Strange and erratic X-10 control problem

Strange and erratic X-10 control problem

Post by Glenn Hast » Tue, 18 Dec 2001 11:56:38



        X-10 System Operation  12/16/01
I1ve used X-10 modules, plugged in to 110V outlets, to try to control some
outside Christmas lights. The results are strange and ?flaky1 (not reliably
reproducible).  I will describe the electrical arrangement before the
behavior.

There are two lights (M & D) plugged in to outlet boxes F & B, respectively.
These outlet boxes are on the same circuit (15) in the garage, and a third
outlet box (C), roughly centered between them in the garage, is also on
circuit 15.  The modules used to control the two lights were both set to
House code A, Unit code 1.  A CP290 transmitter was used to manually send on
or off signals.  There are two garage door openers (FO & BO) which were fed
by 110V leads from outlet boxes F and B, respectively.  The lights for those
openers could be turned off and on, independently of the outside lights.

Although there are several surge protectors in the house, they were removed
for these tests.  A signal bridge is installed in the circuit breaker box,
to facilitate signal transmission between legs.  However, all of these tests
were done with the transmitter and control modules on the same leg and most
tests with them on the same circuit.  The physical module in outlet box B
was replaced with another identical module and a few of the tests repeated,
with no apparent changes in results.  The test results are shown below, in
abbreviated and tabular form.

Transmitter       Garage Door      Garage Door      Control          Control
  Location            FO               BO           Light M          Light D

   Box B             Off              Off             OK                NO
     3                On              Off             OK                OK
     3               Off               On             OK                OK
   Box C             Off              Off             OK                NO
     3                On              Off             OK                NO
     3               Off               On             OK                NO

Remote Outlet        Off              Off             NO                NO
Different Ckt         On              Off             NO                NO
Same Leg             Off               On             NO                NO

In summary, the module for light D was actuated only when the transmitter
was plugged in to the same outlet, and even then a garage door light had to
be on.  The module for light M could be actuated when the transmitter was
located anywhere on the same circuit, but not when it was on the same leg,
different circuit.

A thought after listing these results - I could usually (maybe always?) turn
the lights off with X-10 signals, but not on.

I find these results incomprehensible.  When the tests were repeated a
little later, the results were different - not better, but also
incomprehensible.  There must be an explanation - but it1s beyond my
imagination. If you have suggestions for (a) an explanation, or (b) a
solution, I'd be pleased to learn them.

 
 
 

Strange and erratic X-10 control problem

Post by Bruce » Tue, 18 Dec 2001 13:39:39


Are you using lamp modules or appliance modules?


:         X-10 System Operation  12/16/01
: I1ve used X-10 modules, plugged in to 110V outlets, to try to control some
: outside Christmas lights. The results are strange and ?flaky1 (not
reliably
: reproducible).  I will describe the electrical arrangement before the
: behavior.
:
: There are two lights (M & D) plugged in to outlet boxes F & B,
respectively.
: These outlet boxes are on the same circuit (15) in the garage, and a third
: outlet box (C), roughly centered between them in the garage, is also on
: circuit 15.  The modules used to control the two lights were both set to
: House code A, Unit code 1.  A CP290 transmitter was used to manually send
on
: or off signals.  There are two garage door openers (FO & BO) which were
fed
: by 110V leads from outlet boxes F and B, respectively.  The lights for
those
: openers could be turned off and on, independently of the outside lights.
:
: Although there are several surge protectors in the house, they were
removed
: for these tests.  A signal bridge is installed in the circuit breaker box,
: to facilitate signal transmission between legs.  However, all of these
tests
: were done with the transmitter and control modules on the same leg and
most
: tests with them on the same circuit.  The physical module in outlet box B
: was replaced with another identical module and a few of the tests
repeated,
: with no apparent changes in results.  The test results are shown below, in
: abbreviated and tabular form.
:
: Transmitter       Garage Door      Garage Door      Control
Control
:   Location            FO               BO           Light M          Light
D
:
:    Box B             Off              Off             OK                NO
:      3                On              Off             OK                OK
:      3               Off               On             OK                OK
:    Box C             Off              Off             OK                NO
:      3                On              Off             OK                NO
:      3               Off               On             OK                NO
:
: Remote Outlet        Off              Off             NO                NO
: Different Ckt         On              Off             NO                NO
: Same Leg             Off               On             NO                NO
:
: In summary, the module for light D was actuated only when the transmitter
: was plugged in to the same outlet, and even then a garage door light had
to
: be on.  The module for light M could be actuated when the transmitter was
: located anywhere on the same circuit, but not when it was on the same leg,
: different circuit.
:
: A thought after listing these results - I could usually (maybe always?)
turn
: the lights off with X-10 signals, but not on.
:
: I find these results incomprehensible.  When the tests were repeated a
: little later, the results were different - not better, but also
: incomprehensible.  There must be an explanation - but it1s beyond my
: imagination. If you have suggestions for (a) an explanation, or (b) a
: solution, I'd be pleased to learn them.
:
:

