After some advice. Issues with my Mega Tree Lights

Groen95

New elf
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
2
Hi all...

I'm after some advice. In the middle of last year I brought 25x 50 Ws2811 5v Pixel strings from Ray Wu.
I have built a 16x50 mega tree and a few custom made candy canes. When I put my display together everything was working perfectly for a full week! Since about week two of having my display up there has been a bit of rain on the east coast of NSW which has been causing a few issues with my lights. First, I've had a couple of pixels play up on my candy canes, and because all the candy canes are on the one port and linked together, one bad pixel is causing the rest of the pixels to misbehave and do weird things.

Now..... the last few days we have had a bit of heavy rain and I was out one night and my neighbour messaged me telling me that half of my Christmas tree wasn't working. I come home to find out that a heap of pixels misbehaving. I haven't been able to do much in the way of working out what the problem was till today and I have discovered that I'm getting water in the pixels..... now because my strings are chained together its not till I fix (cut and replace bad pixel) till I find another issue in the string or on the sting next to it. so far I have found 6 bad pixels and Im only half way though my tree.

I have attached a picture of my order, have I bought the wrong pixels? yes its my first year but I never thought I would accounted as many issues as I'm having now

Pixel.png
 

TerryK

Retired Elf
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
361
Location
West Central Ohio
The 24 AWG is rather small I think. Using 18 AWG would be better; that is what most individuals use I think. The IP rating is good, they are waterproof, and while a bit difficult to determine from the photo they appear to be filled. From 1,250 pixels I would expect a handfull of premature failures as the pixels 'age-in'. I've no good idea why the recent rainfall has aggravated their dying other than with the smaller wire perhaps the epoxy fill is not sealing very well around the wires. Tension on the wires where they exit the bullet can sometimes break the epoxy/wire seal too.
 

franky_888

Full time elf
Generous elf
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
134
Location
Medowie
Mate, I feel you. I'm in the same boat.

Both my 2019 purchase of pixels, and as of last night, my 2020 pixels all seem to suffer the same issue with the epoxy. Typical failure is the first thumbnail below (small crack from the wires), others I've noticed is a full length between the wires (2nd thumbnail). Third thumbnail is the worst I've seen so far and is under filled.

IMG_20201219_131505.jpgIMG_20201219_131525.jpgIMG_20201219_133103.jpg

I had three matrices all spaz out on me last night after rain. These matrices are under an eave, so they're part shielded from the rainfall, but water still got on them, and they failed:

IMG_20201218_220719.jpgIMG_20201218_220800.jpgIMG_20201218_220803.jpg

The good news is after I returned to test them at about midday today, they all appear to work again now they they've dried out.

Today I've tried to 'seal' the backs of the pixels, with the hope of stopping failure in the future. I've sealed two with a glob of neutral cure silicon and rubbed it around with my finger, the third I've tried some Flowable Silicon on an idea I heard from Travis in Zoom last night. I'll see how each of them goes.

Not sure what's causing the cracking, these panels face west so would cop full afternoon sun, which I'm guessing is contributing.

I have emailed Ray about the pixels I bought last year (2019 MegaTree) and he's offered to replace them, but the above photos are all from this year, so I'm expecting I'll need to pre-emptively seal the new batch up too.

Disclaimer, yes, I understand these are chinese pixels, yes, I understand failures are expected. Let it be noted however that I have had far less issues with my strip :)
 
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