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2 controllers each can't fade on a single channel anymore


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Not sure what's going on, but I didn't see aything similar described in another topic, so here goes: Two of my controllers stopped fading on a single channel (well, actually one of them can't fade on two adjacent channels). When fading down or up, instead of decreasing (or increasing) in intensity, the channel blinks randomly until its reached either 0% or 100%. All the other channels still fade up/down normally. Both controllers are Showtime 1602Ws bought this summer, each running the 4.01 firmware. I have a third controller identical to these two, also with an upgraded firmware, which is not having any problems. I'm running a 99% LED display, which until sometime last week worked great using LOR software version 1.6.1. The channels have 7, 13, and 20 strings attached to them, respectively. My entire display of 10,000 lights only draws 4 amps, so I know I'm not overloading any single channel.

At first I thought only one controller was having an issue, and since it was on one channel only, I assumed it was a hardware failure of some sort. But now that I'm seeing it on two controllers (and three channels), I'm not sure what it could be. Anyone have an idea?

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Hello.

I have the same exact problem. I have a controller running 100% LEDs that has several channels that fail to fade up or down correctly. It blinks some and then suddenly goes to 0 or 100% intensity depending on if you're fading down or up. I did some extensive testing and Dan from LOR even sent a replacement board about 2 weeks ago. The new board actually worked fine for a few days then the same problem again.

It is very very strange. I am still testing trying to isolate the problem with Dan. For now the solution is adding a resistive load to the affected channels. I have those plug-in candles with a single bulb tied into each problem channel and the fading problem disappears.

What brand LEDs do you have? What happens when you move a problem LED string to a "good channel" on a different controller? Does it have the fading problem or not? Let me know.

Regards,

Roy

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DrNiceGuy wrote:

...For now the solution is adding a resistive load to the affected channels.

Click HERE to see how the Crazy-Light-Lady builds terminators for her LED strings.
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No problem.

Remember - She said she used a 1-Watt 39,000 Ohm resistor.

If my calculations are correct, you should probably be using no less than a half-watt resistor so the 1-Watt resistor is safe.

My calculations for the 39k Ohm resistor show approximately .3692 watts at 120 Volts.

Calculations:
I(current)=E(voltage)/R(resistance)
I=120/39000
I=0.0030769

Power(watts)=I2*R

Watts=(0.0030769)2*39000

Watts=0.3692 or the closest equivalent off-the-shelf is 1/2 Watt

Must be the Engineer in me. ;)

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DrNiceGuy wrote:

That's 0.003 amps or about 1 mini light... right?

Tonight I measured the 2.5 volt mini-light current and it depends on how many lights are in the string of lights.
For my 300 mini-light garland strings, each light measures 0.1 amps and the 100 mini-light strings are 0.16 amps each. It probably depends on how many lights are in the series/parallel configuration for each string.
I put each lamp on a precision power supply at 2.5 volts and read the current.
The mini-light is well above the 0.003 amps the resistor consumes.
It's more likely a mini-light would burn out before a resistor would have problems.

I remember from a previous post some people were putting a single C7 or C9 (painted black to keep it dark) at the end of the string to load the circuit.

Good luck... hope some of this helps!
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Yep, the resistive load fixed the issue. Odd that none of my other channels have the problem, only the ones with a ton of LED strands, and no incandescent bulbs. I need to retract some of my earlier statements. I was wrong about the third channel with only 7 strands - upon closer inspection, it wasn't having any issues. So only the two channels with 750 and 1200 LEDs respectively had any issue. Once I added a small strand of minis to each, the problem cleared up. Like I said before, I didn't see the problem before last week. The 1200 light tree did get a couple hundred more lights last Thursday, but the 750 light hedge hasn't changed since November, so I don't know why it would suddenly start having problems. I'm just glad I know how to fix it now. Assuming this can be fixed with a tweak to the firmware like it was last time, I look forward to upgrading. Otherwise, I'll add a little something to each overly large string of lights I use next year.



Thanks everyone!

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