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deplanche
12-04-2008, 12:41 AM
I am running a Grinch, Ren-C, Ren-T combination. For the most part, the sequences are running fine. But every now and then I am getting a channel to come when it isn't supposed to, or a channel that is supposed to be on flickering some. It usually seems to happen at the same point in the sequences, and I've made sure all the levels are set correctly, and still get it to happen. And if I play the sequence from the start, I get the problem about 30 seconds in, but if I start at 29 seconds in, there is no problem.

I am thinking my problem may be interference on the lines, since I have 10 Cat5 cables running together, and some electrical cords nearby. I separated as much as I could, but still getting the problem. Is this something ferrite snap-on things would help? If so, where is a good place to get those? And which end (grinch or SSR) do I put them on the cat5?

Thanks.

vziukas
12-05-2008, 12:10 AM
Its simmilar to issue which I had. Read here:
http://doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4635

dnesci
12-05-2008, 12:35 AM
I am running a Grinch, Ren-C, Ren-T combination. For the most part, the sequences are running fine. But every now and then I am getting a channel to come when it isn't supposed to, or a channel that is supposed to be on flickering some. It usually seems to happen at the same point in the sequences, and I've made sure all the levels are set correctly, and still get it to happen. And if I play the sequence from the start, I get the problem about 30 seconds in, but if I start at 29 seconds in, there is no problem.

I am thinking my problem may be interference on the lines, since I have 10 Cat5 cables running together, and some electrical cords nearby. I separated as much as I could, but still getting the problem. Is this something ferrite snap-on things would help? If so, where is a good place to get those? And which end (grinch or SSR) do I put them on the cat5?

Thanks.


Putting 10 cables next to each other shouldn't cause a problem, I have 16 cable tied together on my lawn and it does not cause a problem. A ferrite bead is used mostly with RF (radio) transmission. It shouldn't be needed for your SSRs. As far as electrical power, you can cross the cat5s but try to stay as close to a right angle as possible to minimize the interferance.

Are the channels that come on the same at all times? You said they come on at the same point in the sequence. Is this always the case and is it only one sequence?

deplanche
12-05-2008, 12:55 AM
It does seem to be the same channels that come on when they aren't supposed to, or not when they are supposed to. At first, I thought maybe I just had a few cells set to a very low value, and didn't see that on the screen, but the actual ones were showing it. Cleaned up the sequence. Didn't seem to help. But like I said, if I start it part way thru a sequence, they I don't see the problem.

I thought I noticed something similiar at halloween, but could never get it to repeat when i was watching or recording it. Lights would come on fine on their own, but at certain points, when all were supposed to come on, one would be lagging behind. Not always, just every now and then.

I'll try to shoot some video of the problem this weekend and if I can figure out how to put that on youtube or something similiar, it may show the problem much better than I can describe. I'll post the sequence with that to show what I am hoping it will look like.

deplanche
12-07-2008, 11:35 PM
Here are my vixen files, both the sequence and the profile. And the Youtube video is at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehg8kv1YZu0. There is no sound with the youtube video, since it probably isn't needed to figure out the problem. Please forgive the bad camera work too... had a hard time figuring out how to record and upload. It also goes thru the sequence almost 2 full times, just for comparison purposes.

A little description to do with it. Channels 1-20 are 100 ct. mini on each channel, which form the outline of the window. 4 channels per SSR, each for window of lights. SSR for left most window hooked to output "A" on grinch, moves to "E" on the right side. SSRs are all connected to outlet plugs using the How-to Wayne made. Channels 21-40 are a single C7 bulb in the center of each window. Connected from right to left on Grinch "F" through "J". So the center window has SSRs connected to "C" and "H" if that matters.

All are plugged into the same outlet, and don't see any flicking with everything on. Controlled by Grinch with a Ren-C and Ren-T with it.

When you watch the video and compare to the sequence, you'll see some lagging channels, only occasionally. There are also some firing that shouldn't be. For example, about 15 seconds in, it should only be the candles in the center lighting up (see the vixen file), but in the video, you can clearly see some minis around the outlines coming on. The more I watch it the more I find. Just can't figure out any pattern or cause. So what do the experts have to say to troubleshoot this??

Thanks.

Jon

RPM
01-29-2009, 05:04 AM
I am running a Grinch, Ren-C, Ren-T combination. For the most part, the sequences are running fine. But every now and then I am getting a channel to come when it isn't supposed to, or a channel that is supposed to be on flickering some. It usually seems to happen at the same point in the sequences, and I've made sure all the levels are set correctly, and still get it to happen. And if I play the sequence from the start, I get the problem about 30 seconds in, but if I start at 29 seconds in, there is no problem.

I am thinking my problem may be interference on the lines, since I have 10 Cat5 cables running together, and some electrical cords nearby. I separated as much as I could, but still getting the problem. Is this something ferrite snap-on things would help? If so, where is a good place to get those? And which end (grinch or SSR) do I put them on the cat5?

