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Question about Big W lights and cutting the controlling wire

Discussion in 'Lights - Store Bought and Home Made' started by prontoheal, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. prontoheal

    prontoheal New Elf

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    Hi guys just wondering I have a funny feeling this has been mentioned a million times but I just cannot find it.


    This year I am doing a computer controlled system this year, but I have a heap of Big W lights mainly string lights (whites, blues and some multi-colours). I am just trying to reduce the wife aggro with hey honey I bought more lights. even though it always happens the wife aggro that is.


    My question is can I keep the power as is and find the controller cables and cut it and place them into my own controller so I can treat them as dumb LED runs? or do I need to cut the power and connect them into a DC converter ?


    Only reason is I have about 500 meters of Big W lights I don't want to waste.


    Ok I think that could be 2 questions.


    Thanks
    Adam
     
  2. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Cut wires, throw away MFC and plugpack. Use on a DC voltage of 27V to 30V.
     
  3. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    I personally havent used the big w lights but I have modified similar lights. if you look at the back of the transformer for your lights it should tell you the supply voltage. Like mine were 12vdc so I cut off the transformer and connected to a dc LOR controller and 12 volt power source.

    I believe some icicle lights actually have 3 strings in them so when you cut them you can have 3 channels for those lights
     
  4. ecbailey

    ecbailey Full Time Elf

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    Cut off the controller and along with the plug pack throw them in a junk box (or chuck them, like I should do).

    Now use a ray wu 27v psu turned up to about 32v and they will work well, and really bright.

    I've kept one transformerstransformer and controller handy to use to test stuff and determine the common (positive) wire and the other two (negative) wires.
     
  5. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    Hi Adam


    Big W Lights are fairly easy to modify, thats how I started and I still have some in my display.
    Normally they are wired in sections of 10 Leds so you can cut them after each 10 if needed.
    You will need a controller to run them though if you want to sequence them. Along with a suitable power supply
    There are a number of controllers available that will do that, AAH's mega 60 or Ray Wu's 27ch boards.
    I run mine at about 29V DC from a Ray Wu 27V PSU.
    You'll also need a DMX converter, either a USB dongle or an ECG-D2 or ECG-DR4


    If you havent already have a read of the 101 manual done by Eddie, (HERE)
    Also there is a bit of info on modifying the BigW strings (HERE)
     
  6. OP
    OP
    prontoheal

    prontoheal New Elf

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    Thanks all, it is something to think about as I just don't want them to collect dust
     
  7. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    Don't forget you can join more than one string to a controller output. If you have lots you can make some cool things for your display like leaping arches, Marty fans, spiral trees etc.
     
  8. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    As others have said - do the DC conversion....<snip>.....chuck the MFC and transformer into a bin of some kind(parts or rubbish).....and run them from a DC controller. It's a lot less work, more foolproof and less wiring in the yard than bypassing the MFC and using an AC controller.

    My display this (last) year was 80 sets of BigW lights running off DC PSUs and LOR DC controllers - the Ray Wu 27ch or other similar controllers will do the same job.

    The whole display ran off two 27V DC PSUs turned up to 30V.

    Cheers!
     
  9. firebug

    firebug Senior Elf

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    Is there anything significantly different about the BigW lights compared to say lights from Masters, Bunnings, Coles, Kmart, etc? I've read about the BigW lights in a few threads and not much about any others...
     
  10. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    The Big W ones have been pretty consistent from year to year with regard to voltage required and connectors.

    I suspect the other brands are similar, but haven't tested any of them in recent years.
     
  11. ecbailey

    ecbailey Full Time Elf

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    Coles ones are wired the same, but they have a different colour combination. They can be used from the same power supply as big w ones.
     
  12. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    The big thing with the BigW lights is that they were readily available, had good colours and were good value compared against others, so lots of people went for them.

    Unfortunately they seem to be cutting the colour range back somewhat, in 2012 they didn't have green and 2013 they seem to have only had white and multicolour(was there blue?).....

    I had to use some green lights from oo.com.au in 2012, and they ran at the same voltage just fine.

    As long as other brands of lights are somewhere in the range 27V to about 32V I'd guess you would be able to run them from the same PSUs as the BigW lights.

    Cheers!
     
  13. firebug

    firebug Senior Elf

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    Thanx guys, I have about 60m of Masters white leds that I might be able to do something with then...
     
  14. aaronwa

    aaronwa New Elf

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    I also have THOUSANDS of Big W LED lights.




    I took the three wires from the controller, and conneted them directly to the two wires coming from the plugpack. You will have a positibe, and aneutral (two wires connected to one side, two to the other)


    The result is a stead set. When i get a controller i will cut the twp pin plug off and wire into the controller.
     
  15. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Assuming you're talking about the 22V or 24V AC transformer plugpacks, this will result in a half-wave output to the LEDs and the associated flicker.

    The controller not only sequences the lights, but also contains a full-wave rectifier to pretty much eliminate the flicker.
     

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