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I finished setting up my display this weekend.  Got all lights and extension cords run and secured.  I took a shortcut this year and didn't test the controllers before putting them out and hooking everything up.  Of course when I went to test them there was a problem.

 

I have 9 CTB16PC controllers daisy chained together.  I opened the HU to test each controller.  Problem is it only sees 4 of the 9 controllers.  I'm testing the Cat5 cables today and will skip the # 5 controller and see if the HU will see 6-9.  

 

I noticed the center comm port on #4 and #5 seem to be very loose.  I bought the controllers pre-assembled.  Assuming the issue is not the Cat5 cables, could it be that I just need to re-solder the com ports?  

 

Different question.  When linking the controllers together, do I have to use the Cat5/Ethernet com ports or can I use the "telephone" line port?

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If HU sees further controllers, the jack is still connected to the other RJ45. Not having the PCB films,

I cant say if there are  plated thru holes to feed the CONTROLLER circuits and have have become cracked

IMHO CAT5 is really preferred over phone cable,  but if you are NOT using the AUX power part from the CAT5, you should be OK

BTW Secure the cables in a way that the jacks never get strained

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Also double check you Unit IDs on each of the controllers. Sometimes the controllers lose their ID  so the system may see them as a duplicate ID, in other words it may be seeing two number ones or something.

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Ok, here's what I've done so far this evening.

The problem I'm having is with controller # 4 and # 5.

I skipped both and ran the Cat5 from # 3 to # 6(which is daisy chained to 7, 8 and 9).  Opened the HU and all controllers were visible and numbered properly.  

Next I went from # 3 to # 4.  Worked fine.

Next went from # 3 to # 5.  Worked fine

Linked #3 to #4 and # 4 to # 5 and the signal stops at # 4.  

 

First question, does it matter which cat5 port is in and which is out?

Next question, if it's not the com port, what else could it be?

 

Edited by namecipS

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It doesn't matter what port is in or out and you don't have to put them in numerocal order, put #4 last in line so there is only one cable going to it.

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Now it's a mess again.  

As stated earlier when I tested 1-9 without 4 and 5, everything worked properly.  Now I'm only getting 1-3 and 6.  7-9 didn't show.  It seems strange. Nothing changed between 6-9 except the "in" on 6.    

Had to step away.  Will look at it again tomorrow with a clear head.  While disappointed I can't start testing my shows, I am encouraged that each controller registered in the HU today.  

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Don't get all that excited about HU missing a controller.  It's pretty common because of the way that the HU polls (or so I've been told).  As long as the status light on the controllers are solid, you are likely good to go.  Play a sequence and confirm if it plays.

 

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Ok, everybody cross your fingers.  I'm heading home to get started on this.  I'm just going to start from controller 3, work my way through all of the others to make sure all my connections are good and hope the cables I'm replacing fix the issue.   

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Have 6 of 9 connected and working.  I can make show adjustments if necessary.  Two of the non-working controllers have brand new cables coming in and out, but are the original two that wouldn't work.  The third is strange because it was working up until the last test of last night.

 

I have been powering down the controllers before making cable adjustments/changes/swaps.  Is it necessary to power down?  Good precaution?  Doesn't matter?

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33 minutes ago, Mr. P said:

Have you tried resetting the controllers?

I have not, but will if you think it will help.  I think I've made some progress.

Current state: 7 linked and working

#4, 5, 6 all work except when plugged in to the center comm port.  All three are loose/shaky, but nothing crazy.   I've run all the wire combinations multi and single connected and I'm pretty much convinced the loose ports are my issue.

Can I link the controllers using the "phone line" port?  (I don't know the technical name. Haha)  

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2 minutes ago, namecipS said:

Can I link the controllers using the "phone line" port?

Yes, you can.  Obviously a different connector on the cable!

 

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5 minutes ago, namecipS said:

I have not, but will if you think it will help. 

It can't hurt.

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12 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Yes, you can.  Obviously a different connector on the cable!

 

Do I lose anything?  Slower/delayed response?  

And is it just standard phone cord or something else?

Edited by namecipS

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8 minutes ago, Mr. P said:

It can't hurt.

That will be the next step after the phone cord.

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1 hour ago, namecipS said:

Have 6 of 9 connected and working.  I can make show adjustments if necessary.  Two of the non-working controllers have brand new cables coming in and out, but are the original two that wouldn't work.  The third is strange because it was working up until the last test of last night.

 

I have been powering down the controllers before making cable adjustments/changes/swaps.  Is it necessary to power down?  Good precaution?  Doesn't matter?

RS485 is pretty robust, but I would advise the precaution, specially when something is misbehaving

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1 hour ago, namecipS said:

Do I lose anything?  Slower/delayed response?

Nope.

1 hour ago, namecipS said:

And is it just standard phone cord or something else?

Standard cord.

 

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I had two controllers with the same issue this year!

Thank god I had one spare and put the other as the last one on network!

Need to send back to LOR for repair for next year.

Believe the issue is using "booted" cables.......cut off the boot.......or only use "bootless" cables!

Last year I "pulled up" on the cables and made it through....this year....not so lucky!

 

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No joy on anything today.  

 

Question on the phone cord.  When using that connection do you have to use it throughout the whole daisy chain?  If so, I didn't do that.  If not, then the phone cords didn't fix the issue either.

 

Hated to do it, but opened a ticket to see what/if anything else I can do.    If I can get an 8th controller working, I can run my show and not lose much.  If I can't, then I lose a nice portion of my show.  Learning lessons right and left this year.  I'll be grabbing an extra controller or two in one of next years sales.

 

I appreciate everyone's help.  I'm hoping the help desk comes up with something we haven't thought of or provides a good next step suggestions.

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Great News!

My ticket was answered on Thanksgiving morning.  I was blown away that someone had read and responded to my email on a holiday.  

In the email I was given a few things to review before we started talking swaps.  Well, long story short, the wires in my com port were crushed up against the back of the jack.  After about an hour of straightening the wires in the first "broken" controller, I found a better way to get this job done and took 15 minutes to fix the other two.   Those wires are small and the jacks don't make it easy to get behind the wires.  However, all controllers are working and I was able to test all my lights.  I will be starting my show tomorrow night.  

 

Thanks to everyone who offered up suggestions.  I really appreciate your help.  

Special thanks to the tech who read and responded to my ticket.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  

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we had this issue- a toothpick inserted worked until the season was over and I sent the board to LOR for repair  :-)

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