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BILL VANDERSLICE

dmx controller from China

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I sent this to LOR and hope they can help but thought I would post here to see if any help may come out. I talked with zman about this problem but we couldn't work it out.

I am in a real delima and hope you can give me some help or direction. I committed to buy some 600' of LED rope light and 10 decoders from ATG Electronics direct in China. You can check out their web site and it has full manuals and descriptions on K108T rope lights and 512 decoder listed under controllers. I first ordered and tested out 10 meters of rope and a 300RL DMX controller. I could control this with LOR by using the 300RL on position 36 which is decoder mode. I could locate and recognize the address by hardware refresh and it showed from 9 to 18 addresses depending on number I had set in LOR # units in upper right hand corner of HWU. I could then control lights normally by using # 20 which was first of addresses shown. I could then use channel 1 for red, channel 2 for green, and channel 3 for blue. LOR did a great job of controlling with full ramping, fading, twinkle, ETC. I was told by ATG that their 512 decoder would operate the same way off LOR so I ordered one for test. I have not been able to control any lights with this new 512 decoder. This decoder has reed switches or buttons as they call them from 1 thru 10. 10 is called fun button and in "on" position it operates in default mode and "off" position is decoder mode. I have tried to program different codes into the 512 but LOR can not recognize any of these addresses and keeps displaying 18 codes and they all start with 20 and go to 38. First of problems- I cannot get the data light on iDMX to stop flashing so it is not fully locked on to LOR network. I have tried different USB adapters but nothing seems to help! The same USB cable does control a LOR controller with no problem. The past tests that did control lights also had the flashing data light as it never came steady on but it did control lights! I am using 2.3.6 version so I don't think I have firmware problem. I am powering the iDMX with 12vdc 300ma or 12vdc 1500ma, neither one seems to make a difference. I am using good DMX XLR cable and not mic cable. I am using cat 5e cable to USB adapter. I have not done anything with termination resistors. Have I bought a pig in a poke or do you think I can salvage this and make it work? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
WaterBill


PS I was in contact with John on trying to control this by converting your AC controller output to DC with with 3 full wave bridge rectifiers but had cross over voltage problem on input of the 3 rectifiers. I could make it work with 1/2 wave but lights were not near bright enough so I gave up and went with the decoders. Now I have nothing but empty pockets!

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Bill,

Were you ever able to get this to work in the Manual Mode? As you pointed out, with the first controller, you were not able to get the LED to lock solid, so do not worry about that. I am not so sure that there is not an issue with the unit. Did you get any response from Support?

Charles, yes. That is the unit. In working with Bill, I could never manage to change the Base ID, nor were we able to even control the lights in manual mode.

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Z & Bill,

Yes, correct.

First, you should make the controller work in stand alone mode with one section of rope light.

If it does not work in that mode, then the first line of defense is to email China support.

Bill, let us know the result of a stand alone test.

Charles

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Mark

Thanks for the answer to Charles question and yes Charles that is the unit. No Mark I have not been able to get any light operation under any mode of operation. Now to top it off my 300RL DMX controller has stopped working and had failure of 120vac to 12vdc converter. This is 1 amp unit and Radio Shack only had 1.5 amp converter so I tried it and no go. I also had 300ma converter on hand which I tried with no go also. I am going to find 1 amp converter and see if this gets the 300 back up and running. When it rains it pours!

Bill

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BILL VANDERSLICE wrote:

Now to top it off my 300RL DMX controller has stopped working and had failure of 120vac to 12vdc converter. This is 1 amp unit and Radio Shack only had 1.5 amp converter so I tried it and no go.

If the 1.5 amp converter of proper voltage and connected with the proper polarity did not get a result, then it's a good bet that the DMX controller has gone bye-bye.

Having additional amperage capability should (almost) never cause a problem, where as having reduced capacity as with the 300ma unit almost certainty would with any load at all.

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Well how interesting! I found new 1 amp converter and the 300RL fired right up and is operating normally with the new 1 amp converter. I agree that it should work with the extra amps but it doesn't. Go figure!

Bill

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Hey doctor, you are right. I checking out wiring on 1.5 amp converter plug and I reversed polarity to plug and the unit now powers up my 300RL controller. Plug had red & black wires. I assumed other line which was all white but had dashes for markings. I assumed this to be neutral so I mounted to black on this plug line. Put meter to it and now have central pin as positive. Should have used meter in beginning so dumb on me.

Bill

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Well; I feel better now... Was starting to fear that the laws of basic electronics were beginning to change! :P

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Charles

No such luck! I have reconnected my 300RL controller by ATG and my LOR DMX does a great job of controlling the rope lights. This tells me the problem is most certainly with the 512 decoder. Since I have no way to manually test this decoder, I don't know if problem is in power side or DMX side of decoder. I have sent pictures and a schematic of how this is wired to the rope lights. It seemed 2 wires were not in sequence and this could be the problem! Will have to wait for reply from them after they look at my info. Will keep you advised and many thanks for your concerns.

Bill

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Bill,

This is the main reason we have not purchased any equipment from any Chinese firm for our business.

I am; however, attending the LDI show in Orlando this year and I intend to hit every booth there and see what they have to offer. Hopefully, I will find a Chinese company who has set up a manufacturer's rep here in the States.

