Where's me twinkle gone?

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Hello
Just fitted some small low voltage (24v) outside lights to a tree. The lights are on a single loom and seem to be wired in 4 different circuits with a "twinkle" bulb in each circuit (distinguished by having a red base). Tested the bulbs before assembling and they al twinkled fine - takes about 30secs for them to get going.
In order to get the lights in place I needed to splice in an extension wire - crimped and taped connections. The problem now is that I've lost my twinkle in all but one circuit. I've tried checking my joints and changing the twinkle bulbs but all to no avail - the bulbs mostly just stay permanently on.
All I can think is that I've somegow introduced too much resistance and the twinkle bulbs are no longer getting a large enough current through them to heat them to the magical twinkle point ;-)
Anyone know how I can get my twinkle back?
Pete
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On Mon, 15 Dec 2003 13:51:23 +0000 (UTC), "Pete"

Some twinkle bulbs don't twinkle if they're too cold.
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"Pete" wrote | All I can think is that I've somegow introduced too much | resistance and the twinkle bulbs are no longer getting a | large enough current through them to heat them to the | magical twinkle point ;-)
Could it be that it's just too cold outside for your twinkle to perform properly, but it worked okay in the warm?
| Anyone know how I can get my twinkle back?
Rub gently with a soft cloth to warm it up? Well, it's supposed to work for geniis.
Owain
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Should I be reading this?
Mary

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Only if you've got good eyesight. :-))
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I'll have a look ...

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base).
the
Make your extension lead out of a thicker cable to cut down the resistance.
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the
If you swap the working twinkle bulb from one set, to a set that isn't twinkling, does the twinkle move with the bulb, or is it stuck with a particular set?
How long is your extension, and is the wire the same thickness, thicker, or thinner than the original wire?
Sparks...
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to
or
At last, someone sympathetic to my dilemma ;-)
1. Twinkle generally moves with the bulb but not always - sometime I lose all my twinkle! 2. Extension is about 2-3 m and is much thicker than original wire (I used some old mains cable I had).
If it helps, I've been through two sets of spare twinkle bulbs and only one twinkles in the lengthened cable..
Thanks Pete
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one
Ok, so the wire isn't a problem here!
How have you actually joined the wires?
Although it shouldn't matter, have you kept the polarity the same (or was there a plug on the end of the wire before you chopped it that would fit in the transformer either way?
Have you fitted any replacement bulbs in the set that my not be the correct bulbs (Or is it a new set?)
I know it is a pain in the arse, but if you bring them inside, complete with the new extension, do they start to twinkle? - if so, are they supposed to go outside!?
(The twinkle works by a bi-metallic wire, when it gets hot it bands, thus severing the connection, as soon as it goes off, it cools, the wire bends back thus reconnecting the lights again, then it repeats - If the bulb is too cold, it wont bend enough to sever the connection, so you lose the twinkle.)
Sparks...
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Sparks wrote:

not proved. You need pretty thick wire at low voltages.

Might be a low mains voltage as well. Its bloody cold. Therefore bi metal strip cooling, and grid sagging...add a few extra meters of cable and a susoect bulb...and a bit of (in) tolerance...?

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lose
used
The OP did say it "Is much thicker than original wire"
Next thing to check is the actual method used to connect the wires Maybe there is some added resistance here?
Sparks...
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Wires are connected by twisting, wrapping in foil and crimping - I've checked and redone all connections to no avail. Do you think I should use terminal blocks or solder?
Pete
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Solder will give the best connection, you could solder and terminal block if you wished
Have you tried the suggestion BigWallop made of grasping the twinkle bulb in your hand to see if it starts it?(This is a lot wasier then ripping them off the bush or whatever and bringing them inside!)
Sparks...
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Thanks.
There's no way I'm untangling them from the tree to play with them this side of Xmas - twinkle or no twinkle!!
I did try warming the bulb in my hand in situ - but this didn't work. However, I found that by moving the twinklers further down the line I was able to get two circuits twinkling - which is better than before and will do for me!
Thanks again Pete
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do
That's sorted then. I hope your lady's happy now.
Mary

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was
will
Well two twinkles would be enough for most people but my wife is so demanding - she's not happy unless she gets four!
I've told her she'll have to get the other two twinkles herself ;-)
Pete
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I thought about you tonight while viewing the huge tree at the West Yorkshire Playhouse which had scores, possibly hundreds of twinkles on it. I pondered that you might have a bigger problem with something like that.
By the way, I allowed Spouse to read this thread. He wet his knickers, don't know why ... but he sobered up when he saw the technical stuff and nodded with approval so someone's doing something right.
Mary

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one
And you haven't lengthened any of light strings ? Do they start to twinkle when you hold the flasher lamp in your warm hand for a minute or two ? Try putting two flasher lamps in the one light string to see if it brings your twinkle back.
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