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Connectors from Ray Wu's Store


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Hello All,

I have been toying with changing my current set up from AC Lights/dumb RGB to Pixels. In the process of researching everything I have come across Ray Wu's store. The prices do seem really good. Most of the RGB lights that I am interested in show there are 3 connector options:

Ray wu

paul zhang

xconnect 

Can someone fill me in on which style of connector matches with the Lightorama controllers (Pixie 8 and Pixie 16's)?

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A lot of people use waterproof connectors either between strings, at power injection points, or just outside the controller (with a pigtail into the controller box).  There are several standards that are commonly used.  Any of them will work, but for the most part, standardize on one and stick with it.  The exception is to use different connector standards for different voltage pixels.  For example, use Ray Wu for 12 volt and xConnect for 5 volt.  Personally for the most part, I don't use them at all except for my roof and eves where the lights are attached to wood or metal strips and there are connectors between each strip.  I do not use connectors with pigtails to get out of the controller boxes.  This page explains the difference:

https://www.wiredwatts.com/learn-connectors

 

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Thanks for answering but I don't think I was clear enough on my question.

Here is a better example. If I buy a Lightorama Pixie2D (12V) - which comes with connectors already prewired/soldered - what connector style would match:

Ray wu

paul zhang

xconnect 

Thanks

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according to the folks at Wiredwatts.com https://www.wiredwatts.com/wire they carry a connector with this description 18 Inch 3 Core Female Pigtail Black with LOR Style Connector.  It is the only commercially available connector that I have seen that says it is LOR compatable.  If you look at the web page I listed at the beginning of this note, they are listed almost half way down the page after all of the named connectors.

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4 hours ago, Rick P said:

according to the folks at Wiredwatts.com https://www.wiredwatts.com/wire they carry a connector with this description 18 Inch 3 Core Female Pigtail Black with LOR Style Connector.  It is the only commercially available connector that I have seen that says it is LOR compatable.  If you look at the web page I listed at the beginning of this note, they are listed almost half way down the page after all of the named connectors.

Easier to soldier your own and as my friend above stated, find one and never change. I do not buy anything from Ray any more becuase I had to change every connector I had on the controllers I built because he decided to change his source of supply and a consecutive order were all different.

Since that incident I have used xconnect / HC connectors. I never looked back and have enough in my supply to never run out.

The other thing to look at is extensions. You can make your own pigtails from extensions with one end F coming from the controller and the other end soldered to the light strips/ strings.'

Just my $.02

JR

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  • 1 month later...

Saw this and I have a few questions now. First off, where do I find Ray Wu's store?

Second it was mentioned about rgb and maybe switching to pixels. There is a difference? What's the difference?

Lastly doe they all...the knock offs and LOR's all use a 4 wire system? Red.Green.Blue.Black?

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14 minutes ago, rgardner518 said:

Saw this and I have a few questions now. First off, where do I find Ray Wu's store?

Second it was mentioned about rgb and maybe switching to pixels. There is a difference? What's the difference?

Lastly doe they all...the knock offs and LOR's all use a 4 wire system? Red.Green.Blue.Black?

Every connector system is proprietary and usually can not be mix & matched (they may look similar, but the pieces seem to vary pin locations, sex of pin vs housing) . Pick one series for string type, and plan to stay there. 💡 A good plan is to make 5V and 12V ones incompatible with each other. 👍

I use HC 4 pin for my Dumb (except the LOR floods), HC 3 pin for smart. IIRC there is a local (USA) vendor that indicates which of theirs are compatible with Ray's and others)

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I would not buy pigtails or anything for the matter from Ray wu.

I stopped giving him business because I purchased a large qty of pigtails from him. I needed more and ordered the same item number as the first and they were different. After a bunch of back and forths I ate the cost, went with HC 3 wire for smart pixels they are Xconnect ends (in case you needed to know).

I have never looked at another Ray Wu product. It wasnt a lot of $ but to me my time is more valuable. When there is a local , stateside vendor its easier to deal with. Is there a markup, of course but IMO well worth it. Catch a sale or get them from Amazon.

Just find a brand and stick with it but that is exactly what I attempted to do with Ray. It backfired.

JR

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  • 2 months later...

I'm going to tag on to this thread as I'm pretty sure this is what I want to do:

On 6/19/2020 at 12:04 AM, dibblejr said:

Easier to soldier your own

I want to split a pixel string of 50 into 2 strings of 25. I am looking for the connector (Ray Wu preferably for me right now but I'm not so far into this that it matters) but I don't want a pigtail... I want to solder my own.. and for it to be waterproof. I can't find the connectors anywhere, just the pigtails. Probably I'm searching for the wrong thing. Any pointers would be appreciated. Thank you all in advance. 

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6 minutes ago, MattJ said:

I'm going to tag on to this thread as I'm pretty sure this is what I want to do:

I want to split a pixel string of 50 into 2 strings of 25. I am looking for the connector (Ray Wu preferably for me right now but I'm not so far into this that it matters) but I don't want a pigtail... I want to solder my own.. and for it to be waterproof. I can't find the connectors anywhere, just the pigtails. Probably I'm searching for the wrong thing. Any pointers would be appreciated. Thank you all in advance. 

I would suggest skipping ray wu pigtails. They change sometimes as was in my case. Ordered some when I started with pixels and the next time I ordered the exact item # when they came in they were different. Went round and round through emails before I decided it wasn't worth the trouble. I now get HC extensions, cut the end off to make my own pigtail and the other end is soldered to the lights. Have been doing that since the RW problem.

I will never have that problem again. I have enough various length extensions to last a lifetime plus. If smart pixels its the 3 way 5,10 or 20' lengths.

I have videos on how to solder and ensure they get waterproofed. I use the same method I use on my boat.

