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Now is your chance to show the newbies how smart we are. Everyone has heard about flicker but no has posted how it looks, but many ways to fix it, this is what it looks like, now tell what the fixes are. In about 2-3 days I will tell you what the problem is and how I fixed it. This happens on fades more than any other time.

This is a ver 2 PC controller, it is number 5, but 4th in the chain of 12, the LED lights are 3 years old m5 and there are 3 strings of green (the red does not have a problem and is not connected to the green).

https://vimeo.com/56660960

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Dibs

This is from the low load that LEDS show on the PC controller. At low loads the Triac (dimmer) on the board cant tell how much power is going out or coming back. It loses contact and begins to flicker. This is usually during fades or low power situation as in a low intensity on the light. The fix is a snubber. The snubber add a load with a resistor to keep the triac happy. The load allows the triac to fade and show low power without a loss of power becuase of the load is always there.

Heres the snubber fix http://forums.planetchristmas.com/index.php?/topic/36988-easiest-terminatorssnubbers-to-make/

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looks like you have a snubber on there. I'm going to guess that you changed how the strings were plugged in. Instead of plugging them end to end, you ran a home run for each string. Strings in parallel rather than series.

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Guest wbottomley

Without being there to troubleshoot... are the red and green led's connected on the same bank on that controller? If not, would the power source be three phase?

#2: that circuit has noise on it. That's caused from CFL, motors, etc.

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Red lights are on controller #9 and green lights are on controller #5, not on same circuit, no CFL's in use, no motors in use, power source not phase 3. Very good points wbottomley.

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Guest Don Gillespie

This is my stab at the flicker issue, is your connection to the lights with SPT2 wire with vampire plugs? and are the plugs connected correctly? they may not be seated perfectly in the wire.

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Another thought. The polarity of the vampire plugs had to be reversed.

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They are done with spt1 and the plugs have been checked on both end of the wire. Please keep the possible solutions comming so we can show what all needs to be checked and/or corrected.

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another I've run into is a missing ground pin on the controller power cord, or one of the extension cords leading to it.

or a loose ground wire in the controller.

also always check my cat5 cables, but can't remember flicker being caused by bad cat5 or a loose RJ45 jack. (plenty of other odd problems though..)

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I'm curious about a question earlier about wether ther the strings are in series or parrallel. Has anyone encountered a difference between the two?

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How about a wire tie being too tight? I've seen this be an issue in electronic equipment.

Whatever the solution, it is a great way to present it to the forum Earle!

Edited by scubado

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Dibs

This is from the low load that LEDS show on the PC controller. At low loads the Triac (dimmer) on the board cant tell how much power is going out or coming back. It loses contact and begins to flicker. This is usually during fades or low power situation as in a low intensity on the light. The fix is a snubber. The snubber add a load with a resistor to keep the triac happy. The load allows the triac to fade and show low power without a loss of power becuase of the load is always there.

Heres the snubber fix http://forums.planet...ubbers-to-make/

Can you clarify the part I've bolded? Not sure I understand based on how I understand a triac works.

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Guest wbottomley

The USB cable from the PC to the adapter is getting noise on the line. Or... the communication cable is running parallel to the ac cords.

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3 strings is not often enough to get the capacitance required to cause normal flicker that can be resolved by phantom load. Also, it sounds like this also happens to some extent at full brightness? That is also not consistent with the typical capacitance induced issues without load below 90V.

Have both controllers been checked to make sure that hot and neutral both at the outlet, and into the controller card are not swapped? No long grounded extension cords on any of the channels?

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All extension cords and controllers have been checked for hot and neutral at the outlet and in the controller. One thing I will bring up that has no bearing on this problem, I set all my controllers at max intensity of 86% because LED are full on at about 77%, just wish LOR would give us a little lower setting (like 75%).Three years ago I started loosing LED lights strings and lowered my setting down to 86% and have only lost 2 - 1/2 strings since. I will post the solution to the FLICKER problem tomorrow afternoon, thank all of those that helped with their answers for this project.

Earle

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All extension cords and controllers have been checked for hot and neutral at the outlet and in the controller. One thing I will bring up that has no bearing on this problem, I set all my controllers at max intensity of 86% because LED are full on at about 77%, just wish LOR would give us a little lower setting (like 75%).Three years ago I started loosing LED lights strings and lowered my setting down to 86% and have only lost 2 - 1/2 strings since. I will post the solution to the FLICKER problem tomorrow afternoon, thank all of those that helped with their answers for this project.

Earle

I'm going to change all my controllers to 86% like Earle. I lost 10 or more strings this year and it's a pain to have to unwrap the prop, untie the strings, replace the string and retie, then rewrap the prop again. I use homemade snubbers on all my strings that are not on my new Gen 3 controllers. They are definitely a lifesaver.

Thanks again Earle. You and many others on here are a wealth of knowledge for the rest of us.

Oh and BTW. My answers to the flicker issue......It looks like maybe the fuses in the plug are coming unseated.

Edited by David Rise

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Just for the sake of completing the list, controllers have at least recent firmware? At least 4.30 (for pc series) as there was a glitch in the dimming curve at around 50%, but I don't think it is what we are seeing here.

Any capacitors in the LED strings? If so, adding resistance in series should both reduce the failure rate, and smooth out the dimming. But I would have expected higher failure rates capping the intensity at 86%, not lower, if the strings contain capacitors.

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