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Thread: Olsen 595 problem - Please help

  1. #1
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    Default Olsen 595 problem - Please help

    I've been working on my first set of Olsen 595 controllers for my first year of computer controlled Christmas lights and ran into a problem. I built 3 set of 8 channel boxes (all home made) because each 595 chip does 8 channels it was just easier and that way I can put the boxes in the yard near what they are controlling to minimize the number of extension cords....I have the 3 boxes daisy chained and box 1 and 2 are working fine there is about 20 feet of cat5 from the PC to the first box then about 5 feet from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 so a total of 30 feet from PC to the last box. here's where thing get a bit confusing

    boxes have 8 channels so;
    box 1 is channels 1-8
    box 2 is channels 9-16
    box 3 is channels 17-24

    like I said channels 1-16 OK! its 17-24

    When I do a channel test in Vixen and turn on 17 channel 18 turns on 18 is 19 and so on...its like the channels have shifted by 1
    IF I switch box 2 and 3 around still the same problem so I know the boxes work fine.

    I did do some reading and found something about the voltage from the PC Parallel port, that if its lower then the supply voltage of 5v that the 595 chip might start doing some funny things and that I should lower the supply voltage to match the PC port voltage.
    I also saw somewhere on the wiki about port booster using to NOT gates (logic inverter) back to back. would this boost the port voltage up to 5 OR would the output on the last NOT gate be the same as the input on the first NOT gate?

    I tried to supply as much information about my setup as I could and tried to explain it without confusing anyone... Please Help!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Olsen 595 problem - Please help

    I would first try different BIOS settings with the parallel port. I think most have luck with EPP. You can make those changes by going into the setup menu at bootup. My computer is F2, but it varies.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Olsen 595 problem - Please help

    I would also try to use short cables between them and then test it. Running longer cables across power lines, etc with a parallel port can be iffy.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Olsen 595 problem - Please help

    Quote Originally Posted by keaster View Post
    I've been working on my first set of Olsen 595 controllers for my first year of computer controlled Christmas lights and ran into a problem. I built 3 set of 8 channel boxes (all home made) because each 595 chip does 8 channels it was just easier and that way I can put the boxes in the yard near what they are controlling to minimize the number of extension cords....I have the 3 boxes daisy chained and box 1 and 2 are working fine there is about 20 feet of cat5 from the PC to the first box then about 5 feet from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 so a total of 30 feet from PC to the last box. here's where thing get a bit confusing

    boxes have 8 channels so;
    box 1 is channels 1-8
    box 2 is channels 9-16
    box 3 is channels 17-24
    This is my understanding of your set up:
    You are using a Home made controller Based on the Olsen 595 design
    you are running a cable from your computer to the first box with the first 595 chip. this cable length is about 20feet.
    The next 595 is in the next box about 5 feet away.
    the 3rd 595 is in the last box about another 5 feet away.

    What signal conditioning are you using on the parallel port lines?
    As 595s are TTL ICs I guessing, by the time you get to the last 595, the clock signal quality is so poor it isn't going to work.
    This is sort of confirmed by your test of swapping the last two boxes/595s.
    [B][I]Matt[/I][/B]

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Olsen 595 problem - Please help

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt_Edwards View Post
    This is my understanding of your set up:
    You are using a Home made controller Based on the Olsen 595 design
    you are running a cable from your computer to the first box with the first 595 chip. this cable length is about 20feet.
    The next 595 is in the next box about 5 feet away.
    the 3rd 595 is in the last box about another 5 feet away.

    What signal conditioning are you using on the parallel port lines?
    As 595s are TTL ICs I guessing, by the time you get to the last 595, the clock signal quality is so poor it isn't going to work.
    This is sort of confirmed by your test of swapping the last two boxes/595s.
    Bang On!!! What do you recommend I use for signal conditioning???

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Olsen 595 problem - Please help

    TTL signals were never intended to transmitted over long cable lengths. the easiest solution is to move both 2nd and 3rd 595 ICs into the first box and then either the 595 outputs or loads wires to the 2nd and 3rd boxes.
    [B][I]Matt[/I][/B]

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Olsen 595 problem - Please help

    Curious if your using vixen and could somehow the channel outputs been changed? If they have all shifted one.. where does 24 come on? does it go back to 17.. or a "lost" 25?

    If it goes to 17 I would make sure that you didn't accidentally move channel 24 to 17, which would move every channel up one.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Olsen 595 problem - Please help

    The channel is lost I tried a NOT gate booster and still no change. The next thing I'm going to try is using the PC power supply to power the 5v, one 8 channel box draw about 100mA with all on, right now I'm using a 5v wall wart that can put out about 800mA.

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