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Rich in Las Vegas

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Everything posted by Rich in Las Vegas

  1. Do you have a picture of the previous installation? It would be easier to answer if you can show what was done in the past.
  2. One of the tricks for bending PVC pipe if you don't own a bender is to use hot sand inside the pipe. I learned this in scouting reading about how to make DIY snowshoes for winter camp in the mountains. Here is an example of the YouTube videos on the subject.
  3. I acquired these two GFP "Dancing Santa" blow molds a couple of days ago and began to notice even though they were both made by General Foam Plastics and had the same blow mold ID number - 078-130005 there were several differences. I think one that had a Walmart sticker on the base with a $19.97 price is the newer one shown on the left below. It weighs a lot less, 3 pounds 10 ounces. The one on the right weighs 5 pounds 6 ounces. The paint is much thicker on the older one. GFP didn't paint the accents on the mouth and cheek on the newer one and the hands are different colors. Other than that the two are identical. The newer one had an 800 lumen LED bulb in it. The other one was missing the bulb and socket. Since I light them with 12 V LED strip lighting from inside, that was unimportant. I was at the Goodwill outlet store on Thursday when the workers wheeled out a new set of bins and these were on the top of two different bins. You can't just grab things until all of the bins are in place but have to wait in line. Luckily nobody ahead of me was interested in them and I got both for $14. It's a little hard to think of Christmas when it is 103F headed for around 115F today. I also picked up 8 GE Holiday Spheres shown below without the original packaging for $10. Not a bad haul for the day. For some strange reason there was a lot of Christmas display items that day. There was a nice wicker and metal Santa sled about 30 inches high and a couple feet long that would have made a nice addition but I am running out of room for storage and for display so I left it and watched as it went back for disposal some other way.
  4. Your message made me take a look at the QVC seller. The price is actually $41 with free shipping. I'm not impressed by the looks of the offering. It looks like a plastic cylinder painted over. Not at all like the traditional candles we have. They come in three colors and the flame looks like it flickers from the video that accompanies the offering. Here is what one of the three looks like:
  5. I looked at a section of light rope I had hanging in my backyard attempting to straighten it after removing it from a wireframe. There are two heavy bare wires running the length of the rope at opposite sides. The LEDs run between the two larger wires but it isn't easy to determine if they are in series or individually attached to the two larger wires. Generally if the string is in one or more series then cutting it at some point will extinguish all of the LEDs in that portion making up a series circuit of the string on both sides of the cut. On most regular light strings 25 LEDs make up a single series circuit. It looks from what you have shown that it is not a series circuit since the rope remains lit all the way to the point where it is broken. You could try stripping back a short piece on either end and reconnecting the wires making sure they don't cross each other. If they are polarized (+,-) and you get the connection backwards the reconnected section will not light. Reverse the order and try again. If you need to insulate wires at the break, I suggest using JB Weld epoxy to coat any wires you solder together. It works to strengthen the connection and insulate wires that might touch when moved. To re-waterproof the broken ends use clear RTV silicone sealer. In my area you can get a 1 ounce tube at a local dollar store. If I had the wires on my existing wire rope apart and accessible the first thing I would do is to use a voltmeter to see if the two large wires carry AC or DC voltage and what the voltage is.
  6. You can check out this post from 2018. The paint used was Krylon available at True Value Hardware stores.
  7. This Goodwill outlet store seems to be a particularly good place to find Christmas items throughout the year. I thought it would slack off by February but that has not been the case. Last week I picked up the 5 inflatables shown below for around $10 (at $1.49 a pound) and added another one this week that cost $3.50. I also picked up 7 boxes of LED lights - 6 boxes of Philips 60 LED C8, and one Walmart 70 LED icicle lights for about $8. I didn't need any more lights but these will make a nice birthday gift for a friend next November. The five pictured had a strange way to power them. The converter was 12VAC but the motor was 12VDC so it had a rectifier on top of the motor. The lights were just two or three clear incandescent mini lights. I left the converters at Goodwill. I removed the rectifier and wired in 12VDC, 3W, 330 lumen corn bulbs in place of each incandescent light. I can now run all 5 inflatables from one larger converter. Even with the increased lighting they still only take 15 to 19W each. The one I picked up yesterday is a Santa with a fluffy beard. It's about 9' high when inflated.
