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Author Topic: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?  (Read 258894 times)

Charles Sullivan

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2007, 01:28:36 AM »

I've acquired a few of the redesigned LM465 Lamp Modules and have attempted to characterize them.  The changes are quite radical. My results are available at:   http://www.heyu.org/docs/New_LM465.txt

Testing was performed with a CM11A operated with Heyu software under Linux.  I haven't determined how accurately the new LM465 can be controlled with AHP software - it would seem that a separate model for the new LM465 ought to be required.

To briefly answer a few questions and concerns expressed in this thread:

Walt2:
Yes, the new LM465 does support the Extended Code Preset command, similar to the LM14A.

JimC:
The new LM465 does have a "resume" feature but it operates differently from the LM14A.  See my report for details.

Boiler:
The minimum brightness level (achieved by sending maximum dim commands) of the new LM465 is similar to the LM14A - about 15% of line voltage .   However with the support for the Extended Code Preset command, it's no longer necessary to drive the module to minimum brightness in order to achieve gradual brightening from darkness.  In any event,  when it's turned Off the new LM465 module is Off like the old LM465 and dissipates only minimal power.

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Brian H

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2007, 07:07:03 AM »

Thank you for the information. Will be a help to many.
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Walt2

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2007, 07:45:31 AM »

Thank you for the information. Will be a help to many.

Yes, much thanks Charles!
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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2007, 01:29:02 PM »

Testing was performed with a CM11A operated with Heyu software under Linux.  I haven't determined how accurately the new LM465 can be controlled with AHP software - it would seem that a separate model for the new LM465 ought to be required.

Thank you for the test information and report Charles.  After reading through things, I'd have to agree that AHP really needs an update to be able to utilize some of the new features of this module.  I'm not sure how X10 will accomplish that since they haven't changed the model number (LM465-2??). 

I had thought the Leviton 6381 module might work (it still may), but the fact that the LM465 goes to full brightness in response to an ON command makes it a bit different.  I'm still trying to figure out whether I like this.

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dave w

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2007, 01:51:38 PM »


If (as appear highly likely from the description) all X-10 has done is make an Off signal dim the module to minimum brightness, then we're stuck with the wasted energy.   

FWIW
I see don't where you get that idea, but even if I missed something, it is very unlikely that X10 would resort that method of soft off. Diming to 1% would mean the module would revert to it's old behavior of 100% ON any time the power was interupted, bulb changed, module unplugged, etc.. The old LM14 did not exhibit this.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 03:32:51 PM by dave w »
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Walt2

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2007, 03:01:44 PM »

"The new design has a "resume" feature similar to the LM14A, i.e., the
ability of returning from Off to the previously set brightness level.
However this feature is not called into play when the module receives
an On signal but when it receives a Dim signal.
"

Actually, IMHO, this is an improvement. 

The return to previous dim level, to me, was a bad idea.  I have never once wanted a lamp to return to the dim level I used (and have since forgotten), days earlier.  I even have several macros which detect a manual 'on' command to one of my LM14A's, and automatically follow ups with a "dim 100%" extended command.

BTW, how do we buy these "new" LM465 modules?
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2007, 06:29:44 PM »


If (as appear highly likely from the description) all X-10 has done is make an Off signal dim the module to minimum brightness, then we're stuck with the wasted energy.   

FWIW
I see don't where you get that idea, but even if I missed something, it is very unlikely that X10 would resort that method of soft off. Diming to 1% would mean the module would revert to it's old behavior of 100% ON any time the power was interupted, bulb changed, module unplugged, etc.. The old LM14 did not exhibit this.

That was a guess, proven wrong by my later testing of actual devices.

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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2007, 06:47:00 PM »

BTW, how do we buy these "new" LM465 modules?

I suspect that any retailer of _new_ X10 components will have them by now.  I got mine from "The Home Automation Store" eBay store <http://stores.ebay.com/The-Home-Automation-Store> where I get most of my new X10 stuff.  The proprietor told me that all his LM465 stock now has the Soft-Start feature.

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dave w

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2007, 12:17:43 PM »

I wonder if the SoftStart feature will be integrated into the wall switch line? Would be nice.

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Walt2

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2007, 02:22:58 PM »

I wonder if the SoftStart feature will be integrated into the wall switch line? Would be nice.

I was wondering that too.  I believe that both the lamp module and the wall switch module use the same main IC, no?  So, if X10 had to redesign it, it should effect both.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2007, 04:42:21 PM »

I wonder if the SoftStart feature will be integrated into the wall switch line? Would be nice.

I was wondering that too.  I believe that both the lamp module and the wall switch module use the same main IC, no?  So, if X10 had to redesign it, it should effect both.

I've sent an inquiry to my usual supplier, so maybe we'll have an answer soon.

The firmware in the WS467 is somewhat different than the LM465 (speaking of the older designs for both).  E.g., the WS467 responds to the All_Lights_Off command whereas the LM465 and it's predecessors never did.  (It made little difference since none of X-10's remotes or interface software supported that command.)

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MichaelC

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2007, 05:55:47 PM »

Wow, what a big change without customer notice. I'm not surprised that the one of the components became obsolete, but I am a little surprised that there was *no* communication about this. As everyone else has noted, a model number change would have been appropriate. Another thing to keep in mind is that it's possible (not very likely based on the current structure) that the change was made in the factory and that X10.com was told *afterward*. That has happened in the past multiple times.

There are probably quite a few components that will be changing in the future, since X10 has relied on old parts for quite some time. I think the chip for the CM15A is no longer being produced, though I don't know what kind of quantity X10 had in inventory when it went out of production. To me those changes are good opportunities to make needed changes and refresh stale products, but I'm not sure that X10 looks at it that way.
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Walt2

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2007, 07:26:38 PM »

Most semiconductor manufacturers will tell their customers that the fab (clean room) in which their "chips" are being made, is being closed down (going obsolete and being retired).  This gives them the opportunity to do one, final, "life time" buy.

I am kind-of surprised that anyone is still making any of the now quite old technology still in use in some of X10's original products.  I would think that those fabs would have been shutdown years ago.

Gosh, I can't get some IC anymore for designs I did just 3 years ago.   :(
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Brian H

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2007, 06:48:24 AM »

Yes discontinued chips are usually retired with advanced warnings. I have a few old designs where I work and they drag their feet so to speak. Last batch of PALs I needed came from overseas from a parts brokeYes discontinued chips are usually retired with advanced warnings. I have a few old designs where I work and they drag their feet so to speak. Last batch of PALs where from a Parts Broker. Trader that buys old chips marked down and waits untill rare. Then charges a lofty fee for them. ;D
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 06:53:00 AM by Brian H »
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dave w

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Re: Latest Version of the LM465 Now Has "SoftStart"?!?
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2007, 12:27:30 PM »

The chip update for the Lamp Module is not likely to be a "FAB" created change, since most of the X10 automation products use custom chips. The CM15A microprocessor is one of the few "off the shelf" chips used in X10 automation products (not to mention the RF modules). I would guess the video product lines have a lot more "off the shelf" chips in the form of op amps.

FWIW the wall switch will be getting SoftStart feature set also.
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