Jump to content

New interference with ELL


plasmadrive
 Share

Recommended Posts

Tonight I saw something happen that I have never seen before.  I run my lawn props via an ELL. There are 4 in my system actually.. but tonight I had controllers on the lawn hesitate and and loose signal.  They kept going and eventually clear after a minute or two... I just happen to be out front watching when this happened.  I ran inside to see what was up and I found nothing that would indicate issues.

 

Since the problem cleared before the song was over and I was unable to duplicate it... I can only guess.. but when I was walking down stairs from the computer I noticed the washing machine had just come off spin cycle.  This is a machine that uses a variable frequency drive (VFD) to run a high speed spin cycle.  That VFD is from the same main panel but that is as close as it gets power wise.  It is also about 40-50' from the ELL transmitter that is in the bedroom. 

 

The only thing I can think of was either someone was transmitting with a pretty high power radio close by, or that VFD caused the interference with my ELL data stream . 

 

Although I haven't been watching all night.. I have been spot checking and have had no issues since or prior.  The ELL is a straight shot from my 2nd store to the yard, about 50' by tight string.. I have one that is 150' away also and it works great, so signal strength is not normally an issue..

 

Anyone have anything like that happen to them before?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ask the boss, I am sure she will demonstrate how it works.. but then she just might expect you to run it from time to time! ;)

Yeah.. now you know my reasoning..

 

But, she did start it for me and it did not interfere.  I am clueless as to why this happened.. To my knowledge it has not happened again..  I hope it never does.. but I have been watching from time to time..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken,

 

This is the same freg I have used for the last two years and never had this issue.. (that I know of).   It has also not come back (that I know of).  It was the strangest thing... 

 

BTW, thanks for coming over the other night and video recording.. Was good to see ya.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was outside a couple of nights ago and I suddenly saw my display go dark for seconds at a time. I still don't know what caused it and it went away on its own, but this thread makes me wonder about the washing machine or other similar items causing interference

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was outside a couple of nights ago and I suddenly saw my display go dark for seconds at a time. I still don't know what caused it and it went away on its own, but this thread makes me wonder about the washing machine or other similar items causing interference

I had never noticed issues with mine before or since.  I use an ELL for signals to the lawn, one for the driveway trees, and one for the house windows, and this one time I was watching it just went funky.. Not the entire display, only on the lawn and not all, but many of the elements.  Lost signals, partial commands, and some even just stayed on (LOR only send change of state commands) until the end of the sequence when it was told all lights off.  I have yet to figure it out or to even see it again.  By the next song all was ok.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ELL's operate in the 902 - 928 ISM band.  There are a lot of things up there as they are unlicensed.  I had a similar issue with strange lockups, and they always seemed to be on Saturday nights at about 8.  Had a friend that had a communications receiver and borrowed it to "listen in" to that spectrum and found that neighbor had old cordless phone that she was using to call home to Japan at that time.  So worked together to move her phone to another channel and moved ELL's away from where her phone worked.  I find it hard to believe that a VFD would be putting out harmonics at 900 MHz, as they are typically in the sub KHz range for main frequency.  Did have issue with local water utility reading meter in December - but only that month for some strange reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am with you on the VFD thing.. but they do have harmonics far up spectrum.. not sure in the 900m band..   That was just the only thing that was "out of the ordinary" that I noticed real quickly.

 

My ELLs are at least 500' from the closest electronic device from the neighbors.  My phones are cordless, but we were both outside watching the lights and there were no calls registered while we were out there.  As well, my cordless have never interfered.  

 

Like I said, I have not noticed if before or since....  but I don't watch all the time either..   sure would like to find this culprit... Now I find I watch my display way more then I need to  just to see if it is going to mess up.. LOL..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had never noticed issues with mine before or since.  I use an ELL for signals to the lawn, one for the driveway trees, and one for the house windows, and this one time I was watching it just went funky.. Not the entire display, only on the lawn and not all, but many of the elements.  Lost signals, partial commands, and some even just stayed on (LOR only send change of state commands) until the end of the sequence when it was told all lights off.  I have yet to figure it out or to even see it again.  By the next song all was ok.  

