X10 Community Forum

🖥️ActiveHome Pro => ActiveHome Pro General => Topic started by: me too on September 17, 2005, 10:59:17 AM

Title: batteries
Post by: me too on September 17, 2005, 10:59:17 AM
Hi,
I live in the New Orleans area and have
evacuated due to Hurricane Katrina. My
house was not damaged but did loose power.
The power in our home came on after two
weeks.  Is there any chance that AHP keep
its settings and began turning on my lights
when the power came back on? I will not be
able to retun home for another week and it
would be nice to know that my lights are
functioning in our absence.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 17, 2005, 11:27:24 AM
Doubt it. The battery time is 40 hours at
least by the indicator in the software for
the AHP cm15a interface.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: arf1410 on September 17, 2005, 11:57:10 AM
Battery life question for X10 Pro - or
anyone else.

Do the batteries simply maintain memory, in
which case shouldn't they keep the memory
for YEARS without AC power (look a a watch
with a nickel size battery and an LCD
display, etc)?, or is the battery power
drained in 40 hours becuase it is using the
battery power to generate and send out X10
signals?  Obviously the light bulb would
not turn on in a power outage, but does the
switch still recieve the X10 signal?
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 17, 2005, 02:56:09 PM
Schematic shows the batteries run the whole
controller except maybe the line
transmitter. There is a on battery signal.
The transmitter uses a higher voltage and I
think is disabled. Even when pluged in after
a week the thing said my batteries where
dead, even though they measured full voltage.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: arf1410 on September 17, 2005, 03:18:17 PM
"Schematic shows the batteries run the
whole  controller except maybe the line
transmitter."

How can that be? - the CM15A works fine
with no batteries installed, as long as AC
power is maintained ...
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: raym on September 17, 2005, 04:12:46 PM
Just a guess...
Unplug it and see what stays powered on.

We got off the thread.

No, the CM15A will not be controlling your
house after two weeks. X10 advertises about
about two days on battery power.

I'm sending you my thoughts and prayers, and
I hope that you return and find your house
as well as you left it.

Regards,

Ken
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 17, 2005, 04:48:14 PM
Must clarify. When on AC the whole thing is
running on the internal AC Derived power
supply. When the AC is off the batteries
kick in and run the controller thorugh a low
voltage drop diode.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 17, 2005, 04:48:30 PM
Must clarify. When on AC the whole thing is
running on the internal AC Derived power
supply. When the AC is off the batteries
kick in and run the controller thorugh a low
voltage drop diode.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: arf1410 on September 17, 2005, 07:37:46 PM
just so I understand ...

Lets assume I turned off the circuit
breaker to my house and had 2 CM15As.  One
was programmed to send X10 signals and
plugged into an outlet.  The other was
plugged into another outlet, and connected
to my laptop running on batteries.  with
the AHP Activity monitor on the laptop, it
wold detect all the normal X10 signals
coming thru the powerline from teh
programmed CM15A to the "monitoring" CM15A?
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Tigger on September 18, 2005, 03:55:18 AM
 
Looking at the CM15A schematics, I don't see
ANY circuitry that would "switch over" to
batteries.  The batteries feed the same
+5V regulator that the transformer does.

(Of course there is a blocking diode in
place, to prevent the batteries from being
fed power from the transformer.)

I'm not sure what kind of current draw there
would be on the batteries, but there has to
be SOME current flow, I'd imagine. . .

Anyone care to confirm?

T



Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 18, 2005, 07:31:51 AM
When the AC power is ON the diode is back
biased and disconnectes the batteries from
the circuit. When AC is off there is no 30
volts so the transmitter will not work. Also
with no AC there is no zero crossing for the
thing to even try and time a signal; or the
one on the laptop to receive the signals. No
zero crossing no timing to do anything.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: arf1410 on September 18, 2005, 11:33:32 AM
So if the CM15A does essentially nothing
when AC power is off, why would 4 AAA
batteries drain in 40 hours?  They should
be able to maintain memory for years!  What
am I missing?
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 18, 2005, 12:56:01 PM
Well you would think so. A check of the
controller chips data seet shows that it
uses 15ma to 20ma current in the active
state internal clock used. Standby is much
lower but I don't think X10 can go standby
as it still has to try and keep time. I
measured my cm15a and unplugged from the AC
the battery drain was about 16ma. In an
older cm11a serial Active Home Interface.
Unplugged it is about .4ma. That is about a
40X difference.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: arf1410 on September 18, 2005, 01:30:28 PM
As long as AC power is maintained, is ther
any measurable battery drain?

