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Author Topic: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.  (Read 15576 times)

Charles Sullivan

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Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« on: August 31, 2007, 06:47:59 PM »

At some time around the beginning of 2007, X-10 redesigned both the WS467 Wall Switch and LM465 Lamp Module.  The new and original designs have X10 characteristics which are quite different, but neither the model number nor physical appearance nor packaging distinguish them.  The differences are such that an ActiveHome Pro program developed for one may fail for the other, e.g., for downloaded timers and macros.

The following test using ActiveHome Pro (3.206) and the CM15A allows distinguishing between the new and original designs of either the WS467 or LM465 modules:

  1. Open a new room and drag in the icon for the LM14A 2-way Lamp Module.
  2. Change the Housecode|Unit address in the icon to match that of the particular WS467 or LM465 module you wish to test.
  3. Click the On/Off switch on the icon to OFF and physically observe that the lamp controlled by the module is OFF.
  4. Drag the brightness slider on the icon to the 100% Brightness position.
  5. Physically observe the lamp controlled by the module.

If the lamp controlled by the module is ON, the module is the NEW design WS467 or LM465.  If the lamp remains OFF, the module is the ORIGINAL design.

More details about the differences between the new and original modules can be found at:
  http://www.heyu.org/docs/New_WS467.txt
  http://www.heyu.org/docs/New_LM465.txt

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steven r

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2007, 07:10:39 PM »

Thanks for your post with links to more information as well as your switch test.

I'm still trying to get the differences through my thick skull. If it's still confusing for me, I imagine it must be a nightmare for newbies. I really don't have but possibly one or two places where I might use the preset brightness feature. I also still have 4 extra new in the box WS467 that are the old type.

Maybe a few macro examples with notations as to how each of the two switch versions would respond would help some of us clear our heads.
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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2007, 07:46:54 PM »

Charles,

As Steven said, Thank You.

The fact that X10 has chosen to market these "redesigned" units without changing the model designation (and without updating ActiveHome Pro in any way) spells headaches for many consumers (newbies and oldtimers).  The fact that a LM465 (and other redesigned modules) will not always respond correctly to the AHP interface leads the user to suspect many problems other than the unit (signal absorption, noise, powerline coupling).  A huge waste of time and effort when the AHP interface and the module identification is at fault.

If it is possible (hint, hint) this thread should be presented as a banner upon entrance to the forum.
Newly released X10 modules incompatible with the AHP standard interface!As you have already noted, the forum will need to rewrite it's rules for troubleshooting AHP problems.  Unfortunately, this will be based on the date code of the individual module used.  Not the sort of thing Joe Consumer wants to get involved with when he is buying a "turn key" product.

What was X10 thinking?
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steven r

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2007, 09:04:59 PM »

...What was X10 thinking?
So X10 put thought into it?  ;)

I thought the motto was market first, trouble shoot next, and think only if you have to.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2007, 10:22:36 PM »

I think you hit the nail right on the head.

X10 USA sells.  Period.  No information on any product and customer service is hit or miss.
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Brian H

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2007, 06:08:07 AM »

Thanks for all the information. This will help in future questions on different actions between old and new modules.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2007, 07:44:24 AM »

Maybe a few macro examples with notations as to how each of the two switch versions would respond would help some of us clear our heads.

stephen r:
The major problem is with the new WS467.  The apparent design flaw is that it  cannot be brightened from the Off state using standard X10 Bright or Dim signals.  Downloaded Timers first brighten to 100%, then dim to the specified absolute brightness level.  As a result, downloaded Timers won't work with the new WS467 if the module happens to be in the Off state when the Timer executes.

Macros by default operate the same way, however one can select Tools > Preferences > Macro options and click the box to "Use On instead of brighten 100%".   Then prefix a separate On step to the macro and it should work with both new and original WS467 modules.   So one workaround for the Timer problem is to reprogram simple Timers as an On Macro and an Off Macro, and use the Timer to execute the Macros.

Another solution is to program for the WS467 as if it were a LM14A.  This will work, but there will be no activity shown in the Activity Monitor or in the brightness level indicator in the icon.  (AHP waits for the extended status response from a LM14A, but the new WS467 is only a 1-way device.)

