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Technicolor Survival


ShayneT
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I had some Technicolor pixels fail this year mainly after rain.  A couple had a faint blue all the time but after being unplugged for a few days acted normal today.  I am concluding that the issue was clearly water intrusion.  They seem very watertight from the back which leads me to believe like others that the entry point is around the LED.  I had the C9 covers on so I thought I would of been OK.  Ray has been kind enough to replace the bad sets.  The new batch is supposed to have the water intrusion issues resolved but just in case I was thinking of adding a layer of Teflon tape to the threads - any thoughts?

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Most water intrusion actually comes from expansion and contraction of 2 different plastics around the wire in the injection molded led. Not sure if this is being addressed in new sets or not. Ray has the same water intrusion issues with some of his other injection molded stuff.

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I'd ask Zach at Technicolor Christmas.  I've seen his design, and seen it run under water and in blocks of ice.  If it was water intrusion, I'd say it was probably a very rare exception probably from an incomplete injection mold.  Great videos on youtube of them working in water and ice doing freeze thaw cycles.  The main reason people experienced issues this year was not water, but a last minute change on ray's end for the internal components.  The components used just gave out. 

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Maybe it was just a coincidence that after a rain is when some failed.  I did dial back the voltage to 10 over a week before there were some failures.  Several that had a constant faint blue resolved themselves after being dry and  unplugged for a few days.  Maybe the issue was not as widespread as I concluded it was - maybe just  a few rogue pixels.  I was just wanting to cautious with the replacements that Ray sent me.

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Shayne - you are not alone. I had 24 strings with 35 pixel each. Voltage was dialed down to 10V and out of the 24 strings only 4 survived the first day of rain without issues. The other ones had between 1 and 10 failed pixels. Even after 10 days inside they did not recover.

I do understand replacing pixels as an option however not at freezing temps up on the roof. Going with the somewhat more expensive Technicolor pixels was a choice to avoid exactly that kind of trouble.

Don't get me wrong - I love the pixels and all the thought which has been made when designing them. At this point I believe the water actually does get in around the LED due to the injection molded plastic expanding differently than the cable and I also believe that between the prototypes we have seen in the video and this years manufacturing something has changed, maybe they are using a different plastic.

I still have almost 80 strings I did not use this year and I will experiment with water proofing even tough I did not expect having to do that and I would much rather use my time for something else. This was too much of an investment not to try it. Not sure what do do with the 20 broken strings - I think any one with more than 5 broken pixels is a write off...

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Shayne - you are not alone. I had 24 strings with 35 pixel each. Voltage was dialed down to 10V and out of the 24 strings only 4 survived the first day of rain without issues. The other ones had between 1 and 10 failed pixels. Even after 10 days inside they did not recover. I do understand replacing pixels as an option however not at freezing temps up on the roof. Going with the somewhat more expensive Technicolor pixels was a choice to avoid exactly that kind of trouble. Don't get me wrong - I love the pixels and all the thought which has been made when designing them. At this point I believe the water actually does get in around the LED due to the injection molded plastic expanding differently than the cable and I also believe that between the prototypes we have seen in the video and this years manufacturing something has changed, maybe they are using a different plastic. I still have almost 80 strings I did not use this year and I will experiment with water proofing even tough I did not expect having to do that and I would much rather use my time for something else. This was too much of an investment not to try it.

I'd like to know how your water tests go.

 

Not sure what do do with the 20 broken strings - I think any one with more than 5 broken pixels is a write off...

Don't forget when one pixel dies all downstream pixels misbehave.  I had one of the first 5 in a few strings go and replacing the first misbehaving one usually fixed the remainder of the string.  If it didn't replacing the one the misbehaving one fixed it.  I got so I replaced the bad pixel and the one before it to expedite the repair.  I'll test the pairs some day, when I build my snowflake which will have quite places where there will be only one pixel on a "branch" 

I too like the design of the Technicolor Pixels; hopefully we can figure out how to make the ones we already own survive the elements.

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Thanks for all the into and I hope the issues have been  resolved.  It confused me that water may be an issue from the  LED with the C9 covers on which made intrusion from the wires logical.  It also made sense if the plastic expansion and contractions could of been made worse by the power regulator heat issue.  Maybe that the Plastidip method worked since it may remain elastic.

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