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Author Topic: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..  (Read 21176 times)

autopilot

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AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« on: June 04, 2008, 05:38:06 PM »

Dear AHP Smart Macro experts and users,

I'm a newbie to X10 and home automation and have been tinking with my recently purchased new starter AHP suite (includes Smart Macro, OnAlert, MyHouse, iWatchOut for future expansion) with some modules after being lured by X10's tempting deals ;-) I thought it was easy to set-up and configure since I have some computer background but boy was I wrong..  :o The more I read about X10 and these forums, the more I realize that there are lots of operational issues/problems that need to be resolved beyond what X10 ads claim and what even more experienced users encountered. Some even resort to experimental trial-and-error methods/tricks "beyond" what established X10 standard operating procedures and announced capabilities say. I'm at a dilemma now whether it was worth pursuing the X10 route or my HA project itself with the end of convenience and time-saving at my abode to relieve some pressures of a hectic life outside the confines of my dwelling. No, I'm not trying to write a novel here but just wanted to vent out some of my initial experiences and expectations about this promising (but confusing to some) technology. Now back to some questions and observations I got stemming from my tinkering so far:

1) After I downloaded, installed and registered my AHP suite particularly the Smart Macro plug-in, among others, I tested the AHP by creating rooms in my small apartment and dragging respective lamp and appliance modules. It seem to work okay using its ON/OFF/DIMMING functionalties BUT sometimes I need to press my PalmPad HR12A remote  once to 3x just to make it work. Why is this happening? I checked Find Other Computers.. under the Tools drop-down menu for other detected codes and codes to avoid and the affected House/Unit codes don't seem to have any conflict with such interferences as far as I can observe...

2) I 'm using only House code "A" for my modules (3 table/stand lamps, 2 radio/fan appliances and 2 door lamp/closet light sensors for now) and put my "experimental/for testing" macros in House code "B". The macros don't seem to work (Maybe I missed out something or set it up wrong).  To make it more confusing, I come across readings like conditional flags, monitored/transceived house codes and phantom/dummy modules that some used to make their set-up work (w/c I'm not sure I fully understand) due to varied approaches (sometimes sounds conflicting explanations and vague how-to instructions). I just want to learn and successfully set-up the following simple functionalities as follows:

a. I installed my EagleEye MS14A motion sensor near my apartment door (few feet on the left side) and with a welcome Lamp Module LM465 (few feet on the right side). I expect the lamp to turn on when I open the door and cross the sensors path but on the condition that its between 7pm to 7am only. Also change to during only dusk/dawn.
- How should I properly set this up?
- Should I set/change the sensor's House/Unit code to be exactly same as  the welcome lamp I want to control?
- If I need to change the sensor's H/U code, should I change it through the AHP sensor module interface only or the sensor unit only or both? 
- What if I want to disable my door welcome macro and for the sensor not to turn on/off the welcome door lamp (just turn it on/off manually) and later turn the macro back on working?

b.  I also installed another EagleEye MS14A sensor to control the SocketRocket LM15A overhead light in my bedroom walk-in closet to turn/off instantly when I walk in/out.
- How should I set it up if I want to deactivate the sensor to control the overhead light and just manually turn it off/on?

c. Possible RF/PLC interference question: I'm currently using H/U codes A3 to A12 for all my lamp/appliance modules (I reserved A1 and A2 for testing purposes). I assigned other macros under House code B3 up (with B1 and B2 reserved also for testing). I noticed when I click under the Tools drop-down menu to Find Other Computers… to view for X10 Usage-Historical data, there are Red boxes (which your not supposed to used in your configuration) under A6 , A13 to A16 (I used to use these codes but left if unused now due to inconvenience since I don’t have spare wireless remotes yet). However the unused A14  has a Red box with a white “?” in it. The Red boxes unused A13 to 16 appeared only after I used it these codes before and were Green boxes before while being used. 

- Are the Red boxes indicative of “other codes” from another X10 or home automation system in my neighborhood? Is it possible these were caused by my previous usage of the A13-16 codes?
- What do White “?” in Red boxes mean?

d. Are conditional flags and phantom dummy modules applicable or advisable in my case? How about setting-up which modules should be monitored and transcieved?
- What are the proper applications for using flags and dummy modules as well as configuring module monitoring and transceiving?

Pls. bear with my lengthy post and if all are not directly Smart Macro related but I just want to group all responses here to avoid more confusion. I would again appreciate if anyone could provide a simple, step-by-step procedure and explanation on how to go about with my intended simplified set-ups.  :' A million thanks.



