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Strange GFCI problem


Jim Hans
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I am all LED. I have three controllers all plugged into the same breaker on two different plugs which are protected by one GFCI plug. All totoalled they draw about 5 amps.

When I run my show today, both with the computer and with the DC-MP3, the GFCI trips when all lights come on. However, if I go into the hardware utility and turn all the lights on these controllers on they all light and the GFCI doesn't trip. Why???

Could there be an "additive loss" that causes the GFCI to trip. All lights on all 3 controllers coming on at once with the show program but slower from hardware utiility as it takes a few seconds to turn each on? Other suggestions, and better yet, any proposed solutions?



Thanks.

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Keep in mind that a GFI does not work on total current in the circuit. A GFI senses the current out on the HOT wire and the current back on the NEUTRAL. When the current becomes unbalanced by as little as 25 milliamps then the GFI trips and switches off the current.

Yes it can be accumlative in nature across all the items downstream of the GFI. If you use the HWU to turn on the lights, and leave them on for a bit. I would presume that the GFI will trip. The best thing is to distribute your controllers over more GFI receptacles if possible.

Chuck

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Ok first forgive me if I have this wrong. I have tried to turn on all channels on all of my controllers via the HWU program. The best I could do was one controller at a time. So, if this is a correct statement, then you did not turn on all of your lights at the same time via the HWU. And there is the why of it.
Yes I believe your statement / question is true, it is an accumulative problem. As you noted it is not due to the amount of current you are pulling. As Chuck has noted it is an imbalance in current on the hot and neutral wires. Best bets are to get all connectors off of the ground. If you have long runs then get them up off of the ground. If you have a lot of wire frames. One guy made wooden or was it plastic stakes and then wired the wire frames to the stakes, getting them off of the ground. You do not need a "Short" to get current to ground. There is the capacitive effect that will leak current to ground. So the only fix for that is to get the wires off of the ground as much as possible.

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You can get more than one controller on via the HWU. In my case, select #4 click all on, select #5 from the drop down and click all on. #4 stays on and #5 now goes on. Will work for all controllers.

Thanks for confirming my thoughts. This late in the season I will just try and split them to different circuits.

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Jim, I'll have to try again. But I thought that is what I did. But as soon as I selected the 2nd controller address, the first controller turned off all of its lights. I was wanting to see how much my 7 controllers and loads draw for total power. Need to see how close I am getting to the limit of this one outlet. And yes, I am about 98% LED. Only my few blow molds are lit up with 40W icans.

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Max,

Jim is correct. You can select one controller and the select all channels and command on at 100%. Then select another controller from the drop down, confirm all channels selected and command that group at 100%. This can continue for all controllers and all channels. This is also based off of my experience.

As long as you do not turn off before selecting the next controller.

Chuck

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Ya, will have to try that again. I must have hit something wrong. Might be a few nights before I give it a whorl or even later tonight. Wish me luck, this will be first try this year and got several tries last year to video tape a few songs. Last year seems that I had the exposure up to high and all of my spiral trees (18") just simple blossomed and were out of focus. I have gone back this year and toned down the intensity. Maybe that will help.

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