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What Did You Think of This Original X10 Home Automation Idea?

GREAT IDEA! Thanks for sharing it. :)
- 42 (97.7%)
**DON'T CHOOSE THIS!** (Poll is only for counting POSITIVES.)
- 1 (2.3%)

Total Members Voted: 39


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Author Topic: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A  (Read 106847 times)

bcondemi

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[User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« on: April 12, 2007, 11:45:43 PM »

Ok I put together a system that works flawless and picks up all RF signals from all remotes, motion sensors, etc. from 150' all around my house.

Did a lot of research, testing and then some!

  • 1.) I filtered all electronic equipment, tvs, audio equipment, etc....

  • 2.) I found that installing the CM15A right at the panel allows all signals emitting from the panel are stronger and travel farther then from an outlet (let's say) near my computer on the second floor. I tried almost every outlet in the house and found the outlet at the panel worked perfectly (even without filters).

  • 3.) The antenna set-up (obviously) is an external set-up and can only be used once you modify the CM15A with the 'F-Connector Mod' (found on another topic of this forum). I used the BNC connector because the connectors for 'it' and the chassis mount UHF connector were plentiful at the electronics/components shop I go to and the RG58 cable came already made with factory-installed  BNC end connectors.

    You must use however a USB Extender (velcro'd to the top of the CM15A in this close-up) that allows you to connect to the CM15A, located up to 300 feet away.

    [TTA Edit: BC, please add more details about the USB Extender - make, model, source, cost like you have for the splitter/combiner. Thanks!]

  • 4.) Installed the PZZ01 (coupler blocking filter) in the panel. The electrician at work gave me a hand with this one.

  • 5.) The antennas I made were the ones I found on this forum and were easy to make. I also used the RG58 50 ohm cable with combination BNC and UHF connectors.

     - 1'st cable from CM15A to the splitter/combiner was 50' (basement to attic)

     - 2'nd and 3'rd cables were 25' each and connected from the signal combiner unit to the other two antennas

    _ _ _
    The splitter/combiner unit, ZSC-2-1 from Mini-Circuits, operates 0-400 Mhz which operates within our 310 Mhz antennas. It takes RF signals from either antenna and sends them to the CM15A. I found no "signals cancelling out each other" problems. I tested near antenna 1, antenna 2, then in the middle of them both. All RF signals worked perfectly.

    I must thank Puck for help on the signal combiner unit. He found it for me. Many thanks!

  • 6.) Connected the unit to antenna 1 and antenna 2. I hung them low to attic floor (house 2'nd floor ceiling.)



    The 2 antennas are 50' apart (north and south ends of the house) with equal lengths of cable between them.

    I now get coverage 100' back of the house. (Its hard to see but I've got an arrow approximately where the antenna is located)

    And over 100' from the front of the house


    I get 150' from across the street also.


    Thanks to all for the help.

    BC


    NOTES:

    For this project, I thought of the entire process of what I was going to do before I actually did it. (i.e. purchase the parts, assemble, connect everything, etc..) and knew when to take the photos. I had the camera in my pocket as I worked and the took pictures after completing a milestone task.

    It took a couple of weeks to get all the parts, especially only being able to work on the project a few hours a night, but worth it. I got rid of the extra RR501 units since the CM15A now covers everywhere in and out of my 2400 square foot house.

    As per the clear photos, I used a 4.0 megapixel camera (high resolution at 1600x1200). Then, before I posted them, I used Nero Photosnap and resized the images to 640 x 480 (for easy visability); 1600 x 1200 would have taken much more space on most people's monitors.


    [TTA Edit: GREAT POST! Formatted for greater impact / readability and converted all URL image LINKs to IMG. EXCEPTIONALLY clear and well-focused pictures.

    UPDATE: Added close-up photo of USB Extender and additional paragraph (#3).  GREAT JOB! ;D ]
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 07:18:13 PM by bcondemi »
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Chris S.

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2007, 01:15:13 AM »

Great information !
Good details, photos.....

You definitely get a point from me.

Thanks for sharing.

