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DonR
10/15/2016, 10:29 AM
I received my new Photon 48-V2 yesterday. I am impressed. The build quality seems to be quite good. Getting it on top of my 4 foot long tank using the included tank mount was simple and quick, and I am confident that the fixture is not going to move a bit. I used the well known spreadsheet to set up a custom 24 hour program, and it took less than 10 minutes, not bad I think for my first pass.

One comment about the custom programming - the spreadsheet indicates that if you want to start the lighting at 9:00 AM, you should set the values for all six channels to zero at 9:00 AM and low positive values at 10:00 AM. Supposedly the LED's would actually come on at 9:30 AM with this program. This is not how mine works - this morning at 9:45 all LED's were off. It looks like if you want low lighting on at 9:00 AM you need to set non-zero values for at least some of the channels at 9:00 AM.

Now a question. Should the remote control ever power down completely? So far mine has not. When the screen times out, or when I hold the power button for 5 seconds, the LCD goes dark, but the backlight is still on (you can see the screen glowing in a darkened room), and the communication indicator continues to illuminate. It seems that this will cause the battery to run down much faster than if the controller was powered down. Is this normal?

Don

Ron Reefman
10/16/2016, 06:39 AM
Don, if you are turning the remote off, hold the button until it turns off completely. The instructions says 5 seconds. At 5 seconds mine isn't off either. But at 6 or 7 the display clears and at 7 or 8 the display background goes off as well.

That said, the battery in the remote is not a great battery. I don't know if it's just too small so it doesn't last too long, or if it does leave something internal powered up and runs it down faster than what seems normal. I can't say for sure, but it seems to me that every time I charge up the remote it does feel like it lasts a bit longer. I'd write that off to not using as much as when I first got it, but that's not the case.

I'm trying to get 2 fixtures to run 2 different custom programs using 2 separate remotes by changing the 'address ID' from zero to '1' on one remote and '2' on the second remote. But neither remote works when set on 1 or 2, they both work fine on zero but then the remote loads the custom program for that remote into both fixtures which is not what I want. So I've been trying various ways to program differently and so far it has not worked. But the life of the rechargeable battery does seem to be improving some... not much, but some.

DonR
10/16/2016, 11:33 AM
Hi Ron,

Yes, mine works something like that too when I hold the power button. The display first clears (solid blue background with no text), then blanks a couple of seconds later. But the backlight never goes off on mine, even after the remote sits unused overnight. Visually this is subtle - in a well lighted room you wouldn't notice it, but in a darkened room you can see the screen glowing, indicating the backlight is still on. The backlight in an inexpensive backlit LCD display has only two brightness levels - it is either on or off. If it is off, it draws no current. If it is on, the brighness, and the current draw, is the same all the time, and it is the backlight that uses most of the power in an LCD display. I have attached a photo of mine showing the glowing display and the illuminated communication indicator - sorry for the poor quality of the photo, it was intentionally made in low light.

I assume the battery in this remote is Li-ion. These batteries maintain their charge very well for many weeks if there is no current draw. If the remote were turned completely off, you could turn it back on a couple of months later and see little if any change in the battery charge level from when you turned it off. But with the backlight on constantly, this will not be the case.

Perhaps the remote must retain communications with the light in order for the light to function properly, so the controller should never be allowed to power off completely. But I can't think of any reason why the backlight has to stay on continuously, as it does in mine. I wonder if they all work this way, or if mine is not working correctly.

I only have one controller and one light module, but I can confirm that when I change the ID from zero to 1 or 2 on my controller, the controller no longer controls the light module. It only seems to work when the controller ID is set to zero. I wonder if there is a jumper or something on the main board inside the light module that has to be changed in order to change the ID of the light module to match the controller ID?

Thanks,

Don

Reef_Breeders
10/16/2016, 07:39 PM
Hi Don,

I believe you need to unplug the light, then change the address ID, then plug it back in to use it with an ID other than 0.

Also, the backlight should be off all the way- how long is your battery lasted with the screen dimly lit?

DonR
10/17/2016, 11:57 AM
Hi Logan,

I had tried unplugging the light before changing the ID with no success. I tried it again, with no success again. Finally after trying many things I did get the light to respond at address 2. Unfortunately I did so many things I'm not sure what made it work. I know that using the "Reset" function was part of the successful attempt. When I have some more time to play with it I will try again and document exactly what works for me.

I just received the Photon 48-V2 on Friday, and left the remote plugged in and charging overnight, so it has only been off the charger for two days. It is still showing to be fully charged. Perhaps the charge will last long enough so that it is not an issue, but obviously it would last longer if the backlight didn't stay on, which it definitely does on my controller. Anyway I will post again here when I know how long the charge lasts.

Did I say I really like this light? I don't mean to sound critical, just analytical. It's a character flaw.

Thanks,

Don

mrpergo
10/18/2016, 06:30 AM
Mine stays dimly lit also

Ron Reefman
10/18/2016, 08:03 AM
The little signal light at the top and part of the on/off button stay lit all the time.

Don, if you ever remember what you did to make changing the address ID work, tell me here or send me a PM. I've played with mine a dozen different ways and the fixtures never respond to the remote when it's on anything but zero.

DonR
10/19/2016, 11:24 AM
Hi Ron,

I think I must have been mistaken about getting the light to work with the controller ID set to other than 0. At any rate, I can't reproduce it.

I see from another thread that you have a temporary workaround. Hopefully a solution will be forthcoming.

Don

Ron Reefman
10/20/2016, 04:59 AM
Thanks Don, see the other thread for the temporary work around.

DonR
10/27/2016, 08:05 AM
Hi Don,

...

Also, the backlight should be off all the way- how long is your battery lasted with the screen dimly lit?

I can answer this question now - the fully charged battery lasted 12 days with the screen dimly lit. I used the remote a few times, so perhaps it would have lasted two or three weeks if it had been idle.

This morning the remote's screen was still dimly lit, and the signal light was on, but it would not respond when I tapped the power button. I plugged it in to a USB charger and it immediately became responsive again while charging.

So two or three weeks is not bad battery life compared to a smart phone, for example. But again, if it were fully powered off - assuming the LED fixture doesn't need it to be on in order to maintain its settings - the battery life should be several months easily.

Don

Ron Reefman
10/27/2016, 04:55 PM
That's about the same as my two remotes. Way better than my phone and not as good as my TV remote. But then my TV remote isn't rechargeable either.

Reefer40b
10/28/2016, 05:27 AM
My remote screen also never fully powers off, stays dim lit just like others have mentioned. I think that's just how they are, I keep mine plugged in so I don't really care that way if I want to change the lighting it will always be charged.