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Old 12-12-2003, 04:30 PM   #1
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Wanted: Electrical Genius

O.K., you electrical geniuses seem to have an answer for every problem, large or small, Univolt, battery, generator, starter, lights, etc.

So, answer me this: How do Christmas lights work?

I've got those minature lights that are wired in series:
150 bulbs on a string
50 bulbs per each of 3 wires (circuits?)
2.5 volts bulbs X 50/circuit = about 120 volts

Now, how do you determine by scientific troubleshooting (without changing every bulb) when 1/3 of the lights go out, which 1 of the 50 bulbs is defective ?

Your reply would be appreciated and Santa will receive notice of your additional Karma points with a copy to the electrical supply store of your choice.

And, for the "electron-challenged" members of the Forum who were kind enough to review my post, but don't have a clue to the answer, here's a poser for you:

What's the term in Scrabble for using all 7 letters in 1 play? (Hint: it is the name of another game, often played as a fund raiser at charitable/non-profit organizations). The electrical geeks will never get this one, even with the hint!

Happy Holidays,
Jeff
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Old 12-12-2003, 04:38 PM   #2
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here is how i do it....

jeff


throw them away and buy new ones!

that is how i trouble shoot them. i make enough money at the electric company to afford to buy about 10 to 20 strings an hour.

that way, i figure if it takes more than 5 min. to trouble shoot them i am wasting my time!

was the name of the game bingo?

john
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Old 12-12-2003, 04:40 PM   #3
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btw..,

the bulb that is bad is always the last one you check!

john
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Old 12-12-2003, 04:51 PM   #4
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Those bulbs are designed to short when one burns out. If they are all out, the probability is that one is loose, so go through wiggling all the "off" ones and you may find it.

Agree with John... the word is bingo.
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Old 12-12-2003, 06:02 PM   #5
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Re: Wanted: Electrical Genius

Quote:
Originally posted by jthew1
O.K., you electrical geniuses seem to have an answer for every problem, large or small, Univolt, battery, generator, starter, lights, etc.

So, answer me this: How do Christmas lights work?

I've got those minature lights that are wired in series:
150 bulbs on a string
50 bulbs per each of 3 wires (circuits?)
2.5 volts bulbs X 50/circuit = about 120 volts

Now, how do you determine by scientific troubleshooting (without changing every bulb) when 1/3 of the lights go out, which 1 of the 50 bulbs is defective ?

Your reply would be appreciated and Santa will receive notice of your additional Karma points with a copy to the electrical supply store of your choice.

And, for the "electron-challenged" members of the Forum who were kind enough to review my post, but don't have a clue to the answer, here's a poser for you:

What's the term in Scrabble for using all 7 letters in 1 play? (Hint: it is the name of another game, often played as a fund raiser at charitable/non-profit organizations). The electrical geeks will never get this one, even with the hint!

Happy Holidays,
Jeff
Jeff, since modern lights are designed to stay lit even when one light goes out, unless one is loose or gone, look for a missing or broken bulb.
Also, I agree with John and Moe, the word is Bingo.
Terry
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Old 12-12-2003, 06:23 PM   #6
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Bingo

Maurice and Arg20 are right. Usually the problem, rather than a loose bulb, is one of the little wires is broken.
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Old 12-12-2003, 06:29 PM   #7
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Throw them out

I agree...throw them out and buy new ones or check for the loose or missing one. Some lights have two fuses, one per circuit located in the plug.

I'm not sure why in your "calculations" why you say 2.5 volt light bulb X 50 light bulbs = 120 volts...??? Just wondering what you were trying to get at with that calculation?

Good luck with the lighting project and Happy Holidays!!!
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Old 12-12-2003, 11:15 PM   #8
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...and don't leave them up until Easter.

Happy Holidays!
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Old 12-13-2003, 12:04 AM   #9
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If you wanna really do yourself....

...a favor with those little bulbs, put the string on a dimmer at about 80% of full voltage. You won't even notice the change in light output, but the bulbs will last a whole lot longer!!

-Don
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Old 12-13-2003, 02:36 AM   #10
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Jeff..
Quote:
The electrical geeks will never get this one, even with the hint!
It looks like you eat "crow" tonight...lmao

ciao

"BINGO"
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Old 12-13-2003, 11:18 AM   #11
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Eating Crow

Originally posted by john hd

Quote:
throw them away and buy new ones!
I did, this is the new set, only 2 days old!

Quote:
I make enough money --------- I figure if it takes more than 5 min. to trouble shoot them I am wasting my time!
Since retirement I have more time (and curiousity) than money, so thought I'd try to troubleshoot and repair them.

The wife says we have to cut back on expenses and either she or the Airstream has to go - I'm going to miss the Old Girl (the wife, that is)

Quote:
was the name of the game bingo?
Oh man, we have some POWER Scrabble players here, too. Did you know crow tastes a little like chicken?

Happy Holidays,
Jeff
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Old 12-13-2003, 02:12 PM   #12
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Found It

Originally posted by john hd

Quote:
the bulb that is bad is always the last one you check!
Yep, it was the "last one", 49th of 50! Why, oh why didn't I start at the other end?

Now, considering the cost of the lights divided by the time I spent troubleshooting them (including time on the Forum), I "made" exactly $2.08 per hour. Which is probably a lot more than the person earned for assembling them in the Country of origin (same place Harbor Freight gets their tools).

But, they sure do look pretty reflecting off the snow covered Airstream.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Old 12-13-2003, 02:15 PM   #13
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Yep, it was the "last one"
It's always the last one ~ 'cuz then you stop looking!!!

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Old 12-13-2003, 07:17 PM   #14
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I Get It Now

While sitting back tonight, enjoying the fruits of my labor and sucking on a green bottle (Heineken) --- I pulled the box the lights came in out of the trash, to study all those words and pictures printed on the back.

SO, you "geniuses" actually read the directions??? Not a very manly thing to do, but it all makes sense now!!!

I sure wouldn't want to play Scrabble with you, bet you know all the 7 letter words in the dictionary.

Ho Ho Ho,
Jeff
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