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TROUBLESHOOTING A PHOTOCELL (Does Not Turn The Lights ON/OFF Properly)

The following steps have been laid out to help determine the cause for a Photocell not turning the lights on/off properly.  Continue down the steps until you find the root cause.  If you need further assistance, please call Technical Support at 800-345-4448.

  1. Ensure that the bus is stable. Check if the device (PCC1, PCC3, Bluebox, or iDIM/iDH) is online and defined on bus map. Navigate to USER MENU > SETUP MENU > RESTRICTED (PASS CODE 900001) > BUS MAP (or PANEL/SWITCH TYPES).

  2. Ensure that the photocell is functioning and is reacting properly with the light level changes by covering the photocell, blocking any light going to it.  When covered, the reading should drop down to “0”. If you shine a light on the photocell, the reading should go up to around “1020.”  (Please refer to the “Checking Photocell Reading” section)

  3. Ensure that the photocell is installed properly. Refer to the specific photocell installation guide. The recommended cable type and maximum length should be followed. The photocell will not give the correct reading if the leads are reversed, wires are shorted, and/or if a ground loop is present.

    Wiring Diagram For Bluebox, Bluebox LT, PCC1 & PCC3



    Wiring Diagram For iDIM/iDH
  4. Move the photocell and plug it directly into the photocell input (PCC1, PCC3-de, Blue Box LT or iDIM/iDH) eliminating the field wires, and follow step #1. If the photocell starts functioning properly, there is something wrong with the field wiring. Check the cable for shorts, nicks, or a ground loop.

  5. If the photocell still does not function, measure continuity on the photocell wire (red/blue for 2-wire photocell or red/blue/green for 3-wire photocell) and check if it is shorted. If a short is found, the photocell is bad and needs to be replaced. Mis-wiring may have damaged the photocell.

  6. If the photocell is not shorted, remove the photocell and check the photocell input terminals. Shorting the red & blue terminals on a PCC1/PCC3 card should bring the reading up to “1000.” Shorting the red & blue terminals on the iDIM/iDH card should bring the reading down to “0."

  7. If the reading did not change (for PCC1 & PCC3), check if the photocell is disabled. Re-enabling the photocell should make it start changing its readings.  (Please refer to the PCC1/PCC3 enable/disable section)

  8. If the photocell is not disabled and the reading did not change, replace the PCC1 or PCC3 card. If the reading changes, replace the photocell.

  9. If the photocell & card check out, check the programming for correct load assignment and trigger settings.  (Refer to the photocell calibration & programming section)



CHECKING PHOTOCELL READING BY ACCESSING THE PHOTOCELL MENU

PCC1 CARD:

  • Navigate to USER MENU>PROGRAM SWITCH>SWITCH#>TRIGGER# (Note: Each Photocell Card has 14 Triggers, each of which may control its own set of loads.)
  • TAB to and highlight the mode (ON Mode, OFF Mode, Mix Mode, Maintain, Group #).
  • SCROLL to change the mode if needed then press Enter. (For a PCC3 card, SCROLL to change from Analog 1 to Analog 3 for the desired photocell.)
    PCC 1 Menu PCC 3 Menu


BLUE BOX LT (for schedule 1 to 8 only):

  • Navigate to USER MENU>REVIEW SCHEDULE>SCHEDULE
  • TAB to "ON TIME" and SCROLL to change it to "PCELL" then press ENTER
    Schedule Menu Blue Box Photocell Menu


iDIM/iDH:

  • Navigate to USER MENU>iDIM/iDH SCENES>
  • SCROLL to desired LCP #> TAB to desired SCENE #
  • TAB to the DIM/RLY # and SCROLL to change it to "PC" then press ENTER
    iDIM/iDH Scene Menu iDIM/iDH Photocell Menu



PHOTOCELL CALIBRATION & PROGRAMMING

Note that the artificial lights and reflection from a white surface, depending on the photocell placement, may also affect the photocell reading. When determining the ON trigger, one would want the least amount of ambient light with the highest amount of artificial light. When determining the OFF trigger, one would want the highest amount of ambient light with no artificial light.

By using a light meter or by visual estimation, determine when one would want the lights to turn ON due to darkness and when one would want the lights to turn OFF due to brightness.

Follow the below instructions to calibrate your photocell readings, based on which device type the photocell is tied into:

PCC1/PCC3:

  1. Access the photocell menu
  2. If “Analog 1” is displayed (PCC3), SCROLL to select the desired photocell
  3. TAB to Time Delay, and SCROLL to change to the desired time delay
  4. TAB to “ON when level falls below” and SCROLL to the desired ON trigger level
  5. TAB to “OFF when level rises above” and SCROLL to the desired OFF trigger level
  6. EXIT to add the desired loads or group to be controlled. (for more info, please refer to basic programming guide)


BLUEBOX LT (for schedules 1 to 8 only):

  1. Access the photocell menu
  2. SCROLL to the desired off time delay
  3. TAB to “Off when light level rises above” and SCROLL to the desired OFF trigger level
  4. TAB to “Delay to On” and SCROLL to the desired on time delay
  5. TAB to “On when light level falls below” and SCROLL to the desired ON trigger level
  6. Please refer to the BLUE BOX LT O&M Manual for more info in programming schedules.


iDIM/iDH:

  1. Access the photocell menu

    For dimmed load:
    1. SCROLL to select the desired photocell
    2. TAB to "Fade Up" then SCROLL to the desired fade rate
    3. TAB to "Fade Down" then SCROLL to the desired fade rate
    4. TAB to "Start" then SCROLL to the desired level at which the lights should start dimming
    5. TAB to "MID" then SCROLL to the desired level at which the lights should be at 50%
    6. TAB to "OFF" then SCROLL to the desired level at which the lights should be off

    For non-dimmed load:
    1. SCROLL to select the desired photocell
    2. TAB to "Off if above" then SCROLL to the desired level at which the lights should be off
    3. TAB to "On if below" then SCROLL to the desired level at which the lights should turn on
  2. For more info on iDIM/iDH advanced programming, please refer to the iDIM/iDH manual



Appendix: iPC-G Drawing and Install Detail




Appendix: UPSI / iPC-L Drawing and Install Detail


Appendix: UPSI / iPC-L Drawing and Install Detail

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