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Strange LOR Problem


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I'm running the latest firmware on all my CTB16PCs and my two ACx8 D-Light units.

It may be a line location thing... my telephone box outside my house is right next to the meter, and I'll have to look again but I think the line feeds into the house right next to (or maybe right into!) the main panel. I might just spend tomorrow afternoon running some telephone wire.

That's typical. I don't think I'd move the service.

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It would be incredible if this leads to a fix for my DSL dropping-off problem that I experience all year. I can never stay connected for more than a day, and I never figured out why. I just chalked it up to my ISP and the telephone lines.

Do you have any devices that send signals through the power lines in your house? Maybe an intercom or spare phone or something that would typically require a wire to communicate between devices but they send the signal through the power line instead.

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Do you have any devices that send signals through the power lines in your house? Maybe an intercom or spare phone or something that would typically require a wire to communicate between devices but they send the signal through the power line instead.

You know, I do use X10 to control the lights in my room, but the internet never drops out when I send an X10 command. It drops out during the night a lot or while I'm at school during the day, when there's no X10 communication. We don't have anything else to my knowledge that communicates over power lines.

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I'm not going to move it outright, but first I'm going to run a 50' telephone cable from the termination box straight to the DSL modem and run the show. If all is good, I'll get a line into the house somewhere away from the main panel.

That sounds fair. Also, it might be interesting to disconnect the phone service at the box and see if the show acts up.

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I Had the same issue this year. Some channels staying on randomly until they re-fire. I tried resetting the lor boxes( i have 28 of the 1602w). Only some were doing this. I decided to check which firmware i had. Most had the 4.4. Some had the 4.3 The ones that were having the problem were using the 4.3. I updated using the hardware utility to 4.32 and all is good now. The 4.32 is located it the hardware if using lor software 2.8.12.

Good Luck Don C.

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I Had the same issue this year. Some channels staying on randomly until they re-fire. I tried resetting the lor boxes( i have 28 of the 1602w). Only some were doing this. I decided to check which firmware i had. Most had the 4.4. Some had the 4.3 The ones that were having the problem were using the 4.3. I updated using the hardware utility to 4.32 and all is good now. The 4.32 is located it the hardware if using lor software 2.8.12.

Good Luck Don C.

The ones that have been having problems for me are running 4.3... I assumed that was the latest version since it's the one available for download on the LOR site. I'll update them when I get home, I am running 2.8.12.

However, the ones that turned on in the middle of the night were running 4.4.

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Four controllers hooked up, and I still have internet. Going to go observe the lights now.

^^^That was supposed to be posted an hour ago. The internet cut out right after I hit post. I unhooked the house from the termination box and ran a 50' phone cable straight to my modem, and I have internet. I have 5 controllers running now and haven't noticed sticking channels yet.

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Four controllers hooked up, and I still have internet. Going to go observe the lights now.

^^^That was supposed to be posted an hour ago. The internet cut out right after I hit post. I unhooked the house from the termination box and ran a 50' phone cable straight to my modem, and I have internet. I have 5 controllers running now and haven't noticed sticking channels yet.

Glad to see you still have a sense of humor. Good luck!

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Nice to see that you guys are still thinking about me... so here's an update...

I was able to run the lights, all of them, and still have DSL with my modem manually connected to the termination box, so I know the problem lies not in the buried line, but those in my house. I haven't had time to work with that any further.

As for the Itis - It's still there. The DSL and telephone lines have no effect on it. I double checked that all my Cat5 cables were wired correctly and that there were no bent pins in any Cat5 connectors on my LOR/D-Light boards. I did, however, notice that I had no Itis when I had the Cat5 to my D-Light units on the other side of my driveway unplugged. I then realized it still ran through the pipe where the other one was to begin with. I guess I never moved it, figuring the interference would only flow in one direction. Well, moving it didn't do me any good. I still have Itis. I'm debating, since I have two USB485 adapters, just doing two networks, one with the front yard LORs and the other with the D-Light units.

So that's where I'm at. I won't have time to work on this again till Wednesday night, with school and work tomorrow.

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I think the two adapters for seperate networks is worth trying.

Also, you said you were "running the latest firmware on all my CTB16PCs". Did you actually send this firmware to the controllers or just verify the version?

I had an issue with one of the first two controllers I purchased. I tried all the usual efforts and nothing worked. As a last resort I updated the firmware and the problem went away. There was no documented issue with the original firmware, and the other controller with the same version ran fine.

I don't know if it's possible to get a bad firmware image loaded onto the processor. But that's what I suspect was wrong. Maybe you could download the same firmware version (using the hardware utility) and see if the problem goes away.

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I had a similar problem during setup this year. There was a point in the daisy chain after which all channels on all controllers would shimmer. I tracked it down to the cat5 connector on the LOR board. When I disconnected the cable last year, it had stuck and pulled up the connector. I had simply pushed it back in to place, and thought all was well. As it turns out, the connectors must have bent, and I could only get a good, clean comm signal when the jack was bent out.

