TRUNK11 RF Deluxe Kit Operators Guide

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These instructions describe the functions of the TRUNK11 Deluxe Kit, which includes one TRUNK11 effect controller with four output ports, one RF remote receiver, and one RF transmitter.

TRUNK11 Effect Controller

 

RF Remote Transmitter

 

RF Remote Receiver (Length of Wires May Vary)

 

The TRUNK11 effect controller is capable of powering many hundreds of individual lights, so you can use it as a central point of connection and control for large installations.

 

The RF remote and receiver are securely paired to each other, so other remotes cannot interfere with the transmission signal.  The remote has a range of 50ft (15.24m) or more and will operate through obstacles such as display cases and walls.

 

Basic Connections

To set up the Deluxe Kit, connect your lights, power, and remote control as shown in the photo below.

 

There are two optional accessories that integrate with the TRUNK11 effect controller:

  1. A Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor that can be used to activate one or more outputs on the TRUNK11 effect controller in response to motion.
  2. A sound module that can store multiple user-added sounds in MP3 format.  These sounds can be assigned to output ports and triggered by the activation of that output port.

Both accessories can be purchased by contacting us at support(at)brickstuff.com. The use of these optional accessories is described later in this document.

 

Basic Operation

After you have connected your lights, power, and remote control to the TRUNK11 effect controller.  you are ready for basic operation.

Pressing the "A" button on the remote will turn the lights connected to the OUT1 connector on and off (press once to turn on, press again to turn off).  The "B" button on the remote controls the lights connected to the OUT2 connector, and so on.  The current state of each output port is stored in the TRUNK11 effect controller's memory, so if you turn power off and back on again, the lights that were on before will turn on again.

Output Modes

Each of the output ports has three different modes:

  1. Normal (on/off) mode at full brightness.
  2. Dimming mode, where the brightness of all connected lights can be set.
  3. Motion control mode, for use when the optional Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor is connected to the SENS1 connector.  Output ports in motion control mode will turn on whenever motion is detected by the PIR sensor, and they will turn off when motion is no longer detected.  Detection sensitivity and activation duration are set directly on the PIR sensor module itself as described later.

You can use a mix of these modes to add depth and interest to your lighting setup.

To set the output modes for each port, follow these steps:

  1. Turn of the power to the TRUNK11 effect controller and the remote control.
  2. On the remote transmitter, press and hold the "A" button.  Continue holding.
  3. While still holding the "A" button on the remote, turn power back on to the TRUNK11 effect controller and remote control.
  4. Continue holding the "A" button for 2-3 seconds, then release.

The lights connected to the OUT1 port will turn on and will indicate the output mode setting for that specific port:

  • The lights will flash on and off once when the port is on normal (on/off) mode.
  • The lights will pulse bright and dim when the port is in dimming mode.
  • The lights will flash twice quickly when the port is in motion control mode.

You can use the buttons on your remote to set the output mode:

  • Press the "A" button on the remote to move back one port (for example, to move back from OUT2 to OUT1).
  • Press the "B" button on the remote to move forward one port (for example, to move from OUT1 to OUT2).
  • Press the "D" button on the remote to change the output mode for the selected port.  Modes will change from Normal (on/off) to Dimming to Motion Control and back again to Normal.
  • When you are finished setting the modes for all ports and want to save your configuration to the memory on the TRUNK11 effect controller, press the "C" button on your remote control.  All lights will flash three times to confirm that settings have been saved, and normal operation will resume.

NOTE: Make sure you do not select the Motion Control mode for any output port unless you have the Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor connected to the TRUNK11 effect controller.  Once a port is in Motion Control mode, you cannot turn it on or off using the remote.  If you accidentally set a port to Motion Control mode and you do not have the PIR sensor connected, you can follow the steps above to change the output mode back to either Normal (on/off) or Dimming.

If you have set a port to Dimming mode, you will now be able to set the brightness for the lights connected to that port.  In this case, you can use a "long press" of the corresponding button on the remote to adjust the brightness of the lights on that output port.  Each "long press" of the "A" button, for example, will increase the brightness of the lights connected to the OUT1 port until they reach maximum brightness.  When maximum brightness is achieved, the lights will flash.  Another "long press" of the "A" button in this case will bring the lights back to their minimum brightness, and you can use repeated "long presses" of the "A" button once again to set the brightness you desire.  Your brightness settings are automatically saved into the TRUNK11 effect controller's memory.

