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Thread: Dead series 4 :'(

  1. #1
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    Dead series 4 :'(

    Dear all, newbie here. have an old series 4 which went on the blink, buzzing and with cascading switches. After a few attempts at powering on and off with the spade connectors, the buzzing stopped, but then shortly thereafter, all the lights went out. Have checked the power source, and that seems fine, so im guessing the processor is kaput.

    Im advised that the only real economic solution is a QS upgrade, to make use of existing switches etc (I have 8 list switches in total, and 2 Crestron switches).

    was wondering if anyone might be able to help with some sanity checks before I speak to installers to get quotes.

    1. does it sound like the processor is dead, and are repairs possible?
    2. what is the average lifetime of one of these processors?
    3. is it worth trying to source a second hand processor?
    4. are the QS processors more reliable/cheaper to replace/maintain?
    5. what ball park cost might I be looking at to upgrade to QS?

    have tried power cycling, and am getting no LEDs on the processor at all.

    any help at all would be very much appreciated!

  2. #2
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    1. does it sound like the processor is dead, and are repairs possible?
    IF the processor has voltage on the 2 power supply tab and still does not have any lights, yes it's dead. Not worth the expense of repairing.

    2. what is the average lifetime of one of these processors?
    Roughly 10 years.

    3. is it worth trying to source a second hand processor?
    Yes and no. You can usually find them on eBay and other sources. Depending on demand they can get pricey. it's worth a look. If you don't have a copy of the original program you are going to have to pay someone to rewrite it. Most dealers don't like doing that (labor only jobs). That too could get pricey.


    4. are the QS processors more reliable/cheaper to replace/maintain?
    Reliable? Yes. Cheaper? It's not a 1-1 comparison. The HQS processor is cheaper but to get every function you have in the S4 you would need 2. You are not using all of those functions so 1 would work.

    5. what ball park cost might I be looking at to upgrade to QS?
    I'd look at RadioRA 2/3. I've replaced a lot of series 4 systems with RA2. It's going to be 30% less expensive. For a WAG, use $200 per zone of light, $300 per keypad. Double that total for installation and programming.

    Before you jump off the cliff, there may be a black, plug-in transformer in the panel that powers the keypad. When they get weak the keypads will waterfall (indicated they can't communicate). You can try replacing the transformer. Make sure you get one that matches the specs of the existing one (I think it is 15v, 300ma). If you don't have one you can try adding one. Taking the load off the processor power supply may help. If you do, remove the wire on pin 2 on the keypad link. Keep in mind, the keypads are polarity sensitive
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

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  4. #3
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    Thanks very much for the reply randyc, thats extremely helpful.

    A couple of follow ups:

    1) how much cheaper is an HQS vs the Series 4? I really dont have any idea of the costs of these things, just trying to calibrate my expectations.

    2) And im not familiar with RA2 - what is that?

    On the keypad power link, I did check that, and its running fine at 15v DC. I replaced it a few years ago, so did check that first after learning about it then. On the processor, before all the lights went out, I did notice the LED "E" was on which I guess means there was an error with the processor.

    One last question:

    3) if before consigning it to the bin I were to get it checked, what questions should I be asking of the installer who checks it? I suspect the original installer will try to attach a fresh power source, see the lights aren't coming on and declare it dead. is that good enough? ive just had some poor experiences with them, so my trust is shaken a little in their advice.

  5. #4
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    1) The HQP6-2, retails for $1,730. Lutron does not make the series 4 anymore. There were 4 models of the Series 4 processors that ranged from $1,900 to $3,000. I see some of the processors on eBay for $500 to $4,000. Keep in mind the QS processor is a completely different configuration. You may need an additional processor to replicate what you currently have

    2) Lutron.com/radiora2. RadioRA 3 is the latest but all of the components haven't been released yet. Basically all of the dimmers, switches, keypads, etc. are controlled by radio signals.

    The keypad transformer will sometimes read the proper output voltage but wont supply the proper power when under load.

    If you brought it to me I would disconnect all of the inputs/outputs and try a new power supply. The processor has a known issue of locking up. If there are any lights at all on the processor (including the E), there is a command you can send to the processor that MAY unlock it. If they don't

    IF they say that RA2/3 isn't an option, ask them why.

    I'd also contact those guys on ebay selling refurbished processors and see if they will buy yours.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

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  7. #5
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    You're a star, thanks very much.

    thats certainly given me some room to double check whatever I am told. I am in Europe, so prices I guess will be different, and there will be commissioning, programming and licensing, but this will give me a better idea as to whether they are trying to rip me off or not.

    The "E" light was on previously, but now no lights show at all, except where the keypad transformer plugs in.

  8. #6
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    follow up question if you dont mind guys, my original installer offered for me to seek an alternative installer, and said they wouldn't be an impediment. ive asked several times for a quote for an upgrade from them, and a copy of the software and programme, but they have stopped responding. just looking for some advice on what I can do to get the programming from them. they did mention they looked at it, before suggesting a QS upgrade, but I suspect they may have lost it, although they have not admitted that.

    Any guidance on rights etc would be really gratefully received!

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