  8. I didn't know exactly what you were talking about until Chuck posted about the lights being controlled by a smartphone. I used a version of these made by GE under the eves across the main window in the front of my house. Here is a YouTube video of the lights in action by someone else (not me) https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=ZKNGKRz_QDU Their set came with a controller in the box but the ones I got used didn't. Mine use a smart phone and you can download the control program app on the internet. I don't think my set originally had a hand-held controller. They were just in a bin at Goodwill. I liked the way they were working so didn't bother. They are a lot nicer than just a blinking set of RGB lights.
  9. Wow, this shows how you can get ripped off on Mercari if you are totally clueless. I wonder what the new owner would think if they knew you can buy these brand new on QVC. They are even clearance priced at $35 plus tax, S&H. It is not the Union version which appears to have a different shape. Says they are imported so not made by Cado here in the USA. Just enter H223696 in the QVC search box. Mr. Halloween Set of (3) 13" Indoor/Outdoor Candy Corn Pathway Stakes
  10. For some reason, the link I provided does not work and I can't go back and edit it. Here is the link that works www.ebay.com/itm/192490069868 It is the same bulb shown by Scott Rob. A tad more expensive at $16.55 for 10 bulbs with free shipping
  11. If you are looking for more than 200 lumens and don't not want to enlarge the existing holes (1" or 25.4mm) you would have to switch over to a different base. I had no trouble finding the 200 lumen, 110V, E12 bulbs that will fit and don't cost much more than dollar store bulbs that don't fit. If you want more lumens, one way is to switch to a G4 or G9 base. There are many more G4 and G9 bulbs in the corn bulb or chip-on-board design in higher watts/lumens that will fit the opening. Here is one US source for the E12 corn bulb on eBay. https://www.ebay.com/itm/19249006986 16mm (0.6”) D $16.55 10pcs cool white 200 lumens It may take overseas sources but replacement bases are cheap. G9 ceramic base with wire $1.29/10pcs or G4 $2.58/10pcs
  12. Just visited the Christmas Lights Emporium site this morning after reading your post. They have some appealing smooth fade lights on sale. I have way too many LED lights already so I will resist the temptation. Yes, there are some items shown on the opening page that are out-of-stock but that shouldn't be surprising since we have just passed the Christmas season. Their peak sale season probably starts in September and peaks in late November so a smart retailer would not restock until late summer when it is not sitting around costing them money with little chance of being sold.
  13. Found these today in the bins at the local Goodwill surplus store. They were dusty and the bases were separated from the blow molds but they were there. Needed small repairs to the bases and a good cleaning. Lights included but will switch them to 12VDC LED lights for next year. Price was about $2 each. 38" Empire snowman candle 1320 mold date 1971 38" Empire Santa candle 1325-1322 no date on the mold Kudos to blowmolded.com for making it so easy to identify these blow molds!
  14. I looked up the offerings online. There are a whole series of these featuring different lighthouses. Most seem to run on four AA batteries. This listing has a picture of the DC input and the battery case. The tag is upside down but can be read as 6VDC 600 mA. Just choose a converter that has an output of at least 600 mA and is 6V DC. Here's a US source on eBay for $7.68 with free shipping AC Converter Adapter DC 6V 0.6A Power Supply Charger US plug 5.5mm x 2.1mm 600mA https://www.ebay.com/itm/112126223925
  15. That's a 120V LED corn bulb. It's the first time I have seen them used in new blow molds. I bought last year's version at either Lowe's or HD and it was still lit with two E12 incandescent bulbs which I replaced with 12V DC LED bulbs instead.
  16. I couldn't find the exact same lights but found that they are sold under the name "solar garden stake lights". I came across one site that had these on sale for $10 for a four pack but unfortunately did not take down the link. There are dozens of different versions available.
  17. The time lag that often accompanies LED lights is from the power source, not the LEDs themselves. I converted my home to all LED a couple of years ago. That meant using a number of power supplies from small plug in units all the way to 60W power supply similar to the ones I use for my Christmas displays. Some have a noticeable time lag while others do not. I doubt your system turns the power supply on and off, just the lights. My Dream lights (IC6803) work perfectly with the power supply that has about a 5 second delay.
