Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The Buster PiX10Hub is here! Created by the Community, for the Community.:)% #:)

Pages: [1] 2 3

Author Topic: CM15A RF Range Problems...  (Read 37082 times)

Billaban

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 96
CM15A RF Range Problems...
« on: December 26, 2006, 02:46:18 PM »

I have a CM15A setup.  Well sort of.  I'm having serious range problems and have read extensively herein about antenna modification but haven't decided how to proceed.  ANYWAY, yesterday being Christmas I received a XC19A "kit" which includes a CM19A.  It would appear that I don't have any use for the CM19A.  Opinions to the contrary?

thanks.


[TTA Edit: Split off into separate thread, renamed and moved.]
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 06:56:14 PM by TakeTheActive »
Logged

Dan Lawrence

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 68
  • Posts: 3991
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2006, 06:02:33 PM »

When you say "serious range problems", exactly what are you trying to do?

It's pretty well known that the antenna on the CM15A is poor for reception.  Mine won't even receive the RF signals from a Stck-A-Switch or a KR19, but the RR501 in the Liviing Room (7 feet from the CM15) will.

Logged
I don't SELL this stuff... BUT I sure do ENJOY using it!!!

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 271
  • Posts: 10096
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Forum
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2006, 06:30:53 PM »

Billaban There are a couple of reasons to hang on to the CM19A
Find your self a program you like which uses the SDK, there are many!(some free)
Compare the program using both!(first one then the other)
When you do the antenna modification to the CM15A you'll have a temporary replacement.
Since the CM19A will respond to commands sent with the SDK it makes for a good backup to the CM15A should it fail! ::) ;) :D
You could run the CM19A connected and the CM15A not ;)

If you have a second PC you could use the CM19A on it. Many users here run more then one CM15A or a CM11A with the CM15A,so I see no reason why one couldn't run the CM19A with the CM15A. ;) :D ;D

Also the CM19A could be used to help debug! ;)

There are probably a few more uses for it but since I don't have one these are the first ideas that come to mind!
Experiment I'm sure you'll find a way to implement it! ;) :D
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

Billaban

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 96
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2006, 07:00:55 PM »

When you say "serious range problems", exactly what are you trying to do?

It's pretty well known that the antenna on the CM15A is poor for reception.  Mine won't even receive the RF signals from a Stck-A-Switch or a KR19, but the RR501 in the Liviing Room (7 feet from the CM15) will.



I must have introduced some interference but even before today I cannot get devices in the adjoining room to the CM15A to configure.  My DX7000 clearly has far better RF range.  I have read all about this CM15A problem in this forum but have yet to decide on a repeater or modification to the antenna, or both.  As of today it is even worse.  I did just plugin a VR36A (near the MC15A) for the new CX19A camera that I received yesterday.  FWIW - image quality isn't impressive even with the camera transmitting within a foot of the receiver.  But that is for another day. 
Logged

Dan Lawrence

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 68
  • Posts: 3991
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2006, 11:12:45 PM »

You still haven't said what the CM15 won't address.

X10 signals are sent through the house wiring, so what won't work?   That may be caused by a noise problem.
Logged
I don't SELL this stuff... BUT I sure do ENJOY using it!!!

Billaban

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 96
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2006, 10:22:31 AM »

Ok, sorry for being ambiguous.  Here is what I have:

On one end of my house is my office over the garage which was probably a screened porch at one point many moons ago.  The point is that the house is brick and the wall between the aforementioned office and the rest of the house is twice as thick as the interior walls.  Probably plaster (like the rest of the house interior) or perhaps dry wall over brick since it was an update to a house built in 1940 something.  This is where the PC/AHP (and all plugins) /CM15A is located. The floor is hardwood on a concrete slab.  More on this later.

On the other end of the house are the bedrooms (2), with a DX7000 console in the 2nd BDRM.  House is about 60 feet across with plaster on metal lath for interior walls...I have done some wall patching over the years and obviously discovered this.

In various places in the garage, basement, house exterior, and first floor living space I have DS10A's (6), LM15A's (4), SH10A (1), MS10A (3), PSH01's (3), PR511's (1 with 2 more in the mail),  MS16A's (3), WS467's (4), WS477's (4), and a XPFM unit for a yet to be installed humidity sensing (very cool) exhaust fan for use with a RSS18.  Somewhere around here is a partridge in a pear tree but I haven't seen that lately.

I received a X19A/VA11A/VR36A/CM19A "kit" for Xmas, which sorta works but let's just ignore that for the moment.

OK, so there is the most (if not all) of the layout. 

The CM15A problem(s) I believe have been strictly RF.  I have had some problems with MS10A's of which one is about 20 feet from the CM15A.  Most problems have been with DS10A's, e.g., garage windows directly below the CM15A (maybe 10 ft - remember the concrete slab?), and more DS10A's in same BDRM as the DX7000.  I know from experimenting with a hand-held DS10A that the DX7000 range is better, i.e., same distance (different direction) the DX7000 works where the CM15A fails.  The CM15A sits about 4 ft off the floor on top of the PC tower.  The DX7000 sits on a table between 2 and 3 ft off the floor. I am considering the antenna mod's and was reviewing the forum for the SR731 this morning but that unit doesn't appear to have impressed too many in the forum.  If it was all that it is cracked-up to be I wouldn't care about the price. 

