New DC Controllers Ordered

This update is just to let everybody know that four new DC-powered light controllers have been ordered from America.

Light-O-Rama, the business which manufactures and sells these boards, is bringing out a newer, cheaper, DC board called the CMB16D-QC. There is little difference to the more expensive CMB16D controller other than the different cable connection method.

Anybody whom is looking at starting out with computer control and LED lights (or anyone wishing to expand the size of their computerised display) ought to look at the CTB16PC for controlling AC lights (incandescent lights, regular rope lights) or the CMB16D-QC (requires a large power supply) for controlling DC lights (LEDs).

First Details For 2010

There hasn’t been an update since New Years Day, so I figured it is time for an some news.

Regarding the 2010 display, there will be changes but most of it will be behind the scenes. The biggest change is the introduction of DC controllers which is safer and more reliable for syncronising LED lights to music than the 240v AC alternative. The controllers operate under the same proprietary Light-O-Rama protocol as the CTB16PC controllers used during 2008 and 2009, so I’m hoping there won’t be too many bugs to squash when I receive them.

A few new additions will be added though! Three new rope light shapes were bought during the after-Christmas sales, and soon I shall be ordering new LED lights for the verge tree, putting an end to the unreliable incandescent fairy lights in that section of the yard.

Last Test Before Launch Reveals More Issues

Well tonight the lights were set to turn on at 8:30 pm for a few minutes to find out whether the digital timers were set up properly. Whilst some of them were a little too slow, this was nothing compared to the problems the mega tree suffered.

The ‘sticking’ problem has returned. This is where certain strands of LEDs on the mega tree turn on and ‘stick’ in the on state until the power is physically cut off by switching off power to the controllers.

So the fast fix… another trip to the shops, another $50-$60 to be spent. I guess this is to be expected, but on the eve of opening night and less than 24 hours to go, I’m feeling a bit frustrated. I’m sure the smiles of little (and big!) kids tomorrow night will make this all worth it though.

Mega Tree Fixed.. Magic Cave Now Has Issues

The sticking issue that the Mega Tree encounted seems to have been fixed now but I now am having lights on the magic cave fail – either staying on or not lighting at all. The white colour works as intended but the blue and green don’t.

Switching one of the colours to a spare channel on a different controller don’t seem to fix the issue, but running these colours directly (not through a controller) do work, so I’m a little puzzled as to what is causing the problem.

Update: disconnecting the faulty set and starting the connection process from scratch appears to have fixed the issue. Using a test set on the original mega tree channels however shows it is faulty.