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Thread: Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

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    New Member my2monkeys's Avatar
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    Default Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

    I have successfully cut my 100 count string into 2 50 count strings. That was easy. My question is that I need to know if I can add an empty section, no lights, just wires in the middle of one of these strings? I'm re-stringing the lights on the Santa Sleigh for next year and I'm pretty much at the end. I have only 22 lights on my string to go but I'm stuck at a section where I need to jump over about a foot (12") and I don't want to have any lights there and capped off lights would look ridiculous. So I was wondering if I could splice in the 3 pieces, 12" lengths of wire and not have it effect the brightness of the lights. I'm not actually changing the number of lights at all. Just adding a foot more of wire in the middle of the lights. I was thinking of taking some of the length of wire from from near the plug. It might be just enough but if not, would my idea of adding in wires work?

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    Senior Member mpurser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

    yes you can jump spaces with blank wire just make sure you connect a to a and b to b i would keep the blank space as short as possible and maintain wire Gage sizes.Ihope this helps.

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

    There is an exception to consider. Once you add a full wave rectifier, then the second section of the string may or may not be the correct polarity to match your rectifier. In the case where the second section is reversed then you would be flipping the wires a to b and. b to a. It is best to add the full wave rectifier and the cable extension at the same time so you can be sure.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

    Another way to do this is to just put a plug on the end of the "second" 50 light string and use an extension cord or SPT cord to get it to the right location. It also gives you some flexibility in now having 50-light strings, rather than 100. But if it's for a custom prop, like the sleigh, and you don't plan to reuse it in the future, then extending the wires is just fine.

    Soldering the wire on and using heat-shrink tubing is probably the easiest way to make good connections. Injecting some silicone (non acidic) before heating the shrink doesn't hurt either.
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

    Quote Originally Posted by mschell View Post
    Another way to do this is to just put a plug on the end of the "second" 50 light string and use an extension cord or SPT cord to get it to the right location. It also gives you some flexibility in now having 50-light strings, rather than 100. But if it's for a custom prop, like the sleigh, and you don't plan to reuse it in the future, then extending the wires is just fine.

    Soldering the wire on and using heat-shrink tubing is probably the easiest way to make good connections. Injecting some silicone (non acidic) before heating the shrink doesn't hurt either.
    I am glad you brought up those points Mark .. particularly using silicon with heatshrink. I have been forgetting to show that one at TASL meetings but I will demo it on Feb 22nd when I show the little rectifier boards. I've been using silicon with heatshrink since I started pixels in 2012.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
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    New Member my2monkeys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

    Just to clarify.....these are incandescent mini lights I'm talking about, not LED's. Yes I would use heat shrink but never heard of injecting silicone first. So essentially what I want to end up with is, try to visualize this,

    Plug....lead wire....23 lights... about 12" of wires with no lights....27 lights...lead wire....end plug.

    It still has the 50 light count, just with an added blank section in the middle of the lights.

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    Senior Member mpurser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

    yup you got the jest

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    Toymaker/Delivery Guy Santa Shannon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

    Yep, and in this case polarity doesn't matter, just don't cut the strings to fewer bulbs as that forces the remaining bulbs to carry the extra voltage and you'll have cascading failures (which is also the reason you want to replace blown bulbs as soon as possible, even if the rest of the string is working.
    Check out my professional Santa website, That's Santa!.

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    Default Re: Can I Splice Extra Wire Into My Mini String Lights

    You can cut them anywhere you want, but you would have to follow some exact rules for the wiring. Incandescent are wired in series groups and there is a third wire that feeds the female <socket> end. If you want to split the group AND extend the socket then use 3 wires, making sure that each wire gets mated correctly to where you cut it. If you don't need the socket then cut it off and pull out that feeder wire, then cut and extend anywhere you want. I always put two pieces of tape with a number where I want to cut .. then cut in between the tape and you can't make a mistake.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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