Archive for November, 2011

27th November
written by Todd Harrison

G35 LED Christmas Light Review and Teardown

In this write up & video I review the “GE Color Effects” G35 multi colored LED Christmas lights 50 count. I will cover product details, hanging hints and show a teardown and give some links to great hacks at the end.

UPDATE 11/30/2012: My new video “G35 LED Christmas Lights – A Simple Parallel Sync Hack

UPDATE: new links to other hackers at the end of this post!!!

You get to pick from 14 sequence patterns using a wireless controller.  Hacking these lights using Arduino is already very popular so I will be linking to some good hack posts below. In a later video I will be trying some of the known hacks and some of my own.

Link to the GE product page for these lights

In the box you get the below:

40.8 feet of lights
50 lights spaced at 10 inches
50 rain gutter clips, 50 base clips
Radio controller with 14 light patters

CLICK TO READ ALL —>: (more…)

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23rd November
written by Todd Harrison

Short episode showing what turned out to be a simple fix to get a 5 disk Sony CD player running like new.  One more product saved from the landfill!

Didn’t anyone ever tell you to make sure your optics were clean? Buddy boy!


12VoltVids also posted a really good general service video of 5 disk changers. It addresses tray alignment and other faults.
His website is:

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22nd November
written by Todd Harrison

In this video episode I show how to replace solder tab rechargeable batteries in some very useful consumer products that would otherwise end up in a landfill. I use more common and cheaper none solder tab reachable batteries and show how to safely and effectively solder on the tabs.

First up was the solder tab type AA 1.2v Ni-Cd in my beard trimmer. I know, not the most attractive thing a man wants to see in his bathroom.

Then my programmable Christmas tree light timer which needed a coin cell 1.2v Ni-MH with PCB mounting tabs.


I noted in the video that it was interesting they were powering the timer controller using a bridge rectified AC to DC converter.  I was surprised to see this without the use of a step down transformer before the rectifier circuit.  Further research, I found this is quite common in consumer products that require less than 70mA and it can be done safely and cost effectively.  There are some pros and cons to this approach. If you want the full details with the math and picking the correct sized passive devices  you can review this nice article at  For the power conditioning circuit which is closes to what is in my timer see Fig.12 in the article.



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