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Blinks before after fades


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Hi guys,

Got a situation here. I ran my show all summer from LOR showtime boxes and didn't have this problem. After my hardwire I connected up everything to 4ea 16 channel hobbyist boards. Now I get a quick blink just when a fade starts and/or ends. During the OKC mini, the only thing it didn't effect was the LED "T" Mega Tree because it was connected to a 5th controller which was a showtime box. It does this with rope lights and ice-cycle lights so a particular kind of light is not a factor I don't think. Has anybody ran into this situation?

Thanks, Tom

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jmccorm wrote:

Out of curiousity, can you post the firmware levels involved in the two types of boxes?

EDIT: Hardware util will tell you.



If I get your question right. Isn't LOR just running one firmware for the program which applies to all 5 controllers? Just checking.

Tom
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jmccorm wrote:

Each box is running its own firmware.


Hummmm, I'm going to have to check on that. I'm not that familiar with the firmware since I haven't ran into problems before. The only firmware that I know of is in the LOR file and not each box. I thought it was part of the LOR software. How would a person check each controller for it's own firmware?

Tom
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Santas Helper wrote:

Now I get a quick blink just when a fade starts and/or ends. During the OKC mini, the only thing it didn't effect was the LED "T" Mega Tree because it was connected to a 5th controller which was a showtime box. It does this with rope lights and ice-cycle lights so a particular kind of light is not a factor I don't think.

There was a problem where LEDs flickered during the initial part of a fade up. They present a very peculiar load to the triacs and we needed to change the firmware in the controllers to fix this. I don't know of any problem with incandescent lights.

If you go into the Hardware Utility and click the "Refresh" button it will poll and get the version number of the firmware in all your controllers. In the drop down menu listing your controllers next to the refresh button the firmware version is on the right. ver 3.0 is the latest and contains the fix for the LED flicker problem. See what you have in all your controllers.
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LightORamaJohn wrote:

Santas Helper wrote:
Now I get a quick blink just when a fade starts and/or ends. During the OKC mini, the only thing it didn't effect was the LED "T" Mega Tree because it was connected to a 5th controller which was a showtime box. It does this with rope lights and ice-cycle lights so a particular kind of light is not a factor I don't think.

There was a problem where LEDs flickered during the initial part of a fade up. They present a very peculiar load to the triacs and we needed to change the firmware in the controllers to fix this. I don't know of any problem with incandescent lights.

If you go into the Hardware Utility and click the "Refresh" button it will poll and get the version number of the firmware in all your controllers. In the drop down menu listing your controllers next to the refresh button the firmware version is on the right. ver 3.0 is the latest and contains the fix for the LED flicker problem. See what you have in all your controllers.




Hello John,

My LED tree was just fine. It's the rope lights and ice-cycles.

I tried to refresh the Hardware Utility and it shows "0" units found. Yet I can run them during the show and the controllers red lights stops blinking when they are hooked up. So I can't get anything out of the Hardware Utility as far as Firmware info goes. Any suggestions?

Tom
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Santas Helper wrote:

Hello John,

My LED tree was just fine. It's the rope lights and ice-cycles.

I tried to refresh the Hardware Utility and it shows "0" units found. Yet I can run them during the show and the controllers red lights stops blinking when they are hooked up. So I can't get anything out of the Hardware Utility as far as Firmware info goes. Any suggestions?

Tom


The version 3 firmware fix was only for LEDs. They would flicker at the begining of a fade up or at the end of a fade down. I asumme your icicle & rope lights are incandescent and I haven't seen your problem before.

It's still a good idea to check the firmware in the Hobbyist and Showtime devices. The Hardware Utility may be using the wrong comm port. With your controllers powered, try clicking the "Auto Configure" button. It will poll for LOR devices on all comm ports. Hopefully it will discover your units and then you can click refresh and see the firmware version.
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John,

Just a note! Is the version 3 firmware on the website?

I noticed the other day that I have 3 controllers that show version 2 and 2 controllers showing version 3 firmware. Unfortunately, one of the version 2 controllers has my LED MERRY CHRISTMAS sign and I have the flicker problem with the fading.

How can I get the version 3 firmware?

Chuck

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cmoore wrote:

John,

Just a note! Is the version 3 firmware on the website?

I noticed the other day that I have 3 controllers that show version 2 and 2 controllers showing version 3 firmware. Unfortunately, one of the version 2 controllers has my LED MERRY CHRISTMAS sign and I have the flicker problem with the fading.

