Twinkle Twinkle little star

I can understand slowly twinkling Xmas lights and the ones that gently undulate. But why Flashing ones??
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John wrote:

Quite!
Another design gotcha, which resulted in my returning a B&Q set some years ago, is to have no retained memory of the mode chosen, so that if on a timer, it is impossible to arrange matters so that it stays static next time it is switched on. :-(
Chris
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Chris J Dixon Nottingham UK
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On 16/12/2019 17:11, Chris J Dixon wrote:

#firstworldproblems
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On 16/12/2019 17:11, Chris J Dixon wrote:

I am glad to say that the three sets of lights outside do retain their mode - not that it matters too much outside. Unfortunately the lights on the Christmas tree don't :(
SteveW
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On 16/12/2019 17:01, John wrote:

To keep the chavs happy or course:-)
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Adam

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Have you heard some of the RFI generated by Christmas lights these days? From gently gurgling to whining noises. I suppose they all have dirt cheap switch mode supplies with a convenient aerial to radiate the crap built in.
Brian
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'Twas ever thus. It was around 1950 that we got our first 12-bulb set of Christmas lights. I think they were originally 'always on', but you could buy a flasher bulb that contained bi-metal make-break contacts. The regular wideband RF splat as the lights innocently turned on and off carried a considerable distance, and when listening to the radio (no TV in those days) the flasher bulb had to be temporarily replaced with a normal type. [I still have the set, but about half of the bulbs are blown. The only way to run them now is to put some silver paper in the dead bulb sockets, screw in the dead bulbs, and run the remainers from a reduced voltage.]
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Ian

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I think you are now supposed to buy a couple of new sets every Xmas.
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On 18/12/2019 08:46, Ian Jackson wrote:

Rewire them to parallel and use a 12V power supply.
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Adam

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They would be a bit dim. 12 bulbs across a 240V mains means that they are each 20V. Also, running even six in parallel would mean a lot of bulky wire. Instead, I use a variac (variable output mains transformer).
Note that modern incandescent bulbs (if they haven't all by now been succeeded by LEDs!) have a fail-safe loop of wire around the filament supports. If a filament fails, the supports spring apart, and the wire loop provides a S/C across the bulb - so the remaining bulbs in the string stay lit (albeit a little brighter).
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Cheaper to do and with luck you might kill some epileletics
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I've never found the latter, the best way to do that is with a 1970s strobe light. Which brings us to the apparent epidemic of outside animated illuminated inflatable xmas decorations. I can't see them these days except from the hue or auras from the lights. For one thing, if these people want to save the planet is all this electronic gadgetry really the way to proceed? Then there is my pet hate. Animated Little Drummer boys. Where in the Christmas Story is there a drummer boy? Not that Santa his reindeer and flashing icicles have a lot to do with it either!
Brian
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On Tuesday, 17 December 2019 07:54:16 UTC, Brian Gaff (Sofa 2) wrote:

They all come from Christmas traditions from various countries.
Drummerboy - Czechoslovakia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Drummer_Boy
All seized upon for commercial reasons.
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And now the Elf on the shelf. All for the gulible with money to burn.
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Hence I feel we should be more honest and celebrate Winter Festival. During the Winter Festival the Christians can celebrate Christmas (a relatively minor festival)
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Maybe hey get a thrill out of it, oh sorry my AI got the wrong end of the branch there. If you will recall back in the days of filament bulbs all wired in series across the mains, we had a flashing bulb in the chain. This device had a bi metal strip which crudely cut of and connected the lights to make them flash. Of course the danger here was that if a bulb blew short circuit then you could get a wonderful catastrophic failure resulting in a blown fuse and a set of lights with no good bulbs at all. I'm sure we all remember those halcyon days of trying to find the duff bulb or bulbs before you ended up blowing them again. What I used to do is buy two sets and put them in series, that way they were a bit dimmer, but actually the redder light looked more festive, but of course, flashing bulbs no longer worked. Brian
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On Tue, 17 Dec 2019 07:46:39 -0000, Brian Gaff \(Sofa 2\) wrote:

Not a lot different now, have chains of LEDS across a supply of a few tens of volts.

Tree light bulbs are designed to fail short circuit. I've never known a set run away blowing bulbs or the fuse bulb. Failing short makes finding the duff one fairly easy, it's the one that isn't lit. Fail open and you have to test each bulb individually.
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On 17/12/2019 20:20, Dave Liquorice wrote:

All the lights I had failed open
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The ones i remember all but one of the bulbs had internal wire resistors in parallel with the filaments so that they failed at about twice the reslstance of a normal bulb. This had little effect on brightness until quite a few bulbs had failed. But one the bulbs was a designated fuse bulb which failed open circuit as the filament (a thicker one?) carried the whole current. These were usually painted white rather than coloured and were not as bright when lit as the others.
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On 17/12/2019 21:52, Roger Hayter wrote:

Nope. All the bulbs were simply fail open, Bought a 9V bulb tester to plug em all in before plugging em into the tree. Thank Clapton for LEDS...
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