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Author Topic: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!  (Read 48634 times)

BSarte

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LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« on: June 30, 2007, 06:48:27 AM »

I have had an installation at my home for over 8 years. One of the things I control is outdoor lights with many LM465's across several legs/phases of power lines. I have a phase coupler installed and these have worked very nicely for several years.

Recently one circuit (from the breaker box) which has three separate LM465's on it (two on one code and 1 for another) stopped going on via the timed schedule via the CM11A. When I use the handheld remote, they do go on just fine. They do go off via the scheduled time via the CM11A.

Other LM465's on other circuits receive the exact same "ON" code and turn on the other outdoor lights.

Can't firgure out what would keep this particular circuit from keeping "ON" codes to be not received by these 3 LM465's but allow it to receive "OFF" codes just fine?

Any one have any idea's?

Bruce
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Brian H

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 07:22:27 AM »

Are there any new things added to the home, even something like a new cell phone charger. Anything that could effect powerline signals?
Also you may want to try the transceiver used for the remotes in the exact outlet the CM11A is in as a test.
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 09:57:06 PM »

Have you tried re-downloading to the CM11?

It is possible it "forgot" part of the MACRO.
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BSarte

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 06:59:12 AM »

Are there any new things added to the home, even something like a new cell phone charger. Anything that could effect powerline signals?
Also you may want to try the transceiver used for the remotes in the exact outlet the CM11A is in as a test.

Couple of new things, but why would it only affect the "on" codes and not the "off" codes to that particular electrical circuit as well as different codes sent at different times (i.e. code A-7 & A-15 sent at dusk to turn on two different LM465's on that circuit which neither get, but they do get the "off" code sent at 11 pm and other LM465's on different electrical circuits with A7 get that signal to turn on)?

That is what has me puzzled!
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BSarte

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2007, 07:01:24 AM »

Have you tried re-downloading to the CM11?

It is possible it "forgot" part of the MACRO.


Yes, tried "re-loading" the CM11A twice now.

I just tried moving the CM11A to a different locatio in the house and let's see what happens today!

Bruce
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Boiler

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2007, 03:20:53 PM »

...Recently one circuit (from the breaker box) which has three separate LM465's on it (two on one code and 1 for another) stopped going on via the timed schedule via the CM11A. When I use the handheld remote, they do go on just fine. They do go off via the scheduled time via the CM11A.

Other LM465's on other circuits receive the exact same "ON" code and turn on the other outdoor lights.

Can't firgure out what would keep this particular circuit from keeping "ON" codes to be not received by these 3 LM465's but allow it to receive "OFF" codes just fine?

I believe Brian hit the nail on the head - you have increased signal loading between your CM11a and your problem devices.  Your hand held remote works because your transceiver (RR501, TM751) has a higher output level (although the CM11a is no slouch) or better path to this circuit.  To test this, you could try plugging your CM11a into the transceiver location.

As far as the units not responding to an ON command - is it possible that you have more active devices on the line at dusk (on command) than are present at 11 pm (off command). 

It is also possible that your X10 command is being "morphed" by the time it reaches your LM465's.  At one time I had an installation with a RR501 transceiver on one phase and my son's bedroom switch (address A6) on another.  I had a motion sensor set to trigger the hall lights on (address A8) delay for a minute and then turn them off.  When the A8 off command was sent it would wrap through my active phase coupler and "morph" into a A6 off command (turned my sons bedroom lamp off).  This occurred virtually every time the A8 off command was sent over a period of days.  I installed a Smarthome Boosterlinc to rectify the problem.

Before adding hardware to "fix" your system try the following:
  • Try shutting off breakers to determine where signal absorbers or noise generators are located - these can be filtered
  • Try to determine what devices you have on the same branch as your LM465's - unplug any suspects (stereo, computer, TV) to troubleshoot
  • Determine whether your CM11a is on the same phase as your problem units - try moving the CM11a around to see if you can correct the problem.

Depending on the size of your installation, your options include:
  • Problem unit filtering
  • Active coupler
  • Repeater

The correct answer will depend on your home size, number of installed loads (tv's, computers, other), and whether you plan on expanding your X10 system in the future. 

I installed the boosterlinc to correct the loading problem on one of my lines - loading was due to a number of X10 2-way devices that couldn't be filtered.  Knowing what I do today, I would probably have opted for JeffVolp's XTB-II instead.

