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Repairing ws2811 string

Started by Jeffl, October 05, 2015, 04:48:58 PM

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Jeffl

I need some tips.  I had a string of 25 ws2811  plugged in and one node was going nuts and everything after it was flaky.  Everything before is stable.  I replaced that node and now the node I replaced is dead and everything after it is flaky.

Am I missing a special technique with these?   I figured that once I replaced the node I would be good.

gadgetsmith

I recently went through a repair, and found that it was the pixel before the flakey one that must have been sending a bad signal out. I just started cutting out pixels in two's. The flakey one, and the one before.

YMMV.

Jeffl

Thanks.  I cut out the node before and hooked it to a string of 50 and it worked fine.  Replaced it with a new node on the prop and works like new.  Not sure what it was but I tossed them both.  The poor prop hasn't even been used yet.

I guess I need to burn these nodes in before they really get used.  I'm not going to be happy if I see this kind of activity on a prop I can't fix during show time.

tbone321

It is always a good idea to burn in these nodes prior to use.  They come as cheep as they do for a reason.

Jeffl

I read that before but got lazy after testing a ton of regular LED strings without a failure.  Some things I guess you just have to experience before you learn.  Time to give the neighbors a daytime light show early.

gadgetsmith

I have an 1800 pixel mega tree with a 225 pixel topper.
Just one LED failed last year (red portion only), but did so in the first week.

Hopefully you've found your "one"! ☺

Jeffl

Luckily these are on candy canes so I will probably have a spare as long as I can get the cord out of the snow.  The ones I'm worried about are 20' up on the roof where they are tough to get at.  And even if I could get them down the clips will break under the cold trying to put the PVC frame back up.

gadgetsmith

I had a red pixel go out on a GECE last year.  It was right in the middle of the ridgeline of a dormer in the front of the house.  It just stayed that way all season!  Funny thing is, when I went to repair it a couple weeks ago... it was working just fine. Damn!  I just know it's gonna happen again, but I can't remember which one it was! Might use my extra string to replace the whole darn thing.  Undecided, but it's the next section going up, so i'll make a decision soon!

All my pixel failures last year were just the red led portion.  Green and Blue still worked fine! ??

tbone321

You could either replace the whole string or just that small section near where the peak should be.  It looks like a cold solder joint on the pixel board either at the red LED or on the chip pin that controls it.  If you put the string in the freezer for a few hours, you might be able to locate the specific node.

gadgetsmith

That's what I'm thinking. Freezer!.. So simple, and such a good idea! Thanks.  I'm also going to look at some video footage to see if I can determine the node number.

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