  18. You are not likely to receive a reply as the individual who posted the notice has not been active here in the past 9 years. nancylee last signed in to this site November 27, 2011
  19. At the beginning or end of every light string you will find a small white tag that gives information on the lights. That will tell you how many watts the string uses. For example I have in my hand a set of LED snowflake lights that I rescued from the nearby Goodwill outlet store. At the bottom of the tag is the line: Model AL50/2F-SF2, 120V, 60HZ, 0.04A, 4.8W, 0913. It's easy to decode this line. It has 50 LEDs arrayed in two sets of 25 each. It was made for the US (120V, 60Hz), uses 4.8W, and was manufactured in September 2013. If it only said 0.04A, I could still find out how many watts it used since Amps times Volts = Watts from the tag information. I'm not sure why multiplying the number of bulbs times the watts per bulb doesn't give the right result for watts consumed but that is also the case for the string I have. Individual bulbs are rated as 3.2V 0.064W and there are 100 of them so if you use this calculation the string would use 6.4W. BTW, if there is a nearby Goodwill sorting facility that has an outlet (not retail) store attached it is worth visiting this time of year as many used LED strings show up there. This string weighs a tad over 1/2 pound so it cost me about 80 cents.
  20. When I lived in the Midwest we were advised to carry food, water, and a sleeping bag or blanket in the car for just this type of emergency. I doubt many Atlantans would even think about getting stranded overnight in a car due to the weather. This could have been truly tragic. I lived through a week without electricity after an ice storm hit Madison, WI in early March. By the end of a week without heat I was ready to head to a shelter when they restored the power just in time.
  21. You are worrying needlessly about the possibility of starting your Christmas decoration on fire. I no longer use incandescent light strings but happened to have one set of incandescent white mini lights that works so I plugged them in for about 20 minutes and picked up a handful of bulbs in my bare hands. They were warm to the touch but not even close to being hot enough to be uncomfortable. This string has 100 bulbs and consumes 40.8 watts. It's not like picking up a 40W incandescent bulb because the heat is spread out over a very large area. Unfortunately the information you gave does not give information on watts consumed. I had some old strings that used 70W for 100 bulbs but even that would not be enough to make the bulbs hot enough. I love the LED strings. Mine are rated 4.8W for a 100 light string. I just checked a spool of 225 lights sold by Walmart and the entire spool only uses 12W. Best thing is to do what I did and test the sting with your hands. That should ease your fears. I tried to figure out what you were describing. Most versions of Bumble are inflatables, not fabric covered wire. Is this the one? https://www.amazon.com/ProductWorks-Red-Nosed-Reindeer-Christmas-Decoration/dp/B01E7AHQVE?tag=christmastimetreasures-20
  22. i decided to make one last trip to the Goodwill outlet store (surplus items) before Christmas to see what was available. It was good timing because I was able to find two more blow molds for my nativity display - the GFP standing wise man and a cow. The best find was a "Gemmy Lightshow Christmas Lights 6' Projection Lamp Post with Lighted Signs, Electro-Fire". The two blow molds were less than $5 together and the lantern was $13 based upon the weight. The light in the lantern is special. It's an LED assembly that flickers with and orange color. It really does look like a candle flame. Whenever I see any Christmas decoration by Gemmy at the outlet store I buy it. They sure make good stuff. I wonder just how many blow molds end up at Goodwill. I keep finding many over time forgot the picture
  23. You can read about the difference between a constant voltage LED driver and a constant current LED driver here: https://www.ledsupply.com/blog/constant-current-led-drivers-vs-constant-voltage-led-drivers/ If you run the LED at a higher current than recommended it will be brighter - for a time - and then it will die. If you look at the specifications for the driver I referenced above it is the exact current (350ma) for the one that came with the light. Constant current drivers are commonly found in lamps with a series of LEDs. The driver adjusts the voltage to compensate for the number of LEDs in series and prevents overloading an individual LED. That's why you see a voltage range on the driver. It will always deliver 350ma as more LEDs are added to the circuit.
  24. From the description on the power supply this appears to be a constant current power supply so the one you listed on Amazon would not work because it is a constant voltage power supply. Those are the two types that come with LED fixtures. You need a 350ma constant current power supply with 120V input or you can buy a universal power supply that operates on 85-240V AC. This one is on eBay and shows the 350ma output www.ebay.com/itm/153902458906 price with shipping is $12
  25. I visited a friend today to deliver some birthday gifts and while I was there I saw firsthand how much damage a weight and the sun can do. He brought out a snowman that was far different from any I had ever seen. In order to weigh it down he had cut a big hole in the back of the mold and inserted two bricks. It had been stored outside under a tree except for around Halloween and Christmas when he brings it out first with a black garbage bag over it and then displayed openly. The bricks were in it while stored. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a TPI snowman from 2004 - 40" Snowman with bird in hand. It would have been a great find if it was for sale and in good shape. Unfortunately the plastic was pretty fragile. We set it on a tree stump in front of his yard. The picture below is from blow-molded.com where I found out what it was. Much of the paint was still on it in spite of being poorly stored.
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