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Voltage Leak? (Or how to convince your family they had a stroke)


bob_moody

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I (and the rest of the family) noticed some odd behavior on one of the LOR channels.

There is no computer hooked up, the power is on and all lights are off. However, periodically, channel 2 on the second LOR box will fire.

Here are the details. The second channel is a 16 count string of C9 sockets containing dimmable C9 LED retros and C9 strobes. They run down the pole of the mega tree. The other night while testing, I left the power on to the controllers.

Sandra saw the blue lights come on and a single flash from the strobes. Later that night my step son saw it too. Both thought they were seeing things or that I was messing with them.

I have never seen this before but usually the controllers are either running (showtime) or powered off at the breaker.

Is it possible there is a little leakage current that is charging the strobes and when it builds up enough (strobes storing) the strobes fire and with the pulse comes enough current to light off the LED's for a moment.

OR..... do I have some impeding problem this going to get worse? LOL

Thanks for looking. Hope its a simple answer.

Merry Christmas and Happy Lights,

Bob and Sandra

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It might be the channel has not fully turned off. This is allowing a small amount of current to leak through charging the strobes. You might try adding a snubber or a small string of incans to this channel, power up, and see if that does the trick.

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Dave,

I will certainly try that, thanks for the tip.

Do you think a single incandecent C9 at the bottom of the string would provide the same loading as adding a small string of incandecents?

Last year was the first time to use the strobes and the LED's before that I had always used C9 incandecents and of course never saw the issue.

Bob

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Also verify that hot and neutral to your controller are the correct way around. LOR switches the lead that is fed to it as the hot lead. If the feeds are backwards, it winds up switching neutrals. If this turned out to be the case, a slight leak to ground could charge the strobes, or allow some LEDs to light, especially if you don't have a GFCI, or a failed GFCI. But even with a good GFCI, you could get a few milliamps of current charging the strobes without it tripping.

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Once you have run the strobes, they are all in various stages of charge. It is not unusual to have one sitting right at the verge of firing when it is shut off and then several minutes later it will fire.

If you have other channels that are flickering here and there when they shouldnt. Try resetting the controllers.

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-klb- wrote:

Also verify that hot and neutral to your controller are the correct way around. LOR switches the lead that is fed to it as the hot lead. If the feeds are backwards, it winds up switching neutrals. If this turned out to be the case, a slight leak to ground could charge the strobes, or allow some LEDs to light, especially if you don't have a GFCI, or a failed GFCI. But even with a good GFCI, you could get a few milliamps of current charging the strobes without it tripping.


I am good there. This is actually a 3yr old controller. But before I posted back, I did go out and check .. LOL ...

Thanks !!
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Brian Mitchell wrote:

Once you have run the strobes, they are all in various stages of charge. It is not unusual to have one sitting right at the verge of firing when it is shut off and then several minutes later it will fire.

If you have other channels that are flickering here and there when they shouldnt. Try resetting the controllers.

Brian,

No ther channels flickering or any other odd behavior from this or any other controller.

As for the verge of firing .. I have seen that. What is odd about this one is its not just a few seconds or minutes later. It happened once about an hour or so after the last strobe fired and then again several hours later. Step son is a night owl and saw it fire off about 2AM.

Thanks for the reply ;)
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Did you also check the outlet that it is plugged into? I've experienced a few that are wired by the builder, or even hired electricians backwards. And not necessarily at that outlet. They could get swapped upstream. We even had one report here of an outlet that checked out good with one of those LED outlet checkers, but in reality, it had multiple issues, and the checker failed to catch the hot/neutral swap.

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I'm having a very similar issue, only it's with a DIO-32 and it is more than one channel (maybe all). LED strings do a bright flash but I think it is too fast of a pulse to show up on the incandescents. This happens even without the PC connected.

For several days I have noticed the inside house lights do a quick flick every few minutes or so. I was beginning to think there was a bad connection between the utility and my house. While standing at the breaker panel, it happened a couple times and I hard a click sound in the panel. So I killed the main breaker to my controllers and voila, the problem was gone. After turning the controllers back on, the issue occurred 3 times over the next 10 minutes. It appears that the controller is blipping a bunch of channels on just briefly enough to pull a slug a current and cause the inside lights to flick. I've opened a ticket with LOR support to see what they say.

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bob_moody wrote:


There is no computer hooked up, the power is on and all lights are off. However, periodically, channel 2 on the second LOR box will fire.


I found that my output blipping issue goes away when the LOR software is running and sending the heartbeat to the controllers. If you enable the LOR control panel and 'enable shows' it will send the heartbeat even when a show is not playing. This might fix your issue.
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