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I need an explanation!! Please help. Haunted Lights!


thebaronn
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Alright so it is 6am here in San Jose California. It has been raining here all night. I just got off work and when I drove up, my lights are on very faintly(my whole display contains LEDs from various stores; creative displays, costco, home depot). All my 12 mini trees are lit up! Several shrubs with LEDs are fainlt lit as well as 2 strands on my mega tree. I go inside and LOR is not running, it says waiting for the next show. I disable the shows and turn off the computer. I walk outside and they are still on!! Now here is a good one, i walk over to a mini tree and pick it up, when i do so it turns off!! When i place it back on the ground it turns back on! Its actually pretty sweet. So i unplugged everything and am now going to sleep.

So I was just wondering if some one could explain why this happened?

Thank you in advance.

Eric

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LightORamaDan

I do not have a good explination. It seems as if there is some leakage to ground and it could possibly be from the neutral which is not switched....

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Are you sure that the hot and neutral feeding the controllers are not reversed?

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Im not sure of anything. I took the easy way out, I never built any controllers. I purchased 3 LOR1602W controllers. Ultimate in lazyness.

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I thought that the water in the connections somehow created some sort of current leakage to the lights. I dont know about other people, but when i have all the LEDs pluged into a controller, and i actually turn the controller on, all the LEDs flash quickly.

Its really no big deal, all i have to do is unplug one extension cord and the whole system is off. One of the benefits of LEDs, (11k+ LEDs, 3 LOR1602W controllers, a computer, and a ramsey FM30 transmitter and a partridge in a pear tree all on one 15 amp circuit, hehehe).

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theultimateandy

Here might be the problem. With Led's, they require a minimum amount of power to operate. On the SSR's in the controller, they require a specific sized load to competely close the gate on the SSR's. In basic English, try plugging in a heavier load (i.e. a 100 watt light bulb) into the same output using a three prong adaptor as the LED string is plugged in. Once the light bulb is plugged in, the led's should turn off. If this fixes the problem, then all you need to do is keep adding lights to the circuit (minus the 100 watt bulb) until the LED's are not visible. This should solve the problem. Let me know if it works.

Andy

An official LOR user

with a whopping 16 channels

(note, not all channels are in use due to lazyness and lack of extension cords)

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Richard Hamilton

thebaronn wrote:

i walk over to a mini tree and pick it up, when i do so it turns off!!
Eric


This is a good hint to me that you might need snubbers.

See this link on my web site.
There are also many other good links about this on this site. Search for "terminator" or "snubber".

http://magiclightshow.com/bb/index.php?topic=41.0
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Well it hasnt rained in a few days and the ground is dry and all my LEDs are off. All is right with the world.



It doesnt rain to much in december, does it? LOL!

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Richard Hamilton

thebaronn wrote:

Well it hasnt rained in a few days and the ground is dry and all my LEDs are off. All is right with the world.



It doesnt rain to much in december, does it? LOL!

Did you solve the problem? If so, what was it?
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ive been running around like a chicken with its head cut off! In other words...no, i have been lazy. They are working just fine now, but it hasnt rained in a while and it is pretty dry. So i can only assume it is because i didnt protect the connections from moisture like others do.

Btw, went by your house last night and it looks pretty sweet.

Well, merry christmas!

Eric

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Richard Hamilton

thebaronn wrote:

ive been running around like a chicken with its head cut off! In other words...no, i have been lazy. They are working just fine now, but it hasnt rained in a while and it is pretty dry. So i can only assume it is because i didnt protect the connections from moisture like others do.

Btw, went by your house last night and it looks pretty sweet.

Well, merry christmas!

Eric

Thanks Eric.

Hmmm, well that does sound weird about the mysterious problem. Give me a call the next time that happens and we can talk about it. If you send a PM, I'll reply with telephone number.

Have you considered calling in Deacon Dave to perform an exorcism on your house? ha! ;-)

Glad you could come by. Traffic was very hectic about 9 pm, so I hope you did not hit that. Some people just didn't seem to be in the Christmas spirit and got frustrated with not being able to get in and see. I guess I'll have to call the cops again this year to control that. Last year they were very nice about helping out.

Since we are so close, we should try to get together.

By the way, I'm not sure if you noticed, but I am only using LOR on the two neighbor houses and on my megatree. For the remainder of my house, I am using some custom built stage lighting controllers that we have had for about 15 years, and since they work great, I still use them. I'm running two software programs simultaneously to drive both equipment.
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Richard Hamilton

Steven wrote:

Are you sure that the hot and neutral feeding the controllers are not reversed?


Could you elaborate on this a bit? I'd like to understand why this would be a problem since I can't image it would make a difference to the equipment.

Actually, how could that occur anyway? The LOR AC input plugs are 3-prong so unless someone has their house plug mis-wired (not likely) or they are using a 3-prong to 2-prong cheater (not a good idea), then I am not sure how the hot and neutral could get reversed or that it would make a difference. It sounds like you have had this problem?
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The 3-wire pigtail power plugs sets are optional. On two of my units, I wired the power plugs myself using 2-wire plugs. The ground wire doesn't provide much, if any protection because it only connects to the bracket, and all Christmas lights are 2-pin.

However, I did make sure to use polarized plugs, but it would be easy to use plugs that are not polarized.

If the units were powered with the hot and ground reversed, then when the LED trees were off, the hot side would still be connected to one side of the lights. In that case, if the other side had a path to ground, then that small current would be enough to light the trees.

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Richard Hamilton

Steven wrote:

The 3-wire pigtail power plugs sets are optional. On two of my units, I wired the power plugs myself using 2-wire plugs. The ground wire doesn't provide much, if any protection because it only connects to the bracket, and all Christmas lights are 2-pin.

However, I did make sure to use polarized plugs, but it would be easy to use plugs that are not polarized.

If the units were powered with the hot and ground reversed, then when the LED trees were off, the hot side would still be connected to one side of the lights. In that case, if the other side had a path to ground, then that small current would be enough to light the trees.

Ah! interesting. I see. I did not know the pigtails were optional. Now I see how it could get reversed. Thanks
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