Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums

Recommended Posts

I bought a used CTB16 after Christmas last year from a guy who was moving. I was smart enough to test all of the channels (on and off in HU) before i bought it but now that i have everything connected it seems to be acting up. Channel 10 would be on all the time, even when not connected to HU (cat 5 unplugged from controller). I brought the unit in the house and did some testing with a multimeter, and it seems that that i have 4 channels that are receiving constant power as soon as the controller is plugged in. Channel 4 has 0.1v, channel 7 has 19v, channel 10 has 91.3v, and channel 15 has 1.7v.

Is this something that can be fixed or should I just be ordering a new board? BTW the guy did mention that he had to change one of the triacs the year before, but said it was repaired and was in proper working order. He gave me a little bag with what I believe are spare triacs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, stunney said:

I bought a used CTB16 after Christmas last year from a guy who was moving. I was smart enough to test all of the channels (on and off in HU) before i bought it but now that i have everything connected it seems to be acting up. Channel 10 would be on all the time, even when not connected to HU (cat 5 unplugged from controller). I brought the unit in the house and did some testing with a multimeter, and it seems that that i have 4 channels that are receiving constant power as soon as the controller is plugged in. Channel 4 has 0.1v, channel 7 has 19v, channel 10 has 91.3v, and channel 15 has 1.7v.

Is this something that can be fixed or should I just be ordering a new board? BTW the guy did mention that he had to change one of the triacs the year before, but said it was repaired and was in proper working order. He gave me a little bag with what I believe are spare triacs.

You have bad triacs. I would worry about 7 (not that good)  and 10 (BAD). 

Be sure to put a small load on each (a 4W  Incan nightlight) when you measure.

FWIW, newer (gen3) added the small load needed because LEDS draw so little. There  manny threads Keyword Snubber

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i agree with Ducks on everything he has mentioned, and also add, that when triacs fail the most common states are full on, or no on, HOWEVER they can fail in the gate portion, where they are on "just a bit" ... the load when testing, even a nightlight that has a real bulb (non LED) is worth it's weight in gold, when doing diagnostics.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies. I did not have anything connected when i was doing the testing. The board says CTB16PCG2 in the top left hand corner. I assume it is a Gen 2 board then? I thought it was a gen 3 by the location of the jumper pins when i tried resetting it.  So i guess i will retest with a snubber.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, stunney said:

Thanks for the replies. I did not have anything connected when i was doing the testing. The board says CTB16PCG2 in the top left hand corner. I assume it is a Gen 2 board then? I thought it was a gen 3 by the location of the jumper pins when i tried resetting it.  So i guess i will retest with a snubber.

When you run HU, it tells you the basics about the controller.

ID - Type Ver of FW

My gen 2 run 4.40

My Gen3 runs 1.08 (there is a 1.09)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks ducks. So if its a Gen 3 i should not have to use a snubber?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, stunney said:

Thanks ducks. So if its a Gen 3 i should not have to use a snubber?

Correct. But there are always exceptions, so keep a night light or 2 in your took kit for troubleshooting. Cheap strings are more likely to give issues.

(I run 13 Walgreens strings on a Gen 2 without issue and no snubbers. YMMV. Try, and just be prepared if you need to snub)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to walmart to find some night lights right now. Do I need the snubber if i am just testing with a multimeter at the board itself or is that just for testing the controller with HU when all the strings are plugged in? Thanks again for the help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, stunney said:

I am going to walmart to find some night lights right now. Do I need the snubber if i am just testing with a multimeter at the board itself or is that just for testing the controller with HU when all the strings are plugged in? Thanks again for the help!

The snubber INSTALLED anywhere on THAT channel is part of the test-cure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the bad triacs replaced on the board but still having issues with lights staying on. I built some snubbers with 47K 1watt resistors but the lights are still on. Retested the snubbers with a multimeter and confirm 47k ohms so the snubbers are good.  I am stumped. To recap:

Channel 3 has 7 strings of lights total, 1 string is staying on approx 10%

Channel 7 has 7 strings, 1 string stays on at 40%

Channels 8 and 9 each have 1 string that stay on approx 10%

All strings are the same - NOMA quick clip LEDs from Canadian Tire. All strings have 25 bulbs per string. I tried unplugging each affected string and reversing the polarity but that didnt make a difference. One thing I did notice, when i plug 3, 8, or 9 back in, they flash at almost 100% for half a second then drop to the 10%.

