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Author Topic: Very Old Active Home System  (Read 16799 times)

conobrien

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2008, 07:02:46 PM »

Guess What?  Four of the lights just came on at about 3 minutes apart.  This is a full 2 hours after they were set to come on. Four other lights did not come on at all.

I again checked that I was in the correct time zone.  I also checked the clock in my computer.  I am baffled, but pleased to know that they work.

I am going to try setting them 2 hours earlier tomorrow and see if they come on at the correct time.

I'll keep the forum posted!

:)
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2008, 07:05:48 PM »

It didn't work.  I know that the system works because I can turn the lights on and off from the computer.  I am at a complete loss as to why they won't go on as scheduled.

Everything worked fine until we had a power failure last week.  We have had power failures before and it didn't stop the system from working.

We have new batteries in the module as well.

I am stumped.

Connie

Did you re-create your schedule from scratch or get the imported one working?    If the imported one, dump it and start from scratch.

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conobrien

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2008, 07:55:17 PM »

I used the old files that I converted. 

My husband had an interesting thought.  He used to be the one that did all this, but in the past several years I have taken over the computer things. 

He told me that he remembers the old system having an option called "security".  He says if you checked that box, it means no matter what you put in for times, that the system randomly chooses different times every day (in somewhat close proximity to your times) so that if someone is watching your house, they will be thrown off.

Do you have any knowledge of the old parameters?

I am thinking I should wait until tomorrow and see what happens before I change anything today.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2008, 08:28:24 PM »

I used the old files that I converted. 

My husband had an interesting thought.  He used to be the one that did all this, but in the past several years I have taken over the computer things. 

He told me that he remembers the old system having an option called "security".  He says if you checked that box, it means no matter what you put in for times, that the system randomly chooses different times every day (in somewhat close proximity to your times) so that if someone is watching your house, they will be thrown off.

Do you have any knowledge of the old parameters?

I am thinking I should wait until tomorrow and see what happens before I change anything today.


The old ActiveHome "security" feature varies the execution time by some "random" amount within +/- 30 minutes of the programmed time.  ActiveHome Pro has a similar feature but I don't know how well it works.  I seem to recall seeing a post on this forum which claimed it didn't work with Dawn or Dusk timers.

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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2008, 10:53:33 PM »

Security in AHP works the same way it did in AH.  You set the module's timers in the regular way, before you do make sure the security checkbox is checked, then set the timers (use dusk/dawn delay/advance if necessary). Say you want the timer to turn on at 20 minutes before dusk with Security on.  The timer will run +/- 30 minutes every time it runs.  I have a lamp in my Living Room that has the Security option and the timer is set to turn the lamp on 25 minutes before dusk and off at 1:45AM every day. Security runs +/- 30 minutes and gives the lamp that "lived in" appearance.

Security is an interesting option and not always useful for every use.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2008, 11:57:11 PM »

Security in AHP works the same way it did in AH.  You set the module's timers in the regular way, before you do make sure the security checkbox is checked, then set the timers (use dusk/dawn delay/advance if necessary). Say you want the timer to turn on at 20 minutes before dusk with Security on.  The timer will run +/- 30 minutes every time it runs.  I have a lamp in my Living Room that has the Security option and the timer is set to turn the lamp on 25 minutes before dusk and off at 1:45AM every day. Security runs +/- 30 minutes and gives the lamp that "lived in" appearance.

Security is an interesting option and not always useful for every use.

Is it necessary to check the security box before setting the times?  Or is that just the way you've been doing it?

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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2008, 08:00:36 AM »

Security in AHP works the same way it did in AH.  You set the module's timers in the regular way, before you do make sure the security checkbox is checked, then set the timers (use dusk/dawn delay/advance if necessary). Say you want the timer to turn on at 20 minutes before dusk with Security on.  The timer will run +/- 30 minutes every time it runs.  I have a lamp in my Living Room that has the Security option and the timer is set to turn the lamp on 25 minutes before dusk and off at 1:45AM every day. Security runs +/- 30 minutes and gives the lamp that "lived in" appearance.

Security is an interesting option and not always useful for every use.

Is it necessary to check the security box before setting the times?  Or is that just the way you've been doing it?


Yes.  Once the timers are established, the Security box is grayed out and unavailable.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 11:29:36 AM by Dan Lawrence »
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conobrien

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Re: Very Old Active Home System UPDATE
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2008, 08:27:45 PM »

Thanks for everyone's interest.  It remains the same.  Four of the 8 lights come on everyday 2 hours later than scheduled and on the "security" schedule.  The other 4 don't come on at all.  I never went back in and subtracted 2 hours from the times. I added a ninth light when I got the new software.  Nothing fancy.  Turn on at 5pm and off at 11pm.....it just never goes on.

My husband is convinced that I have it completely screwed up and will "fix" it on the weekend.  Grin.

I'll post again after he "fixes" them.

Thanks.

Connie
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Very Old Active Home System UPDATE
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2008, 08:38:58 PM »

Thanks for everyone's interest.  It remains the same.  Four of the 8 lights come on everyday 2 hours later than scheduled and on the "security" schedule.  The other 4 don't come on at all.  I never went back in and subtracted 2 hours from the times. I added a ninth light when I got the new software.  Nothing fancy.  Turn on at 5pm and off at 11pm.....it just never goes on.

My husband is convinced that I have it completely screwed up and will "fix" it on the weekend.  Grin.

I'll post again after he "fixes" them.

