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Author Topic: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range  (Read 68706 times)

sys4me

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CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« on: June 18, 2007, 04:46:41 PM »

I purchased DX7000 alarm with 9 windows sensors in Jan 2007. It worked perfectly. All RF signals received with Base station in several locations. I then ordered CM15A and Active home in April. First CM15A had a range of about 5 feet. Phoned support, they assured me that CM15A's normally had good RF receiver performance and sent me a replacement (this cost me $12 shipping and took 6 weeks to arrive). The new unit had an RF range of about 15 feet. I tried many extensions, modifications and positions for the antenna and the CM15A and could never receive from more than 5 of my window sensors at once. After reading many posts about poor RF receivers in these units, rather than waste more money returning bad units I opened the unit to solder in an external antenna. With several different designs, I finally got the unit to work on all my sensors from one location. I like the unit except it has taken over my life for a week to get it working. This would be an excellent product if it had the quality of RF receiver that is used in the DX7000. As it is this unit is a total disappointment and I would not recommend it to anyone.
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JMac

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2007, 05:08:17 PM »

Welcome to the world of R & D for the X-10 program !
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HA Dave

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2007, 06:52:28 PM »


Phoned support, they assured me that CM15A's normally had good RF receiver performance and sent me a replacement


I am amazed at the number of people who don't have range problems with the AHP interface. I know in my case... the metal lathe in my walls makes RF a problem.

I also performed a mod on my interface.... a really simple easy... break off the antenna tip - solder on a wire - tape the wire to the old plastic antenna tube. There is (as you know) an entire thread dedicated to extending the range of the AHP.

I am crazy about the added features (particularly BVC) I now have with AHP..... I hope you find your rough start with AHP as rewarding as mine.
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
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sys4me

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2007, 12:09:57 PM »

In response to Dave_X10..I did try extending the antenna to 1/4 and then 1/2 wavelength, some improvement, but still not usable. Your environment may have been the problem with your unit, but my units would not work at distances of 5 feet and 15 feet in the same room with no obstructions. Also as I mentioned the DX7000 receiver can receive all of my remotes from several locations in the house. I tried putting CM15A where DX7000 had worked for 9 remotes, only received from 3 remotes (trying various antenna positions etc.).
       If many users have good RF range with the CM15A, that would indicate very poor quality control, as I am sure the 2 units I received would not work in any environment. I am happy for those who are satisfied with the CM15A, I only wish I had one of their units.
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Tuicemen

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2007, 12:43:25 PM »

I'm one of the fortunate users that has no range issue But I live in a small century old home!( I get close or over the advertised range)
There are several issues which can cause limited or no reception most are building materials used in construction as Dave_x10_L  experienced! But there are other things which can interfere  :(
Have you read JeffVolp's   X10 Troubleshooting Tutorials ?
They may help! ;) :D ;D
Also the CM15A may need some configuration Via AHP hardware configuration!
Many users that complained of poor reception were able to get a reliable system working with some tinkering!
Unfortunately AHP isn't plug n play! :(
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sys4me

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 01:30:14 PM »

In response to Tuicemen... Jeffvolps interference tutorial seems to refer mostly to powerline functions. My problem is strictly RF reception. With the transmitter more than 15 feet away, install does not work, waits for signal forever. As soon as antenna enhanced or distance reduced below 15 feet I get configuration complete message on install. You guys will have to work a lot harder to convince me there is anything other that a poor RF receiver causing these problems. (the fact that my second receiver is 3 times as good as the first one should be a clue).(the fact that the DX7000 works perfectly on RF in the same house should be a clue). Please note that I have worked in Radio and electronics and computers for 43 years. This unit is poorly designed or uses poor quality components or the RF is not tuned properly at manufacture.
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Tuicemen

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2007, 01:47:46 PM »

The CM15A wasn't originally designed to work with the security modules signals they send are different how ever still RF.
I did have issues setting up my security modules with AHP (had to install in close proximity) but after the install was complete they worked from the spots I placed them! ::) ???
The fact that the CM15A  is capable of receiving many different RF commands may be the problem  ::) ???
We're not saying that your particular units are not defective, just that all possible situations need to be looked at!
Have you looked at the activity monitor?
Is there any unexplained RF activity?(note: it only shows recognized comands not unrecognized command sets)
 :(
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tom j

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2007, 11:55:39 PM »


Phoned support, they assured me that CM15A's normally had good RF receiver performance and sent me a replacement


I am amazed at the number of people who don't have range problems with the AHP interface. I know in my case... the metal lathe in my walls makes RF a problem.

I also performed a mod on my interface.... a really simple easy... break off the antenna tip - solder on a wire - tape the wire to the old plastic antenna tube. There is (as you know) an entire thread dedicated to extending the range of the AHP.

