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Thread: First timer christmas lights

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    MD
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    Default First timer christmas lights

    I have a couple of kids 1 and 3 years old and my wife and I decided to look at decorating the house. I bought spt1 wire, sockets, opticore led C9 bulbs, various clips, etc. Got a pretty decent start. Nice thing is that doing all the sockets by hand I can add the extension cord inline with the string of lights with proper planning.

    I have a couple of gutter strands, one strand around the garage door, and a yard stake strand.

    Have a few questions since I've got some experience.

    1. What's your favorite tool to crimp C9 sockets to spt1 wire? I've been using channel locks and they work ok, but I've had some issues wrecking the socket plastic when I try to crimp the cap on. If there was something that provided more even pressure, my socket crimp failure rate would improve.

    2. Most of the vampire plugs have the chord exiting left to right or right to left, with a cap that slides over the wire. It makes it simple to create male and female plugs, but my timers have 2 rows of 3 plugs side by side and I can't jam multiple plugs side by side. Are there plugs that connect from the back, though they are probably harder to connect?

    3. I used vinyl siding clips to anchor the garage door light strand, but next year I want to try to do some of the windows and doors. They have plastic shutters so I'm thinking that I can try to use PVC to make frames that outline the window, but the frame extends from the floor to the ceiling. Is there anything I can use like foam, sponge, or suction cup to insert on the ends of PVC so that it stays in place? I can zip tie vinyl siding clips below the window to the frame, but nothing above and I think I'd need to have some kind of tension in the PVC frame to keep it in place.

    4. My roof line is a bit too precarious for me to outline. I have 3 peaks and they are all 45 degree angles, and I'd fear for my life trying to put C9 lights along the roof line. I'd like to try to have something professional done to put hooks along the eaves and use some kind of extension pole to hang them, but not turning up much in my search. Anyone have installations of nice looking hooks on their eaves or roof line?

    About 2/3 the way done with the exterior decorating, just waiting on some supplies to finish. Seems like I can't upload a picture yet, maybe I need to hit a post limit first.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Sauk City, WI USA
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    Default Re: First timer christmas lights

    Quote Originally Posted by MerlinsBeard View Post
    2. Most of the vampire plugs have the chord exiting left to right or right to left, with a cap that slides over the wire. It makes it simple to create male and female plugs, but my timers have 2 rows of 3 plugs side by side and I can't jam multiple plugs side by side. Are there plugs that connect from the back, though they are probably harder to connect?

    3. I used vinyl siding clips to anchor the garage door light strand, but next year I want to try to do some of the windows and doors. They have plastic shutters so I'm thinking that I can try to use PVC to make frames that outline the window, but the frame extends from the floor to the ceiling. Is there anything I can use like foam, sponge, or suction cup to insert on the ends of PVC so that it stays in place? I can zip tie vinyl siding clips below the window to the frame, but nothing above and I think I'd need to have some kind of tension in the PVC frame to keep it in place.
    The plug on plug diy plugs will be near impossible to find. Create short extension cords that have the appropriate number of female plugs. You could also find friends with dead lights and cut the plugs off their lines. Another advantage of that is that the fuse is built-in on most.

    Many people find that pvc pipe itself is tight enough to sit inside a window (pressure fit). It is important to get it so it is not too tight but just right. Get a couple of pieces with some corners and rig one up. Although with shutters you have another way to anchor outline lights (just attach to the shutter) and maybe you actually want to outline the shutters as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Close to Hillsboro, OR
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    640
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    Default Re: First timer christmas lights

    To answer your #1 question, I bought a small vise off Amazon to press my C9 vamp plugs onto the SPT wire. Keeps a nice even pressure and I go until it stops then let it sit there for a few seconds to ensure the teeth have pierced all the way through the SPT sheathing. Something like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Irwin-Tools-D...2-0dd6e83b6876

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