Family Photography

Merit Badges

I’m making an effort to post on this blog more frequently, even if it’s just a quick photo. Tonight I had the opportunity to bring my son to a Merit Badge College where he completed his Welding Merit Badge. He worked on this cool Fleur De Lis.

Just a proud Dad. He’s learning so much and enjoying all the different experiences scouting brings.

Computers Family How To Technology

Late Night Repair

Light-O-Rama CTB16PC 16 Channel Lighting Controller

In helping my son prepare and set up his Christmas light show this year we discovered half the channels on this controller stopped working. This is our second Light-O-Rama CTB16PC controller, both were purchased as a kit.

Just in case another Light-O-Rama ower runs into this page here’s the troubleshooting we performed and the ultimate solution that fixed our issue. (Spoiler: Assembly Mistake!)

Symptom: Channels 1-8 Not Working. The controller connects to the network fine, 9-16 working 100%.

Troubleshooting: First thought, blown fuse. We were setting things up in the rain and assumed it was related to a short.

Fuse tested fine with a multimeter, swapped the two fuses in the unit, again fuses working fine.

Used the multimeter to confirm 120v making it through fuse hold and tested each “hot” channel output. Things normal, although no voltage on channel 1-8 hots, as expected.

After reviewing the Light-O-Rama forums I decided to take the controller completely apart and check for any bad solder joints. Of course, I made this decision at 11 PM. I was really trying to avoid this, such a time-consuming process.

Success! After a few minutes of careful inspection, I found two pins on an IC that I plain missed completely during assembly, no solder! I carefully applied solder, checked a few other spots and reassembled.

BINGO! Problem solved.

U4 IC 20 PIN (74ACT273)

Family Fun Stuff

Jurassic Park Jeep

Jurassic Park Jeep –

My son had a Jurassic Park Movie themed Birthday Party over the weekend. After watching the original movie my wife coordinated a visit from TWO real-life Jurassic Park cars. These cars were a big hit for the kids….and adults.

Kids had a ride around the neighborhood and had fun scaring some dogs with the built-in (hidden) speakers that played some classic sound effects from the movie. Just think growling dinosaur with extra bass…fun stuff!

The vehicles were in mint condition! You can check out their website here:


Protected: Palie Easter 2014

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