     
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 05:54:14 PM by autopilot »
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Puck

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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 11:40:58 PM »

a. I installed my EagleEye MS14A motion sensor near my apartment door (few feet on the left side) and with a welcome Lamp Module LM465 (few feet on the right side). I expect the lamp to turn on when I open the door and cross the sensors path but on the condition that its between 7pm to 7am only. Also change to during only dusk/dawn.
- How should I properly set this up?
- Should I set/change the sensor's House/Unit code to be exactly same as  the welcome lamp I want to control?
- If I need to change the sensor's H/U code, should I change it through the AHP sensor module interface only or the sensor unit only or both? 
- What if I want to disable my door welcome macro and for the sensor not to turn on/off the welcome door lamp (just turn it on/off manually) and later turn the macro back on working?

autopilot: There is a lot to it and a lot that can make AHP & X10 not work correctly. Take some smaller steps with this and let's see what is working and what's not.

First off, what are the addresses of your motion sensor and your light? Is your macro the same address as your motion sensor?

Try your macro with no conditions to see it it works. Look at your Activity Monitor and verify the received RF signal from the MS14A and the sent PLC signal to the lamp are there. If not, then what is missing?

WRT the "Find other Computers", if you click on "Tools / Clear History" it will get rid of all Yellow & Red addresses; then you can see if anything returns or if it was from a previous test/set-up.
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autopilot

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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2008, 02:48:27 AM »

Puck,

Thanks for the quick response!  :) To answer your questions:

First, I set my AHP MS14A sensor module icon, the actual EagleEye MS14A sensor module/unit and my welcome lamp all have House/Unit code of A3. On the other hand, my welcome macro (see my previous post #2a. above) has an H/U code of B3. Is this correctly set-up? If not, what's the correct or better configuration?

Second, I think haven't actually successfully made any of my Smart Macros to work as desired. I set all macros under House code B (see #2. above). Again, is this correct or proper?

Third, WOW! I didn't know that the Tools/Clear History menu would serve as the "Recent Status/Refresh/Update" button for House/Unit codes shown in the X10 Historical Data display. Now my latest update only displays all my exisiting Green H/U codes and no more Red and Yellow icons which previously displayed (I though there were other X10 or automation RF/PLC signals from my neighbors). I'll have to observe for a couple of days to confirm if these are true. I also found out that when I press an unused unit code (e.g. A6) from my PalmPad HR12A remote and check Find Other Computers...the unused A6 displays as a Red icon/box as "Other Detected Codes" and the other unused Unit codes A13 to A16 display as Yellow icons.

For better clarification, here's my experimental starter AHP set-up:

1. My Room (for testing)
A1 (Reserved for Lamp Moduel Testing)
A2 (Reserved for Appliance Module Testing)
B1 (Sample Macro 1)
B2 (Sample Macro 2)

2. Entrance Area
A3 (Entrance Lamp - Lamp Module LM465)
A4 (Entrance Sensor - EagleEye Sensor MS14A)
B3 (Smart Macro 1 - not yet working)
B5 (Smart Macro 2 - not yet working)
(Note: I want a macro that is triggered by my entrance sensor to turn On/OFF my entrance lamp only betw. 7pm-7pm daily only and the lamp must not turn on (remain OFF betw. 7am-7pm when natural light is bright) regardless if the entrance sensor detects motion or not. It must also be able to shift to MANUAL mode (without being triggered by the sensor or macro) vice-versa)

3. Kitchen
A8 (Kitchen Overhead Light - SocketRocket LM15A)
A9 (Coffee Maker/Rice Cooker - Appliance Module AM486)

4. Dining Area
A7 (Dining Stand Lamp - LM465)

5. Bedroom
A10 (Radio/CD Player - AM486)
A11 (Electric Fan - AM486)
A12 (Night Lamp - LM465)
B4 (Smart Macro 3 - not yet working)
(Note: I want my radio/CD player and night lamp to serve as wake-up alarm during specified times as well as turn it ON/OFF manually vice-versa)

6. Walk-in Closet
A5 (Closet Overhead Light - LM15A
A5 (Closet Sensor - MS14A)

I'm still planning to add more modules for my water hot/cold dispenser and some lamps and a camera/surveillance system soon (I'll have another set of questions by then.. ;D ).

So any better suggestions how to make my macros work or design good ones?

Also, I'd like to have an accurate and complete understanding about concepts on and how to use - preferably explained in a simple, clear manner:
a. Conditional Flags and its applications
b. Dummy/Phantom Modules and its applications
c. Monitored/Transceived Module applications

Thanks again.