Any suggestions? Or should I open a ticket with LOR if I dont know that its a controller issue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 12:36 PM, stunney said:

Thanks for the replies. I did not have anything connected when i was doing the testing. The board says CTB16PCG2 in the top left hand corner. I assume it is a Gen 2 board then? I thought it was a gen 3 by the location of the jumper pins when i tried resetting it.  So i guess i will retest with a snubber.

What status light does it have? 

There was a batch on gen3's sold that have gen 2 stamps- I have 4 of them. Status light and or when you connect to it and find it in the HU it will tell you the truth.

JR

Edited by dibblejr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's one of those Gen 3 with gen 2 stamps. HU says its a gen 3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The snubbers are 4. (point) 7 k (as in 4700 ohms) properly said as 4k7 3W 10%  the resistors you currently have are not doing anything to remove the capacitive effect...

Greg.

Ohms law 4700 ohms at 120 volts yields 3.06 watts or 0.025 of an amp (note the point in there) or just over 2/100's of an ampere, 50 snubbers ALL on, would take just over 1 amp of electricity, or roughly 2 of a 60 watt  bulb

Edited by a31ford

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, stunney said:

It's one of those Gen 3 with gen 2 stamps. HU says its a gen 3.

Yes, it is. I was ensuring you knew this fact since I just came across this in my email and seen your Dec 3 post where you thought it is Gen2. 

I had 5 but one of them just quit working. I was going to send it to LOR for diagnostics beyond what I could do however I had another controller go down and needed parts. I cannibalized the bad one. The one I fixed with it has been working for almost 2 years, Figured I got my monies worth. 

JR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greg, I'm so confused. 4700 ohm? Really? Every article i read about snubbers says to use 33k - 47k 1 watt 5% resistors, including chuckd's post on the planet christmas forum. By no means am I saying youre wrong, I am really only familiar with basic 12v wiring. i'm very confused and frustrated with this problem. I'm almost ready to call it quits for this year if i cant figure this out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The value of a snubber is EXTREMELY non-critical.  One of the common recommendations is a incan night light bulb or a C7 incan.  Both of those are around 4 watts, so not far from Greg's number.  You could put a 60watt bulb on there and it would work just as well.  I've also seen the 33k - 47k number.  That also likely would work.  If a given value does not work, go for a lower resistance.  If using a resistor, make sure to calculate the power (heat) produced FIRST - Ohms Law.  One advantage of using a light bulb is that they are already designed to operate on 120VAC so you don't need to worry about the power.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also tried plugging in a short string of c7 incans and it didnt make a difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Jim, the value is really not important (10k ohm will also work, however, 47k 47,000 is just a bit too high in resistance,) the type of thermo plastic used on strings  now days is quite different from even 5 years ago, and the capcitive loading is even greater.

14k0 14000 would be just over 1 watt  (1.02)

HOWEVER, if you have also tried an incan string, and the problem persists, i would say your problem is elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think youre right Jim, the problem is somewhere else, I just cant figure out where. The problem is also getting worse. I came home from a christmas party late last night and noticed I now have 2 more channels that are staying on very dim - 1 more channel using the same brand lights and 1 channels with a wire frame christmas tree (LED) made by a different manufacturer.

I was thinking it might have been a power supply issue, but after some testing i'm not so sure. The controller is plugged in to 2 different circuits; first one has 128volts at the board, the other was 111v, so I moved both to the 128v line but same issue. Also, the fact that this problem is happening on both sides of the board leads me to believe its not a power supply issue.

I tested the outputs for each channel after the triacs were replaced and the only channel that had voltage was channel 4 with 0.1v so I used that channel for some incans and haven't had an issue there. All other channels had 0.00 volts but the problem reoccurred immediately when I plugged everything back in.

Any other ideas where this problem might be? I'm leaning towards a bad controller but i don't know how else to test it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, stunney said:

 

I was thinking it might have been a power supply issue, but after some testing i'm not so sure. The controller is plugged in to 2 different circuits; first one has 128volts at the board, the other was 111v, so I moved both to the 128v line but same issue. Also, the fact that this problem is happening on both sides of the board leads me to believe its not a power supply issue.

I tested the outputs for each channel after the triacs were replaced and the only channel that had voltage was channel 4 with 0.1v so I used that channel for some incans and haven't had an issue there. All other channels had 0.00 volts but the problem reoccurred immediately when I plugged everything back in.