By far the best solution is to return the new WS467 modules to X-10 as defective.  Several users have reported receiving replacement WS467 modules which work in exchange, but it's not yet clear whether they've been sent even newer WS467 with the design flaw corrected or just some old modules from the warehouse. 

Note: The new design WS467 modules I own all have date code sticker 07E21.

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Walt2

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2007, 08:30:49 AM »

By far the best solution is to return the new WS467 modules to X-10 as defective.  Several users have reported receiving replacement WS467 modules which work in exchange, but it's not yet clear whether they've been sent even newer WS467 with the design flaw corrected or just some old modules from the warehouse. 

Aren't you then sending a very wrong message to X10, that X10 should never, ever, try to improve any of their products?  Not only modules like the WS467, but also AHP? ? ? ?   That "die hard" users don't like change, and will not tolerate changes.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2007, 09:09:05 AM »

By far the best solution is to return the new WS467 modules to X-10 as defective.  Several users have reported receiving replacement WS467 modules which work in exchange, but it's not yet clear whether they've been sent even newer WS467 with the design flaw corrected or just some old modules from the warehouse. 

Aren't you then sending a very wrong message to X10, that X10 should never, ever, try to improve any of their products?  Not only modules like the WS467, but also AHP? ? ? ?   That "die hard" users don't like change, and will not tolerate changes.

The intended message is that X-10 needs to get its act together.  You can hardly call the redesigned WS467 an improvement when it won't work with their flagship ActiveHome Pro product.

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steven r

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2007, 11:43:24 AM »

...The intended message is that X-10 needs to get its act together.  You can hardly call the redesigned WS467 an improvement when it won't work with their flagship ActiveHome Pro product.
Any one want to bet on which they do first, fix the module or patch AHP to work with it?
Bonus points to the person that guesses the day they admit the mistake.
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steven r

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2007, 11:54:50 AM »

...The major problem is with the new WS467.  The apparent design flaw is that it  cannot be brightened from the Off state using standard X10 Bright or Dim signals.  Downloaded Timers first brighten to 100%, then dim to the specified absolute brightness level.  As a result, downloaded Timers won't work with the new WS467 if the module happens to be in the Off state when the Timer executes.

Macros by default operate the same way, however one can select Tools > Preferences > Macro options and click the box to "Use On instead of brighten 100%".   Then prefix a separate On step to the macro and it should work with both new and original WS467 modules.   So one workaround for the Timer problem is to reprogram simple Timers as an On Macro and an Off Macro, and use the Timer to execute the Macros....
So if I understand it correctly, for a macro that sets say 60% brightness I now have to add an ON command before my absolute dim?

BTW.. I never really had a clear idea of what the purpose / effect of checking the "Use On instead of brighten 100%" option. What effect does it have with the old switches? If it is checked, does it mean AHP sends an ON command if I program a 100% bright?
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2007, 02:17:50 PM »

...The major problem is with the new WS467.  The apparent design flaw is that it  cannot be brightened from the Off state using standard X10 Bright or Dim signals.  Downloaded Timers first brighten to 100%, then dim to the specified absolute brightness level.  As a result, downloaded Timers won't work with the new WS467 if the module happens to be in the Off state when the Timer executes.

Macros by default operate the same way, however one can select Tools > Preferences > Macro options and click the box to "Use On instead of brighten 100%".   Then prefix a separate On step to the macro and it should work with both new and original WS467 modules.   So one workaround for the Timer problem is to reprogram simple Timers as an On Macro and an Off Macro, and use the Timer to execute the Macros....
So if I understand it correctly, for a macro that sets say 60% brightness I now have to add an ON command before my absolute dim?

Correct.

Quote
BTW.. I never really had a clear idea of what the purpose / effect of checking the "Use On instead of brighten 100%" option. What effect does it have with the old switches?

A side effect for either new or original module is the delay caused by the added step.
Quote

If it is checked, does it mean AHP sends an ON command if I program a 100% bright?

No, it means it sends an On command instead of a 100% Bright when you program an On command.   

