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Author Topic: Possible Sub-Panel Issue - Need Help  (Read 3033 times)

wkates

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Possible Sub-Panel Issue - Need Help
« on: December 07, 2008, 08:54:08 PM »

I've been using X-10 for many years, no better way to turn all the window candles on and off. I never had a problem until we did a renovation,  during which a sub-panel was added to accommodate all the new wiring that was installed. Now if the controller is plugged into an outlet that is part of the new wiring, only X-10s plugged into the new wiring work and X-10s on the old circuits on the main panel don't. If I plug the controller into an outlet in the old wiring, the X-10s plugged into the new wiring don't work. My first thought was a phase coupler but I'm not sure if that's the problem. During the renovation, the electrician also installed a whole house surge protector on the main panel. Please help, this is turning into a major time-kill.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Possible Sub-Panel Issue - Need Help
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2008, 03:55:36 PM »

The question is where does the subpanel get its feed?  If the subpanel branches off the main panel, X10 signals should couple between the panels.  If the subpanel has a separate feed from the street, then you will probably need a X10 coupler to link the panels together, and another coupler at each panel to propagate signals across the phases.

Even if the subpanel branches off the main panel, it is possible that not enough signal makes it through the connection between the panels to distribute adequate signal levels through the "remote" panel.  The fix is to isolate signal suckers with filters, and/or boost the level of your transmitted signal.

Jeff
« Last Edit: December 08, 2008, 05:17:11 PM by JeffVolp »
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wkates

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Re: Possible Sub-Panel Issue - Need Help
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 10:48:34 PM »

Thanks so much for your reply. The sub panel is fed from a 60 amp breaker on the main panel. By trial and error I miraculously found one outlet to plug my control module into that will turn everything on and off. I'd like to resolve this more thoroughly going forward. How exactly do I filter the signal suckers - I assume that would be the power conditioners I have on the computer and audio gear, and is the whole house surge protector that is hard wired to the main panel also a factor? If that doesn't help would the next step be phase coupling, and if so would I need couplers on both panels or would one at the dryer possibly be sufficient? I realize more trial and error at each step will be needed, just some basic schooling here will be appreciated. Thanks again.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Possible Sub-Panel Issue - Need Help
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2008, 12:12:11 AM »

Most signal suckers can be isolated by the X10 XPPF filter, which is available inexpensively on eBay.  They are rated 5A, but do get pretty warm and stink when pushed that hard continuously.  Larger filters are available from the major home automation distributors.

I doubt that your whole house surge protector is a problem unless the MOVs in it are very high capacitance devices.  The Leviton 51110 is supposed to be compatible with X10 systems.

If you don't have a phase coupler on at least one of your panels, that is certainly something that you should add.

I wrote several troubleshooting tutorials that my help:  http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm

Jeff
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