Repairing a Fiber Optic Tree

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  • Repairing a Fiber Optic Tree

    Greetings,

    I found you guys after lurking about Halloween Forum. I have a little repair project for next season. I have a 3' tree that has a color changing fiber-optic system. It uses a motor, a color wheel & a 20w Bi-pole bulb. I've had it for years and haven't seen another like it. The motor that turns the color wheel, burned out. It's an 12VAC 42TYZ Synchronous Motor that turns 3-4rpms. I haven't found a source that doesn't require me ordering a 1000 units from China. I was even considering dumping the whole setup & just wiring up a color changing LED bulb. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Look online at W.W. Grainger or McMaster-Carr
    The only people who grow old were born old to begin with

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    • #3
      Go to Walgreens after Christmas and pick up a new tree for $4.00. I have a half dozen of them.

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      • #4
        I believe it is the same motor used in a microwave to turn the dish. Or you can find one in a "stir crazy" popcorn popper. If it is not the same, it is at least the same size. (I forget the voltage tho on the Micro motors... May be 120 volt. Sickie?

        I have the motor you are asking about as I took apart one of those trees, but it is at work and I have the next couple days off. It has the long arm that holds the plastic color wheel.

        I still think a microwave motor may work, but if it doesn't I could part with the motor that I have. Feel free to send me a PM.
        World's Best Manager

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        • #5
          Yepper. 120VAC for microwave motors, Edwin.
          People really act weird at Christmas time. After all, what other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat nuts and sweets out of your socks?

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          • #6
            Surplus Center has several AC motors similar to that one:

            https://www.surpluscenter.com/sort.a...c&keyword=GIAR

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            • #7
              I think I may have the same christmas tree? The motor stopped working also.
              Now if I could just get one more... right there... what the...

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              • #8
                I'd like to revisit this topic as I have just come across the same problem. I found this thread while searching for an answer.

                A neighbor threw out one of these trees last week and I saved it from the trash collector. It looks brand new. It didn't have the power supply, but I had one in my collection. What I eventually, and accidentally, discovered was that the motor turned if I took the bulb out of the socket. Put the bulb is put back in and the motor stops.

                Since I'm not using the original power adapter, I thought maybe what I have isn't the proper amperage rating. Maybe I need a stronger adapter. If that's the case, could it be possible that the adapters of those with "bad" motors actually have power adapters that have "worn out"??? I don't know. But you might want to remove the bulbs to test if your motor turns. In the mean time, I'll be looking into the wiring of AC motors and lights for any tips on why this may happen.

                Before I discover this phenomena, I spent an hour taking apart the motor, re-greasing the gears and checking the wiring before I noticed it said "AC" on the label! Funny thing, when I first tried DC adapters, the motor would "flinch" occasionally, and once or twice even turned for a second... which is why I first thought the problem might be something internally.

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                • #9
                  Eureka! I had a 10watt halogen lamp on hand and tried it in the tree. This time the motor did not stop.

                  So I'm thinking, in the case where the motor turns with the bulb removed:
                  1. The adapter has "weakened".
                  or
                  2. The motor has "tightened up" and needs more "oomph" to run than originally.

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                  • #10
                    Fixed!

                    I totally forgot about this thread. A little before the season started, I took another look at my tree. Everything checked out with a multi-meter, so I took the motor apart. It looked like the grease dried up and froze the gears. So after taking it apart, cleaning & re-greasing, that did the trick!
                    Last edited by rocknrude; 01-04-2011, 11:44 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for that info rocknrude. I greased mine up but it's still won't start up with the 20w lamp. HOWEVER, I did get a little over zealous and "distorted" the case a little when putting it back together, which may have put the gears a little out of alignment. I'll look into it again. :-)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tpeerson View Post
                        Eureka! I had a 10watt halogen lamp on hand and tried it in the tree. This time the motor did not stop.

                        So I'm thinking, in the case where the motor turns with the bulb removed:
                        1. The adapter has "weakened".
                        or
                        2. The motor has "tightened up" and needs more "oomph" to run than originally.
                        was it a lower wattage bulb than previous?
                        People really act weird at Christmas time. After all, what other time of year do you sit in front of a dead tree in the living room and eat nuts and sweets out of your socks?

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                        • #13
                          Yes. The original bulb was a 20w.

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                          • #14
                            I am going to have to check mine?
                            Now if I could just get one more... right there... what the...

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                            • #15
                              Very glad you guys got your motors cranking again!

                              Always remember, read the instructions! LOL!
                              World's Best Manager

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