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Huge Problems.....


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So, Im new this year. Started late October ordering controllers and lights and doing sequencing. Finished my first song a few days ago and it has a lot of fading and lowered intensities in it. I have 3 PC controllers and when I hooked everything up, most of my lights will not fade or even go to a lower intesity.

I have mostly LED lights with the exception of the Mega tree in which I have white LED and red and green incandesant, (although it is all in a jumbled pile right now since the pvc snapped, but that is a whole nother issue). When running my sequence, the majority of my lights will not fade which causes the show to look like crap. I have scoured this and other websites and have seen solutions such as putting an incandesant bulb in the string, plug ins...you name it, I've tried it, except for the snubbers. Is there a very quick way to do this or perhaps a place to buy them? Will that fix my Problem? What throws me for a loop is that on the mega (pile) tree, the led white lights will fade, but the red and green incandesants won't. I'm not sure what to do. If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it. If you need any kind of additional information about the set up please let me know, I will respond very quickly.


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The snubbers are used for LED's since they do not pull enough on their own, the snubber acts like a load.

But you say it's your incandescents that are not fading, right?

I just learn this today from another member when I asked how to turn down the intensity, check out this thread, http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/forum80/24581.html

Maybe your max and min are so close that there is not much opportunity to fade.

Related to this, have you check within the editor your settings?


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You mentioned "puttin an incan bulb in the plug'ins" - That is ALMOST a snubber.

Although I would NOT advise just swapping a single bulb in-line - especially if your string had resistors this would change voltages and have other potentially bad results.

a snubber is simply a "load" - it can be a resistor, or it can be a single regular c-7 or c-9 bulb. In terms of just buying them - Well, I bought a regular old string of c-9's at wal-mart, and just cut it up. I then placed male plugs at the end of each single socket, and connected those at the ends of my LED sets. Allmost all my LED's were bought from Walmart or Homedepot - and are the cheapest thing they had. They do need Snubbers and are only half-wave, but they fade fine, and I am verry happy with them.

What worries me is in your post, you state that your incan red and greens dont fade. If this is a REGULAR string (no transformer or "function" boxes, I can think of a reason why it would not fade.

I suspect this MAY be a programing issue in your sequence. Have you tried the hardware test utility ? Have you programmed your unit ID's ( I think all PC kits are unit "1" out of the box) I would use the hardware utility to make sure all controllers are seen, and then use the "console" with a couple strings of the incans connected to dragg the faders up and down and see if it fades.

I would do these tests first with just the incans - your LED's MIGHT need snubbers, MANNY (but not all) do. So test first with the incans, then once those are working right, try out the same with snubbers on your LED strings.

Its also worth noting that snubbers dont HAVE to be at the far end of the string. The snubber "loads" the channel or the triac, not the led string its self. I place them wherever it suites me. Some at the begining and some at the end, and they all work fine.

Give the hardware utility a try and post your results.

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I wish I could help you out - I can't live very far from you. Unfortunately, I am at work on a drillship off the coast of Rio and do not arrive home until Christmas morning. Hope you can get the issues sorted out before that. I would be happy to help you out once I get home.

My wife has been starting and stopping our show at home (she preferred to have manual control of it versus having the controllers start / stop automatically). So far so good at my house!

Greg V!

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Thanks everyone. Giz, where do you get the male plugs from? How many do I need on a channel?

I will try this today and see if it helps. I have ran the hardware utility and everything seems to check out fine, but last night a new issue arose. While in the middle of testing my shows, one or two of my three controllers would stop working. The red led light on the controller would go off and the lights in the yard attached to that controller would all come on and remain on until I unplugged that certain controller and then plugged it back in. Then after I plug it back in I would have to start the sequence over again and it would work fine until it decided to stop working again. I can't even run a test show all the way through. Am I doing something wrong?

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Wesley -

That is verry odd sounding issue on the controller. The light going out indicates a loss of communication. I dont think your dooing anything wrong.

Id say maybe run the verifyer utility to make sure you dont have any conflicts in the sequences ( but I dont THINK that would make a controller lock - not sure)

Id be checking the boards for solder joints around the cat-5 vconnectors and comm chip (unless they were pre-assembled) then probably try resetting the boards by pulling the jumper off and power cycleing.

As for the snubbers - 1 per channel wherever the LED's are used should be fine.

You dont need snubbers for incans.

Here is a link to SPT-1 male ends. http://christmaslightshow.com/product.php?productid=272&cat=29&page=1

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Guess I will try to replace the C9 bulb with a 47k 1watt resistor tomorrow and try that.

However, new development in the controller problem. As I was running the hardware utility, I selected all channels on a particular controller and then selected steady on. When the on at 100 percent is pushed, all channels blink and then go off, they do not stay on. If I do not push off and instead select shimmer or twinkle, all channels shimmer or twinkle. When I go back to steady on, they just blink and go off. Am I missing something? Is that what it is supposed to do?

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Replacing the bulb with a resistor isnt going to make a difference. but forget the lED issues at the moment.

If during hardware test, 100% causes the lights to go off you have some other problem.

Do the same test with 1 controller, with 1 string of incans on each channel - If this yeilds the same "blink then off" problem, something is wrong on the controller. try reseting by removing jumper, then power cycle. then reset unit ID.

If it works, then reconnect to the original / show light strings and re test. If the test lights work ok, but yard lights dont - sounds like a short on 1 or some of the yard lights.

If none of that works, try reloading the firmware.

If that doesnt work - Im out of ideas. Contact lOR ?

Did you solder the boards, or did they come assembled ?

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