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I have 1 channel acting strange it wont go totally off when it is an OFF command instead it dims to about 40-50% and stays on at that brightness... however it the command is to dim then most of the time (not always) it will dim off totally and stay off totally until the next command is sent to the channel also the last about 30 seconds of song 4 and song 5 the channel works perfectly even if it is an off command also I have a voice over that plays between every song (telling people to dim head lights) and the channel stays at about 50% on every voice over except between song 4-5 where it works perfect?????. We have had no rain/snow in several days and the channel was working perfectly all last night????

TOTALLY confused

Mike

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Could heat be causing this problem???? I pulled the cover on the box that houses the controller (18x18x6 pvc enclosure 1 controller per box) and within about a minute the channel started working fine???? I took a temp reading on the screw head of the triac and it was 81 degrees, outside air temp is about 71 degrees the rest of the channels are at about 74 degrees at the screw head?? The heat sinks are the 40 amp sinks and the screw is tight and plenty of white grease????

Still confused
Mike

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How does the channel react using the Hardware Utility?
Does it go on & off as it should?
Can you dim the channel properly with the Hardware Utility?

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The show is still running untill 10:00 central. Once I removed the cover to the box it has been working fine???? I dont know if I just got lucky by removing the cover or what. I run the MP3 director so I will have to wait untilll the show ends then roll out a cat5 and test using the HU. The biggest problem is that it is playing nicely now and all I really did was remove the cover to the enclosure???? I have noticed that when all of the lights on this controller come on at 100% there is a very slight shimmer in all of the channels on that controller? not sure if this is some kind of sign or just what. I will try testing the HU after 10

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I stopped the show a few minutes early since traffic was light tonight and tested the controller using the HU and everything worked perfectly I faded both short fade and long fade on off twinkle shimmer even used the chase. The only thing I noticed was that when the entire controller was on I noticed a very slight shimmer on all channels there is 13 amps on that half of the board when fully loaded (they are 40 amp boards) and the channel in question has 3 amps on it. I did take temps before I shut down and on the channel in question at the screw of the triac it was 74 degrees outside air temp was 65. The only thing I did all night was remove the cover so I drilled two 3/8" holes in the bottom of the box to see if this will help with letting air in. I dont know what the max operating temp is of the boards but I would think that 74 degrees (81 degrees when I removed the cover the first time) would not be all that hot??

Thanks

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m gardner wrote:

... The only thing I noticed was that when the entire controller was on I noticed a very slight shimmer on all channels there is 13 amps on that half of the board when fully loaded (they are 40 amp boards) and the channel in question has 3 amps on it.

I remember a while back someone had an issue with shimmering lights or they wouldn't come on to 100% when ALL the channels were on. I think it had to do with an older controller (green board?) and a voltage regulator that couldn't supply the opto-isolators with the proper voltage. I searched the forums but couldn't find the post possibly due to my search terms. Maybe someone here can remember or find that post.
When all the channels are on, can you measure the input voltage to the controller to be sure it's still around 115 to 120 volts.
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I'd try retightening all your connections, too. Especially the AC inputs (hot and neutral). If they are loose (high resistance) it could cause that full power shimmer. I'm not sure how you are checking your Traic temps (I'll assume an Infrared thermo), but you might put your board on "All On" and scan every Triac and connection for hot spots.

Your evening air temps in Farmer's Branch were unseasonably warm, as it was here in Granbury, TX. Cooler air is coming, though with a chance of rain. :(

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I remember a while back someone had an issue with shimmering lights or they wouldn't come on to 100% when ALL the channels were on. I think it had to do with an older controller (green board?) and a voltage regulator that couldn't supply the opto-isolators with the proper voltage. I searched the forums but couldn't find the post possibly due to my search terms. Maybe someone here can remember or find that post.
When all the channels are on, can you measure the input voltage to the controller to be sure it's still around 115 to 120 volts.

Does this also apply to twinkle too?
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I did not notice a shimmer on twinke maybe because the shimmer I am seeing is very slight and I only notice it when the lights are on for a few+ seconds.

I did not take any voltage readings any where on the board. I did check to see if the triacs were loose (that was the first thing I did when I noticed the heat problem) and they all seemed tight with plenty of white grease on each on of them.

The thermometer I was using is a touch probe ( http://www.longacreracing.com/catalog/item.asp?id=188&catid=7 ) I do have an infared thermometer I might try tonight to scan. when I took my temps at the end of the night I set all lights on in the HU for about 2 minutes I figured that would create more heat that any part of my display.