When a port is in Dimming mode, you can still turn it on and off with a "short press" of the corresponding button on the remote.  When turning on a Dimming port, the lights will turn on to their set brightness (not full brightness, unless that is the dimming level you have selected).

Understanding Short and Long Presses

"Short" and "long" presses of each button on the remote allows one button to have multiple functions.  It can take a little time to get used to how long to press the button for a "short" press vs. a "long" press, but generally a "short press" is anything 1 second or less, and a "long press" is anything longer than about 2 seconds.

Before progressing to the more advanced settings described below, it's a good idea to take time to practice short and long presses by setting the brightness of different output ports.

 

Advanced Functionality: Random On/Off Settings

One of the powerful advanced features of your TRUNK11 effect controller is the ability to have output ports turn on and off automatically at random intervals.  You can set the random on/off delay between two and 10 minutes for each port.  Once a random on/off duration has been set, the TRUNK11 effect controller will select a random time between 50% and 100% of the total delay time set for each port to have the port turned off, then select a new random time to have the port turned on.  New random on/off times are selected continuously based on the maximum durations you set for each output port.

You can use this advanced feature to have sections of your lighting setup turn on and off randomly.  Some examples of where this feature could be used include:

  • Having streetlights turn on and off randomly to simulate daytime and night time in a city.
  • Having the lights in the upper level of a shop turn on and off randomly to simulate people coming and going from the apartments.
  • Having up to four sections of lights in a large building or multiple buildings turn on and off randomly to simulate real-world comings and goings.

To set the random on/off state and delays for each output port, follow these steps:

  1. Turn of the power to the TRUNK11 effect controller and the remote control.
  2. On the remote transmitter, press and hold the "B" button.  Continue holding.
  3. While still holding the "B" button on the remote, turn power back on to the TRUNK11 effect controller and remote control.
  4. Continue holding the "B" button for 2-3 seconds, then release.

Once you have completed the steps above, the lights connected to OUT1 will be on, and you can use your remote to set the configuration for this and the other ports by following these steps:

  • Press the "A" button on the remote to move back one port (for example, to move back from OUT2 to OUT1).
  • Press the "B" button on the remote to move forward one port (for example, to move from OUT1 to OUT2).
  • Short-Press the "D" button on the remote to change the random maximum delay time for the selected port.  The lights connected to that port will flash between 2 and 10 times to indicate the maximum delay time (one flash for every minute of maximum delay).  You can short-press the "D" button multiple times to increase the maximum delay.  When you pass 10 minutes, the timer will return again to a 2-minute delay.
  • Long-Press the "D" button on the remote to turn random mode on or off.  When random mode is on for the selected port, the lights on that port will flash to indicate the maximum delay time in minutes.  When random mode is off for the selected port, the lights on that port will be "steady on" and will not flash.
  • When you are finished setting the modes for all ports and want to save your configuration to the memory on the TRUNK11 effect controller, press the "C" button on your remote control.  All lights will flash three times to confirm that settings have been saved, and normal operation will resume.

NOTE: after setting the random on/off times for all ports and pressing the "C" button to exit, it is recommended that you turn power off to your setup for 5 seconds, then back on again.  The TRUNK11 will set a random state (either on or off) for each port set to random mode when power is turned back on.

Also note that when a port set to random mode turns on, if that port was set to Dimming mode earlier and a specific brightness was set, the lights on that port will turn on to the dimmed value.  If you would like them to turn on to full brightness, you can either set the dimming level to maximum brightness, or you can change the operating mode of the port from Dimming back to Normal (on/off) by following the steps in the Output Modes section above.

Lastly, note that even when a port is set to turn on and off randomly, you can still manually turn it on or off using the corresponding button on the remote.

Advanced Functionality: Sounds

If you have purchased and connected the optional sound module to the TRUNK11 effect controller, you can take advantage of even more advanced functionality to add interest to your lighting setup.

The sound module ships without any sounds pre-loaded, but there are several files loaded onto the module that are labeled "DO NOT DELETE."  These files are needed on the sound module for proper operation.  Do not delete these files.

