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How often do your triacs go bad?

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Remind me not to purchase any G3 CTB16PC contrrollers until real late 2012 or early 2013.:(

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Orville wrote:

Remind me not to purchase any G3 CTB16PC contrrollers until real late 2012 or early 2013.:(


at least we can be happy that LOR stand behind their product,
In that knowledge I will be quite happy to continue buying from LOR:cool:

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Orville wrote:

Remind me not to purchase any G3 CTB16PC contrrollers until real late 2012 or early 2013.:(

As someone who plans on purchasing one of those this year, I'm getting a kick out of that reply.:shock::shock:

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That's why that comment had this little character at the end: :(

I'm actually planning on either buying another CTB16PC Controller or a couple of DC Controllers this year myself. Chances are I'm going to get 2 DC controllers so I can hack the store bought LEDs I still have that work and use them on my vehicle!:D:cool:

And I agree, LOR is awesome when it comes to standing behind their product lines!:cool:

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I lost 1 triac 3 years ago, and 2 more last year. So now I have 3 bad ones in my CTB16D. I ordered some more triacs from Digikey and am about to install them soon. I am good at soldering and this is no big deal to me.

My question is: What is the simplest set of steps to get the board out of the CTB16D's metal box so I can work on it? What do I need to or not need to remove? In what order? No doubt I could figure it out, I'm mechanically inclined as well, but I'm sure someone out there has already done this a bunch of times and can tell me the quickest, easiest way.

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Guest wbottomley

I would take it out of the box by unbolting it. Then replace the bad triacs and place it back in the enclosure.

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To me, the hardest part in changing out triacs was removing all the wires and replacing them once i was done. It ends up taking an hour to do less than 5 minutes of board work

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FYI....

(First some butt covering: This may not apply to you. This may not apply AT ALL. I'm not making excuses. I'm relating personal experience. I have no experience with G3 controllers - the ones with phantom loads. You can always get an official response from the help desk system, since I am not a hardware tech.)

Not having ENOUGH load on a triac can make it appear as if it is bad. There needs to be enough load to fully pull the gate to 0, or else a triac will sometimes (and that's key >SOMETIMES<) leak voltage. For example, you can't test if a triac is bad by checking the voltage between hot and neutral. If there is no load attached, the output could be floating anywhere between 0 and line voltage. That's why sometimes a snubber or other load is needed on an LED string: there simply is not enough load to latch the gate.

To ensure you really have a bad channel, hook up a regular 60w bulb (a table lamp works great) to the channel and test it. If it works you may have a too-little load issue.

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DevMike,

Just for your information. Back a few years ago, a user either here on this forum or over on PC did a great write up with snap shots of his digital O scope showing different wave forms. The wave form distorted with more LED load and less with just one string of 50ct M5 or M6. Believe it or not, but LED have a capacitive component and the XC was causing havoc with the wave form. By adding a resistive load, the charge is drained off of the string faster and returning the wave form back to something closer to what is seen when a resistive load is applied to the circuit. Such as when Ican lamps are used.

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I've seen that as well, and it was a definite shocker to see the waveforms.

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Lost 2 triacs this week and was told to send in or solder myself - got fast answers from LOR and will send in right after Halloween - This is a new box I purchased last year and used only once last Christmas. Looking forward having it fixed and seeing what happens after..

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To me, the hardest part in changing out triacs was removing all the wires and replacing them once i was done. It ends up taking an hour to do less than 5 minutes of board work

This is what I did when I repaired my #4 Controller {due to some bad solder joints, no I didn't build it}. I got a FINE TIPPED Sharpie marker and labeled every little spade connector with the channel # it was connected to as I took them off their connections.

Took everything out, repaired all the bad connections on the PCB and reflowed a lot of others, especially the spade terminals the wires connect too, since they were my biggest problem with channels 1-8 NOT working.

Took me less than 10-15 minutes to remount the PC Board, reconnect all the channel wires, neutrals and power connections. Powered up and a fully working controller.

I have a bad triac in controller #3, but since it's mounted and in use, I'll do the same to it after the season when I replace the bad Triac on Channel #5. Although I have seriously thought about taking all the triacs off the board and inserting transistor sockets in the PC Board, that way I only have to pull out the bad triac and push in a good triac when the need arises. Since the controllers don't move or anything, this will make it so much easier to change out a bad triac when or if it occurs. It's what I would have done if I had built any of my controllers myself, but all but one were bought new {4} as fully assembled units.

Just a possible idea for easier triac replacement when one fails inside a controller. No taking the controller down or out of service for more than a moment or two for a simple repair!

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I've seen that as well, and it was a definite shocker to see the waveforms.

And so now we know, what's the fix for current and future controllers DevMike?

Something to handle the difference in resistive load as apposed to ican lights? A cap in the mix?

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And so now we know, what's the fix for current and future controllers DevMike?

Something to handle the difference in resistive load as apposed to ican lights? A cap in the mix?

Come again?

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Come again?

And so now we know, what's the fix for current and future controllers DevMike?

Something to handle the difference in resistive load as apposed to ican lights? A cap in the mix? :)

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I'm not sure I understand either.

Incan lights are purely resistive loads.

Since I am not the hardware guy I don't want to get trapped into something. What I say is NOT an official stance on anything hardware. As far as I understand the issue:

The fix for older controllers is to add a small resistive load to the channel (snubber/incan bulb)

The fix for new controllers are the 'phantom loads'.

... but then again, I could be wrong.

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Dev Mike, I would say your statement is dead on.

Santa's Helper. I suppose when I say come again. Just saying that your statement or question is confusing. As Mike also indicated. It appeared to me to be a bit choppy. LED have more capacitive reaction than just pure resistance. This causes a phase shift in the relationship between voltage and current. This causes adverse reactions in the way that the Triac responds. Hopefully Mike was able to answer your question?

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Yep, it was choppy cuz I don't know, so I just threw cap in there. Could have thrown in there a resistor I suppose. :P

It's all good. I can replace them.

Edited by Santas Helper

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