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Keep blowing fuses.


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I have never blown fuses in four years of this hobby. I’ve went through 5 just today. I have what I would consider a pretty small amount of LED only on one controller. Every time the show starts, it come on for about a second and pops the fuse. I unplugged the first 8 channels. Blew it. Did the other 8. Blew it again. There is NO WAY that controller is overloaded with the small amount of lights going to it. I have already checked every single string for any problems and I don’t see anything. Any advice would be appreciated.

I’ll also add that it worked last week. I ran the show for about an hour with no problems, and I haven’t added any items to that controller. Also, it hasn’t rained in a week, so it’s not a water problem. All of my other 3 controllers work fine, with a lot more stuff hooked up to them than my problematic controller.

Edited by Roxxxtar
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Unplug all the lights and test.  If the fuses blow, there is a controller problem.  If that works, plug in one string at a time.  When the fuse blows, that is likely the problem.

Also do a VERY CAREFUL visual inspection of the controller with both source power cords unplugged.  Look for anything that looks wrong - specifically looking for insects, lizards, rodents, etc or damage from them.

 

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18 minutes ago, Roxxxtar said:

I’m sorry. The CTB16. I have 2 separate cords for each 8 channels.

OK  Which fuse? Right or left?

K6ccc's inspection is the first step.  Corrosion (possibly stored damp) at the heat sink Triac mounts is a suspect. The HS is earthed (green wire) for safety.👍

Is this a factory built unit, in a factory case?  (just eliminating User construction issues)

 

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1 hour ago, Roxxxtar said:

Right fuse. Controllers are stored inside my house. Factory case. 

No critters or any damage I can see in the box. As I said, it was working last week.

The Right fuse also powers the board (via the small transformer).  There should NOT be a wire on the far right Faston tab, when dual feeds are used.

I recommend  (and it should not exist on a factory build), the jumper between the neutral buses.

The (fused) Line does Not go to the Triac tab, so that probably rules out insulator fail. There must be some stray metal shaving  (I did that last year.  😳 It also popped the breaker. )

HAD you disconnected the CAT5 cables  or did you have a standalone sequence loaded? that might turn on an output with a pinched lead.

 

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Haven’t solved the problem yet, it’s too cold out now, but I unplugged everything to the controller in question, and it did stay on when I played the show. So that’s. Good I suppose. Tomorrow I will take the advice given and plug things back in one at a time as the show plays, and wait for the kaboom. 

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1 hour ago, TheDucks said:

I recommend  (and it should not exist on a factory build), the jumper between the neutral buses.

Did you miss a word there?  If using dual feed, there should NOT be a jumper between the neutrals.  Having a jumper between the neutrals and if the two plugs are in different house AC circuits, will be guaranteed to trip GFCI breakers or outlets.

 

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12 minutes ago, Roxxxtar said:

Haven’t solved the problem yet, it’s too cold out now, but I unplugged everything to the controller in question, and it did stay on when I played the show. So that’s. Good I suppose. Tomorrow I will take the advice given and plug things back in one at a time as the show plays, and wait for the kaboom. 

Jump in your warm car  and head for Ace or the Depot and buy a Multimeter,  Low Ohms or Diode beep, between the prongs GOING TO the stings. THIS IS AN UNPOWERED TEST.  You have a damaged cord (vampire tap can get close to the wrong place and finally break thru) or a string is bad (rust is not uncommon on cheap strings). By starting at the Plag that attached to the channel, you rule out both in one go 👍.

In the end, it gets down to Cord or String.

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2 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Did you miss a word there?  If using dual feed, there should NOT be a jumper between the neutrals.  Having a jumper between the neutrals and if the two plugs are in different house AC circuits, will be guaranteed to trip GFCI breakers or outlets.

 

OOPS!   :o

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