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Thread: Understanding Design of Horning Dimmer

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Understanding Design of Horning Dimmer

    steven,

    may i ask why you are trying to push this design to what seems to be its limits and beyond?

    from what i can see there are easier ways to get 160+ dimming channels over a long distance.

    Peter

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Understanding Design of Horning Dimmer

    Great question. I have asked myself this recently.

    I have a huge lot, and in the past my christmas displays consist of litterly 100 long extension cords, and hundreds of short 3-outlet cords. I HATE extension cords. I want to get to 1 cord per 8-16 AC outlets per location. like a "smart power strip".

    When I first looked at the Horning Dimmer circuit, I felt it was the answer. It had 8 dimming channels, and the ability to pass through to next "power strip". I can envison my yard with a few extension cords, and 1 four conductor phone cord tieing all power strips together to 1 PC in the house. I then thought "gee, I can replace 16 ICs with 1 pic". THis boiled design down to 1 pic, 1 crystal, 2 phone jacks, 8 optos and 8 Triacs, and 1 5V power supply brick. I could house this in 1 -four gang outlet box with 8 individual outlets, and 1 feeder cord for incoming AC.

    However, the more and more I look at the REN-C, the more I think I can use it instead. I will need to have more than one serial port, and the 64 channels will still need to be broken into 4-16 channels or 8 - 8 channels.

    The other way still seems more "modular", the jury is still out IMHO...

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Understanding Design of Horning Dimmer

    Well if your looking at trying to limit the amount of cables running around the yard, have you thought of the ren-16. 16 dimming channels with the ssr's on board and you can do 1 cable in then 1 cable to the next ren-16.

    If you dont allready have the 595 boards, but you wanted a central board with remote ssr boards then replace the ren-c + 585 idea with a ren-64 board.

    i think there is a 4 or 8 channel SSR with dmx logic on the board available over on the DLA site that RJ runs.

    the big advantage of these designs for you as far as i can see is that they all get the dimming that you want. and they are rs232/rs485 based. which means that once converted to RS485 you can run 1000+ feet inbetween controllers without a huge problem.

    And the parrallel port that has caused so many people issues is no longer being used.

    The biggest problem i can see with the 595/grinch + horning dimmer is that you are working with a complex design that would only give you say 8 dimming channels per board. and trying to join multiple boards you will run into issues with the parrallel port in both interfacing to the pc and also joining the boards. as i wouldnt trust the parrallel port for running more than a few feet reliably.

    So i guess the more information about what equipment you allready have and what type of layout/design you want to make that yiou give the peopl here the better advice we can give you .

    Also do you want to make your own boards or do you want to just build a allready designed board.

    anyway which ever way you decide to go please let us know and keep us informed as there are lots of people here who would like to know how others go.

    Peter

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Understanding Design of Horning Dimmer

    Ernie, Peter,

    After reviewing Renard and Horning, I decided to build Renard-8. first 8 channels are hand built, work great. I got sampled on 16F688 Microcontroller, Triacs(BTA08-600), Max232, and zero cross. I had some FR4 proto board, only parts I had to buy were MOC3023. Got enought to build 100 channels. Have 100 spare Triacs. Also have spare 595, 40102.

    Ended up using dry-wall-blue box and duplex outlets, very cheap. 1 15amp cord supplies each 8 channels. I did not use the external crystal, so I am running at 19,200 instead of 57,600.

    THanks for recommendation. Very clever, having PIC responsible for zero-cross and refresh each of 8 triacs.

    What is the max channels I can run on 19,200 at 100mS resolution?

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Understanding Design of Horning Dimmer

    good to hear you had some sucess.

    im not sure about the maximum channels you can get at 19200 but there is a table in the wiki with the worst case numbers somewhere (double byte characters on every channel0. and i think with the new renard pluggin does away with those so basicly you could double the channel numbers they are talking about.

    Also if your interested have a look at the ren-16 or ren 24, both are prebuilt boards based on the ren-8. think both boards can be gotten pretty quickly if you required some.

    anyway, allways good to hear people doing something and getting a working outcome.

    great work

    Peter

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Understanding Design of Horning Dimmer

    Number of Channels (*) Refresh Interval
    Baud Rate 100 ms 50 ms 25 ms
    ......115200 575 287 143
    ......57600 287 143 71
    ......38400 191 95 47
    ......19200 95 47 23

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Understanding Design of Horning Dimmer

    The note in the wiki is incorrect. These are the original numbers when the two byte code was being used. If you are using the Modified Renard Plug-in included in Vixen 2.X you can double those numbers. Guaranteed, I’m running 50 mS using 64 channels at 19.2 K baud with no external oscillator on the board.
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  8. #18
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    Default Re: Understanding Design of Horning Dimmer

    Yes, those numbers in the Wiki can be doubled using the new Renard Plugin. I successfully tested 192 channels of Renard at 50ms on one com port earlier this year.

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