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Author Topic: Door & Window sensor no range  (Read 14535 times)

x10challanged

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Door & Window sensor no range
« on: February 20, 2008, 07:55:55 AM »

I have been working with this system for a couple weeks. By the way X10 tech support is terrible have not got anyone on the phone who can solve or actually address ANY issues they say they will e-mail info haven't received anything yet. Have over 1800.00 invested and am ready to send it all back. OK so here is one of my issues: Door and window sensors register into On Alert as long as I am within a few feet ok actually about 18" of CM receiver. After registered as soon as I am more than approx. 24 ft away no signals are recv'd. I have no closed doors, no metal, no high voltage appliances, no microwaves, no TV's or antenna's obstructing the signal. I have set-up 7 different sensors all with same problem. Nothing special about house, wood construction with sheetrock.
Only thing recommended was to install "hard wired" repeater. I don't believe that will solve a sensor issue since the sensors do not transmit through the house wiring. The smart rf repeater has been discontinued.
Any suggestions? The system is good when it works properly and I like the way the software reports but if it can't get the signal it is of no use.

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PajamaGuy

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2008, 08:21:47 AM »

There are plenty of posts - and a bunch of good tips & helps - just do a search on "range" or "RF Range", or "CM15A range".

The CM15A does have very little range - and there are at least 2 things that can help.
1. Move the CM15A as far away from your PC as possible and as high as possible. I use a 16' USB extension and have it in a closet about 10' off the floor - plugged in or an outlet via a simple extension cord.
2. Cut an 18" piece of coat hanger (doesn't matter if it's painted or bare), and tape or wire-tie to the existing CM15A antenna - and have it parallel to the floor.

With that setup, I'm getting about 50' out to my garage door sensor through 2 outside walls, and about 35' to my front door sensor through interior walls.

Just for info, I added an EagleEye just outside that front door and it wouldn't get its signal through the metal door and back to the CM15A - so I added a TM715A (set to the Eye's HouseCode) - and plugged it in upstairs - that fixed the range for that HouseCode. - BUT - I am getting collisions - I've read the RR501 is much more polite. However to increase my overall range for all devices, I ordered a SR731 Smart RF Repeater ($25 on ebay from Digitronex) which is supposed to repeat all 256 codes AND avoid collisions. I should get it within the next few days.

Hope that helps....
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PajamaGuy
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Puck

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2008, 09:37:22 AM »

Just for info, I added an EagleEye just outside that front door and it wouldn't get its signal through the metal door and back to the CM15A - so I added a TM715A (set to the Eye's HouseCode) - and plugged it in upstairs - that fixed the range for that HouseCode. - BUT - I am getting collisions - I've read the RR501 is much more polite. However to increase my overall range for all devices, I ordered a SR731 Smart RF Repeater ($25 on ebay from Digitronex) which is supposed to repeat all 256 codes AND avoid collisions. I should get it within the next few days.

I just want to point out to x10challanged that the TM751 & RR501 will not receive signals from door/window security sensors. I can't answer for the SR731, but I suspect it does not either.

Here is a thread on various methods/mods to improve the RF reception range of the CM15A:
Project To Increase Range Of CM15A
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JMac

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2008, 10:09:53 AM »

Just for information, the SR731 is a repeater, and WILL receive and repeat security signals to the CM15A.  The range of the CM15A can be increased with all the methods suggested here in the forum.
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Puck

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2008, 10:50:33 AM »

Just for information, the SR731 is a repeater, and WILL receive and repeat security signals to the CM15A.

Good to know that... thanks JMac.
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x10challanged

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2008, 01:30:13 PM »

Thanks for the info, I read the specs on that repeater a few days ago and it states that it will repeat the sensor signals. Specifically x-10.  Anybody know why X-10 dropped them?  I hate to have to jerry-rig a brand new system. That does not instill very much confidence that it will work when needed or as designed.
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x10challanged

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2008, 03:34:46 PM »

I taped a 24" pc of metal coat hanger to the CM antenna and that by itself almost made for full reception of sensors 50 - 60 ft.  I have a 2950 sq ft home it almost makes it to the back door short about 12'.  I will try one of the RF repeaters off e-bay. 
Thanks again for your help, sorry but I'm sure once I get to the video I will be back with interferance and other issues.
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PajamaGuy

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2008, 08:11:47 AM »

I'm no engineer but you might want to search & read about this antenna mod.  I think the exact length overall is supposed to be 18" - and it has to do with wavelengths - too much/little deviation cuts back on performance.

...but don't take my word for it - search & read.

