Signalinc phase coupler? Anyone tried yet

Signalinc phase coupler? Anyone tried yet

Post by Smartere » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 01:57:31



Had anyone tried the dryer plug in phase couplers?  I am looking into a
coupler for a small house and trying not ot break the bank.
Thanks
 
 
 

Signalinc phase coupler? Anyone tried yet

Post by cjw » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 04:58:00


If you house is under 3000 sq. ft., and you REALLY want to save $$, try
this:
http://www.pigselectronics.com/tektips/tip23.htm

The required capacitor is available at any Radio Shack (less than a buck).
Your mileage may vary, but this works great for me.


Quote:> Had anyone tried the dryer plug in phase couplers?  I am looking into a
> coupler for a small house and trying not ot break the bank.
> Thanks


 
 
 

Signalinc phase coupler? Anyone tried yet

Post by Bret Schuhmache » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 05:11:03


I have one and I'm about to replace it...  Worked fine for my needs until it
just crapped out.  It lasted about 6 months.

I'd recommend waiting a day or so on your purchase to see what others have
to say - maybe I got a lemon or something.  If the concensus on SignaLinc is
generally bad, do what I'm about to do and buy an ACT 230 or ACT 234 from
Worthington Distribution.

DON'T buy a Leviton HCA02-10E - you won't like it :-(.  I just got one and
am about to return it.  It doesn't work well with about 5-8 different
devices we all have (or want).

Rgds,

Bret

 
 
 

Signalinc phase coupler? Anyone tried yet

Post by Bholi » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 07:21:30


I'm very happy with mine.  I've had for about a year or so.  Before buying
one, make sure that X10 works to your satisfaction with the dryer on. If X10
is not working with the dryer on, I doubt the dryer-plug coupler will
improve things.


Quote:> Had anyone tried the dryer plug in phase couplers?  I am looking into a
> coupler for a small house and trying not ot break the bank.
> Thanks

 
 
 

Signalinc phase coupler? Anyone tried yet

Post by Smartere » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 07:55:11


Does it amplify the signal or just repeat?


> I'm very happy with mine.  I've had for about a year or so.  Before buying
> one, make sure that X10 works to your satisfaction with the dryer on. If
X10
> is not working with the dryer on, I doubt the dryer-plug coupler will
> improve things.



> > Had anyone tried the dryer plug in phase couplers?  I am looking into a
> > coupler for a small house and trying not ot break the bank.
> > Thanks

 
 
 

Signalinc phase coupler? Anyone tried yet

Post by Fringe Ryde » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 08:50:36



Quote:>Had anyone tried the dryer plug in phase couplers?  I am looking into a
>coupler for a small house and trying not ot break the bank.
>Thanks

Yes, mine works quite well.  It's purely a coupler (to answer another
question in this thread), but that's often enough.  It's far more efficient
than the dryer itself is as a coupler, measured using an Elk ESM1, but if
your dryer is a long distance from your breaker box you may need a
different solution.

- EMail must delete "delete" embedded in domain

 
 
 

Signalinc phase coupler? Anyone tried yet

Post by GS » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 12:26:22



> If you house is under 3000 sq. ft., and you REALLY want to save $$, try
> this:
> http://www.pigselectronics.com/tektips/tip23.htm

> The required capacitor is available at any Radio Shack (less than a buck).
> Your mileage may vary, but this works great for me.

Do yourself a favor and get the cap that's shown in the picture.
(Click on the link on the site to see an enlarged view) See all
those marks? Those are approvals by various testing/standards
organizations. There are more approval marks on the other side
of the cap too.

The cap you'll get at Radio Shack won't give you much of a leg
to stand on after the fire investigation.
--

Gary Sanders

Bait for spammers:





 
 
 

Signalinc phase coupler? Anyone tried yet

Post by Bruce » Wed, 20 Feb 2002 16:25:37


It does neither. It simply provides a path for the original signal to travel
to the other leg of AC power. So, if the signal strength at the point of
reaching the cap is, say, half a volt, it will still be half a volt (OK,
it'll be very slightly less) on the other side of the cap.  A
repeater/amplifier takes that half volt signal and retransmits it at
(typically) 4 to 5 volts on both legs of the powerline.  What you NEED
depends on how things work in your home. If you have sufficient signal
strength to operate all devices with just a cap in the panel, then you don't
need the repeater (at least not right now).
 I have one home where I'm just using the cap installed in a 220volt dryer
plug (the outlet is otherwise unused as I have a gas dryer). It works fine
but I need  filters on two TV sets. If I used a repeater/amplifier the
signal would probably be strong enough to eliminate the filters. In my
4000sf home, I need the repeater/amp AND some filters.
 As for the safety of using the $1 solution, properly placed it is fine.
What I mean by properly placed is that it should be across 2 adjacent
dedicated breakers. DO NOT install it across a pair of high amperage
breakers used to run, for example, a central air unit.  The high amperage
inrush current can cause the cap to explode. About 10 years ago I installed
it just that way in a panel located in the bedroom closet. At about 4am one
night, BOOM! - it sounded like a gunshot!  Little black pieces of shrapnel
actually were on the wall around the panel cover.
 BTW, Radio Shack has a .01mfd 2000wvdc cap that I've used instead of the
.1mfd cap just because it was convenient to grab one at a nearby store. Part
#272-160 cost $1.19 for two. In case it explodes you'll have a spare!  ;o)


:
: Does it amplify the signal or just repeat?
:
:

: > I'm very happy with mine.  I've had for about a year or so.  Before
buying
: > one, make sure that X10 works to your satisfaction with the dryer on. If
: X10
: > is not working with the dryer on, I doubt the dryer-plug coupler will
: > improve things.
: >
: >
: >


: > > Had anyone tried the dryer plug in phase couplers?  I am looking into
a
: > > coupler for a small house and trying not ot break the bank.
: > > Thanks
: > >
: > >
: >
: >
:
:

 
 
 

1. Phase coupler phasing

I have had a passive phase coupler (a Domestech #9640, for what it's
worth) in my house for several years.  In the course of debugging some
unreliable X10 operation recently, I discovered that X10 signals were not
propagating well between phases; I was seeing cross-phase signal strengths
on the order of 70mV or so.  Interestingly, the readings didn't change
much when I tripped the circuit breaker that fed the phase coupler.

So I replaced it with a new blocking coupler and now I'm seeing
cross-phase signals of 600mV or so, almost a 10-fold improvement.  That
would be the end of the story, except that I decided to find out what was
wrong with the Domestech unit so I hooked it up to a signal generator and
an oscilloscope.  It turns out that it's coupling just fine -- at 120 KHz
the output voltage almost exactly matches the input, but it's 180 degrees
out of phase!

Is this normal?  I know the 60Hz on the two phases is out of phase, but
should the X10 signals be that way also?  Wouldn't that have the signal
passing through the coupler fighting with any signal that was being
coupled some other way (like through a 240V appliance)?

I'd try the experiment with my blocking coupler to see what it's doing
with the X10 signal phase, but it's installed in my service panel and
would be a major pain to get access to.  Does anyone know how these things
are supposed to work?

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