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Leaky Channels on 16 channel delux kit (blue board)


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I built three 16 channel kits to control my mega tree. Three of the channels are what I call leaky. That is they are not stuck on at full intensity but are letting just enough current through to make the LEDs glow. I can still control the channel and it appears to work fine otherwise. It is annoying to have a few strands glowing on my mega tree. I have spare controllers that I can put out for this season but I would like a solution to this problem. Any ideas?

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More info. The channels glow when I am using the hardware utility. The channels glow when I am in the sequencer. The channels glow when the computer is totally off. I turned off the power to the controllers at the breaker and turned it back on - the strings are still glowing.

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John, I was experiencing the same thing. I was talking to Bill Foley about this just yesterday. Here is what you need to do. On the controller where this is happening:


  1. Unplug controller
  2. Turn the unit switches back to 0 (zero)
  3. Power up for 5 seconds - LED inside will blink rapidly 5 times or so in succession
  4. Unplug Controller
  5. Re-set unit switch to whatever controller number it was
  6. Plug back in.


It seemed to work, but I have not had a definitive chance to check, a few other fires around here to put out.

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THANKS! I'm having the same problem, except only one channel (a window right in the middle of the house!!) is "leaking" at about 50% and only on one musical sequence (??).

-The channel and controller settings for the file are correct, proven with the Hardware Utility by setting only that channel to "on".

-No other channel in that musical sequence is set to that channel by mistake.

-Also, the file sequence for that entire channel (row) has been "wiped" with the "Off" function 5 times, but no change.

Kind of weird, like its haunnnnnttteeedddddd :shock:. I'll try your fix now since nothing else works.

Most likely>> Is it possible the file itself is corrupted? How to fix that?

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A friend of mine came over to tell me he noticed the glowing strings. Without my saying a word he said "Your triacs are leaking".

He said a heavier incandescent load would help like a c-9. ?????? I thought LOR had been through this issue and it was no longer a concern.

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John, I am not sure, but tonight I noticed that my channels that I had problems with are still glowing also. Funny becuase that controller has a mix of incandescant and LED. albeit on different channels. One Controller is completely LED for my mega tree and I am not noticing that glowing.

Dan or John from LOR any comments?

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Don't know if this applies to your setups but I had something similar to this. All my channels were like stuck on at about 5% or so and a couple channels were a little brighter at like 10 or 15% or so. My power plug was a non-polarized 2 prong. This allowed me to have the neutral and hot lines backwards. Anyway, unplugging the power cord to the controllers and "flipping it over" fixed my issue. I have since "polarized" the plug myself with a pair of wire snippers. I am running 4 16 channel boards off of a single circuit (power cord) as the lights are led's and the power draw is minimal. I think my 5000 lights are only 2 or 3 amps total.

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Have you tried the firmware updates that are available on the LOR support page? I believe the firmware update that is there is supposed to fix some issues with LED lights. Personally, I don't have any LEDs but I updated my boards anyway.

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dkuntz wrote:

Don't know if this applies to your setups but I had something similar to this. All my channels were like stuck on at about 5% or so and a couple channels were a little brighter at like 10 or 15% or so. My power plug was a non-polarized 2 prong. This allowed me to have the neutral and hot lines backwards. Anyway, unplugging the power cord to the controllers and "flipping it over" fixed my issue. I have since "polarized" the plug myself with a pair of wire snippers. I am running 4 16 channel boards off of a single circuit (power cord) as the lights are led's and the power draw is minimal. I think my 5000 lights are only 2 or 3 amps total.

This is interesting, and on the circuits I can see, I will give this a shot, because the string of lights is plugged into an extension cord then the controller.
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John Paul wrote:

A friend of mine came over to tell me he noticed the glowing strings. Without my saying a word he said "Your triacs are leaking".

He said a heavier incandescent load would help like a c-9. ?????? I thought LOR had been through this issue and it was no longer a concern.


This changes made to support LEDs were not in this regard. We had problems with fades and that was corrected.

