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🔌General Home Automation => Automating Your House => User Modified Devices => Topic started by: bcondemi on April 12, 2007, 11:45:43 PM

Title: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: bcondemi on April 12, 2007, 11:45:43 PM
Ok I put together a system that works flawless and picks up all RF signals from all remotes, motion sensors, etc. from 150' all around my house.

Did a lot of research, testing and then some!

Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Chris S. on April 13, 2007, 01:15:13 AM
Great information !
Good details, photos.....

You definitely get a point from me.

Thanks for sharing.

Chris
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: TakeTheActive on April 13, 2007, 02:20:43 AM
Even though I spent a good half hour formatting and re-LINKing your photos, you also get a Helpful from me for the effort expended! :D
Great Job!
:)
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Brian H on April 13, 2007, 06:50:36 AM
 :)Great job. Thank you for your time and effort. I also gave you a helpful. Would be a Super Job but that is not a choice. :)
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: JimC on April 13, 2007, 07:35:29 AM
Great job. Thanks for the extra effort. I also gave you a helpfull.
 :)
Jim
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: HA Dave on April 13, 2007, 09:22:04 PM
Great job! Very impressive! The photos give great detail. Thank You very much for sharing this with everyone.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Oldtimer on April 14, 2007, 10:06:44 AM
Super job.  Very well documented.  Geat photos.  Thanks for taking the time to do the show and tell for us.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Dan Lawrence on April 14, 2007, 08:58:16 PM
I gave bcondemi  A positive for his excellent work.

It will be very helpful for anyone with RF reception problems with the CM15A.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: bcondemi on April 15, 2007, 03:55:52 PM
Thank-you all for the kind words!


I'm going to keep on testing and playing with the hardware and try to make any modifications that are helpful available for anyone to see.


Thank-you all again!

BC


[Edit: Modified to have picture embedded in post as requested by bcondemi - roger1818]

[TTA Edit: Merged contents of BC's last 2 posts into original, adding new paragraph (#3) and NOTES section.]
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: bcondemi on April 19, 2007, 10:25:22 PM
Just an update for the USB extender...

Can be purchased from tiger direct. (Canada and U.S) part #C250-3868. Aprox $60

I bought mine on Ebay from a guy selling them for $35

http://myworld.ebay.com/chenyj/ Check out his store...

if not, you can do a search on USB extenders and find many others.


BC


Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: teez67f on April 24, 2007, 12:41:54 AM
Fantastic job and very clear pictures too.
My range is 150ft. from center of home 2nd floor.CM15A antenna mod simple wire soldered.
You're range is almost double taking into account outside and home dimensions from what i see.
Absolutely excellent and clean cut job.X-10 should take notes on how to really get things working.
Will be putting this in my X10 shop of horror ultimate fixes.
Had seen you're post somewhere else but just fell on this now.You're right TTA logging on brings good luck. :o ::) ;D
How is the plc side of things now that you're RF is fixed.Sorry if someone already asked but did not see it.Yet!
Question for you X-10 tinkerers(aka-TTA,Bill,tuiceman and other veterans ....
This setup with CM15A but with XTB-II would make it better or worse in your opinion?

http://jvde.us/xtb/XTB-IIR_description.htm

Again fantastic job and keep posting all these goodies!!
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: bcondemi on April 24, 2007, 10:27:28 AM
The power line is perfect; Its clear and noise free.

 As I said before. I had the cm15a on the second floor of my house and the distance for the signals to travel  sometimes were too far to reach other areas of the house and didn't work. Having the cm15a right at the panel (where all wiring starts) made the difference. I have no PLC problems at all. I can use my palm remote from way back in the back-yard and control lighting in my basement.


Thank-you

BC
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Tuicemen on April 25, 2007, 08:56:00 AM
bcondemi :
Excellent Post!
teez67f : if your having a problem with Powerline communication than adding a XTB-II  would help!  ;) I like bcondemi : don't need any help with PL signals (yet) ;) :D ;D
The only down side I can see to the dual antenna setup is if a neighbour gets X10! ::) But then repositioning them may fix that! ;) :D ;D
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: bcondemi on April 25, 2007, 08:05:34 PM
Thank-you.

Fortunately, I live in a quiet suburb where all the neighbours may have a cordless phone at best and maybe a garage door opener. They're all lazy around here and I don't think they know what x10 is?

