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O.K. to use LOR with power inverter?


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Hi,

Does anyone know if it would be o.k. to use LOR with a power inverter? I would like to run an few lights with the LORV/media player program for a quick portable Halloween setup. If I don't overpower the inverter I would think it would be O.K. Anyone see a problem? Thought I had seen this somewhere in the past but it has magically disappeared :(

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Fyrzout wrote:

Hi,

Does anyone know if it would be o.k. to use LOR with a power inverter? I would like to run an few lights with the LORV/media player program for a quick portable Halloween setup. If I don't overpower the inverter I would think it would be O.K. Anyone see a problem? Thought I had seen this somewhere in the past but it has magically disappeared :)


My only concern with an inverter would be fades.... They may get a little mucked up but you could experiment to see.
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I ordered an inverter from Costco online last week, what a great one at a great price, $69.99 with 3 outlets, and it’s 1000 W. There are cheaper ones out there, but they don't have the power or the outlets. It’s hard to find inverters with 3 outlets. You use 2 outlets for the controller, and one for whatever else.

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11176889

As you guys know, I do some pretty complex sequences, with lots of fast switching and fades in my songs. So I’ll let you know how well it works. It should be here this week. I plan to use this on October 28 at our church’s Harvest Party, where we are doing a “Trunk Or Treat” contest where we all open our trunks, decorate them, and give out candy, and the contest will decide who has the best decorations.

How many other congregation members at my church do you think will have have their LORs with them! :waycool::waycool::waycool:

(LOR now stands for either Light-O-Rama or Lots Of Ruck!

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That was my thought exactly. My kid is having a trunk or treat contest at his school. I figured with a couple of good halloween songs and the LORVis program it would be something quick but probably still impressive.

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Usually, an inverter's output is not a pure sin wave, a square wave or worse, chopped sin wave. It may interfere with some of the functions, such as fade and dimming. Let us know how it works?

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Well, instead of focusing on the sqaure wave or sine wave argument of the inverter's output, look at th epower input section of the LOR.

I can't speak for Dan-O-Rama on how they implemented the power supply of the LOR controllers, but being an engineer by trade, I can tell you a classic power supply circuit usually has some type of correction and line conditioning. But who knows, I don't have their schematic.

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The LOR boards have a small linear power supply - if I remember correctly, using a 7805 regulator. That's not the problem though. The problem is a modified waveform affects the switching of the triacs, which is what causes the dimming problems.

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The microcontroller also seems to have an A to D used to sense the Phase of the Sine wave Which theoretically could be programmed to compensate for the modified sine wave.

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I had to use a 400watt version last year to test 2 lor board at a customer setup. the board did not like the 120v from the inverter I bought a Canadian Tire. Were did you guys find one that did work?

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it would cause the lights to flicker all the time, even on a full on mode it would flicker the lights. But that was with 100% LEDs in the display.

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I guest my concern would be if any actual damage would be done to the board. With the LORVis program the fades looked ok because they were random with the beat of the music so there are no actual fades programed. It seem to look good to me for what I wanted - a quick setup for trunk or treat.

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Ok, let me complicate matters some more.

Has anyone ever tried this on a gas powered generator? Wonder what that sine wave looks like!

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jeffostroff wrote:

Ok, let me complicate matters some more.

Has anyone ever tried this on a gas powered generator? Wonder what that sine wave looks like!

I could try, but pretty skiddish about potentially ruining a board... Maybe with a good UPS? They're known to clear up sine waves.... Thought?
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EAB wrote:

jeffostroff wrote:
Ok, let me complicate matters some more.

Has anyone ever tried this on a gas powered generator? Wonder what that sine wave looks like!

I could try, but pretty skiddish about potentially ruining a board... Maybe with a good UPS? They're known to clear up sine waves.... Thought?

Theoretically you could use a ups to clean up an inverter as well.
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Ok, I got my new 1000 Watt inverter in the mail today from Costco.com. It's nice, it has 3 outlets. But just like we all predicted, the LOR can't handle fade down very good with this "not quite AC sinusoidal signal".

In fact, all the fade downs tended to just flicker a bit. For my LED trees, the flickering was more of a strobe and the LED trees never quite turned off, and nearly renders your sequence useless, except for the lights that are just going on/off. Not sure I want to drag it to my church for the Harvest Party, it's not looking good enough for my perosnal quality control metrics.

THe inverter output is what is known as a "modified sine wave", which means poor man's sine wave, which means it's a bunch of square waves shaped sort of like a sine wave. It's tricky and you have to use a true RMS meter to take readings on the output. A regular meter will not cut it.

I still don;t know why LOR has a hard time with it, it's still a 60 cycle signal, so what f it has edges. Perhaps a good product feature on upcoming boards might be the ability to handle and condition input sinusoidal sqaure waves, otherwise, how can anyone take their LOR on the road?:devil:

Tomorrow if I can free up some more minutes on my schedule, I'll hook up my high end Tripp Lite UPS and see if it too conditions the output of the inverter, to give me clean 60 cycle alternating current, or if it is putting out a modified sine wave (square wave) also. Wish me luck!

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