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Author Topic: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??  (Read 14239 times)

accord728

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help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« on: October 30, 2008, 01:00:17 PM »

I recently purchased a newer home and trying to get my x10 (cm15 system w/ AHP) setup. It is not entirely working correctly. I am using a Boosterlinc for Smarthome and some x10 noise filters which has helped some. The big problem is that parts of the house does work while the other part does not. I am assuming that this is because of the house being a 2 phases. I do not know much about the electrical system so please bare with me, I am learning as I go. I probably need a coupler/bridge that has to be installed in the electrical panel of the house. Right now I have a quick fix by using 2 basic transceivers which does not help with automated items. What is the best solution for this problem. I am sure it is a common problem for a lot of homes. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 01:08:30 PM by accord728 »
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PajamaGuy

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008, 01:43:17 PM »

Well...........Because my office (computer room) shares a wall with the main breaker panel, I had an electrician punch a hole and bring in a 220v line (both phases), and ran both legs into an XTBIIR.  Not only does it couple the phases, but it amps the PLCs.  The CM15A plugs into it, as does a V572RF32.

If you're going to use a phase-coupler - get one of Jeff's @ http://jvde.us/xtb_index.htm
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PajamaGuy
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2008, 03:22:36 PM »

The simplest and probably least expensive solution is one of the SignaLinc passive couplers from Smarthome (http://www.smarthome.com) which plugs into a 3 or 4 wire electric clothes dryer outlet.

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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

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axgupta1

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2008, 10:42:20 AM »

I have been using the SignaLinc 4-pin Plug-in-Coupler with my 220v dryer for last 4 years. It is bit expensive but does an excellent job. I have multiple computers, UPS systems, home theater and surge protectors plugged into the electrical system. In addition, I have a total of 30 x10 modules installed in the house. Never had a problem with signal levels.

http://www.smarthome.com/4826A/SignaLinc-4-Pin-Plug-in-Coupler-Repeater/p.aspx
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Boiler

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2008, 11:11:34 AM »

I have been using the SignaLinc 4-pin Plug-in-Coupler with my 220v dryer for last 4 years. It is bit expensive but does an excellent job. I have multiple computers, UPS systems, home theater and surge protectors plugged into the electrical system. In addition, I have a total of 30 x10 modules installed in the house. Never had a problem with signal levels.

http://www.smarthome.com/4826A/SignaLinc-4-Pin-Plug-in-Coupler-Repeater/p.aspx


One word of caution when using repeaters with the newer X10 "Soft Start" modules.  The recommended interface for these modules (LM465, WS12a, WS467, etc) is the LM14a 2-Way Lamp Module.  This interface uses X10 Extended Code Direct Dim commands (not the standard bright/dim). 

Since Smarthome uses the older Preset Dim1, Dim2 protocol and not Extended Codes for their units, it is possible that their repeaters will not repeat the Extended Code LM14a commands.  I say possible because I do not have one of the Signalinc coupler/repeaters to verify this. 

Having just typed the above, I remembered my old Boosterlinc in the "spare parts box".  I dug it out and tried it with the LM14a extended code commands.  My Elk-ESM1 indicates that it is definitely amplifying the LM14a command (go figure).

Does anyone have a Signalinc repeater and a ESM1 that could perform the same test?  It would be nice to get a definitive answer on whether the Signalinc can handle extended codes.

Thanks,
Boiler
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2008, 11:35:54 AM »

I have been using the SignaLinc 4-pin Plug-in-Coupler with my 220v dryer for last 4 years. It is bit expensive but does an excellent job. I have multiple computers, UPS systems, home theater and surge protectors plugged into the electrical system. In addition, I have a total of 30 x10 modules installed in the house. Never had a problem with signal levels.

