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Triac issues (lots of them)

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hi guys,

has anyone else had issues this year with lots of triacs latching to 50% or 100%, just wondering,

over 3 different sites (100 miles between them) with 4 controllers on each site, i have had on average 10 triacs on each site fail.

i know it isnt a voltage issue as i have surge suppressors fitted, i know it isnt the lights as i am using high end commercial LEDs and have been doing so for over 2 years, all the boxes are approx 2 years old and ran fine last year on all sites.

just dont like the idea of having to solder on approx 30 new triacs .

any one else with a similar problem??

ps i am in the UK so my voltage is 240V

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I have had the same - I have had triacs go bad on 7 different controllers, purchased

over the past 3 years. . . . very frustrating. Was starting to wonder if I was doing something wrong.

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This year, first year in 6 years, I have channels that are on, even though no show is active. I even have the computer disconnected. I'm hoping it's just because the weather is around 10 degree's right now... The channels respond to commands appropriately during the show, but when the shows off, they are still lit. Only some..... And, it's not consistent. Last night it was a blow mold, this morning a deer, and about an hour ago some tree lighting...

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I unplug all the controllers and replug them back in when something wierd happens and sometimes that helps the hicups.

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I have several controller that have the channel burning at 50% and less. Some older controllers and some new G3's. My plan at this time is to remove the boards and send them in for repair or testing. Last year show I never had a issue but this year at least 7 channels and on different boxes.

Jeff

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I wonder if the triacs are the issues that everyone is having and not the optocouplers. They are triac based as well, but could be the issue.. Anyone investigate that possibly?

Triacs are usually pretty robust creatures if designed in correctly. There are only a few things that will kill them from the outside...

  • Exceeding the dv/dt or di/dt rating.
  • Exceeding the Voltage or current rating.
  • Heat
  • Excessive gate voltages.

from the inside, a bad batch from the manufacturer is another story..

Edited by plasmadrive

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I think I may have one going. Haven't heard back from the help desk yet, too soon. Channel 15 is on at approx. 50% all the time , even when my show PC isn't powered up. Goes to full power when a sequence tells it to but goes back to 50% on when it should be off. Doesn't dimm below that when the sequence tells it to. I have the GEN 2 PC series with only 4 sets of 100 cnt. incans. per channel plugged in for my mega tree.

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I think I may have one going. Haven't heard back from the help desk yet, too soon. Channel 15 is on at approx. 50% all the time , even when my show PC isn't powered up. Goes to full power when a sequence tells it to but goes back to 50% on when it should be off. Doesn't dimm below that when the sequence tells it to. I have the GEN 2 PC series with only 4 sets of 100 cnt. incans. per channel plugged in for my mega tree.

Yup.. most likely half the triac is bad and conducting in one direction all the time.

Note: I only brought up the opto couplers just to give a secondary "could be" thing.. Most of the failures are surely triac related.

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I had my first triac issue this year, gonna see how difficult it is to solder, if I fail, I'll send it in.

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Well............ the Help Desk is NO help with this issue. Told them I did a reset, and what did they tell me to , "lets do a controller reset this should fix your problem" Ticket Closed.

Is the help desk not authorized to ...nevermind.

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Well............ the Help Desk is NO help with this issue. Told them I did a reset, and what did they tell me to , "lets do a controller reset this should fix your problem" Ticket Closed.

Is the help desk not authorized to ...nevermind.

Jerry, I shipped all the bad ones I had back in for repairs. I got the RMA number and hope to have them back in three weeks.

Jeff

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Don't know how you got a RMA number. All I got was the run around.

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Jerry,

Sounds like you got someone that didn't read what you wrote and not really the run around.. Try reopening the ticket and give it another shot.. That ticket will be closed again after every responce unless they don't think they have it solved. Then it will remain open.. One bad answer does not a bad company make.

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Jerry,

Sounds like you got someone that didn't read what you wrote and not really the run around.. Try reopening the ticket and give it another shot.. That ticket will be closed again after every responce unless they don't think they have it solved. Then it will remain open.. One bad answer does not a bad company make.

That's just what I feeel happened. I reopened the ticket and don't expect a response till next week with the weekend here. I'm sure Chuck needs to rest his eyes after a week of doing his job.

Not sayin it's a bad company , just an ify product and poor customer support.

