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dgrant

Strange Comm Issue

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The past couple of days, following and during lots of rain, possibly involved with this and possibly not, I've seen something new. Using both 4.2.10 and 4.3.2, when the system and computer is off but the controllers are running, there's no issue. However, several times now, with the computer on, show schedule is loaded, internet disconnected and AV software turned off, I'll go outside and find that my single CCR is running random channels and yesterday, one of my AC based megatrees was fully in the shimmer mode for all 32 channels.

 

I went inside, unloaded LOR from the task bar, then opened the HWU and touched the refresh. It couldn't find any controllers whereas it should have found 14. I tried it several times with the same response. Now my LOR controllers are connected via ELL's. I quickly checked to insure the lights inside the transceiver were on and flashing. I checked the other two outside and both were working too. I verified power to all controllers. I unplugged all controllers and plugged them back in. The megatree when out but the CCR came back on after a few minutes, as if its receiving commands from somewhere.

 

This morning, show off of course, computer is off, all lights outside are off including the CCR. All controllers are still powered up. I may elect to run wires and bypass the ELL's as a test to see if its an interference issue but I would think it would be acting up this moment if that was the case. No, it seems that the computer is sending commands to the inside ELL which is in-turn, sending commands to the controllers when its not suppose too. Windows 7, powerful machine and using both RS485 via ELL's along with E1.31 to three pixel controllers. All controllers are in their proper enclosures for outside use and no water has gotten into any of them...I checked.

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I have a similar setup and had this happen. I changed the 485 output on my e1.31 controller (Pixlite16) and it stopped. Evidently it was that one output.

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I'm not connected the E1.31 via any RS485 so they are totally separate. I am mixing ELL's V4's and V5's so just now, per the manual, replaced the V4 transmitter with a V5. Now waiting to see if the problem reappears. Its not the show player as I first thought so if a moderator wishes to move this thread to a hardware forum, please do.

 

When I disconnected the ELL on the single CCR, the CCR lights went out totally so the ELL was telling them to turn on. This is when I read the manual again, carefully this time and saw they caution about the mixing of V4's and V5's. Still not sure if this is resolved yet.

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I have 8 Ell's straight to AC controllers. I had one that was weak and would only get a good signal at about 100'. If the v4-V5 doesn't fix, swap some ell's around. You may have a bad one?

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I've had one ELL fail on me already, its a V5 one too. It'll only work about 4 feet or so from the transmitter. Past that, nothing. Pretty sure its an antenna issue but its not under warranty any more so I'm out of luck. I might resolder the antenna connection just in case but otherwise its toast. So far, so good...outside. The CCR has not done anything on its own for a while now since swapping the V4 and V5. The other two out there are a V4 and a V5 as well, 4 all together. So far the only change is the transmitter inside is now a V5 instead of a V4 and the CCR was swapped around too.

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Show started up normally and everything is in perfect sync. So far, it appears the issue was the V4/V5 reversal.

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Update from this morning, everything is still quiet out there and nothing on that shouldn't be! So it appears the V4/V5 swap was the issue indeed. Another lesson learned, "carefully" read the manual and do not "assume" it'll just work on its own.

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Well, my noise issues came back this afternoon. I cabled past an ELL and all went back to normal, effectively removing it from the system. Tomorrow I guess I have no choice but to remove the ELL's completely and run a cable. Not sure what's going on that's causing this. Its almost like someone is transmitting on this same frequency and sending data through that the ELL's are picking up and processing. The other alternative would be to change all the ELL frequencies but I'm at a loss as to whether I should try that or just be done with it and remove the ELL's.

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Just to come back and update, I did remove all of the ELL's from the system. I had previously elected to create a wall feed-through for both TCPIP and RS485 this year so I went ahead and cabled up with Cat6 cables to all controllers. The noise issue is gone. I brought inside all of the ELL's and one at a time, connected each only, to the computer and tested. All passed other than the two V4's having 2.8 firmware as opposed to the latest and greatest 2.10 so both were updated on the spot. At the end of the season, I'll put the ELL's back out there and look for more noise issues. Its almost like someone is transmitting data over the specified frequencies and neither of the two others in this town using LOR,  neither of them use ELL's. I've heard of HAM radio operators transmitting data via various frequencies so with their license, I suppose its possible there's a guy somewhere farther away that's doing this but truly I have no way of knowing. While the noise was present and lights behaving badly, if I disconnected the receiving ELL, the lights went out instantly. So the noise was coming in that way. I had already disconnected the transmitter ELL and the noise was still happening. The majority of the controllers were on a V5 which were not impacted in the slightest so maybe this was firmware or some other issue. It all worked last year without any problem.

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" I've heard of HAM radio operators transmitting data via various frequencies so with their license, I suppose its possible there's a guy somewhere farther away that's doing this"

Its Jim

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LOL....somehow I'm thinking that 1500 miles between him and I might be enough that he's not doing it, but hey, you never know! Jim's cool. I've been told that some HAM's have controlled lights or other things in this method although not sure about this frequency.

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He's pretty smart, probably has a really tall antenna, so maybe

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