 
 
 

Strange and erratic X-10 control problem

Post by Glenn Hast » Tue, 18 Dec 2001 21:19:58


I didn't know, until you asked the question, because I have both (Lamp &
Appliance), and didn't remember which I'd used.  But, all those that I used
in the tests were appliance modules.  If that's significant they can be
replaced.

> Newsgroups: comp.home.automation
> Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 04:39:39 GMT
> Subject: Re: Strange and erratic X-10 control problem

> Are you using lamp modules or appliance modules?

>  SNIP

> : I find these results incomprehensible.  When the tests were repeated a
> : little later, the results were different - not better, but also
> : incomprehensible.  There must be an explanation - but it1s beyond my
> : imagination. If you have suggestions for (a) an explanation, or (b) a
> : solution, I'd be pleased to learn them.
> :
> :

 
 
 

Strange and erratic X-10 control problem

Post by Bruce » Wed, 19 Dec 2001 04:45:13


Appliance modules are the better choice in this application. Are they
plugged into a GFCI outlet? Sometimes those cause erratic performance.


: I didn't know, until you asked the question, because I have both (Lamp &
: Appliance), and didn't remember which I'd used.  But, all those that I
used
: in the tests were appliance modules.  If that's significant they can be
: replaced.
:

: > Newsgroups: comp.home.automation
: > Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 04:39:39 GMT
: > Subject: Re: Strange and erratic X-10 control problem
: >
: > Are you using lamp modules or appliance modules?
: >
: >  SNIP
: >
: > : I find these results incomprehensible.  When the tests were repeated a
: > : little later, the results were different - not better, but also
: > : incomprehensible.  There must be an explanation - but it1s beyond my
: > : imagination. If you have suggestions for (a) an explanation, or (b) a
: > : solution, I'd be pleased to learn them.
: > :
: > :
: >
: >
:

 
 
 

Strange and erratic X-10 control problem

Post by Glenn Hast » Thu, 20 Dec 2001 00:10:28


Thanks for your interest - this is the most baffling problem I've
encountered.  Today, everything woks just fine, even when I turn on this or
that device (fan, dehumidifier, fluorescent lights, HVAC, etc.)
This is an older house, and I don't have a GFCI circuit anywhere.  It seems
that none of the 'controllable' causes of interference are guilty.
and the trouble with 'non-controllable' sources are that they're (a)
incredible and (b) inaccessible -- e.g. a flaky signal bridge.

> Newsgroups: comp.home.automation
> Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 19:45:13 GMT
> Subject: Re: Strange and erratic X-10 control problem

> Appliance modules are the better choice in this application. Are they
> plugged into a GFCI outlet? Sometimes those cause erratic performance.

>SNIP

 
 
 

Strange and erratic X-10 control problem

Post by Bruce » Thu, 20 Dec 2001 03:08:34


Glad to hear it's working. Sounds like a noise problem of some kind. Maybe a
baby monitor that's turned off now or something like that in a neighbor's
house.


: Thanks for your interest - this is the most baffling problem I've
: encountered.  Today, everything woks just fine, even when I turn on this
or
: that device (fan, dehumidifier, fluorescent lights, HVAC, etc.)
: This is an older house, and I don't have a GFCI circuit anywhere.  It
seems
: that none of the 'controllable' causes of interference are guilty.
: and the trouble with 'non-controllable' sources are that they're (a)
: incredible and (b) inaccessible -- e.g. a flaky signal bridge.
:

: > Newsgroups: comp.home.automation
: > Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 19:45:13 GMT
: > Subject: Re: Strange and erratic X-10 control problem
: >
: > Appliance modules are the better choice in this application. Are they
: > plugged into a GFCI outlet? Sometimes those cause erratic performance.
: >
: >SNIP
: >
:

 
 
 

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