140 count mini light string flashing

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140 count mini light string flashing

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:27 pm

I have a 140 count string of the mini christmas lights that I want to flash, but there is only 1 slight issue. It requires 3.5 volt bulbs and for some odd reason nobody seems to carry that voltage bulb period. Only 2.5, 7 and 12 volt bulbs. I figured if I used a 2.5 volt bulb it would just blow fairly fast and possibly do damage to other bulbs. Then I was thinking what if I made up for the lost voltage in each section? I know it will have 3 sections of lights since it's a series-parallel circuit and having more than 100 lights and are likely 46, 46, and 50 and in each section. I imagine each bulb would be getting 1 volt too much, which would be around 23-25 volts, and was thinking if I put 2 12 volt bulbs in each section it would equal things out. Am I thinking correctly or does what i'm thinking make no sense at all? I'm just thinking like this because I know each bulb has to be a certain voltage depending on the length of the strand to equal between 100 and 120 volts.
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Re: 140 count mini light string flashing

Post by 75X11 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:57 pm

You would probably have another bit of trouble also. The flashing is usually done by a thermal flasher bulb whose rate would probably change with the resistance of the string. Couldn't you find another string at a big lots store? The incandescents go mighty cheap.
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Re: 140 count mini light string flashing

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:22 pm

I already have them up. I think I bought them 1 or 2 years ago new at a thrift store for next to nothing. I didn't realize they were 3.5 volt bulbs until after I had them up. I also didn't realize 3.5 volt bulbs were basically obsolete. The 100 count mini's are 2.50 each at WalMart. I have 2 sets of 100 green on the other side of my porch to pretty much match what I did with the 140 which are red. I was just thinking they would look good flashing since I have clear lights "pulsing" from being plugged into a set of old musical lights that let attached sets follow their pattern and have a flasher plug on candelabras and 100 count multi colored lights. If I can't get them to flash, it's not a big deal but I thought i'd make an attempt.
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Re: 140 count mini light string flashing

Post by 75X11 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:14 pm

If it were me, I would hit the thrift stores again. The lights on hand have probably been picked through pretty well by now, and the remainders may be the strings that don't light. You could find a bunch of spare bulbs and have a better chance of getting the obsolete voltage bulbs you need. And do it at a good price.
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Re: 140 count mini light string flashing

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:20 pm

Now you know why they priced them "next to nothing."  Very Happy

They knew what they were worth!

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Re: 140 count mini light string flashing

Post by tuberadiogeek on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:35 pm

I'll likely hit the two I can visit easily and often by the end of the week or early next week. I did find packs of 3.5 volt flasher bulbs on eBay, the guy wanted 3.00 plus 2.00 shipping. I sent him a message out of curiosity to see if he would give me a small discount or free shipping if I bought 2 packs but judging from his reply, I don't believe either is going to happen. His response was "have a happy holidays in ohio". Now this guy is in Michigan and i'm obviously in Ohio and that likely stood out to him and my best guess is he automatically assumes i'm an OSU fan and he's probably not happy UM lost to OSU in the "big game" last week. BTW, the store where I bought them is a clothing/thrift store ran by a local catholic church and a majority of the pricing is done by ladies that are i their 50's and up. So they likely randomly put on a price on them not knowing what exactly what they were.
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Re: 140 count mini light string flashing

Post by 75X11 on Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:44 pm

You said the guy was from Michigan... 'Nuff said. Very Happy
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Re: 140 count mini light string flashing

Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:44 am

Exactly.. Just to clarify i'm NOT a OSU fan but actually a UM fan, but I wasn't going to tell that guy.. LOL.. at any rate, he obviously did not want to possibly sell 2 packs of bulbs.. as I can't imagine they are selling very often, even at this time of year.
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