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A question to ponder (Problem)


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I hate to bother all at this critical time of year yet have a question on a problem I am experiencing.

I have a sequenced song that I send the beat to my icicle lights on the house. On off on off on off etc, to go to the beat of the music. Sometimes they decide not to come on. I have the lights spread out between 4 channels and three different controllers. It was happening mostly to my #4 controller which was on a ELL. Since I put all controllers in the garage I thought it may be communications(not keeping up with the speed of the beats). I changed out the ELL to Cat5 and went into change the channels to different ones thinking that maybe the channels on unit 4 were too flakey to handle the on off "beat" Although I copied the channel to another channel I did not change them yet to see if maybe the comms was the problem. When I started the show they seemed to work fine for a while. But now I am having trouble with unit #3. One of my channels that is being used to operate the icicle lights and that are to go on and off with the beat is acting up. About half way through the song it starts skipping beats and does not turn on with the rest of the house lights. Has anyone have this happen and maybe have a solution or troubleshooting ideas.

Thanks in advance. Hoping your having a Merry Christmas.

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Does the issue of the lights not responding occur at the same point in the song all the time?

Might be worthy of checking your sequence to see if maybe that channel did not get programmed as the other channels of icicle lights. Also, it is possible that you have 2 channels in the sequence programmed to control the same channel in the controller and there is a conflict.

Chuck

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Sometimes it seems that it happens at the same time. I have them programmed to come on and off to the beat of the song throughout the duration of the sequence. I have checked the programming and they are the same on the channels that control the icicle lights. What I did because the channels were going to do the same thing I just programmed one channel and cut and paste to the other channels. I will check the channel assignments after the show goes off tonight to see if I have two channels assigned the same.

It happens everytime on this song and happens when the lights are turned on and off over a period of time. (Like they get tired of turning on and off when told to !)

It has happened on another song yet no way as much as this one. The channels seemd to work well when I started up the show last week. This I believe has developed just this week. I am going to try and tighten down the wires to the channels. Maybe one and off has created heat and expanded the connections and made them loose. Any more ideals, please let me know. Will keep everyone posted as to the solution as well as the cause when discovered.

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I checked for duplicate channels and for conflicts and could not find any. I unplugged the lights from this channel and connected another strand to the output of the controller channel.(3:9). The problem duplicated with the other lights so I went in and changed to the next channel on that controller(3:10). The problem presists on that channel also. I went and programmed another channel on a different controller (4:9) and plugged the lights into this channel. They worked just fine. I then changed all my sequences that used the old channel to start using the new channel and everything seems to be fine except for those two channels (3:9 and 3:10).

Maybe Dan or John may think of something going on here that would fix this. If anyone else has an idea please let me know. I would like to be able to trust and use these channels.

It seems to happen on one song when the lights are programmed to turn on and off rapidly throughout the duration of the song. (1/10 on, 1/10 off). During slow on and offs or other effects they seem to be fine. Also it seems it may be at the same time in the song.

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Hi,

Not exactly sure why it would start working then switch to not working.... It could be. It seems the problem follows along to different physical devices so it would not seem to be hardware related. What is the load on those channels?

Also you say it seems to work for a while. Does it every make it through the same sequence all the way without a problem and then on the next time through on the same sequence have a problem?

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When I first started running my show I did not notice a problem. Of course I did not stay outside for every round until I was notified that some of my lights were not lighting. I have 5 controllers. Three on one side of the garage and two on the other. My PC is linked to the first bank of controllers(3 on one side) via a ELL and then there is a ELL that links the other two on the other side. (controllers 4 and 5). Originally what was happening is that the 4th and 5th controller was not working with the sequences right. In fact there were times the lights would not come on at all. I thought that the ELL was to blame like communications were not getting to those controllers at times. I streched a cat5 cable across the garage and connected the suspect controllers to the first set of three. I opened my sequences and checked my programs to see if anything had changed. All was well. I put show back on. That was when I noticed on controller 3 that one of the channels was not working well with one of my sequences.(Little Drummer Boy Sequence). The others were doing fine but this channel that was connected to three sets of icicle lights on the house was not comming on sometimes when the program was telling it to turn on. The channel seemed to do this everytime when this song came on. It also seemed that it did it in the same spot making me think that if I go in and re-copy that channel in case there were some "hidden" instruction that that would take care of the problem. The lights continued to not function correctely. The next channel down (3:10) was programmed the same as the quectionable channel but was not being used. I disconnected the lights on the problem channel and plugged a strand into both channels in the garage. I also went into the sequence and copied the sequence of that channel to another controller(Controller 4 channel4:9), streched a extension cord over to the other controllers and plugged a strand of lights into that channel.(4:9). I went through the sequence three times. Channels 3:9 and 3:10 were not following the sequence as programmed. The other channel 4:9 was good so as a work around I plugged the house lights into that extension cord and we were back. The only problem is that I don't know what happened to the other two channels. I may go back in there and cut those two channels out and copy their sequence back in and see if that takes care of the problem. Any help or ideas would be appreciated.

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