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CTB16D Controller Board Light Problem Intermittent(resolved)


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I just powered up the whole house today, YEA! After working on this project all year, it has come down to 1 week to get everything hung, plugged and sequenced!

I have 5 controller boards daisy chained together. Intermittently the two boards on the end of the chain seem like they lose connection and all lights go off. I have tried the hardware tester and it recognized the boards. The led lights are steady on. I have about 200' of cabling between all the controllers. The boards are configured 4, 5, 3, 2, 1. After reading some posts here that should not be the problem. I do have two channels on board 1 that do not light at all, but will check on that later.

I unchecked old MC-P controlled box, and set speed of network to fastest (this seemed to make the 'turn off' effect of the two boards happen less often, but I have tried all settings. I am using the USB adapter for the network, and Cat 5e cabling.

I did notice that when the boards 'blink off', the led light flashes, but then turns steady on after a little time, and then the lights come back on. There is a latency on the commands when I do something that turns on off for the two boards in question.

I suspect a bad connection between 3 and 2. This is also the longest run between any of the controllers (about 50'). Any ideas?

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Agtos wrote:

I did notice that when the boards 'blink off', the led light flashes, but then turns steady on after a little time, and then the lights come back on. There is a latency on the commands when I do something that turns on off for the two boards in question.

I suspect a bad connection between 3 and 2. This is also the longest run between any of the controllers (about 50'). Any ideas?

Communication is being interrupted to 2, 1 -- that's why the LEDs flash. When the heartbeat from the controlling PC/DC-MP3/Controller is lost, the LEDs flash.

You are probably right in that communications is being lost between 3 and 2. If you have another cable, try it.

If you have no extra cable or it doesn't affect the problem, swap the RJ45 plugs in 3. If 3 fails, then there is a bad rj45 jack in it. If no change, swap the RJ45 plugs in 2. If only 1 fails now, then there is a bad jack in 2. If you find a controller with a bad jack, move it to the end of the chain and send it in for repair after Christmas.
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After taking your suggestion and looking into it more I found the problem. I had two bad network cables between box 2-3 AND 3-5. I went to Radio Shack for more connectors and a battery for my network cable tester. Re-crimped both ends of both cables, tested them out...and SCORE!!! It fixed the problem.

One hint to everyone else with connection problems. Buy a cable tester and make sure you don't have any problems with cables. They will cause very strange problems.

Thanks John!

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