Step #1: Cut wire to lengthPrevNext
- To determine the wire length between lanterns, decide the total length of your new string and divide by the number of pagoda lamps minus one.
- For example, I wanted a 252" (21') string of 15 lights, so my formula is 252/(15-1)=18" for each length.
- The string of lights comes with 16 lanterns, so why did I pick 15? In case of mishap, I will have a backup lantern.
Step #2: Separate and stripPrevNext
- For each length of wire, split the insulation with your fingernail to separate the red and black wires.
- Use the strippers to remove 3/8" of insulation from the wire segments and 5/8" from the lantern pigtail wires.
Step #3: Last lantern is connected firstPrevNext
- After stripping insulation, twist copper wires to tighten, then slide on the butt splice connector.
- Use the crimp dies on your do-all tool to smash the connector to your pre-cut, pre-sripped wire. (The lantern wire is so fine that you need to fold it back on itself and twist to bulk it up so there is something to crimp to.)
- Put lantern wires into the other side of the butt connector and crimp to connect.
- Is there a more elegant, more labor-intensive, longer-lasting solution like soldering and using shrink-wrap? Of course! Isn't there always a more artful method that requires greater dexterity, more experience, and additional tools?
Step #4: Connect remaining lanternsPrevNext
- Twist one lantern wire to red and the other to black.
- Then crimp a butt splice connector to each wire pair.
- If your plan was to build a light string with only 2 lanterns, you are done! Otherwise, keep clipping, stripping, and crimping like an '80s hair salon.
- Enlist helpers to construct 14 of these wire segment/lantern pieces.
Step #5: String lanterns togetherPrevNext
The lanterns finished in the previous step are daisy chained one after another until the light string is complete.
Step #6: Ding-Dong-Done!PrevNext
- Crimp the RadioShack Connector Repair Kit to the end of your lantern string and you are ready to connect the battery.
- Cross your fingers! Did all the lanterns light? No big deal, I had a few duds, too.
Step #7: TroubleshootingPrevNext
- Disconnect battery before attempting repairs.
- If none light:
- Check that Connector Repair Kit connectors are tight to the lantern string. - Charge battery.
- If some don't light:
- Check the bulb. For any errant lanterns, cut off the butt splice connectors, re-strip wires, re-crimp.
- If lantern blinks furiously:
- Sounds like a blinker bulb - replace with a non-blinker.