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jbzeus

Chasing C9's

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Greetings all.

I'm planning some chasing lights for Halloween and Christmas. How many light strings do I need to offset to chase? Do I need two, three, four, more? What looks best?

Chasing lights like this for example:





Thanks form the newbie...

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I did some 5 channel chasing lights but these were custom made strings. It was set up to be 5 circuits with each circuit having the lights spaced 5 foot apart. I then tied all the strings together to make one string that had 12 inch spacing.

The method you are wanting to use will work. To get the chasing effect you would need to evenly space the strings between each other...example

Off the shelf strings have a 12 inch spacing unless you get strings that are different. So within the 12 inches you would have the other strings, something like this

1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 this setup will give you a bulb every 4 inches and 3 circuits.

A setup like this places the circuits closer together. The effect works.

Try it out with three strings and see if you like the effect.

I chose to make my strings and wanted to have 12 inch spacing on all the bulbs.As a result the amp load was spread out over more channels. This setup did not have the concentration of bulbs like the method you are wanting to use.

Making multi circuit strings took some time, if I remember it took me about 4 hours to make a 5 circuit string that was 120 feet long.

If I were to make these string over again I would make them 8 channels, you can do a lot more with chases and effects with more channels.

I have a power point that will help you to make your strings PM me with your email address and I will be happy to send it. It is for 5 channels you will have to make a slight modification to your jigs for more channels.


The method you are using will have a 5.25 amp load in just 25 feet, this will add up quickly and place a heavier load on your electrical. Calculations are based on a 7watt bulb.

Anthony

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I agree with Anthony, Watching the video I think I was seeing a 1, 2, 3 chase.

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Another way to go instead of off spacing strings of C7’s or C9’s is to get 5-wire rope light. That will give you four channels of lights to chase and the installation is clean and easy. Not as bright as C9s and the spacing is usually about 2” apart, but it is another option.

- Dave

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Thanks for the replies guys.

I have a bunch of C9 stuff so that's why I'm heading that way.

I thought about rope light but with the current inventory I have of C9's its the way to go for now.

I"m sure you are aware of the Christmas Hero video with the Cliffs of Dover music. Looks like he uses two red plus green and blue as a chase.?

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Greetings. My C9's on my roof line are made up of 4 strings of C9s...Red, White, Blue, Green. They are all standard 12" spacing. I have tied the 4 strings together using cable ties. Each string is offset from the previous by 3". I have videos on my website at http://www.lavernelllights.info. I'm not sure if any of the videos show chasing, but the C9s are used in almost every sequence.

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JB

I made 4 channel C9 stringers, i used 36" spacing c9 sockets so there was a bulb every 9" - I lined my sidewalks and rooflines and when fast sequences came up - it look great. I used to use standard 12" spacing and I had a total of 675 C9's and the power draw was huge but very bright.

I downsized a little and the effect is still there.

Bill

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Bill:

Another fine example of the adage "less is more". With the wider spacing, it is actually easier to see the individual lights, as well as the chasing motion - there is a greater distance travelled before the next light comes on.

There are other places where fewer lights can be an advantage. For example, instead of tomato cage trees, I use short artificial trees. I can put 200 (total) minis on a 4-foot tree, and, with the foliage, it appears just as well lit.

It's "greener", its $$$$$er, and it reduces the load on the controllers and the electrical panel. Perhaps it'll even leave a little extra room for another element.

Kudos,

Cray

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Tom, exactly what I plan for Christmas except I don't plan to chase. Looks like you might have ranch house similar to mine. I plan to use red, clear and green this year. I have about 250' spaced at 12" planned but only one color on at a time but I still will be using almost 15A for those c9's.

Bill, my 18" stringers just arrived. Maybe I should have bought 36" like you. I am planning 4.5" spacing for Halloween lights. Deciding on the spacing has been tough since I haven't done this before. I have a short front yard of about 35' to the sidewalk so I'm hoping the 4.5" will still show.

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JB actually the 4.5" spacing will look great with the smaller front yard. When my C9's move or chase at any speed they look really good, the only draw back is when I turn one color on at a time - it's not so bright - spacing is too far then.

I used to have the 12" spacing with three colors which came out to be a bulb every 4" - very bright but used a lot of power.

Good Luck!

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New question. I have some stringers that have some corrosion inside the sockets. I'm assuming some water entered the sockets and caused the corrosion. I've been thinking of ways to mount lights without spacing them apart for Christmas as I don't plan to chase. Some lights may be mounted straight up, some upside down and others sideways. Do I need to may any attention to orientation?

I see a couple of suppliers selling rubber O rings for C9 lights. Should I add O rings? If water does get in the socket it would be harder to evaporate.

Bill said: "spacing is too far then" ah, that's what I thought when I was trying to plan this out.

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Ok, I have been promoting the use of the NO-OX type of dielectric grease that is used for a copper aluminum joint. I have suggested this for the little M5 or 5mm socketed lights. But there is no reason that it cant be smeared on your C9 threaded part and some around the contact on the bottom of the bulb. And while the power is off (read unplugged) with some of the tip of your finger smear it over the contact in the middle bottom of the socket. This stuff is great for keeping moister away from these areas. Not to worry, this grease will not conduct and the pressure of the contact will force the grease away so that the current will flow through the contact.

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I havent been on here for many months and you see one of your old videos being discussed....

That was my first year in 2008. Here is my 2009 of the same song. channels of Blue. It was split in half...left & right side of the house for a total of 16 channels. Each color was 9" spacing and each bulb was 3" spacing. I had to custom make my strings to make this work for me. Fortunately I have gutters so I was able to clip each light to it to keep it straight. I believe I was in the 400 C9 bulbs range for all 3 colors. Used up a lot of wattage and channels for this effect, but I think worth it.

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If I were to chase C9's I would want at least 8 channels. 8 you might say is crazy but I was inspired by a local skating rink and their 12 channel system. I skate at a place called Riverside and they are in Livonia Michigan. I posted a link to a youtube video but it doesn't show off the lighting system very well. I thought about creating driveway arches and doing something similar. They do some really cool chases with those 12 channels. 4 channels are on the horizontal rows and 8 are on the vertical rows

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