So the internal clock of the CM15A uses 40X
the power of the internal clock of the
CM11A?  Though I don't have the background
to discuss chip design theory, was there a
good, valid reason why X10 needed to design
this to drain so much battery power?
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 18, 2005, 04:23:21 PM
I will check that and get back.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 18, 2005, 06:42:50 PM
After looking at the schemetic and doing
further tests with my test cm15a that is
modified for external antenna and not in
warantee. I have found that the batteries
are basically powering most of the whole
interface. Anything on the 5 volt line
including the RF Receiver and RF
Transmitter; controller; memory is powered.
Also some of the battery voltage is going
back through a zenner diode to the Line
Transmitter circuits that looks like it may
have about 5.2 volts on it. Only dead for
sure area was the small power supply feeding
the isolated Zero Crossing circuit. So I
would say on batteries 40 hours maybe
normal. With mine on AC; the battery current
was 0.1ma and at that low a range it may
have been less. ARF1410; Have you measured
the batteries that have gone dead on AC or
just used the AHP Tools to say they are
dead? When mine crashes it frequently said
the batteries where dead, but they measured
>6 volts with a meter. The crashed cm15a
reported dead batteries but they where not.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: roger1818 on September 19, 2005, 02:33:56 PM
Arf:  The reason X10 designed in such a way
that it will drain so much power was to
save money.  As has been said before, a
better approach would have been to use a
real time clock chip.  This would run for
10 years with a lithium battery.  Instead
they decided to run the clock in the
microcontroller.  This required that the
microprocessor remain powered during a
power failure to keep the time.  This isnít
any different than the CM11, but I guess
the microcontroller in the CM11 draws much
less current.

I did some math and if the CM15A draws 16mA
when running on battery and if the
batteries have a 1300mAh capacity (high for
a AAA) you wonít get much more than 80
hours from them.  I figure the 40 hours is
based on the assumption that the CM15A
draws 25mA and the batteries have a
capacity of 1000mAh.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 19, 2005, 04:14:04 PM
Plus the diode [low drop type] and the low
drop out +5 volt regulator also drops some
of the voltage and I don't remember what the
controllers minimum voltage is. Mine had
4.85 V on the +5 with a battery of 6.0
Volts. Then again I think the regulator was
on the low side of tollerance anyway, even
on AC
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: roger1818 on September 19, 2005, 05:00:58 PM
Brian:  To get a full 5V you need 5.6V on
the input.  The output then drops linearly
below that.  The minimum Operating Voltage
for the CY7C63723 is 4.35V so 4.85V you
measured sounds reasonable and is within
tolerance.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 19, 2005, 06:09:36 PM
Thanks for the data. I have the controller
and regulator data sheets but had not looked
at them yet.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: X10 Pro on September 19, 2005, 06:38:08 PM
Looks like you guys have this covered. I will
mention that timer, macro, and dusk/dawn data
is stored in the EEPROM on the CM15A, and
persists even if the CM15A has no power at all.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: arf1410 on September 19, 2005, 06:49:11 PM
huh?  Then why do I need batteries at all?
What else in there to back up?
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: arf1410 on September 19, 2005, 07:00:06 PM
Oh...I think I figured it out...batteries
run the clock, but dont maintain the memory?
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on September 19, 2005, 07:01:50 PM
How about keep the time and date kind of
correct?
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: me too on September 19, 2005, 08:24:59 PM
So even if my batteries go dead there is a
chance that the timers are working just at
some incorrect time.  I will take that at
this point, just hoping that some lights
are on at night to make the home lived in.
When I do get back to New Oreans I will let
you know whats what
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: roger1818 on September 20, 2005, 04:32:47 AM
Hurricane refugee:  Unfortunately no.  When
the CM15A resets the clock stops and all
timers and time delays in macros stop
working.
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: me too on October 24, 2005, 10:55:08 PM
Well, for anyone who is interested.  I made
it home four weeks after the hurricane
smashed my city.  Fortunately I live on the
west side of the Mississipi river and did
not have major damage to my home just
shingles and lots of trees down and now am
back at work providing pumps and equipemnt
to the oilfield industry in the New Orleans
area.  No, the CMA15 was not firing times or
macros when I got home but did respond to
remotes.  I just had to replace the
batteries and reprogram.  
Title: Re: batteries
Post by: Brian H on October 25, 2005, 04:40:32 AM
Thank you for the update. What happend to
your area of the country was very bad. I am
gald that your part of town was not too
badly damaged.
Batteries and reprogram. Kind of what we
expected.