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wrohdejr

Weird light flickering

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Last night around 4am i noticed some lights flickering in my front yard. 3 sets of mini lights were randomly flickering, my show was disabled so i went to the computer and unloaded Light o Rama and unpluged the Cat5 cable and the lights went out. Today after setting it back up the same lights flickered and the show was disabled. So i restarted the computer, unpluged all the control units and plugged everything back in and the lights flickered. So i removed the usb hs 485 and replaced it with a regular usb 485 and the lights stop flickering. When i replaced the hs485 the lights flickered again. If i run the hardware utility with the hs485 it can not find my 2 CTB16PC, but if i use the regular 485 in the hardware utility it finds both of the CTB16PC. I also have 6 ccrs attached to the network both 485's find all of the ccr's just fine. If i run the show with hs485 everything works fine the channels don't flicker unless the show is disabled.

 

Anyone have any insight other than saying the hs485 is bad only when the show is disabled?

 

Also the show ran fine on the hs485 durring halloween and for the last week or so. The only thing that has changed is the cold weather outside. Like everyone else the cold hit hard yesturday and we were in the low teens. The hs485 is in my office next to the computer and isn't affected by the cold.

 

Thanks for any insight.

 

Wally

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So it did it again last night. If i leave the cat 5 plugged into the hs usb485 but unplug the usb side the lights flicker. As soon as i take the cat 5 out of the hs usb 485 the flickering stops. So to clarify the lights flicker even when the hs usb485 is not connected to the computer, but do not flicker once i discount the cat 5 cable from the hs usb 485.

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It is likely that your CTB16PCs are either generation 1, or generation 2 designs. As far as I understand it, these may not work properly on a high speed network (set above 115kbaud/s). The CCRs all have generation 3 controllers, and will work at faster speeds. New CTB16s will be generation 3 designs.

 

When powered, the generation 1 or generation 2 CTB16PCs have a red flashing led (without an RS485 connection) and the generation 3s have a green flashing led.

 

You have two choices really, either reduce the network speed to 115kbaud/s (which may introduce delays depending on how busy your CCRs are) or create a second network using a second RS485 adaptor running at the slower speed for the CTB16s.

 

Regards,

 

Alan.

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The CTB16's were updated to the newest firmware  CTB16PG3-V1.07  and was running fine during Halloween. Only change from Halloween to Christmas was adding 2 strands of ccp. Like i said the first week of Christmas run everything was fine, then it got cold and now i get a random blink. But it only blinks when the cat5 cable is plugged into the HS usb485. The HS usb485 is in my office so not sure why the cold would affect the blink. I am thinking maybe something in the HS 485 went bad. Which would be weird because the blink doesn't happen when the show is enabled only when disabled.

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OK so i ordered a new usb HS 485 to see if that would solve the issue. Got here yesterday and no flicker. Then about 4am the gremlins showed up and started flickering again. Hmmmm same thing disconnect the usb side of the 485 and lights flicker. Disconnect the cat 5 from 485 and lights stop flickering. Only thing i haven't done is a hard rest on the CTB16's. Soon as the rain stops, i will have to open the box and hard reset it to see if that fixes the issue.

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I had the same problem last year and it turned out to be a bad cat5 cable. replace you cable.

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set up the proper 120 ohm load at each END of the run, this will stop random "chatter" from triggering, it can be anything from a cordless phone, to a garage door opener, to wireless router.

 

the 120 ohm at EACH end causes the differential to be null on the 2 wires that run the controllers (blue pair in TIA468A  Cat5 wiring)

 

Pc150003_zps17811f7d.jpg

 

front view

 

PC150004_zps337ddfcd.jpg

 

After Hot Glue (weather)

 

PC150005_zps3e92a203.jpg

 

Greg

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wrohdejr,

 

I'm having the exact same problem (1-CCR, 2-CCB, 1-CTB16, 1-CMB24.) Last year zero issues. This year having "phantom" lights issues. I have replaced all previus network cable that I used last year with shielded cat 5e, Purchased new US485B adapter, Flashed all controllers (in the very cold), installed new laptop (saw post with bad USB port) all with no change. Yesterday I was doing some more trouble shooting and tried disconnecting the cat 5 from the USB and got the same result you did. I did some other things like changing the order the controllers are connected, and created a blank sequence to schedule when show is done. Again same result. My CTB16 channel one and 2 randomly turn on and Ch 1-3 on my CMB24 also turn on. I have been trolling the forums for a few week and it looks like the number of phantom lights cases are growing. I suspect the new CMB24 controller but cannot prove anything yet. 

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Coop, do you have the terminators like I pictured in post #9 above ?

 

RS-485 is NOT Ethernet (even though we use cat 5 cables), it NEEDS to be terminated at EACH end with a 120 ohm resistor, I use the above (look carefully at the back end of the female jack, you will see the 120 ohm resistor nested in the blue pair under the hot glue.

 

This way it doesn't matter what cable you use where, once the network is set up, I simply install one of these at each end.

 

Have NOT had a single problem, AND my network is well over 1000 feet long (house to show is over 600 feet alone).

 

Greg

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also yo may have some corrosion in the cat 5 jacks,or as other posters have mentioned a bad cat 5 cable

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