BC
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: teez67f on May 02, 2007, 04:41:51 PM
Got your email BC thanks for info and will do it you're way on my next set-up when the new place will be ready in 2008. :P
Like I said in my e-mail X-10 will be present but also Z-Wave,Insteon,Homeplug with full HA touchscreens etc,... ;D
Tuicemen my power line and RF (150ft.circle from CM15A) are good except powerline was occasionally on the fritz. ???
After the neighbours electrical panel exploded and Electric company finally realized we had a rogue transfo it is now clear. :o

Again great job BC and keep us posted on any new changes to your HA setup. ;)
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Duck69 on June 05, 2008, 02:56:35 PM
Great† -:) . Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: MikeySoft on June 06, 2008, 01:36:36 PM
I found the instructions for building the antenna a few years ago.† But now, when I search, all I can find is the F-Connector mod.† Does anyone have the link for building and the parts list for the antennas used in this setup?

Thanks†
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Brian H on June 06, 2008, 06:40:39 PM
I believe the first link is the one in the threads photos. The other two are some other X10 antennas.

http://www.cocoontech.com/index.php?showtopic=126
http://www.shed.com/tutor/mr26ant.html
http://jvde.us/x10/eggbeater.pdf
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Kramer Chins on March 07, 2009, 09:15:06 AM
 :' Lets say you don't have an attic, only Main Floor and Basement..........

Could you use this mod and hang the antenna in the basement (on the ceiling) and still get the same performance?

I don't think the WAF would be to high if I had this hanging off the ceiling on the main floor for everyone to look at...........
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: HA Dave on March 07, 2009, 04:45:43 PM
....Could you use this mod and hang the antenna in the basement (on the ceiling) and still get the same performance?

You could do the same mod... to the same style home... next door to this guy.... and not get the same results.

I have my CM15A stuck in the corner of the basement (in my basement office). I selected that area.... because that's the place I had... not because it is a GOOD place.

I have done a couple antenna mods... and I could fish wire up through an interior wall and place the antenna in the attic (BEST area to place the antenna). But I am getting really good results from the basement location. If I needed more performance... I'd get the antenna in the attic. But I am really happy with what I am getting.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Kramer Chins on March 07, 2009, 11:11:56 PM
 >! Thanks Dave
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: tom j on March 09, 2009, 02:19:30 AM
I get 100 feet from a little cheap x10 TM751 Transceiver. Why can't x10 just put a decent antenna and receiver in the CM15A, they could sell more then they could produce just doesn't make good business sense to me. The poor range is why I really don't like to recommend them to my friends.  Yeah I know..  >*<   :P 


Tom j.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Brian H on March 09, 2009, 06:43:15 AM
My last TM751 has the SAME Receiver Board in it that my CM15A's have in them. It beats my CM15A by a long shot. I think most of it is the CM15A antenna is not long enough.  ::)
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: ciaccia on May 30, 2009, 01:55:35 PM
Where can I find how to build an antenna like bcondemi says in this post

bcondemi Said

"5.) The antennas I made were the ones I found on this forum and were easy to make. I also used the RG58 50 ohm cable with combination BNC and UHF connectors."

Where is this at??  I would love to make it.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Brian H on May 30, 2009, 06:19:55 PM
Here is one construction thread. It may not be the one you want as there are a few around.
http://www.cocoontech.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=126
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Kramer Chins on May 30, 2009, 08:32:14 PM
Here is one construction thread. It may not be the one you want as there are a few around.
http://www.cocoontech.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=126

>! This is the one I use....
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: ciaccia on June 02, 2009, 03:25:49 PM
Thanks greatly appreciated ;D
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Alabama-Hokie on October 12, 2009, 12:41:46 PM
Does anyone have another link to the F-Connector modification?
This link is broken:

http://www.accessx10.com/howto_fconnector_page3.html

Thanks,

Dave B
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: BaBaLou. on October 12, 2009, 02:34:15 PM
Hi Alabama-Hokie,

Try this

http://www.shed.com/tutor/CM15mods/CM15mods.html (http://www.shed.com/tutor/CM15mods/CM15mods.html)

Hope that helps.

BaBaLou.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Brian H on October 12, 2009, 03:04:47 PM
BaBaLou; Looks good to me.
Just not quite as much hand holding directions as the now defunct Accessha web site had.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Alabama-Hokie on October 12, 2009, 04:49:04 PM
I appreciate the link the photos look pretty good. However, I am more the mechanical type than the electrical type and would really appreciate the hand holding... :)

Dave B
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: dave w on October 12, 2009, 06:13:38 PM
I looked all over the place for these pictures knowing they were hid some place in addition to Accessha. Never thought to look at a "MAC" sight. Mike Furgeson at SHED is a genius at using home automation in new ways (i.e using the old Radio Shark free "CAT" bar code reader and Shed's  "Xtension" program to read the bar code of empty packages on the way to the trash can and having "Xtension" generate next weeks shopping list). Explore Sheds web site for some really great ideas.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: BaBaLou. on October 12, 2009, 06:33:40 PM
We should consider doing something with all those pics and helpful out there. Sooner or later it seems they all fade away. This site is holding on to its treasures and we should take of them before its too late.
BaBaLou.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Brian H on October 12, 2009, 07:08:41 PM
Yes the loss of accessha and all the information was a very sad day for many of us.

