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CTB-08 Fire


lkcubsrule
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I was all excited this evening to begin display testing. I have the mega tree up, and I plugged it in, and began testing from indoors. My family outside came running in screaming "The controller is shooting fireworks and sparking!" I ran outside to see what appeared to be sparks shooting up from the board (it's in a clear plastic container). I ripped the power from out of it and inspected it (while wafting smoke away)...only to find this. Not a happy user right now :)

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Here are larger versions of the pictures, if you're interested.

Image 1
Image 2

After some examination, it appears that the two mains (far left side) touched and caused the fire. I don't know how, as they were pushed in similar to the other ones. Looks like a call to LOR is on the way.

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Too much burnt stuff around the area, but have seen something like this in the past. I have made many connections over the years as an electrician. And have had this happen to me. I think once one of the small wires that make the whole cable decide to bend and stick out while the wire was put in the terminal. That single wire managed to touch the other wire or terminal. I got lazy and had over stripped the the wires so there was some bare wire outside of the terminal and they managed to touch. Not sure how much damage to the terminal strip. I would pull the wires out and see if you can clean the carbon off of the terminal strip. Might be able to clean it up and trim the wires back and re terminate and fire up the show for the year.

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pixeldigger wrote:

It is well worth the money to get a ferrule pin crimper.
Once you put the pin on, the wires easily go in the ports and you don't have "hairs" causing fires!

Depends on the outside diameter of the ferrule. I just solder all my wires before installing them in the boards, output and line in wires. Look at them after soldering to verify no strays, and you'll be fine.
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olmsb4d2 wrote:

How much current is going thru the controller. Insulation on some of the other wires is showing signs of over heating as well.
Possible good call. I see what you might be talking about on Circuit 3 and 5. Both of those circuits the black wire looks like the first 1/4" is bubbling. The feed wire is only what 18 ga.? Which is only rated for about what 7 amps. Which is just fine for LEDs, but I would go with possible 16ga or 14 ga. 14ga is rated at 15A
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One more idea. How long since that connection had been tightened? Sometimes a loose connection will start arcing, and generating a lot of heat, with results looking much like this.

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That looks like one of our older CTB08 cards wired in the box by the customer. My guess is that the connection was perhaps a little loose where the hot wire went in. This causes heating which can in turn cause what we see here.

Not to say that was the cause in this case but is something to look out for.

Regardless of the age of the card it would be covered by the LOR lifetime 60% warranty. This allow you to get a new card for 60% of the current cost.

Dan

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Tin the ends of the bare wires with solder and make sure the screw terminals are tight.. You need to also re-check the terminals from time to time as heating and cooling will tend to loosen the terminals.. Caution though not to strip the screws.



Bernie

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