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ARRRRG - Frustration

Discussion in 'Mega, Mini, Spiral & Pixel Trees' started by nzlongfellow, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. nzlongfellow

    nzlongfellow Dennis from NZ

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    Just finished 24 x 50 pixel mini trees. :D
    24V power supply 24V/12V x 5V Buck converters.
    Bench tested each one as it was completed then added it to others to make a daisy chain of 6. Left them running on xLights test cycle and completed the next 6, same deal - bench test then put on a 2nd output up to 6 until all 24 done on 4 outputs.


    Moved them 3m across the shed to setup for full run and a Woopeee Video BUT


    Now random between RED BLUE GREEN WHITE. Sometimes all three cycle then one gets randomly missed or will not go at all.
    Made a test rig with 300mm lead to eliminate the 3m leads they are built with and exactly the same pattern.
    Changed the Pixlite 4, no change to result.
    Tried 12V supply - no change
    Tried connecting 5V and no Buck Converter - no change.
    Changed cat 5 cable - No change
    Rebooted Lap Top - no change.


    Only thing NOT changed is the LAP TOP ... maybe the dog knocking it off the bench may have done some internal damage :'(
    Time for a beer but even that won't work as I don't drink. :(
     
  2. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    My 1st step would be to change to a different test software like da_dmx and see if the fault follows the software. If the fault stops then there may be an unexpected bug with xlights. If it stays then you're going to have to start removing things to isolate stuff and maybe get the mutlimeter out and check the outputs of the dc-dc converters as I reckon they are quite possibly the most likely culprits.
    To ease your frustration there is some good news. I put your strobes and fuse boards in the posts this afternoon.
     
  3. OP
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    nzlongfellow

    nzlongfellow Dennis from NZ

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    Thanks Alan. I will start with a different Lap Top tomorrow. And tks for the strobes and fuses.... :D :D :D
     
  4. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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    What are the trees made from and what strings are on them?
    I only ask as I too had a weird problem recently.
    It turned out that the strips were shorting out on the metal frame they were attached to and when 1 strip went green it turned an adjacent strip blue, or similar.
     
  5. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    Being pixel chips you don't have the "shorting" to earth type problems that you have with rgb elements. The data, clock and power lines are the only things that can really get shorted to earth and that would be unlikely to cause that sort of issue.
     
  6. OP
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    nzlongfellow

    nzlongfellow Dennis from NZ

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    Had a morning OFF and have now done the following.
    1 - Loaded a new sequence into xLights just for the 24 trees into the dropped LapTop.
    2 - Found 4 trees that operated correctly and plugged 1 per Pixlite 4 output.
    3 - Connected extra trees to the 1st output until failure. This happened when #5 was connected. Random colours on that one plus 1/2 way up the one before it indicating a voltage problem.
    4 - Worked thru the rest and found more and more failed ones from yesterdays testing, that-is not even lighting up.
    5 - Also found some that worked this arvo that now don't work. They were OK then when I unplugged them and replugged them they had failed. Guess pixels don't like hot-swaps.


    Moving on.
    I will set up a J1Sys-P12 with max 3 per output after repairing the pixels in the failed ones. :(


    Moral (so far) - CLAP = Patience. :D :D
     
  7. battle79

    battle79 Full Time Elf

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    Pixels definitely don't like hot swapping. Found that out myself. I have 4 strips of 149 pixels now.

    Also if you feed too higher voltage to overcome voltage drop at the far end, then the first pixel also doesn't like that either. Another 2 strips of 149.

    Live and learn I say!

    Best of luck with it,
    Rowan
     
  8. OP
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    nzlongfellow

    nzlongfellow Dennis from NZ

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    Was only the first pixel of the first tree on each output so only four pixels to change out. All but one tree repaired.
    I'm finding that is a good thing you only loose the first one. ;)
     
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    nzlongfellow

    nzlongfellow Dennis from NZ

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    Finally 24 Mini Trees up and running and a 2.4m high candle added into the mix.
    https://vimeo.com/108692782
     
  10. BundyRoy

    BundyRoy Senior Elf

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    Christmas is looking good already Dennis. Great work.
     
  11. OP
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    nzlongfellow

    nzlongfellow Dennis from NZ

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    Thanks. My first year with Pixels, a BIG learning curve. Now I need to get on and finish all my displays and drag out my old LED ones and see what still works.....oh yes sequencing also :(
     
  12. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Always disconnect power when plugging and unplugging in lights as you will cause damage to the first pixel. Unfortunately too many learn the hard way and we can only hope others with learn from your lesson. :)
     
  13. franky_888

    franky_888 Apprentice Elf

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    They look awesome. Good Work and glad you found a solution.
     

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