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Everything posted by toozie21

  1. Sorry, I am not sure I am following your question, but I will be happy to help anyway I can! Since I am using a back-and-forth motion (as opposed to going completely around), the motor can spin either direction and it won't matter, it will look the same to someone watching the dish. The toilet flanges were because I was worried that the wind would break a regular lazy susan system bought from the store. Did I answer you question, or did I miss you point?
  2. Yeah, I am not ready for them yet, but I thought I would order them now and they can take their time getting here. Great price and I will just get a spare in case i need one in a hurry next time!
  3. Everyone happy with their motors in general? I am thinking of picking up a few.
  4. whoops, something must have happened to them. I will fix that.
  5. I did something similar. In the end I abandoned my dish and just made a dish since the scale was so far off, but this should give you a start. It's run two seasons now with no issues: www.tooz.us/northpolecommandcenter.html
  6. I finally got around to testing and fixing my FIVE bad strings and in every case it was a bad bulb. I used one of the LEDKeeper pods to replace the first one, then after that I soldered a 330 ohm resistor in-line to replace the missing bulb on the other four. Thanks to all for the tips and advice. The LEDKeeper definitely saved me time and money, it is just a shame that i had to fix so many 2 seasons in!
  7. I bet it was too big for the PC forum upload. Generally for something like that it is easier to put on a personal website (if you have one) and link to it, or put it on something like youtube and to post that link.
  8. I was wondering if you made any progress on it? BTW, the 3D sketch you made is great, wish I could do that when trying to draw things up!
  9. Did it attach? I didn't see it. That is a tough problem. Change has weight to it, so you could have a flap that when it opens actuates, but you probably won't see it with some sort of light sensor. Bills are larger, so there is a change that would work, but I imagine they fall sort of chaotically and you wouldn't catch the change. I wonder if you could have a slot that the coins, or folded money go in, then you could add an infrared LED and eye just on the other side that can detect when the light is broken by something passing through. The easiest option (though not as elegant) is a button on the side of the candy cane that people can press when they donate (like the bell you get to ring at Fuddruckers on the way out). Not as sexy, but pretty fool proof.
  10. Hope everyone had a good Christmas! I am still looking into all my options for the countdown. While talking (indirectly) with the engineer at LEDKeeper (their customer service is great) about something different. He suggested I add another light per strand to reduce some of the stress on my segments. I would lose 10% of my light, but wouldn't stress the lights as much. I wouldn't mind trying it, but I figured I could probably get away with a resistor acting as an LED. With 170ma in half a string of lights and the lights taking 120v, the total resistance seems to be 706ohm, which works out to be 14ohm per light (when on). Does that seem reasonable? It would mean adding ~14ohm resistor to each of my segments.
  11. whoops, looks like I lost the thread on my own thread... Babies seem to eat up way more time than I thought they would!\\I sort of like the idea of retro fit C7 LED bulbs, but the cost of them is probably pretty high. If I cut back to 5 of those per segment, that means I would need 280 plus spares (and that doesn't include the connectors, or prebuilt cords). I am not sure where would be the best place to get them, but it looks like on CDI the going rate is ~$1/each, that is pretty steep. The 50000 hour life expectancy of them is nice (knowing full-well that some will just plain old die), and the fact that I could run off of 120VAC again is nice (simplifies things). I am curious about your comment to the reactive power use (I am more of a digital guy). I guess it would be sort of like an inrush on them as the cap charges? So even though CDI's full-wave retros are 1W/bulb, you would estimate closer to 2.5?
  12. I bought an LED Keeper and hope to revive these strings after Christmas, thanks for the tips! I found this thread on the rectifiers: but the link in it didn't work. Anyone have the pdf or know the values for a string of multis? DSE: For testing the rectifier, you are saying to look at the DC voltage while plugged in when poke just after the blob and at the end of the return? A 0.5Vdc difference between a good set and a bad set would be enough to dim my LEDs?
  13. How does the LED Keeper check the bulbs? I assume you end up piercing a wire before/after a bulb and then it lights it up? Then if all is good, you move onto the next one. That about right? So to rule out LEDs I would need to check all 50? Also, how does the LED go "bad" yet partially light? If it is the rectifier, can I just replace it (I know it won't be in a similar green blob, but I would think I could drop something inline)?
  14. Hmmm, all very interesting. So with a bad LED, all 50 could still semi-light (even the bad one)? I guess then I have to take the LED Keeper (I'll need to get one) and test every single bulb, right? Since I haven't used the LED keeper before, I assume bulbs that are not the culprit will glow fine with the Keeper? If it is the rectifier, I assume that means all 50 bulbs will pass the above test (leaving the rectifier as the culprit)? Is there a parts recommendation for replacing them? Thanks!
