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Author Topic: xpcr  (Read 8512 times)

hpdrifter

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xpcr
« on: September 14, 2008, 04:43:41 PM »

I have a small house, but probably quite a few signal suckers, microwave, tvs, stereos, computers, surge protectors, ect.

I'm looking into a XPCR.  I've done a search on them and saw one reference to "not doing dim/bright" very well.

The ad says it is an amplifier/repeater.  I also saw a reference to a repeater being a two edged sword; a good thing and can cause some problems.

I'm a new user to X10, well not completely new, I had some modules and switches for about 18 or so years now, but since a break in I've gotten a lot more interested in some automation, hence more deeply involved in X10's reliability

I've been doing research for a couple of weeks now, learned quite a bit.  I'm gonna get so filters and phase couplers of some sort.  Just trying to sort out my best options.

Am going to run a dedicated circuit for my computer station and looking at a 20amp wire in filter for that.  Might include a battery charging station also.  The stereo/tv might get a dedicated circuit with same filter.  Maybe jut a 10a plugin.

Could someone please expound on the pros/cons of the XPCR and maybe the filtering systems.
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Brian H

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2008, 04:55:21 PM »

If you have not found these sites. Lots of good data:

http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm

http://www.act-solutions.com/PCC/uncle.htm

I use an ACT CR134 repeater myself and Jeff Volp's XTB2 has been given good reviews also.
http://jvde.us/xtb_index.htm

I have a Smarthome 1626-10; 10 Amp FilterLinc on my APC BX1000 UPS and also a few X10Pro XPPF 5 Amp filters around the home also on varied equipment. Not in use right now but I have also used an ACT AF120 15 Amp Plug In Filter. It has one nice feature a user replaceable fuse. The Smarthome ones have a soldered in fuse and the XPFF has no fuse.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 09:51:47 AM by JeffVolp »
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hpdrifter

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2008, 05:01:57 PM »

If you have not found these sites. Lots of good data:

http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm

http://www.act-solutions.com/PCC/uncle.htm

I use an ACT CR134 repeater myself and Jeff Volp's XTB2 has been given good reviews also.
http://jvde.us/xtb_index.htm

Yes, read for 2 or 3 weeks now.

Both of those solutions are pretty pricey, for X10 types(me).  I can get the XPCR for 1/10 the cost of these.  Cheap may be the operative word.  The Cheap route maybe the best for me, but I'd like some more input, please.

I'd like to know to expect the "get what you pay for" experience or not.

Thanks
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 10:02:33 PM by JeffVolp »
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JeffVolp

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2008, 06:35:59 PM »

X10 products are a tremendous bargain because they are assembled in China in huge volume.

If you're skilled at soldering, you can assemble the complete XTB-IIR kit for about as much as it would cost you to buy the components directly from distributors.

Jeff
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dave w

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2008, 06:40:11 PM »

If you have not found these sites. Lots of good data:

http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm

http://www.act-solutions.com/PCC/uncle.htm

I use an ACT CR134 repeater myself and Jeff Volp's XTB2 has been given good reviews also.
http://jvde.us/xtb_index.htm



Yes, read for 2 or 3 weeks now.

Both of those solutions are pretty pricey, for X10 types(me).  I can get the XPCR for 1/10 the cost of these.  Cheap may be the operative word.  The Cheap route maybe the best for me, but I'd like some more input, please.

I'd like to know to expect the "get what you pay for" experience or not.

Thanks

Listen to Brian.

I don't understand the price differences you are seeing. Prices I am seeing for XPCR, XTB IIR, and ACT -CR234 are within $30 of each other. (don't spend the extra money for a ACT CR134 unless  you have 3 Phase power ) I have owned two XPCR repeaters and have had trouble with both (suddenly locking up, not handling DIM and BRI commands correctly, etc.) I have owned two ACT repeaters and they have performed flawlessly for years . As I have said many times, my next repeater/coupler will be an XTB-II because of it's shear power. You may never need a filter if you have a XTB-II.
$0.02
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 10:03:31 PM by JeffVolp »
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Brian H

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2008, 06:52:51 PM »

The only reason I got the CR134, over the CR234, was the vendor substituted it for a CR234 that was out of stock. At no added cost.
The CR234 has the exact PCB in it as the CR134 except the third phase portion is not installed.
The Don't Repeat Known Repeated Signals switch setting made lots of difference in my installation.
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dave w

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2008, 07:19:39 PM »

The only reason I got the CR134, over the CR234, was the vendor substituted it for a CR234 that was out of stock. At no added cost.
The CR234 has the exact PCB in it as the CR134 except the third phase portion is not installed.
The Don't Repeat Known Repeated Signals switch setting made lots of difference in my installation.
Yeah, when hpdrifter said the XPCR was 1/10 the cost of your suggestions, I figured he must have been pricing a CR134 rather than a CR234. But I still don't find a XPCR that cheap.  ???
I give accolades to the ACT products but my old CR234 definitely has a heat dissipation problem at the four power supply diodes wired as a full wave bridge. Have you noticed any burning of your PC board in that area?
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hpdrifter

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2008, 07:40:40 PM »

I have found the XPCR for $11.95 to 14.95

The XTB-IIR was $109

Maybe I did price the 234, don't really remember, but whatever it was $129.