http://www.smarthome.com/4826A/SignaLinc-4-Pin-Plug-in-Coupler-Repeater/p.aspx


You have the coupler-repeater.  The OP may be able to get by with the passive coupler which is substantially less expensive.
4-pin:   http://www.smarthome.com/4816A2/SignaLinc-Plug-In-Phase-Coupler/p.aspx
3-pin:   http://www.smarthome.com/4816B2/SignaLinc-trade-Plug-In-Phase-Coupler/p.aspx

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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

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accord728

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 01:51:47 PM »

I thank you all for your valuable input here. I decided to go with 4-Pin SignaLinc™ Plug-in Coupler-Repeater. I spent the extra money on this unit in hopes that I will not have to spend more money on future trouble shooting signal strength. Using this device in conjunction with a Smarthome Boosterlinc and filters in my house has resolved most of my problems. >!

The only problem I am noticing now seems to be with my Christmas lights. I have the Christmas tree plugged into an outlet that has a light switch which is always switched on (I have to change this eventually) and I have other decorations plugged into another outlet. The CM15a device has a time programmed to turn on all Christmas decorations (all have the same house code). It turns on most of the decorations but not my Christmas tree. My Palmpads and Maxi Controllers control all the decorations just fine. I thought that these problems would have been resolved with my Boosterlinc, filters and SignLinc. Why am I having problems with my CM15a device?

Thanks again for the help!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 01:53:44 PM by accord728 »
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steven r

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 03:45:01 PM »

...I have the Christmas tree plugged into an outlet...
...I have other decorations plugged into another outlet....
...I thought that these problems would have been resolved with my Boosterlinc, filters and SignLinc....
What, if anything, is plugged into the same outlet as the tree? On the same breaker as the tree?
It's pretty likely in spite of all your efforts, there's a weak or noisy signal at the outlet where the tree is. Without a tester, it's hard to tell for sure.
While it could be possible to over do it with multiple Boosters one shouldn't be a problem. It on the other hand is almost impossible to have to many filters. I've lost count as to how many filters I have in use. (8+) I filter just about everything. All my UPSs and surge strips. I even have a dedicated place for charging phones and batteries that is plugged into a filter.
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axgupta1

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 07:27:48 PM »

There are few things to check.
a) Change the timing of tree to say 10 minutes after all light have turned on even if it is on the same house/unit code. Observe the LEDs on SignalLinc. You should see activity when CM15 sends out signal.
b) What other modules you have on the same house/unit code as the tree? I have seen that some combinations of modules do not work together. When I had the CM11, I had a lamp module and an outlet module on the same house/unit code. The signal from CM11 turned on the lamp module but could never turn on the outlet module. When I used the remote, both modules would turn on. I could never get it to work for 1 year. After replacing CM11 with CM15, both modules would turn on.
c) In spite of SignalLinc, there can be some dead spots in the wiring. I have one outlet where the signal is pretty weak for no apparent reason. You can try this:

http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Setting_The_CM15A_to_send_RF_Commands

You can try changing CM15 to a different socket. I am not an expert in x10 technology but these steps might help.
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murphy

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2008, 08:44:14 PM »

When I had the CM11, I had a lamp module and an outlet module on the same house/unit code. The signal from CM11 turned on the lamp module but could never turn on the outlet module. When I used the remote, both modules would turn on.
That's because AH sent a brighten 100% command to a lamp module.  An appliance module will ignore that command.  If you had defined the house/unit code as an appliance module instead of a lamp module, they both would have worked since AH would have then sent an on command.  The same is true of AHP if it's sending brighten commands instead of on commands.

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axgupta1

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Re: help with coupling/bridging 2 power phases??
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2008, 09:48:16 PM »

Quote
If you had defined the house/unit code as an appliance module instead of a lamp module, they both would have worked since AH would have then sent an on command.


No, this is not how it was done. I defined the lamp module as G9 and the outlet module also as G9. The house/unit code is assigned to each module type and two different module types can have the same house/unit code. Then I added these modules to the macro. Question is: If two different modules types, say lamp module and appliance module are assigned the same house/unit code and added to a macro, which code the AH software will send to turn on the module? Will it send ON or will it send 100% brighten?
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