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Thread: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

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    God Bless America victory402's Avatar
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    Default DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    So I have put this little show together for my 50th birthday party and I included some DJ party lights. As you know, these lights have little motors in them to swirl and move the lights inside of them.

    Last Saturday night while testing the show it crashed on me. It was the first time I had the DJ lights plugged in and running. Yesterday I ran the show without them and it ran fine.

    I'm going to run another test tonight with the DJ lights connected to see what happens (weather permiting).

    Al mention at the the meeting a couple of weeks ago that LOR does not like motors and such and this has got me concerned.

    I need some guidence here. Perhaps I need to wire in a few relays to control them? Could these DJ lights cause the show to crash?

    I did clean up my pc some last week just in case it was a maxed out Ram problem or something. I have an older Pentium 2 Thinkpad with only 1 gig of ram.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated...

    Vic
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS
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    Registered User mschell's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Quote Originally Posted by victory402 View Post
    So I have put this little show together for my 50th birthday party and I included some DJ party lights. As you know, these lights have little motors in them to swirl and move the lights inside of them.

    Last Saturday night while testing the show it crashed on me. It was the first time I had the DJ lights plugged in and running. Yesterday I ran the show without them and it ran fine.

    I'm going to run another test tonight with the DJ lights connected to see what happens (weather permiting).

    Al mention at the the meeting a couple of weeks ago that LOR does not like motors and such and this has got me concerned.

    I need some guidence here. Perhaps I need to wire in a few relays to control them? Could these DJ lights cause the show to crash?

    I did clean up my pc some last week just in case it was a maxed out Ram problem or something. I have an older Pentium 2 Thinkpad with only 1 gig of ram.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated...

    Vic
    Vic,
    From what I'm told about LOR, and for most other typical light controllers, it is true that you shouldn't try to run motors on a channel. Any kind of inductive load can cause all kinds of issues on the controller.

    But, it's highly unlikely that running this will cause your computer to crash, unless you've got the computer connected to the same circuit as is running the lights. Changing loads and a unstable power supply in your computer could cause a crash, but it's more likely that it was an odd coincidence.

    Relays for the motors is the best way to prevent something bad happening to your controller because you tried to dim it or it overloaded the channel.

    Hope this helps!
    Mark

    New location - new display. Looking forward to 2015 season!

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    God Bless America victory402's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Mark,
    Thanks for the reply, yes, I'm running my system on the same circuit. I'll do a switch tomorrow.
    I ran a test show tonight and LOR crashed.
    My son said it's time to dump the stinkpad and get new system.
    I'm confident i'll get this bug worked out before showtime.
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    God Bless America victory402's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Well Guys,

    Problem solved. Wired up relays this morning and everything is running great.

    I'm so glad Al mentioned just that one little tid bit of info at the meeting the other day.

    Thanks everyone,

    Vic
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Quote Originally Posted by victory402 View Post
    Well Guys,

    Problem solved. Wired up relays this morning and everything is running great.

    I'm so glad Al mentioned just that one little tid bit of info at the meeting the other day.

    Thanks everyone,

    Vic
    Vic I'm happy that it is working. However, the relays are masking the problem. As mentioned on the LOR forum it very well could be noise on the USB cable. I have a USB cable with ferrite filters on it for the RS485 driver. I don't know where I got it but suspect it came with the LOR RS485 driver. Regardless, it works well. The motors could be injecting noise onto the rs485 bus which could be locking up your computer. I foam at the mouth each time I discuss the rs485 implementation from LOR. You will see this problem again--count on it unless you find and kill the problem now. I smell comm noise.

    Here are a couple simple rules with RS485. Keep the communication lines far away from power cord (you already know this rule). If you cannot help it crossing a power line (let's get real it is almost impossible not to do so) make sure the power line and comm line are at right angles to each other. Never let the two touch. A small distance separation will result in a major reduction in induced noise.

    Try this if you have the time. Remove the relays and plug the stuff back into the way you had it. Power the computer from a totally separate feed from the breaker box. You may need to run an extension cord to another part of the house. Then run the show. If it doesn't lock up that tells me that noise is being induced on the power feed by the motors. If not then try the shielded USB cable.

    Are you using a relay or a solid state relay (SSR)? You should be fine short term. But, if you use a standard mechanical relay with LOR then good engineering practices says you should use a means to suppress "flyback" from the relay. A metal oxide varistor (commonly called an MOV) will do the trick if you put it close to the coil in the relay. What that means stick this MOV onto the relay coil contacts. It will NOT work well if installed on the controller. It must be installed near the source of the flyback. Here is an example of an MOV. Use the column for Vrms of 130V.
    http://www.newark.com/jsp/content/pr...=c126&page=352

    I know I threw out a bunch of stuff in that last paragraph. If you are using relays short term go ahead and have fun. I know this is the case with you for this application. However, if you wire mechanical relays long term use MOVs.
    Al
    Last edited by Al in Raleigh; 08-02-2009 at 10:28 PM.

