X10 Community Forum

🔌General Home Automation => Automating Your House => Topic started by: JeffVolp on November 08, 2018, 12:54:17 AM

Title: A Night Without Automation...
Post by: JeffVolp on November 08, 2018, 12:54:17 AM
We use an Ocelot for home automation.  Except for a failed com link buffer to a analog module monitoring temperatures and a questionable power module, it had worked almost flawlessly since it was installed 15 years ago.

Sunday night the lights didn't come on as expected.  We switched most on manually, and the others turned on an hour late.  I don't recall having a problem with the daylight savings time changeover in years, but maybe it was a day off this time.

Same problem occurred Monday night.  Hmm...  There is a note in the manual about setting a constant to force daylight savings time.  Maybe something was wrong there, so I uploaded the program again Tuesday.  A quick check sending commands manually showed it was working, but apparently something went wrong during the upload because Tuesday night no lights came on.  And there was no instant hot water for showers.  This was like going back 30 years...

After uploading the program again today everything appears to be OK.  The XTBM-Pro log showed all lights had been initialized to their correct daytime status. Hot water refresh is working again.  And tonight everything is switching on schedule.  All is good...

Title: Re: A Night Without Automation...
Post by: brobin on November 08, 2018, 07:57:36 PM
I ran into the same problem a few years ago after I installed a NOS Stargate.  The problem was that I hadn't updated the original firmware on that board to account for the new DST start and stop dates that went into effect in 2007.  Easy enough fix.  Could your Ocelet have reverted to an old version of whatever defines DST dates?  Glad the reinstall fixed it!
Title: Re: A Night Without Automation...
Post by: JeffVolp on November 08, 2018, 08:48:43 PM
Could your Ocelet have reverted to an old version of whatever defines DST dates?

That is a possibility.  I might have used an older version of Cmax when I adjusted the irrigation cycle this past summer.  I had changed computers since the last time I updated the Ocelot program.

Title: Re: A Night Without Automation...
Post by: HA Dave on December 31, 2018, 07:38:27 PM
I had one of those nightmare days..... where some things just stopped working.

I can't say I've NEVER had an X10 PLC problem. But about 12 years ago I added a phase coupler and (a strategically placed) CM15A and I was good. Since then, I've developed a "testing protocol" that has detected noise makers as soon as they are put on-line. And over the years... I've added a few filters. I've acquired an additional selection of used filters (from someone leaving X10).

So... frustrated by the Sony Kids room (grandkids) Blue Ray Players streaming buffering (and failures)…. I added a Roku HD streaming device. They were on sale so I got another and also switched the Theater Roku to the new one... moving the old theater Roku to my Man-Cave. Some of my streaming log-ons require a browser and additional website log in.... so I schlepped the laptop to my Man Cave... and plugged it in in preparation.

NOTE: Using a Roku allows me to use an app to get the complete normal cable programming (I've already paid for) without renting additional cable boxes. 

After the Roku's were all running and tested in each of the needed apps.... I began a quick test of my X10 lighting. The light named "door" failed to function on an Alexa voice command (it was part of a routine). A quick check with the WM-100.... caused the "door" X10 switch work. I installed my last (used looking) filter ahead of the small wall wart for the Roku. And retested the the "door light". The filter wasn't a fix. It was getting late.... so I decided today would be a good day to track down the problem. As I unplugged the laptop I used for the setup in my man cave (usually used upstairs)..... I realized that may had been the problem. I told Alexa to turn the door light On... then Off. The problem seemed fixed.   

Today.... I realized a "theater Light" (again... another X10 switch) failed to function on request. The tracking began....

Long story shortened (if only slightly)............ The used X10 plug-in filter seems to have failed causing interference/noise or (maybe more likely) is just absorbing too of the weak CM15A signal (as the WM-100 continued to make everything work). I can see why some people get frustrated with X10. I was thinking about WiFi smart bulbs myself today.


Title: Re: A Night Without Automation...
Post by: brobin on December 31, 2018, 09:32:27 PM
A phase coupler is helpful but an XTB-IIR will solve all but the toughest signal issues. Jeff's filters are also better than the X10 brand.