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Fading issues


rhino
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I'm having a similar issue as stated in this thread: http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/23814-huge-fading-problem-please-help/#entry226373.

I didn't want to hijack that thread with my newbie questions, so started this thread here to keep that thread "clean".

I have 8 trees with 4 colors each.

Animation sequence only (no music).

All LEDs from Holiday-Light-Express (5mm, 70-cnt strands, multiple strands)

Using the residential controllers (plastic enclosures)

2 controllers, 32 channels each.

Both controllers are on the same 100', 12G extension cord, as the TOTAL amperage = 13 amps (if all lights turned on).

The fade does not work as a fade -- it simply comes on or off. In 2010, I noticed that I had a flicker where I didn't have one programmed. Just contributed it to bad programming and to be more careful in 2011. However, after seeing my tests (Veteran's Day animation), and this above thread, I'm starting to think differently.

I know nothing about a "snubber" -- never heard of it. Followed the link to Planet Christmas (http://forums.planetchristmas.com/index.php?/topic/36988-easiest-terminatorssnubbers-to-make/) about creating snubbers, and got lost immediately.

There was also mention of adding a C9 bulb (which sounded a lot easier), but didn't follow that solution either -- how does one add a C9 bulb to a strand of 5mm LED lights? Is the C9 bulb to be LED or incandescent?

Please help.

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Did you see my reply in the post you linked? Check your firmware. I had the same problem with an earlier fw version and upgrade solved my problem.

What version are you running?

Kevin

Thanks for the reminder. So, how does one check the firmware?

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Any ideas?

What is a "snubber"? I don't have time to create anything, and looking to quickly purchase and install this thing on each of my LED channels, whatever it is.

Does it go between the contoller's channel's female, and the first led string's male plug? Does it go at the end of the led strand (the last female)? Can it go on any "backend of a male plug" in the middle of a led strand?

Does this issue only occur with the CTB16PC controllers? Does it occur with the LOR1602* controllers as well?

I need my fade. Please help...

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If you search snubber in the forum, you should find many explanations....quickest and easiest way is to add a incandescent c9 bulb at the end of each LED strings. You could probably add a few per channels....I don't think it will hurt.

As for the firmware, I had the fading issue on both 1602 and PC controllers. But my version was 4.01 and I upgraded to the latest at that time which was 4.32. Yours is higher and should be fine, but I read somewhere that another member was having the same issues and was also running 4.40, but reinstalled again and fix the problem. Possible suspect corrupt firmware. Doesn't hurt to try.

Edit:

Most likely they are, but you verify the LED are dimmable?

Kevin

Edited by CLD Kevin
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If you search snubber in the forum, you should find many explanations....quickest and easiest way is to add a incandescent c9 bulb at the end of each LED strings. You could probably add a few per channels....I don't think it will hurt.

As for the firmware, I had the fading issue on both 1602 and PC controllers. But my version was 4.01 and I upgraded to the latest at that time which was 4.32. Yours is higher and should be fine, but I read somewhere that another member was having the same issues and was also running 4.40, but reinstalled again and fix the problem. Possible suspect corrupt firmware. Doesn't hurt to try.

Edit:

Most likely they are, but you verify the LED are dimmable?

Kevin

Kevin,

Thanks!

Yes, the LEDs are dimmable -- from Holiday Light Express (HLE).

So, to add an incand C9 bulb to the end of each string (multiple strands) of LEDs, does that include the creation of a short strand with a socket on it? A vampire male on one end, a vampire female on the other, and a socket in the middle? Would like to understand what is implied, just to make sure I'm on the same page as you experts here -- can't do this without you, but can also make a lot of mistakes on my own.

Just came back from Home Depot, and the electrical experts there had no idea what a "snubber" is. So, bought four (4) $0.98 Air Wick plug-ins and will be testing those out later tonight.

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Your string should end with a female plug, just make a male end with c9 bulb. The plugins should work too.

I never had to use a snubber so far from an expert. Only telling you based off what I've read over the years. Maybe someone that has used them can chime in.

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I'm no expert at this (1st full season with LOR) but my problem with my fade on channels 13-16 were because I had a spotlight Y'd off my channel 9-16 power cord. Thought it was ok because it was only 23 watts. I unplugged it and they worked. I have a couple of pics of snubbers I made on the other post. I didn't have to use them. Still haven't got to my laptop to try uploading the better ones I took.

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I'm no expert at this (1st full season with LOR) but my problem with my fade on channels 13-16 were because I had a spotlight Y'd off my channel 9-16 power cord. Thought it was ok because it was only 23 watts. I unplugged it and they worked. I have a couple of pics of snubbers I made on the other post. I didn't have to use them. Still haven't got to my laptop to try uploading the better ones I took.

Saw the other post, but I'm not one to be making things, especially at the last minute. As a result, my 8 red-white-blue trees (for Veteran's Day) have 3 Air Wick plug-ins, each tree. Quite funny, but it fixed the fading and the animation looks a ton better (except for the small glob of white plastic in each tree!). Can't explain WHY it works (the experts on this forum have already done that), but just know that it does.