Here is the link if anyone else is interested. I can get a few sets of free floor tickets to see the vendor's booths if any of you DMX'ers want to attend. Educational classes are not included in the free package.

http://ldishow.com/LDI09/public/enter.aspx

Charles

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Charles

The LDI show in Orlando looks interesting and I would love to attend but afraid I would buy more and with my problems right now I don't want to chance adding anymore to them. I think your statement about not buying direct from China might make a lot of sense. I had 120vac to 12vdc adapter go bad after 2 weeks of use and have sent emails on this failure and they have not given me an answer but maybe they are too concerned with my decoder problem to worry about the inverter. Guess I should give them a chance before I badmouth them too bad. I can say this, it makes dealing with LOR a cakewalk comparing to my dealing with the Chinese. I did hear yesterday that I will have answer on decoder problem by Mon which is Sun night for us and it will probably be after midnight before I receive answer. Now how late do I want to stay up!

Bill

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Hey Z and Charles

Update on the 512 decoder. After a week and numerous emails, they have finally decided to send a new 512. I told Dan at LOR that I wanted to hire him out and send him to China to teach them about customer support. They don't have a clue! Now to see how long it takes for replacement unit to get here by DHL.

Bill

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All of which makes me a bit curious...

What sort of prices are they getting for the RGB-LED rope light?

I'm thinking that it should be controllable via the LOR CMB-16D DC controller with a small bit of tinkering. Seems like a bit of overkill to have go the whole DMX + controller route for a rope light.

Even if the DMX controller is a bit dodgy, if the rope light is decent... (for the price)

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I'm probably wrong, but if this is the rope light I think it is, it is 120V common positive. So it is above the max voltage that the LOR DC cards will switch, and the common positive is making it a bear to try and run full wave on standard AC card. I really don't like the products that switch the common, and leave the hot lead on all the time, but that sounds like what this stuff is doing...

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jwilling wrote:

All of which makes me a bit curious...

What sort of prices are they getting for the RGB-LED rope light?

I'm thinking that it should be controllable via the LOR CMB-16D DC controller with a small bit of tinkering. Seems like a bit of overkill to have go the whole DMX + controller route for a rope light.

Even if the DMX controller is a bit dodgy, if the rope light is decent... (for the price)


Hi Doctor

The pricing is $9.85 per meter of rope light. The 512 decoder is priced at $33 each. However the freight by DHL is $465 for 600' of rope light and 10 decoders. I now find out from their manual they build a different model U108 rope light that has selenium rectifier built into power cord. If this has neg neutral, it would be ideal to run direct from LOR. The K108 rope light has + neutral and operates on 120VDC. I tried for weeks to use (3) bridge rectifiers and run direct from 3 channels of LOR. However I had cross over voltage problem on input side of rectifiers. I could get 2 colors to operate normally but 3rd channel turned on all 3 colors of lights. I could handle this with relay to turn off 1st 2 colors but then I couldn't fade the channel with the relay. I tried diodes all over the place but couldn't handle the cross over voltage so finally gave up and decided to go with their 512 decoder. You can check out my schematic on "All About Circuits" under controlling multiple rectifiers. Wish I could post the link to this but don't how to do this! If you can't find it let me know and I will send you schematic if you have any interest and it sounds like you may.

Bill
PS See attached schematic on next post.

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klb

I agree 100% with your analysis. I tried to do with attached schematic but couldn't handle the cross over voltage that existed on ac input side. Do you see any way to do this?


Attached files 179859=10231-LED schematic 003.JPG

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Here is an American supplier of these types of controllers. I have the 120 volt "basic" version controller. It does DMX and has a few stand alone features. This was all I could find for controlling that type of common positive RGB LED rope light. IF I had known that BEFORE I bought that rope light, I wouldn't have bought it.

http://www.del-lighting.com/rgb_led.html

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Bill,

I am staying tuned.

Let me know. If it still doesn't work, Fed-Ex it to me. I will turn my dissecting technicians on it and they will make it work or kill it. :)

Charles

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Charles Belcher wrote:

Bill,

I am staying tuned.

Let me know. If it still doesn't work, Fed-Ex it to me. I will turn my dissecting technicians on it and they will make it work or kill it. :)

Charles


Thanks Charles for the offer. I will wait until I get replacement unit and see if it works. I'm hoping they will exchange this unit if it is bad which I'm sure it is.

Bill

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BILL VANDERSLICE wrote:

I agree 100% with your analysis. I tried to do with attached schematic but couldn't handle the cross over voltage that existed on ac input side. Do you see any way to do this?

In this configuration (120-volt LED strings with a common lead), the only practical solution is 1/2 wave.

The only way to run the rope full-wave using a triac-based controller (like the LOR AC controllers) is to cut into the rope and separate the common lead into separate R, G, and B strings.

I'm guessing the DMX rope controller from China is a 120-volt DC controller with an internal rectifier/capacitor DC supply?

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BILL VANDERSLICE wrote:

Charles Belcher wrote:
Bill,

I am staying tuned.

Let me know. If it still doesn't work, Fed-Ex it to me. I will turn my dissecting technicians on it and they will make it work or kill it. :)

Charles


Thanks Charles for the offer. I will wait until I get replacement unit and see if it works. I'm hoping they will exchange this unit if it is bad which I'm sure it is.

Bill


Charles

Finally received my complete order from China and the were very fair as they sent extra decoder and didn't ask for bad unit to be returned. The good news is my 11 new decoders were able to be set up with LOR and iDMX1000 and work very well from LOR sequences. The only problem was setting ID's as LOR didn't want to reconize the reed switch settings on the decoders. I kept trying until I would find an ID that LOR would reconize and use it. I have units set with ID's of 10, 21 ,22 and 32. They all work so I am happy guy. Now to change my display but at least I know it is going to work.

Bill

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