Argh! I put off making the vampire clips thinking I'd do it sooner or later. Well later's here and now I got to go! LOL! Glad this thread is here. Nice job, Greg. It's all very helpful.
The way I did it the heads of the nails were pretty close. A stray piece of solder could make an accidental connection. But if your observant and pay attention and inspect them as you make them it shouldn't be an issue at all.Well, that wasn't difficult at all. It took me just a couple of hours to make my vampire clips for all 30 spotlights I have. But, Greg, I have a question:
You said you kept the solder off the heads of the nails because that could create a short. While I tried to do that too, I wasn't always successful. But why would that create a short? Just in case, though, I covered all the connections with hot glue.
Now I've just got to lay out my landscape lighting wire so that I can hit all my props.
Rich, I didn't think I said anything about not soldering the heads of the nails... LOLThe soldering made for a clean enough connection that there's no contact on the "Head side" of the nails to short the circuit. It works way better and faster than I could have anticipated.
First, yes it does matter which nail goes into which wire. Check the landscape wire you are using and determine which side of your wire is connected to the positive wire of your power supply. If there's no writing on the landscape wire, feel the edges of both sides of the wire. One side will have a small ridge. I make that the positive side. Your main wire might need splices (like a tree and it's branches) to get to various scenes where your lights are. Make sure that all of those splices are all the same with the positive wire having the ridge.As an aside, I'm having a little difficulty pushing the nail points through the sheathing on the landscape wiring. Do I have the "wrong" type, or is that just the nature of this stuff to protect the wiring inside? But other than that, this is a really flexible means of setting up your lighting. Now I gotta test them out and make sure I connected them properly.
Oh yeah, one more thing: does it matter which wire the nail point goes into? Does the nail connected to the black wire, for instance, have to go into a specific wire in the landscape wiring or doesn't it matter? Thanks!
I recently placed a covert order for LED's, I couldn't get ahold of Ken and I wasn't sure of the correct procedure to order custom resistors. I didn't want to get it wrong for a group buy. Of course, they sent the wrong resistors after I gave them my voltage and amount of LED's in series.. Apparently you have to do the calculations yourself and order specific resistors (100ohm, 360ohm etc). I had just given them my Values and of course I got stuck with the wrong stuff.Greg,
The vampire clips worked like a charm. Very easy to position and reposition where necessary. The only difficulty I found was as it got closer to Halloween and the temperatures drop, it took a little extra muscle and a set of pliers to get the points into the landscape wire.
I'm also down for the next group buy too. While I had enough to light up individual props, the entire setting overall seemed very dark. So I want to build more lights, but figure I may have to go with the floods to set a general mood then highlight with individual spots.
The Tubing was 1.5" sched 40. The caps are another story, good luck finding any. I got lucky when the post office cancelled thier "Cap drive" fundraiser and had two mail bins FULL of assorted caps. I found 20 out of a box of about 800.Greg what tube and caps did you use for the 12 led spots? I can fit 6 in the one inch soda cap but not 12. Did you run 4 groups of three each one with a resistor and connecting them in parallel running off of 12 Volts?