Glad you got it working. And fascinating pictures.
Seeing the thread title reminded me of something that had happened many years ago. I'd installed a lighted street address sign on my house, powered by the doorbell transformer, and I'd fitted it with a photocell, using a circuit that required a rectifier and a filter capacitor.
Then I bought a new doorbell, that required a higher voltage transformer. Higher than the WVDC rating of the filter capacitor. Significantly higher
When I turned on the power, I heard a loud bang. A short time later, I found the capacitor casing in a flower bed, along with the foil and fibrous material that had formed the innards of the capacitor. And a few shards of plastic where the capacitor had blown a hole in the side of the sign.