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kmart raindrop tubes

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by dropbear_luke, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. dropbear_luke

    dropbear_luke Full Time Elf

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    Hi all,
    I bought some raindrop led lights from kmart at the end of 2010 to use in 2011. They were really nice during the display, but after christmas we had a big storm so i couldnt takr them down straihgt away. Now they are full of water. i was wondering if anyone else had these and experienced similar problems. Basicallt, should try and extract the water and save them, or would the circuitry just be fried now. They are supposed to be outdoor lights, but the water seems to have gone in through the top along the cords. I suppose they really are raindrop lights now :p
     

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  2. djgra79

    djgra79 Senior Elf Generous Elf

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    HI Luke.
    I did exactly the same thing and bought them on clearance at end of 2010 and used 2 sets for 2011 display. I hung them across the garage which has a small overhang, and our weather mostly comes from behind the garage so they never got a drop of rain on them. As you say, they are supposed to be outdoor lights so that's a bit of a bummer yours seemed to act like rain gauges!
    Hope you can get them sorted out.
    Cheers, Graham
     
  3. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I bought a heap of these in 2010 and the ones I put on my fence line suffered from water leakage just like yours. They don't appear to have any real sealing at the top of the tube.

    I removed and scrubbed the boards with a tooth brush, dried them out and they seemed to work. I didn't use them at all this year, so have not checked to see if they still work or if they corroded.

    Not sure what to do with them now. I have over 100 tubes all up - about half of them new in boxes. I was thinking of redoing the cable entries to make them waterproof.
     
  4. wjohn

    wjohn Apprentice Elf

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    I would follow David's suggestion and strip the tubes apart, clean and dry them.


    Cleaning the boards using acetone and a toothbrush is a good start, compressed air or a hair dryer is good to remove and dry the boards. You could even give them a coat in a spray PCB sealer, available from Frys in the USA, or Altonics or Jaycar in OZ.


    Water based clear roofing sealant is my preferred gunk to seal pixels, tubes and other small items.


    With pouring rain downunder, and snow in the 'States, it is good to consider weatherproofing and display item. Oh, don't forget wind damage too, my roof top star was water proofed but did not survive 100 km/h plus winds.
     
  5. SpeedWalker

    SpeedWalker New Elf

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    Hi All,

    I purchased about 15 packs of these at $2.00 over here in NZ from K Mart at the end of Christmas 2010, I never really had a issue with rain. However mine did fill with condensation by the sun,as we had no rain the first week they were up. The tubes collected a light film of condensation around the tube, which eventually started to pool, I only noticed this after they were up for a week, and thankfully before I started my display up.

    At the start I was gutted but then I went around and put a 1mm drill bit through the bottom of the tube that fixed the majority of the problem, allowing me to run. So as a word of caution, considering the Aussie sun, they need to breath. So it's a balacing act between total weatherproofing and allowing them to Breath.


    On a Brighter note when they were up and running it blew people away, many thought it was the coolest thing around and quite neat as they had never seen them in action before.

    Cheers

    Daniel
     
  6. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    I'm not so convinced about letting those tubes breathe. The ones I bought from China seem quite well sealed and I had zero condensation with them.

    I suspect that your Kmart ones allowed moist air to enter via the top (around the cables) and condense inside. The hole in the bottom simply let it drain a little easier.

    I even tried my Kmart tubes with no bottom caps and on hot days (no actual rain) they still fogged up.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    dropbear_luke

    dropbear_luke Full Time Elf

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    Hi all,
    Thanks for all the replies. Took the tubes apart and scrubbed them as saud with toothbrush and such the other day. Put them back together today and plugged them in. All works perfectly now. All thats left to do is seal them better, to prevent this happening again.
    Once again, thanks for all the input.
    Luke
     

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