Any other ideas where this problem might be? I'm leaning towards a bad controller but i don't know how else to test it.

that wide of input AT THE OUTLET would be a RED FLAG of something wrong with your BUILDINGS neutral. (Floating Neutral)

At the device: It does not make sense. 128 is well above normal (110-120).  I might suspect your meter is reading triac switching noise.

Low voltage, could be loos connections anywhere in the path (at the breaker is common, at the outlet, specially those with pushin wires.  AND IF YOUR HOUSE WAS BUILT IN THE1960's, deadly fires from Aluminum wire. Inspect immediately

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m with The Ducks.  Get an electrician out there.  If you have a crappy neutral, you can end up with MAJOR problems.  You should not have anywhere close to that much variation between outlets.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I'm with Ducks, and K6ccc (Jim) there is something not right...

I'm also gona add this.. couple of years back, I was having weird problems of my own with one controller... turned out (fluke I found it) that the fencer for our south pasture was affecting the controllers (in the north pasture, over 1000 feet away) the one controller was in a low point on the property (but on dry land)... key there land.... ground effect was causing the "click, click, click" of the fencer, to blink lights in that one controller... all I did was put the controller up on the snow, and the problem quit.

I put terminators on the control cat5 cable, and have never had weird problems since......

 

AS well.... a year or so ago, I did an educational video on "OPEN NEUTRAL"   I's boring to watch, but infomative

Greg

Edited by a31ford

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen 2 of these in my life. The first was an old Army barracks (Ft Baker,now  part of the GGNRA), and later my Department manager called me.  His was a broken wire in the PG&E drop to his house..

(I've also seen a missing 480V phase caused by a failed 3000A disconnect for our building. Easy way to ruin  3 phase motor driven equipment)

Edited by TheDucks
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had that neutral issue in my late mother in laws home before she passed away, we found that issue, she got that fixed and then when I replaced the new front outdoor outlet {NON-GFCI} next to the garage door for the sprinkler system she had installed with a GFCI, found out the outlet was wired backwards, Neutral and Hot reversed, then come to find out after changing it out, and doing some testing of outlets inside the house.

I figured since the new outside outlet was wired in reverse, better check ALL the interior and backdoor outdoor outlet to make sure they were wired properly, they were ALL, every one of them wired in REVERSE!  

So I had to turn off the power and re-wire every single outlet correctly in the home.  

Some electrician she hired sure had no idea what he was doing as she had had the house re-wired with a new circuit breaker and wiring, after finding out the CB she had was prone to catch fire!   I had never seen an entire home miswired like that before either.   Fortunately the CB Panel was installed and wired correctly, but having to take apart and swap wires on over 100 outlets in the home and attic was a royal pain in the backside!

Video on the Neutral too me was not boring, that was quite interesting actually.

I know old thread, but sometimes you don't see these until a lot later than when the thread started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Orville said:

Had that neutral issue in my late mother in laws home before she passed away, we found that issue, she got that fixed and then when I replaced the new front outdoor outlet {NON-GFCI} next to the garage door for the sprinkler system she had installed with a GFCI, found out the outlet was wired backwards, Neutral and Hot reversed, then come to find out after changing it out, and doing some testing of outlets inside the house.

I figured since the new outside outlet was wired in reverse, better check ALL the interior and backdoor outdoor outlet to make sure they were wired properly, they were ALL, every one of them wired in REVERSE!  

So I had to turn off the power and re-wire every single outlet correctly in the home.  

Some electrician she hired sure had no idea what he was doing as she had had the house re-wired with a new circuit breaker and wiring, after finding out the CB she had was prone to catch fire!   I had never seen an entire home miswired like that before either.   Fortunately the CB Panel was installed and wired correctly, but having to take apart and swap wires on over 100 outlets in the home and attic was a royal pain in the backside!

Video on the Neutral too me was not boring, that was quite interesting actually.

I know old thread, but sometimes you don't see these until a lot later than when the thread started.

Once upon a time (a bit before I was born 😛 )  white was HOT (and 2 prong outlets were NOT even polarized).

Those places were (also) Knob and Tube era.  (FWIW properly done, these were really GOOD, SOLID wiring. Connections were mechanically strong, every joint soldered. Critters and humans messing with it, were the biggest issues.). Some 'handy' folk did not get the message 😕 "White is now COMMON"  (I had a whole addition that was on the house, done backwards. AND those were U-ground outlets, with an afterthought ground wire (was not green nor bare :() to the closest water pipe.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...