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About John

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  • Occupation
    Retired Electronics Engineer

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  • Interests
    Looking into programming Smart Pixels.
    Previously I ran my show with seven CTB-16 controllers.
  • How I learned about Light-O-Rama -
    On-Line search of other people using Animated Lighting
  • Favorite Decorating Holiday?

LOR Software

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  1. Are you sure your icicle lights don't have the little controller box for special effects on the end of the string? Is it these WalMart icicle lights? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Holiday-Time-Twin-Cicle-Icicle-Light-Set-300-Count/13012412 They show this information at the WalMart web site - "Holiday Time blue and white twinkling icicle lights will create the illusion of melting icicles" They say they are "twinkling". Are yours? For reference the LED string terminator directions can be found on the "Crazy Light Lady" web site here: http://www.crazylightlady.us/TerminatorsHow-To.html
  2. Chuck - yes I tried the other RJ45 jacks on it and the previous controller with no change in symptoms. Just seemed strange that only one controller seemed to be affected and rebooting the computer fixed it. Ran flawless for three nights now as it has for the past five years.
  3. Do you have any spare strings of lights? Even incandescent house lights would work as a test at this point.
  4. Is it possible to bring one controller in next to the show computer and connect it with a short CAT-5 cable and run the Hardware Utility there and see what happens. It's time to eliminate some things. Having the controller next to the show computer should indicate if the problem is down the data cable that connects to the outside and possibly picking up stray interference.
  5. It appears from the Virtual Comm Port web site that the drivers are probably a later version (11-16-2010) than you have with the native drivers supplied with Windows-7. Wouldn't hurt to give them a shot. Just be careful selecting the 32 or 64 bit drivers. http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm You can also make your own filtered USB cable using these Radio Shack ferrite chokes. Wind a couple turns of the USB cable around the choke and snap the filter shut. Use one on each end of the cable keeping them close to the ends of the cable. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103222 What happens when you use the Hardware Utility and run a 16 channel chase on each controller? Do they respond correctly?
  6. Curious... Are you using the USB/RJ-45 adapter with the filtered USB cable like this one? http://store.lightorama.com/usbcausewius.html How about the latest USB drivers for the Virtual Com Port adapter here: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm
  7. The other night I went out to look at my display and saw that one of my 16 channel leaping arches had two channels flickering on and off randomly and not following the sequence as it should. The other six CTB16 controllers seemed to be working properly. Here are the actions I took: Removed power to the controller, waited a few seconds and plugged it back in. Same issue. Removed the case cover and saw the red light blinking indicating that the controller was not communicating with the computer. Unplugged the power and data cable, set the unit ID to "00", plugged it back in, the red light flashed fast as it should to reset the controller. Unplugged the controller, reset the unit ID to "06", and plugged in the data cable then the power. Same issue with the blinking red light. Since it's the last controller in the data cable chain, I checked the cable for cuts and breaks. All looked good. Went to the computer and shut down the show (luckily no one was watching the show) and then shut down the computer. Checked the USB cable and adapter to the data cable and it looked good. Restarted the computer then the Hardware Utility. The hardware utility found all 7 controllers. (strange I thought) Went back outside and found a solid red light on controller ID-06. Huh... Back inside I Exited the Hardware Utility and restarted the show. All started working and it has been working flawlessly for two days now. I have been running these controllers for five years without an issue. I just found it strange that just one controller had a communication issue with the computer. Restarting the computer seemed to fix the issue. Ever seen just one controller in the chain have a communication issue (red blinking light) while the others seem to be working just fine and a reboot of the computer fix the problem? I know this post is long but I'm posting it in case someone else has a similar issue and scratching their head like I was.
  8. I think it's possible for a nearby thunderstorm to set off xenon strobe lights. Depending on the length of the extension cord and how high it is above the ground it can act as an antenna and pickup stray magnetic fields given off by nearby lightning strokes with enough energy to fire the xenon tube. When I used a long piece of copper wire as a shortwave receiving antenna, I used an automobile spark plug connected to the wire and the body of the plug grounded to prevent static buildup. When a thunderstorm was near, you could see the spark plug arc from the static buildup on the wire. It would also spark in blowing dry snow so there is quite a bit of energy emitted even in a nearby lightning stroke.
  9. Did you happen to notice the Krasley Don profile lists his occupation as electrician? I use christmas light stakes like this one to elevate my plugs & sockets above the ground. Work well for me.
  10. You could build your animation sequence short and use a "loop" to get the desired time. For instance... make a 5 minute animation sequence and loop it 2 times for 15 minutes of lights. ( 5 for the original time through + 5 + 5 for the two loops )
  11. cmoore60 wrote: I misread that. I thought he said they would not turn on. You could also try using the hardware utility to control the channels to see what happens.
  12. What controller are you using? Is it setup with two power cords or one? If you have an Ohm Meter you can test the fuses that way. Radio Shack sells fuses if you need spares.
  13. John


    Make sure your audio mp3 file is in the "Audio" folder within the Light-O-Rama folder. Then in the sequence editor open your sequence and then click "Edit" > "Media File" and select the audio file for that sequence.
  14. The Crazy Light Lady shows you all about the terminators for "some" LED strings HERE. The resistor she uses is a 39,000 Ohm - One Watt.
  15. Make sure you log in to the forums and scroll down almost to the bottom to see the forum "My Halloween Setup" or click THIS LINK.
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