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Shimmer Effect causes inside House lights to shimmer


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So as the title indicates, I am wondering if anyone else notices that when you are using the shimmer effect in a Light-O-Rama that your inside house lights shimmer as well?

I've got a brand new 200 AMP service in my home and I just installed 3 dedicated 20-AMP breakers for each of my light controllers. I am only using two circuits this year because I only have two 16 channel controllers. Each controller has a 12-ga stranded feeder circuit running to the controller and connected to the dedicated 20 amp breaker. In-between is an inline GFI (ground fault interrupter), which I've by-passed and notice no difference in behavior.

BTY: FEEDBACK to LIGHT-O-RAMA: I wish that the incoming terminals on the light controllers where bigger to accept 12-ga stranded, I could barely get 12 ga stranded in the screw terminals.....to service the controllers.

Each of the breakers are balanced on the phase bus, one breaker on phase 1, the other breaker on phase 2, the third breaker is a spare and not connected this year.

The amperage draw peaks at 18.3 AMPs for one of the controllers and normally see around 8-12amps. The other controller peaks at 11 AMPs. total system draw at FLA (full load amps) is 29.3 AMPS. I used an O-Scope to measure the peak on a graph. It's close to the 20 amp rating for the one controller but no breakers have tripped and the 20 amp fast blow fuses in the controller have not blown yet everything from an AMPERAGE stand point looks great. I am not worried. I also have manually calculated the load of each channel and I am not overloading the controller by no means.

I do believe though that there is some noise being generated back onto the AC input side of these controllers. I wondered if anyone else notices these shimmering lights inside your home?

I am wondering if I should go buy and inline AC filter:

Something like this: of course rated at 40 amps to be safe.
http://www.sphere.bc.ca/test/acfilters.html

Has anyone experienced this? Or found a solution to isolate the noise coming back into your main panel from the controllers?

PS: This is my first year with light-o-rama, and wondered if this normal or not.

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I experienced roughly the same problem only it wasn't my house lights that shimmered but yet another part of my display. I worked with Dan and the crew at LOR and we determined that it wasn't a box problem, yet a problem/issue/occurance with my electricity. (No doubt I would have gone crazy had I not talked with Dan about it. His help was quick and informative. Excellent CS.) I ended up just re-arranging some of my channels and the problem went away.

Back to your reference to the house, during my conversations with Dan, he did comment that the lights inside his house flicker at times during a show so it is not unheard of.

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not only do my lights flicker inside the house, but my neighbors lights flicker too.

our power company provides each house with 100 amps or whatever amp panel you have. this is only rated at a surge 100 amps, when they plan how much electricity the nieghborhood needs they figure that most houses will not use all of there available amperage, but when you have a display like mine that pulls 96 amps, and also being at least 6 houses away from a transformer in each direction. thats what an electrician explained to me. please correct me if i am wrong



side note, it is not only on shimmer when the lights flicker, it is at anytime there is a significant pull of amperage

bob

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I also have experienced this non-illusion. After many hours of programming, reprogramming, rewiring, and finally a call to the local utility, I discovered that the problem comes from the power company and not LOR.



Much as the lights may dim or flicker when the AC unit turns on, the same is happening to your home. The ultimate cure is to get a separate service run exclusively for your lights. The power company would be happy to charge you an arm and a leg for this service.



I have accepted that the lights will flicker. I have compensated by balancing my electric demands and load throughout the house (ie: no dishwashing, laundry, or other large consuming items to be run during display hours other than the heat blower).

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Dale W wrote:

I have compensated by balancing my electric demands and load throughout the house (ie: no dishwashing, laundry, or other large consuming items to be run during display hours other than the heat blower).

Yep, I had to forbid the wife from doing all those same things aftr 5-ish. She was crushed. :D
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Ok so it sounds like it's a "normal" effect then. Maybe it's not worth spending another $200 for an in-line AC filter.

My neighbor told me today his lights are shimmering too. Our houses are on the same transformer on the pole. He is ok with it though, thinks it's funny. I don't think it's funny but oh well. :laughing:

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I had mine shimmering...and dimming and all kinds of stuff. See, I had...

3 computers and monitors
7 ceiling can lights
2 routers
2 sets of speakers for my display
1 printer and


My display pulling 13.2 Amps...all on a 15 AMP circuit!!

