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Author Topic: transceiver placement  (Read 7628 times)

brunetmj

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transceiver placement
« on: November 30, 2006, 12:13:58 PM »

I tired to search for this but did not see any appropriate threads..
I am new to X10 so forgive this question. My current understanding of X10 leads me to believe that the transceiver
translates X10 signals from a controller and then sends them into the household wiring. I interrupt this to mean the wiring "system"
since it must also travel through the bus bars on the electrical circuit in order to make it's way to the module.
So a simple question. Does placing a transceiver in the same circuit as the module increase response time of the module?
Or is the signal bouncing around the wires and bus metal so fast the difference doesn’t matter?
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Puck

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2006, 12:27:13 PM »

Does placing a transceiver in the same circuit as the module increase response time of the module?

NO.... electrical signals travel at the speed of light;)

But placement will definitely have an affect on reliability.

Follow TTA's advise and MAP / MEASURE / CORRECT if you are having problems.

P.S. Do the MAP part even if things work.  ;)
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Tuicemen

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2006, 12:43:12 PM »

Place the transciever as  high  in the house as you can!

It realy does make a difference !

For RF range at least! ;) :D ;D
« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 12:44:44 PM by Tuicemen »
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brunetmj

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2006, 02:36:14 PM »

Thanks everyone.. a bit confused about the height comment. Did you mean place the transceiver in an electrical receptacle that is more centrally located for the controllers and higher that then rest if possible? Or did you mean place the transceiver on the 2nd floor of my house ?
As long as the transceiver does not have to be on the same circuit I plan to place it on a receptacle that is located a short distance from the controller and at the top of a wall (I have a older house with some strange receptacle locations). Initially I will only be using three X10 devices, motion sensor floodlights-front and back and a door chime.

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Puck

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2006, 03:05:10 PM »

What Tuicemen was referring to is the physical location of the Transceiver within your house.

To get the best RF range (e.g. for motion sensors placed all around your house), the highest most central location generally works best.

But everyone's house & X10 set-up is different, so it takes some moving around and experimenting to find the best location for the best reliability.

P.S.

Quote
I am new to X10

Welcome to the world of X10.

Quote
Initially I will only be using three X10 devices...

Keep us posted when you expand.... because you WILL :D
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brunetmj

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2006, 10:46:58 PM »

Hooked everything up and it works great ! Now I am excited about expanding..thanks everyone.
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Tuicemen

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2006, 09:27:47 AM »

Thanks Puck for clarifying!
Many newbies complain about poor RF range with their setups.

Placing the transceiver in a central location but also as high as possible(even in the Attic) helps greatly! ;) :D ;D

Note: Sometimes the highest point isn't the best if there is a lot of metal there or other things that could cause interference ::) :(

But as Puck stated "you will add more devices"

So its best  to find the most central highest point that works for your setup now then there is a greater chance things will work when you do add! ;) :D ;D
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wsr8092

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2006, 06:38:26 PM »

[b]Placing the transceiver in a central location but also as high as possible(even in the Attic) helps greatly![/b]    

I've got a metal roof? Or I guess I could just try it and see if it's better!
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Puck

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2006, 06:51:22 PM »

I've got a metal roof? Or I guess I could just try it and see if it's better!

If the roof is grounded (which it most likely is) higher may not necessarily be better in that case.

If you move it around, please post what results you see, and where you find that you get the best range.

(Also what Transceiver you are using.  ;) )
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wsr8092

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2006, 07:11:27 PM »

It's not grounded w/ a ground wire, but gutters ect may have it grounded !
TM751
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mitch5252

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2006, 10:21:36 PM »

Inexperienced X10'er here - my attic gets up to about 120 degrees in the summer. That kind of heat is not bad for the transceiver?

Michelle

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Puck

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2006, 10:50:34 PM »

Most electronics are rated to operate within specifications up to +70C (+158F).

However, continued operation at an elevated temperature (greater than +25C / +77F) will decrease the life expectancy of the transceiver.

So at +120F (+49C), the electronics will work... not sure about the plastic case though.  :D
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ArtClark

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2006, 02:10:04 AM »

I have to throw this out there.  I must have a strange case in my house, but I get the best RF results with the transceiver in my basement.  This never made sense to me, but has been proven by trying many different placements.  (I also notice that the center isn't the best in my case but I attribute that to a specific set of heater ducts (Metal, of course) that run through the floor.

Has anyone else run into this situation?  The higher I put the RF unit, the better it works from outside, but the less reliable it is from inside.  With it in the Attic  (Call this 3rd floor...)  I have to play with pointing the Palmpad to get a signal through.  On the second floor it works 50% of the time, first try.  Strangely, in the same room there seem to be spots that are good and others that are terrible.  With the unit in the basement (Actually, in a plug on a basement "ceiling" bean, which would be 6 inches below the floor.) I have no dead spots anywhere in the house (I even tried the Palmpad while in the attic for a test.) and it usually works 100% of the time.

From outside, however, it seems to follow what I consider normal.  The higher, the better.  In the attic, I can get 75% or so from inside my garage, which is detached and about 60 feet away.  With the RF in basement, forget most of outside.

I'm thinking of trying a "Smart" repeater in the attic to get the best of both worlds, but I dislike doing things that make no logical sense to me, which this doesn't.    I've honestly been reading many posts just to see if anyone had the same crazy results, and have never heard (read?) of anyone saying this.  Seeing as this was a transmitter placement thread, sounded like a good place to try.

(Note:  I have done a basic "Mapping" of all metal, wire, coax, cat5, etc.  and don't think that's what is causing this upside down result, but I think these items do cause some of the "Dead spots" with certain placements.  Just FYI.)
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Billaban

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2006, 10:13:27 AM »

I got this input last month when I was getting started:

My home was built in 1943! The wiring has been semi-updated, so I have a mix of grounded (3 prong) and older (2 prong) outlets. I haven't had any special problems do to wiring.

However (big red letters for TTA) the walls have caused a small work-around. The walls are not "dry-walled" like newer homes. They are constructed of "blue board" with a plaster top coat. That makes them about an inch thick and like concrete. In the garage... the builder used blue board and metal lath to support the plaster.

The construction seems to limit RF transmission. So I try to locate things like the transceiver, video sender and (camera) receiver, in the basement. The floors (and windows) seem much easier to transmitt through, as compared to the walls.


I haven't had any RF issues to date but my house is not a McMansion either.  However I do have metal lath/plaster all through the house.

Billaban
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Tuicemen

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Re: transceiver placement
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2006, 04:36:05 PM »

ArtClark :When you tested the CM15A in different locations:
Did you also move the antenna to different angles?
Did you try plugging it in upside down as well?

If you left the antenna in its home position in each location but the CM15A was at different angles (horizontal verses vertical) that could be why you got confusing results!
If you ever played with amateur radios you'll know: antennas in a vertical postion works differently than in a horizontal one!
I don't mean to knock your tests as other things can also deflect or attract signals making them more directional! Causing dead spots or more range in one direction than the other! ;) :D ;D
Many have found antenna angle is key to getting the best results!
They found placing the antenna at 90 degrees from the CM15A worked best but I don't remember if that was vertical or horizontal! ::)


On my original CM15A I could turn my antenna straight down(6:00) which worked best. On my new one the antenna will only turn to 5:00 but for best results with it the antenna needs to be at 1:00  ::) if mounted with USB connection at the bottom! ::) ;) :D ;D
I never tried moving to other locations as I get over 75 feet with this one where it is on the second floor! ;) :D ;D
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