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Walt2

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2007, 04:57:58 PM »

Another solution is to program for the WS467 as if it were a LM14A.  This will work, but there will be no activity shown in the Activity Monitor or in the brightness level indicator in the icon.  (AHP waits for the extended status response from a LM14A, but the new WS467 is only a 1-way device.)

Are you really sure about this?   ???

I just tried a little experiment.  I disabled the status responses return on my LM14A modules, essentially turning them from 2-ways into 1-ways.  That should, make them just like the new lamp 1-way modules, no?

AHP seems to have no problems with doing this.

I see all the appropriate and expected activity in the Activity Monitor.  I see 'on' commands.  I see 'off' commands.  I see extended dim commands.  Of course, I see no status feedback.

The AHP icon displays just fine.  It correctly shows 'on' and correctly shows 'off'.  It correctly shows the current dim level.  Of course, it is the requested dim level, and it is not being corrected by any status update/feedback, but since it uses the direct, exact value, extended dim level command, the display is reasonably close.

Therefore, I am going to guess that new WS467 or LM465 modules will work just fine in AHP.  Just do the reasonable thing, and define them as LM14A modules.   ;)
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Boiler

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2007, 06:14:29 PM »

The following table illustrates the command sequence used for various Macro configurations:

  • E6 On - Simple on command timing ~ .78 sec transmission time.  If the "issue ON command in place of bright 100%" option is selected this will be used for the "new modules.
  • E6 100% - Bright sequence to turn on a dimmer ~ 2.25 sec transmission time.  If the "Issue ON command in place of bright 100%" option is NOT selected this sequence will be used.  This will not work with the "new" modules since the cannot "turn on" via a bright command.
  • 50% On absolute sequence ~ 3.2 sec transmission time.  This is the normal sequence regardless of the selected options.  It will not work with the new modules.
  • Corrected 50% on sequence ~ 4.05 sec transmission time.  Issues a E6 ON to allow new modules to respond to the following bright/dim commands.
  • Extended code direct dim command ~ 0.93 sec transmission time.

I've never liked the concatenated dim commands.  They do not conform to the X10 standard and are difficult for repeaters and active couplers to decode and retransmit.  An active coupler will (I believe) drop at least 1 bright command from a 100% on bright sequence (i.e your device will not receive all of the commands).  Add to that the transmission time and IMHO you have a recipe for disaster.

From what I can see, options for dealing with the new modules include:
  • Since the new units have a resume dim feature - Define the units as simple on/off devices and control the on level at the device (use appliance module/relay switch module within AHP).  You can set the device to a 50% on state locally and have AHP issue simple on/off commands.  I use this with my Smarthome devices that will not accept direct dim commands.  The devices will still respond (and remember) RF dim/bright commands.
  • Use the AHP advanced function "extended code" to output a direct dim command (command byte x31 data byte 0 - x1F).  This will directly control the on level without the problems associated with concatenated bright/dim commands.  Again, you can define the module as a simple on/off unit (appliance module/relay switch) and still use the extended code command.  AHP doesn't care how the module is defined, it will output the extended code sequence from within the macro.  I use this setup with my Leviton switches. 
    Downside to this is that some Active couplers will not repeat extended code commands.  My leviton HCA02 appears to handle them OK.  Others??

Hope this helps,
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Walt2

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Re: Distinguishing New from Old WS467 or LM465 modules.
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2007, 06:37:07 PM »

  • Use the AHP advanced function "extended code" to output a direct dim command (command byte x31 data byte 0 - x1F).  This will directly control the on level without the problems associated with concatenated bright/dim commands.  Again, you can define the module as a simple on/off unit (appliance module/relay switch) and still use the extended code command.  AHP doesn't care how the module is defined, it will output the extended code sequence from within the macro.  I use this setup with my Leviton switches. 
    Downside to this is that some Active couplers will not repeat extended code commands.  My leviton HCA02 appears to handle them OK.  Others??

If you define the new modules to be an LM14A in AHP, isn't this what you get?  As I mentioned, AHP uses the extended dim command for all dim operations, and simple 'on' and 'off' commands for 'on' and 'off'.

I just don't see why users don't want to define the new modules as LM14A in AHP ?  Well, other than looking for something to complain about.
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