:)

Should've seen the lady in the grocery aisle as my 9-yr old daughter and I were loading up all (18) Air Wick plug-ins they had in stock.

(Will have to develop the Incandescent C9 bulb fix in the "off-season".)

Again, thanks all!

Edited by rhino
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The snubbers described in http://forums.planetchristmas.com/index.php?/topic/36988-easiest-terminatorssnubbers-to-make/page__hl__snubber#entry404776 work very well. You can plug them into any female connection on the channel, not just the end. And they don't wear out like the air fresheners would.

If you prefer to add a C9, use a night-light. Doesn't work as well as the snubber, and you may want to cover the light in some way so it's not distracting, but it will help.

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I'm no expert at this (1st full season with LOR) but my problem with my fade on channels 13-16 were because I had a spotlight Y'd off my channel 9-16 power cord. Thought it was ok because it was only 23 watts. I unplugged it and they worked. I have a couple of pics of snubbers I made on the other post. I didn't have to use them. Still haven't got to my laptop to try uploading the better ones I took.

Don't know if anyone has yet addressed this. At 23 Watts, it would seem the spotlight you were using might be a CFL (Compact Flourescent Lamp). If so, be aware that CFL bulbs are reported to cause interference with the proper operation of an LOR system. Thus, removing it from the setup would solve the problem.

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I have purchased a lot of Martha Stewart led lights from Home Depot. Tried snubbers to no avail, can't get em to dim and Christmas is coming.

The difference I see in these light strings and the ones I have that dim is that the Martha Stewert lights do not have a piggy back plug on male end and if one light burns out the rest stay lit.

I have various other led strings that have the piggyback plug and if one bulb goes out multiple others go out as well. These strings with the piggy back seem to dim just fine.

any suggestions?

Thanks

Chip

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Roverdish,

See that is your first biggest mistake. You did not come into the forum till you had a problem. This is a very technical hobby. See if you had been reading this forum for the past month you would have learned from others that the Martha Steward brand of lights do not work very well with LOR and the dimming feature is one of the items that does not work well.

My advice is to read like your life depends on it (which it might). You will learn from others mistakes or how to do something right. And I was not joking about your life might depend on it. This is electricity you know and many people die every year from electrical shock.

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I have purchased a lot of Martha Stewart led lights from Home Depot. Tried snubbers to no avail, can't get em to dim and Christmas is coming.

The difference I see in these light strings and the ones I have that dim is that the Martha Stewert lights do not have a piggy back plug on male end and if one light burns out the rest stay lit.

I have various other led strings that have the piggyback plug and if one bulb goes out multiple others go out as well. These strings with the piggy back seem to dim just fine.

any suggestions?

Thanks

Chip

"Martha" LEDs will not dim. They are worthless. What you will see is either full on, %50 or off. Take them back and buy something else.

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A really simple explanation how/why snubbers work.. you know LEDs are very low current draws, meaning they are "barely there" as seen from the controllers (and your electric meters) point of view.. so for the channel to work properly the controller has to have a "real" load, something that it can really "see" to provide the power to. The snubber, be it a C9 or Glade Scented Plug-in, provides that load somewhere on the line.

Thats why you cant just swap out your cars incandescent tail light bulbs for LEDs (because they're brighter, you want them to really be seen).. well, the car cant see they are LEDs and as far as it knows, nothing is plugged into the tailight socket, so it doesnt turn on the brake lights and the monster truck behind you doesn't see you're stopping and runs into you, then accuses you of scratching his bumper then pummels you when you're being loaded into the ambulance, screaming "YER GONNA HEAR FROM MAH LAWYER".. and all the while the wife is sayin' "you couldnt be satisfied just doing LEDs on the house, you had to go put them on the car.." ok, ok, that last part never reeeeally happened that way (afair). :blink:

Edited by TJ Hvasta
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A really simple explanation how/why snubbers work.. you know LEDs are very low current draws, meaning they are "barely there" as seen from the controllers (and your electric meters) point of view.. so for the channel to work properly the controller has to have a "real" load, something that it can really "see" to provide the power to. The snubber, be it a C9 or Glade Scented Plug-in, provides that load somewhere on the line.

Thats why you cant just swap out your cars incandescent tail light bulbs for LEDs (because they're brighter, you want them to really be seen).. well, the car cant see they are LEDs and as far as it knows, nothing is plugged into the tailight socket, so it doesnt turn on the brake lights and the monster truck behind you doesn't see you're stopping and runs into you, then accuses you of scratching his bumper then pummels you when you're being loaded into the ambulance, screaming "YER GONNA HEAR FROM MAH LAWYER".. and all the while the wife is sayin' "you couldnt be satisfied just doing LEDs on the house, you had to go put them on the car.." ok, ok, that last part never reeeeally happened that way (afair). :blink:

TJ Hvasta,

Wanted to thank you for putting this technical issue into layman's terms, and supplying some humor with it as well. That helps a lot!

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