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How to wire this custom jackolantern prop

Discussion in 'Halloween' started by BrooklynLights83, Apr 7, 2019.

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  1. BrooklynLights83

    BrooklynLights83 New Elf

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    Hey gang, hoping someone out there has the patience to help me out. This is my first year as a home owner that I am going to attempt a halloween or Christmas display. I have no previous programing or electrical experience what so ever. I have been "researching" and dabbling in trying to build a light show. Of course my brain can't understand this process. I did find the 101 pdf recently and that has been a lot of help. I bought some lights and wire in pursuit of trying to pull off this jackolantern project.
    The idea is to run wire through a large prop vine, down a stem, and into a carved foam jackolantern. It would repeat this in sections that could separate ( I think by using pigtails.) I have some major concerns and questions and I would be so grateful if someone could address them. Keep in mind I don't know what wire or lights I purchased as I was planning on this a long time ago and couldn't get to it until now. This is the wire I have, and these are the lights I have.
    [​IMG]
    And here is a drawing of what I plan to do with them.
    [​IMG]
    This will be a labor intensive prop, and I don't want to mess it up because I don't really know what I'm doing. So here are some questions
    1. I read that the current and data only go through the wire in one direction. How do I know the correct direction this wire needs to go?
    2. The idea is that once the prop is finished the wires won't be seen and will be permanently put in place. Is this a problem? Can a light be replaced if it goes out?
    3. This is intended for outdoors, how can I make sure that it is protected from the elements?
    4. When the sections of vine connect, I want to connect the circuit using pigtails. What kind would I need to order?
    I very much appreciate anyone who can help or has any suggestions.
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    We can't see the images you linked as the site blocks images from new members until they hit a few posts as an anti-spam measure.
     
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    BrooklynLights83

    BrooklynLights83 New Elf

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  4. NTKing(Brad)

    NTKing(Brad) Senior Elf

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    BrooklynLights83

    BrooklynLights83 New Elf

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  6. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    I think it's either 2 or 3 posts to prove you aren't a spammer. Try uploading again now.
     
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    BrooklynLights83

    BrooklynLights83 New Elf

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    leds2.jpg I can add photos now!
    jackolantern_screenshot.png
     
  8. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    For pixels the data direction is usually marked on the pcb within the pixel. Marked as Din and Dout or via an arrow indicating direction of data flow or both for modules and strips. Have you got a link to those lights? I don't know them specifically to advise on what to look for.
    If there was JST plugs on the lights originally then that can often be used to work out the data direction. The output of a pixel tester or similar data source with usually have male pins on the outlet (opposite to standard practice across most electronics) which means that the female JST plug would be on the Din (Data in) end.
    There's not much that can be done to UV protect wires and cabling. There is some specialist sprays that protect stuff somewhat but the spray itself has a limited service life. UV protected/resistant cable is the best bet.
    The choice of pigtails isn't super important. 13.5mm pigtails are fairly much the norm but if you are using clear cables there is also a clear bodied pigtail that I have seen on Ray Wu's Aliexpress page. White pigtails will fade to a brown colour after a few months in the sun.
     
  9. OP
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    BrooklynLights83

    BrooklynLights83 New Elf

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    @AAH Thank you for your response! Unfortunately I don't have the link but I bought them from Ray Wu months ago. I just have the clear because that is what he had, to me it doesn't matter because I'm only going to paint them or bury them into the prop.
     

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