Almost forgot - any compact fluorescents installed recently?
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BSarte

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2007, 07:04:21 AM »

I believe Brian hit the nail on the head - you have increased signal loading between your CM11a and your problem devices.  Your hand held remote works because your transceiver (RR501, TM751) has a higher output level (although the CM11a is no slouch) or better path to this circuit.  To test this, you could try plugging your CM11a into the transceiver location.

As far as the units not responding to an ON command - is it possible that you have more active devices on the line at dusk (on command) than are present at 11 pm (off command). 

It is also possible that your X10 command is being "morphed" by the time it reaches your LM465's.  At one time I had an installation with a RR501 transceiver on one phase and my son's bedroom switch (address A6) on another.  I had a motion sensor set to trigger the hall lights on (address A8) delay for a minute and then turn them off.  When the A8 off command was sent it would wrap through my active phase coupler and "morph" into a A6 off command (turned my sons bedroom lamp off).  This occurred virtually every time the A8 off command was sent over a period of days.  I installed a Smarthome Boosterlinc to rectify the problem.

Before adding hardware to "fix" your system try the following:
  • Try shutting off breakers to determine where signal absorbers or noise generators are located - these can be filtered
  • Try to determine what devices you have on the same branch as your LM465's - unplug any suspects (stereo, computer, TV) to troubleshoot
  • Determine whether your CM11a is on the same phase as your problem units - try moving the CM11a around to see if you can correct the problem.

Depending on the size of your installation, your options include:
  • Problem unit filtering
  • Active coupler
  • Repeater

The correct answer will depend on your home size, number of installed loads (tv's, computers, other), and whether you plan on expanding your X10 system in the future. 

I installed the boosterlinc to correct the loading problem on one of my lines - loading was due to a number of X10 2-way devices that couldn't be filtered.  Knowing what I do today, I would probably have opted for JeffVolp's XTB-II instead.

Almost forgot - any compact fluorescents installed recently?


Thanks for the extensive reply. I really appreciate it. But all of these still have not helped.

Some clarifying points:

The "on" signal that is lost is not just at one time. Let me explain a little deeper:

- the signals being lost are transmitted to several LM465's via two physical copper lines. I have two separate 20 amp circuit breakers in the main panel next to one another which each of these are therefore running on separate phases of the power but run to a an outdoor underground watertight box and lets call them circuits A and circuit B.

- on circuit A there are three distinctly different LM465's with separate device codes:

  - code 14 for a pond pump which has an "on" code sent at 6 am and an off code sent at 6 pm. The "on"
    code is not received, but the "off" code is.

  - code 15 for a flag pole light which has an "on" code sent at dusk and an "off code sent at 11 pm. The "on"
    code is not received, but the "off" code is.

  - code 04 for some other lights that have no regular schedule signals sent.

- on circuit B there is one LM465:
   
  - code 7 for driveway low voltage lights which are sent an "on" code at dusk and an "off" code at 11 pm.
    There are 5 other LM465's around the house that have this same code and function fine, only this one
    particular LM465 does not receive the "on" code does receive the "off" code.


This is what I don't understand, How can all of these be loosing the "on" code being sent at differing times of the day, but receive "off" codes which overlap with about the same time as "on" codes that are being lost and on differing circuits?

I have:

1. swapped the two circuits breakers.
2. moved the CM11A to an outlet just adjacent to the RR501.
3. reloaded the CM11A several times.

I would point at the CM11A as going bad but the signal 07 is received by several other LM465's around the house and some at a much farther physical distance than the one that it is being lost on.

Could that particular copper cable have an issue that is causing the signals to MORPH?

If that is the issue, not sure how to fix it.

Bruce
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Boiler

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2007, 10:20:13 AM »

Bruce,

Thank you for the concise description.  Thank you also for answering my (and others) questions.  This really helps the troubleshooting process.


The "on" signal that is lost is not just at one time. Let me explain a little deeper:

- the signals being lost are transmitted to several LM465's via two physical copper lines. I have two separate 20 amp circuit breakers in the main panel next to one another which each of these are therefore running on separate phases of the power but run to a an outdoor underground watertight box and lets call them circuits A and circuit B.