Thanks.

Connie


My advice:  If you want to preserve your sanity (and maybe your marriage), don't try "fixing" your existing AHP setup.  Start from scratch and create a totally new one.

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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2008, 06:34:15 PM »

When I got AHP/CM15 in 2004 (when I updated my system from Win98 to XP Home) I did convert my old .x10 files to AHP's .ahx files, I had ZERO problems with timers coming on at different times than scheduled.

I wonder if Connie's old .x10 files got corrupted before she imported them into AHP?

I would print the report in AHP (it opens in your browser) and use the module types and addresses as the basis of the new one, before the old one is deleted.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2008, 11:51:11 AM »

Connie last replied on January 30.

Did she ever get her AHP set up properly and all timers worked when scheduled?

We traded e-mails, but no news here or via e-mail.   Hope she didn't just give up.
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steven r

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2008, 01:10:40 PM »

...The timer will run +/- 30 minutes every time it runs....
If I remember correctly, with the old software "randomized" the time by adding 37 min to the previous time but always staying the same hour. The formula for the min time was to use the remainder of the (number of the day since the last download X 37 + the starting minute) divided by 60. This meant if you had light A start at 1:00 and light B start at 1:05 the "random" time for B was always 5 min after the "random" time for A. I use to have a chart of the times that my "random" lights would come on. It worked like this. Assuming you started on the first day with a security time of 1:00 for A and 1:05 for B, this is how the times would go.
Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6...and so on.
Light A1:001:371:141:511:281:05
Light B1:051:421:191:561:331:10
I used a third party software back then to program times for my CM11A. The software allowed some interesting features such as odd or even day settings, updated sunrise/sunset settings, even used some of the otherwise unused memory space of the CM11A for data storage. (I don't think it allowed the stored data to be used as interactive flags, however I remember finding some use for it.) The main catch is that you needed to download to the CM11A every week. This meant with my automatic Sun download my random times for each day was constant.

I haven't tested the CM15A to see if it's random times are predictable.

[Note: I may have this confused this with the system that preceded the CM11A as I seem to remember having a DOS system back then. How old is the CM11A and what preceded it?]
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 01:33:52 PM by steven r »
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2008, 08:53:58 PM »

...The timer will run +/- 30 minutes every time it runs....
If I remember correctly, with the old software "randomized" the time by adding 37 min to the previous time but always staying the same hour. The formula for the min time was to use the remainder of the (number of the day since the last download X 37 + the starting minute) divided by 60. This meant if you had light A start at 1:00 and light B start at 1:05 the "random" time for B was always 5 min after the "random" time for A. I use to have a chart of the times that my "random" lights would come on. It worked like this. Assuming you started on the first day with a security time of 1:00 for A and 1:05 for B, this is how the times would go.
Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6...and so on.
Light A1:001:371:141:511:281:05
Light B1:051:421:191:561:331:10
I used a third party software back then to program times for my CM11A. The software allowed some interesting features such as odd or even day settings, updated sunrise/sunset settings, even used some of the otherwise unused memory space of the CM11A for data storage. (I don't think it allowed the stored data to be used as interactive flags, however I remember finding some use for it.) The main catch is that you needed to download to the CM11A every week. This meant with my automatic Sun download my random times for each day was constant.

I haven't tested the CM15A to see if it's random times are predictable.

[Note: I may have this confused this with the system that preceded the CM11A as I seem to remember having a DOS system back then. How old is the CM11A and what preceded it?]

steven_r:
I think you must be referring to the old X10 CP290 interface.

The CM11A came out around 1997 and a few of the things you describe don't apply to the CM11A:
1.   There's no built-in Odd/Even day feature in the CM11A.  The software could specifically program odd and even days but this will chew up a huge amount of EEPROM memory.  (It does have built-in support for specific days of the week.)

2.   Although one can write data into the CM11A's unused EEPROM memory space, there's no way to read it back out.

3.  The ActiveHome software creates a stair-step approximation to the daily Sunrise/Sunset times over the year and uses this for timers downloaded to the CM11A EEPROM.  So the downloaded schedule can nominally run for a whole year before it needs to be redone.  The CP290 used a constant value so the schedule needed to be re-downloaded frequently, especially in the Spring and Fall when Sunset and Sunset changed more rapidly.

What I'm seeing with the security feature in the CM11A is that the "random" time just increments by 10 minutes every day after a starting increment the first day.  When the total of the increments exceeds one hour, it wraps around.   (The ActiveHome software subtracts 30 minutes from the programmed time so the variation is +/- 30 minutes.)

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steven r

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2008, 10:01:48 PM »

...I think you must be referring to the old X10 CP290 interface....
Yeah that's the one i was thinking about. Thanks for jogging my memory.

...What I'm seeing with the security feature in the CM11A is that the "random" time just increments by 10 minutes every day after a starting increment the first day.  When the total of the increments exceeds one hour, it wraps around.   (The ActiveHome software subtracts 30 minutes from the programmed time so the variation is +/- 30 minutes.)
Any idea how AHP handles its "random" time or did you mean to say AHP is +/- 30 min?

If AHP is +/- 30 min then that's the poorest random yet.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 10:22:39 PM by steven r »
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Very Old Active Home System
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2008, 09:29:19 PM »

From what I've seen, the Security offset is +/- 30 minutes in varying times over or under the 30 minutes.  The idea is to vary the offset to make it appear that a machine is not turning the lamp on or off, but a person.
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