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TC420/421

Paulus

Member
Joined
17 Jan 2010
Messages
300
Location
The Netherlands
Short update:

I received the first part of the LED strips (forgot 2 cables to connect them to the controller (woops :p)

Because 1 T5 bulb broke down and 1 needs a change very soon (black ends) it was time to switch from T5 to LED.

The pros of my current lighting hardware was the simple setup. It's very easy to remove the T5 hardware so i can place the LED inside it. (woohoo). So i removed the cables, T5 brackets and the reflector. I noticed on the side panel there was a small plastic cover which i could pop out for the new cables and no drilling was needed (woohoo part 2)

Placed the new LED in to see how it looks and where i should place them, more in the middle or more on the outside. Nothing is glued yet cause i want to test the lights first when i receive the cables tomorrow and can hook it up to the TC420 controller.

Current LED strips:
- Bright white
- RGB

I want to see how clear the white is so i can do the same thing with my second lighting above the tank.
This way i can see if i need to mount 2x bright white or 1x bright and 1 warm white.

Photos of the current status:
Paulus_NL
Paulus_NL
 

HiNtZ

Member
Joined
26 Jan 2016
Messages
557
Location
London
Short update:

I'm sure it'll look a damn sight better than mine!!

20180809_180935.jpg

One thing I'd have advised against is getting the strips with waterproof coating - the stuff goes yellow after a bit of use and heat getting to it. You can see on the right what I couldn't pick off - how yellow it is making the whites look.

I've got a program you can have for sunrise/sunset - you'll have to tweak between midday-6pm as mine shuts down when the high powered LEDs take over.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=19MS1R0iTghz7gBD_JMZd5Bv3MijnJhJn

Let me know.
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,315
Location
Netherlands
I've ordered the TC421 for somebody else, still waiting to recieve it. I have a question for a TC421 WIFI user.. :)

Now i was wondering how the WIFI App controll actualy works (better than the TC420?). For example if i program the controller with my personal phone app. Where do the mode files get stored? Are they saved on the phone or as accesible file in the device?

Meaning if i switch to another phone, do i need to start over from scratch, reset the controller deleting all contents and make new schedule? Or are the installed modes accessible with any phone connected?

The TC420 stores the mode files on the PC, than if i connect different PC i need to transfer the files over.. Can't access the files stored in the device. Which i actualy find a minor software flaw in the TC420.. Is this by any chance changed/improved in the TC421 WIFI version?
 

aquacoen

Member
Joined
8 Feb 2018
Messages
78
Location
Netherlands
I don't know if the modes that are stored in the TC421 can be accessed later on..

I use my pc to connect with the TC421 by wifi. All modes I made so far are stored on my pc.
Sadly I still have problems uploading multiple modes. Uploading more than three modes results in a 'failed' message..

Make sure you download the latest PLED software (2018-12-04): V2.2

(I actually never tried updating the firmware.. tips anyone?)
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,315
Location
Netherlands
Ok thank you Coen, i guess it's still the same then.. I bought the TC421 for my little spoiled princess that hates to come out of bed to control the lights when she sufers terrible headages while chatting with girlfriends.:lol: Than the WIFI version needs to come to the resque, i hope.. But than i have to re program it with here phone.. Than programming it first via PC or my phone is not an option. :) I was just curious about it.

(I actually never tried updating the firmware.. tips anyone?)

The eprom in the device is also not accessible via USB and a PC. There once was a flaw in an earlier version of the TC420. The manufacturer made a llittle Nuvoton device to flash the eprom with new firmware. It was temporary available on ebay and Aliexpress to repair affected devices. But no longer available as far is i know i guess by now they think the problem is solved, sold out and never restocked. The article about it is also deleted from the suport site. It was about the Null Mode Error Fix.
http://www.tc420.net/null-fix.php

What you could try is contact the manufacturer and ask what to do. The still might be able to provide with that Nuvoton flasher. They have a life chat option for support.. :)
http://www.worlduniqueen.com/support.aspx?typeid=15
 

Kalum

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2018
Messages
1,043
Location
Scotland
As mentioned the programmed modes are stored on the phone and you have to 'upload' to the device via WiFi where its then stored on the TC421

Nothing is live and its all all down to that upload, saying that it works great and app is really easy to use (even if a bit time consuming to set up the % at the start for a full programme)
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,315
Location
Netherlands
As mentioned the programmed modes are stored on the phone and you have to 'upload' to the device via WiFi where its then stored on the TC421

Nothing is live and its all all down to that upload, saying that it works great and app is really easy to use (even if a bit time consuming to set up the % at the start for a full programme)

I see if i can figur out a way to transfer mode files from phone to phone.. Should be possible with swapping sd cards to copy them.. :) Or another file transfer option..
 

Kalum

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2018
Messages
1,043
Location
Scotland
Yeh very true, on android it should be easy to access all the working files and just transfer them from phone to phone, hopefully the app is stable enough to pick up the new mode files...
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,315
Location
Netherlands
Only need to figure out where they are stored.. Yet didn't find any Smart Timer App folders after the install.. But since i yet do not have the controller there is non to make.. Have to wait and see. As far as i know it are *.lmf files once created.. In windows they are stored in a sneaky hidden place in profile\roaming\appdate etc. took me a while to find them.
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,315
Location
Netherlands
Now i have installed the TC421 to the wifi network.. And all seems to work fine connection whise..

