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Thread: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    I'll go first. Last year the only night that my system went down is when I left for a few hours to go to our annual dock Christmas dinner. Yesterday I went to the annual Christmas dinner and just as I feared, the show went down. Dariusz called me (THANKS!). So I was probably down about 90 minutes. Got it back up at about 9pm. Turned out to be human error this time. I didn't plug the battery charger all the way into the strip for my laptop. It was not charging .. so the show lasted a little over 2 hours .. then HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYBBBBBBBBBBBBEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRNNNNNNNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAATTTTTTTTTTTTEEEEEeeeee !
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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    Senior Member mpurser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    well i use my desktop to run my show.that being said when the show is runing any sound that the computer makes the edm transmitter sends outside Thursday night after the show i got on the net for a while.this means power down the edm and disable the show .being very tired i did not stay online long and went to bed.i get up at 4:00 am every day got up went to work and forgot to reset everything.came home sat in my fav chair turned the t.v. on (this is a( BAD COMBO IN MY LIVING ROOM IT PUTS ME TO SLEEP)I WAS AWAKENED AT 8 P.M. BY MY CELL RINGINGit was a visitor that had stopped by the night before went home and told her oldies child about the show the kid and a friend of hers were sitting in my parking lot waiting for the show to light up
    are you sure we checked every pixel?The Home of North Carolina's Largest tomato cage pixel tree.http://www.thelightsonpurserroad.com

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    Registered User briancadman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    I had four LED bulbs go bad, two on two strings. Can you beleive that?
    Does that qualify as a problem?
    Christmas 2014 No show this year
    Facebook - Cadman Christmas

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    I did some minor electrical work at my mother-in-law's house (replaced a bad light switch), took her by DooCrew's display near her house, took her back home, and when I got near my display I could hear it playing in my radio. I also heard the Zara radio album that wasn't supposed to come at at 4 PM playing over the top of the show music.

    Still not sure why an album that was supposed to have been stopped, or already played through if the touch tones didn't work, was still playing.

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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stevens View Post
    Still not sure why an album that was supposed to have been stopped, or already played through if the touch tones didn't work, was still playing.
    I had issues with the tones last year, so I took them out this year by firing vixen from zara radio. That gave me my big problems of the year. I had to re-do the entire show schedule in vixen because the PC started to lock up and not want to run my show at all. No lights, no audio, just dead.

    Then vixen started giving me issues, and i'm looking into xlights now.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Official Lurker Fasteddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    The other day in my rush to get thing finalized i connected 12vdc to my ECG-P2 and then i got that smell of anquish. I then discovered that the cable i plugged into had reversed polarity due some LED testing on some common positive strip a few days prior, so the + was - and vise versa. It pays to label leads or disconnect leads straight after use that are not connected standard. Lucky all i had to do was run the ECG-P2 from a 5vdc power supply as all that was cooked was the voltage regulator.

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fasteddy View Post
    The other day in my rush to get thing finalized i connected 12vdc to my ECG-P2 and then i got that smell of anquish. I then discovered that the cable i plugged into had reversed polarity due some LED testing on some common positive strip a few days prior, so the + was - and vise versa. It pays to label leads or disconnect leads straight after use that are not connected standard. Lucky all i had to do was run the ECG-P2 from a 5vdc power supply as all that was cooked was the voltage regulator.

    You weren't the only one to do that. Other than a slight voltage drop, I wonder if there would be any negative impacts of putting a birdge rectifier in front of all DC inputs on those things? And yeah, those voltage regulators don't like reverse polarity. Enough so it can smoke the trace leading to it.

    About 15 years ago, I had a phone tech install a router in a CO; about a $300K router, DC powered. He called and told me it wasn't powering up......said he had run the negative to ground and positive to the other lead. Problem is, the ground in CO is the positive side. "Not in Las Vegas! Black is always ground!" he insisted. I told him to reverse the leads, guaranteed him that he would not be held responsible for any damage done by doing so......the thing powered up and he couldn't hang the phone up fast enough. Guess he was embarrassed. I'm glad that $300K router and DC input protection.

  8. #8
    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    Good stuff guys. When you have issues, it always helps others when we post the bummers. We are all still vulnerable !

    I am having a HORRIBLE time with getting the stupid DMX adapter to stay on its own COM port. LOR wants COM7 and the DMX adapter has been on COM8. I always plug in LOR first, so it takes COM7. Then the DMX adapter goes in and the stupid thing will not go to COM8. It tries to go to COM7 and then sits there. I would not even have this issue if I had avoided Renard. I absolutely love the cost per channel for Renard ($65 for 24 channels in a kit is awesome). But with the flickering issue I've had to move DMX away from my E681 controller, and having a separate DMX on the USB/COM ports has been a constant headache. Meanwhile all the LOR gear and the E681 pixels run perfectly as expected.