This is why I ask.  Cause I don't know.

If the XPCR is trash, it will prevent me from buying.

I saw a few posts while digging thru the search engine that said, "it would help".  I saw one that said it didn't handle dim/bright very well. 

That's why I ask.

Jeff, I've read your sight, with all the oscope jpgs, and I give you a BIG HELPFUL on that, but I never saw the XPCR mentioned, as I don't really expect to either.

I just wanted to know if the XPCR is any good, if it causes more problems than it helps, or what?
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Brian H

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2008, 07:57:02 PM »

You may want to read this thread. An XPCR was causing an A1 firestorm.
http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=16394.0
To be fair I am not sure how old the unit was and maybe it was an older unit that just was dieing.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2008, 07:59:28 PM by Brian H »
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hpdrifter

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2008, 09:00:31 PM »

well, from what I read there, EL34 had multiple repeaters.

JeffVolp said that is asking for trouble.....A1 ping pong.

You said you'd seen smarthome and another model do similar things.

Don't want to sound arrgumentative here, just digging for some answers.
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Brian H

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2008, 06:52:22 AM »

It may depend on the actual installation. Some may have no issues and others will.
My Smarthome only acted strange with Extended Messages sent by LM14A Lamp and AM14A Appliance modules on specific Addresses. That are two way and send an inquiry when powered up to the controller. Asking its last known state.
Could be how the repeater sees messages it may have repeated already. That was why; in my case; the CR134 being set to 'Do not repeat known repeated signals' helped me.
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dave w

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2008, 11:44:17 AM »

I have found the XPCR for $11.95 to 14.95


Wow, It's $100 on the X10 pro site,  $12 plus shipping might make it worth a second chance in my book.
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Re: xpcr
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2008, 05:27:12 PM »

well, from what I read there, EL34 had multiple repeaters.

JeffVolp said that is asking for trouble.....A1 ping pong.

You said you'd seen smarthome and another model do similar things.

Don't want to sound arrgumentative here, just digging for some answers.

hpdrifter,

The XPCR unit looks suspiciously similar to my Leviton HCA02 repeater (same case, innards??). 

My Leviton unit does have problems with bright/dim commands.  My solution - I don't use them.   

My Leviton switches, and most of the X10 dimmers made since '07, are capable of communicating with extended code direct dim commands (these are referred to as soft start units.  This bypasses the "documented" problem with the standard bright/dim command sequence.  My Leviton unit (and I believe the XPCR) do repeat these extended code commands.

Curious whether you have units that are extended code capable?  Try re-identifying them as LM14a 2-way lamp modules within AHP.  Move the module slider to 50% - if your unit responds, you are communicating with extended code.

If your units are not the newer "soft start" version, you'll have to deal with the old bright/dim sequence.  I can't say for sure that you'll have a problem.  On occasions, when I have tried this I've entered a loop with the CM15a sending and the HCA02 repeating for several minutes.  Doesn't occur very often, but when it does it effectively locks up your HA system.

Both the ACT and JeffVolps repeaters are superior to the XPCR (I believe Jeff's is the Cadillac).  However, as Dave W indicated, for $12 you can hardly go wrong with the XPCR.  If you get the unit, you'll learn a lot about your system.  Anytime you can learn you should leap at the chance.

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JeffVolp

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2008, 06:04:54 PM »

The XPCR unit looks suspiciously similar to my Leviton HCA02 repeater (same case, innards??).

We used the older Leviton 6201 repeater at our last house.  That was a 3-phase unit.  The newer Leviton HCA02-10E that handles bright/dim and extended codes is a 2-phase unit.  Since the X10 XPCR is a 3-phase unit, I suspect it is the same as the earlier 6201.

The Leviton 6201 did help with a problem we had with one marginal circuit at the last house.  Like most X10 transmitters, the Leviton 6201 and HCA02-10E have inexpensive transformerless power supplies that limit the amount of signal power they can deliver.

Repeaters like the X10 XPCR and the Leviton HCA02-10E can help if the system controller is a long distance from the main distribution panel.  Much of its signal will be lost over that run, and even a repeater with limited output capability will restore the original signal level.  That may be adequate in a smaller home with a limited number of devices that attenuate the X10 signal level.

The XTB-IIR is a signal booster.  Its transformer power supply provides the energy for it to drive with much more power than a normal X10 transmitter.

Jeff
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Boiler

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Re: xpcr
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2008, 08:58:34 PM »

OK,

Time to eat some crow.  Jeff is correct that the XPCR matches the 6201 in both form factor, label, and 3-phase capability.   I suppose I should have done a bit more research.

That being the case, I'll withdraw my previous vote for the $12 bargain.  If this is a 6201 clone, it will not repeat extended code commands (required for the soft start units) nor will it properly repeat standard bright/dim commands.

Thanks for the correction Jeff,

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