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If it is of any help... I used to design, build and sell DMX interface boards, dimmers and so on.. we actually looked at competing with LOR... But then we tore into their controllers and after testing and thnking and scratching at both ends, we decided we could not offer anything better for the money. They are actually built quite well. I am not sure why the triac issues this year, but considering they must go thru tens of thousands of triacs, the fail rate seems somewhat reasonable, but I don't have theiir failure statisics.... add on top of that the fact that they now have to deal with loads that are non linear and sometimes down right bizzar .... I think the product is still pretty sound. I buy them, and I can make my own if I wanted to. I have had only one failure (partial failure) on 18 controllers over two seasons. My failure was a weird one too! Still don't know what failed but LOR took care of it... and quickly!

Their service and support is normally very very good. Hopefully you will get a bit better shake this time around..

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If it is of any help... I used to design, build and sell DMX interface boards, dimmers and so on.. we actually looked at competing with LOR... But then we tore into their controllers and after testing and thnking and scratching at both ends, we decided we could not offer anything better for the money. They are actually built quite well. I am not sure why the triac issues this year, but considering they must go thru tens of thousands of triacs, the fail rate seems somewhat reasonable, but I don't have theiir failure statisics.... add on top of that the fact that they now have to deal with loads that are non linear and sometimes down right bizzar .... I think the product is still pretty sound. I buy them, and I can make my own if I wanted to. I have had only one failure (partial failure) on 18 controllers over two seasons. My failure was a weird one too! Still don't know what failed but LOR took care of it... and quickly!

Their service and support is normally very very good. Hopefully you will get a bit better shake this time around..

I have to agree on the support. Two days before show time a controller when out and I called LOR had one the next day ready for show time. I am almost sure that nobody else could have pulled it off. So all four of my singing faces were a hit !!!

Jeff

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I have not had a chance to test out my controller yet, but think I might have 2 triacs on one controller that went out. Not sure....Gen 1 or Gen 2.

Just curious. In the years I have been on the board, I haven't seen this many that many triacs go out or mentioned that they have gone out.

Ok, I am just stupid... could the software be causing this many go out? Something maybe with how the software covers dimming and such. Again...just a pie in the sky though ;-)

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I had a few go out right before Thanksgiving. I got the Mouser part number from the LOR help desk and ordered replacements and some spares. I had some spare channels so I updated my sequences and got through the season. On teardown I replaced the bad triacs and tested the controllers overnight. I would say the higher failure rate would be from defects in the triacs from the electronics manufacturer not LOR.

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  • Hmmmmm, the longer this thread goes the more people come forward with controller failures, most with the same problem. Tells me the the triacs are not robust enough to be long lasting.

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I also have had at least 10 triac failures this past season. Happens mainly after some wet weather. Have had 2 failures on a single board on two occasions. Own only 1 gen 3, on its second season with no issues. Believe the gen 3 triacs are rated a little higher than previous version boards. Don't know if they are backward compatible, would be nice if this were the fix. Seems like every weekend I had boards to swap and repair. Still have one that needs to be repaired. All of my failed triacs are on led lights, snubbers have helped a little, didn't have them in 100% of available channels till halfway through the season.

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Uncle Al, not sure if I would agree with that on the bad manufacturing. I mean sure..that would make sense if it were all on one generation of controller. But we're seeing this over several generations. Now...wonder. We had a "Wetter" season for the most part up and down the east coast. Soooooo.....

How many of you that had failures were running the controller that had the failures on a circuit that did not have a GFI or GFCI on it? It just hit me that the one controller I had failures on was just that. The other 2 right next to that one....didn't. This was my RED mini tree controller (16 mini trees) next to my white and green mini tree controller.

Just throwing that out there ;-)

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I had a couple of G3 inside the shed that lost channels on them (stay burning). I have 6 controllers in the rain with a 5 gallon bucket over the top of them and never lost a channel on them Yet. The other 25 are inside cabinets or shed and this is where my issue happens.Started thinking it was a heat problem so I put a fan inside one of my cabinets.

Jeff

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Well not really looking at how the controller is water-proofed. I think most people know that this has to be addressed. Mine are in the LOR boxes. If that were the issue, I think more of the triacs would have gone out. I am thinking that the "element"...mine was mini trees.... were "wanting" to trip the GFI, but couldn't since it was on a Non-gfi plug (not even going there...fuss over you should be using one...). Just the fact it may have grounded out some how because of that. Heat...yes. I will be interested to see if the "goo" is dried up on mine or not...esp. on those channels that had issues. If that is the case, I will be "re-gooing" all of mine every year. That is a pretty heavy heat sink for what we put on it.

(if you use the heavy heat sink)

I guess we all need to look at what load is on that element. Mine, 400 mini incan's....shouldn't have been a problem.

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