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Controller issue


jajohnson
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My contoller was purchased new in 11/09. I contiuously have from 57 to 63 volts ac, on channel 12, which partially illuminates a string of 50 lights, even with the controller as a stand alone unit. The controller is not connected to the PC in any way. When a show is enabled, the channel responds to the sequence, but the string doesn't completely turn off as the low voltage remains on the channel. My controller outdoors but is not in direct weather. It is only powered for 3 hours daily. Any ideas????

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Most likely a half failed triac, or half failed opto isolator. We have one that has done that this year. Not sure if I'll just replace the triac and test, or try testing first to see which it is...

Basically, what happens for cases like this, is that half of the triac fails in a way that leaves a diode on that half. So it is conducting in one way, and the control commands determine when it conducts the other way...

If you have basic soldering skills, changing the triac is pretty easy.. If not, get in touch with support, and most likely, they will take care of you.

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jajohnson wrote:

What test is used to decide which is out?

On the triac, one lead is always hot. One is the channel output. The third is the trigger lead. The thing is, that I'm not sure that the different failure modes are clearly discernible on the trigger lead. For example, if it is showing 50V, it could be that the optoisolator is the issue, and feeding that have wave. Or is the triac back feeding voltage towards the opto?

As I understand it, about 80% of the failures are the triac, rather than the opto... And the triac is easier to change.. And they both cost under $2 each... So, I'm inclined to just change the triac first....
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I did not know they sold component replacement parts, I also have a strange power on thing. On a mini tree with 300 multi- color incans the last half of the last string is on at less than 50%, the front half is dimmer and the other 200 are dimmer still. The white star of 35 incans is off and it is plugged in to the last set of lights on the tree. I was just going to mark that channel as bad and use the controller where I have some unused channels next year. I got some soldering training many years ago in the Navy (the bigger the blob the better the job) so I might give that a go... I will break out the multi meter and see what the voltage is. But it’s strange that all the lights are not half on.

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I was having a small voltage leak on one of my controllers (LEDs staying on very dim) and it turned out that the receptacle the LOR unit was plugged into was incorrectly wired with the hot and neutral reversed. After correcting this situation everything is working great.

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BigJim,
Your problem sounds strangely like a bad connection. Or I wonder how much wire (length) and gauge? Either can cause the voltage drop you might be having problems with. Also I thought that there was a rule that only 3 strings (dont remember the count) could be connected in series.

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jajohnson wrote:

My contoller was purchased new in 11/09. I contiuously have from 57 to 63 volts ac, on channel 12, which partially illuminates a string of 50 lights, even with the controller as a stand alone unit. The controller is not connected to the PC in any way. When a show is enabled, the channel responds to the sequence, but the string doesn't completely turn off as the low voltage remains on the channel. My controller outdoors but is not in direct weather. It is only powered for 3 hours daily. Any ideas????

I have a similar problem on one of my controllers purchased this year. After the show is ends I have one channel that stays dimly lit. (Hooked to computer)
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