Need a bit help in trouble shooting the cause of flashing leds

  • Hey there,

    I installed 4 years ago hyperionNG (first it was hyperion) on my Raspberry 3 with APA102 LED stripes and a USB grabber. My setup causes more and more trouble with single segments of flashing LEDs.

    I checked the wiring and it should be okay as it's never moved in any way. The flashing LEDs occur while using my USB grabber or on a static scene. So I don't think my usb grabber and/or splitter causes thi.

    The raspberry itself (GPIOs or processor) shouldn't be the problem as well, as the hyperion software does not show the flashing leds in the live view.

    What's also interesting, the problem becomes much more worse when the color RED is displayed. And it's most of the time blue leds that are flashing. And the problem occurs everywhere on each LED. Most times a segment of about 10 led's is affected.

    Do you have any idea about this? Does my power supply can cause these issues? Or is it the wiring itself? (There are a few soldering points). Or are my APA102 LED stripes just over the time? (I had to replace/delete ~4 LED pieces within the time because of malfunctioning colors.

    I don't want to start troubleshooting by replacing various random parts as the system is very "integrated" into my shelf, wiring and television. It's a mess to dissable everything so i would be very glad just to replace the broken part.

    Any ideas? Help is very appreciated.

  • Hello!

    Can you share your power supply specs and how many LEDs you're using?

    If nothing has changed since you first set this up and it was working at that time then based on the details you've shared (especially that displaying red makes the blue diodes everywhere flash) this sounds like a power/connection issue most likely. However, if you have already had to replace some individual LEDs it is also possible that the strip is the problem.

    You may want to start by measuring voltage and continuity across the LED strip with a multimeter. That should give you a good idea if there are any power or connection/wiring related problems (maybe a solder is loose and the common ground between the strip and the rPi is broken as a possible example).

    • You said the problem is much worse with red, but does the problem happen with all colors?
    • You also said most times a segment of about 10 LEDs is affected, is it always the same 10 LEDs or always in the same area of the strip?
    • Lastly, you said there are a few solder connections, but do you have any solderless connections? The solderless clips/corner clips for attaching LED strips together will almost always come loose over time so if you are using any, that could be the problem.

    I hope this is helpful - good luck!

  • Hey Lethargik thats helpful.
    I will measure it soon, i noticed during my "why is this not working the connection is sooo should be good" investigation I ripped the solder point to the GPIO pin. So the system is now not working at all. Now I have to fix this.

    So to answer your question:
    The problem occurs most on RED, never on Blue and sometime on green.
    It's not the same 10 LEDs, it's just a segment which is moving around. Exept when full red is applied, then almoste all leds are flashing simulatiously.

    Yes I have some solderless connection, but i will replace them with a soldered solution for further investigation.

    (Only Power is 100% soldered)

    I have to check the power supply and the amount of LEDs. Should be around 230 LEDs, but the power supply is good enough. It's some of the china aliexpress big power supplys. They have enough power, i calculated it as I build the system, but maybe it's not providing enough power now because of some degration. I will measure the output to the stripe.

    Thank you!

  • Hello Lethargik ,

    i fixed the Ambilight system so it's lightning again and found the fault. It's not the power supply or the stripes or the wiring. It's none of the Hyperion components. It's a stupid PowerLine Adapter i had installed 3 weeks ago.

    I needed a ethernet connection in my basement (for my smart meter sensor) and the only way to get network down there is via powerline. I have currently no solution for this, as the powerline adapter is interrupting my LED powersupply and my Sound system.

    There are "net filters" out there, but they are massive expensive, around 50 to 100 € per piece. This can't be the only solution to fix these interruptions.

    Aargh. Fixed a problem (the ethernet connection) and got two new ones.

    If someone has some ideas for this, otherwise I will ask google for it.

    Thanks and - RESOLVED (for now)

  • Hi Msprunk ,

    I'm glad you at least know what the problem is now, but sorry to hear you have a new issue to solve.

    I don't have much knowledge here, but I would suggest doing some research on ferrite rings/ferrite beads. I can't say if they'll work for you but at least they're dirt cheap on Amazon ($10-$20 for 10-pack) and come in most common sizes, so might be worth looking into.

    The only other thing that comes to mind, though sadly expensive (~$100 each and you'd need two), is using MOCA adaptors if you have coax cable run throughout your home.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful but good luck!

  • Hey Lethargik i found a overvoltage plug adapter and the name included net filter. I will see. It only cost 15€. If it's not working I send it back and will try to buy a bit more expensive powerline adapters. If this is not working i will go for the expensive netfilters. There must be a way to get this running :)

    Thank you anyway.

  • Little update, ferrit filter does also not work - only solution would be a 40€ net filter, but I just got rid of the powerline.

    And all problems went away. Powerline sucks.

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