You can load any MP3 sound file onto the module (the module has a capacity of approximately 4 minutes depending on the bitrate of each sound).  The sound module can be connected to your computer using a standard microUSB cable (not included).

NOTE: Many microUSB cables are designed for charging devices only.  These cables only have two wires connected internally-- the two power wires needed for charging devices.  Those types of cables will NOT work with your sound module because they will not allow data to be transferred.  Make sure you are using a "full" USB cable designed for data transfer.  These cables will have all four USB wires connected internally.  You will know if your cable is not designed for data transfer if you do not see a new disk drive/folder appear on your computer's list of connected devices when you connect it to your computer.

When you connect your sound module to your computer, you should see a new folder/disk drive appear on your computer.  When you open this, you should see the list of sound files stored on the module.

As explained earlier, do not delete any of the files on the sound module labeled "DO NOT DELETE".

You can copy sound files to the module using the standard file manager on your computer.

NOTE: If you are using a Mac computer, you will also need to "empty trash" after deleting any files from the sound module in order to actually free up the space on the sound module.

 

Understanding the File System on the Sound Module

The file system on the sound module accesses files in the order in which they are copied to the sound module.  This means that the system plays files in the order in which they were copied onto the module, regardless of what the filenames are.  For example, if you have a sound file named "sound 5" but you copy it onto the module after a sound named "sound 10," the "sound 10" file will still be played before the "sound 5" file.

 

Adding Your Own Sounds

Sounds must be formatted in the MP3 file format.  To create your own MP3 files, we recommend an editor such as Audacity, which is available for free at https://www.audacityteam.org.  You can also use Audacity to edit sound files and to change the bitrate of sound files if they are too large to fit onto the sound module.  We cannot answer specific questions about Audacity or provide guidance on using the application, and we cannot edit or custom-make sounds for customers.  Refer to the online Audacity help and forums (https://www.audacityteam.org/help/) if you have specific questions about using the application.

To copy a custom sound file onto the sound module once it is connected to your computer, follow these steps:

  1. If you want to delete any files you previously added to the sound module, do so before copying any new files.  Mac users, remember to also "Empty Trash" before copying any new files.
  2. Copy your own MP3 file onto the sound module.  If the file is too large to fit, use an application such as Audacity to change the bitrate and export the sound into a smaller file.

You can have up to four active sound files on the module, one assigned to each output port.  While you are limited to four active sounds, you can have as many sounds loaded onto the module as will fit, and you can use the steps below to change which sounds are "assigned" to each output port.

Note that the sound module can play only one sound at a time.

Once you have finished copying your custom sounds to the sound module, you can disconnect it from your computer.

Now you will need to tell the TRUNK11 effect controller which sound to associate with each output port.  To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Turn of the power to the TRUNK11 effect controller and the remote control.
  2. On the remote transmitter, press and hold the "C" button.  Continue holding.
  3. While still holding the "C" button on the remote, turn power back on to the TRUNK11 effect controller and remote control.
  4. Continue holding the "C" button for 2-3 seconds, then release.

After completing the steps above, the lights connected to the OUT1 port should turn on, and you should hear a beep sound played from the sound module.  This indicates you are in sound configuration mode. 

The process of assigning a sound to a specific output port works like this:

  1. With a specific output port selected, pick the sound you want to assign to that port by scrolling through the sounds you have loaded onto the sound module.  You can also choose to assign the "no sound" sound to the port if you do not want a sound to play.
  2. Select the playback volume for the sound you have selected.
  3. Select whether the selected port will react to the sound or not.  Ports that are selected to react to their sound will turn off the lights after the sound has finished playing.  Ports that are not selected to react to their sound will trigger the sound when turned on, but remain on after the sound finishes playing.
  4. Write your selections to memory and advance to the next port.

Follow the steps below to configure the sounds.

