Flashing fairy lights

Bought a set of LED fairy lights of eBay, described as multimode (i.e. various more-or-less irritating flashing modes and one steady on) but able to remember the last setting (simply 'static' sets seem to be like hens' teeth these days, at least in warm white, so this was next best.) Needless to say when the bastard things arrived they don't seem to have the memory function - if I press the button however many times to put them in steady mode then turn them off and on again they're back to annoying flashing mode. Is there some cunning way to make them memorise the last setting that I haven't sussed or are they useless?
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John Stumbles

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On 21 Dec 2012 17:45:03 GMT, John Stumbles

I would be skeptical If I saw that in the spec for fairy lights. Can we have a link to the item so we can examine the wording?
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Graham.
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The B&Q set we have does remember, if the button is held pressed for 10 secs when on the selected mode - no mention of this in the "instructions" of course.
Lee
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There's almost certainly some type of delay before saving to non-volatile memory, because the NVRAM in many of the tiny cheap microcontrollers can only be written a relatively few times, and if it saved it on every button press, it would quickly wear out.
The scheme above would achieve this. Another is that such configuration is only saved about a minute after it's set, so if you power-cycle it too quickly, it won't be saved.
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Andrew Gabriel
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On Fri, 21 Dec 2012 19:17:31 +0000, Andrew Gabriel wrote:

Thanks for that everyone. Tried holding button down on the press needed to get it to steady, and leaving them on for several minutes before power cycling them, and they still go back to manic annoying mode. Plus, having perused Big Clive's site that John Rumm linked to and looked at the size of the dropper resistors I don't think I'd want to share a living space with them that was the least bit combustible!
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Almost certainly faulty - return them. Our warm-white LED string remembers all the modes - including steady on - without any special measures. In fact, it remembered from last Christmas!
Richard. http://www.rtrussell.co.uk /
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It happens that Lee formulated :

Thanks for that, I have just discovered that our set of the more annoying ones responds to keeping the button pressed for 10 seconds. You have to count it round to the display you want, then when you get to the one just before the one you want, instead of a short press you press and keep it pressed for 10 seconds. Now on a steady drift from colour to colour, rather than an annoying and distracting flash.
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Hi just bought a set of 300 LED lights, that when you switch them on they d on't remember the setting you left them on!!! Yep the 10 second rule worked on this set. We just count through the setting we wanted and left our fin ger on it for a good 10 seconds on the the one we wanted , it work a treat, cheers !!!!!
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Hi we ve just purchased a set of multi function LED fairy lights for the ga rden. We have them on a timer so want them to remember the last setting. As a previous post the only way we can get them to stay on the setting we wa nt and not start from the beginning is to count though from the start and w hen you reach the setting you want, do not release your finger, keep it pus hed down for a good , 10 seconds , it works a treat, thank you
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On 21 Dec 2012 17:45:03 GMT, John Stumbles wrote:

Both sets of LED lights here remember the last mode used... Both Homebase multicolour one set 240 LEDs the other 80. Also the filament bulb set remembers which I think was B&Q.
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Dave.




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I've got some multimode LED lights which have a dial selector on their control box. The dial's set at the least annoying light pattern, but the string as a whole is on a separate external timer. About one activation in six so far, the lights come on in a wild frenzy and need the dial turned away from the right setting and back to it again. It doesn't altogether inspire confidence in whatever is inside the control box - a drunken elf perhaps?
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On 21/12/2012 17:45, John Stumbles wrote:

http://www.bigclive.com/noflash.htm
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Cheers,

John.

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On Friday, December 21, 2012 10:14:59 PM UTC, John Rumm wrote:

FWIW its also possible to put resistors across the control transistors so the lights just twinkle slightly.
NT
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Well if its anything like some a friend bought, yes they memorise all modes...... except always on. Who was the bright spark who thought that up, or is there some reason they don't like them to be on all the time. I gather that after a time they also go back to flashing.
Weird.
Not that it worries me any more .. grin
Brian
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On Sat, 22 Dec 2012 09:53:06 -0000, "Brian Gaff"

There could well be a reason for not having them all running at the same time: To reduce the duty cycle.
This is from the link John Rumm posted
Spectacular. This is a cheap set of Chinese LED lights bought on ebay. Aside from the fact that the tiny inline resistors are a mix of values, they are grossly under-rated for the job they are doing, even if the controller is flashing them on and off. I'd say the resistors are rated at 0.125 Watts, and in the string that has already smoked there were three 3000 Ohm resistors in series with about 33 red LEDs. Given that a typical red LED has a forward voltage of about 2V that would give a total LED voltage of about 66V leaving 174V to be dropped across the resistors on a 240V supply. The total resistance of all three 3000 Ohm resistors is 9000 Ohms, so the average current will be roughly 19.33mA (which is good) but the dissipation across the resistors will be 3.36 Watts meaning that even with the current split over three resistors they are dissipating ten times their rated value! No wonder they went up in smoke. This happened while the original controller was still in use and set at static. I was playing with the LED string while it was on (highly dubious thing to do given the quality) when I noticed a hot smell and then felt a burning sensation from one of the resistors. For all it would have taken to add a few more resistors in series along the string, I really don't know why China puts stuff like this out. I also spotted defective wire in the string which actually had wire strands emerging from the plastic insulation. That's definitely a serious shock risk. Definitely one for the Chinese deathtrap collection.
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Graham.
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Which reminds me:
http://support.zen.co.uk/kb/Knowledgebase/Broadband-Understanding-REIN-and-SHINE
If your ADSL is giving you problems:
| Christmas tree lights (especially on ‘flash’ setting).
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Alan J. Wylie http://www.wylie.me.uk /

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On Sat, 22 Dec 2012 11:20:16 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@wylie.me.uk (Alan J. Wylie) wrote:

Bit of a stretch to get SHINE out of SIIN.
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Wilkinsons here sell them, a couple of quid for 20 with two spares

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geoff

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Can you still get sets of fairy lights using either 12 or 20 MES bulbs simply connected in series - none of this fancy flashing stuff, unless you bought a "flashing bulb" which naturally flashed all the bulbs in the string?
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On Sun, 23 Dec 2012 00:25:00 +0000, Frank Erskine

Tesco do a "value" product consisting of 20 colours bulbs in series and a non reusable 13A plug.
The bulbs are the traditional push in fairy light type. If really meant MES torch bulbs I would suggest they were unsuitable on safety grounds.
I was surprised that these chains were still available, I thought everything had to have an isolating LV wall-wart these days.
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Graham.
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