Many users were confused why their remote is not lit, or why does it stop working, etc.
Seemingly baffling LED behavior ranging from only one LED lighting to neither of them working was reported.
But to those with “The Knowledge,” this was all normal, and to be expected.
The truth is that the LEDs are far more useful than they appear, and once you understand how they work, you’ll be able to judge at a glance a lot more of what’s going on in your generator.
Three things control how the LEDs respond to the signal – frequency, waveform, and amplitude. I don’t own an oscilloscope, so I’ve constructed the graphics in Spooky2 by using Wave Cycle Multipliers to give you an indication of what’s going on. First, let’s look at frequency:
Remote & frequency
This is a 1Hz square wave. It completes one positive-to-negative cycle every second.
A: Signal is positive for half a second, so the left LED lights for half a second.
B: Signal immediately drops through 0 to negative.
C: Signal is negative for half a second, so the right LED lights for half a second.
The LEDs turn on and off very slowly, and are never both lit at the same time.
Now here’s a 32Hz square wave – it completes 32 positive-to-negative cycles every second. Count the peaks – there are 32.
With this frequency, the entire A-B-C cycle described above takes place 32 times every second.
This means that for every one of those 32 cycles, the signal is positive for 1/64th of a second, so the left LED is lit for 1/64th of a second.
The signal then goes negative for 1/64th of a second, so the right LED lights for 1/64th of a second.
Now the LEDs are both flashing very quickly. Nevertheless, it’s always the case that only one of them is lit at a time.
Note that if you use a Wave Cycle Multiplier of 12, the frequency sent to the 5M is divided by 12. Now let’s move it up a notch.
Here’s a 256Hz square wave. Please note that a real one you’d see on an oscilloscope doesn’t look exactly like this – what we’re running up against here are the resolution limits of computer screens. Nevertheless, 256 cycles in a single second moves the peaks of each one so close to one another that the PC screen cannot show any degree of separation between them.
Now, the original A-B-C positive-to-negative cycle happens 256 times every second.
And for each of those 256 cycles, the signal is positive for 1/512th of a second, so the left LED lights for 1/512th of second.
The cycle then goes negative for 1/512th of a second, so the right LED is lit for 1/512th of a second.
Now each LED will appear to be constantly lit, at equal brightness. However, as you now know, it’s not possible for each LED to be lit at the same time, because the signal can never be both positive and negative at the same time, so what you’re seeing is an illusion that’s caused by the limits of the human eye.
That same illusion is what allows movies, which are a series of still photos transmitted in sequence at a frequency of about 24 per second, to appear to be a facsimile of real life.
We come up against a different type of limit when we start to transmit very high frequencies in the megaHertz range – which is millions of cycles every second: the limits of some of our present-day technologies.
What happens with high MHz frequencies is that the cycle switches from positive to negative so fast that neither LED has time to switch on fully before it receives the signal to switch off again. The result is the LEDs appear to go very dim, and may even appear to be turned off completely.
This doesn’t mean that Spooky2, the generator, or the Remote have stopped working – just that current LED switching technology isn’t fast enough to keep up with what’s happening with an extremely fast signal. This is nothing to worry about.
Remote & amplitude
However, there’s another scenario where the LEDs can appear to be very dim, or even unlit – and this one doesn’t involve very high frequencies at all.
Every time an LED lights up, it uses a very tiny fraction of the frequency’s motive power – amplitude, otherwise known as voltage. At amplitudes above about 5volts, you won’t really see any difference in the luminance of the LEDs. However, if you set your amplitude lower than this, the voltage available to light up the LEDs drops off, and the result is that they appear to be dim. At very low amplitudes, they will look like they’re not working at all.
This is also nothing to worry about. In fact, it’s a good thing because it means that all of the frequency’s voltage is being used for the purpose intended – healing.