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LaughsBrightly

How old is too old with used controllers?

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I have two controllers and decided I need mega trees. I do a ton of buying of used IT equipment so figured I could easily do the same with LOR. Quickly recognized I have some serious knowledge gaps. Looks like the V1 stuff will work with my G3 stuff for my basic shows, but really how old is too old? That LOR1602W (not a G3) would look great next to my 1602wg3, but if/when it dies can I send it in to LOR for repair, or do I have a boat anchor?

 

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2 hours ago, LaughsBrightly said:

I have two controllers and decided I need mega trees. I do a ton of buying of used IT equipment so figured I could easily do the same with LOR. Quickly recognized I have some serious knowledge gaps. Looks like the V1 stuff will work with my G3 stuff for my basic shows, but really how old is too old? That LOR1602W (not a G3) would look great next to my 1602wg3, but if/when it dies can I send it in to LOR for repair, or do I have a boat anchor?

 

Well you may have at least one option over it being a "boat anchor", LOR usually has a buy back program  {if they still have it?} that allows you to get a discount toward the purchase of a new controller.  yes, it will cost you some money, but wouldn't it be worth the discount exchange over just having a boat anchor?

Personally, too me, as long as the unit works, it's NEVER too old, but when it dies and may not be repairable once LOR gets it and sees whether anything can be done, then it's time to take advantage of the buy back discount program, as I would think this would still apply.

But the folks at LOR would have to really chime in on the buy back discount exchange program on a non-repairable controller.

LOR is usually fantastic with their customer service, even when you buy used equipment from another person or happen to gain things from an estate sale or inherit them from a family member that may have been in the hobby.

 

Edited by Orville
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*** Warning 

Do yourself a favor,  buy new.

Dont buy someone else’s old controllers.

If you can’t afford a new one , save and buy it at the LOR spring sale.

in the event they don’t have a spring sale you still have the money to buy new.

To many people on eBay and other places pawning off their old stuff for “upgrade” reasons.

Buy new from LOR and get the warranty and CS to go with it.

JR

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The biggest one to be aware of from a technical point is that for the AC controllers there are three generations of equipment - Gen 1, 2, & 3.  The Gen 1 & 2 will still work with a couple limitations.  The first is that the LOR network speed is limited to the three lower network speeds (up to 115k speed).  The Gen 3 controllers can also operate at 500k speed.  The other limitation is that only the Gen 3 controllers can operate on an Enhanced LOR (ELOR) network.  The biggest issue with both of those is that if you get into pixels, you will likely need to use the higher speeds and/or Enhanced networking.  You can easily run multiple LOR networks - one high speed ELOR network for the pixels and a slower  non-Enhanced network for the older controllers.  The other limitation is that if you use Motion Effects in your sequencing, those MUST control devices on Enhanced networks.

The older DC controllers can be firmware updated to operate at up to 500k and on ELOR networks.

 

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31 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

The biggest one to be aware of from a technical point is that for the AC controllers there are three generations of equipment - Gen 1, 2, & 3.  The Gen 1 & 2 will still work with a couple limitations.  The first is that the LOR network speed is limited to the three lower network speeds (up to 115k speed).  The Gen 3 controllers can also operate at 500k speed.  The other limitation is that only the Gen 3 controllers can operate on an Enhanced LOR (ELOR) network.  The biggest issue with both of those is that if you get into pixels, you will likely need to use the higher speeds and/or Enhanced networking.  You can easily run multiple LOR networks - one high speed ELOR network for the pixels and a slower  non-Enhanced network for the older controllers.  The other limitation is that if you use Motion Effects in your sequencing, those MUST control devices on Enhanced networks.

The older DC controllers can be firmware updated to operate at up to 500k and on ELOR networks.

 

2 Advantages of Gen 3 AC: 1) Have snubbers that help keep LEDS off, when they should. 2) Dimming curve On/Off mode for stuff that will smoke if you try to dim it.

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1 hour ago, TheDucks said:

2 Advantages of Gen 3 AC: 1) Have snubbers that help keep LEDS off, when they should. 2) Dimming curve On/Off mode for stuff that will smoke if you try to dim it.

I thought about those two also, but by the time I typed my novel on my phone (such a pain), I forgot about them :)

 

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And if you do buy *used* equipment like LOR Controllers off E-Bay or other auction type sites, make sure they don't have a NO RETURNS ACCEPTED, too me, that'd be a red flag warning you may be buying a Controller that is already dead in its tracks.  I NEVER buy from anyone or any company that has a NO RETURN POLICY, that's just asking to get burned when purchasing items from them.

However, if the item is a clearance item that a reputable company has up for sale, usually due to being outdated and outmoded due to newer products that perform better, I will take a chance on those, because most clearance items I've purchased have worked fine, but they may have scratches or slight damage to something like a box may be broken and need replacing, but usually nothing that is a big deal.  But again, make sure when you buy clearance items you're sure it's what you wan,t and be sure it's from a reputable company with excellent ratings, Like Light-O-Rama!

Used equipment is not always a bad deal, just have to be careful of the sellers policy when doing so.

Edited by Orville

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I have 9 AC controllers.  5 were bought new, and 4 used.   I have never had an issue with either.  That being said, I do not buy controllers that were built from kits.  Only controllers that were assembled by LOR.  To date, I have had no need to the "enhanced", or faster network, even with my house outlined with pixels, and a 16 strip pixel tree.....but...they are  E1.31  HC controllers.  I do get some minor lag once in awhile, but that has more to do with my computer than anything after it.   Nothing wrong with used equipment, as long as you know what to look for, and understand that it always comes with some risk.  As far as needing new versions of the LOR controllers....it depends on what you are doing.   They work perfectly fine for what some do.

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A local guy I know is still using some of the original LOR controllers in his display. He only uses incandescent lights so all the updates in the Gen3 controllers are of no real benefit to him. He buys new and used from other locals who are getting into pixels and other controllers, so he has a mix of them all... His display is pretty big, 65-70 controllers! He even runs 2.xx software. 

But like everyone else mentioned be careful who you buy from...

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