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CTB16PC Shuts down output randomly

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When I first connected my CTB16PC via an EZ Light Linker, had read trouble getting a connection.  Finally, I got the connection to work (changed radios and repositioned).  Then, using Hardware Utility, I turned on 8 channels of one controller.  Under "Test Unit's Operation" I selected all 16 channels then turned the "ON at 100%".  All eight channels came alive.  But, after about two minutes, all of the channels went dark.  The power was still applied to the CTB.  I went the the HU and hit the "ON at 100%" button and the lights came on; this time for about ten seconds, then OFF.  I struggled with this for two hours, checking connections, changing radios and upping the radio power to 15db.  No joy.  Then, I started to periodically lose the radio connection and had to do multiple "Refresh"s  to re-establish the connection.  Anyone seen similar symptoms?  I was thinking perhaps the radios were periodically losing the connection for just a moment and that was enough to shut down the channels?  Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

This equipment is the same equipment that I used with no problems last year (and many years before).  I've cut back to just one controller this year form a multiple controller set up.

Should I switch the controller out?

Thanks, everyone.

Ron

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Based on your description, I am going to speculate that the radio signal via the ELLs is very marginal.  LOR controllers will shut the lights off after losing the signal from the show computer or director.  So if the ELL link goes away, he controllers will go dark.

So I would look into your radio link.  If it's not 100% reliable, you will have problems.  The frequencies that are used by the ELLs is a shared band with all kinds of other stuff.  Maybe your neighbor added a video baby monitor that just happens to be on the frequency you are using, so what worked last year is only good for 20 feet this year.  Try changing channels and see if it improves.  Also see if you can change location of one end or the other so that it's REALLY a direct line of sight path.

I don't think the controllers has anything to do with it.  If the failures are happening pretty consistently, set up a test and sit out where you can see the status light on the controller.  See if it goes to blinking at the same time that the lights go out.  That would be a dead giveaway that it's a connectivity problem.

 

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Jim,

Thanks for the response.  I'll try to do as you suggest but seeing the status light is a difficult chore for me.  I was thinking along your lines that the radios are the problem.  I'll try changing channels on the radios and upping the power to 15db.  Failing that, I'll try the old standard ethernet cable from the garage to the controller.  I'll just have to relocate the computer.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Ron

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Even if it's only for a test, running a cable instead of the ELL link would help determine if the ELL link is the problem.

 

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Jim,

I didn't run the cable yet (we've got horrible weather here) but I DID follow your advice and repositioned the radio that is in the house to a position more in line-of-sight with the controller and a few feet higher.  Fingers crossed but the lights have been running now, uninterrupted, for several hours.  Once the weather clears, if I have ANY additional troubles, I'll run that cable (I already have it out).  Thanks, again, your simple suggestion about location seems to have solved my problem.

I'll probably still try different radio frequencies though.  The distance between my computer and the controller is quite short, much shorter than in previous years (different house) where the controllers were 65-70' from the indoor EZ Light Linker.  So, I'm thinking some radio interference may be reducing transmission effectiveness.  All to be tried when the weather breaks.

Thank You.  Merry Christmas.

PS.  Just starting to move into RGB pixels with a FPP/PiCap and about 500 nodes.  Having fun.

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Glad the initial indication is looking good.

Good luck.

 

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