I am not sure what your leak is. If you like you can send he card to us and we will check it out.
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LightORama wrote:

John Paul wrote:
A friend of mine came over to tell me he noticed the glowing strings. Without my saying a word he said "Your triacs are leaking".

He said a heavier incandescent load would help like a c-9. ?????? I thought LOR had been through this issue and it was no longer a concern.


This changes made to support LEDs were not in this regard. We had problems with fades and that was corrected.

I am not sure what your leak is. If you like you can send he card to us and we will check it out.
This may not be the problem, but I found a few areas in my sequence that I had deleted , but there was still some very low fades I could not see on the sequencer. I selected all areas that were not lit and cleared them just to make sure. The random glows went away. Just Food for thought.
Mike
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First thing, I have D-Light boards so this may not apply, but my AC-8 boards have a user determined setting, stored in EEPROM, that can keep the "Off" level actually above "Off" (up to a 40% level) so that there is always some current keeping the bulbs warm. If LOR's have a similar capability, perhaps yours is inadvertantly set high enough to make the bulbs glow? (I'm saying bulbs even though you have LEDs, but it should be similar)

JonB

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Thanks Dan,

I may send the board in after Christmas but after considering that the controller is in the middle of my mega tree, weighing the effort to remove it and replace it, and considering everything else that needs to be done, I think we'll just have to live with a little "holiday glow".

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dkuntz wrote:

Don't know if this applies to your setups but I had something similar to this. All my channels were like stuck on at about 5% or so and a couple channels were a little brighter at like 10 or 15% or so. My power plug was a non-polarized 2 prong. This allowed me to have the neutral and hot lines backwards. Anyway, unplugging the power cord to the controllers and "flipping it over" fixed my issue. I have since "polarized" the plug myself with a pair of wire snippers. I am running 4 16 channel boards off of a single circuit (power cord) as the lights are led's and the power draw is minimal. I think my 5000 lights are only 2 or 3 amps total.


I will try this.

Thanks for all the replies.
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zman wrote:

John, I am not sure, but tonight I noticed that my channels that I had problems with are still glowing also. Funny becuase that controller has a mix of incandescant and LED. albeit on different channels. One Controller is completely LED for my mega tree and I am not noticing that glowing.

Dan or John from LOR any comments?




Are any of your controllers built from kits?
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dkuntz wrote:

I was actually talking about the power to the controllers but perhaps the cables to the lights could have an effect too.

This is intresting. I will check this out too.
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JonB256 wrote:

First thing, I have D-Light boards so this may not apply, but my AC-8 boards have a user determined setting, stored in EEPROM, that can keep the "Off" level actually above "Off" (up to a 40% level) so that there is always some current keeping the bulbs warm. If LOR's have a similar capability, perhaps yours is inadvertantly set high enough to make the bulbs glow? (I'm saying bulbs even though you have LEDs, but it should be similar)

JonB


I don't think LOR has the same feature (or if it does I'm not familiar with it). If someone knows of this feature and how to access it in LOR, I will check it out.

Thanks
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John Paul wrote:

A friend of mine came over to tell me he noticed the glowing strings. Without my saying a word he said "Your triacs are leaking".

He said a heavier incandescent load would help like a c-9. ?????? I thought LOR had been through this issue and it was no longer a concern.

John,
ALL triacs have a small amount of leakage..and it varies even among identical "good" ones.
I am not sure if you tried the additional load on the channels that you are having problems with but that MAY be a solution to your problem. (BTW a simple"Glade" Plug-In warmer is a weather resistant "no light" alternative for a small additional load) ;)
An there is NOT a way in firmware to solve that kind of problem...it is just a fact of the operation of a triac..."The nature of the beast"
LED lights are just such a small load that they are showing these things whereas the bigger loads of "regular" lights you never see them...

I hope this might help!
Terry
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John Paul wrote:


I don't think LOR has the same feature (or if it does I'm not familiar with it). If someone knows of this feature and how to access it in LOR, I will check it out.

Thanks

LOR controllers have MAX/MIN output settings. They can be adjusted in the Hardware Utility (Configure button on the bottom of the screen) You can send the controller a Update Configuration command with the intensity set to 0% and 100%....
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