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FADES


EARLE W. TALLEY
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EARLE W. TALLEY

I don't know if this is a hardware or software problem. It seem that when you use the HU and the console to ramp the lights up and down they come on 100% when you move the slider anywhere above 2, this means that on most of my lights I only have on or off-no fades at all. These lights were used last year without problems and some had subbers, but not not even those are working the way they should. all lights are LED and have replaced 1 controller already thinking that it is a hardware problem, but the replacement is a new one from the spring sale and has not been used untill now and it does the same thing. Going to check all cat 5 runs to make sure there is no problem with them close to the power cables. Will update sometime today on my findings. The only other option is to fall back to an older version of LOR and that would be 2.6.0 , the one used last year (if available).

Earle

P.S. unless this is a hardware problem with S3 using S2 controllers and need a firmware update. (no dimming curve)

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I have not tested fade from the hardware utility. But I know someone who has used S3 to do 10 second fades on all channels in a display of all gen2 hardware to look for any dimming issues. He had to add phantom load on a couple of channels. But absoutely no issues like you are describing.

Btw, I believe that the sequence editor and show player are completely unaware of dimming curves. That feature is done by the controller firmware, and thwt only the hardware utility advanced screen is aware of it.

Also, I know the download page has a long history of old versions available. I believe all of them since licensing went active. But try fading from a sequence, and a heavy phantom load like a string of mini lights or a C9 first.

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EARLE W. TALLEY

I just ran some tests on the controllers with cat5 cable from PC to controllers, cat5 no where near power cables, same results. Then ran another test on my problem controller with a c7 on channel 4, good results, fades were good, then same test with a snubber made with a 47K 1/2 Watt resistor the results were bad again. So it seems like we need more of a load than the snubber. What ever is equal to a c7 incan. light. This means I have to make 52 of these by tonight.

Earle

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Earle,
I'm glad to hear this from someone else. I've made tons of snubbers.. and have been very disappointed in the results. Looks like i'll be adding some c7's as well.

thanks,
Dave

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EARLE W. TALLEY

Another update the range of the fades up vary using the HU consol off to 3 with or without a snubber, 15 to 43 with a c7 on line, 5 to 42, 15 to 50 without anything online but the LEDs. Fade down 3 to 0 with or without a snubber, 43 to off no fade down, 42 fade dn to 4, 50 fade dn to 12, 50 fade dn to 6. Snubbers don't seen to work you need at least 1 c7 and maybe 2 online for a good fade. Also the range of dimming or fade is very short, I still don't know what the problem really is, the same controllers and the same lights all worked last year without any problems the only difference is the S3 programs. Now that I said that don't jump on me, because I went back and loaded 2.8.6 and had the same results. So now I am at a total loss. My show is running but not the way I would like it.

Earle

Earle

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have you updated the firmware in your controllers? I noticed a change in fades (mostly for the better) with the newest firmware in my gen2 controllers.

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EARLE W. TALLEY

No I haven't updated the firmware in the controllers, due to the one I had a problem with I reset a number of times and reloaded the firmware and reset again, then the HU could not find the controller, so I will not update unless I must. I replaced the controller with my spare.

Earle

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I think you are experiencing the same increase in standards that so many of us experience year over year.

The fades going faster though the middle range with LED as compared to incandescent is a characteristic of LED. The Gen3 firmware will have options to make them behave more like incandescent.

But flickering, and not fading at all are the typical things seen from inadequate phantom load.

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EARLE W. TALLEY

I agree that the possibility of an inadequate load may be the cause, but when 1 snubber or one c7 and in some cases 2 c7s is not enough of a load then you have to question what is going on. I don't think that I should have to go out and buy 52 strings of c7s incan. to put on my strings of LEDs is a the answer and it defeats the purpose of LEDs. I am just saying that there is a problem in the fades and I'am not the only one having this problem. The forums is full of people have flickering, channels staying on, channels not coming on, light not bright on some channels, etc, etc.
There has to be a something in common with the problems. I don't know the answer. These problems are on the old S2 and the new S3 controllers. I can understand some of the newbies having problems , but this is my 3rd year and I read the forums every day , so I know what and who is having problems. This is why we come here to help each other, but right now the things that worked in the past are not working now.

Earle

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You tried rolling back to the version you were using last year? You have not replaced all your controllers? So what else in your environment has changed? Are you being more critical, or has something like your power cabling, or supply wiring changed?

Did you add any strings, possibly including the Costco GE strings reported to have voltage doublers in them?

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Oh, and to add, since I just noticed the question, and I don't see any answers:

Based on the information I have at hand, the only portion of S3 that is any more aware of dimming curves than S2, is the configure/advanced configuration window of the hardware utility, that is used to select which curves to use on what channels, and download any custom curves.

So no, Gen3 vs Gen2, and S2 vs S3 should have zero to do with it.

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on the adding strings topic... i noticed that one string that doesn't like to fade, will make the whole channel behave much worse..

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EARLE W. TALLEY

As I remember I did make a wiring change, I went from double plug to single due to having all leds I don't need two input power cords.I have spent most of the day making and installing single c7 incan. on all channels(60) that are acting funny. Right now I have most things under control, there are 2-3 things that need to be looked at in the AM.
I did think about going back to 2.6.0 but last night I could not find it, if more things come up I now know where to find it now if needed.
Yes, I did also add some new strings of GE multi for a sprial tree and it has no problems at all, it works perfect, fades up and down , but still with a range of 12 to 50 on the HU console. Will let you know if I find anything else.

