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Discussion Starter #1
I obtained a Prop-1 controller from a fellow Haunter...
I connected it to power per the manual for EFX TEK.
I switched on the power to "1" and the power LED came on.
I switched the power to "2" and after a brief pause there was a snap,crackle,pop!
There appears to be a small crater in the ULN2308 IC....
Is there any hope?
Is it possible the program that was on board overloaded the ULN2803 and it just blew up or is the whole thing scrap?
 

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I don't think a software problem did this. There appears to have been a short involved with switch position 2, but it seems a bit late to troubleshoot it now. You could unsolder the IC, test the other components and the PCB, replace as needed and give it a new IC, but this is a $40 card new so how much effort do you really want to put in it? You may be able to get some help from EFX-TEK, and it wouldn't hurt to give 'em a call. Worst case is you need a new card.
Interestingly EFX-TEK has a Sacramento area code for the telephone and they use Pacific Time as their time zone; yet their address is in Tennessee. Talk about a looong commute..... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the insight...I did send support An e-mail....m
I can get a new ULN2803 for $1.50 from EFX TEK. I just don't know about the probability it will come to life....

I bought the controller without accessories so I would need the serial port and USB to serial converter too... I hate to but that stuff and find out the card is dead. The purchase was part of a prop and I was going to use the controller for something else...

I run DMX and VSA so the controller was a nice thing to have but not a necessity....
 

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The ULN can be replaced without soldering - just pop it out of the socket and put a new one in.

Without the programming cable and dongle you won't be able to figure out if the Prop-1 is still any good, or reprogram it. However...one of the EFX guys lives in Southern California (he provides EFX boards and support to the theme parks there) so he's not that far from you. You could ask him for help, it might be worth popping the board in the mail to him for a quick evaluation.
 

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That is good news. It probably means the rest of the board is fine. They designed it with the ULN chip in a socket so it would sacrifice itself and be easily replaced.

I have a couple of older Prop-1s I got from another haunter...when I got them, they had rust on the metal parts of the board! The slide switch on one almost didn't move. Yet a bit of cleaning and they were fine and have powered props for a couple of seasons.
 
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