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Bizzare LOR issues


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I started typing this in an email for Dan, but thought perhaps I should bounce this off the LOR community for some feedback.

I appear to be having two issues that are troubling me. I'll explain my setup to start.

I have five mini trees with four channels of red, green, blue and white mini's on each for a total of 20 channels. (Although right now the white channels are all tied together for a total of 16 channels.) There are 850 mini's on each tree - if I remember correctly it was 200 of each colour except for the blue which was 250.

Issue #1. I currently have this whole setup plugged into one 15 Amp outlet that as it turns out is on a GFCI breaker. (2 CTB-08s are running all this) As the trees progress through an animation I built last year there is one point (at least one point) where thr breaker trips. The point that I have identified as a problem is when all 5 trees are full red and green is starting to fade in on all 5 trees. When i first was plugging the trees in a I had all five trees running full red, green and blue so I am quite confident I am not overloading the breaker. If it a GFCI trip that is occuring, then I am puzzled because in other parts of the animated sequence it successfully brings up every channel - I've even tried it with another completely different sequence and all channels are working.

Which leads me to issue #2. In an attempt to try a different sequence I ran into more trouble. The GFCI isn't tripping but the trees are not behaving as programmed. Here's my board setup.

Unit 02
1 Red Tree 1
2 Red Tree 2
3 Red Tree 3
4 Red Tree 4
5 Red Tree 5
6 Green Tree 1
7 Green Tree 2
8 Green Tree 3

Unit 01
1 Green Tree 4
2 Green Tree 5
3 Blue Tree 1
4 Blue Tree 2
5 Blue Tree 3
6 Blue Tree 4
7 Blue Tree 5
8 White Trees 1-5

Unit 02 is the first board connected to the computer and Unit 01 is conncected to unit 02. I am using cat5 and cat6 cabling. (Cat 6 was obtained for free from a cable company that works next to our company.)

I am running basic reverse chases one color at a time. The red and blue chases work just fine, but the green one is acting oddly. Green Trees 4 and 5 seem to be ok, but Green Trees 1,2 and 3 are not turning on and off as they should. It seems fairly random as to what they are doing - but then again maybe it isn't I have 3 different sequences running - one for each color. The only time the Green Trees 1,2,3 are missbehaving is when their particular sequence is running in the show. I have checked the sequence and it appears ok. I file copied the red sequence, changed it's file name to green and reassigned the channels in the green sequence. It should be very straight forward.

I just realised that the jumper on Unit 02 is probable closing the circuit as I had it running standalone for a little while last week. Could this cause any of these challenges? Both boxes are powered from the same outlet/breaker. Should I run another extension cord to power the boxes from seperate breakers?

After all the work to get things setup I would really like o get this all running properly by tomorrow night. I have other things to be worrying about this close to Christmas.

Any thoughts?

Greg

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Greg,

With the breaker... depending on the type of mini-lights you are very close to 15 amps. You may want to spread this across two circuits as you mentioned.

For the issue with the sequence:

First if a unit potentially has a standalone sequence in it then (with the CTB08V4) remove the jumper to make sure the sequence is not running.

You say you have three different sequences running. If they are running simultaneously then you have to make sure that there are no channels shared between the sequences. Also if you like you can send me the sequences and I will take a look at them.... Also let me know how you have your show set up or better yet send me the show file so I can also look at that.

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LightORama wrote:

Greg,

With the breaker... depending on the type of mini-lights you are very close to 15 amps. You may want to spread this across two circuits as you mentioned.

When the breaker is going it should only be drawing about 8 Amps, but I will try spreading it out.

For the issue with the sequence:

First if a unit potentially has a standalone sequence in it then (with the CTB08V4) remove the jumper to make sure the sequence is not running.

I had cleared the sequence from its memory, but I will try that as well. I am at work for the day so I won't be able to do any testing until tonight.

You say you have three different sequences running. If they are running simultaneously then you have to make sure that there are no channels shared between the sequences. Also if you like you can send me the sequences and I will take a look at them.... Also let me know how you have your show set up or better yet send me the show file so I can also look at that.

The sequences are sequential rather than concurrent. I don't have internet on my show computer so I will have to try and figure out a way to get my files onto a different system. I should be able to send you the files tonight.




Thanks Dan!
Greg
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On the GFCI issue: GFCI's trip at a certain threshold of current leakage. It's possible that you have a few very small ground faults-- not enough to trip the GFCI by themselves, but when combined, they add up to enough to trip the breaker.

Just a thought...

-Tim

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