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Troubleshooting Quiz


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OK.  I did a DOH!  It took me a while to figure out.  Let me describe the setup and what I did to troubleshoot and see if you can figure out what my "doh" was.


I have my house exterior lights hooked into my show.  This is my setup:





When I'm not set up for a display, plugs 1, 2 and 3 are plugged into the outlets.  Plug 4M is plugged into plug 4F.  Everything works like a normal house via the house switch.

When the show is on, plugs 1, 2 and 3 are plugged into my controller (circuits 1-3).  This is my third year.  This setup has worked perfectly for me.

I noticed that circuits 4, 5 and 6 were not working properly during the show.  Sometimes, they lit, but it didn't seem like what I had programmed.

I ran the hardware utility and turned on all 16 channels.  All channels worked perfectly.

I turned off channel 4, then 5 then 6.  They all turned off as expected.

I ran a simple chase sequence with only channels 4, 5, 6 and 11.   Only channel 11 lit.  Nothing from 4, 5 or 6.  I confirmed that all of the upper channels were working properly.  Issue was in the lower bank.



I ran the music sequence again.  Channels 4, 5 and 6 lit up sometimes, but not as programmed.  They never lit when they set to off.  They only lit sometimes when programmed to on.


Can you tell the stupid, stupid thing that I did??

Edited by eurbani
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You don't really give us enough information as we don't know where circuits 4-6 are in the circuit.  However I'm guessing that you had plug 4M still plugged into 4F.  this could be very bad if the 2 sources are on different phases.


Also, if I'm understanding what you have there from your drawing, under normal conditions, plug 1 is not plugged into anything and during showtime, plug 4M is not plugged into anything.  Plugs 1 and 4M are connection to each other via the connections on the outlets.  If this is the case, you have a very dangerous condition because either plug 1 (off season) or plug 4M (during the season) is potentially energized with exposed male connectors.  You should never have a male plug that can be energized from somewhere else.

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You are correct.

During off season, I terminate plug 1 back into the outlets. During lighting season, i put a nonconnected female plug on 4F to keep the entergized plug covered.

Issue was, the i hadnt unpluges 4m and 4f. That blee the lower bank fuse, but whenever circuit one and the front porch light were on, the lower bank received power from circuit 1.

I was very lucky thaf I didn't fry the controller.

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