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Choppy long fades on incandescents


Tim Fischer
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I was watching the show tonight and noticed that in some sequences, some of my long fades (fading down over 2-3 seconds or more) were looking really choppy on my Merry Christmas sign - instead of fading to black, it was almost like it was attempting to do a fading twinkle or something. It really isn't the effect I intended.

I haven't noticed this before, but I'm not sure when it started happening. The particular controller is a CTB-16PC. Not sure how recent the firmware is, but I usually take an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to FW updates and these are sequences that have worked great in the past - only change for this year was converting to the latest software and adding in a few new items on different channels.

Thoughts? If these were LED's, I'd think I'd need a snubber, but these are incandescents...

-Tim

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How old is the firmware?

My first suggestion would be to try upgrading one.. I upgraded about 40 PC series controllers last season. I did have the USB port lock up during one upgrade, and even though it had no valid firmware, the bootloader was still able install the new firmware when I started over. So I think it is lower risk than you might think..

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Tim Fischer wrote:

Thanks - it's brutally cold out there, but once it gets above zero I'll give this a try. Appreciate it!


Also try re-drawing the offending fades in the sequence. I have seen a few cases where the sequence editor would "break" a fade into a bunch of small sections (based on the timing)... We could never get it to repeat so not sure how it happend and have not seen it lately but it would be an easy fix!

Dan
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Tim Fischer wrote:

Thanks - it's brutally cold out there, but once it gets above zero I'll give this a try. Appreciate it!

I upgraded the firmware on several controllers from the show computer without removing them from the network. There were no problems with those or any of the other controllers on the network.

You can't do that through an ELL, however.
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Finally did the firmware upgrade this afternoon. It's still misbehaving...

Dan- I don't think it's a sequence issue, unless every single one of my sequences got corrupted in moving from last year's version to this year's... If I get a chance I'll try to isolate a bad portion of a sequence, redraw it, and see if it works.

Barring that, could the cold affect this? It's been very cold all season. Is there a zero-cross detector circuit that might be marginal/bad solder joint/whatever?

Thanks,
-Tim

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Hi Tim,

I see that behavior on some of my longer fades after it rains and we are running the next day. Since that rain happened last night, I have several decorations that have choppy fades and they were all right before the rain...It seems to go away as things dry out...

Randy

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Randy wrote:

Hi Tim,

I see that behavior on some of my longer fades after it rains and we are running the next day. Since that rain happened last night, I have several decorations that have choppy fades and they were all right before the rain...It seems to go away as things dry out...

Randy

Interesting. I might have to open up that box after all and see if there's anything inside.

Thanks,
-Tim
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