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Is there a way I can make a rope light controller that allows me to use the "chase" effect??? Answered

I would prefer an answer very soon, or a link to an 'ible on how to make it. if i dont get this soon (within the next 2 days prolly) I'll have to buy it (i already have a site to buy it from), I dont have a problem with buying it... but this will also help people who are looking for the same thing...



Best Answer 9 years ago

Regular rope light only has 1 circuit, so you can't make it 'chase'. You need rope with 2 or more circuits that can be turned on separately to make the effect work. The more, the better - depending on the effect. You can make a cool chaser out of a 555 timer, and a 4017 decade counter. Google 'bowdens hobby circuits' and you should catch some awesome chaser circuits. You'll need some hefty power transistors (triacs for AC switching for mains AC) to switch each 'channel' on and off.

i just purchased the controller, but is there a way i can make one using stuff i can buy from a hardware store?

I work for an amusement games company, so I work with ropelight all the time. Frollard and Kelsey are correct - One Channel Ropelight (the type with only two leads) is a single circuit ropelight that is designed to be non-chasing, While Three Channel Ropelight (this type has 4 leads - 3 hot and one neutral) is designed to chase by lighting every first 3, then second set of 3 , then third set of 3 lamps in the line.

With that out of the way, you can purchase ropelight controllers online and they aren't that expensive. After buying all your components to make your own chase controller, you'll probably end up spending more money then if you just bought one thats already made. Matter of fact, if you intend on using 30 feet of ropelight or less, A mini-controller with 8 modes is only 25 dollars US.


Also be aware that if you do use 3 Channel Ropelight for your project, you cant cut it to any length you want. 3 Ch Ropelight is usually discreetly marked where you can cut it. Cutting anywhere else will damage the internal circuitry.

This is where I really like Instructables! The community has become large enough that there are actual working professionals in most areas of interest, and even in really obscure places (particle physics, perhaps? :-). If the author doesn't flag this as Best, I'll probably do so myself in a while.

The rope light itself has to be built to support those sorts of effects. Some are (and come with appropriate controllers), but others are not. In particular, if your rope light only has a two-prong connector at the end, you're out of luck.