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Thread: LightKeeper Pro woes...

  1. #1
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    Default LightKeeper Pro woes...

    I saw a lightkeeper pro on sale at Home Depot yesterday for $4.99 (was $19.95) so after reading here that they were great I got it.
    I tried fixing my partially dead wire reindeer (the last third of the 105 lights aren't lighting) but it didn't work. I tried plugging in the bulb socket and pulling the trigger 20 times, and also just plugging the string into the gun (after disabling the working sections) and pulling the trigger, but it didn't fix the string.
    I then tried the gun on a different 100 light string that the second half of the string isn't working, but again it didn't fix it (I tried both the socket and the plug end methods)...
    What are people's experiences here with the LightKeeper Pro? Does it usually work? Am I doing something wrong? I'm surprised that it didn't fix either the reindeer or the light string. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: LightKeeper Pro woes...

    I've never had much luck with the clicker part of it either but using the voltage sensor(the beeping part of it) has proved to save hours when fixing lights.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: LightKeeper Pro woes...

    I've used it with varying success. Sometimes a few clicks and it's fixed.

    What I have done also and it works.

    While in a dark room, connect the LKP into the bulb socket. pull the trigger and look at each bulb. I have seen the bad bulb arc, replaced it, and the set worked.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: LightKeeper Pro woes...

    I'll be honest with you, I love the LKP, but I have only had the Shunt (Quick Fix Trigger) fix tool work one time. Generally, it seems that other things cause the problem. Things such as Loose or cracked bulbs.

    The Continuity tester is what I find most valuable.

    Like many of his things, Mike has an Excllent tutorial...

    http://www.landolights.com/main/content/view/91/39/


    Don't give up on it. I will guarantee once you figure it out, It will save you tons of time and we won't be able to pry it out of your hands. I just bought another backup.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: LightKeeper Pro woes...

    I've not had much luck with LKP either. People dump non working lights on me all the time rather than throw them out. If it is a single string, the continuity tester works good. Most of the time if its just a bulb that burns out, the shunt closes and the string continues to work. The dead bulb is obvious.
    I have much better luck using a DVM. You have to be comfortable working with lights plugged in to use this method, but I can find just about any problem in a couple minutes.

    Take your DVM set it on 200 volts. Stick one probe in one slot on the back side of the plug for the string. Go to the first bulb in the section that is out, take the bulb out, stick the other probe in there, Remember you need to check both sides of the socket. One side should show 115 v. If it doesn't, move the probe you stuck in the plug to the other slot. Check again. One side or the other HAS to have 115 volts if any of the string is working. Now work your way up the string, pulling one bulb at a time and checking for 115V. When you get to the one where the voltage is dead, go back one bulb, that is the bad one. Usually I find a broken wire on the bulb.
    After you get a little practice, you can jump 5 or 6 bulbs at a time until you find the dead section, then back up and check from the last know good spot.

    I like this method so much I went a bought a seperate DVM just for it. I patched the ground lead and made it 20' long and welded a small brass brad on the positive lead. This way I can test without even taking the bulb out. Just stick the small pin in from the back side. Usually I can find the bad bulb in under 5 minutes, without taking anything down.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: LightKeeper Pro woes...

    Hi:
    I found there is an easier way than bmcgeeny is using. While his method certainly works, it is tedious because you have to remove each bulb, except for the last method.

    Put LKP, using the AC detector, the beeping part, against the socket of each bulb. Go down the string and when you find a socket that doesn't beep, back up 1. That is the baddy. Oh, yes, the string has to be plugged in.

    If the sockets are really "buried" in the string, pull each socket away from the rest of the wiring until it is sticking up in the air by itself. That way, there isn't a false reading/beeping from the rest of the wiring.

    I found banging the thing with the trigger didn't work too good, but this is a handy tool. I fixed 4 bad strings in about 15 minutes.
    Last edited by IdunBenhad; 01-01-2011 at 03:32 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: LightKeeper Pro woes...

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgeeny View Post
    I've not had much luck with LKP either. People dump non working lights on me all the time rather than throw them out. If it is a single string, the continuity tester works good. Most of the time if its just a bulb that burns out, the shunt closes and the string continues to work. The dead bulb is obvious.
    I have much better luck using a DVM. You have to be comfortable working with lights plugged in to use this method, but I can find just about any problem in a couple minutes.