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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2008, 09:08:44 AM »

2. Entrance Area
A3 (Entrance Lamp - Lamp Module LM465)
A4 (Entrance Sensor - EagleEye Sensor MS14A)
B3 (Smart Macro 1 - not yet working)
B5 (Smart Macro 2 - not yet working)
(Note: I want a macro that is triggered by my entrance sensor to turn On/OFF my entrance lamp only betw. 7pm-7pm daily only and the lamp must not turn on (remain OFF betw. 7am-7pm when natural light is bright) regardless if the entrance sensor detects motion or not. It must also be able to shift to MANUAL mode (without being triggered by the sensor or macro) vice-versa)

If B3 is your entrance Macro, then you have to set the MS14A to the same address for it to trigger and run.

I suggest you remove any time conditions from the macro at first to verify it works. Once it does, then add the time conditions and re-verify. After you get that working the way you want, then you can add a Status Flag condition to disable the macro (more on this once you get the basic macro functioning.)


Quote
5. Bedroom
A10 (Radio/CD Player - AM486)
A11 (Electric Fan - AM486)
A12 (Night Lamp - LM465)
B4 (Smart Macro 3 - not yet working)
(Note: I want my radio/CD player and night lamp to serve as wake-up alarm during specified times as well as turn it ON/OFF manually vice-versa)

To turn A10 on (and off) at a specific time, you need to use a Timer not a Macro.


Quote
Also, I'd like to have an accurate and complete understanding about concepts on and how to use - preferably explained in a simple, clear manner:
a. Conditional Flags and its applications
b. Dummy/Phantom Modules and its applications
c. Monitored/Transceived Module applications

Tuicemen has links for all these topics in X10 Issues? Please Read This First!. Have a look at those threads and look at some of the User-Designed Working Macros for examples of Flags & Dummy Modules.
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autopilot

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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2008, 12:01:38 PM »

Before I further some of your recommended testing, I have some follow-up questions:

On my Entrance Area set-up:
- It seems that my welcome lamp (w/ module address A3) is not affected (still automatically turns ON/OFF) when triggered by my sensor module (currently set as A3) regardless if I change the sensor icon address (not the module address) to other than A3. Should I manually change my MS14A module sensor’s address setting to B3 only OR just the AHP sensor icon OR both? How about if I reverse it by changing the macro B3 address to A3 to be the same as my welcome lamp module address instead?   

On my Bedroom set-up:
- Would a timer function be enough (without any macro set) if I want my radio/CD player to turn ON/OFF followed by some time gap/delay in between before my bedroom lamp also turns ON/OFF?

I just want to have a firmer grasp of your recommended trial/verification procedures since I want to do it correctly as you advised. Thanks for bearing.
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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2008, 12:28:23 PM »

On my Entrance Area set-up:
- It seems that my welcome lamp (w/ module address A3) is not affected (still automatically turns ON/OFF) when triggered by my sensor module (currently set as A3) regardless if I change the sensor icon address (not the module address) to other than A3. Should I manually change my MS14A module sensor’s address setting to B3 only OR just the AHP sensor icon OR both? How about if I reverse it by changing the macro B3 address to A3 to be the same as my welcome lamp module address instead?   

In your previous post you stated the motion sensor was at A4.

If they are both at A3 and your CM15A is set to Transceive house code A, then the lamp will light every time it detects motion and turn off after the MS14A's set time-out after motion stops.

If you want control of when the motion detector turns the lamp on, then you have to move the MS14A to an X10 address that is different than the lamp module, and have an associate macro at that same address. So change the MS14A to address B3 to match your macro.

Quote
On my Bedroom set-up:
- Would a timer function be enough (without any macro set) if I want my radio/CD player to turn ON/OFF followed by some time gap/delay in between before my bedroom lamp also turns ON/OFF?

You can use a series of timers, or you can create a dummy appliance module with an associated macro, then create a single Timer to turn on the dummy module at a preset time. The dummy module's associate macro can contain the on's & off's of the devices.
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autopilot

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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2008, 02:16:07 AM »

Puck,

What I wasn't able to clarify is that A3 is my Entrance Sensor's actual module address while I set my AHP Entrance Sensor icon to A4. My Entrance Lamp actual module and AHP Entrance Lamp icon are both set to A3.

