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Any way to stop solder joints from breaking?

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by Nick Cosper, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Nick  Cosper

    Nick Cosper New Elf

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    I have a bunch of 12vdc light strips from Ray Wu mounted to 1/2" pvc along the eaves of my house. These strips are spliced together from ray every meter or so and at those solder joints the strips are constantly breaking. Every morning it seems, I will have at least 1 or two repairs to make from these solder joints breaking. I've tried to cable tie on each side of every solder joint, not have the strip pulled tight, cable tie directly on the solder joint and it seems as though nothing helps. My home has direct sun exposure all day on these lights, but it seems as though they break at night.
    Temperatures are about 70F in the day and 35F at night and I assume that the big change is causing them to contract at night and maybe pull tight to break.


    Anyone have any ideas on preventing this? I fear that this will occur regularly during the christmas season putting a big damper on my display.


    Currently the lights are up in prep for a halloween display
    Thanks
     
  2. jcmarksafb

    jcmarksafb Hello from Christopher Creek Arizona

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    If you use a zip tie gun then your zip ties are more than likely too tight, they need to be snug, but allowed to move with expansion and contraction would my best guess. Are they in silicone tubes or resin filled, the ones in silicone tubes are a little more forgiving. I've had mine up for over 2 years with no problem with the solder joints. Hope this helps.
    John
     
  3. Jamie

    Jamie Lighting up the night.

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    I agree tbat tbe tightness of the ties may be affecting the ability of the strip to move with the temps.
     
  4. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    As what the guys have said previously it would be caused by the cable ties being to tight not allowing for contraction and expansion, I have actually witnessed this in the past

    the other way that these can break is when you are putting up the strip with conduit, if you hold the conduit only at one end and bend to much then that also can cause the solder joints to break.

    The cable ties should only be tight enough to hold the outer tube and not hold the actual strip, this will then allow the strip to expand and contract within the tube.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Nick  Cosper

    Nick Cosper New Elf

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    Thanks guys, I am putting the zip ties on by hand, not with a gun but if there is enough expansion and contraction in the strips that it requires the zip ties to actually move, then I'll bet they are just too tight. I suspect I'll probably just need to use more zip ties do prevent sagging of the strips and have them looser.


    The strips are silicon covered so they are quite pliable.
    Thanks for the help!
     
  6. ShellNZ

    ShellNZ Senior Elf

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    I put dots of silicon every 30cm or so just to hold them there, plus ziptie
     
  7. OP
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    Nick  Cosper

    Nick Cosper New Elf

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    Glad I posted, Thats a great idea to add a little silicone to keep em straight.
    Thanks!
     
  8. smartalec

    smartalec Im a SmartAlec what can i say! Community Project Designer

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    you can also use 13mm clear heatshrink, cause that stuff goes stiff an cable tieing that would be way easyer
     

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