I solved the problem by pulling the jack forward and using hot glue to make sure it stayed that way.

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I am a complete noob to the LOR game, but I had random "itis" problems and no telling what else I don't know a term for yet. This was while preparing for my very first show for my very first LOR sequence.

Boy was I disappointed when testing with the hardware utility on one controller provoked other random channels to come on. After reading and figuring, I started replacing my network cable (some made by me and some factory made) with phone cable. I would then hook up the first box and test it in the hardware utiltity. So on with the second through the tenth boxes. After I hooked up each new box, I would test all of the boxes presently hooked up, looking for random channels turning on or sticking. I finally made it with all ten controllers, so I moved on to the small portion of a sequence I had finished, and AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHH! More randomness and stuck channels appeared while running my music sequence. I know my programming isn't that lousy, so indeed, "itis" problems still existed.

This gave me a pretty bad feeling in my gut, being my first year and all, so I researched more. I assumed it had something to do with the cables providing the signal (proximity to power wires, looseness in socket, etc), so one of my decisions was to replace all of the phone cable that I was using (I had switched from all network cable to all phone cable in searching for my problems) with new, factory made shielded cat 5 cable. Monoprice.com, baby! Spectacular prices on any type of cables, and, being desperate, I paid for overnight shipping. I had ordered it last Saturday, expecting it to ship Monday and receive it Tuesday, but it arrived on my doorstep on Monday am. Awesome!!!

While I had been doing more research over the weekend while waiting for my cables to arrive, there were several possible solutions I had gathered from reading about other people's problems.

1. keep network cable away from power cables

2. reset controllers

3. change the unit id of the controllers

4. install a "terminator" on the last controller on the network

5. use shielded cables

To make a long story short, I just finished running through my sequence several times, and doing ALL OF THE ABOVE seems to have taken my problems away, as I saw no extra channels coming on or staying on. (It was very obvious before.)

I can't put my finger on exactly which of the things I did that solved the problem, since I used the blanket approach and tried to do everything I could while waiting on my new cables, but I really think it had something to do with the careful attention paid to the routing of all of my cables away from my extension cords. It could definitely be something else though, I really don't know.

One big gripe I have has to do with phone cables....I read that it is perfectly fine to use phone cables instead of cat 5 cables, but my experience was that the phone cables created a pathetic fit in the sockets on the board. The sockets are made for ethernet, and it doesn't have anything to keep the phone cables from twisting and moving in the socket. I will never try to use phone cables again. Half of the time I couldn't even get the hardware utility to find all of my controllers. I believe this was caused my the loose-fitting phone cable.

Anyway, I believe my problem is solved, and I hope to continue to make good progress programming my sequences and have my first show up and running this weekend.

I really wish you the best in solving your problem, as I know how disappointing it is to work so hard only to be plagued with terrible problems. Good luck!

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One big gripe I have has to do with phone cables....I read that it is perfectly fine to use phone cables instead of cat 5 cables, but my experience was that the phone cables created a pathetic fit in the sockets on the board. The sockets are made for ethernet, and it doesn't have anything to keep the phone cables from twisting and moving in the socket. I will never try to use phone cables again. Half of the time I couldn't even get the hardware utility to find all of my controllers. I believe this was caused my the loose-fitting phone cable.

According to Dan who developed the LOR boxes, there is nothing wrong with using telephone cable:

http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/view_topic.php?id=21541&forum_id=76&jump_to=208231

And correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there a seperate RJ11 jack for input?

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Each board does have an RJ11 input with its own socket, which does hold the telephone cable snugly, but when I used telephone cable to output from one box to the next, the larger output socket didn't seem to hold the connector well. I kept having to readjust the connector in the socket in order for the hardware utility to find all of my controllers. Granted, my controllers are all laying around the yard, and I was moving and messing with them a lot. I'm sure if I had gotten them all working I could have left the phone cable as interconnects, but as my blanket approach to fix my larger issues, I just went ahead and used all cat 5 cables to avoid any possibility of having issues there as well.

As a follow-up on my "itis" problems, I tested my sequence again early this morning, and I do believe my problems have been solved. It does turn out that my programming (sequencing) is awful though. I walked back inside with a page full of notes of changes that I already wanted to make, and I do now realize the importance of creating an animation in the LOR sequence editor. Off to work I go...

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Problem solved!

I got the shielded Cat6 today. It did no good. So I split my network. Front yard LORs on one USB485, side yard D-Lights on another. Set all the D-Light channels to Aux A in Channel Property Grid, and viola. No more Itis. Not sure about the internet yet, but I doubt the fix for Itis will be the fix for the internet problem, since I had the internet problem with the D-Lights disconnected from the network.

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Congrats! It's amazing how there can be so many solutions to what seems to be the same problem! Our audiences shall wait no more. I'm finally ready for my show to start Sunday night after I put up my last piece of this year - a 24' Christmas star on the side of our house. This sequencing stuff is killing me though.

Good luck!

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