I posted this
how-to on PlanetChristmas in 2005 when I discovered that my
Light-O-Rama boards (CTB08) did not play well with the leds I was
using for my Nascar Trailer Display. Unfortunately, all of the
posts from last year were lost when the PlanetChristmas Boards
decided to crash and burn. I've been asked by several PC
members to re-post my solution to the led problem. I want to
thank everyone that helped me figure out what would and wouldn't
work. Also, if you read nothing else, please read the
I am NOT an expert at anything. Like I said on
my intro page, everything I know is self-taught and sometimes I
really don't know what I'm doing. The only way I managed to
come up with the terminators was simply a dogged determination to
make my led lights work. Electricity is dangerous and if any
of the steps in this how-to makes you the least bit uncomfortable,
don't do it. Actually, the easiest way to get them to work
correctly is to plug a set of minis into each channel, but since I
can't ever leave well enough alone, here goes.
Male end of an extension cord. If
you've been building D-Light Boards or LOR Hobbyists boards, you
have tons of these lying around.
1 watt resistor. I used a 39k,
why? It's what I had on hand, simple as that. I'm sure
any other value would work, but I don't think you would want to use
a smaller wattage. Resistance creates heat, that's why plug-in
air fresheners work. I did actually de-construct one to
see how they worked. All they are is a loop of wire between
the hot and neutral wires encased in plastic. I measured the
resistance at about 9 ohms.
Hot Glue Gun
Wire Stripper, Scissors, Diagonals, and
an extra hand.
1. Split and strip about 1/2" of
insulation off both wires on the plug.
2. Place the resistor between the
wires and twist the resistor wire around the plug wires several
3. Solder the splices, so you have
a good electrical and mechanical connection. This is where the
extra hand comes in handy. There is no way I can hold
something in one hand and solder with the other, besides those clamp
thingys are really cheap. Harbor Freight or any craft store
has them for about $5.
4. Trim the splices to about a
quarter inch each after they've cooled off.
5. Cut and lay out several pieces
of electrical tape sticky side up. Don't skimp on the tape,
you will want to make sure you use enough to cover the wires and
resistor, so there is no chance that you could shock yourself or
anyone else. Like I said earlier, if you don't feel this is
safe for your application, then don't build it.
6. Place the bare terminator on the
tape making sure you'll have a good overlap of tape.
7. Glue Gun Time! Don't skimp
on the hot glue either. Slather that puppy up. Make sure
you use enough to completely cover the bare wires and
8. Let the glue cool enough to
handle, and then fold the electrical tape into a packet around
the terminator, making sure you don't leave any loose edges for
water or whatever to get in. Again, be careful with hot melt
glue, not only does hot glue stick well to skin, it burns!
9. Let the terminator cool and
Viola! Plug it into your led string and no more
Now you're probably thinking, what about
using polarized plugs? If your led strings are like mine, most
of them are non-polarized, but if you've actually read the
step-by-step up to this point, I'm sure you already know how to work
around that little dilemma. I won't go into it here, as I've
found that tip generally opens up a whole other can of