1. New to Christmas lighting? Get started with the AusChristmasLighting 101 Manual:
    auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/AusChristmasLighting-101

Big W Icicle Lights

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by BoonDogs, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney
    Find Me On:
    Hi all, I have a problem, I'm sure someone out there can help me out.


    I have 5 sets of the big w icicle lights. The plan was to cut off the MF controllers and transformers, and run them through a 6 channel dumb RGB controller at 24vdc. I tested the lights at 24vdc and they worked fine, a little flicker but no problems.


    Now that I have wired them into the controller, they are running at around 40% brightness, a few of the strands are at 100%. I tested the voltage coming out of the controller, 24vdc, and tested it at the other end of the lights, the same voltage.


    I have no idea what I'm doing wrong, does anybody have any idea what I need to do from here?


    Thank you!
     
  2. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    collie
    Find Me On:
    Not sure about the icicle lights, but the strings usually run at 28-30v. could be that.
     
  3. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    6
    Yes scamper is right. Adding to the problem, the exact required voltage varies depending on the colour and the year you bought them. Fortunately you can modify the light sets to all use the same voltage but yes 24V is not enough. My setup is 31V with plenty of light sets modified.

    To determine the correct voltage, you should measure the current draw and try to make it 10mA per series section within the light set.
     
  4. averagebloke

    averagebloke New Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    melbourne
    I have these in blue icicle as well so will be good to see how you get on. Also what controller are you using. I think I will go with a Hanson so that they work with Advatek plug and play controllers for my rib's


    let us know how you get on
     
  5. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    1
    Out of interest, what are the consequences of using too high or low voltage. Obviously too low and the lights will be dim or not work. I have some running on 29V (strings not icicles) but say 29V was the right voltage and I ran them on 31V what would happen. I'm assuming it would shorten the lifespan to some degree. How much over the correct voltage do you have to go before the LED's are damaged and is there risk of wires overheating with too high voltages.
     
  6. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    6
    I don't want to get too off-topic but here goes.

    It's not voltage, it's current that damages the LEDs and that's why I was saying to measure it. Increasing the voltage will increase the current.

    If the current is too high, the LEDs usually fail and short themselves out. This leaves the remaining LEDs in the series section to handle the voltage so the current increases further causing the LEDs to fail one by one at an increasing rate until one of them happens to fail without shorting and everything in that series section stops. I accidentally did this to a small section of LEDs during the modifying process and I estimate that about 80% of them failed.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney
    Find Me On:
    This is the controller I am using: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/like/281866386481?limghlpsr=true&hlpv=2&ops=true&viphx=1&hlpht=true&lpid=107&chn=ps


    I managed to run them off a smaller meanwell PSU at 24vdc and there wasn't a problem with them. How do I run them at a higher voltage? I was going to use the original transformer and run the positive wire straight to the lights, bypassing the dmx controller controller. The problem is the MF controller has some type of converter in it, so I'm worried that running them straight off the transformer will cause damage.
     
  8. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    6
    The flicker suggests your power supply that made the lights work was probably 24V AC (not DC) and a bridge rectifier (4 diodes) might have been used so all voltage spikes have the same polarity. These spikes are above 24V DC.

    Check whether the original transformer has an AC or a DC output. If it is 24V then I strongly suspect it's AC and the 8 function controller contains the bridge rectifier.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney
    Find Me On:
    Here are the photos of the MW PSU and the original transformer that came with the lights. When I test the output of the MF controller, I get 22vdc. This led me to believe that I could bypass the transformer and MF controller and run them straight at 24vdc.


    The MW PSU outputs 24vdc, and the lights worked fine. I don't understand the difference between it and the PSU from ray. The only thing I can think of is the 6 channel DMX decoder which may be stuck in some sort of test pattern. I have been unsuccessful in sending DMX to it so I may need to work that out first... That presents another problem in itself.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Homer2014

    Homer2014 Apprentice Elf

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Broome
    Find Me On:
    G'day


    The DMX 512 decoder in your link has input voltage of 5-24vdc. Cranking up the voltage might not be a good idea with that board.






    Cheers
     
  11. OP
    OP
    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney
    Find Me On:
     
  12. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    1
    Boondogs, I'm no expert but by the name AC-AC adapter I'm guessing i13 was right and it is 24v ac output.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney
    Find Me On:
    Yes that's what voltage goes into the controller, but I am getting 24vdc out of the lights and they can run at 24vdc
     
  14. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    6
    The flicker you mentioned still puzzles me a bit. The Mean Well should be outputting proper, stable DC and the lights shouldn't flicker with it. This sort of thing can be hard to pick up with a multimeter due to it fluctuating faster than the multimeter updates. This is what happened when you measured the 22V DC. It has spikes that are higher.

    Have you tried connecting the lights straight to the other power supply? I still don't think proper 24V DC will be enough to run them.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    BoonDogs

    BoonDogs I am self diagnosed with CLAP

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2016
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney
    Find Me On:
    Which power supply should I try connecting them straight to? The one from ray or the one that came with the lights?
     

Share This Page