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RGB Flickers


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Definitely sounds like a bad strip. To verify...move it to a controller that is working good. If your still getting pink...there's your answer.

Or could be a sequence issue. Check your channel lineup and make sure you didn't double up on another controller.

Your second choice was correct. From another thread where Tracy explains what was wrong

I figured out my issue with this RGB strip...

I had a duplicate dmx address with the unit right below it and it was causing the strip to mis-fire! :blink:

At least it was not the strip and I don't have to go back onto the roof to replace the dang thing! :D

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This rgb strips dmx is like a bad nightmare!

Tonight, I test fire the RGB strips on the roof for my son and the flickering is back.

Last I looked, my terminator was still in place but I did not get up on the roof to check if the squirrels ate it or what... but It was back to flickering.

Well... tomorrow, I will go back to RS and get some 120 Ohms this time.

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Thought I would share my experience with DMX termination.

My setup is using DMX only with an Enttec Pro dongle.

When I built the scale model of my house back in the spring (), it was running 10 27 channel DMX controllers and I did not have a DMX terminator. It worked flawlessly with no issues. So I never gave much thought to a terminator.

However, when I built the full sized show with the same number of controllers, I started seeing random odd flaky behaviour. It would freeze in the middle of a sequence for about 5 seconds, etc. The issues were totally random.

Found a place in town where I was able to get a terminator ($10). After I installed it, everything runs flawlessly.

From a DMX perspective, the only real difference between my scale model and the real show is that the real show has long CAT5 cable runs between controllers (25 feet average). I’m guessing that is what started introducing the problem.

ScottyMo

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I am going to climb up on the roof tomorrow to see what happened.

I had a terminator hooked up the the last unti on the roof.

It worked great.

Tonight... it acted like it was not on there at all.

It might not be.

We have had squirrels causing havoc on stuff before.

I know they didn't get the lights cause they fired up but with a lot of flckering tonight. :angry:

At this moment.... I am missing plug and play! :blink:

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Thought I would share my experience with DMX termination.

My setup is using DMX only with an Enttec Pro dongle.

When I built the scale model of my house back in the spring (http://forums.lighto...at/#entry213981), it was running 10 27 channel DMX controllers and I did not have a DMX terminator. It worked flawlessly with no issues. So I never gave much thought to a terminator.

However, when I built the full sized show with the same number of controllers, I started seeing random odd flaky behaviour. It would freeze in the middle of a sequence for about 5 seconds, etc. The issues were totally random.

Found a place in town where I was able to get a terminator ($10). After I installed it, everything runs flawlessly.

From a DMX perspective, the only real difference between my scale model and the real show is that the real show has long CAT5 cable runs between controllers (25 feet average). I’m guessing that is what started introducing the problem.

ScottyMo

A CAT5 cable can act like a big antenna. generally the twisting of the CAT5 cable will stop most interferance coming in, but with flickering there can be many different issues that create this. I had some major flickering issues last year that i worked through and it ended up being a combination of things i did that stopped it.

One simple thing i did do was to create a little coil of cat5 just before the controller which helped in one instance.

Issues ive seen that cause flickering are

1: One of the issues was actually created from one of the controllers I had. It had a damaged FET and must have been causing some electrical interferance back into the DMX signal as the RJ45 design on this controller was not optically isolated.

2: Another issue was having a controller too close to the power supply as i was using a cheap Ray Wu special and these can let out a bit of electrical interferance.

3: Have found a damaged core on a solid core CAT5 cable that wasnt completely open circuit but enough to play havoc

4: Even just repositioning a cat5 cable can help sometimes

5: Moisture within the data connection or joins

6: Not having the ground tied together between controller and different power supplies causing ground loops

There are more but these are just some of the things that can contribute to flickering

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I am beyond frustrated now!

I put a 120 Ohm terminator on the end.

I checked the connections between the connectors

I have moved the AC around and farther away.

WTF?????!!!!!!! :angry::blink:

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This morning I got up at 5:30 am and went into the garage... continplating scrubbing the rgb lights.

So, I started with one RGB strip.. No flickering. Added another one with a terminator... still no flickering... added 3, 4, and 5 strips. NO FLICKERING!!! :D

So that tells me there is something wrong with either dmx controller, cabling, connections, or a combination of all on the roof.

Back to square one with them but I do know that these things works. I have not given up hope but I am running out of time.

I just need them to work for me in the yard and work consistently for the next 3 weeks. :blink:

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I am beyond frustrated now!

I put a 120 Ohm terminator on the end.

I checked the connections between the connectors

I have moved the AC around and farther away.

WTF?????!!!!!!! :angry::blink:

Well the Cat5 cable you are using may indeed have moisture issues. If it worked so well after you put the terminator on, it could have sucked up moisture. Now I am sure there are instances where the Cat5 can pick up noise but the point of using an RS485 structure is that, in theory, any noise that is impinged on the cable will be equally impinged on both of the wires of the twisted pair. That signal is then received by a differential input which would cancel the noise. Moving the cable, should not make any difference. Of course in real life anything is possible, but I can tell you that in the entertainment industry there are DMX cables all over the trusses next to all kinds of noisy AC and they work fine. Yes, most of those are shielded, but in your case it should not be an issue.. Should not be... Are you using the pairs of the Cat5 cable correctly? Should be a single pair for D+ and D-.