- on circuit A there are three distinctly different LM465's with separate device codes:

  - code 14 for a pond pump which has an "on" code sent at 6 am and an off code sent at 6 pm. The "on"
    code is not received, but the "off" code is.

  - code 15 for a flag pole light which has an "on" code sent at dusk and an "off code sent at 11 pm. The "on"
    code is not received, but the "off" code is.

  - code 04 for some other lights that have no regular schedule signals sent.

- on circuit B there is one LM465:
   
  - code 7 for driveway low voltage lights which are sent an "on" code at dusk and an "off" code at 11 pm.
    There are 5 other LM465's around the house that have this same code and function fine, only this one
    particular LM465 does not receive the "on" code does receive the "off" code.


A number of thoughts:
  • Your system has problems executing timed ON events, but responds correctly when you follow up with the RR501.  The RR501 may have a higher output level than the CM11a.  When your timed ON fails, try turning the modules on within ActiveHome (use the CM11a rather than the RR501).
  • Use Activity Monitor (I think AH has one) to determine what Is happening during your timed ON commands.  Is there unexplained activity or a high level of activity at this time?

What I'm trying to determine here is whether you have a signal collision problem or a noise problem.  If the CM11a can manually drive the ON command just after a timed ON failure your problem may be a timer or signal collision.  You're using Dusk/Dawn timer commands which move around during the year.  I don't know how the CM11a handles a timed dusk command (say 9:20 PM) when there is a fixed timer set to the same time.  I realize that your code 14 pond pump should not be experiencing this problem.

If the CM11a can't drive the ON command, you may have a noisemaker activated somewhere in your system (at that time).  I'm assuming that your listing above isn't all inclusive (you have other devices and timers active).  You'll need to determine what all devices are active at that particular time and try to isolate them.


- on circuit B there is one LM465:
   
  - code 7 for driveway low voltage lights which are sent an "on" code at dusk and an "off" code at 11 pm.
    There are 5 other LM465's around the house that have this same code and function fine, only this one
    particular LM465 does not receive the "on" code does receive the "off" code.


This really sounds like a loading/noise problem. 
  • What else is on this line?
  • Your underground box is watertight but not airtight.  Could you be picking up corrosion due to condensation?  You might try cleaning the contacts and/or the input connections to the box.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2007, 11:05:03 PM by Boiler »
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JeffVolp

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2007, 11:00:29 AM »

One thing that jumps out at me is the run length.  X10 signals decrease in amplitude as they propagate away from the transmitter.  If those are long runs compared with the runs in your house, you might have marginal signal levels.  If so, only minor changes in electrical loading at that point can determine whether a signal will be recognized at all.

Since you already have a phase coupler, and the problems occur on both phases, you may just need stronger signals.

It would be helpful to check signal levels with something like an ESM1.

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2007, 11:38:53 AM »

OK circuit A 14 Pond. Is this a standard light; low voltage light  or a pump motor?
Circuit B 7 Low Voltage Lights?
LM465 Lamp Modules are not made for low voltage lights or motors. So if the circuit A 14 is a pool pump or a low voltage light and circuit B 7 is an indicative transformer running the  low voltage light. This can cause all kinds of weird stuff.
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JeffVolp

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2007, 12:36:16 PM »

That is an interesting point on the compatibility of the lamp module and inductive loads.  I have been using a lamp module to control our hot water recirculation pump for several years with absolutely no problems.  It cycles on and off about 65 times a day.

I doubt that the lamp module uses a 4-quadrent triac, so how well it deals with inductive loads depends on the phase relationship between the voltage and current.  It may indeed have trouble turning on a highly inductive load.  (Don't try to "dim" an inductive load.)

Lamp modules also work fine with our CFLs as long as they are just switched on/off.  This may be an issue regarding the newer lamp modules that have the ramp on/off unless they are used with dimmable CFLs.  And they certainly wouldn't work with inductive loads.

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2007, 04:41:01 PM »

Yes my soft start Insteon Lamp Modules and CFLs are a big NO NO. Guess the new soft start LM465s may also need to be tested.
Thanks for the feedback on your pump Jeff. So to be safe a motor isn't reccommended but may work. Your milage may vary.
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BSarte

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2007, 07:21:39 AM »

OK, I'll try to reply to all of you in one post with my responses BOLDED under each of your comments but not sure it will come out correctly:

Quoting Boiler-

A number of thoughts:
Your system has problems executing timed ON events, but responds correctly when you follow up with the RR501.  The RR501 may have a higher output level than the CM11a.  When your timed ON fails, try turning the modules on within ActiveHome (use the CM11a rather than the RR501).

