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I'm running a 38-channel display, and was surprised to see the closet lights and utility room lights flicker on some of my heavily sequenced music.

I have also lost two DSL modems and a telephone this Christmas thus far.

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You either have some awfully sensitive electronics or some power issues outside of LOR. We're finishing up our 4th season of LOR -- 96 channels and approaching 40K lights this year. There are a couple points in the rotation where I turn everything on at once -- and it causes my computer's UPS to 'beep'. Often, some of the interior lights will flicker slightly. But I've never lost any electronics during the display season (knocking vigorously on wood, to prevent jinxing myself...)

-Tim

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I have noticed some of my lights "shimmer" when I have LOR "shimmering", nothing other than that. Next year I will have LOR on a different meter and will have plenty of juice!

James

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You might want to have a qualified electrician check your breaker box and outside service entrance. You might have loose connections that cause sags and spikes.

Do NOT do this yourself unless you have the proper protective equipment and experience.

I've seen this before. The garbage disposal in a house that I worked in caused the computer to reboot and the flourescent lights to turn off.

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I had some flickering of lights...When you combined the power usage of my LOR (13.2 amps) with the rest of the computers and interior lights, we were pulling 14.9999999999999999999999 amps on a 15 amp breaker...Then I moved it to the Garage breaker (20 amps) and nothing was flickering. The only thing that slightly flickers is our Powder Room light.

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Yeah, thought about all that stuff, however, the house is wired with #12 awg copper wire.

Next year, I am going to add a 220 vac, 30 amp outlet from a dedicated A/C feeder on the side of the house and take the lighting load off the household wiring.

What bothers me, was the loss of two DSL modems and the tele. I haven't told my service about the second modem yet, which happened last Monday. I'm currently using a third I bought from AT&T.

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talbers wrote:

Next year, I am going to add a 220 vac, 30 amp outlet from a dedicated A/C feeder on the side of the house and take the lighting load off the household wiring.


Not sure that will help much, unless your computer is currently on the same circuit as your lighting. All of our lighting circuits are dedicated, yet we still get the UPS beeping and light-flickering issues I mentioned above...

Best thing for you to do would be to get a UPS to put that modem (and your computer) on...

-Tim
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Another item to check is for voltage drop at your main breaker, is there is any type of flickering with your lights you may have a problem with the transformer or the wiring from your transformer to your house. I had problems with my lights flickering and found a slight voltage drop (about 1 volt) at one of the main lines comming in. The light company found a loose tie bolt on the transformer lug. Once this was repaired there was no more flickering of any kind.

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Interesting!

My modem and PC is on an UPS.

The power company, last summer ran another 13KV buried line with new transformers behind the house. I wonder if? They also took all my re-bar Christmas trees I had stacked behind the garage, when they left.

Wish I had an oscilloscope to watch the power into my breaker box.

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I had an odd flickering in my kitchen lights a few years back. One day when it was very noticeable, I went to the breaker panel and just listened. I could faintly hear some crackling from underneath the breakers. I killed the main breaker and removed each nearby breaker from the panel. The one connected to the kitchen lights was arcing across a loose contact point. There had been enough arc damage and metal loss that I had to replace the breaker and file away the roughness on the bus bar.

So, after that relatively long story, what I would suggest is "listening" to your breaker panel when it is heavily loaded.

If you have a "Kill-A-Watt" power checker, you could check to see if there is a large voltage drop when something like a microwave oven is running. If your house wiring is good, you shouldn't see more than one or two volts difference at the plug between "microwave ON" and "microwave OFF." If you do, there is a loose or bad connection somewhere in your system.

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I would suspect that you may have an issue with your telephone line also...

DSL modems are usually powered by a wall wart which would give you isolation from the ac line... you didn't mention what kind of telephone was damaged, but it will either be powered by the phone line, or a wall wart.

I myself installed dedicated breakers and GFI outlets for my lighting...
Two 20 amp circuits which had a peak load of 28 amps total this year.
Hopefully I will double that for next year ;)

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Yep, Shimmer would make an ever so slight hum on the powered speakers
on my wife's computer. All exterior circuits are dedicated, so there is a small
amount of line noise introduced by the LOR unit that seems to feed back
through the house wiring. That's the only thing I noticed.

