Lights staying on for one channel.

Discussion in 'C-Bus Wired Hardware' started by cosier, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. cosier

    cosier

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    Hi all,
    Please excuse me as I am new here, and have only just acquired the new property with the c-bus lighting set up - so excuse my really bad terminology.

    Today I foolishly grabbed the wrong globe type out of my bag and placed it into the top of one of our light fittings, which caused a spark, which flipped the saftey switches on the cbus panel, and also the mains saftey switch wired to the cbus panel. (What an idiot!). When this occurred, the switches on the wall were all off.

    I went and flipped the saftey's back on, came back into the house, and the lights where I shorted it, were all on (4 downlights + chandelier). The panel also showed that (channel?) being on. I turned it off, but the lights in that area stayed on.

    The rest of the lights in the house operate fine still. I just can't get it to turn off that channel, they are stuck on.

    There are 3 dimmer units (blue units/panels with 2 of them having 4 override buttons on each one, and one of them with 8). The channel that is failing is tied to the second dimmer unit (4 channel), and seemingly on the first channel in that unit (the first override button operates the lights on the failing channel... I can see this by turning the switch on inside the house,/dimming it and that override button lights up...).

    The cbus panel says IP56 on it - there are 2 of them. The first one has a panel at the top with the saftey switches on it and the cbus light, and cbus comms light, then below it is the 8 channel dimmer unit thingo, then in the second IP56 labeled box there's 2 other dimmer panels - both 4 channels.

    After some reading it seems as though that channel is fried? Either fused, or some other issue? What is the most likely cause for that type of failure on one channel? Is there actually physical fuses on each that can be replaced? Or is it more likely to be the dimmer component itself which has blown up inside that channel?

    Is there any way (software wise) to reset the channel, or get a better diagnostic code out of it? Where can I find that software and are there any tips on how to get a better answer on what is failing in there? Any type of reset sequences I can try? As a software engineer, I don't mind going down this path.

    I have also tried the 'learning mode' to swap what is currently mapped to that channel on the push button in the house, to another channel on the dimmer - but I assume all this has done is remapped that button to a separate channel... and because the channel doesn't have anything physically wired to it, its just not going to do anything? In which case, is it difficult to hard wire that section of lights to that new channel as well, and just leave the other one busted instead of having to replace the whole dimmer unit thingo?

    All the best,

    Matt
     
    cosier, Sep 9, 2019
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  2. cosier

    Ashley

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    Shorting out a dimmer channel is a sure fire way to destroy the output driver. (That's why there is that big warning sign on the dimmers :)). They can be repaired but would need to be sent back to Clipsal/Schneider. There is no inbuilt diagnostics on these dimmers, and no internal fuses.

    If you have a spare channel available you could just move the lights to that channel, however care is needed because of the different types of dimmers you have. The 8 channel ones are leading edge only with a 1 amp load limit. The 4 channel dimmers come in 2 types. The standard ones (with just Dimmer written on them) are leading edge at 2.5A per channel. The other type is a universal dimmer which switches automatically between leading and trailing edge dimmer depending on the load. Leading edge dimmer are suitable for resistive or inductive loads like 240VAC filament bulbs low voltage lights with the old iron core transformers. They can work with a small number of electronic transformers or some led globes providing the capacitance of the load is small enough. Universal dimmers work with most lighting although led lighting is still a bit of a hit or miss.

    If you have a spare channel on the same dimmer, you could just rewire across to that channel. Otherwise you need to make sure the dimmer is compatible. Rewiring is not difficult but it should be done by a licensed electrician.

    Be aware that dimmer channels never turn off completely. There is always a small 240VAC leakage through the outputs. So before you change bulbs it is always a good idea to turn off the dimmer. That is why they are always isolated with a breaker. It's not there to protect the dimmer from shorts.

    If you want to delve deeper into programming, all the tools are available freely from clipsal/schneider's website. The main programming tool is called CBUS Toolkit. It runs on a Windows PC but requires a Cbus interface device which you probably won't have on your network. If you search the forums there a many post talking about this.
     
    Ashley, Sep 10, 2019
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  3. cosier

    cosier

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    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks heaps for the reply. I am regretting not doing a deep dive on c-bus before I started changing globes over...

    Given that the other channels on the same dimmer are all fine, would that still indicate an output driver failure? Are output drivers per channel? Are you referring to the TRIAC? I assume that sits on each channel to control dimming per channel ? .. thinking logically it would make sense that it became fused which is why it doesnt turn off...

    Is there any material you could point me to for swapping the channels or is it immediately obvious once you remove the plastic backing panel from the control box? They have labled all of the channels with numbers on a card on the inside of the control box thing - they have groups showing dimmer 1, 2 and 3 which are also labeled on the purple panels inside - ie i assume these are grouped into each dimmer unit, then they have 1-36 or so labeled againstt each 'area' - i am guessing this is the channel identifier. I wonder if they have labeled those against the actual internal channel numbers which would be obvious inside the control box?

    Yes, I should definitely be getting a licensed electrician to be looking into this for me... I just figured if it's as simple as switching off the mains and moving a pos and neg wire to a different channel......

    Thanks for the info on the programming, I will definitely give that a look into as well, as I'd ideally like to rename some of the channels and maybe add some different scenes.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
    cosier, Sep 10, 2019
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  4. cosier

    Ashley

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    The output channels are independent so a single channel failure is common (if you don't obey the rules anyway :)). They are Triacs or SCR's depending on the dimmer.

