View Full Version : Simple Channel Test Lights

10-19-2010, 10:28 PM
I needed a way to test my 3 newly constructed Renard 24 SS boards that I finished up this summer. Although I have many strings of lights, I didn't want to have to dig them out and string them all over the test area.

I made a trip to Target and purchased a 25 ct C9 string of lights. They are also available at Lowes for $1.00 less, but I didn't know that when I bought them. I decided on C9 because I may have a use for them later. The light string could have been C7 and worked for this project just as good.

Please read the following instructions carefully BEFORE starting on this project. If you do it wrong, you're going to have blinky-flashy, but not the kind you want, and blown fuses for sure. By the way, this will NOT work with LED's or minilights. The bulbs have to be 120 vac.

1---Cut the plug off the string. Because the zip cord between the first lamp and the plug was short on my string, I cut just beyond the first lamp, leaving 24 lamps in the string.

2---Spit the zip cord as shown in Photo 1.

3---Strip about 1/4" from each cut end and tin the wire with solder. This will make it easier to attach to the connectors on the Renard board.

4---Straighten the zip cord between the lamps and point the mounting clip on the socket AWAY from you. Straighten the zip cord and mark the lead farthest away from you with a piece of tape or other material. This lead will connect to N on the board and is unbroken or cut throughout the entire string.

5---Clip the wire in the zip cord that is nearest you. See Photo 2. DO NOT cut both wires. The other wire will be continuous all the way through all the lamps. This lead connects to the N on the Renard board. Only one N connection is necessary for testing. The wire should be clipped as close as possible to the socket.

6---Pull the cut lead back to the next lamp. You can use a sharp knife or grasp the cut end and pull it back. This will be one of the leads to the lamps that connects to the channels on the Renard board. See Photo 3.
Strip and tin the lead as in Step 3 above.

7---Continue in this manner for all the remaining lamps in your string. Just remember to keep the zip cord straight between all lamps with no twists and clip the lead nearest you as close as possible to the socket.

8---You can make as long a string as you need. In my case, I wanted 2 strings of 12 lamps each, so I cut the string in the middle. You can have any amount of lamps as necessary. 4-8-12-16-24. Any length you need.

I used the plastic carrier that the bulbs were on to support the bulbs. See Photo 4. Undoubtedly there are many other ways to mount the bulbs, I just didn't take the time to figure it out. If anyone has some ideas, please let us know.

If you feel a little queezy about the cut lead at the base of the lamp socket, you can put a piece of electrical tape around it to cover the cut end.

10-20-2010, 12:22 PM
Not a bad idea, I like it :)

10-20-2010, 12:56 PM
This is a great idea, simple too . Definetly a better way to test channels/board versus having sixteen extension cord dongles/ strings of lights spread all around my office. Then tracing cords around trying to remember which lights went to what channel when theres a problem ! Just one single tray/box of light neatly organised and setting on the desk next to the controller.