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Misproduced LED strip delivery
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Misproduced LED strip delivery

by kamuicosplay on Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:03 pm

Hi, is there any known issue of a faulty production of digital RGB LED strips (12mm, white) with 60 LEDs/m? I've got an order of 2 meters, which constantly burn trough or have loose build in contacts. Once tested, the whole strip worked, minutes later only a part of it lights up, then only the first LED and later only a part lights up again. I've used my LED strip roll for several projects and keep on having the same issue, which forced me to open the whole project and replace all LED strips. The LED strip was tested several times at the beginning and worked fine until suddenly being completely faulty.
Is there a way to test the functionality of an LED strip which isn't just turning it on? I'm pretty upset since it took me quite some time to replace all LED strip sections. Additionally I'm not able to use the faulty LED strip. This is actually the second time I've got faulty LED strips delivered.

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:25 pm

digital RGB LED strips (12mm, white) with 60 LEDs/m?

Please post a link to the actual Adafruit product you are referring to. We have several digital strips that match that description. I am not aware of any reports of similar problems with them.

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by kamuicosplay on Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:30 pm

https://www.adafruit.com/product/1138

It's this product. Thanks for your fast answer! I would appreciate any advice to test my next LED strip properly.

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:01 pm

That is one of our most popular strips. We have sold tens of thousands of meters of it and have not seen many problems with them.

The LED strip was tested several times at the beginning and worked fine until suddenly being completely faulty.

What kind of project are you using these strips for?

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by kamuicosplay on Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:10 pm

Here is a link of the costume piece I‘m working on:
https://instagram.com/p/Be3fKYYnIMX/
It‘s just a Trinket pro 5V with a lipo backpack. I also connected the stip to an Arduino Uno, ran it with a different code, switched to other Trinkets, Powerboosts and lipo batteries, but had the same issue. I have the same problem with a whole 2m wheel of LED strip, which I separated into several sections for several costume pieces. While these segments seem to work at the beginning, they suddenly fail with the same setup and the same code the next day. I know it’s very unlikely, but it seems the LED strip has some internal loose contacts.

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:20 pm

Most likely in that application, the problem is due to repeated flexing of the strip. These strips will flex to conform to curves, but they are not really designed for repeated flexing - particularly with short-radius bends.

Although the strip as a whole is flexible, the individual pixel chips are not. When you flex the strip, it puts stress on the solder joints between the backing strip and chip. Eventually, the solder-joints start to crack. Once that happens, the connectivity is intermittent and pixels will not work consistently.

One way to avoid this is to cut the strip at the bending points and use silicone coated wire to connect between segments. Even then, it is a good idea to strain-relieve the wire connections at the joints.

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by kamuicosplay on Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:32 pm

Oh, I didn’t flex the strip at all. I didn’t even need to touch the whole setup to get a failure. I‘m installing LED strips for years in my costumes and always make sure the strips as well as the joints never move and are well protected. They are actually all connected with servo extension plugs.

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:38 pm

the joints never move and are well protected. They are actually all connected with servo extension plugs.

Please post a photo showing your interconnections.

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by kamuicosplay on Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:50 pm

I have only a rough video of the separated LED strips.
https://instagram.com/p/Be1HCtJnt0c/
But please understand that I‘m doing this now for over 7 years and my soldering and joints are always clean and well tested. All I would like to know if there is a better way to test a LED strip aside of turning it just on. I don’t ask for any replacement, but I would like to avoid the issue for upcoming projects. Thank you very much for your help so far! :)

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by adafruit_support_bill on Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:28 pm

But please understand that I‘m doing this now for over 7 years ...

Understood. But having moderated this forum for at least that long, I've found that most problems come down to soldering or wiring issues. And that the photographs don't always confirm a poster's assessment of their own skills. That is why we always ask.

We are happy to replace a defective strip once we confirm that it has been properly connected and deployed. And your wiring harness and joints appear to be professionally done. If you contact support@adafruit.com with a link to this thread we can replace the problem strips.

As for detecting a bad strip, connecting up a strip and letting it run for some hours or days should shake out most cases of 'infant mortality'. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathtub_curve

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Re: Misproduced LED strip delivery

by kamuicosplay on Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:36 pm

Thanks a lot for the support! I‘ll test my strips longer next time then. I always loved your products and always keep on recommending them, especially your helpful forum! I‘ll write then an email and keep on working with a different order of LED strips from you. Thanks again for your helpful and fast help again! :)

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