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PajamaGuy
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tom j

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2008, 07:15:59 PM »

I have been working with this system for a couple weeks. By the way X10 tech support is terrible have not got anyone on the phone who can solve or actually address ANY issues they say they will e-mail info haven't received anything yet. Have over 1800.00 invested and am ready to send it all back. OK so here is one of my issues: Door and window sensors register into On Alert as long as I am within a few feet ok actually about 18" of CM receiver. After registered as soon as I am more than approx. 24 ft away no signals are recv'd. I have no closed doors, no metal, no high voltage appliances, no microwaves, no TV's or antenna's obstructing the signal. I have set-up 7 different sensors all with same problem. Nothing special about house, wood construction with sheetrock.
Only thing recommended was to install "hard wired" repeater. I don't believe that will solve a sensor issue since the sensors do not transmit through the house wiring. The smart rf repeater has been discontinued.
Any suggestions? The system is good when it works properly and I like the way the software reports but if it can't get the signal it is of no use.



This is a common problem with the CM15a, why x10 wont address this is any one's guess, this thing has absolutely no range! when I first got mine I would estimate it to be just a few feet, I've never been satisfied with the range, and will eventually have to modify it myself. If more people did what you did and return the equipment maybe they would take note and address this issue by correcting it.

tom j
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x10challanged

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2008, 06:38:24 PM »

Just wanted to update this post for everyone reading it,  My solution was 1st as Pajamaguy stated I cut my "metal coat hanger" down to only have total antenna length of 18 1/4" which got my range almost 60', still not far enough, 2nd I purchased a SR731 Repeater as Jmac said off e-bay for 19.99 and put it in the middle of my house which is little over 3000 sq ft.  This gave me plenty of range all the way to my garage, game room and pool shed.  I have not lost a single signal in 7 days.  I also use (2) "monitored" DC821 consoles along with AHP, all appear to be reporting and recieving fine.  I am now happy with the sensors and will actually install them as up to this time have only laid them on window and door ledges for testing.  I reccommend anyone purchasing this system to not "install" any sensors until you test them, simply put batteries in and a small piece of tape to hold the contacts together just enough so you can open and close the contacts for testing.  Then you can verify signals through AHP security module and/or your security monitor over the following 4 - 5 days to make sure it is the right system for you.
Sorry this is so long but I want to thank the people who check and answer questions on this forum.  Again I will say X-10 Tech support is horrible don't waste your time I have talked to them 5 times now never got an answer, was promised 3 e-mails with instructions within 48 hours from "LEVEL 2 SUPPORT" whatever that is, and never got a single one.
Thanks again, now on to the 7 cameras! ;D
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tom j

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2008, 07:56:44 PM »

Just wanted to update this post for everyone reading it, My solution was 1st as Pajamaguy stated I cut my "metal coat hanger" down to only have total antenna length of 18 1/4" which got my range almost 60', still not far enough, 2nd I purchased a SR731 Repeater as Jmac said off e-bay for 19.99 and put it in the middle of my house which is little over 3000 sq ft. This gave me plenty of range all the way to my garage, game room and pool shed. I have not lost a single signal in 7 days. I also use (2) "monitored" DC821 consoles along with AHP, all appear to be reporting and recieving fine. I am now happy with the sensors and will actually install them as up to this time have only laid them on window and door ledges for testing. I reccommend anyone purchasing this system to not "install" any sensors until you test them, simply put batteries in and a small piece of tape to hold the contacts together just enough so you can open and close the contacts for testing. Then you can verify signals through AHP security module and/or your security monitor over the following 4 - 5 days to make sure it is the right system for you.
Sorry this is so long but I want to thank the people who check and answer questions on this forum. Again I will say X-10 Tech support is horrible don't waste your time I have talked to them 5 times now never got an answer, was promised 3 e-mails with instructions within 48 hours from "LEVEL 2 SUPPORT" whatever that is, and never got a single one.
Thanks again, now on to the 7 cameras! ;D

It's a shame that after spending all our money we still have to hobble a system together from coat hangerS tin can and miscellaneous spare parts laying round the house PATHETHIC, JUST PATHETHIC.

Tomj
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RebHawk

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2008, 04:09:11 PM »

The smart rf repeater has been discontinued.

May be, but there are a number of listings for them on eBay currently, and at prices about 1/2 that of what X10.com wanted.

Regards,
--Lee
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x10challanged

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2008, 08:45:14 PM »

Quote
May be, but there are a number of listings for them on eBay currently, and at prices about 1/2 that of what X10.com wanted.

RebHawk - Please read the entire post before replying thank you.

Tomj - I don't disagree with you, after reading your post I was curious so I removed the "coat hanger" and so far the repeater has provided enough range for sensors without any modification of equipment.  I initially used the coat hanger trick before I purchased the repeater and just left it on.
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RebHawk

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Re: Door & Window sensor no range
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2008, 08:53:20 PM »

Quote
May be, but there are a number of listings for them on eBay currently, and at prices about 1/2 that of what X10.com wanted.

RebHawk - Please read the entire post before replying thank you.


My bad, I missed where you said you had bought one on eBay.  My apologies.  However, regardless of that, it certainly can't hurt for it to be stated that although the module is disco'd, that they are still available on eBay.  My intent wasn't to be confrontational or critical of your post, I was just trying to add some more info.

--Lee
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 08:55:06 PM by RebHawk »
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