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Brad Bilger

1602Wg problem/question

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Ok.. bit of history first. I've got a show with 10 controllers (All 1602 boards) I picked up a new 1602Wg3 recently that I was going to use as a spare. When I got it, of course one of my OLD 1602's developed a triac problem. Unpacked the 1602Wg3 and swapped out. I see by the paperwork that this unit has built in snubbers. (Joy, everything I got is LED's, half wave). Installed it, set it up and now I find a problem with ramps. All my red LED's (Channels 1, 5, 9 and 13) no longer want to ramp down. They stick on and all flash off at the same time. This problem occured right out of the box. So I went back and reinstalled MY snubbers on the lines and they smoothed out just a bit, but still hanging and not ramping properly.

Both sides of the controller are on the same circuit/same phase.

All lights are LED's, half wave.

All LED's are older, some are about 5 years old now.

Controller gets it's signal from ELL, nothing hard wired.

Additional snubbers are 47k, half watt resistors.

Any suggestions? Any ideas?

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Half wave, full wave, snubber/terminators/resistors (whatever you call them) are still needed.

How many strings do you have on a problem channel? Try reducing, as a test, down to 2 strings. I find that 3+ strings need a snubber for a smooth fade, particularly as the temp drops. I do use the 1602 g3, but I still use snubbers.

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Well, one of the 3G sales features says that it has built in resistors to simulate a load eliminating the need for additional loads. I went back and installed my resistors in addition. That smoothed it out some, but not all the way. Each channel is running between 8-10 strings of red led's and can't reduce the lines. They go up in a tree about 40 feet. It's only the reds that are affected. Which is channels 1, 5, 9 and 13. All the other colors on this controller are running like they should. Not a single incandescent on that controller. I've run this show with led's for years with out a problem using the 1602's. this is my first experience with the 3G.

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Ok. I posted this problem last year and never really got a good answer. LOR1602W g3 controller. ID #1 connected via ELL. 130' clear range. Controller has 16 strings of half wave lights. Slow fades in and out I get flicker (bad). The manual says "these controllers have 'ghost loads' which drain off charge to prevent low brightness LED glow when LED's are off. The 'ghost loads' also permit smoother LED fading." I've double checked the dim curve and #1 is set with dim curve 1.

All 16 channels are flickering badly. I have one song where all 16 channels are on at 100% and they flicker.

BUT if I build a sequence with same lights on at 100%, I get no flicker. If I go to HWU and command 100%, I get no flicker. I've deleted all the commands that are there during the flicker and re-entered them. Still flicker. Controller has latest firmware. Software is latest version of S3, updated in September of this year. Computer is AMD processor running 4 gig ram, XP pro, latest updates as of September. Computer dedicated strictly to the show.

I've got 9 more 1602 old style controllers with no problem and 3 more g3's that are mounted, but have no lights run to them yet. Any ideas? What am I missing?

To make it even worse, you oughta try typing all that in from an iPhone!! Lol

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Is the Maximum Intensity in the Hardware Utility set to something less than 100% for that controller? So even though you're selecting 100% in your sequence the controller is not outputting 100%.

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Hey Brad, just noticed this year that quite a few of my 'new' G3 units were having similar problems.  Checking with the hardware utility, I found out they were running 1.05 firmware.  Upgraded to the later (1.11) and all problems fixed.

 

Not sure if this is your situation, but apparently the 1.05 stuff had some severe fading bugs.  This is related to my recent post about the availability of firmware release notes.  Without them, it was just a shot in the dark that fortunately worked for me.

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Ok.

Latest firmware 1.11

Red LEDs on ch 1, 5, 9 and 13. (4 separate trees)

Blue LEDs on ch 3, 7, 11 and 15

All LEDs about 4-5 years old.

When reds are ramping down, blues flash. Have tried with snubbers, without snubbers. No difference.

It's not just this one controller. Another g3 is doing the same thing.

I've carried my laptop to the controller and ran the show hard wired. Same problem as running it with the ELL's. So it shouldn't be a bandwidth problem.

Sequencer shows no commands for blues at that time. I've gone through and made sure cells are empty in those spots where no blues are on.

Channel setting for channel 1-16 says device type light-o-rama controller, regular network.

Hardware utility:

01-32LD-G3 ver 1.11

Slow ramp up through HW On Red only causes greens and blues to flicker.

HW intensity range. 0 minimum-100 maximum

Advanced config all set to Dim Curve01.

Use of same age lights on older controller with snubbers results in no errors and no flickers.

ELL's speed 57600. Power level 15 dBm 32 mw. Channel 16.

HW utility test console. Ramp 1, 5, 9 and 13 to 80% and held. Blues are on and greens are flickering.

Have I missed something basic?? I don't think I'm too happy with the g3 controllers.

Btw. This show sits in the middle of a larger amusement park.

In other words ........ HELP!!!!!

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I'd try to reset the conroller.  Sometimes this helps. 

