X10 Community Forum

🔌General Home Automation => Automating Your House => User Modified Devices => Topic started by: dhouston on December 21, 2012, 02:38:18 PM

Title: PLC Amplifier
Post by: dhouston on December 21, 2012, 02:38:18 PM
I've had an email from an electrical engineer in the utility industry asking if I would host a DIY project of his design on my webpage.

I've seen a preliminary schematic of his PLC Amplifier which adds a beefy OpAmp and power supply to a TM751, connects to both phases and has approximately 35Vpp PLC output. He expects the final version to approach his design goal of 50Vpp.

Once he sends me the final design with a parts list and description, I'll add a page to my website. It will include his email address so he can field questions.

I referred him to schematics for the RR501, CM11A and CM15A and he is going to investigate whether his design can be used with them. I suspect it will work with all but the CM11A. I'm also sending him a surplus RR501 and one of the original CM15As to tinker with. He runs his home with a CM15A (and his own software) and doesn't want to disturb it.

He was unaware of Jeff Volp's efforts in this area so I referred him to Jeff's website, as well.

Stay tuned - things could get interesting.
Title: Re: PLC Amplifier
Post by: dhouston on December 23, 2012, 10:06:21 PM
Here's the URL...

I may marry this with a Powerline Modem I designed.
Title: Re: PLC Amplifier
Post by: Brian H on December 24, 2012, 08:47:46 AM
Looks interesting.
Thanks for the updates.
Title: Re: PLC Amplifier
Post by: dhouston on December 24, 2012, 03:48:12 PM
With the other devices that receive PLC, there's no way to receive from both phases so there's not much reason to try to adapt it to them.

My powerline modem design, however, can be adapted to receive from multiple phases so, as time permits, I'll merge it with this, let Gus Dattilo, who designed the PLC amplifier, do the testing, and publish the details. It will have to be DIY but I'll design a PCB and it may be available with the SMD components preinstalled. It will send/receive to/from up to 3 phases - eliminating the need for couplers, measure RF RSSI & PLC RSSI and have options for...
*mutually exclusive

+5V power from USB or a wallwart with USB connector if not using USB. All the logic is isolated from the mains so a good RF receiving antenna will be no problem. Can supply isolated +5V over coax to preamp in antenna base.

On 3-phase systems, it can send/receive to/from each phase separately.
If the Android OS is ported to Raspberry Pi, there may be a software interface for it.

I think it could be the ultimate X10 interface but I might be biased.  :'

OK. I have merged the two designs and added a few features. There should be prototypes for testing in 3-4 weeks. The feature list may change as things progress.
Title: Re: PLC Amplifier
Post by: dhouston on January 04, 2013, 01:45:53 PM
This is progressing. I have updated the features listed in my above post.

I should have prototypes in about 3 weeks and have lined up a European tester for 3-phase power.
Title: Re: PLC Amplifier
Post by: bkenobi on May 15, 2013, 01:02:11 AM
I just noticed this thread.  Any updates on progress?  Sounds like a pretty interesting concept that may solve some people's problems with reliability as well as adding significant capability.
Title: Re: PLC Amplifier
Post by: dhouston on May 15, 2013, 06:30:25 AM
My health has deteriorated to the point that I'm unable to do any testing but the engineer who developed it is testing a version that uses an Arduino for its brain. He can only work on it sporadically so progress may be slow.