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Thread: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

  1. #1
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    Default Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    After flashing my PIC's I found a new problem on a few channels but not all of them. It seems to happen more on complex effects and not just Set Level effect of Vixen. If I have multiple strands of LED's together sometimes one or two sets in the strand will not light but then sometimes they will. Its hard to explain fully so I had to take some videos to help illustrate. It was not doing it before the re-flash(Hard to say for sure because it was a mess prior) so I am assuming that it may be my problem or it just exposed it for me. Has anyone ran into this?






  2. #2
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    Default Re: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    Shooting at the stars...

    What speed is the firmware set for? What speed is your player set for?

    What is the timing in the sequence set to? 50ms?

    If do a 10 second sequence and put all channels in a ramp from 0 to 100, what does it look like?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    Let's clarify a few things. Are you saying that these are sections of the same string connected to the same channel of an AC controller? Or are they multiple strings connected to the same channel of an AC controller. Or are they multiple strings connected to multiple channels?

    Here's where standard systematic troubleshooting comes into play. Nevermind the sequenceing software. Don't worry about that. Test the controller's behavior on its own. Since you mentioned flashing PICs, I'm assuming these are renard controllers. Try using the renard tester app to verify the operation of the renard controller. https://www.renard-plus.com/downloads.html. If that shows a problem with your light string. Try a more simple load. Connect an incandescent bulb to the output channel showing the issue and see if that works correctly. If the standard bulb works, then it could be some issue with your LED strings not playing nice and wanting to dim. (It's not the first time I'd have seen that)

    Once you verify the controller is working properly, and is controlling your strings properly, then we can move on to opening the sequencer and seeing if you've got something odd going on there.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    They are multiple strings on the same channel connected together to make a strand. Some strings light, others do not(intermittently because sometimes they all light). It seems to happen mostly on channels 1 and 2 which is the house multicolor and white. If you look at the first video everything on the house is on two channels and all should light at the same time. There are sections which are a whole string of lights that are not lighting intermittently. Same with the third video those hoops are three strings attached together on one channel to make each hoop. Only those two hoops are having a problem. I do agree its not Vixen that is the cause but think maybe the lower voltage effects may not be helping my problem.

    As far as firmware I don't honestly know. I tried compiling the ASM file and could not get it to work w/o syntax errors. I asked for standard hex file on another thread but did not have any luck there. What I did have was a ss16 board I never used that has some PIC's in it that the box said 115k baud I snagged the hex off those and moved them to my ss24 pic's. I tried running that at 115K, changed my setup to run that baud and nothing worked. I changed it back to 56k and got a functional show minus what we are seeing here.

    I will try a test sequence and the Renard test software and see what I come up with. Since its happening on some of the early channels I am also going to try moving the pic's around and see if the issue follows.
    Last edited by Toemoss; 12-03-2020 at 11:30 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    I think your use of "strings" and "strands" was confusing to us. Most of us use those terms interchangeably to mean the same thing.

    It sounds like you have at least some strings of lights that don't play well with triac based dimming. Perhaps they have some sort of smoothing circuit in them to reduce flicker. But that would also impact it's ability to be dimmed.

    I hate to direct you off this site, but I know some of the more active renard users hang out more at diychristmas.org. You might get some more in-depth answers from them over there.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    Sorry strings to me is a string of lights out of a box and strand is me connecting those strings together to make a longer light
    The lights are all the same model/brand so its hard to determine. I will check out the .org site and see if that helps.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    Today I did verify the problem happens the worst on channels 1-4 on the first ss24 board. I swapped U6 with U8 to see if the problem follows the PIC and it does not.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    Have you tried swapping the lights to different channels to see if the problem follows the lights or the controller channels?

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    Default Re: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    Where are your lights from?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Half my strings in a strand not lighting intermittently

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla View Post
    Have you tried swapping the lights to different channels to see if the problem follows the lights or the controller channels?
    I just swapped a working hoop with one of the problem ones and the problem follows so it looks like a channel issue not light.

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