  • Short-Press the "A" button on your remote to move back one sound in the list of files stored on the sound module.  When you reach the beginning of the list of sound files, you will hear a high-pitched beep sound.  When you select this high-pitched beep sound as the sound assigned for a given output port, that means that no sound will play and that port will not have any sound associated with it.  The high-pitched beep sound is the "no sound" sound.
  • Long-press the "A" button on your remote to decrease the volume for the selected sound.  Each time you perform a long-press of the "A" button, you will hear the selected sound play again at the newly-selected volume.  Each sound can have its own playback volume, which is preserved in the memory of the TRUNK11 effect controller.  When the minimum sound volume is reached, you will hear a chime tone play.
  • Short-Press the "B" button on your remote to move forward one sound in the list of files stored on the sound module.  Remember that the sound module "sees" files in the order in which they were copied onto the module.  If you pass the last sound stored on the sound module, you will hear silence.  Short-Press the "A" button again to scroll backwards in the list of sound files.
  • Long-Press the "B" button on your remote to increase the volume for the selected sound.  Each time you perform a long-press of the "B" button, you will hear the selected sound play again at the newly-selected volume.  Each sound can have its own playback volume, which is preserved in the memory of the TRUNK11 effect controller.  When the maximum sound volume is reached, you will hear a chime tone play.
  • Short-Press the "D" button on your remote to turn sound-reactive mode on or off for the selected port.  Lights connected to the active port will flash when sound-reactive mode is on, or they will be "steady on" and not flash when sound-reactive mode is off.
  • Long-Press the "D" button on your remote to save the settings for this port to the memory on the TRUNK11 effect controller.  Note that you must write each port's setting to memory in order for it to be preserved.  You will hear a chime sound play, and the next port will become active for you to set.  When you have finished setting all ports, you will hear a series of quick beeps to indicate that the sound settings for all ports have been written to memory.  Normal operation will resume.
  • At any time while in sound configuration mode, you can press (short or long) the "C" button on your remote to exit configuration mode.  Note that only the ports you have written to memory with a Long-Press of the "D" button will be saved when you press "C".

NOTE: after assigning sounds to all ports and pressing the "C" button to exit, it is recommended that you turn power off to your setup for 5 seconds, then back on again.  Lights may not operate normally unless you complete this step.  It is only required when changing the sound configuration.

 

Special Note for Mac Users

Because of how Mac computers manage file systems, extra, hidden files will be created as soon as you connect your sound module to your Mac.  These files cannot be seen and cannot be deleted, but because they are seen by the sound module, these hidden files will be interpreted as sound files by the module, and the module will attempt to "play" these invisible files.  Since the files are not formatted as MP3 files, no sound will play.

Also, because the sound module plays sounds in the order in which they are copied onto the module, connecting your sound module to a Mac will disrupt the "order" in which the module sees files.  For example, if you connect to your Mac and copy three custom sound files onto the module, the module will "see" several additional files before the you files you copy onto the module.  If you try to play the first file, you will not get that file, since the module sees the hidden files created by your Mac as the first files.

This is why we created the ability to scroll through all files on the sound module to tell the TRUNK11 effect controller which are the sound files you would like to play.

NOTE: If you are using a Mac computer, remember to always "empty trash" after deleting any sound files in order to actually free up the space on the sound module.

 

Resetting to Factory Defaults

Because of the complex way in which controls, timing, and sounds can be layered for each output port, sometimes you may want to reset your TRUNK11 to its factory defaults.  You might choose to do this as a way to reset all settings and prepare for a new set of sound files on the sound module, for example.

To reset your TRUNK11 effect controller to its factory default settings, complete the following steps:

  1. Turn of the power to the TRUNK11 effect controller and the remote control.
  2. On the remote transmitter, press and hold the "D" button.  Continue holding.
  3. While still holding the "D" button on the remote, turn power back on to the TRUNK11 effect controller and remote control.
  4. Continue holding the "D" button for 2-3 seconds, then release.

All lights will flash five times, indicating that defaults have been restored.  You can then re-apply any settings as desired.

NOTE: resetting the TRUNK11 effect controller does not change or delete any data on the sound module.

 

Layering Effects

The sections above described how you can create several levels of settings for each output port on the TRUNK11 effect controller:

  1. Operating Mode: Normal (on/off), Dimming, and Motion Control
  2. Random on/off Mode with Adjustable Delay
  3. Sound Assignment
  4. Sound-Reactive Mode on or off

Each of these settings operates independently, so you can combine them to create a wide variety of real-time effects.  Some examples include:

  • Random on/off every 5 minutes with music file playback
  • Sound-dependent manual triggering to play a laser sound
  • Motion triggering to play an explosion sound

Because the sound module can play only one sound at a time, there can be some unintended consequences when mixing modes.  For example:

  • If multiple ports have sounds assigned and are set to "on", and power is turned off and then back on again, these ports will all turn back on and attempt to play their associated sounds.  Only the sound assigned to the lowest-number port will play.
  • If a sound is playing and you press a button on the remote to turn another port on that is also sound-dependent, that port will not turn on.  You will need to turn it on after the current sound has finished playing.
  • If multiple ports are set to Motion Control mode and these ports also each have a sound assigned to them, only the sound for the highest-number port will play when triggered by motion.
  • If a sound is playing and a Motion Control port with a sound assigned to it is activated by motion while the other sound is playing, that sound will stop and the Motion Control port's sound will play instead.  If the first port was sound-dependent (meaning, its lights would normally turn off after its sound finished playing), that will not happen after a motion event.  The lights for the other port will remain on until they are either manually turned off or, if the port was set to random on/off mode, that port's timer expires and the port turns off automatically.

These are special cases to be aware of.  If any of these cause issues for your operation, you can adjust the settings and layering of effects for each port to minimize conflicts.

 

Passive Infrared (PIR) Module Usage

With the optional Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor connected to the TRUNK11 effect controller, you can set one or more output ports to be motion controlled.  When set to Motion Control mode, an output port will turn on whenever the attached PIR sensor detects motion, and the lights will remain on until motion is no longer detected.  The photo below shows the front of the PIR sensor compared to the size of a LEGO plate.

 

The PIR sensor connects to the TRUNK11 effect controller with its 3-wire cable.

All motion detection logic takes place on the PIR sensor's circuit board.  There are two dials on the back side of the PIR sensor that you can use to set both the sensitivity of detection and the length of time the lights remain on once motion is detected.  There is also a "jumper" next to the dials that can be used to set the timer operation.  These parts are shown in the photo below.

 

Dial #1 in the photo above is used to adjust the length of time lights remain on when motion is detected.

  • Turning the dial clockwise (to the right) increases the amount of the time lights remain on when motion is detected.  Turning the dial all the way to the right will set the "on" time to approximately five minutes.
  • Turning the dial counterclockwise (to the left) decreases the amount of time lights remain on when motion is detected.  Turning the dial all the way to the left will set the "on" time to approximately 3 seconds.

Dial #2 in the photo above is used to adjust the sensitivity of the PIR module.

  • Turning the dial clockwise (to the right) decreases the sensitivity of the PIR module.  Turning the dial all the way to the right will set the detection range to approximately 3 meters (9.8ft).
  • Turning the dial counterclockwise (to the left) increases the sensitivity of the PIR module.  Turning the dial all the way to the left will set the detection range to approximately 7 meters (22.9ft).

The jumper on the side of the PIR sensor circuit board can be used to set how motion detection impacts the "on" time of the lights.  There are two settings for the jumper:

  1. Single trigger mode: the "on" time begins when motion is detected and lights turn off when the "on" time setting passes, even if motion is still detected.  This results in a shorter "on" time but lights may turn on and off repeatedly if motion continues to be detected.
  2. Repeatable trigger mode: the "on" time begins when motion is detected, and the "on" time is re-started each additional time motion is detected.  This results in a longer "on" time with lights remaining on until shortly after motion stops.  The amount of time lights remain on after motion is no longer detected is equal to the time set by Dial #1.

The trigger mode is set by moving the yellow cap covering the copper pins on the bottom of the PIR sensor circuit board.  There are three copper pins, and the trigger mode is set by removing and placing the yellow cap as shown below.

The photo above shows the PIR sensor in Repeatable Trigger Mode, since the yellow cap is covering the center and right copper pins on the PIR sensor module.

By removing the yellow cap and placing it so it covers the center and left copper pins instead, the PIR sensor would be set to Single Trigger Mode.

You can use the three settings on the PIR sensor to adjust for your specific installation.

Here are some additional operational notes about the PIR sensor:

  • Do not remove the white plastic dome covering the sensor.  The white plastic dome is required for proper operation.
  • Position the PIR sensor so it has line-of-sight to the area you want to monitor.
  • When using the PIR sensor with the TRUNK11 effect controller, there will be a delay of up to 30 seconds after the TRUNK11 effect controller is turned on before sensing begins.  This time is needed to allow the PIR sensor to calibrate to its surroundings.
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