I don't think the information was moved or released to Public Domain.
The CM15A Antenna Mod was copyrighted by accessha.

dave w, Gee the 'Cue CAT' scanners from Radio Shack. I have a few of them somewhere in a stash.  rofl
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: HA Dave on October 12, 2009, 08:48:14 PM
Maybe we could recreate the mod. I have a spare CM15A [as I am sure many of us do]. Its worth thinking about.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: eagle on January 21, 2010, 09:27:22 PM
This looks like a mod that is easy to implement which affords better reception than the simple CM15A antenna replacement. 

Just wondering though... I came upon this antenna at the Shack that looks similar in shape and construction.
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103641#tabsetBasic

It says "Covers 108-1300MHz with peak performance occurring in the 152-470MHz range."

More expensive than the DIY but wondering if it be as effective or better.

r,
eagle

Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Brian H on January 22, 2010, 06:23:30 AM
If you are creative. The construction data for three antennas are in the earlier part of this thread.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: eagle on January 22, 2010, 06:26:43 AM
Yes, sir.  :)  I'm actually going to do the DIY with the radiators and hang it in the attic.  Easy to build, inexpensive, and would be more effective since I can centrally locate it between all sensors.

I was just wondering about and offering the idea of the RS antenna just in case someone wants to pursue it.

r,
eagle

Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Brian H on January 22, 2010, 07:00:06 AM
eagle; Many may want a preassembled unit and your data will help some reading the therad. X10's 310MHz is also in the antennas peak performance area.
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: eagle on February 03, 2010, 08:19:48 AM
Just a quick FYI:

Instead of getting the combiner unit that the OP got, I found some possible less expensive alternatives.

The OP got the ZSC-2-1 from MiniCircuits.  The MiniCircuits site says it costs about $50 if bought in quantities less than 50.  Yikes!

The below splitter/combiners from partsexpress cost a whole lot less.
- http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=183-130  ($6)
- http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=180-351  ($6)
- http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=180-710  ($6)
- http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=180-714 ($3)

I might get one of these if I need to do a dual antenna like the OP.  The first one is spec'ed for 5-2150MHz.  The others simply say 1GHz bandwidth.  I'm not sure if that matters because I've seen some comments saying that they work fine.

Not affiliated with partsexpress.  Just thought I'd offer the info for those who might need one for this project or any other.

r,
eagle
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: Brian H on February 03, 2010, 08:48:10 AM
The ZSC-2-1 is over kill for this use.

I would think any of the ones you showed as long as 310 MHz was in its range would be fine.

I would imagine Radio Shack and other electronics distributors would also have some that would work.
Title: CM15A Requires Two External Antennas One TX and one RX
Post by: Frank3d on October 11, 2010, 03:02:14 PM
I checked the CM15A threads and I canít find where anyone mentions that there are two separate antennas on the CM15A, one for RX the small outside whip and one for TX a short wire on the inside of the unit. I would like to propose a dual antenna design or a combiner / splitter much like one mentioned in earlier posts to combine two external antennas but in this case to combine the TX and RX signals from the CM15A into one strategically placed outside 1/4 wave groundplane antenna cut to 310Mhz. My only concern with the splitter used as a combiner is itís possible the TX RF power might hurt the receiver input if combined with it using a 50ohm splitter for 310Mhz. Otherwise the only alternative is two individual antennas one for the TX and one for the RX to really get max RX and TX data to and from the CM15A. -:)
Title: Re: CM15A Requires Two External Antennas One TX and one RX
Post by: HA Dave on October 11, 2010, 07:42:48 PM
I checked the CM15A threads and I canít find where anyone mentions that there are two separate antennas on the CM15A, one for RX the small outside whip and one for TX a short wire on the inside of the unit.

Here's one:  http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=17240.msg94900#msg94900
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: mike on October 12, 2010, 08:10:10 PM
I agree this was a well written, well thought out dual antenna idea and then implementation!  Coodos (is that spelled right??)!