    I may be selling off my assembled Renard boards after this season. I need to stick with LOR for consistency. Mixed networks is not fun from the laptop point of view. But for any new members who are concerned about paying $10 to $12 per channel, Renard is still a great choice at $3 a channel. In that case I would suggest to be 100% Renard, like Sam Johnson and a couple others.
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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    Official Lurker Fasteddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    Why not use LOR boards in DMX, thats what I do. I have 1 x E1.31 network leaving the computer and I run my LOR CCR controllers in DMX mode mixed in with all my other DMX controllers
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    Registered User Samj435's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Fasteddy View Post
    Why not use LOR boards in DMX, thats what I do. I have 1 x E1.31 network leaving the computer and I run my LOR CCR controllers in DMX mode mixed in with all my other DMX controllers
    I'm going to do the same next year when I add some floodlights. One cable runs it all! And if I ever do some projection mapping, it can even carry out the video signals.

    If you invest in a true E1.31 -> DMX bridge, you can use both DMX and Renard outputs on it, and have your renards on the regular firmware. Diyledexpress has a 6 port version for ~$60. That will solve your renard issues, and your COM port issues.
    2014: Lights - 75,000; Channels - 500 Renard AC, 75 Renard DC, 10,000 Pixels; Vixen 3.0

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    Official Lurker David Stafford's Avatar
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    Default Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    $80 Bummer - I had planned to be a silent/FM only show this year but added a pair of active wireless speakers for the walkers... I broke out a channel for powering them via a background show and put my FM station sign along with it. Unfortunately, after a power on to the circuit - they still require a physical press of the power button on each speaker as well as a volume increase from 0. I hope to buy a nice 2 channel amp and outdoor speakers so I can return these to amazon....

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    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    Quote Originally Posted by David Stafford View Post
    $80 Bummer - I had planned to be a silent/FM only show this year but added a pair of active wireless speakers for the walkers... I broke out a channel for powering them via a background show and put my FM station sign along with it. Unfortunately, after a power on to the circuit - they still require a physical press of the power button on each speaker as well as a volume increase from 0. I hope to buy a nice 2 channel amp and outdoor speakers so I can return these to amazon....
    I lucked into a pair of telephone system PA amps for $5 each at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Yup, monaural. No power switches, which is minor. The two of them are each half of that stereo signal, and more than sufficient to drive the 100 watt outdoor speakers. No "soft" power switch; a hard knob on the front to control volume, and while I thought about putting them on a channel, they are on a simple timer. FM transmitter gets fed by Zara radio around the clock except for when the show runs; the amps get fed during the show.

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    Official Lurker Bartek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    I forgot to turn my FM sign on last night.


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    Official Lurker herbaclaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    I strung an entire tree from a box of lights that I thought was a TESTED box (I always test my lights after storage and then have em ready) and strung that sucker (15 strings wrapped tight) with the box from LAST year of sets that I was going to FIX. And I usually have power on as I string and was lazy and didn't.

    Bonehead move. Cost me 2 hours.

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    Havin fun ! kidcole's Avatar
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    Default Re: Share your bummers, mistakes and problems ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Samj435 View Post
    I'm going to do the same next year when I add some floodlights. One cable runs it all! And if I ever do some projection mapping, it can even carry out the video signals.

    If you invest in a true E1.31 -> DMX bridge, you can use both DMX and Renard outputs on it, and have your renards on the regular firmware. Diyledexpress has a 6 port version for ~$60. That will solve your renard issues, and your COM port issues.


    Good suggestion ! But my E681 should have clean DMX outputs also .. It's exactly the same as a bridge when the 485 amp is added. Brian Cadman si doing exactly the same thing and he does not have any flicker .. I just going to take the Renards out of the equation. I like the Renards and I think the idssue is simply the need to switch them to their internal clock. I also need to try the TIR Floods next and I'll try those on the E681 DMX from the start. If the floods flicker then I will point my finger at the E681. I will hook up at least two this weekend and add them to the show .. I am off work for the rest of the year starting Friday ...
    Thanks,

    Denny Cole
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cole...ristmasLights/

    Back to Work <unretired> so I went Static in 2017. Planning xLights when I retire <again>. Maybe 2019 ?

    Falcon - 3 F16V3 & 1 PiCap, Sandevices - 2 E681 & 4 E6804, 288 Channels Lynx Express, 108 Channels DC DMX,
    10' Pixel MegaTree, CoroFlakes w/Pixel Modules, Pixel RBLs, 2 Pixel Matrix 16x25, 10" RGB Ornaments, 7x230 Pixel Icicle Matrix,
    Classic 20' AC Megatree, TIR Destiny RGB Spots, RGB Blowmolds, Wireframes, and Inflatables with External Light Control

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