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PIXCON16 Intermitantly Freezes/No-Response


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I added a PIXCON16 to my show this year.  It has the 16 x 100 12V LEDs in Arch configuration.

When they work the crowd is mesmerized.  However, I notice that the controller seems to Freeze then reset.  It does not display all of the programming that I put in the sequences.

I would like your ideas on  possible solutions and/or troubleshooting.

The PIXCON16 is connected using Ethernet/DMX.  I have a USB3-Ethernet Adapter connecting the PIXCON16 to the show laptop.  The remainder of my devices are using USB-RS485 Enhanced Network.  They have NO issues.

I believe it is caused by the laptop I use to run the show.  It is a VERY low cost ASUS.  It worked great last year.  Only having issues with the PIXCON16 this year. (Intel Celeron N4000 CPU at 1.1GHz; 4GB RAM)

Here is what I have done so far:

1. Isolated to its own power supply/breaker.  Removed from the other devices (16 Channel CTB16PC; 2 CCRs; Pixie16; 8 Flood lights)  This didn't make any difference.

2. Removed the Ethernet switch between PIXCON16 and Laptop.  This made some improvement.  However, still only get 60% of the sequencing.

3. Reduced the intensity of the sequences on PIXCON LEDs.  Thinking it may be power releated.  This made no difference.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.  It was very disheartening to watch after all my work sequencing and installing the 16 arches.

Thanks! 

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Is the reason you are using a USB Ethernet dongle, because the laptop does not have a Ethernet port?

Is the rest of the show on LOR adapters?  Your USB section may just be swamped.

With that low end of a system, No other Ethernet should be connected (turn off WiFi). and use the built in Ethernet port.

Have you defraged the HD? any delay could cause dropouts. Whitelist the LOR sequence + Audio source folders in the A/V

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Today's debug steps... little improvement, but continue to have PIXCON16 fail.

NEW INFO:

  • Status LEDs of the box when it fails.  The Status LEDs are both solid, indicating Good Operation.  Before the failure, the Ethernet Jack Data LED stops.  Then the Status LED flashes to indicate the system is powered, but LOST Showtime Live signal... timeout if show data fails to keep coming.  This is repeated every time.
  • I replaced the USB-Type-C to Gb Ethernet adapter.  Purchased a USB3 to Gb Ethernet adapter.  Show would keep sync longer, but still fails.  Better, but not solved.
  • I optimized the length of the CAT-5 cable to the PIXCON16.  It was 100'.  I was able to shorten the cable to about 65-70'.  Even crimped a new connector correctly :).  The show continued to have the same failures as before.

Tomorrow:

  • I will replace the laptop with a model that has Integrated Ethernet port, removing the USB - Ethernet Adapter. 
  • The laptop also has a regular AMD Quad Core versus the light tablet Intel Celeron.
  • I will update/reload the firmware of the PIXCON16 

Hopefully that will eliminate all the possible issues on my end.  If still failing, I will call Light-o-Rama to see if they have any suggestions.

Let me know if anyone has other areas I may be overlooking...

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Late last night update...

I was able to plug in our laptop with integrated Ethernet.  Had even less success with the Data signal staying active.

I am suspecting my issues are caused by the cable/length/connectors.

Tonight's plan of attack:

  • Move laptop to within < 30' of box.  Using direct cable from laptop to box.  Verify that it works with a shorter cable.
  • Insert Switch between 2 30' cables... allowing the laptop to be back in the garage :)

I think this may be it... I sure hope so.  With changes above I was able to get it to work 70% of the time.  It sure is great when it works!

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18 minutes ago, purdurnr said:

Great reminder... I will make sure to isolate from power.  Currently they are not together but close at points.

By close, I mean less than 1-2 INCHES FOR MANY FEET. The higher the AC current, the further the field surrounds the conductors. Unless it is RF (electronic hash from a real crappy PSU will do that)

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@TheDucks I went silent for a week because the display started working after I had reduced the cabel length.  HOWEVER, I think it was more attributed to the recent lack of humidity and no moisture/rain.

The failures had occured the night of, and day after, a rain fall.  It has only failed occasionally, but running 90-95% accurate.

It is targeted at 100% chance of rainfall tomorrow... so we will see if the failures increase.

If so, I think it may be the LED Strings.  With possible moisture getting in via the wires into the LED Square housing.  If so, I may unplug 1 Arch at a time to see if I can isolate a strand that has break in moisture seal?

Will let you know just to close this thread/report.

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 I had this issue.

Pixel 8 of a 50 pix string stuck on red.

Pixels 1 to 7  display proper program

Pixels 9 to50 stuck on random color.

This only happens in rain. Goes away after it dries up.

Diagnosis. Pixel 7 or 8 is bad and not passing data 

I examined 8 the next day and found evidence of water intrusion. As a temp fix I applied some hot melt to try to seal it up enough to get through season.

Not rained again so far. We'll see.

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  • 11 months later...

Back again... purchased 2nd Pixicon16.  Found both units freeze at exact same moment.

on Saturday we had no issues.  We’re excited for show this week.  Then tested again Sunday and had same issues with both devices.

 

I am going to take one of the boxes off E.31 and add to my LOR network.  See if it does not fail.

any suggestions on what causes pix icon to freeze.  My pixie16 runs on LOR with no issues for 4 years.  Same weather.   
50 pixels per port vs. the 100 I use in Pixicon16s.

 

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