I just want to raise the idea of DB loss on the splitter (about 3.5db per specs shown & typical of all 2:1 splitters for upto 500mhz), and db loss of the RG58 coax at 310mhz (see http://www.ocarc.ca/coax.htm) of 4db for the 50' run, an another 2db for each 25' additional run for total losses of 9+db per antenna........

Anyone ever do testing to see what db loss the std cm15a has over a std 1/4 wave antenna?  My far out guess as 30+yr extra class ham who's built lots of rf stuff, with 1rst class commercial license I used for years to repair commercial radios in this freq range, and Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, specializing in communications, is .....  -9db!!!

So it seems by the math that the std cm15a with its own antenna is probably equiv in performance if placed at EITHER attic location where the antennas are located now......  not bad for letting the cm15a communicate at the electrical box as stated..... good thinking....  so this idea gets best of all THREE locations!  SAME antenna receive performance as if placing the cm15a in attic location 1,  SAME antenna receive performance as if placing the cm15a in attic location 2, and SAME power line communications performance as placing the cm15a at the circuit breaker box.

I think if others like me who have finally placed their cm15a in 2nd story of house and how that helped reception....... they probably would agree with the above paragraph.

So the moral of my inputs is GOOD JOB! 

And if you want even better performance than placing the cm15a at either attic location, USE BETTER COAX!  You can reduce the losses from 4+2db to less than 1/2 or 3db if you just pick the better low loss coax shown at the website I listed above!  What would this mean in additional coverage for YOUR system?  Again my guess.. this additional 3db of signal (this means 2x the signal!) maybe another 30-50' of range added to your already what was it?  150'....

Some of us are a bit lazier and did the BNC cm15 adapter on cm15a at 2nd story location, then bought the really hi power power line repeater thing (forget the name of it but it pumps up to like 25vac on the line!) AND also bought the V572RF32 to extend the cm15a range too....  But we still don't get the range on our security devices that only the cm15a can decode as 32bit words, so guess what? Your design still won over our throwing $ 400 at it our way.

I'd give you points but I am just a peon too and can't :)

Way to go! 
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: bcondemi on December 18, 2010, 07:36:44 AM

Wow!, It's been a few years and my set-up still works perfectly...

Here are some of the missing photos that have seemed to dissapear over the years...I guess the image hosting sires eventually delete the photos. I couldn't figure out how to directly upload the photos here....so anyone that knoes how to keep these....here you go.
 
 
 
(http://www.imagehosting.gr/out.php/i1486539_img-0338.jpg)
(http://www.imagehosting.gr/out.php/i1486540_img-0339.jpg)
(http://www.imagehosting.gr/out.php/i1486541_img-0347.jpg)
(http://www.imagehosting.gr/out.php/i1486542_img-0353.jpg)
(http://www.imagehosting.gr/out.php/i1486543_img-0356.jpg)


I've since changed computer to a Mac and don't have a PC connected to the CM15A anymore. What is the best solution for this? I've read mouse house (for the mac) is one idea. but then I need to link the usb from my mac laptop to the cm15A wirelessly (with a wireless usb sender...I guess).
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: bcondemi on May 08, 2012, 03:37:27 PM
Update... I now use Thinking Home for osx (mac). The UI is way better than activehome pro (in my opinion).

Believe it or not... I have a dlink Nas storage down in my basement next to the CM15a that it's usb port can be used as a wireless usb connector.
I therefore run the Thinking Home software off my laptop (macbook pro) and communicate to the CM15a connected to the NAS... wirelessly. No need to have a windows machine connected directly to the cm15a usb connectors anymore. ;D

BC
Title: Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
Post by: 06M6TorridGTO on June 12, 2012, 04:44:56 PM
Are you plugging the CM15A directly into the NAS? Which NAS are you using? I'm about to set up a CM15A and I may go with your setup too if I run into RF problems, which I know I will lol I would like to keep the PC away from the CM15A since the PC is in a remote room and your idea of putting the CM15A near the electrical panel is a darn good idea. I was already considering some form of wireless USB that I could just attach to the CM15A and it would just communicate wirelessly to either the network or directly to the PC. I've got a fairly big house to communicate around so I've got a set up right now for the CM19A but I want a better one for the CM15A (BNC and 50 ohm vs the F-jack and 75ohm) if I end up needing it. I was also considering just using TM751s around the house for RF reception and then passing the signals on to the CM15A through PLC but I'm afraid that may cause duplicate commands if the CM15A is set to transceive anything for macro use. But we'll see. My main question though is what NAS are you using and did you just plug the USB (from the CM15A) into the NAS, just like you would for extra storage from a USB flash drive?