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How often do your triacs go bad?


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Last year, I had one controller with 1 bad triac. This year, so far, I had 3 bad triacs (and it's only 3 days into my show).

What is going on?

Do anyone else get this problem?

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1 single strand of LED lights. Maybe a few watts at most.

Maybe 3'a away from the controller.

Denis Chaput wrote:

What kind of load are you putting on each channel if small how far from the controller are the set of lights?

Denis
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So far I have lost 8 traics and they have all been on the new controllers, I had these lights running on 2 1602 controllers for 7 weeks and had no problems, as soon as I changed to my new CTB16's I started to have problems and I am sure that by the end of the season I will have lost more.
It’s not the load on traics, as I have different loads from 10w up to 150w, and as I stated earlier my 1602's ran the same lights with No failures for 7 weeks
:{

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Yes. I asked them what is the cause and they said:

Several things can shorten the life of these switching components. Too much current on the circuit is the most common... which happens from too high a load or water on/around the electrical lines allowing current to leak in unexpected ways. Another challenge seems to be some LED light strings we control were never meant to be animated causing all sorts of oddities to occur.


I am not sure what to think. Another LOR forum member mentioned that the Triacs could be inherently defective from manufacturing.

Denis Chaput wrote:
Have you email Lightorama helpdesk ?
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Oh yeah, before I forget. I want to mention that the one lone Triac that went out last year was from a CTB16PC controller from 2010.

This year, I had 5 Triacs go out from Dec 1 thru Dec 13 (from various CTB16PC controllers purchased and built in 2010 and 2011).

They all have relatively low loads on them. Two Triacs blew from having 50ct CDI LED strings on each channel (2.4Watts) and the others had 100ct mini incandescent lights on each channel (40Watts).

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I have 5 showtime boxes and 8 PC boxes. All are mounted outside. It does usually rain the first part of the season. I do get GFI issues. Mid December on it's usually snow.

stanward wrote:

What type of controllers? Does it rain a lot during your shows?

Brian Mitchell wrote:
Seventh year and I have never had a triac go bad. Or blown a fuse.
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What year were the controllers purchased?
My 2008 and 2009I controllers seem okay.
Just 2010/2011 seem to have problems.
Brian Mitchell wrote:

I have 5 showtime boxes and 8 PC boxes. All are mounted outside. It does usually rain the first part of the season. I do get GFI issues. Mid December on it's usually snow.

stanward wrote:
What type of controllers? Does it rain a lot during your shows?

Brian Mitchell wrote:
Seventh year and I have never had a triac go bad. Or blown a fuse.
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I have 4 PC controllers in my display. I've never lost a triac (knocks on wood). My controllers were purchased before 2010. I think load has a lot to do with it. My controllers are not loaded heavily - the highest load I have on any controller is 10A. The highest single channel load is 2A.

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I lost a triac yesterday,opened a ticket and wow fast response, only one string of 100 count mini incandesents , maybe rain we have had a topn here,but I am runnig gfci never tripped on that controller. this is a new gen 3 controller.I am sure it will get fixed but maybe there is a problem with that batch

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As others have indicated in other posts, you can power cycle the controllers to see if that shuts off the bad Triac. I tried that tonight (with a newly bad Triac) and the problem went away. Played with the suspect channel via Hardware Utility and was not able to get the channel stuck to the "on" position.

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I have 16 controllers (all but 2 are the CTB16D kits that I assembled) and have never lost a triac yet either.
I purchased 4 of the units in 2008 and the rest in 2009.

I am running mostly 1 string of C6 - 70 count LEDs per channel on most all of them but do have some that will have a single blowmold on channels.

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I had one go out imeadeatly upon powering to test a mini tree.
I have 27 PC controllers bought across 4 years and this is the first time I have had a triac go bad. That channel only runs 2-100 count strings of incans.
I suspect the string might have gotten damaged in packing/loading/transfering so I can't really blame the controller for that.
Guess I'm gonna brush up on my soldering skills for 2012!!!

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Dont Forget could be the Opto as well, This is my first year running 32 channels. Dropped a channel right away. If youhave access to the board in the enlosure you can "short" the Triac legs together to see if its the Triac or the opto causing you difficulties.... This information came from the help desk: here is thier reply to my Ticket...You can check the triac as follows but be very careful. The center pin of the triac get power in. One side (the gate side) is attached to the opto isolator via a resistor and the other side is output. If you use a small screw driver and carefully make sure you are only touching the insulated handle you can connect the center pin to the gate pin. If the triac is working then this will trigger the gate and the output will come on.

HTH

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I've got two that I need to to check if they are 2010 boxes... Have the channels moved to other boxes, just keep forgetting to look at the controllers with issues..

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