I did reset my boards at the end of the night just for good measures but I dont know if this did any good or not because the problem had gone away by the end of the night. It seems that as soon as I removed the cover the problem went away this is the reason I keep thinking about heat.

Yes the temp is a little unusually warm but the temps are dropping as we speak 50 degrees outside and is supposed to get colder tonight which might help but if it rains to much I will pull the plug I have to many connections laying in the grass.

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jpcrew109 wrote:

Does this also apply to twinkle too?

Sorry... I don't remember the full extent of the issue with the voltage regulators.
If I find the post I'll reply back here.
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Not exactly sure what is going on... We test the units at 180 degrees and the triacs are rated over 200 degrees.

I am not surewhat the shimmering is that you are seeing. As far as the voltage regulator issue... This is not related.

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I dont think that heat is a factor tonight outside air 55 triac temp 64.

Tonight the same channel is acting up again however it is being moody about it. Sometimes it goes on and off for a while just fine then it wont dim below about 50% for a while then it will fade off totally but at a different rate then the other channels when they are all set to fade together. The thing that is most confusing to me is one time a certain song will work fine but the next time the same song may or may not act up. I think that channel has a mind of its own tonight.

Since I am using the MP3 director I am thinking about reloading the show (wondering if something has corrupted on the SD card) but I cant get traffic to stop long enough to do that. I have had no less that 5 cars at any time tonight.

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well sounds like they still like the show even with the channel being wacko....

Though I know if I were you having some little bug would drive me crazy....

good luck on fixing it... I know nothing about lor mp3 director so im just talking about nothing....

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doublea wrote:

well sounds like they still like the show even with the channel being wacko....

Though I know if I were you having some little bug would drive me crazy....

good luck on fixing it... I know nothing about lor mp3 director so im just talking about nothing....


Everyone still likes it and actually very few people even really notice it but you are right it bugs the MESS out of me.

I reloaded the SD card and that did nothing..... I did notice that when I pulled the card that all of the channels went out except the one in question it stayed at 50% so after that I decided to reset the board again (turning pwer off setting to 00 power up for 30 seconds power down reset to 01) and while I had the board set at 00 the channel was on at 50% then when I reset the board to 01 powered back up the channel was working fine for the first song then it went to acting up again?????????

Don suggested I move it over to a spare channel (I have 1 spare channel) but if I do that I will be pulling 17 amps on that controller half.... I thought this might be a little much even though the controller is a 40 amp but I left the 15 amp fuses in that controller.

TOTALLY confused.
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I am 99% sure that the problem is hardware. I changed the address on board (A) 01 to 02 and board (B)02 to 01 and the problem stayed on the same board/channel (A) so if my thinking is correct the problem has to be hardware since the problem didnt move to the new board/address(B)???? Correct????

the problem that confuses me even more is that I ran a full sequence of songs (6 songs) with the addresss changed and the last part of song 4 it worked perfect and the last part of song 5 it worked perfect and the voice over between song 4-5 it worked perfect..... WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This makes no sense to me???????? if this problem is hardware how could it work perfect during the same parts of the same song every time even when I change the address???????????????????

Dan can you lend a possible explanation????

EVEN MORE CONFUSED

Mike

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I am 99% sure that the problem is hardware. I changed the address on board (A) 01 to 02 and board (B)02 to 01 and the problem stayed on the same board/channel (A) so if my thinking is correct the problem has to be hardware since the problem didnt move to the new board/address(B)???? Correct????

Let me make sure I have the right idea as to what you did: You did not change the sequences at all. You simply changed the controller Unit IDs and powered them down and up. You ran exactly the same sequences as before and the result was that the physical circuit that behaved badly still behaves badly. In this case the hardware is broken and will need to be repaired. If you changed the sequences, then the possibility of a software problem exists.

the problem that confuses me even more is that I ran a full sequence of songs (6 songs) with the address changed and the last part of song 4 it worked perfect and the last part of song 5 it worked perfect and the voice over between song 4-5 it worked perfect..... WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This makes no sense to me???????? if this problem is hardware how could it work perfect during the same parts of the same song every time even when I change the address???????????????????

Let's assume that my assumptions above were correct. If so, then the hardware is flaky and needs to be repaired. You stated earlier that opening the case seemed to make it work. It's flaky, the temperatures are too low to be relevant, I would stop wasting time playing with it and let us repair it after Christmas.
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