Tried in the past to get the CM11A to control devices directly when connected to PC via Active Home but never been successful, will try it again!

Use Activity Monitor (I think AH has one) to determine what Is happening during your timed ON commands.  Is there unexplained activity or a high level of activity at this time?

Trying to not spend any $$ on this. This is why I am posting here to keep from getting any more "specialized" tools!

What I'm trying to determine here is whether you have a signal collision problem or a noise problem.  If the CM11a can manually drive the ON command just after a timed ON failure your problem may be a timer or signal collision.  You're using Dusk/Dawn timer commands which move around during the year.  I don't know how the CM11a handles a timed dusk command (say 9:20 PM) when there is a fixed timer set to the same time.  I realize that your code 14 pond pump should not be experiencing this problem.

If the CM11a can't drive the ON command, you may have a noisemaker activated somewhere in your system (at that time).  I'm assuming that your listing above isn't all inclusive (you have other devices and timers active).  You'll need to determine what all devices are active at that particular time and try to isolate them.

The CM11A can drive the "on" command but not to that particluar LM465. I am starting to think this is a "noise" issue but still just can not firgure out why it affecting only the "on" commands from the CM11A.



Quoting JeffVolp -

One thing that jumps out at me is the run length.  X10 signals decrease in amplitude as they propagate away from the transmitter.  If those are long runs compared with the runs in your house, you might have marginal signal levels.  If so, only minor changes in electrical loading at that point can determine whether a signal will be recognized at all.

One of the other LM465's controlling the same code (07) is at a much longer distance from the circuit panel at about 250', but these two circuits that have the underground box is about 125' from the circuit panel, so I don't think it is a distance issue!


Quoting Brian H -

LM465 Lamp Modules are not made for low voltage lights or motors. So if the circuit A 14 is a pool pump or a low voltage light and circuit B 7 is an indicative transformer running the  low voltage light. This can cause all kinds of weird stuff.

ALL of the LM465's (6 different ones) running code 07 have low voltage lighting transformers plugged into them and have been working fine for over 6 years. I have had problems with fluorscent lighting but never any transformers.[/b}



I think it is time to dig up the underground box, clean up the contact's (probably do the same in the circuit panel), put some new LM465's in it, and see what happens!

Won't be this weekend, but hopefully next weekend or maybe some day during the week. I'll check in later to see if there are any new posts/ideas , but will post theresult of my cleanup after I get it done.

Thanks guys for your input. Like my brother-in-law says......GOTTA LUV IT!


Bruce
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Boiler

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2007, 08:52:50 AM »


Use Activity Monitor (I think AH has one) to determine what Is happening during your timed ON commands.  Is there unexplained activity or a high level of activity at this time?

Trying to not spend any $$ on this. This is why I am posting here to keep from getting any more "specialized" tools!

Actually, I was referring to the Activity monitor that I believe is built into the Active Home Software (time based listing of all the commands, macros, RF seen by the CM11a).  The Active Home Pro/CM15a software has this feature.  I thought I remembered the Active Home/CM11a having it as well.  Please correct me if I'm wrong CM11a users.

I think it is time to dig up the underground box, clean up the contact's (probably do the same in the circuit panel), put some new LM465's in it, and see what happens!

Won't be this weekend, but hopefully next weekend or maybe some day during the week. I'll check in later to see if there are any new posts/ideas , but will post theresult of my cleanup after I get it done.

Thanks guys for your input. Like my brother-in-law says......GOTTA LUV IT!


Not a bad place to start.  Try to take it a step at a time to you can evaluate your changes.

Good attitude - GOTTA keep laughing.  Keep us posted as things progress.
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Brian H

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Re: LM465's STOP receiving ON codes!
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2007, 09:03:34 AM »

Glad the LM465s work with your transformers. They don't always work correctly.
Wonder if anyone has tried the new Soft Start versions yet with transformers?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2007, 09:11:25 AM by Brian H »
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