View Full Version : If you're gonna screw it up......

12-05-2008, 07:36 PM
Might as well mess it up as many times as you can.

After accidentally putting 12v to my Ren-C/Grinch combos a week ago, I finally got everything working and in good order. Tested all the lights, tested all the Cat5, tested all the boards and SSR's. Everything worked. Got the mega tree up last weekend. Have had it running by itself. I was hoping for a little warmer weahter and a little less snow. That didn't happen, of course. The reason I got started late, was because of a freak snowfall the week before Thanksgiving. We got a foot.

So realizing that it's jsut getting colder, I waited till mid day today, when it got up to 14 degrees, to finish the set up. Got Grinch #2 out, got all the SSR's out, and ran the Cat5. The first three (A, B, C) SSR's worked fine. Hooked them and the lights all up and on. Of course I had bad Cat5 connections for SSR D, mind you it was fine inside. Disconneted it from the system, and put on new plugs. Tested OK, and hooked up OK.

SSRs E, F, & G worked . But SSR H of course, bad connection at the SSR. Unhooked it from the SSR, snaped the bad the plug off, and wouldn't you know it, I forgot to unhook it from the Grinch. All the lights go off. I disconnect it, go inside, unplug everything, plug it back in, turn it on, turn all channels on, and the lights are on. Whew, avoided disaster. Get outside, only SSR's A-D are on, nothing else. Guess what? Fried the Allegro. So I assume. Transfer the Cat5 from E, F & G to A, B & C. Lights come on. Must be the chip. Try SSR's I & J, they don't work. They are on a different chip. Decide to switch chips around. Unpower and unplug everything, switch the bad chip to A-D and the good to E-H, nothing works anywhere. Switched them back, nothing works anywhere.

And since I don't have any spares, I managed to find the thread about Digi-Key having them. They are being overnighted with Sat. Delivery. So I am hoping that's all I did. I wouldn't be surprised if I blew up something else. That's my luck......

12-05-2008, 09:29 PM
Do you have a link? While making the network cables I plugged one end into the grinch before making the other. I realized my mistake when I went to trim the wires in the ssr end of the cable and it sparked. I ended up frying 2 of the chips. Luckily I requested 6 samples, but now I dont have any extras.

12-06-2008, 01:12 AM

They've got just over a thousand. $2 a piece. Price break at 25.

12-06-2008, 01:15 AM
Be sure to order extras, too. I blew two chips myself this year.

12-07-2008, 02:55 PM
Hey, guess what? Last ngiht wile working on my setup, trying to jsut get it up, I found that one of my SSR boards decided to quit working on Channel 2. Mind you it was tested inside and worked fine. Now I have to go out in the snow and change it out.

Does eny one esle have this many problems every year? I mean, besides doing the stupi stuff I did, I constantly have lights breaking, every year I have to make all new connections on almost every Cat5 cable, SSR's that randomly stop working, network connections that break whenver they want. Display will be working, then suddenly some lights are out, test the cable, and one of the ends is bad. I want to expand my display, but if I am having this many basic problems with 93 channels, I hesitate to add any more.

12-07-2008, 04:47 PM
And just so you can hear another problem...Between the last post and now, I had another channel quit working. Problem is, it's in the bazooka inside the Mega Tree, so I can't even get to it to see what the problem is. I just know there is no power comming from the cord out of the bazooka. This is just really upsetting. So I am going to have one channel that is not working this year for sure.

And the worst part is, I never touched it or the Mega Tree.

12-07-2008, 09:21 PM
I had a few channels do the same thing. I figured out that it was the ethernet cables causing the problems. I either had to crimp the end a little tighter, or put new ends on the cables. Good Luck.

12-07-2008, 09:22 PM
Yes, I've had SSR's go from 'working' in the garage to 'not working' on the least accessible part of the roof.

12-08-2008, 12:04 AM
Well after 3 weeks of trials and tribulations, and then spending an hour wondering why the sound on my PC suddenly doesn't work, it's all up and running!

We've already had hald a dozen people stop by and watch.