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

Gum Tree Purchase

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by averagebloke, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. averagebloke

    averagebloke New Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    melbourne
    Hi All I am very new to ACL and on the weekend purchased off gumtree 30 never used unopened boxes of Big W LED's 600 per box (18,000 lights) plus 7 boxes of connectable icicles 100 per box (700). They are all blue lights except for 1 box of pink.
    I could not resist buying them as the total purchase price was $110 and being new and never used I thought I had not much to lose if I could not use them.
    I intended going straight into RGB's as I had no lights at all. So hoping now to incorporate them somehow into my first display this year together with various RGB'S
    I have attached pics of the leads from controller and the lights packaging.
    My understanding of reading the 101 is that all I have to do is remove the small multi function controller and connect the lights through a DC controller with DC switch mode power supply. Hope this is correct?

    If I am correct I now need to buy a DC Controller and the correct SMPS. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated on these.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. OP
    OP
    averagebloke

    averagebloke New Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    melbourne
    Here is the pic of the controller that was not on my original post
     

    Attached Files:

  3. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Eaglehawk
    Find Me On:
    You look to have had a win with the Big W lights. They seem to be the older style 3 wire ones rather than the new 2 wire ones. The 3 wire ones can be hooked up to almost any DC controller. You can either run them as 2 channels with half the leds turning on on each channel or else hook the 2 negatives together and run the entire string as a single channel.
    There's lots of DC controllers compared on http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/Controllers#Feature_Comparisons . There's a number of my controllers on there as well as ones from China. 1 thing to be especially aware of is that Big W lights typically need 27-31V to run them depending on the colour and brightness. Not all of the Chinese controllers will allow this voltage (without modification).
    As far as power supplies you can either go with Meanwell supplies which are great quality with price that goes with it or else you can get cheap ones from Ray Wu. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/701799/search?origin=y&SearchText=350w
    The brick style power supplies typically have a +/- 10% adjustment range so a 27V will adjust between about 25 and 30V and the 31V will adjust about 28-34V.
     
  4. EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK
    Find Me On:
    I used a WS2801DC15 from AAH to control my store brought lights for 2015, and I will buy another to use for 2016.
    They are really food.




    Very few controllers can go up to 30 volts.
    I used a 30 volt power supply. It was probably a little too much. One string failed just before Christmas, and the resistors were all hot, but I don't know how to turn it down a little.


    The 2801DC15 needs to be connected to a pixel controller, or can be connected to a Raspberry Pi directly.
    I connected it to a Pi directly.


    If you don't know much about pixels yet, one of his DMX boards may be better.
    Most pixel controllers have DMX outputs, or you could use a USB DMX dongle to connect it to whatever show player you choose.
     
  5. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    6
    There are plenty of controllers that can handle 30V.

    The correct way to determine the voltage for the light sets is by measuring their current draw. To run the Big W strings (can't speak for their icicles) with 10mA through each LED you need to choose a voltage such that the current draw is 100mA per channel for sets of 200 lights and 50mA per channel for the 100 LED extension sets. It is possible to modify the light sets to make them run properly with the same voltage if their current draws don't match.

    More info here http://auschristmaslighting.com/wiki/LED_String_DC_Testing
    although you can measure current with a multimeter instead of using an expensive power supply with current limiting. Just don't let the current get too high and start at lower voltages. All you really need is the multimeter plus a power supply with some range of voltage adjustment. The power supply's current capacity/wattage doesn't need to be high to power and test one LED string at a time.

    It is always a bit of a gamble buying your first power supply and not knowing what voltage you'll need. You could ask if there is anyone else nearby who has one to test with. My personal choice would be the 31V power supply but make sure you get one with some range of adjustment. I believe blue LEDs tend to need slightly higher voltage than some of the other colours although they're the one colour that I've never tested myself.

    Also don't make the same mistake that I did in 2015 with the pink set. You can't tell what colour they are when they're turned off so I accidentally swapped two light sets and had to take them down and fix my mistake. One was several metres high in a tree and the other was wrapped around a column under two layers of other lights.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    averagebloke

    averagebloke New Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    melbourne
    Thanks guys i think its starting to make sense
     
  7. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    4
    Find Me On:

    Wouldn't you have to fry them first? :D
     
  8. EmmienLightFan

    EmmienLightFan One of few displays in the UK

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK
    Find Me On:
    I meant good not food. [emoji14]
     

Share This Page