Thanks.


I had this happen as well and what ended up being the fix was to add the "RSET" resistor (from pin 1 to pin 23) on the Grinch chips.
I am using the Allegro A6279 chips and I found that once I added the resistors the problem went away and the current consumption of the Grinch board went down drastically. The Grinch chips will run much cooler as well :)

Robert

BadWolf
02-24-2009, 12:21 AM
I had this happen as well and what ended up being the fix was to add the "RSET" resistor (from pin 1 to pin 23) on the Grinch chips.
I am using the Allegro A6279 chips and I found that once I added the resistors the problem went away and the current consumption of the Grinch board went down drastically. The Grinch chips will run much cooler as well :)

Robert

FYI, I added the Rext resistors to one of my Grinches and the current consumption with no SSRs connected dropped from 340ma to 21.1ma with all outputs off and from 680ma to 73.4ma with all outputs on.

Later. . . . . . .Brad

RPM
02-24-2009, 03:01 AM
FYI, I added the Rext resistors to one of my Grinches and the current consumption with no SSRs connected dropped from 340ma to 21.1ma with all outputs off and from 680ma to 73.4ma with all outputs on.

Later. . . . . . .Brad

You will also notice that the top of the IC runs much cooler as well. In one test I did, the chip was at about 130 degrees before adding the resistors and it was about 85 degrees afterward. That's a big difference, and that was with all channels running with a 5mA load and constantly on.

My opinon is that many of the problems people are having with unwanted channels coming on and unreliable communications with the computer are due to this.
Whatever the case may be, I have these resistors on all my Grinch boards ;)

Robert

piesrule58
02-24-2009, 04:39 AM
I am running Ren-C's with my Grinches for the first time this year. I know next to nothing about electronics. Could you please let me know exactly what resistors to use and where they are soldered to the board. Pictures would be helpful.
Cheers, Terry

cbell
02-24-2009, 09:22 AM
Is there a thread somewhere that talks about adding the REXT resistors? Better yet, some pictures showing the mod? I did a quick search, but I'm not known for my efficient use of search terms :p.

rlilly
02-24-2009, 02:25 PM
Read page 8 of the Allegro data sheet (http://www.allegromicro.com/en/Products/Part_Numbers/6278/6278.pdf). It shows the effect of several Rext resistors on current output of the A6279.

BadWolf
02-24-2009, 07:00 PM
You will also notice that the top of the IC runs much cooler as well. In one test I did, the chip was at about 130 degrees before adding the resistors and it was about 85 degrees afterward. That's a big difference, and that was with all channels running with a 5mA load and constantly on.

My opinon is that many of the problems people are having with unwanted channels coming on and unreliable communications with the computer are due to this.
Whatever the case may be, I have these resistors on all my Grinch boards ;)

Robert

Yes, I noticed that too. Without the resistors the chips get hot, with resistors I cannot feel them get warm

RPM
02-24-2009, 07:19 PM
Is there a thread somewhere that talks about adding the REXT resistors? Better yet, some pictures showing the mod? I did a quick search, but I'm not known for my efficient use of search terms :p.

I have some pictures that I'll post as soon as I do a quick write up of how to do the mod.

Robert

BadWolf
02-24-2009, 07:20 PM
I am running Ren-C's with my Grinches for the first time this year. I know next to nothing about electronics. Could you please let me know exactly what resistors to use and where they are soldered to the board. Pictures would be helpful.
Cheers, Terry

I used 470 ohm 1/4 watt resistors. You have to cut some traces and add a jumper and solder the resistors between pins 1 and 23 of each chip.

Here is what I did for U1:

http://www.bluemountainlights.com/grinch/P1020104.jpg

(At the jumper where it says "don't do this", I had to put a jumper there because I cut the wrong trace!)

Here's what to do at U2, U3, and U4. I only took one picture because they all look the same.

http://www.bluemountainlights.com/grinch/P1020105.jpg

http://www.bluemountainlights.com/grinch/P1020102.jpg

Later. . . . . . .Brad

BadWolf
02-24-2009, 07:22 PM
I have some pictures that I'll post as soon as I do a quick write up of how to do the mod.

Robert

Oops, didn't see your reply before I posted.

RPM
02-24-2009, 07:52 PM
Oops, didn't see your reply before I posted.

No problem... there are two ways to do this mod, either by cutting the traces on the bottom of the board (as you show, which is my preferred method) or by lifting pin 23 directly on the chip and soldering a resistor from pin 1 to pin 23.

I used an 1/8th watt 470 ohm resistor that sets the current output to about 40mA and since my SSR's have 680 ohm resistors in them, the current draw is only 5mA per channel.
I only used 470 ohm resistors because I have lots of them. You can calculate the actual resistor value you need for whatever current you need up to 80mA per channel total. I believe the calculation is in the spec sheet.

Here's a couple pictures of the "resistor on the chip" method and one with surface mount resistors soldered directly to the PC board.


Robert