How can I get the version 3 firmware?

Chuck


Chuck,

Version 3 is not on the website. Dan mentioned this in an earlier post -- there are green CTB-16D boards and blue ones. There are hardware differences requiring two versions of the ver 3 firmware. We have to come up with a way of dealing with this.

John
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FYI --

I'm trying to figure out if it is my LED strings or the LOR box, bit woth the ver 2 and 3 firmwares, there seems to be some uneveness to the fading at the low voltage end of things. Actually some flickering at less than 10%. I'm puting Paul's full wave LEDs. Any ideas there? Should I capture some video of it?

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Santas Helper wrote:

Hi guys,

Has anybody ran into this situation?

Thanks, Tom


Tom,

View the end of my Coca-Cola sequence, (watch the left side) and tell me if that's what you are seeing.

If so, I tried to upgrade my firmware last year .. though I didn't do it one at a time, which they say is not the most effective way. Have to say, though, I had the issue occur in testing on a repaired board, with what I presumed to be the latest firmware, when I was testing about a month ago.
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Don wrote:


View the end of my Coca-Cola sequence, (watch the left side) and tell me if that's what you are seeing.




Hello Don,

Well I reviewed your Coke sequences video twice and couldn't see any obvious blinks before or after fades (very nice video by the way). Mine are pretty obvious because it blinks, then starts the fade (the fade part is meant to be) and blinks again right after a fade is done. I'm using 2 older model controller and 2 brand new controllers and it's effecting both kinds. But I did notice channels connected to a particuler controller wasn't doing it. So now I'm thinking 3 of the 4 controllers are doing this.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try checking firmware on all controllers and such. With the ride and light show going in the evenings, it's pretty hard to stop everying thing and spend the time checking this stuff without interuption.

Is there anything else I can check as to firmware and such. Man, this has me puzzled. I think Dan is out of town because I haven't seen him post and I sent him a PM on this. I'm sure once he sees this he might be able to help too.

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks to all whom have suggested things to try. Again, I'll try checking firmware tomorrow.

You guys are great just for trying to help me out :waycool:.

Tom
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Santas Helper wrote:

Hello Don,

Well I reviewed your Coke sequences video twice and couldn't see any obvious blinks before or after fades (very nice video by the way).


52 seconds in, notice how the bushes on the left side, and some other things, drop out. This was not sequenced to do that. (Sorry, thought those were fades ... )

Now, in testing this year, I *did* see it on fades.
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Hello Everyone,

Well after several instant replays of the video and watching the show this past weekend. Channels 1 thru 8 on all controllers are the only channels blinking. Channels 9 thru 16 don't. I still am baffled on this.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Tom

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Santas Helper wrote:

Hello Everyone,

Well after several instant replays of the video and watching the show this past weekend. Channels 1 thru 8 on all controllers are the only channels blinking. Channels 9 thru 16 don't. I still am baffled on this.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Tom


After a number of PMs with Tom I think that we know what the problem is. Tom's display is at a commercial site. Most likely the power is 3 phase. When you have 3 phase power you have to make sure that both sides of a CTB16D are on the same phase. Tom is looking into this.

With normal residential wiring there is really only one phase so this is never an issue.
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LightORama wrote:

Santas Helper wrote:
Hello Everyone,

Well after several instant replays of the video and watching the show this past weekend. Channels 1 thru 8 on all controllers are the only channels blinking. Channels 9 thru 16 don't. I still am baffled on this.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Tom


After a number of PMs with Tom I think that we know what the problem is. Tom's display is at a commercial site. Most likely the power is 3 phase. When you have 3 phase power you have to make sure that both sides of a CTB16D are on the same phase. Tom is looking into this.

With normal residential wiring there is really only one phase so this is never an issue.


:waycool::waycool::waycool:

Well another problem solved by Dan and his techs. It was the 3 phase that was making only certian halves of controllers cause blinks before and after fades. I relocated the breakers to keep each controller on a single phase this afternoon and ran the show. NO BLINKS.:waycool::waycool::waycool:

Another leason learned in the world on LOR animated light shows and solved by Dan and crew.

If anyone doing a commercial animated light show, keep this in mind when hardwiring controllers. Because my situation was unique it was hard to pin point the problem but made perfectly good sense when Dan mentioned 3 phase.

Dan, once again THANK YOU!!!:waycool::waycool::waycool:

Let the shows begin (without a blink and with a wink;)),

Tom
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