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Okay, I have no clue. What do you think?


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Alright, so the Halloween display is up and running and today I noticed something very strange.

1. So I have a halloween fence and each fence post has a skull on top which contains 50 mini lights and is wrapped with 50ct Orange LEDs from creative displays (they are both on the same channel) connected to controller.channel: 3.01 The post is actually 1 1/2" PVC pipe painted black. I used a 3 ft metal stake and drove it halfway into the ground and slid the PVC pipe over it to keep it standing. The electrical cord goes through and hole 6" above the bottom and feeds up into the skull sitting on top.

2. I have 5 controllers all turn on with a timer 30 minutes before the show starts along with the blowers and FM transmitter.

3. So I walk out there and the fence post is on. And the the show starts and it is just constantly on. So I disable the show.

This is where it is weird:

A. I turn off controller 3......The post and skull remains on.

B. I turn off the power strip that the controller is plugged into.....The post and skull remain on.

C. I unplug the the power strip and it turns off.

D. I was so sure that I did something wrong and made a new extention cord and rewired the skull and post to the controller. When I plugged the power strip in, IT COMES BACK ON!!! Now the the switch on the power strip is still OFF!! As well as the controller switch is still off.

E. I physically unplug the cord from the controller and it turns off. I plug it into the power strip that is OFF and it lights up!!! (Now just the power strip is off, but still plugged in) Thats right, the lights remain on eventhough everything is in an OFF position. I also tried plugging it into another controller and I get the same results.

So after giving up and realizing that it is going to stay on no matter what, I plug everything back in and turn everything on. Before I enable the shows I walk out to the offending post and shake it.....It flickers???? I lift the post up and the light goes out!!!!!! I sit the post back down and it goes back on!!!!!!! So i grab a peice of wood and place it under the post to prop it up 1/2" and everything is fine.

So whats up??? I have had this type of problem before with LEDs remaining slightly on, bet never regular minis!!!

Thanks for your input.


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It’s one thing to get current through the circuitry of the controller when you have LEDs hooked up. But when you are turning off mechanical switches and still have power, I’m thinking something is wrong.

My guess would be that it has nothing electrically to do with the PVC touching the ground. It’s probably just the movement that caused the change. Maybe the metal stake is touching something. But, if it really was current to ground you should be tripping GFIs.

It would probably be a good idea to verify all your circuits and extension cords are wired correctly. If you wired your own controllers, you might have a mistake there. Also, if there any other electrical power connections around these wires you should make sure they are not making contact somewhere.

Obviously this is not the kind of problem you want to troubleshoot in your bare feet. Personally, I’d probably be wearing gloves to handle things in case something is electrified.

Good luck and be safe.

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I knew that no matter how thorough I thought I was, I would forget something important.

The controllers are LOR1602W



LOL! My wife said it was possessed and I was looking at it while barefoot! Just finished painting my castle!)

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Just for a sanity check, see if you can find one of those plug in outlet testers. They have LED's that will show if hot and neutral are swapped, and other common errors in outlet wiring.

To me, it sounds like you either have hot and neutral swapped going into (or out of) that power strip, or you have a dangerously high offset between that earth ground (the metal stake) and your neutral. The high offset could be because of a failed connection between your electrical panel ground, and the earth ground that is supposed to be grounding your house, but I still don't think it would be enough to light a strand of minis...

I do suggest not being barefoot while troubleshooting this one...:shock:

- Kevin

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So I yanked the fence up today because this is annoying and it screws up my animation!!! I pulled the fence up an the extention cord I made that runs up through the post center was severly scored and the wires were exposed. I ran a new cord through and put everything back together and now I do not have the problem.

The wire was exposed from when I initially forced the PVC pipe over the metal grand stake.

But WTF????

Its fixed now.

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