Tim

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talbers wrote:

I'm running a 38-channel display, and was surprised to see the closet lights and utility room lights flicker on some of my heavily sequenced music.

I have also lost two DSL modems and a telephone this Christmas thus far.


I worked up 6 sequences for New Years with 16-channels, because one controller was being repaired. When, I got the controller back, I copied the first 16-channels to the second 16-channels and delayed or advanced the timing by 1/2 a second. The light flicker ended. The delay and advance looks pretty good as well.

I suspect the DSL modems lost their memory to line glitches and can probably be re-programmed.


"If you have a "Kill-A-Watt" power checker," - I'll have find one, any suggestions?
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That Kill a Watt is a neat little device, pretty useful for understanding how your appliances use power.

I use an amprobe clamp ammeter. It's easy to use since nearly all lights are in a zip-cord. I just split the zip wire for a few inches and clamp around one. It displays only amps but that's pretty much all that I need. If the device uses a regular cable, I use a foot-long extension cord that I made that has the jacket stripped-off for a few inches (That's the yellow jacket, NOT the wire insulation, lets be safe here) exposing the black wire. I can just clamp on that.

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I have only had one room shimmer this yearwith the lights, somtimes the lights would dim, shimmer a little with the entire song outside. It was really small though, you had to hear the music then you could see it barely doing it. What cought my eye is that on an above reply I saw the florescent lights stop working. In my room I have a ctb-08 and a ctb-16D. 24 channels with some rope light, strobes and a 6v dc power transformer. Sometimes when my florescent light in the closet turns off or the ceiling fan turns off, the controllers do a weird little flicker. some strobes flash 1 flash a puff a fog comes of the the fog machine ETC. Is their a connection to the Light-O-Rama controllers and florescent lights?



---Daniel L

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talbers wrote:

I have also lost two DSL modems and a telephone this Christmas thus far.


This sentance leads me to believe that you might have a similar problem to one I had. A Loose Neutral somewhere between your breaker box and the secondary taps at the transformer. I would first call the Utility Customer Service line and ask them to inspect everything from the weatherhead at your house out to the Transformer. If they cannot find anything, get an electrician to check your meter panel and breaker box. I have experienced a corroded bug (a wire clamp) having a resistance on the neutral at the top of the service drop. There was 20vac between the 2 wires that were supposed to be clamped together. This caused some of the things in my house to be 100volts, and stuff on the other leg to be 140volts....

BTW, I have since upgraded my service to a new 200 amp panel. When the show is running and lights are flashing, the lights inside the house and the neighbor's house, and the other neighbor's house are all shimmering. I sure am glad my neighbors are all cool with it....

jeff
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Take a look at the board. If you have the GREEN board, check the transistor at location Q17. The leads are VERY CLOSE together. MAke sure they are not bridged at all.

If they are, you will or may experiance all what everyone has been mentioning. The whole board may just turn on, or turn off, or just shimmer the lights, if there is any bridged connections there.

Also, the transistor may run extremely hot! This is a sign of a bridged connection.

I had this problem and there was a bridged connection....

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John Pidliskey wrote:

Take a look at the board. If you have the GREEN board, check the transistor at location Q17. The leads are VERY CLOSE together. MAke sure they are not bridged at all.

If they are, you will or may experiance all what everyone has been mentioning. The whole board may just turn on, or turn off, or just shimmer the lights, if there is any bridged connections there.

Also, the transistor may run extremely hot! This is a sign of a bridged connection.

I had this problem and there was a bridged connection....


Thanks for the lead on Q17, I'll take a look. I had a similar problem, channel 1 of the LOR controller was my input to a 6-channel PLC. When the PLC was triggered, all the controller lights lit up to full brilliance and stayed there until the channel 1 was turn off, then the other 15-channels worked normally. I had to add a string of lights to channel 1 to increase the load. All have worked OK since.




Daniel wrote - "Is their a connection to the Light-O-Rama controllers and florescent lights?"

Yeah, they are probably on the same 120 VAC circuits. Only the incandescent and cheap fluorescent lights flicker.



jeffmill wrote - "I have experienced a corroded bug (a wire clamp) having a resistance on the neutral at the top of the service drop. "

I'll check it! Thanks
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