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Author Topic: Flaky Motion Sensors  (Read 12100 times)

srq johnson

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Flaky Motion Sensors
« on: January 14, 2006, 11:45:30 PM »

I have recently tried using the MS13A
occupancy/motion sensors to turn on lights.
I have used X10 for many years, and was
prepared for some surprises, given X10's
history.

I am using a v572 to recieve the RF signals
from the motions.  I even set aside a
seperate house code for them.  And believe
me, I understand the theory of operation for
Passive Infra-Red motion detectors.

These things are just plain flaky!  Most
times, when I walk by, the assigned light
turns on immediately.  But sometimes, they
just refuse to see me.  I walk around, jump,
wave my arms, ....nothing.  Reminds me of
the old CM11 lock up problem. Other times,
the light goes on, but never turns off.

I use houselinc, and have been using the
monitor mode to troubleshoot this little
dilema.  Houselinc verifies that the MS13A
is just plain not sending a signal
sometimes.  This is happening on two
different MS13A's.  Another one in another
location sems to work pretty well.  One last
clue...You know the little green LED inside
the lens, which comes on when you are
programming the unit?  Well when it gets
into it's "sleep" mode, the little green LED
comes on when you walk by, as thought it is
detecting motion, but not sending it out via
RF, and the red external LED does not flash.
I have read and re-read the instructions and
have them set for only at night, 1 second,
etc. etc. etc.  I suspect my next step will
be to disassemble one of the culprits and
blacken out (disable) the dusk/dawn sensor.
Any help would be appreciated.

kj
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Pur_SSyn

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Re: Flaky Motion Sensors
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2008, 12:27:36 PM »

I'm having a similar issue with my setup.  For the first little while, it was flawless then it started going intermittent.

I've tried different sensor positions, new batteries, reprogramming without luck.

I have even tried relocating the Rx/Tx to other wall outlets and used different wattage bulbs in the socket adapter
as I've read this may help.

At the moment, the motion sensor is addressed to A6.   It runs a timer macro of 30 seconds to the lamp socket
adapter which is addressed as A1.

When I use the remotes, or wireless wall switch, A1 will turn on and off without problems. This leads me to believe
the motion sensor is at fault, or possibly a programming issue with the macro?

It's just odd because it worked so well initially, and still does on occassion.

Thanks for any tips.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Flaky Motion Sensors
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2008, 05:01:37 PM »

I'm having a similar issue with my setup.  For the first little while, it was flawless then it started going intermittent.

I've tried different sensor positions, new batteries, reprogramming without luck.

I have even tried relocating the Rx/Tx to other wall outlets and used different wattage bulbs in the socket adapter
as I've read this may help.

At the moment, the motion sensor is addressed to A6.   It runs a timer macro of 30 seconds to the lamp socket
adapter which is addressed as A1.

When I use the remotes, or wireless wall switch, A1 will turn on and off without problems. This leads me to believe
the motion sensor is at fault, or possibly a programming issue with the macro?

It's just odd because it worked so well initially, and still does on occassion.

Thanks for any tips.

You replied to a two year old post.  No one else was interested.   Repost it with a new title.
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I don't SELL this stuff... BUT I sure do ENJOY using it!!!

Tuicemen

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  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: Flaky Motion Sensors
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2008, 05:28:41 PM »

You replied to a two year old post. No one else was interested. Repost it with a new title.
Actually starting a new post isn't needed as the OP has a similar problem! Why have a dozen posts with the same questions asked!
Pur_SSyn should be praised for searching out a similar problem all to often we tell newbies to search and when they do some one comes back with a remark like yours Dan   :(

Pur_SSyn: Welcome aboard, there are many post about sensor issues I my self stopped using them to a large extent.
Heat plays a big part in the effectiveness for a sensor! As does Sunlight but I'm sure it boils down to heat as that's what it detects!
As for Dans remark:
Quote
No one else was interested

That is so far from the truth it isn't funny!  ;)
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Walt2

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Re: Flaky Motion Sensors
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 05:58:22 PM »

Actually starting a new post isn't needed as the OP has a similar problem! Why have a dozen posts with the same questions asked!

I agree.  IMHO, just because a thread old, does not mean it is obsolete.  If the problem is still happening, then it is valid to continue the discussion in the same place.
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PrimeGuild

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Re: Flaky Motion Sensors
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2008, 12:25:52 PM »

I agree, the motion sensor signals are definitely pretty flaky. I have been using these sensors for a while now and they just can't be trusted. As you said, sometimes they emit instantly, sometimes they just don't and at others time they do but after some delay. The whole motion sensing idea is pretty flaky.
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LittleLarry

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Re: Flaky Motion Sensors
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2008, 04:48:28 AM »


 Have there been any improvements in the design of the motion sensors since earlier this year?

I was hoping to purchase one for testing but it sounds like I may be disapointed. I think there are 3 different models. Have you tried them all?
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Jim Clark

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Re: Flaky Motion Sensors
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2008, 06:23:42 AM »

I have found them to be about 90% reliable when used indoors. I use three of them to turn on lights when they detect motion. One turns on a light in the hall when someone walks out of one of the bedrooms. Another turns on a light when someone starts down the basement stairs and the third turns on a light when I enter my work shop. They all seem to work most of the time.  :)% They all run macros in the CM15A so there is  a little delay from when motion is detected and the lights turn on.

The key for me was adding the V572 transceiver. This gave me reliable reception and a good signal into the CM15A. Before I added the transceiver the signals getting to the CM15A were in-consistant.

As far as using them outside forget that. They are too sensitive. Changes in sunlight, windy days and some very small animals (birds, rabbits, chipmunks....) will give false trips.
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LittleLarry

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Re: Flaky Motion Sensors
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2008, 12:55:33 PM »

As far as using them outside forget that. They are too sensitive. Changes in sunlight, windy days and some very small animals (birds, rabbits, chipmunks....) will give false trips.

That's unfortunate. Are they poorly designed, or is this just innherent in most outdoor sensors, say even some of the hardwired ones that you might be inclined to purchase with a Geovision surveillance system?

I'm trying to decide if I should use a Geovision sensor (uses generic sensors hooked to an i/o relay), or a wireless x10 version. Sounds like the x10 wireless version is too sensitve, I wonder if the other types would be too sensitive as well. I never looked into it, just something I was contemplating.

That brings up another thing though. I was wondering how many people in this forum have their x10 networks working with Geovision surveillance systems? I have read some Geovision threads where x10 is brought up occasionally, but I have found that most Geovision folks are reluctant to use x10 very much for some reason. There must be a few people that use them both and have them both intertwined in some fashion.

For instance, I currently have an analog wireless door cam that has too much interference that throws off the recording settings of the Geovision software. If I had a sensor trip the record functions, it would be more reliable than all the wireless camera noise I get that trips the recording feature constantly. I have also looked into digital wireless but haven't found anything in my budget. (wireless digital doesn't trip the software as much because image distortion is non-existant - although, cloud\tree shadows, and precipitation still trip them and cause false alerts).

I'f I'm going to wire up a sensor though, I might as well also wire up a non-wireless camera at the same time, but I don't like to run so many wires all over the place, partly why I like x10 so much. I just like wireless in general.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2008, 01:16:15 PM by LittleLarry »
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