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Who said making snubbers is easy?


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Sat down to put together some snubbers for a fellow forum member this weekend and couldn't believe just how wore out my fingers were by the time I had done just a couple of dozen pieces.  Those confounded Leviton plugs fight a man every step of the way.  Separating the guts of the plug from the rubber housing is an exercise in futility and I quickly relocated my project into direct sunlight just to warm them up enough to make it a little easier.  Granted, the steps required to make them do fall under the easy category.  Dare I say I may have gotten old and soft without knowing it?  My fingertips are still tender as I type this today.

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I preheated mine to 140 in the oven and they got about as loose as Lindsey Lohan.

I should not allow myself to like this, but damn...what an analogy!

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It is really a dummy load but these guys keep calling them snubbers.. It is just a resistor to load down the capacitive charge of the LED strings to allow the triacs to operate correctly when they dim. 

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I would take a short piece of SPT wire, and do vampire plugs, with a C9 socket in-line.  This seems to work great for me, and is easy and cheap.  If you don't want anyone to see the bulb, cover it.

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a male plug, a 47k or 33k 1watt resistor works just fine for most.  connect the resistor across the terminals, fill with silicon and plug it into the light string. 

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I use xtw  (spt1) wire for all my light runs, so I just attach a c7 or c9 socket to the wire near the controller and throw an Incan bulb in works just as good its's cheap and can be added in a few seconds. 

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I like just having to stick a plug in and not having to deal with a light I don't want lit in the first place.

Throw a garbage bag over the controller and you can't even see the snubbers. 

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ohhh ok .. and I still hove no idea.... lol

 

but wouldn't a dimmer switch be a lot easier to use... just put it in line and turn the knob down to what you want it at?

 

I know I am a newbie and no electrician but seems to me that would be a easy thing to do.. 

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ohhh ok .. and I still hove no idea.... lol

 

but wouldn't a dimmer switch be a lot easier to use... just put it in line and turn the knob down to what you want it at?

 

I know I am a newbie and no electrician but seems to me that would be a easy thing to do.. 

 

Some people wire a resistor into this plug and use it to help control the LED dimming.

 

Technically, it's a "dummy load" or "ghost load", but over the years LOR folks call them Snubbers.

 

It's also available commercially: http://www.ebay.com/itm/American-DJ-LED-Dummy-/291477761579?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43dd6dae2b

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Old Sarge,   It's not as difficult as it seems.  

 

The current draw for LED strings is so small and efficient, that sometimes the triacs in the controller have trouble operating properly.   Think of it as a gate with a very weak spring.   Sometimes you just need a little more electrical load (Resistance) to get the gate (triacs) closed.

 

The symptoms of this problem include a dim glow when the lights should be off or sometimes it cam be difficulties in some of the advance features like dimming, twinkle, etc.       

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My first year so , I will need a snubber in each of the cords coming out of a controller ? I'm with old sarge here , first I've heard of needing this .

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I have a set of elements that have a single string of 50ct C5 LED on each LOR channel.  I ran my 1st year without snubbers and did not have any trouble.  The lights I used were full-wave rectified from HLE, so that may be working in my favor.  In the interest of being safe rather than sorry, I added the snubbers for year 2 and beyond for my own peace of mind. 

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Your use of lights will dictate whether you need them. Their usual purpose is to provide smooth fades for people using full-wave rectified LED strings.

I've never heard of anyone who needed them using store-bought half-wave LEDs. Nor have I heard of anyone having issues if using only one string of lights per channel, regardless of type.

When using multiple strings of full-wave LEDs on the same channel, many people have noticed issues with fades not being smooth, or not occurring at all, or having unexpected flashes of bright while fading down. Those peculiarities can be overcome with a "snubber". To the best of my knowledge, they serve no other purpose.

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ok so i guess it is because if you run LED lights they do not pull enough power to make the controller work right..  

 

Maybe just use MORE LIGHTS to make up the difference and get enough lights on it it will work better... just go pout and BUY MORE and MORE lights until it works without having to make a snubber...lol

 

after all isnt that what its really all about... more lights, more lights more lights...lol

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ok so i guess it is because if you run LED lights they do not pull enough power to make the controller work right..  

 

Maybe just use MORE LIGHTS to make up the difference and get enough lights on it it will work better... just go pout and BUY MORE and MORE lights until it works without having to make a snubber...lol

 

after all isnt that what its really all about... more lights, more lights more lights...lol

Chuck, No, that's not what they are saying. Re-read George's post. 1 strand of full wave is ok - more is bad..

I personally have only had big box half wave and never had a problem. This years HLE presale, well in case wife sees this not going to say exact amount, but I bought a lot. I'm so glad SparkDr made this post. I better understand it now. My plans for 128 strands are 1 channel each, so with George's info I should only need a hand-full.

Edited by Mega Arch
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I should probably jump back in here and offer a clarification.  I am a relative newbie myself and read several accounts of fade and/or failure to fully turn off issues with LED's here on the forums and the solution that snubbers could offer.  I was so paranoid over the whole concept that I ordered 2 dozen Glade plug-ins as a solution.  Even in my most redneck moments I just couldn't bring myself to hang the plug-ins all over my display, so I ran year one without snubbers of any type before finding the thread on how to make my own over on the Planet Christmas forum. I didn't have any problems the 1st year but went ahead and added snubbers to every LED element for year two just to be safe rather than sorry.  I was under the impression (apparently mistaken) that the trouble occurs with short strings rather than longer series of strings, so I'm getting a little bit of an education here myself as this thread plays out. 

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