I am crazy about the added features (particularly BVC) I now have with AHP..... I hope you find your rough start with AHP as rewarding as mine.

You know this is absolutely pathetic all the little modifications you have to do to this equipment I just keep thinking the big wigs are just laughing their *&^%$ off at all the stuff we have to go through to get some of this equipment to work. I saw one modification that looked like it came from the X Files!!!, really bazaar the extremes we have to go through, just never quite seen a company like this take the dx7000 console it's been around more then 12 years without any major improvements had a friend that was on vacation his house was broken into the equipment did it's job the crooks didn't get anything but his lights all stayed on full bright for almost three weeks cuz his sister misplaced the keys he gave her, and there was no way for him to call into the thing to cut them off. I just don't think these people care that's probably why they lost their contract at Radio Shack poor quality and the fact they refused to address the issue that it's possible for you can get around the 49-1000 console with something as simple as a Palm pad. The CM15a has INCREDIABLE potential but with lousy software, I love the way it looks but it's not reliable and is buggy as all getup, here it's almost 5 years out and people are still experiencing problems with timers and the latest update is actually worst then the last! I got a macro that instead of sending one dim command sends multiple dim commands so that my front porch lights are dimmed to complete darkness, well there you have it my 4 cents just hope that someone is listening at x10 before it's to late, even some of their die hard customers like me are just about no I take that back, just feed up!!!!

Tom j
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 04:10:10 AM by tom j »
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HA Dave

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2007, 10:16:08 PM »


You know this is absolutely pathetic all the little modifications you have to do to this equipment
Tom j


I agree Tom j!! We should NOT have to wait so long.... and work so hard for home automation. If there was a better, more advanced, more reliable, higher tech home automation device than the CM15A, even at three times the price..... I would own it!

Do you have a link?
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philliec

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2007, 12:20:32 AM »

I guess that i am one of the lucky ones, butI have bought some of my success with x10. The CM15A is what it is. The quick little antenna mod was easy and it did extend the range somewhat. I have x10 installed in two homes and the systems work rather well within x10's own capabilities. Therefore, considering the limitations of x10,  I have added a  RR501's polite tranciever to each home and a repeating phase coupler. That really seems to solve most of the sendplc or sendrf problems. That's it.
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JMac

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2007, 07:52:52 AM »

My system is working well.  I made the antenna modification (soldered the additional 9.5 inches of stiff copper wire to existing antenna) on the CM15A which made all the diference in the world. Also added wire (passive repeater modification) to the top of any MS10A or DS10A that I was having any poor signal reception from.  A SR731 repeater helped with some more distant (30 feet) sensors.
Having said all this, has any one tried the new V572RF32 from WGL Design ?   It evidently will transmit security RF in addition to the 256 housecode/unit addresses.  I have had good success with the V572A.
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tom j

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2007, 04:19:44 AM »

My system is working well.  I made the antenna modification (soldered the additional 9.5 inches of stiff copper wire to existing antenna) on the CM15A which made all the diference in the world. Also added wire (passive repeater modification) to the top of any MS10A or DS10A that I was having any poor signal reception from.  A SR731 repeater helped with some more distant (30 feet) sensors.
Having said all this, has any one tried the new V572RF32 from WGL Design ?   It evidently will transmit security RF in addition to the 256 housecode/unit addresses.  I have had good success with the V572A.

See that's what I mean those modes shouldn't be necessary when all they had to do was just put a decent antenna on the thing in the first place, didn't anyone test this thing in the first place seems like someone would of said DUH looks like this thing only has a range of 5 feet or so maybe someone should look into this before it's released?? And thanks Dave_x10_L for your comments, I'm glad someone agrees. Say Jmack can you fill us all in on the V572RF32. Thanks

Tom j

« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 04:12:42 AM by tom j »
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JMac

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2007, 07:58:41 AM »

It's sold by WGL Design.  I don't have one (V572RF32), but I do have their V572A, and it gives you fantastic (200') range.  That, coupled with the CM15A antenna mod, gives me all the signal I need with my setup.  In addition, I do use a SR731 for some distant security sensors. 
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tom j

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2007, 04:35:56 AM »

It's sold by WGL Design.  I don't have one (V572RF32), but I do have their V572A, and it gives you fantastic (200') range.  That, coupled with the CM15A antenna mod, gives me all the signal I need with my setup.  In addition, I do use a SR731 for some distant security sensors. 


Say what does the antenna look like they mention it but there's no picture of it. thanks

Tom j
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JMac

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Re: CM15A Unacceptable RF Range
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2007, 07:23:19 AM »

I assume it's the same as the V572A antenna - a wire about 9 inches long with an "L" shaped bracket.
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