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Reuse 8 function controller for incandescent mini christmas lights

Reuse 8 function controller for incandescent mini christmas lights

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  #1  
Old 12-12-14, 05:52 PM
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Reuse 8 function controller for incandescent mini christmas lights

I have an 8 function controller that was on a 150 light set. The lights were all starting to burn out but I would like to rewire the controller into 2 standard 100 light sets. The controller has two wires coming into the control box and 5 wires coming out. I would like to splice these 5 wires into the two sets of new lights but do not know how to do this properly. I have a multi meter but need some instruction on how to identify the 5 wires coming out of the controller. I have an idea two are positive and two are negative and one is a ground wire but am not sure. The controller causes the lights to flash, blink, and chase. I have included a picture of the controller.
Thanks

Name:  xmaslightcontroller.bmp
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  #2  
Old 12-12-14, 06:05 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

That's a picture.

Easier to do in person than describe. Your controller used three sets of fifty lights. Three wires are hot and two are neutral. There are no grounds.

Most of those units required three sets of lights in order for the chase effects to visually work.

You'll probably find two of those wires will check close to a short. Those two will be the neutrals. The other three will be hots.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 06:22 PM
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Hi,
I tried to post a bigger picture but the 50k limit kept getting in the way. So back to the problem at hand. Should I cut the 100 light bulb sets in half to get 3 sets of 50 with one left over? What does close to short mean? So if I cut the wires on the new set in half and attach the hot wires to each of the three, what do I do with the remaining neutral wires?
Thanks
 
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Old 12-12-14, 06:51 PM
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I tried to post a bigger picture but the 50k limit kept getting in the way
Use JPEG or PNG not BMP and reduce file size not just physical size. Keep physical size to a width less than 900px and concentrate on reducing the file size instead.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 07:01 PM
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better picture

Name:  xmaslightcontroller.jpg
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This is a better picture. The jpeg is way smaller than bmp's.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 08:30 PM
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Well done. I was amazed to even see a BMP. I thought it died with Paint in Windows 98.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 09:37 PM
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I have done this before, its really quite simple. There are actually 4 channels, so you have 4 different hot leads and one common neutral return. What I did is I took four standard female plugs used to make extension cords and wired all four to the control box, one hot to each outlet with the neutral connected all together. This makes it easy to change the light strings as needed. you do not want to exceed three amps on the cord or you will blow out the built in fuses in the plug. 35-50 bulbs per channel should be the max
 
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Old 12-13-14, 12:24 AM
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There are actually 4 channels
How does 150 bulbs get divided on 4 channels ?
 
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Old 12-13-14, 01:57 AM
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You can't really re-use these like you're thinking. The output is DC, and each channel is only good for 1/2 amp.
 
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Old 12-13-14, 08:30 AM
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Why not?

Hello Justin Smith,
Can you explain why they worked with the original light string?
Thanks
 
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Old 12-13-14, 09:39 AM
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It works just fine with both leds or incans, yes it does put out dc, usually chaser sets are 140 lights with 4 channels of 35 lights each, as long as you do not exceed 3 amps total it will work just fine. Like I said, I have done this before with both incans and LED, the only thing with the LEDs is that you have to have them plugged in correctly if they are half rectified sets as the output is dc.
 
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Old 12-13-14, 09:26 PM
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'I\m quite sure you can rewire the LED controller to incandescent lights, but the total current draw (amperes) on any one channel may not be greater than the draw of the original LED lights.

A controller may achieve various effects with LEDs by reversing the polarity of the DC output of the various channels. When used with incandescent lights, the lights will come on at equal brightness for each of the (two) polarities assuming the same voltage.
 
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Old 12-14-14, 09:43 AM
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Success! And thank you for all the helpful comments.

Hi,

I have just finished rewiring the controller into new incandescent mini lights. I first cut each string of 100 lights in half. I used two strings of 100 lights each. Then I counted 35 lights per each string and discarded the remainder.

Step 1: I had to identify which wire on the controller was the common wire. To do this, I stripped all five wires coming out of the controller and insured they were not touching each other and plugged in the controller. Then using a multimeter set to 10 volts DC, I touched each wire with the red probe while touching another of the 5 wires with the black probe. When the needle jumped I knew I found the common wire coming out of the controller. Label this wire common. The other 4 wires are 'hot'. Unplug the controller before continuing to Step 2.

Step 2: Next, I took the 35 light strings and connected a single wire from each to the hot wires on the controller.

Step 3: Then, I connected another wire from the same end of the string to the common wire on the controller.

Step 4: I went to the other end of each string and connected 2 wires together to complete the circuit.

Note: There are 3 wires on each of the 35 light strings but only 2 wires are required to operate the lights.

I used electric tape around these connections to insulate them from each other before continuing on to the next step.

Step 5: To test the lights, I plugged in the controller. At this point I noted which strand(s) did not light. To fix the problem, I went to the end farthest away from the controller and swapped out the wire that was not connected with a wire that is connected. These would be the wires connected in Step 4.

Step 6: Once all lights were working I soldered the spliced connections and re-taped them to insulate.

Step 7: Project finished - go out and plug in the lights.

Thanks for all the help I got from the members that posted.
 
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Old 12-14-14, 09:59 AM
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Each set of lights uses different voltage bulbs based on how many bulbs are actually on each circuit. Hopefully your 100 light sets were two strings of 50.

Do the bulbs looks exceptionally bright ? If so they wont last too long.
 
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Old 12-14-14, 02:12 PM
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2 strings of 50?

Hi,
The string of lights I used were 100 lights per string. Since there were three wires running through out the string of 100 I think they were 2 strings of 50. The other thing I noticed is if I pulled out 1 bulb, half the string would go dark while the other 50 stay lit.
 
 

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