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Did you know?
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

geogecko

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About geogecko

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  • Birthday 01/01/1990

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  1. geogecko

    CDI pre order update

    LOL, been through 3 boxes myself, and no bad ones yet! I even programmed a little sequence in one of my LOR boxes for testing of the lights. These work great, dim great, and are bright. Very impressed, after last year. The plug boxes seem very well made. I was also impressed by the quality of the packaging this year. Most have been double boxed, and the boxes even seem a little thicker. I had some boxes arrive last year, with lights peaking through. Not this year. Just 8 boxes left!
  2. geogecko

    CDI pre order update

    Cool, 11 boxes of LED lights on the porch last Monday. Been so busy, they are sitting on the entry floor, waiting to be gone through, and put in totes...well, minus the ones I want to start building mini trees with. I am thinking I like the integrated plugs, but I'm not sure. I will miss the pass-through ability, but that is probably it. I think it will make for neater designs, without all the blobs in-line. Now I can finally check out all my LOR boxes to make sure I built them all correctly. Just need to get 80 strands out...and watch the fun.
  3. geogecko

    CDI pre order update

    Awesome, can't wait to get my replacements. This year is going to be awesome! Thanks Paul for your hard work, and for your awesome customer service...yes, I used awesome 4 times in this post, if you were wondering...
  4. geogecko

    Returning 2008 Pre-order sale CDI LEd's

    True, but not like I'm going to tell them that, nor would they know how it was packaged, if the package was lost. My main concern, was them getting there, didn't matter if there were holes or what not in the boxes, as long as Paul could see that they were all there. I figured they were just getting disposed of, so it didn't really matter the condition... It was kind of sad, but I only used about 5% of the lights I bought. Just not enough time, and the frustration of the strands going bad after only being turned on for a few mintues.
  5. geogecko

    Returning 2008 Pre-order sale CDI LEd's

    I agree, and find it funny, that the USPS puts insurance stickers or stamps all over the package, almost as a warning to the delivery people, that hey, if we lose or damage this package, it is insured, and we will have to pay for it...could just be me reading into things... The only other reason I did the insurance, was because I had so much weight in the boxes, I was just slightly concerned that they may get torn or broken in half, with the way UPS handles stuff. My boxes were really long and flat, not like a cube...
  6. geogecko

    Returning 2008 Pre-order sale CDI LEd's

    I understand that, but have you ever lost a package in shipment, and tried to explain to the vendor that you were returning the item to, that you did ship the package, but it got lost by the carrier? Not a fun battle. Of course, I guess they are insured already, I just wanted to make darn sure they got there. I insured every box for $500, so if UPS lost it, I'd just have to make a claim. I'm currently fighting a return battle with another vendor, that says they did not get my return, and the problem is that I did not get insurance or a tracking number, at least, that I can find. Not a good situation...
  7. geogecko

    Returning 2008 Pre-order sale CDI LEd's

    Yep, send them back in the largest boxes you can (within reason). I shipped mine back in 4 large boxes (57lbs, 2x45lbs, 25lbs), and a smaller 5th box (28lbs), 200lbs of lights, via UPS for $109. It ended up being $131, after I added the extra insurance (they insure up to a certain amount, but I wanted to make sure they got there). Mine went from OK to KS, so not a very long trip... I was kind of mad that I had to ship them all back, but there is not really any other option. You either pay a few cents on each strand to get them reliable, or you end up with a bunch of expensive junk. I am okay with sending them back this time, but if the 2009 replacements are not perfect, it will be a different story.
  8. geogecko

    A fix for the 100ct CDI Strings

    Interestingly enough, they are. Hologram sticker on the strand: UL Listed Decorative Lighting Strand P-27 Issue No. P-27 For Indoor and Outdoor Use 04/04 (Wonder what this means? Surely not approved in 2004, if the design has changed this much?)
  9. geogecko