JR

Edited by dibblejr
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2 minutes ago, dibblejr said:

I would suggest skipping ray wu pigtails. They change sometimes as was in my case. Ordered some when I started with pixels and the next time I ordered the exact item # when they came in they were different. Went round and round through emails before I decided it wasn't worth the trouble. I now get HC extensions, cut the end off to make my own pigtail and the other end is soldered to the lights. Have been doing that since the RW problem.

I will never have that problem again. I have enough various length extensions to last a lifetime plus. If smart pixels its the 3 way 5,10 or 20' lengths.

JR

 

1 minute ago, MattJ said:

Thanks JR -  how do you make the "solder to the lights" connection waterproof?

I added to my above statement when you posted this. If you want the link to video I will PM it to you. If you do not know how to solder or are sloppy you can get bullet connectors that have low heat solder along with shrink tubing. However I go beyond that and each wire still gets its own extra heat shrink tube and a larger one that covers all 3 wires. I put silicone on the outside of the three wires and pull the large heat shrink over them. Heat the heat shrink and the silicone oozes out the end. They will never leak.

JR

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45 minutes ago, MattJ said:

I want to solder my own.. and for it to be waterproof. I can't find the connectors anywhere, just the pigtails. Probably I'm searching for the wrong thing. Any pointers would be appreciated.

I solder all of mine (clarification in a moment).  For example, this year I am rebuilding all the pixels on my pixel tree.  I bought 3,000 bullet pixels from Ray in 50 pixel strings.  They just have the cheepie plastic connector at each end.  I am cutting that off and soldering about three feet of 3 conductor zip cord to it.  At the end of that is the 4 conductor green pixel connector that essentially every pixel controller uses.  For the soldered connection, my normal practice is to solder each wire and either electrical tape over that or preferably small heat shrink tubing over each wire.  Then an outer larger heat shrink tubing over the whole splice.  If it needs to be waterproof, use the two layer heat shrink that has the goo that melts when you heat it up.  For these strings, I also have to solder two 50 pixel strings together since my tree is 26 x 100.  Same procedure with two layers.  In the case of these, I also need to solder on a two conductor zip cord for plus and minus power as I need to inject power at the end of the strings.  These particular strings have an extra plus and minus at the start end of the string which I am not using.  That is why it looks like there are more than three wires coming out of the pixel - there are...  Those are cut off and tucked under the blue heat shrink tubing before shrinking.  Here is one of them:

Pixel-connector.jpg

Note, the red and brown tape near the connector identifies the string as #21 (resistor color code), and you can see that I put ferrules on each wire where it connects to the green connector.

I also also used the JR method where I inject silicon into the heat shrink tubing before shrinking.  That works fine, but is far more messy to do than using the two layer heat shrink tubing.

Now my exception.  The only place I am using any sort of quick disconnect outside of the controller box is on my eves and roofline, I have the lights mounted on strips, and there is a connector set at the end of each strip so it is easy to put together and take apart for storage.  This photo does not show the connectors, but you should be able to get the idea.

GECE_dual_mounting_strip.jpg

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JR/Jim

Awesome advice and exactly what I was looking for. I am OK at soldering but am pretty sure my Fisher Price 2.5W soldering iron is not helping me. So I'm going to upgrade that tool and get stuck in.

I have left over heat shrink from a a different project, pigtails (from building controllers) and silicone (from sealing pixels) so I'll use that method and get messy!

Mr P - Saw them on amazon and am going to grab a pack of 10 - I think they can help me out "mid prop" where I'm trying to break things up for storage.

 

Love this forum - you guys rock! :) :) Thank you. 

Edited for spelling

Edited by MattJ
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The most important thing about soldering is to keep your soldering tip clean and properly tinned. A dirty tip will not help your soldering.

Here are some tips for keeping your iron clean,

Use a damp sponge to clean off dirt and oxidation after every operation.

https://forum.digikey.com/t/how-to-clean-tin-and-maintain-soldering-iron-tip/2006?utm_adgroup=Soldering&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Dynamic Search_RLSA&utm_term=&utm_content=Soldering&gclid=Cj0KCQjwtsv7BRCmARIsANu-CQcKDndeu_uaO9o4V-YjpPhdt_DgK9dNmwmFeIg-Mk4vTQxjk05aU-oaAtmBEALw_wcB

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9 hours ago, PhilMassey said:

Use a damp sponge to clean off dirt and oxidation after every operation.

Or better yet, get a brass ball.  Once you use a brass ball, you will never want to go back to a wet sponge again.

 

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On 9/29/2020 at 1:02 PM, k6ccc said:

I am cutting that off and soldering about three feet of 3 conductor zip cord to it. 

Jim - could I ask where you get your 3 core zip cord from?

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I've got a bunch of Ray's extensions in various lengths. Both 3-wire and 4-wire. Your question about the number of wires is dependent on what type of pixel you are trying to use. For example, WS2811's, use 3-wire. LPD6803's use 4-wire. This year, I'm going to use "bulb grease" to help keep them from having connection issues outside from corrosion. I tested it here inside of the house last week and it works nicely. I was only concerned with it messing with the data/clock signals but it appears to be just fine. As for failures, there have been a couple over the years but only a couple. Oh and I do use them for both 5V and 12V applications

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7 hours ago, MattJ said:

Perfect - Thank you!

LOR Does sell these: http://store.lightorama.com/piex.html

Depending on length, you could cut these down to whatever size you need, they sell them in various lengths, up to 25 feet long.  Might cost a bit, but they are LOR connectors and there are male and female connectors on the cable.  Cost is dependent on type connector and length of cable.   But this is what I'd use if I were going to solder my own pigtails for LOR controllers and RGB products.   At least I'd know they'd be a perfect match for any of my LOR RGB products!

 

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