  15. But all 50 leds are acting the same. I am not sure I know what the LED Keeper will help me with there, could you elaborate? Thanks.
  16. 2 years ago I bought three cases of CDI's 100ct 5mm minis during their great pre-order sale. For the most part I have been been very happy with them. Recently though one of the strings has started acting weird. Half of the string lights up fine, the other half is very dim, but you can see a VERY little amount of light coming through. This seems to be effecting the whole half of that string. I cannot figure out why this would be, but it makes the house look odd to have it off like that. The rest of the strings that are chained off of it are lighting fine (both before and after the light), so I don't think it is a power issue, but I don't know what it could be (this is a static string of lights). Is there anything I can do to revive the string? Is it possible something has gone kaput in the little molded blobs that are at the end and in between the two sections of the light? I don't mind hacking it if there is something internal that needs to be done if I can save the light string cheaply. I contacted Creative Displays, but they didn't know what to do. A second one started doing this last night and I would hate to pitch these strings (very few hours and not inexpensive) so quickly if I can just make them function again. Any of youall had experience with something like this?
  17. I have a large Christmas Countdown I made a number of years ago that I keep outside for NOV and DEC that counts down the days, hours, mins, and seconds until Christmas. I am happy with it and have only made minor adjustments throughout the years to it (like changing the display from wood to PVC/metal and adding GPS for automation), but the always burning out lights are really starting to drag on me. I take normal minis, cut them down to strings of 10, and power each string off of 24VAC using 56 homemade SSRs and two 24VAC transformers. I seem to have bulbs go out pretty frequently, and due to the strings running on such a little amount of voltage (I assume), the shunts rarely trigger, so I get a whole segment out and have to troubleshoot in the cold/dark which bulbs have gone bad (sometimes it is one, sometimes 3 or 4 will go at the same time for some reason). I would have thought that the seconds digits would need to be replaced the most since they switch the most, but I would say that days happens just as much (they are probably one the longest for any given time), and hours/mins happen less frequently I am considering making a change to the digits, but would like to change my circuitry as little as possible. The things I've considered are: *Switching to LED strings (might have to use less than 10 lights per strand, could be high cost, probably some hardware mods needed, might not be much) *Using outdoor El wire (probably expensive, not sure if SSRs would work OK, not sure how much those can be switched before wearing out, don't know much about them) *Switching to large C7 bulbs (would look cool, easy to find burned out bulbs, expensive, would run me ~9A when all are on (sort of a non-starter) *Not doing anything (not change to hardware, standard minis are cheap, my frustration level will still be high though) *Something else..... Any of youall have some opinions on what you would do if you were in my shoes?
  18. Definitely want to get the most life out of these that I can, so I will try to be careful. I need to worry about the voltage per LED also, right? So if they are too high, I won't get the 10 lights per segment like I currently have (since they are 2.4V/bulb for incandescents).
  19. Thank you for the feedback. I would be going with clear lights, so I assume that 10 will work there as well. I normally don't like half wave LEDs, but I think I could make an exception for simplicity here. So you are saying 20mA for the string of 10?
  20. A resistor I assume to take up the loss of the other LEDs not in play? Still needed you think if it is running at 24VAC? And would you go with 2 rectifier diodes to try to even out the flicker?
  21. So I was testing my Christmas Countdown this weekend and replacing bad bulbs and dreading another season of finding and replacing them in the cold/dark after work this season. IT made me wonder about LED light strings. Currently I take a standard set of incadecents, cut them into strings of 10, then light them with 24VAC via small transformers. I run the countdown from Nov 1 until almost new years (It displays messages once Christmas hits), so some of the segments are on a lot, which is why I think they go out so frequently. I know that the LED strings are probably adding in big diodes to rectify the voltage, but what else is going on in there? I would like to try to change as little as possible in my current design, but I am tired of changing out bulbs (which usually don't even shunt when they go, so I have to troubleshoot all 10) with numb fingers in the dark. I guess my hopes for what not to change would be: *Keep running at 24VAC *Keep the strings at no more than 10 "minis" per strand *To try not to have to do anything to my main circuit (with the 56 homemade SSRs designed to run at 24VAC) But I don't mind adding something to the strings to help even them out (some diodes and a cap if needed to the end). Any thoughts?
  22. Are you able to put the pictures on picasa or some photo site like that and link to them?
  23. Actually David, I am curious. You think I need something like a 22uF in there? Also, How did you come up with the resistor values? I don't have a whole lot of 1/2W in my stash, I can put to 1/4W in parallel though.
  24. OK, I might give that a shot since I have some in stock for a change. I'll keep youall posted. Thanks again David.
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