Chris
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 02:46:45 PM by Chris S. »
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TakeTheActive

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2007, 02:20:43 AM »

Even though I spent a good half hour formatting and re-LINKing your photos, you also get a Helpful from me for the effort expended! :D
Great Job!
:)
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 11:13:26 PM by TakeTheActive »
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Brian H

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2007, 06:50:36 AM »

 :)Great job. Thank you for your time and effort. I also gave you a helpful. Would be a Super Job but that is not a choice. :)
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JimC

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2007, 07:35:29 AM »

Great job. Thanks for the extra effort. I also gave you a helpfull.
 :)
Jim
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HA Dave

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2007, 09:22:04 PM »

Great job! Very impressive! The photos give great detail. Thank You very much for sharing this with everyone.
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Oldtimer

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2007, 10:06:44 AM »

Super job.  Very well documented.  Geat photos.  Thanks for taking the time to do the show and tell for us.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2007, 08:58:16 PM »

I gave bcondemi  A positive for his excellent work.

It will be very helpful for anyone with RF reception problems with the CM15A.
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bcondemi

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2007, 03:55:52 PM »

Thank-you all for the kind words!


I'm going to keep on testing and playing with the hardware and try to make any modifications that are helpful available for anyone to see.


Thank-you all again!

BC


[Edit: Modified to have picture embedded in post as requested by bcondemi - roger1818]

[TTA Edit: Merged contents of BC's last 2 posts into original, adding new paragraph (#3) and NOTES section.]
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 12:24:08 PM by TakeTheActive »
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bcondemi

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2007, 10:25:22 PM »

Just an update for the USB extender...

Can be purchased from tiger direct. (Canada and U.S) part #C250-3868. Aprox $60

I bought mine on Ebay from a guy selling them for $35

http://myworld.ebay.com/chenyj/ Check out his store...

if not, you can do a search on USB extenders and find many others.


BC


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teez67f

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2007, 12:41:54 AM »

Fantastic job and very clear pictures too.
My range is 150ft. from center of home 2nd floor.CM15A antenna mod simple wire soldered.
You're range is almost double taking into account outside and home dimensions from what i see.
Absolutely excellent and clean cut job.X-10 should take notes on how to really get things working.
Will be putting this in my X10 shop of horror ultimate fixes.
Had seen you're post somewhere else but just fell on this now.You're right TTA logging on brings good luck. :o ::) ;D
How is the plc side of things now that you're RF is fixed.Sorry if someone already asked but did not see it.Yet!
Question for you X-10 tinkerers(aka-TTA,Bill,tuiceman and other veterans ....
This setup with CM15A but with XTB-II would make it better or worse in your opinion?

http://jvde.us/xtb/XTB-IIR_description.htm

Again fantastic job and keep posting all these goodies!!
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 09:47:37 AM by JeffVolp »
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bcondemi

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2007, 10:27:28 AM »

The power line is perfect; Its clear and noise free.

 As I said before. I had the cm15a on the second floor of my house and the distance for the signals to travel  sometimes were too far to reach other areas of the house and didn't work. Having the cm15a right at the panel (where all wiring starts) made the difference. I have no PLC problems at all. I can use my palm remote from way back in the back-yard and control lighting in my basement.


Thank-you

BC
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Tuicemen

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2007, 08:56:00 AM »

bcondemi :
Excellent Post!
teez67f : if your having a problem with Powerline communication than adding a XTB-II  would help!  ;) I like bcondemi : don't need any help with PL signals (yet) ;) :D ;D
The only down side I can see to the dual antenna setup is if a neighbour gets X10! ::) But then repositioning them may fix that! ;) :D ;D
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bcondemi

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2007, 08:05:34 PM »

Thank-you.

Fortunately, I live in a quiet suburb where all the neighbours may have a cordless phone at best and maybe a garage door opener. They're all lazy around here and I don't think they know what x10 is?

BC
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teez67f

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Re: [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2007, 04:41:51 PM »

Got your email BC thanks for info and will do it you're way on my next set-up when the new place will be ready in 2008. :P
Like I said in my e-mail X-10 will be present but also Z-Wave,Insteon,Homeplug with full HA touchscreens etc,... ;D
Tuicemen my power line and RF (150ft.circle from CM15A) are good except powerline was occasionally on the fritz. ???
After the neighbours electrical panel exploded and Electric company finally realized we had a rogue transfo it is now clear. :o

Again great job BC and keep us posted on any new changes to your HA setup. ;)
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