You are right.  :)% When I changed my Entrance Sensor module's address to B3 (same as my macro address B3), my sensor when it detected motion already triggered my lamp based on the triggered macro conditions I set (though sometimes not reliable like when my AHP Entrance Lamp icon displays as OFF but the actual lamp module is still ON). Below is how I scripted my macro:

Trigger Conditions B3 ON and
The time is betw. 7pm to 7am and
Module Status Off - Entrance Lamp
End Trigger Conditions
Turn Entrance Lamp ON
WAIT for 30 Seconds
Turn Entrance Lamp OFF

Also, my Activity Monitor under Tools menu when viewed has shown (I'm just including the relevant display):

...Receive B3 (Entrance Sensor)
...Receive B ON
...Macro A3 (Entrance Lamp)
...Macro A Off (Entrance Lamp)
...Receive B3 (Entrance Sensor)
...Receive B Off (Entrance Sensor)

Pls. feel free to add more comments if you think it will be helpful to enhance the learning process...

I'll try your dummy module technique (though I'm not sure if I'll do it right..) and let you know the results (as well as more questions..)  ??? Thanks.



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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2008, 08:57:12 AM »

...(though sometimes not reliable like when my AHP Entrance Lamp icon displays as OFF but the actual lamp module is still ON).

When this occurs, it is usually because the lamp module did not receive the signal; most likely due to some interference like electrical noise or a signal sucker. You may have to do some troubleshooting to see if something else is powered on the same breaker circuits as the CM15A and the lamp module that is not X10 signal friendly. One major issue is the PC itself; if you don't have an X10 Filter then try to have the PC on a different circuit from your CM15A (and other modules).

Quote
Trigger Conditions B3 ON and
The time is betw. 7pm to 7am and
Module Status Off - Entrance Lamp
End Trigger Conditions
Turn Entrance Lamp ON
WAIT for 30 Seconds
Turn Entrance Lamp OFF

The macro looks good.

Quote
Also, my Activity Monitor under Tools menu when viewed has shown (I'm just including the relevant display):

...Receive B3 (Entrance Sensor)
...Receive B ON
...Macro A3 (Entrance Lamp)
...Macro A Off (Entrance Lamp)
...Receive B3 (Entrance Sensor)
...Receive B Off (Entrance Sensor)

The only thing I notice missing is the A3 ON (Entrance Lamp On), but the macro was definitely triggered.
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autopilot

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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2008, 05:42:14 PM »

I'm frequently experiencing reliability issues with my appliance and lamp modules even if my AHP icon status indicate otherwise hence signal interference or loss might be probable causes.

Could you recommend some starter and affordable (if any) testing/trouble-shooting equipment for X10 PLC signal strength, interference/noise emitter or sucker, etc.? Pls. specify brand, model, price range and features/purpose, if possible.

Can these be purchased online and/or local stores that carry some consumer hardware/electronic stuff like Radio Shack, Home Depot, Autozone, Target, Walmart etc.?
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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2008, 06:39:49 PM »

Automated Outlet has an ELM ESM1

Before you do anything, I suggest you Map your Circuits. Once you do this it will make it easier to locate any items that are causing X10 issues.
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autopilot

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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 05:33:38 PM »

Thanks for the expert tips and informative advices Puck  #:) Do you happen to be a technical consultant for X10 or just a hardcore enthusiast?  ;D

The trouble-shooting/testing procedures you suggested would require said testing equipment:

1. Elk ESM1 Test Meter (est. $85+)
- to check & test for X10 PLC signal strength/interference & noise.

2. Gardner Bender Circuit Breaker Finder GET-1200 (est. $32-$35)  OR an A.W. Sperry Instruments Circuit Tester (est. $10+)
- to trace/match each circuit breaker connection to with each household power switch/outlet. The Gardner Bender appears to be better than A.W.Sperry.

Are these the minimum 2 test equipment necessary to trouble-shoot X10 signal/intereference problems?

Do you know of any loaner services (rent then return) provided for more expensive test equip. like Elk ESM1 since you only use it occasionally or when needed?

If signal intereference/noise or suckers are diagnosed, what would you recommend basic but effective X10 plug-in signal noise filters (for PC and TV which are potential sources of noise/interference)? 
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Re: AHP (ver. 3.228) w/ Plug-ins - How & Why?? Help Needed..
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 06:03:58 PM »

Do you happen to be a technical consultant for X10 or just a hardcore enthusiast?  ;D

Just an user like the rest of us.

Quote
Are these the minimum 2 test equipment necessary to trouble-shoot X10 signal/interference problems?

Those tools will pretty much map out & verify X10 signal levels.

Automatedoutlet also has a rental service for the ELK ESM1.

You should also be able to pick up an outlet checker at any hardware store for under $10.

Quote
If signal intereference/noise or suckers are diagnosed, what would you recommend basic but effective X10 plug-in signal noise filters (for PC and TV which are potential sources of noise/interference)?


There is no doubt some devices will need to be filtered and the basic X10 or Smarthome filters work quite well.
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