Christmas lights - just light up already

I have a Christmas light problem.
The problem is that I have a 150 set of Twin light blinking Icicles. Some of the lights/strands aren't lighting and I can't figure out why.
There are 15 "icicles" (strands) on the whole set. Icicles # 1,4,7,10, & 13 blink first. Then icicles # 2,5,8,11, & 14 blink second. Finally, icicles, # 3,6,9,12, & 15 blink last; these are the ones that aren't lighting up. There are a total of 50 bulbs in these and I've tested every one of them - they all work.
The first light in the first and second strand each have a blinker light in it. The third strand didn't have one as it was in the very last light on the whole set. So I moved the blinker into the first light/bulb of the third string, but they still won't light up.
Any ideas on why they won't light up if all the bulbs are ok? I don't want to throw them out as I can't find any stores that carry these. I'm sure they do somewhere but not around here. Also, these were purchased very cheap at a yard sale and as far as I can see, they had never been opened. So I have no idea if they're just faulty or if something else is going on.
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I am serious about this:
Throw them away and buy new ones!!! Don't waste your time or your aptience by trying to fix them. I worked on mine (the Saturday after Thansgiving) for FOUR HOURS trying to get them to work. I even went out and bought one of those "Christmas Light Testers". (Sure, it tests the bulb and tells you if there is power in the light, but that's about it). Problem is: They (whoever you bought them from) won't have ones to match the ones you have now so you have to buy ALL NEW ONES!!
Trust me. You may be a little poorer, but you will be MUCH happier.
Feliz Navidad
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Dr. Hardcrab wrote:

I have all the time in the world to work on them so that doesn't matter to me. It's better than sitting around twiddling my thumbs. But as I stated before, no one makes these particular style of lights anymore, so I'd like to try fixing them. The bulbs/sockets/volts/etc. are all the same as what's being made today so that's not a problem either. It's just that this style/design is different. They're not just some regular set of mini lights. They're the icicle mini lights but they're different from the style/design currently being made.
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Then maybe one of those testers would come in handy. It was just a couple of bucks at WallyMart....
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On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 21:35:50 GMT, "Dr. Hardcrab"

What the thing actually does is indicate the presence of the electric field produced by 120VAC (I wish they'd tell you that). With a series of lights (most miniature Christmas light strings have 50 in series) that lights , you'll see 120V at one end with a gradual drop to 0V at the other. With a problem somewhere, it'll be 120V at one end and all the way to the problem, then it drops to 0V. This way you can find the bad bulb (or other defect) with only a few tests. You need to separate the wires enough to be sure which wire has 120V in it.
I've fixed some strings this way, and others are just strange.
--
6 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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After ruling out a single blown or loose bulb you are left with an open circuit. This is often caused when the wire is pulled and strained too much and the strands break inside the insulation or right where they enter the bulb base.
Get a multimeter and modify a bulb base so that the probe can be pushed in to contact one side. Connect one side of the probe to the wire near the plug then work your way all the way around the string verifying continuity to each socket. If the bulbs are in you will see increasing resistance with each bulb then it will become open when you reach the bad link. Instead of probing inside the sockets, you can use a pin as a probe and push through the insulation between each bulb.
Make wiring repairs as required. Do not remove more than 1 or 2 bulbs [sockets] from the loop or the voltage for the remaining bulbs will be too high causing them to burn out prematurely.
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wrote:

That sounds like what I was doing before I found out about the EMF detector (Christmas light tester). Instead of increasing resistance, you lose the 120V when you get to the bad place.

--
5 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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If you have tested all the bulbs and they are all good, there is probably a bad wire somewhere. The sockets are ususlly at fault. The wires just wrap around a tiny piece of metal in them. Sometimes you can find the bad one by wiggling at each socket or gently tugging on the wires by each socket. If you find the bad socket, I have pushed out the wires and little metal things and soldered them. Kind of a job, but if you got time on your hands, why not...
Considering the price of these lights, you may be better off getting a new set of lights, but never toss out the bulbs. Save them for the next set you need a bulb for. Try to determine the voltage of them before you bag them, and label it.
Mark
On 19 Dec 2005 11:57:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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