Halloween Fix

Last year I bought a second one of these hanging flaming baskets from Spirit Halloween. This year, I put them out again and a couple of hours into the first night the newer one failed, completely.

Unimpressed, I brought it back down and took it apart. Inside was a very cheap 120 Vac to 12 Vac board, slightly modified from the standard part with the same part number to add a 12 Vdc output to drive the fan that blows the material up to emulate flames.

Given that I couldn’t get an exact matching part to replace the one that died, and that these are only about $25 to buy new, I decided that instead of fixing it, I would improve it.

Power Supply

The first problem was the power supply. Since I needed 12 Vdc for the fan, I decided that what I needed was to switch all the low voltage parts to DC. Amazon had a handle little 15W power supply module that would fit easily into the unit.

These came in a pack of two which will allow me to fix the second basket when that too fails.

The 15W limit would not be enough with the original halogen bulbs which were 15W each, but since I am also switching to DC this was a great opportunity to switch the bulbs to something more efficient too.

Bulbs

The original bulbs were 12V, 15W halogen MR11 bulbs with the two pin GU-4 connector. Amazon had a four pack of LED replacement bulbs for those form factor rated at just 2.5W each and happy on either AC or DC power. The basket has little plastic orange covers clipped over the bulbs, which came off easily and clipped on to the LED replacements.

As with the power supply modules, the four pack was perfect to allow me to fix the broken unit and have enough parts on hand to fix (or just upgrade) the other one.

The two bulbs account for 5W, the fan was rated at 3W, so the new total is about 8W, leaving plenty of headroom on the 15W power supply. It also means this unit runs at about a quarter of the power consumption than the original.

Working

All put together, and after a 4 hour soak test inside, the unit is back up in its place in the front of the house and looking as good as the original:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.