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Thread: Firegod Flicker is back....

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    If the field module LED stays on when you disconnect the SSR, then you likely have a solder bridge or other flaw on the board. If the LED goes out when you disconnect the SSR, you might have a bad cable or a short on the SSR board. Does it work right if you switch 2 of the SSR plugs?

    The voltage regulator is a 6 volt, like this:
    http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/...A19Q2JfA%3d%3d

    That will help you a lot i think, it helped me resolve a lot of issues with mine, especially if you have long cable runs, cat5 cable runs that are real long will drop a fair amount of voltage and since the FM's are powered by the 5 volts down the wire, longs runs can leave you with 4 or less volts at the field module... the 6 volt reg will help that situation a lot!

    -James

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    I am using a 6V regulator, a 2 amp power supply and had to R & R the big cap on the PC interface. 72 hours from a full scale test. I'll report results.

    Greg

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    So I have discovered that when I unplug the SSR the LED goes out. Yet switching SSR's makes no difference whatsoever. The same LED remains lit no matter what Vixen says or what SSR module is plugged into that group of 4 channels. The LED is on unless the SSR is completely unplugged. The whole FM seems to be iffy about responding to Vixen so im going to go over it with a fine tooth comb tomorrow. But if anything comes to mind I'm all ears.

    Greg- what cap did you replace yours with, and is the 2 amp power supply you are using still a 10v AC like the one spec'd? I ordered the 6V regulators but they have yet to arrive. My cable runs to the FM are very short <25' so I really can't believe that is the problem but my fingers are crossed.

    Aaron

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    To follow up- the show is finally opening tonight and most everything appears in order. I am still having some pretty bad flickering through the Firegod but will work with that when the new regulators arrive.

    As far as the problem with the channel staying on-
    while soldering the pic socket on the FM I made a bad joint which grounded that particular channel- thus locking it on for whatever reason (that will teach me to cheap out and order my PBC's without a soldermask) . With that said the FM appears to be functioning perfectly now.

    I would still like to know of any other modifications to reduce the flicker and also what upgraded power supply to go with.

    Thanks,

    Aaron

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    I would call my issue (which may be resolved . . . still finalizing the FG plan - it's late, I know) as pulsing rather than strobing or flashing. It was that same for all FMs so I figured it was a PC Interface issue. I would not let myself believe that I got bad components so I chased other problems. Visual, pin outs, chasing traces (my board is a REV1) I even got one of Roger's (51fordF2) boards to compare and test. I never got to the point of putting a scope on it (N7XG was going to loan me one) before I started throwing parts at it.

    I purchased a transformer:
    http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a...FORMER//1.html

    Based on David's comments I R & R'd the 2200 uf cap on the PC interface and that's as far as I had to go (I think).

    Couldn't help adding to the heat sink - just seemed to run a bit warm.

    Good luck,
    Greg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    Update:

    At the moment, FG is OPERATIONAL! I'm only using FM3 (13 channels worth) but all seems well.

    My son built up 3 Cat 5 cables (PC Interface -> FM), the first two were bad but when I hooked one bad one up, I saw what may be the strobing your talking about. Maybe try to use some commercial cables for a test as the strobing went away with good cables.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    Geez Greg, I never thought about using a transformer that sat by itself, I was always hunting down 2amp+ walwarts which are super pricey. That setup of yours looks very nice!

    I'll have to try that, that's one thing I haven't tried. I kind of suspect it won't solve my problems as some nights I run all night without a single flicker, but worth a try nonetheless!

    After the last week and a half of having horrible flicker, I ran Friday night flicker free again. I can't put a finger on it, the ONLY difference I could find that night is that it rained (and the wind blew 75+mph, can't believe the display survived!!) about 2 hours before showtime. The first thought that comes to mind for me is static...but I'm not sure how I'd track that one down.

    I still think I am fighting a different problem than you all have as my field modules have NEVER had the flicker on the LED's, they have always been rock solid, only the lights plugged into the SSR's flicker, and at that, not all flicker with the same frequency.

    Very glad to hear that your FG is up and running well!! I'm giving the FG's till the end of this season to figure out the flicker, if I can't, i might be building a bunch of Ren's this summer....

    -James

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    Quote Originally Posted by jcizek View Post
    Geez Greg, I never thought about using a transformer that sat by itself, I was always hunting down 2amp+ walwarts which are super pricey. That setup of yours looks very nice!
    -James
    James - I ran 220 channels on two FG systems last year, without a single hiccup. No flicker or anything. I ended up sending one system to Greg, so he could use it to troubleshoot his system, and see if he had any flickering/pulsing with my system. If I recall, he didn't have any noticeable flickering with it.

    I also used separate transformers for each system. When I got my parts in the group buy, one of the wall warts was DOA, and it was replaced. It worked for a while, but got really hot (as hot as the heatsink) and smoked, after probably two hours of use. At that point, I switched to two serious xfmr's from Radio Shack, and used them all season. I ran from Thanksgiving to Jan 7th last year, every night, from 6 pm to 10 during the week, and until midnight on the weekends.

    I didn't set up this year - too many "personal" things - but plan to go big next year. I am hoping to use the Helix, as I have 512+ channels of Helix, and own the lot across the street, where my shop is. so I can orchestrate BOTH sides of the road!

    I hope you don't give up on the FG - as I said, it was flawless all season. Possibly I can send you one of mine, as well, if you want. PM me. I'm not interested in selling, but might be down the road. But it's nice to have a "back-up" system.

    Good luck!

    R
    [IMG]http://crbest.com/vixenlogo02.jpg[/IMG]

    Roger Phillips
    Oxford, IN
    256 channels of blinkin', dimmin' bliss...
    "[B][I]The road goes on forever, and the party never ends!![/I][/B] [I]Robert Earl Keen[/I]

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    Quote Originally Posted by jcizek View Post
    Geez Greg, I never thought about using a transformer that sat by itself, I was always hunting down 2amp+ walwarts which are super pricey. That setup of yours looks very nice!
    -James
    Thanks for the compliment. The case and install are mine, the idea for the transformer is 51fordf2's!
    Thanks Roger.

    I wish I could be more effective help with your issue. Keep us posted.

    Greg

    Update: Running 29 channels on one FM - all is well. Adding 32 channels and a second FM on Thursday.
    Last edited by Greg in Canby; 12-14-2010 at 01:49 AM.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Firegod Flicker is back....

    OK, next question... Roger, Greg, STG, are you guys running sourcing or sinking code on your FG's?? Also, what SSR's are you using?

    I am still thinking that my problem *may* be SSR related... one thing I have noticed the last few nights while watching more closely, is that NONE of the SSR's I have built THIS year (ie, different batch of parts) is flickering on any night... only the one's i built for last years show (first year doing it). I am wondering (mostly due to discussion in another post about bad triacs) if maybe I am having a problem with a bad run of parts! I haven't had any fail, but it seems odd that only last years SSR's are flickering (including if I switch an SSR from one position to the other, putting a "new" ssr in seems to solve the flicker)

    Also, can you guys tell me what Triacs you are using in your SSR's?

    Thanks!! I don't really want to ditch the FG, just once in a while seems like I run out of ideas on what to check next!!

    -James

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