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BIG BIG PROBLEM!!!


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Here's the Raw Info:


  • Showtime 1602W with the Green Board (Upgrade to the firm ware -- 4.01, is installed)
  • I have Approx. 600 C9 LED Replacement Bulbs from Creative Displays loaded on to 4 different channels (roughly 150 on EACH channel)


I started up one of last year's sequences (same roof line, except last year I used Regular C9 bulbs, and had to split them up onto 3 different groups due to power issues). When I watch the display:


  • The C6s that I bought this year from Creative work just fine.
  • The C7s from last year that I bought at Costco work just fine.
  • The C9s that I bought this year DO NOT fade correctly:

    • They do on and off fine
    • They don't fade up or down
    • There is only a minor flicker at full power
    • They just clip off, they don't fade to zero gradually like the C6s


This will not work, and it is a big problem for the show.

Does someone have a fix?

If you do ... please let me know.

Thanks,

T.

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If these are the "C-9 Pro Grade LED Replacement Lamps" they are designed as line voltage (120VAC) replacements for incandescent C9s. This means they have to have some sort of power supply in each bulb for the low voltage DC LEDs. They probably would not use resistance because it would generate heat and waste energy, so whatever they do, it is very unlikely that the power supply would be complex enough to allow dimming. Compact fluorescents usually have the same restriction, the ballast needs to be more complex to allow dimming -- compact fluorescents that dim are available, but are more expensive. Contact http://www.creativedisplays.com and ask about dimming, but I suspect you are going to have to live with ON/OFF. Let us know what you find out. Thanks,

John

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John,

I believe that others (Annalisa) have had these working ... there is a post where she was testing the C9s in all modes (on, off, fade up and down, etc.) ... so there is something goofy going on.

I hope it is something simple ... but I cannot figure it out.

I'll check back in the morning. Unfortunately this will need to be solved by mid-morning, or I'll be needing to switch back to the regular C9s for this year.

With Fingers Crossed,

T.

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Maybe the power supplies present no load at all, so we would need a couple of regular C9s in each string to provide a resistive load for the triacs? I am forwarding this thread to Dan to see if he has any other thoughts. If no luck, and unless Dan has another idea, maybe you could get us a bulb or two quickly? Let us know and I'll provide an address.

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Tom B. wrote:

John,

I tried 1 bulb each ... do you think I would need more than that?

If so, let me know how many?

T.

There is a minimum wattage required, a C9 is usually 7 watts, which should adequate. It doesn't hurt to try more. In any event, the incandescent C9(s) should fade normally even if the LED C9s do not. At least you will be able to see if the controller is doing the right thing, and if you note any peculiar behavior with the incandescent C9s during the fades it may help us figure out what's happening.
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Tom B. wrote:

I tried 1 bulb each ... do you think I would need more than that?

If it were me I would use at least 2 in case one bulb burns out mid-show. You don't have to put them in the same string as the LED bulbs as long as you have them connected to the same channel. If you used the indoor type extension cords on your controllers you can just plug another set with a couple bulbs into the same cord/channel.

You should also contact Annalisa and see if she has the same type of bulbs that you have.

TED
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I am experiencing the same issue that Tom is. Only I have the M5 LED from creative displays. When only two strings connected with one plug piggy backed into the plug of the second set the LEDs fade as expected.

On my roof I have several sets plugged end to end and they are not fading.....the just kind of sit there and the pop on or pop off. All my boards have been upgraded to firmware 4.01.

Tom, Did the addition of some standard incandescents work to load the circuit and get eh dimming to work correctly?



Chuck

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cmoore wrote:

I am experiencing the same issue that Tom is. Only I have the M5 LED from creative displays. When only two strings connected with one plug piggy backed into the plug of the second set the LEDs fade as expected.

On my roof I have several sets plugged end to end and they are not fading.....the just kind of sit there and the pop on or pop off. All my boards have been upgraded to firmware 4.01.

Tom, Did the addition of some standard incandescents work to load the circuit and get eh dimming to work correctly


Tom's symptoms may be the same but I do not think his problems can be resolved by adding a resistive load.

I think that your problem is different. You can dim if you stack plugs but you cannot fade if you plug end to end. Until we can reproduce this ourselves I do not have a definitive answer. If the plugs are not polarized, try switching them around where you plug end to end. Do those LEDs have rectifiers?
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Odd solution ... but it works:

NOTE: THIS SECTION REFERS TO GREEN BOARD LOR 1602Ws

For my C6s (Full wave from Creative displays) that are Connected to GREEN Board 1602Ws ... they didn't dim well either. BUTTTTTT!!!! When I switched back to the old LOR Firmware (2.01) they work just fine!

The C7s from last year that I bought at costco, I sure, still have the same flicker, but I didn't notice it on the C6s yet.

NOTE: THIS SECTION REFERS TO BLUE BOARD LOR 1602Ws

The C6s connected to Blue Board Showtime boxes seem too work just fine on the new firmware.

---

I am not a expert on any of the "technical parts" of these boards. This was just found out by trial and error.

As for the C9LEDs ... I have chosen to switch them out, and go back to Regular C9s. No time to figure out a solution, if any. They just don't seem to work for Fades at all.

Hope this helps ... Now, since I off by about almost 8 hours of work to redo the display to accommodate the regular C9s ... I'm off to program.

Later all,

T.

PS: While all this was going on, I just kept imagining all the Little Whos down in Whoville, when Christmas came anyway, even after the Grinch Stole their Tree. The Point? It is just part of the fun of the hobby, and Christmas will come one way or the other ... stay happy ... !!!

And a special Thanks to John from LOR who was for some reason checking PC and Email at 2:00am in the morning when I discovered the problem. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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I am a newbie and currently waiting for my LOR system to arrive.

But I did notice something about some LED lights I was working with last night plugged into a cross fader. I was fading between blue rope lights and blue LED lights on the ground around an animated seal. 4 of the 7 blue led strings plugged end to end and into one side of the fader faded on and off just fine, but the other 3 which were plugged end to end and piggybacked into the same side of the fader turned on and off abruptly. I played around with them and ended up reversing the plug direction on some of the strings and they all worked properly again.

You might just have a polarity problem with your LED strings. I'd suggest plugging in one string and reverse the plug until it fades correctly, then add a string to the end reversing the plug again if you have to. Then add your other strings the same way.

As I said I do not have any experince with the LOR yet, but it was only by chance that I fixed my LEDs into fading correctly. It just might be something simple you overlooked.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays.

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I had a LED wreath that was working fine, then today I added another LED wreath and when I added it, all of a sudden both wreath's started to blink during the fade down. I unplugged the new one and the original wreath started working fine again, so as previously mentioned I turned the new wreath plug around and then both started to work fine.

On the original wreath all of the LED's strings had the same polarity connected to the controller.

I am going to do further test but I think it has to do with the amount of current being drawn on each side of the cycle, and since we are talking LED's I think it has to do with an unbalanced load where we are drawing more current on one side VS. the other.

I am going to take some measurement's with my digital storage oscilloscope and a .01 ohm 4 terminal resistor and take some precise measurement's in the morning, but this all very interesting.

Bill

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I also had this same problem with my C7 replacements from Creative. I opted for Tom's firmware rollback solution. While it is better for me it is still not a smooth fade. With firmware version 2, I am getting some fading but not a full fade. The bulbs will fade partially then pop off.

I will just be patient with possibly a more solid fix in the near future.

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