So, It was really blinking. An hour ago, I switched it all off and connected my display to our Garage's 20 AMP circuit...and everything works like a charm! No flickering what so ever.

My parents aren't going to put in new dedicated circuits to my display, so I'm figuring for next year what I can to maximixe power...connect to unused circuits in my house...like our family room downstairs with no power devices except 6 ceiling light bulbs...I'm going to use the 14.5 Amp's left on that circuit! Ok, so I'll probaly end up using like 12 Amps from that circuit, but w/e.

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Yea , the wire size in your house and from the pole must be thick enough to load the amps. Some older homes have just old skinny wires, even new homes sometimes depending on how it was designed. Its always best just to Install dedicated breakers for the controllers and use at least 12 guage wire to connect it. Or just tap it on another breaker that isnt being used at the moment so you dont have to go thru your house wiring.

Mike

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Sequence Dr. wrote:

Yea , the wire size in your house and from the pole must be thick enough to load the amps. Some older homes have just old skinny wires, even new homes sometimes depending on how it was designed. Its always best just to Install dedicated breakers for the controllers and use at least 12 guage wire to connect it. Or just tap it on another breaker that isnt being used at the moment so you dont have to go thru your house wiring. It Helps with lowering the unwanted shimmer for those who are having this problem.

Mike
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Dam , 130 some odd ch, Must of overlooked that part. I guess my answer is to the guys using less than 100 amps.


On that one I would go to a equiptment rental yard and rent a generator, Like Sunstate Equip. Ato Z rentals . I have rented one before for a small concert at a park. It was a 200 amp tow behind generator. It was around $100 bucks a day to rent. Look around you find one . Good Luck!



Mike

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I have about 23,000 or so lights in the animated part of my display. There are places in some of the seqnuences where everything comes on (ex. toward the end of TSO's Christmas Eve Sarajevo). When that happens, the lights in my house dim a bit. It seems to be isolated to the incandescent lights, becuase I don't notice it on any of the compact flouresents. I have also been out watching the merer stop and go. During the parts where everything switches on and off, I can hear some humming in the cut-off switch next to the meter.

I have not heard of any of the neighbor's being affected.

Total amperage for my display is about 140. I could probably balance it better. Thinking about calling the power company to see if they can tell me what max draw has been during show hours. I don't want to exceed the 80% mark of service.....



Chris

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chakorules wrote:

John Paul,

How in the WORLD do you powerup 176 channels? You gotta a dedicated service to your house? A desiel generator?

I never have all 176 on at any one time. I use 4 16 channel controllers on my mega tree alone and I run 3 C9 strings (all different colors) outlining my house, yard and windows. Just lighting up one of the color schemes maxes out some of my controllers and circuts mostly because of the power required for the C9s.
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I have the same problem. I replaced my service to a 200 amp 3 years ago but the electric company said their wiring was adequate. I have 2/0 wire from the weatherhead to the panel (to Code)and DTE has only 6awg run to the pole ( Not to Code). If I have all my lights on 48A my hot tub 40A and Air compressor kicks on 27 A. That should overload the 6guage but it dosen't happen just the voltage drops to about 95 VAC. I keep hoping to blow the wire off the pole but it just hasn't happened yet.

Your not alone

Gary Slater


Attached files 96479=5829-housesmall.jpg

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Toymakr000 wrote:

I have the same problem. I replaced my service to a 200 amp 3 years ago but the electric company said their wiring was adequate. I have 2/0 wire from the weatherhead to the panel (to Code)and DTE has only 6awg run to the pole ( Not to Code). If I have all my lights on 48A my hot tub 40A and Air compressor kicks on 27 A. That should overload the 6guage but it dosen't happen just the voltage drops to about 95 VAC. I keep hoping to blow the wire off the pole but it just hasn't happened yet.

Your not alone

Gary Slater


2/0 isnt code for 200amps, 3/0 copper or 4/0 aluminium is. And 6awg is acceptable for open air cable. Cables in free air can have large amounts of current drawn on them since they arent trapped in a conduit or near combustible materials. If the voltage is dropping to 95 volts, thats a big problem. Its not from the wiresize, it would be from bad connections, or a bad transformer.
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