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Darin Miller

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About Darin Miller

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  1. The problem still exist, but the show is going and I am being careful not to make too many adjustments. I'm still observing it happening during long fades (> 1 sec). So far, I have the following things to check: Dirty Power- I wish there was a way to measure this, but the same electrical infrastrure from last year was used. Seperate 60A subpanel, with 7 circuits all GFCI, 12 ga romex in conduit out to the plugs in the yard. Main panel at house is correctly bonded (Neu/Gnd), subpanel for lights has seperate GND and NEU. No CFLs on any of those circuits. Comm Problems: I have one spare controller that I want to swap in to check for this. I can also swap the comm chip. (pending) Snubber on the LED segments: I can do this, but I can perform a quick check by just unplugging all LED devices from the suspect controller. (There are 12 LED decorations on that controller). My LEDs are a combination of 50ct strings of GKI/Bethlehem, and GE. I have adjusted many of my sequences to use shorter fades to lessen the problem. As always, you guys are awesome, Thanks for all the help.
  2. 3 of my controllers are CTB16PC. I upgraded them all to 4.32 firmware. The problem still exists, but at least I'm current with FW. I don't have the CAT5 any closer to electrical cables than necessary, but it has to get close to AC current cables at some point when it enters the controller. It was a bit too cold today (massive wind chill) for troubleshooting. I have a V2 board that I will swap into it's place in a few days and continue the quest. thanks
  3. No motors or CFLs, but I do have a lot of LEDs on the new controller. The firmware of the new controller is 4.02; it's a CTB16PC board. I removed the power from the new controller for a quick test and everyting worked fine upstream of the it (on the comm cable). There was still an issue with the last controller in the chain. This was with a completely powered off controller. thanks for all the suggestions. I'll keep digging.
  4. It's looking like the single new 16PC controller is causing some sort of problem with the remaining controllers. All other controllers from last year seem to do OK when they are powered on by themselves. It's looking like a possible power issue or RS485 noise issue on the CAT5 line. Uggh!
  5. I'm getting a strange flicker when fading strings of incandescent lights that worked fine last year. The only thing I have changed is the addition of one more 1602PC controller to the display. I do have LED strings on other channels that exhibit the normal jumpy fade issues, but I'm more worried about why the same C7 and mini strings are doing this (contagious!). It's almost as if these regular bulbs caught the LED disease. It does seem to happen on the same channels in the same parts of the sequence. The sequences were originally created in 2.0.14 and updated in 2.3.4. I have checked the sequences to ensure no problems. It's most pronounced when holding a 40-50% dim level or a really slow 0-100 fade. If I have a fade that last 4 seconds on some C7s, it will flicker for only about 1 second and only at one part of the sequence. I have other similar fades in the sequence that work fine. This is a tricky one. It only affects about 10 channels out of 128. Any ideas on where to start? Thanks -Darin
  6. rwertz wrote: I have a Heathkit oscilloscope. I got it out last Halloween with intent to display a lissajous pattern. But the high voltage supply took a dump. I think it’s time to retire it. You use a Heathkit O-scope as a Halloween decoration? That's funny
  7. Dude !!!!!!! That's the extreme edge of creativity where only the radical tend dwell. Rock ON. -Darin
  8. Ha Ha Ha; I'm glad I found this thread. Tonight was first night running LOR 96 channels with some slow morphing huge color fades. I was checking a few things; resetting some GFCIs after unplugging those silly motorized deer; who needs deer shaped grounding rods anyway ? Everything else was awesome; cars slowing, I'm waving:shock:, ohhhh, but wait !!! What the heck is that buzzing sound as I walk past my 60 amp display panel? It thought Buzz was a name reserved for an astronaut; Major freak out; where's my clamp on meter? Check all connections, flip breakers trying to isolate it; headache mounting; maybe these Square D breakers really suck and are inferior; AAAHHHHHHH. Then I read this thread and now I can relax and go to bed. Thanks Guys
  9. Dennis Cherry wrote: This was a previously working unit and the opto is in correct. I guess I'm kind of stuck so maybe I should start with the opto and then move to the Triac. Thanks for the advice
  10. Howdy, I purchased a few used CTB16D controllers and found one of the controllers with a single channel not functioning. All of the pigtails, powerblocks and traces are good. I checked the voltage right on the leftmost pin of the TO-220 Triac and found 0 VAC. All the remaining Triacs had good voltage with all channels turned to "ON" in the hardware utility. My question: Are there any other signals I could check upstream of the Triac in order to isolate this part as the failure? If I have a bad Triac, then I may just need the NTE part number. We have a local shop that sells all NTE electronics and I could get it replaced quickly. Thanks -Darin
  11. Ken, Thanks for information. That's exactly what I was looking for; someone in my climate belt. Have you ever had to troubleshoot grounding and water issues in years past? I am somewhat skeptic of the mini-trees being essentially a grounding tomato cage. I also have some thin metal farm fencing with metal posts. These objects bring the physical ground potential up to within centimeters of the lights, cords and plugs. Figuring out which circuit is the culprit can be tricky because it will sometimes take 1/2 hour for my portable GFI plug to trip a given circuit. thanks for info -Darin
  12. You will have fun ! I ordered one around mid December and a CTB16K kit was here within a week. I was even impressed with quality of packing and boxes not to mention the excellent instructions. They were only printed in my native language so I didn't have to wade through a huge manual full of garbage I couldn't read ! Best of Luck Darin
  13. As a newbie, I have certainly enjoyed the information on this forum. I assembled my first CTB16K over the holiday break and it has tested out great. After reading several threads on rain, water, grounding and GFCIs, I am very nervous about next year. Living near Portland OR, the climate is wet and rainy pretty much all of the time. I understand there are two schools of thought on the remedy for rain causing constant GFCI trips 1. Keep the connections off the ground (any extension cord and between light strings) 2. Plastic bag, rubber band, and invert the connections. My static display this year was constantly tripping the GFCI when wet. I had a hybrid approach to elevated connections with some wrapped. There were only 2-3 nights in December without rain. This kind of weather makes me not even want to do an animated display. A storm for a couple days may seem managaeable if you get a few days to dry out, but we had no dryout time. I’m certainly not trying to beat a dead horse with the whole GFCI and water debate, but I found myself wanting more information. Here’s my question: Have any of you had a multi-channel animated display run without GFCI trips, for 10-15 days of contiguous heavy rain? Basically the same is putting your cords and strings under a yard sprinkler while powered up.
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