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    God Bless America victory402's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Al,

    Thanks for the info.

    I was hoping this was not an interference problem.
    You better have a look at this photo of my setup.

    -shop-mess-008.jpg

    Maybe I should go to praying...LOL

    I'm gonna clean this mess up and run a separate power line with a filter for my laptop. Perhaps install shorter cat5's inbetween the cards.

    My Christmas display will be more thought out. Keep in mind that I threw this together for a short 17 min, one time show.

    Any more thoughts...

    Vic
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    God Bless America victory402's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Al,

    One other question.

    Is there a way to sheild the Comm cables?

    Or perhaps the power cables?

    Any Ideas on where i could pick up a filter to eliminate any of the 110 volt electrical disturbances being shot out.

    vic
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Hi Vic,

    I know that you did this for a one time shot and so it should work. Noise on the bus will do ugly things. If the relays are working leave them but still run the separate power source. Make a video of your display.

    My B-day party is Aug 16 at the lake, so we will not be having a display. I'm envious.
    Al

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Quote Originally Posted by victory402 View Post
    Al,

    One other question.

    Is there a way to sheild the Comm cables?

    Or perhaps the power cables?

    Any Ideas on where i could pick up a filter to eliminate any of the 110 volt electrical disturbances being shot out.

    vic
    The best thing that you can do is to get a USB cable with the inline ferrite bead. That should do the most help short of separating the comm lines from the power lines. A filter for the AC will have limited results so don't waste your money. I'll loan you my USB cable if you want. Did your RS485 converter come with a funky looking USB cable? If so use that cable.

    RS485 is a very robust protocol. By virtue of how it works makes it less susceptible to noise. Shielding of the cable is accomplished by aluminum shield (I can't remember if aluminum or braided is better for this low frequency noise) but it isn't connected to ground anywhere that I know of which means the shielding is of limited value. So, separate the comm lines from the AC lines and you should be fine.

    You will be fine. I'm going to PM you with my cell phone number just in case.
    Al

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    God Bless America victory402's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Will Do and Happy Birthday!

    Any of you who want to come see my little 50th b-day show on the
    22nd, you are certainly welcome. just pm me.

    Vic
    RED MOUNTAIN LIGHTS

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Vic did you work out your problems? I know your show will be on the 22nd and depending on the time I might want to drive up and see your show. What time do you plan to have it?
    Al

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    Registered User Don Williams's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Hi Vic

    I tried to post before now , but I got timed out and the post never went through. I am not a fast typist.

    Al gave you some great information regarding relays, so I decided to share with you our setup here. I have been using relays for years to control motors and high amperage gadgets . I have used mechanical and SSRís with great success.

    We control smoke machines, small motors, large motors, huge 600 watt tracer lights, snow machines, high velocity blowers and ect. On such items you most use relays ! My preference is the 125v mechanical relays, because I can get almost instant response time when the relay is to make contact.

    Now I am a very simple guy and if I can come up with a simple way to make things work I will do it, so here is the way I achieve activation of relays. First install a load just before the relay. This is important ! You can use a C9 bulb for this. Then from there you hit the relay and then the motor.

    LOR Channel ------ C9 load --------120v Relay ------- Motor

    Low Voltage Relay

    LOR Channel ----- C9 load ------- Low voltage Transformer ---- Relay ----- Motor

    A DC control board would work great with SSR,s (just donít have one)

    This year I will be controlling a 2 HP motor in our display, and have tested it and works great. You can use the PC board for all of this.

    Hope this info is helpful

    Don

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Williams View Post

    LOR Channel ------ C9 load --------120v Relay ------- Motor

    Don
    Good ideas Don. You will get the greatest protection for your triacs by putting the C9 on the relay coil and not at the triac but you probably already know that. In essence, by putting the C9 in parallel to the relay coil you get a low resistance current path for the flyback from the coil. That is a inexpensive MOV of sorts. Good idea.

    In a side note to Michael H., I have the Power Point presentation ready to post to CC but the size is huge and William would like get mad at me for doing it. I'll try to remember to give you a copy on CD for our next meeting.
    Al

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    Registered User Don Williams's Avatar
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    I failed to mention that I do mount the C9 with in the same enclosure as the relay.

    Al, Mike was over here tonight and we have been going over some interesting topics for our next meeting. We will hook up later on the CD.

    By the way we will have some more new members soon. I had 2 others to come by today with some minor problems. I got them in the right direction. They had not heard about CC. I can really see our association growing.

    I am so happy to see this !!!

    Don

  15. #15
    wbottomley
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    Default Re: DJ Party Lights and LOR Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Al in Raleigh View Post
    I have the Power Point presentation ready to post to CC but the size is huge and William would like get mad at me for doing it.Al
    Al... how big is that file?

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