I have reset my DX7000 5+ times to rebuild the zone configuration and deal with my own fubars like walking in front of an active MS10A while attempting to install other sensors.  Yep, that was dumb but I figured it out.  I have also completely rejuvenated the configuration in AHP a few times and in all of the aforementioned iterations the CM15A RF reliability has been weak. Yes, I would prefer to centrally locate the CM15A and the DX7000 but that simply isn't practical in this house. 

Bottom line is that this is a modest house (approx 1800 sq ft) and I didn't expect these types of RF problems based on what I have read in various places.

So.....any suggestions? 

FWIW - I proof read this several times so if I screwed up anywhere I can't see it.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 10:58:17 AM by Billaban »
Logged

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 271
  • Posts: 10096
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Forum
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2006, 10:47:52 AM »

The Big reason your having RF issues is the metal lath which was used in the building process!
Large metal objects located between a RF sender and receiver will diminish the range considerably! :(
Since in your case this can't be moved(not easily) strategic placement of any RF devices is a must
The concert slab also contains metal reinforcing rod hence that problem!
The antenna mod may be the only option in your case at least you could mount it centrally in the Attic! ;) :D ;D
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 10:52:26 AM by Tuicemen »
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

Billaban

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 96
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2006, 11:11:29 AM »

The antenna mod may be the only option in your case at least you could mount it centrally in the Attic! ;) :D ;D

Thanks for the input.  I had read about the metal lath interference problem back before I bought into this "world" and though I was home free when I did my preliminary DX7000 and sensors installation without issue.  Bad call apparently.

Good call on the rebar in the concrete slab.  I hadn't thought of that.

Hmm.  The antenna mod adventure worries me somewhat. Especially the part about getting (I presume coaxial) cable from the CM15A locale to the attic.  Any strong opinions out there on using a SR731 Smart Repeater?  Maybe place the repeater in the attic?
Logged

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 271
  • Posts: 10096
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Forum
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2006, 11:26:43 AM »

If you go with the smart repeater the attic would be the best spot for it!
I also haven't heard any good reports on this but more seem to complain than praise! ::) :( ;)
Perhaps someone who has had success with the SR731 Smart Repeater will jump in and explain their setup! ;) :D ;D
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

medvampire

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 4
  • Posts: 36
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2006, 06:02:28 AM »

IMHO the repeater is worthless. I had great luck with the antenna mod.
Steve
Logged

Billaban

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 96
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2006, 08:28:20 AM »

IMHO the repeater is worthless. I had great luck with the antenna mod.
Steve

Great.  I have read about a few different types of antenna mod's.  I'm a software guy and don't know much about RF, antennas, etc...  So I can play dumb here without much trouble and ask which antenna mod is recommended. 

Thanks,

Billaban
Logged

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 137
  • Posts: 6097
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

medvampire

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 4
  • Posts: 36
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2006, 10:14:59 PM »

The mods listed by dave w works. I haven't done an antenna.
Good luck
Steve
Logged

Billaban

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 96
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2006, 07:25:02 AM »

Great.  I collected most of the materials at Radio Shack yesterday. 

I just started to mod the CM15A per <http://www.accessha.com/howto_fconnector_page1.html>.  The only snag has been removing the power connectors from the back of the casing.  My situation is that the PCB popped out without issue and while it would be convenient to get the casing disconnected it is accessible.  I did try to follow the directions and press the power connectors out but I'm 240 lbs and leaned into it fairly hard and the fittings didn't budge.  I'm sure I could mangle/crack the casing if I tried any harder to press these out.  ... Just thought I would share. 

I'll get on with this later.  I have a tee time.

Billaban
« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 08:15:48 AM by Billaban »
Logged

Billaban

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 96
Re: CM15A RF Range Problems...
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2006, 01:56:03 PM »

Get yo' solderin iron and dremel tool warmed up!

http://www.accessha.com/howto_fconnector_page1.html

Mod for CM15A

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?parentPage=search&pg=3&summary=summary&cp=&productId=2103641&accessories=accessories&kw=antenna&techSpecs=techSpecs&currentTab=summary&custRatings=custRatings&features=features&origkw=antenna&support=support&tab=support

Good antenna for the attic

http://www.radioshack.com/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=pl-259&origkw=PL-259

Coax and "F" cnnector for CM15A

Done.  I hung the antenna from the apex of the rafters in the attic and used 50' of coax to get to the CM15A.  Appears to work fine. 
Had a scare on my first test ???.  Apparently I have a DS10A that is RF range challenged.  Used another unit in same location which worked
and subsequently installed all the other "problem" sensors in AHP.  About $60 for all the hardware. 

Now that I'm getting reliable communication I can experiment with more complex macros and see what kind of trouble I can create with the AHP SDK.

My front porch light is wired.  I think I'll take a remote out to the street and see what kind of range I have.  Hmm.  I guess if it is too far I could have a new problem.....

WOW.  I've got at least 80 yards of exterior range using a HR12A controlling my PR511 in front of the house.  Could be farther but it is hard to see a light on a
bright sunny Maryland day.   I guess I'll find out fairly soon if any of my neighbors have X10 systems.


Thanks for all the help.  HNY.

Billaban :D
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 02:11:30 PM by Billaban »
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3
 

X10.com | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
© Copyright 2014-2016 X10.com All rights reserved.