 

I'm also wondering if there may be a CFL somewhere on the same circuit as the controller.  CFL's can cause the controllers to act strangely.

 

I've been told that cordless phones that use 900mhz can interfere with the ELL.  Could there possibly be some equipment in the Amusement park that is using 900Mhz?   Security with Walkie Talkies?  

 

Jerry

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Hey Jerry.

All radios in the park 400 MHz, repeated. This is at a stage location, but no wireless phones or mics In the area ( stage shut down for the season). You piqued my curiosity on something you said. CFL on the same BREAKER??? I hadn't thought of that. Not sure. I have CFL's on the same breaker box, just not sure if on same breaker. Something more to dig into. The nearest CFL's are next door but are off during the day while I'm testing.

I gotta admit. It ain't suppose to be this difficult. :)

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This is very puzzling.  I am not sure if a CFL on the same breaker box will affect the controller or not.  Pretty sure a CFL on the same breaker will.

 

Since you are using snubbers, the number of LED strings shoud not matter.

 

Have you tried to reset the controllers that are flaky?   Sometimes this clears up the problems.

 

A reset is more than just turning the controller off and on.    The procedure varies from one controller to another.  Check your manual for the reset procedure.  Once the reset procedure is complete you may have to set the unit address again.

 

Jerry

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Just had another thought.

 

I seem to remember awhile back someone was having trouble with LED strings.  Don't remeber the thread or the details.

 

Someone suggested reversing the polarity of the string.  Just unplug the LED string from the controller, turn the plug 180 degrees and plug it back in.

 

I'd try it on just one channel to see if it helps.

 

Sorry, I don't remember what the reasoning was or if it helped.

 

Jerry

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Well, I sorta threw in the flag for a bit. This was one of the primary controllers in my show. Part of my "melody" line. I replaced it with an older one. The flickers were getting worse. I've got 3 more out there. 2 on arches with only 2 strings per segment. I'll see how they handle it.

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I know you said you tried it with/without snubbers/terminators, but did you use them on EVERY channel in the box?  In my early terminator investigations, I found that unless I terminated virtually every channel, as well as nearby box channels, I could get kickback that would flash random channels.  I'd be curious if you terminated every channel on one of the boxes, and ran it entirely alone (no other boxes) if you still see the problem.   I found that I could cause channels on other units up to 20 feet away to briefly flash with one or two unterminated channels.

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I haven't tried it like that this year.  Last year I had one of my older controllers give up the ghost and I replaced it with the G3.  That's when the flickers started up.  Last year I did try the snubbers on every channel, and it did relieve SOME of the problem.  The flickers were still there, but not as noticeable.  You know how it is.  No one else notices the problem but it's YOUR baby and every tiny little flash, you see it.  Today, if it doesn't rain me out, I'll be installing my arches on 2 G3's and my arches only have 2 strings per segment.  I'm curious to see if it's because on my problem location I'm running 10-15 strings per channel. 

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Ok, rehashing an old thread... I started this thread 2 years ago.... and still haven't found out what my problem is.  I have a mix of Old and 3G controllers.  My old ones are like a rock.  Sturdy, dependable.  (Well, except for one that I need to send in for repair.  The first year I was using incandescent and sorta pushed it to the limit.  Its still in storage)  I have a rather large display.  Anywhere from 3 strings per channel to probably 15-20 strings per channel.  ALL LED.  My 3G controllers handle the smaller loads with no problem at all.  But if I put them on a Larger prop, with 15-20 strings per channel, they crap out.  Flickers on slow fades.  Random firings of lights.   

According to the manual for the 3G's they are equipped with built in resistance to prevent the "flashback" on dimming.  With a short string of lights, they work ok.  They can't handle the longer lights.  I put in resistive loads (47K resistor) and they still flicker, I've added 4 C9 Incandescent bulb in line WITH the resistors and still they flicker.  

Anyone out there got any idea on how to correct this problem?  Other than swapping out a 3G for an older model?  I'm running out of Older models now.  

In answer to some of the questions asked so far... 

1.  Resistive loads have been added to every channel

2.  Loads consists of either 47 K 1 watt resistors, or 2-4 C9 Incandescent bulbs on each string or in some cases, Both.  

3.  Sequences have been checked to assure that the ramps are smooth

4.  Controllers have been swapped out with older models and the problem follows the controller

5.  Turning the plug on the lights around 180 Degrees??  There are 15-20 strings of lights on these trees?  Infinite combination to get them all aligned up the same orientation.  None of them are marked or polarized.

6.  All controllers are commercial grade units, pre-assembled, steel case.  

7.  All controllers are Wireless using ELL.  All ELL's are direct unobstructed Line of sight with each other, distance of only about 75'

8.  For example, one ELL controls units 01 and 0D.  01 is an old model.  0D is a 3G  0D flickers while 01 is working fine.  

 

Any Ideas??

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Well, I've just re-read the entire thread.  I can't think of anything else to try.

 

I suggest you create a trouble ticket with LOR.

 

Jerry

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