Earle

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Earle

I fixed my problem by removing my fades. I have full wave LEDs and nothing else worked. I am using LSP 2.0 for software as I believe one day I will do some DIY controllers. I changed controllers, moved comm lines, added snubbers, tried a night light all were futile attempts to stop the flicker. Only removing fades worked.

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We just went through our sequence previews for going live tomorrow. We had seen where our full wave, 5 each , 100 count strings, per each of 4 color mini trees would flicker when on a channel by themselves. We put 33k Ohm, 1 W, flameproof resistors on each of those channels, and everything ran clean for us tonight.

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EARLE W. TALLEY

Are you recommending 33k Ohm,1 W flameproof resistors in place of the 47K that we used in the previous snubbers that we made last year?? What would that be equal to in terms of the number of c7 incan. light bulbs??

Earle

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The difference between 47K and 33K is not much. Either one is roughly 1/10th of a C7. I will always recommend the flame proof metal film resistors for the purpose. I was actually surprised how small the 1W versions are. I believe the 33K works out to about 1/2 watt dissipated, while 47K is about 1/3 watt dissipated. A typical C7 is closer to 5 watts.

I'm still not sure why your display is needing so much phantom load, and not performing so well, and was just illustrating how ours appears to be performing for comparison.

Thinking of other things that may impact performance, are you using grounded cords? Those can significantly increase the capacitance on the channel, making the problem worse.

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I just recieved 39K 1W resistors from Mouser.com Installed them yesterday and working for me. The problem I ran into with C7's, is I had electrical tape over them to block the light, but if you have them on too long they start to smoke.

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EARLE W. TALLEY

All of my power cords from the source to the controller is three prong cords, from the controller to the lights is either spt1 or spt2.
Leaving a channel on to long with taped up c7 could cause it to smoke, that is why most snubbers are made with resistors. I have 1 or 2 channels that will only work with 2 or more c7s. This is my plan: my last day of the show will be on the 3 or 4 of Jan. the 5 and 6 I am going to backup to 2.6.0 (last years program) and run the same tests that showed the problem, then load each program after that to see where the problem started, if I find that the problem existed in 2.6.0 and I did not notice it, I will report my findings either way. I think that since I was the one of many to bring this problem to light, that would be the least I could for LOR.

Earle

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The inlet cords shouldn't be contributing.

The fact that there is an amount of phantom load that does clear, or alter the behavior strongly points to an electrical or electronic issue, not software. At this point, the biggest reason for trying the older software is just for your peace of mind to know that it is not a software side issue.

I keep thinking that if I ever see any blacklight C7, I should point them out to people as a mostly blacked out bulb. One could probably set them behind something, and not worry about what residual light they cast elsewhere.

Is there somewhere you could run a couple of cords to, and plug in some C7 load that would not be visible to the show?

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EARLE W. TALLEY

I can't say weather it is a software or hardware problem, but I did this type of testing on both for 30 years while working for DOD and have seen cases where hardware would react completely different when a small software change was made, and vice versa. As you have said " You know someone that did a 10 second fade test and only had to add a load to a couple of channels" I don't consider this one test to be a true test under the conditions that we put the controllers and lights though. we use so many different brands and sizes that tests can only be run under actual conditions, this is why I will run my test in Jan before I take the system down. I am not only doing it for my piece of mind , but as I said I will let you and all on the forums know what I found and if I am wrong I will say that too.
Now , are you saying to take one controller and put a set of c7s on one channel to see how the channel will react or how the whole controller will react? I can do either one with no problem, I have done it with one channel and that worked fine, did not check the whole controller.

Earle

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This is my first year and I'm having the same problem as Earle. I've posted my issues in this thread:


http://forums.lightorama.com/view_topic.php?id=30937&forum_id=80&jump_to=290706

but it seems better placed here.

Also, I should mention that looked at a video last week before I upgraded my software and the fades look fine. Could I possibly need to do a firmware upgrade as well?

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Have you guys been experiencing this with all led or does it depend on the brand? I was looking at switching over to LED next year and getting into using LOR for the first time. But all this talk of issues with LEDs i'm starting to rethink the idea of Led lights. The led I was looking at was 100 LED LIGHT SET M6 STYLE from creative displays http://www.creativedisplays.com/product/632/100-LED-LIGHT-SET-M6-STYLE-PURE-WHITE/ few of my channels might only have 100 lights on them (1 strand)and wondering if the "load" issue you have been talking about will cause these not to fade correctly. Thanks for your input.

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EARLE W. TALLEY

The LEDs from CDI are great lights and will fade without any problems, but it's not only LEDs that people are having the issue, it's both incan. and LEDs and not a certain brand. I have GE that works, some from MITS that work and some that don't, some old Home Depot that work if you use a c7 incan. on them, I did not need it last year. Some half wave that work and some that don't. This is not on only one controller it is across 4-5 of my 9 that I have. When you see posts where one or two channels are staying on or acting weird and others that are having fading problems on both new and old controllers I think it may be more than someone saying "put a phantom load on it and it will work" that does fix some but others it don't.
We out here have a PROBLEM.

Earle

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EARLE W. TALLEY

I just came up with an important question. What should be the min. distance between controllers? I have mine mounted back to back with u-bolts on a steel post, will this cause the kind of interference that would effect the lights?

Earle

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