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Hardware Program, CFCI's and Trouble SHooting.


colonel
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I'm in my 3rd year and still confused. Preview party was heavy rain, opening night was a snow storm. As expected I had several CFCI, pop. We trouble shoot by unplugging half of the line feed or for single feed boxes, half (8) the lights. I was wonderful with this but now I am seeing Hardware (latest) telling me box 4 is out but I am enjoying the lights as I write? My electrician is also telling me that if the 1-8 channel cfci is popped that it takes the whole box and network down. I guess what I am asking for is a good trouble shooting guide. I am an old pilot who hit his head too many times on the canopy and have employees who have trouble understanding the system. Does anyone have a checklist for this?

1. Maintain Aircraft Control

2. If Fire Confirmed

3. Eject!

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-klb- wrote:

It is the power inlet for 9-16 that powers the card. And having one card down does not impact the communication to the rest of the controllers.

OK, that helps. On my 1602, the hardware utility does not "see" that controller yet 9-16 are lit. That might be a bug or is that tied to 1-8? 1-8 trips it's gfci. I have a pc16 at the head (linker) of a cat5 daisy chain and when one side of it goes out it takes that network segment out. So that would be the 1-8 side that is tripping?
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There have been some users reporting that hardware utility does not always find their controllers. I would say that it is usually a matter of less than perfect cabling between controllers, except that one of the users who I have heard it from is not the sort to take the cabling lightly, and that the lights still work correctly....

Power to channels 1-8 only impact the ability to put power out channels 1-8.

The other thing I would ask, is if any of your controller ID's show up with an unknown type or firmware version? Usually, that is an indication that somehow, two controllers wound up with that ID... Or, if you only have this one controller hooked up, does it show up with the expected unit ID, or a different one?

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-klb- wrote:

There have been some users reporting that hardware utility does not always find their controllers. I would say that it is usually a matter of less than perfect cabling between controllers, except that one of the users who I have heard it

I've seen some units not show up on the 1st Refresh and sometimes a reload gets them all. No odd ?? or *, I've seen that as well. I was seeing Box 4 fine until the last rain. As it stands now under the snow , we have a short in the 1-8 side, gfci blows immediately, so we have that side unplugged. HW does not see the box now, but 9-16 plays fine. (1-8 does too but only for a second:P. Steady Red light with both sides plugged in but as soon as I play a seq, I get the fault. Since I can't see it with HW, I can't troubleshoot with it, so it is unplug these 4, reset, etc to find the fault. I guess now that I think I understand, the only mystery is with HW. My electrician ran the cat5, and it is a 450' run to the next box, then 300' and a linker. I'm curious what I will see when we fix the fault. Might replace the cat5 next?
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If it is playing sequences, you should still be able to send it commands, even if it is not showing up when you click refresh.

First, you can type addresses into the drop down box that lists the found controllers, and then send commands as if you selected from the list..

Or, in the bottom, there is the console button. You can click that, which brings up the console app. You can set which ID, and move the sliders around, to see what happens..

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Unless you specifically wired the controller for single feed power, you'll need both lines plugged in. Leaving one side unpowered to isolate the GFI trip wont work, you would have to actually unplug the lights from sockets 1-8 or 9-16.

I know it would sound like a real chore, 'specially with the snow you got.. but if it were me, I would bring all the controllers inside, get them dried out (hair dryer), then check them singley with the Hardware Utility.. plug in a single controller, verify the unit's ID, and check both cat5 sockets to see if there's any flakey contacts in them. Once you've verified good ID's and no bad sockets, lay them out on the floor, daisy-chain them again, then use the HU to check each controllers output sockets again.. If all checks out ok, then klb's got it, it's the Cat5 cables.. if it all checks out inside, then re-running Cat5 is in your future..

Yes, it is a lot, especially with them under 2' of snow, but that's what I would do. Getting them dried off (non-shorting) would be first item in the battle plan.

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-klb- wrote:

If it is playing sequences, you should still be able to send it commands, even if it is not showing up when you click refresh.




Wow, that helps! I'm stuck inside from back surgery (9 screws, 4 rods) so like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, I am directing with binoculars out a window! Have to wait until dark to see the lights.
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TJ Hvasta wrote:

I know it would sound like a real chore, 'specially with the snow you got.. but if it were me, I would bring all the controllers inside, get them dried out (hair dryer),

I'm 3 days into my show and while that is the best thing to do, I can't do it. It's just 8 flat tree outlines in the entry mall. The other 8 trees and some lawn lights will work up there until we can get a good day. Maybe April?
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Can you provide a simple diagram of how your controllers are laid out.

computer------16pc addy 1-------16pc addy 3---

etc so we can see what you have. Sounded like you said you have a controller, then 300ft of cable then a ELL on the end of 300ft of cable to get to the next location.

Also, you said one controller is under snow. Are you absolutely sure that water/moisture has not gotten in that box?

Chuck

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-klb- wrote:

Or, in the bottom, there is the console button. You can click that, which brings up the console app. You can set which ID, and move the sliders around, to see what happens..

This was most helpful. Some misunderstanding, what is under snow is 17,000+ feet of extension cord and 900' of cat5. The controllers are up about 3', next year 6' so I don't have to bend over! Using the HW Console, Box 4, one channel at a time until I blow the gfci is mo' better than unplugging in 2 degree weather. The HW Refresh not showing box 4 is still a mystery but the work around and the above are acceptable.

Thanks for the help!


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How much distance between your linker and the nearest box in your setup?

Could still be a bad cable. I have read where a bad cable will cause a controller not to show up. Basically the controller can receive but tries to send and it don't get thru to the other end.

Chuck

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cmoore60 wrote:

How much distance between your linker and the nearest box in your setup?
Could still be a bad cable. I have read where a bad cable will cause a controller

Sounds likely. The deer run thru that area at times and we had a break last year.

Box 4 to 7 is 450'

Box 7 to 8 is 300'

The rest are under 50' and the computer is next to Box 6.

We play anti-deer music after the show til daybreak. Seems to have worked the last 2 years?

http://www.pleasantgrovechristmas.com/deer
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