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Defective LOR1602W Controller?


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My shows have been working perfectly since the beginning of December.  Tonday I added a fourth LOR1602W controller to my display and it took down my entire network and it heated up and blew out one of my USB485B converters.

Before I ask my question which is how can I tell if I have a defective LOR1602W controller let me give you so background.

I purchased four LOR1620W controllers at the same time.  (All have the same firmware and have IDs of 1-4.)  I also purchased 2 USB1485B converters.  (The second one I use as a spare and for testing.)


This year I set-up my display in early December using boxes 1-3. Haven't had any problems.

On a second computer and using the spare USB485B and box 4 I began working on a new display.  This is were some weird things started happening.

There were times where LORs hardware utility would not detect USB485B converter.  Or it would detect the converter and display ??? for the unit.  During the day I would gram another 1602W and run the scan.  Sometime the USB485B would not be detected.  Other times it would and have ???? for the units and other times everything would work perfectly.


Then last night I was doing some tests and I could smell an IC getting way too hot.  I tracked it down to the converter.  Thinking that maybe the converter was defective I swapped with for my show one and it too got way too hot.

I rebooted my computer changed all cables thinking there was a short.  (The made no sense as I had been using all of the cables elsewhere and have since tested and am continuing to us the same cables without any problems.


Installed new cables and rebooted the computer and using box 4 finished the show which will be using box 4.


This afternoon I installed box 4 and attached all of the lights.  Ran the hardware utility and the 485B converter was not found.  Started swapping everything and even ran a new RJ-45 cable from my computer out to the yard.  In all of the component swapping some times the 485B would be detected sometimes it wouldn't.  When the 485B was detected there would only be two units detected with ???? and the unit ID numbers were not what they were set to.  I tried moving the LOR#4 so it was first from the computer, than between box 1 and 2 and then as the last box.  Didn't make a difference.

Next think I noticed was my 485B had a rattle.  Opened the box and found two diodes and come unsoldered.  The chips in the box must have gotten so hot the solder melted.


At this time I thought the only think that's changed is I added box #4 and that must be the root cause of my problem.  I pulled box #4 and used my spare 485 and my shows are running perfectly.


I opened the 485 and found two diodes had come unsoldered.  Means they got really hot.  Thinking I have nothing to loose I took out my soldering iron and was able to reattach both diodes.  Tested it with another controller I have and it appears to be working perfectly.


Connected the 485 to box LOR #4 and it's was detected and the 485 didn't overheat.


Sorry for the length explanation but here are my questions.

Weather can be eliminated as a possible cause.  Not ran, snow or nighttime moisture.  My LOR boxes are protected from the elements in plastic boxes with vent holes and lids.


I'm thinking my #4 LOR box is root cause of the problem.  (Like the extra 485, box 4 was a spare and has never been used.)

1 - It is possible there's a defective chip in it that could cause the 485 to get so hot as to melt solder?

2 - I'm wondering if the RJ-45 cable from my computer to my LOR boxes in the yard (about 300 feet) had a dirty connection (high resistance, not a short) if that could have caused the 485 to get so hot?  I use a 3 foot pigtail RJ-45 to make the connection to the LOR.  So the cable from the computer has a RJ-45 plug the pigtail plugs into.  (After the 485 meltdown I tested my RJ-45 cable with a Fluke cable tester and it passed.  So there was no short, just maybe a high resistance but I don't think so since my shows have been running fine for weeks.)

3 - Is there a way to test the LOR box to confirm this is the root cause?

4 - Could my problems be caused by outdated LOR firmware?


Looking forward to your answers,




















































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Connected the 485 to box LOR #4 and it's was detected and the 485 didn't overheat.


Does everything work fine after you resoldered the diodes, if so looks like you may of had a defective USB485.Have you tried to put your spare 485 back on your show computer to see if all is well

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The "repaired" 485 appears to be working fine.  What I just figured out today is whatever component is defective blew out 4 of my USB ports.  I now realize some of the tests I performed yesterday were with the defective USB ports.  This now explains why the 485 got so hot some times.


Connecting the 485 to a known working USB port and a CMB16B and everything is working.

In connecting the 1602W to the 485 and now the hardware utility is not finding the 485.  (The 485 is cool to the touch.)

Trying the 1602W to the CMB16B to the 485.  The 485 is remaining cool but the IC with the heat sink next to the power connector (maybe a voltage regulator) is too how to touch.


Unplugged the (RJ-45 cable) from the 485 and I the IC is cooling off.


I think I'm convinced my spare 1602W is the cause.


What I don't get is why it works sometimes and at other times it doesn't work at all.  For the past week I have been using the box to create a new element to my display and it worked flawlessly.


Just re-tested the hardware utility with box #4 and came up with Unknown Device ????

Wait a second I think I have it figured out.  The 485 has two ports as do the 1602W.

The problem appears when either one of the 485 is plugged into one of the ports on the 1602W.  (If it's plugged into the other port it works fine.)

I think I have narrowed it down to a problem with on of the RJ-45 ports on the 1602W.


Guess I need to call LOR.

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Hmmmm. wonder if I can use this box in my show if I use the "good" port.  This would mean it would have to be the last box in my network.


Reran the test several times and it's consistent one port in the 1602W is the always coming up with Unknown Device ???? while it always found on the other RJ connector.

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