I use the ELL as well but only one entire system, 8 controllers. My entire display, went dark for like 4 seconds, came back on for several seconds then off again, again for like 4 seconds or so. It seemed Ok after that and I made note of which sequence it was real fast and checked it the next morning, not finding anything wrong with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your display went dark, there would have had to been a command to do so... I think if LOR only sends change of state commands you can't go dark without it being told to do so... I THINK... I do know that if I disconnect my ELL transmitter at the laptop the display will just freeze.... at least that is what I remember.. I think I will check that again..

 

Anyway, if that is the case.. I wonder where your system got the all lights off command from????  Maybe a clue! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Power source was fine. I checked the sequence that was running for dead spots in case I missed something and there were none. The sequence was in the middle of running at the time and the issue did not repeat the next night on the same sequence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am wondering if smart meters (electric / gas / water) might be causing some of these issues, especially it happens only once in a while.  Because they transmit so infrequently, FCC rules allow them to transmit at a much higher power level for a short burst then say the ELL's that can be in constant communication.  I doubt they are being triggered by LOR signals, but they do use spread spectrum and if the control point says "send me data now" it might blast over the little signal from your main ELL having receiving ELL's lose the data packets.  Maybe somebody in the utility industries can comment a bit more.  Just a thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am wondering if smart meters (electric / gas / water) might be causing some of these issues, especially it happens only once in a while.  Because they transmit so infrequently, FCC rules allow them to transmit at a much higher power level for a short burst then say the ELL's that can be in constant communication.  I doubt they are being triggered by LOR signals, but they do use spread spectrum and if the control point says "send me data now" it might blast over the little signal from your main ELL having receiving ELL's lose the data packets.  Maybe somebody in the utility industries can comment a bit more.  Just a thought.

That is an interesting thought

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I FOUND IT! I FOUND IT!   NOT THE ELLs

 

Wife calls my in from the shed last night... says your show is messed up.. I walk in the house and she says I thought everything was ok so I was running the washer..

 

Well.. it wasn't the washer.. just coincidence.    Turns out I have either a bad Cat5 cable or connector on controller #6.  I went straight to that controller, opened it up and there was no data connection to the system (LED not solid on).  It also didn't work on the subsequent controllers very well either.  I am thinking the input cable or jack.  Has to be one of the two.  Wiggle and jiggle and up she goes and finishes the night.   Today I will replace both JUST IN CASE! 

 

It is embarrassing to have your show go stupid with a line of cars and not know how long it as been out. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to hear that you have identified a probable mechanical issue.  My past problem with ELL's was definitely an interference issue.  Wireless is never perfect - because the frequencies are shared among many things.  And I heard the Facebook comments when my problem happened - visitors can be very rude when technical difficulties happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went out and and replaced the Cat 5 feeder cable.. problem went away... for about 5 min.   WTF!!  Q$WR%#$% 

 

So now I am having failures all over the place...  Turns out I had one board, the one I thought, had two bad connectors... and the one that was three controllers in front of that one had one back jack...  I replaced the board with the two bad jacks with a G3 spare.  I repaired it with the jacks that LOR sent me.  (They sent me two extras last time.. They ROCK!) and put that on the shelf for backup. 

 

For the other bad controller I used an RJ45 "Y" that I got from Holiday Coro with a 6" Cat 5 cable to the one good jack on the controller.  Now that works fine and ready for repair when the season is finished.  None of these jacks looks bad.. they just were.  I also replaced two short cables that when from back to back controllers that are mounted on a single stand. 

 

All seems to be ok for now.. *knock on wood*.. This is the first network issue I have had so far and this is my third year.


Good to hear that you have identified a probable mechanical issue.  My past problem with ELL's was definitely an interference issue.  Wireless is never perfect - because the frequencies are shared among many things.  And I heard the Facebook comments when my problem happened - visitors can be very rude when technical difficulties happen.

I got lucky. Mechanical I can fix.. not so much with interference. 

 

Yes those guys can be a bit rude.. and a lot of them don't really know what they are talking about.. just playing parrot to what they heard in the past..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...