    Take your DVM set it on 200 volts. Stick one probe in one slot on the back side of the plug for the string. Go to the first bulb in the section that is out, take the bulb out, stick the other probe in there, Remember you need to check both sides of the socket. One side should show 115 v. If it doesn't, move the probe you stuck in the plug to the other slot. Check again. One side or the other HAS to have 115 volts if any of the string is working. Now work your way up the string, pulling one bulb at a time and checking for 115V. When you get to the one where the voltage is dead, go back one bulb, that is the bad one. Usually I find a broken wire on the bulb.
    After you get a little practice, you can jump 5 or 6 bulbs at a time until you find the dead section, then back up and check from the last know good spot.

    I like this method so much I went a bought a seperate DVM just for it. I patched the ground lead and made it 20' long and welded a small brass brad on the positive lead. This way I can test without even taking the bulb out. Just stick the small pin in from the back side. Usually I can find the bad bulb in under 5 minutes, without taking anything down.
    Wouldn't be a lot easier (and safer) to use the "bulb checker" feature on the LKP?
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: LightKeeper Pro woes...

    Quote Originally Posted by kychristmas View Post
    I'll be honest with you, I love the LKP, but I have only had the Shunt (Quick Fix Trigger) fix tool work one time. Generally, it seems that other things cause the problem. Things such as Loose or cracked bulbs.

    The Continuity tester is what I find most valuable.

    Like many of his things, Mike has an Excllent tutorial...

    http://www.landolights.com/main/content/view/91/39/


    Don't give up on it. I will guarantee once you figure it out, It will save you tons of time and we won't be able to pry it out of your hands. I just bought another backup.
    kychristmas,
    Thanks for the link to Mike's tutorial... two important things I got from it are:
    1) "Contrary to the package and the video on the company website, the trigger does NOT fix every set with just a few clicks. Based on my personal experience, the trigger only fixes sets about 10 percent of the time. I typically skip it, but you can give it a try if you like. "
    2) "Lights on metal (wire-frames, clipped to gutters/aluminum siding, etc):
    The LKP works by detecting minute amounts of magnetism that occur when electricity flows through wires. When lights are near metal objects, like wire-frames or your home's gutters/etc, that metal can amplify that magnetism and cause the LKP to beep EVERYWHERE! The only solution is to remove the light and socket from the metal and get it far enough away to get a true reading. "
    #2 explains why I'm not able to test the reindeer (as I suggested), and I'm not going to try unclipping all the lights from the wire frame. I think Mr Reindeer may get put out to pasture.
    Anyway, I'm going to take another crack at testing my other bad string of lights...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: LightKeeper Pro woes...

    Quote Originally Posted by IdunBenhad View Post
    I found there is an easier way than bmcgeeny is using. While his method certainly works, it is tedious because you have to remove each bulb, except for the last method.
    Brian is out in the boonies so he's got allot more time for tedious.:p

    I think if you watch someone else that can make a LKP work, it would be a whole lot easier. I got to talk to the guy that invented it and now I can fix every one with just the LKP.

    First you have to realize that the trigger part is the same type of piezo element that starts a gas grill. The voltage that's generated can only jump less that an 1/8th inch so if there is resistance because of a bad contact or you have multiple problems, you can click all day and not fixed it. In this case, you have to resort to the proximity sensor.

    The proximity sensor is very sensitive, so if you're using it correctly, you should be back an inch or two from the lights. If your touching the bulb, you'll just pick up stay voltage on the other wire.

    If using the proximity sensor on a wire frame, you have to pull the wire away from the frame, otherwise you're just sensing the stray voltage on the frame.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: LightKeeper Pro woes...

    Quote Originally Posted by SantasHelper View Post
    ...
    #2 explains why I'm not able to test the reindeer (as I suggested), and I'm not going to try unclipping all the lights from the wire frame. I think Mr Reindeer may get put out to pasture.
    Anyway, I'm going to take another crack at testing my other bad string of lights...
    First, remove the Motor (if you have one) and plug the Light portion in only.

    Then pull the 1st and middle lights in the section off the clips away from the metal. Then use the method described on Mike site to narrow it down to a small section of lights. I will usually pull 2 or 3 more off the metal frame and then end up with 5 or 6 lights to do the old way. I then remove lights one at a time, check the wires, and test in the LKP and then put it back in. I've become pretty efficient with this method, especially if I can bring the item into my warm shop.

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