    Only the active is switched so it is a simple matter of removing the cable from the failed channel and moving it to an unused channel then programming the new channel to recognise the appropriate group (which can be done via learn mode). It's a simple job for an experienced installer.
     
    Ashley, Sep 10, 2019
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  5. cosier

    cosier

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    Ah yes, perfect. I actually managed to already switch one of the channels to a new group using learn mode, that bit was the easy bit. I did read the hardware installation guide as well, and noticed that only one wire per channel is 'hot'. Thanks for your advice, I will let you know how I get on.

    Just out of curiosity, do you know of any experienced technicians in Melbourne, I notice you are in Adelaide... but maybe you know someone, or someone else could chip in? I typically prefer going off referral versus tracking down a random installer in my area, as I have no idea how credible they are... The installation was tagged, and I called them but they lost their main guy in the recent years so they are a dead end.

    All the best,

    Matt
     
    cosier, Sep 10, 2019
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  6. cosier

    cosier

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    Just a quick update on this. I managed to reroute the failing section to a less used channel, then used the learning mode to reprogram it to the failing section.

    Unfortunately I didnt have any spare channels like I thought I originally did, so I either have to figure out why that particular channel is constantly on, or buy a new dimmer panel.

    This is the one that has the issue: L5504D2A.

    I read somewhere that there's a power recovery failure mode that each channel can switch into, causing the default start mode to cause power to turn on, on that channel? Do you think there's a chance that when it shorted out, it detected it more as a power outage and caused that failure mode to get stuck on? And the memory for that channel is just keeping that mode switched on? Either that or it is failing physically inside the dimmer, but for $200 off ebay Id sooner replace it.

    I'll try download the cbus toolkit, connect it over USB and see if there's anything in the recovery section (or run the diagnostic?) See if anything is amiss...

    Matt
     
    cosier, Sep 10, 2019
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  7. cosier

    Ashley

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    If the override switch on the dimmer doesn't change the channel it is dead. The power recovery just tells it its initial condition when it powers up. It won't hold it on. If cycling the power has no effect you need a new dimmer. If you get a replacement, you could always send that one if for repair as a spare. Those dimmer have no diagnostics on the output side. You will find it will still scan and program fine using toolkit. It just won't dim!

    Ebay is where I get my personal stuff from most of the time.
    The L5504D2A is a leading edge 2A per channel dimmer. Note that that number indicates it has a 200mA Cbus power supply in it so you will need to get an equivalent unit. A L5504D2AP (with the P suffix) means it lacks the power supply. Be careful on Ebay as some sellers don't know the difference. Yours should have "200mA Cbus Power Supply Included" on the front panel.

    Alternatively see if you can combine two existing channels that you are happy to work together. Just make sure you don't go over the ratings.

    As for a recommendation in Melbourne, I'm out of the loop since I retired. There are plenty of active members on the forums however. Hopefully someone else will chip in.
     
    Ashley, Sep 10, 2019
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  8. cosier

    Trevor

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    Hi Matt,
    I can help you with who i think is a good cbus electrician, i repair any colour touch screens he needs to be repaired, I'll get you his contact details in the morning, he is from the Altona area.

    regards
    Trevor Callaghan

    Senior Workshop Technician
    Arbor Australia Pty Ltd
    Unit 1/72 Bayfield Rd
    Bayswater North
    Victoria 3153 Australia
    Mobile : 0404 887 463
    Phone : +61 3 8736 0328
    Fax : +61 3 8736 0325
    Email : trevorc@arboraust.com
     
    Trevor, Sep 10, 2019
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  9. cosier

    cosier

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    Thanks Ashley, I hooked into the c-bus panel using the USB link (it did have the USB gateway connector panel in it which makes it easier - and the bloke who owned the house before me kindly left the USB adapter sitting right on the shelf next to the box... legend!)... So I connected up via the toolkit, and also the diagnostics utility... and you are right, the diagnostics are all network/packet based diagnostics, more for the cbus network side of things rather than hardware. It does tell you if the remote on / overrides are turned on etc, and yes the recovery indeed is just what level to set it to when the power kicks back in, which was fair useless to me....

    I found a few 8 channel ones on ebay - I was thinking if I was to replace it I may as well upgrade it to an 8 channel leading edge with the same or similar amperage per channel (I think the one I found was 2.5?) The replacement channel that I swapped it over to was also 2.5a (I took tthat risk) and they are working fine on that channel, so I assume getting the 8 Channel 2.5A one as a replacement will work okay. We are probably going to get a pool done soon, so I might need to control pool lights etc anyway, so the spare channels wont go wasted.

    It's funny you mention this - this is exactly what I proposed to my wife last night. For some odd reason they wired two kitchen sets of lights into two channels (one over the bench and one to the side of the kitchen... bit odd)... I figured I'd just wire those into the same channel, freeing one up, then divert the missing onto the spare channel... might just save me having to buy that other unit just yet...

    No worries, and thanks again for all your advice!

    Matt
     
    cosier, Sep 11, 2019
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  10. cosier

    Ashley

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    The 8 channel dimmers are 1 amp per channel. There are no 8 channel 2.5A per channel DIN dimmers.

    The 4 channel dimmers leading edge dimmers you have (L5504D2A) are rated at 2A per channel

    The universal 4 channel dimmer (L5504D2U) is rated at 2.5A per channel.

    Ebay is not very reliable with its descriptions. Always check out the photos (assuming they are of the device for sale) and confirm with the seller.
     
    Ashley, Sep 11, 2019
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