If I were to guess from what you are saying... number 5 and 6 from edvas69 make the most sense:

5: Moisture within the data connection or joins Or cable

6: Not having the ground tied together between controller and different power supplies causing ground loops

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Not that this is going to help...but I feel your pain Tracy. It suppose to be a fun hobby and quickly turns into frustration. The end result will be well worth it. I don't know how many times I threw up my hands, told myself I give up and drank a couple of beers to forget. But it never goes away...you even dream about it and wake in the middle of the night and say..."hey, that might work!"

Maybe if your going to have long runs in harsh climates...use outside cable like XLR or outdoor cat5 cable. I personally don't have any experience using these so dont know if it will help. I just used standard indoor and my runs were short . SoCal weather...so nothing harsh here and no mice, rats, snakes, squirrels, gophers, rabbits, coyotes, mountain lions or anything else that may chew up the lines. Maybe a punk kid with a set of scissors.

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Thanks Kevin,

Hey, what is the rule on cutting the RGB strips?

Can you cut at the little points and then just silicone the opened area?

I am pursuing on with the strips after my success this morning.

Will have a beer or two... or three when it is all over!

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With a system that has multiple controllers and power supplies all it takes is just one bad data connection, or one bad controller or one bad power supply and this can cause havok. So it will have to be a process of elimination as it could just be one of the controllers or connections to that controller are whats causing the issue.

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It was a good night for RGB's!!

I have for the moment got through the night with no flickers.

The only issue I had was I had a strip that did not want to fire green. It would fire red and blue but would not fire green.

I rechecked the address and that was not the case.

It fired green the previous days and even in non-dmx mode it flashes out when green comes up.

Bad strip or bad connection??

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Nobody answered my question on cutting RGB strips.

It says you can cut every three lights and there is a dotted line across that area. Has anybody cut these and has anybody had problems after cutting them?

When you cut them do you what do you seal them with?

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Nobody answered my question on cutting RGB strips.

It says you can cut every three lights and there is a dotted line across that area. Has anybody cut these and has anybody had problems after cutting them?

When you cut them do you what do you seal them with?

That is the great thing about these RGB strips, strings, modules, ect. You can pretty much cut them anywhere. Cutting them at the dotted line or every 3 LEDs is correct. Just seal the end....thats it. Not need to modify anything or add some type of resister.

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That is the great thing about these RGB strips, strings, modules, ect. You can pretty much cut them anywhere. Cutting them at the dotted line or every 3 LEDs is correct. Just seal the end....thats it. Not need to modify anything or add some type of resister.

Yes. As Kevin said, cutting the RGB dumb strips in easy as long as they are cut at the pre-determined intervals. (every 3 LEDs).

The 20 strips I used in my display are ALL cut. My longest run is 10 feet.

Before I bought my strips, I made sure that they had connecters at both ends of the strip (some come wthl connecters at one end only). That way I didn't have to do any soldering. (I SUCK at soldering!).

My average run is 8 feet long, so after cutting my 16 foot strip in half, both resulting 8 foot lengths had connecters by default. And since they are dumb strips, it does not matter from what end the input power is attached.

ScottyMo

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To seal them up i just use some non corrosive neatral cure silicone. I use clear heatshrink then inject a bit of silicone inside and then shrink the heat shrink. perfect seal every time.

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Good deal!

Thanks guys!

I worked my butt off these last 4 days on getting the props up and the lights going.

I still have a few bugs in the lines at times but they are getting easier to figure out.

I truly think that these RGB strips are super cool but they are more tempermental and demanding as a woman going through menapause! :blink:

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2nd Full Dress Rehearsal... better but with disappointments.

My 4 RGB strips on the roof worked great!

My 8 DMX stage lights on the ground worked great!

My 2 RGB strips on the castle..... Flickered like a @#$%!!!!!

I could not get them to stop flickering. I moved them, I switched around the terminator. I thought I moved them far enough away from electrical interferance. NADA! Nothing worked.

I finally pulled the plug on them and video taped the show with just the RGB strips running from the roof and the stage lights.

It looked good but that flash of bright color on the castle is what makes it pop!

I am going to change out controllers tonight and give it another go.

I am truly thinking that I am not a DYI fan.

I want a product that works so I can forget about it until it is time to turn it off. It is very frustrating to have worked so hard on this project all year only to have the equipment fail you. :(

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If its not a controller issue then a way to possibly overcome your issues maybe to split the DMX line up by using a DMX splitter as it seems you have issues when you have it all connected up. Something like this anyway just a suggestion

If you find that your flickering goes away if you split up your network by disconnecting different controllers circuits and running them seperatly and there is no flickering then the splitter may fix your issue, either that or get another DMX dongle or 2 to then reduce the generated reflected data on the DMX network

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  • 2 years later...

I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would give my fix (or at least it is fixed for now).  This year mine started to flicker and I'm using exactly what I used last year.  I tried a bunch of things with no luck.  I finally decided to try another dongle (I bought 2 from holidaycoro just to have a backup), so I swapped them out no more flickering.  I hope it lasts the entire season.

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I haven't been on the forum for a while and just found this thread...I agree this is supposed to be FUN!!! Now I don't have a lot of DMX channels, Just got into to it last year on a trial basis. I have 4 north pole lights with 3ea rgb modules inside the globes. For DMX I am using the cheap 3 channel controllers. I opted for a 4 conductor 18awg outdoor cable for my signal and power. Using water tight connectors. I have had no issues at all. There again I am not running a long distance on cable nor do I have a large DMX universe. 

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