobs and just use a calculator for new resistors?

I know this shouldn't be so complicated, but I wan't a second or third opinion.

Thanks, Steve

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I can't say this for sure but based on the 60ct Walmart sets...

No need to remove the existing resistor blobs!

The Blue & Green will be fine as-is .. the multis have a resistor that's probably around 2.2k, but its fine being as low as 1.8k

For Red & Yellow all you should need to do is add another 1k-ohm resistor .. total resistance (the existing resistor+your added) should be 3.1k (or more)

Note these values are for each section of 30-bulbs, and are for half-wave...for full-wave you'll want to multiply by at least 1.5x (and ideally 2x) - especially if they're going to run steady-on

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Question of the week:

I have 60 ct phillips g12 globe lights from target. They are pink in color. There are no visible resistors on the string and they are all on one circuit. (tested with a rectifier pigtail made from this thread)

The label states to replace the bulbs with 3.4 volt bulbs only.

Am I to assume that the actual led's are white inside with a pink globe cover?

The reason I ask is when I convert them to full wave I want to have a ballpark as to what size resistor to add.

I guess I can go with trial and error as they work fine full wave, no resistor,

but they are significantly brighter, so I don't wan't to burn them out.

Thanks

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They have 3mm pink or magenta LEDs under that globe :) . On some Phillips sets, they don't put resistors along the set itself, instead there are small resistors in the base of the bulbs. The set I have is wired as 2 groups of 30, are you sure yours is actually 60? (I'm shocked at that, they'd really need a voltage-doubler to do it)? Try removing a bulb & see if just half the set goes out...Philips also tends to wire correctly - both halfs of the set in-phase :)

Pink LEDs are the same voltage as Blue/Green/White.

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Is there a diagram or thread showing how to convert a 60 ct light set to full wave using the individual diodes?

The part that is confusing me is the fact that it is two circuits of thirty. Does that mean each side of the string will require the 4 diodes for a total of 8? or is it 2 on each end?

I just attempted a conversion on a string with two diodes on each end. I am certain I have the diode orientation correct.

I did not switch the two middle of the string wires. I plug it in and it is working but is still half wave.

Thanks in advance.....AGAIN..

Steve

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  • 3 weeks later...

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