    CDI M5 Red LEDs and LOR

    No, he is not. I was just pointing out that if you ship them in as few if boxes as you can, weighing less than 70lbs, that it is a lot cheaper than sending a lot of 25lb boxes. Although, seeing as how these could be fire hazards from some of the posts, maybe they should be recalled. I've had some units fail just by plugging them in.
  10. geogecko

    CDI M5 Red LEDs and LOR

    Well, I spoke with Paul, and he is going to take care of it, granted, I have to send everything back (which I found out is much cheaper than the original shipping, if you can package them in boxes up to 70lbs with UPS), but I'm just glad things will be better next year, hopefully. I have a static display this year, after ruining about 15 strands of lights, but the wife just went out side, and said, well, it still looks good, and it's better than nothing, so that is what counts! Thanks for taking care of your customers Paul. I hope you end up with a better year next year, and I'm sure you never intended for this to happen.
  11. geogecko

    CDI 2009 LED M5 Samples - PART 2

    Sorry, APC is the brand name, it is a UPS, uninterruptable power supply. It is basically a sealed lead acid battery that is charged and ready to go. The particular one I have is also a line conditioner, so it monitors the AC line voltage, and if it goes above/below a certain threshold, or is noisy, it uses the battery as a backup until the AC line is more stable. On a second note, it would be nice to see what the ratings of the capacitors are, especially voltage. IIRC, the capacitors on the voltage doublers are on the doubled voltage side of the circuit, so these capacitors should be rated for at least half of the DC voltage applied to the LEDs, since each side of the string of LEDs is connected to a doubler. So, that would mean, if the LEDs are connected to 300+ volts, that those capacitors should be rated to at least 150V, but would be better if they were rated at 300V (electrolytics are generally supposed to be derated by 50% as a good design practice). From what I have been reading, the rectifiers that are going pop, sizzle, flame, and smoke, is generally a sign of the electrolytic going bad, at least, that has been my experience. Resistors generally do not pop or flame, they just get hot, and smoke.
  12. geogecko

    CDI 2009 LED M5 Samples - PART 2

    Yep, I think that is what RJ was talking about. I have just some C9 size (I believe) 25 ct strands on my house right now. I was going to basically use the LOR box for a timer, which was a big mistake, I just had all the lights either on or off, and now all my red strands are goofed. On the controller, even with all the whites just on constantly, with the reds disconnected, my computer's APC was turning on and off randomly. I removed the LOR controller, as it was running a bit weird, even all constant on, and with the lights plugged directly into AC, my computer's APC is not tripping anymore. It would be good to take a look at the AC line while these are plugged in, versus some regular incandecent bulbs, both constant on, and maybe during a fade. Of course, a silly scope would be needed in order to perform that test.
  13. geogecko

    A fix for the 100ct CDI Strings

    Interesting. So really, you almost don't want any capacitance, or very little, for good fading response. I wonder if a more stout bleeding resistor would help on the traditional full wave units? I see what you mean about the smoothing circuit. The idea is to keep up the charge when the AC is cycling down, but since this happens at 60Hz, any fade shorter than about 20ms won't even be seen by the LEDs. I'm sure this is actually longer, as smoothing circuit are often over kill, so it may be more on the order of 50 or more ms... Would be interesting to do some simulations in SwitcherCAD (Linear Tech's Pspice), to see how they respond.
  14. geogecko

    A fix for the 100ct CDI Strings

    What is the new design of the rectifier? Is it just upgraded components, or has the design changed. After looking at the schematic, it looks like these are really only half-wave rectified, not full-wave. The capacitor is needed to provide the voltage hold up during the half wave phase that is not being captured by the circuit. If a full-wave rectification was used, the capacitor could be a lot smaller, or eliminated all together, I would think.
  15. geogecko

    A fix for the 100ct CDI Strings

    Steve, What is the failure mode on these strands? Is it the diode, capacitor, resistors, or can it be a combination of all of them, since it appears that you have upgraded every component in the list. Does this fix make the LEDs respond to dimming well? Lastly, do you think there is a possibility of using the board that was originally inside, or has the schematic also been changed from the original.
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