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first year jitters


james campbell
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thevikester wrote:

Mwhite7097 wrote:
spindler88 wrote:
Hi Yall,
This is my first yr also. I also have the jitters. I was glad to read all the good feedback on here. Last night i was trimming all of my trees so that people could see the lights on my roof. I am glad to see that some of you guys start putting your lights up in October. I am just nervous for what my neighbors may say if i start in October. Who cares right? I have One question, How many incandescent lights can i connect together? and how many LED lights. I am not sure how to test with a meter. :?

Use the Killawatt Meter...on incandescents, I would string 6 or 8 together without a problem, but when I started doing that for too many channels...kabloom! Bought the Killawattmeter for 18 bucks, last 2 years, no
So I could put 6 to 8 set of incandescents together or with a 3 way at the end of the cord. I was thinking to replace the fuse with a little wire then no worries of a fuse blowing. But I don't want to ruin my controller either. Damn this sucks. I see a lot of shows that have so many lights on one tree and it looks like they are using only one channel for that tree.
Would it look stupid if i mixed incandescents and led together on the same tree. Probably right?
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You can do what I do stacking. That's where you plug into the top of each other instead of end to end. I learned this from Richard Holdman. This way your not stressing the fuse. I stack eight sets of lights this way. Hope this helps.

Donny

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spindler88 wrote:

this sucks. I see a lot of shows that have so many lights on one tree and it looks like they are using only one channel for that tree.


Some may be using two channels to do the same as one if they have too much amps for just one channel.
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So back to the original question, last year was my first year and I did a halloween show to test everything first. I came into a bunch of problems trying to get the LOR CP to run my show, and it took me a couple of days fixing stuff on my 14 channel halloween show before I got everything set up and working properly. That was good because nobody was expecting a Halloween show, so there was no pressure. Having the experience of using the LOR equipment before the big christmas show will help a lot and it will make things go much smoother your first year.

I started set-up the day that my halloween stuff came down last year. We were on vacation thanksgiving weekend, so that set me back and I finally got everything working a few days after thanksgiving weekend ended. You will find that after thanksgiving, everyone is going to be very impatient about seeing the show. It's ok, I just said it would be ready when I had everything working properly, and it would be worth the wait. The first time I tested my show, it was at about 10:00pm and after having sequences running for just a couple minutes, I had several neighbors in awe of my test run. It will all be worth it, it just takes time. Be patient!

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PaulXmas wrote:

Test your lights "BEFORE" hanging them!

Most excellent point, I test my lights with an extension cord in the driveway before hanging (also take my Kill-A-Watt reading for the string) , then again with an extension cord after hanging, If they test out I connect them to the controller - and use the Hardware utility and make sure I can control the string.

I have had light strings fail after testing good on the drive way and hanging them in my trees. So now I'm trouble shooting show computer to controller, controller to plug, when it's a bulb that came loose while hanging.

The minute or so it takes to test after hanging a light string - saves at least 1/2 hour of controller trouble shooting.

Steve
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I test my new lights as soon as I receive them from CDI. This gives ample time to get replacements if needed. And ones I previously used from the year prior, I test prior to putting up. One thing about LEDs (especially from CDI) is they don't have bulbs loosening as much as incandescent strands do because they are sealed. Not to say it doesn't happen, just not near as much.

Just my experience.

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spindler88 wrote:

Would it look stupid if i mixed incandescents and led together on the same tree. Probably right?

If the incandescents and LEDs are on different channels (i.e. different slices), then yes, it won't look right. Last year I had 1 channel LED and the rest incandescent. It didn't look right. This year the whole tree is LED.

But... if you used a super-string on each channel that was composed of an LED string and an incandescent string mixed together, then it would probably look fine.
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