But now i have 4 modes created via the phone app.. Mode.1 to Mode.4.. Dowloaded all to the device with succes and now the device plays by default Mode.1

But i seem not to be able to switch mode to play with the phone app.. Thus does this mean i still have to go physicaly to the device and sellect witch mode to play with the devices menu and mode setting? Only seem to be able to fast play a created mode that's it.

Or am i missing something here?
 

Kalum

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2018
Messages
1,043
Location
Scotland
Now i have installed the TC421 to the wifi network.. And all seems to work fine connection whise..

But now i have 4 modes created via the phone app.. Mode.1 to Mode.4.. Dowloaded all to the device with succes and now the device plays by default Mode.1

But i seem not to be able to switch mode to play with the phone app.. Thus does this mean i still have to go physicaly to the device and sellect witch mode to play with the devices menu and mode setting? Only seem to be able to fast play a created mode that's it.

Or am i missing something here?

Yeh that's what I've found as well, the app is literally just a creation and upload tool and once it's on the TC421 then it need to be switched between modes from there, mildly inconvenient but I only tend to switch modes when doing maintenance so I'm at the tank anyway so it's not a big deal for me
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,315
Location
Netherlands
Yeh that's what I've found as well, the app is literally just a creation and upload tool and once it's on the TC421 then it need to be switched between modes from there, mildly inconvenient but I only tend to switch modes when doing maintenance so I'm at the tank anyway so it's not a big deal for me

I thought so.. That's rather disapointing discovery.. :( Not that it is inconvenient for me personaly i only have 2 modes installed on my tc420 and 1 is only a panic functionality if i need full lights any time.

I bought this TC421 for somebody else with the idea it would control it completely remotely.

Kinda makes that Phone app barely worth it's purpose. Can't even store the files in the app, once the mode is deleted it is gone for ever and we need to start from scratch again. Thus the only way to remotely switch modes is via a notebook joint to the TC network. Than store 1 mode in its own package.. Than clear the device from installed mode. And dowload the required package and mode again to the device. o_O Or the App needs to be rewriten with a file storage function.

What a cr@py half work design.. Still have to run around to get it done.
 

rebel

Member
Joined
4 Aug 2015
Messages
2,265
Just to be clear, you can only run ONE mode at a time with NO option to change it via wifi? That seems to be a major design flaw. Can anyone who speaks Mandarin ask them? Perhaps they will patch that.
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,315
Location
Netherlands
Just to be clear, you can only run ONE mode at a time with NO option to change it via wifi? That seems to be a major design flaw. Can anyone who speaks Mandarin ask them? Perhaps they will patch that.

Yup that is correct, if you upload more than 1 mode, you have to walk to the device and set the mode manualy. :( Something i expected to be mentioned in the manual, than you know what you are buying. It's rather a misleading commercial flaw hushed.

I lately builded a light for somebody as a hanging fixture with the tank in the bed room. And not to have a multi core cable hanging down to the controler at the wall, i decided to fix the controler on top of the light itself. With the idea it wifi controlled anyway.

Thus this means each time she wants to change mode, she has to lower the light and change it manualy. :shifty:

Or just upload 1 single mode and change that back and forth all the time.

Other option is use a wireless notebook or notepad and the pled software installed. The notepad can be connected the same way via wifi to the TC.
Than with the pled software you can safe the mode files. Than clear the device from the current file and upload a new one. This is not possible with the phone app. :shifty:
 

Kalum

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2018
Messages
1,043
Location
Scotland
Yes one mode at a time, why would you want or need to run more than one mode at any one time?

You can run up to 4 devices on various timing from that one mode but obviously only 1 mode per channel/device

Personally I don't see it being an issue as most of what it's used for will only require a change in mode every now and again and it's when I'm standing working on the aquarium anyway and it's 2 clicks of a button to change, obviously others might use it differently
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,315
Location
Netherlands
Yes one mode at a time, why would you want or need to run more than one mode at any one time?

I personaly don't, i do not even have personal use for the wifi version.. :)

But in this case i builded a setup for someone in her bedroom.. Also something i would not want personaly.. Anyway, she says when i suffer from my famous headage i dislike the brightness of the lights.. Thus i thought WIFI to the resque control it remotely.. Now since the manual isn't complete, it says nothing about how to set modes. I jumped to the assumption it is remotely controllable.. And its rather not..

Also my fault obviously, assuming things that are not there and put the controller out of reach on the light itself hanging several feet high to the cieling.

Than she has to get out of bed and lower the light and push some buttons.

Or i have to rebuild the light again take off the controller and hang it to the wall at a spot easier to reach or something.
 

Kalum

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2018
Messages
1,043
Location
Scotland
Yeh that's fair enough zozo, the instructions and manuals aren't worth the paper they are written on as well which doesn't help

It would be a nice feature to have don't get me wrong
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
8,315
Location
Netherlands
Yeah... :) I just feel a little bit scammed by the Chinese mafia, presenting me with WIFI honey and holding back crusial information. The whole WIFI and phone app feature they upgraded it with is uther useless only half working gadget. :rolleyes:

The TC421 didn't live up to my expectations.. Thought more of it..
 
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