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Author Topic: Apparently random behavior and intermittent response  (Read 4512 times)

rainabba

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Apparently random behavior and intermittent response
« on: November 14, 2008, 04:15:35 AM »

I live in a small 2-bedroom condo (apartment conversion). From my testing, it do appear there are 2 phases throughout the unit and I don't have a coupler yet, but I can't even get things stable on an extension cord. I mean to say, if I plug the most basic type of extension cord in to the wall, plug a tranceiver on one side, then a module on the other, I can't control the module via wireless. If I plug a module on one side, and a wired controller (the IR modules for example, though I have a 2nd one), I can't control the module that way reliablly either.

I have lights that seem to randomly turn on, then again I have a CM15A (and yes, I'm sure it isn't my macros turning lights on) which WILL receive signals from wireless motion detectors and turn on a light pretty consistently.

Also, I have a couple of track-lights wired in using in-line modules and in the last week, I'm frequently finding that if I try to turn them off, they shut off then come right back on. I want to say this is happening even when I unplug in CM15A which really worries me since I would suspect a macro is the only thing that could cause such specific behavior.

This all adds up to a bunch of non-sense to me. Could I have that much noise from something in my lines?

What else may be going on, and how can I troubleshoot? ???
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PajamaGuy

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Re: Apparently random behavior and intermittent response
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2008, 05:49:27 AM »

What components do you have?
If you have a CM15A, you may not need a transceiver.
What remote are you using, (PalmPad?)
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PajamaGuy
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rainabba

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Re: Apparently random behavior and intermittent response
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2008, 06:46:53 AM »

I was testing with the Tranceiver because I suspected the CM15A might have been the cause (of course I unplugged the CM15A when doing these tests). For remote control I was using the PalmPad, but I also have tried testing modules by sending commands from ActiveHome Pro.

Right now I'm having two odd behaviors. M6 keeps turning itself on (I use M as my primary house code and 6 is the bathroom wall switch). In the dining room and kitchen I have two switches (Inductive dimmers toggle style) both set to M5, but when I sends commands to M5, only one of them responds. The one that does has a dimming CF and some low-voltage halogens on it. The other switch has a couple incandescants and a couple LED-120v replacements (I'd expect the former to be a problem, not the latter). I use the Same LED lights in the living room on M3 and those are working fine.

In the bedroom I have M7 and M8 as wall modules controlling incandescant fixtures and for the longest time those worked great. Suddenly they are out of control and in fact, both turned themselves on tonight after being off (refusing to come on) for days.

It's like I have a poltergeist.
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PajamaGuy

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Re: Apparently random behavior and intermittent response
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2008, 07:14:59 AM »

Quote
It's like I have a poltergeist.

fwiw - Whenever the really weird stuff starts happening, I clear my CM15A, un-plug it, pull it's batteries, and pour a scotch.  After the second sip, I put the batteries back, plug it in, and download the timers & macros.  For more than 90% of the time - it works - especially if "...it was working before..." ;D

For the kitchen/dining room - has anything changed? - or is this a first-time setup there?  Is there a phase issue there?  Do they work if the clothes dryer or the oven is on? (Oven must be heating - not once it reaches temp)  Is there a wall socket near them that also doesn't respond?  (if there is, set the TM751 to "M" and plug it in there - then try M5.

Does the activity monitor shows the correct PLC's
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PajamaGuy
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JeffVolp

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Re: Apparently random behavior and intermittent response
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2008, 10:08:40 AM »


Could I have that much noise from something in my lines?

What else may be going on, and how can I troubleshoot? ???

If you can't get a module to work on the same extension cord as the transmitter, that certainly sounds like noise.  X10 signals are transmitted as a series of signal bursts on the powerline.  Presence of a burst decodes as a logic "1", absence as a logic "0".  Electrical noise can fill in those gaps, causing extra "1"s to be decoded.  Error detection circuitry in the receiving module will then reject that command as invalid.

Something as simple as a cellphone charger can cause this havoc.  See my report on the Cellet cellphone charger:

http://jvde.us/x10/x10_cellet_noise.htm

This troubleshooting tutorial should help you identify and solve the problem:

http://jvde.us/x10/x10_filters.htm

Jeff
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Boiler

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Re: Apparently random behavior and intermittent response
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2008, 12:28:15 PM »

I live in a small 2-bedroom condo (apartment conversion). From my testing, it do appear there are 2 phases throughout the unit and I don't have a coupler yet, but I can't even get things stable on an extension cord. I mean to say, if I plug the most basic type of extension cord in to the wall, plug a tranceiver on one side, then a module on the other, I can't control the module via wireless. If I plug a module on one side, and a wired controller (the IR modules for example, though I have a 2nd one), I can't control the module that way reliablly either.

rainabba,

On a positive note, you've found a go/no-go troubleshooting tool.  As Jeff and Pajamaguy have indicated, your circuit most likely has excessive noise.  Try unplugging "suspicious devices" on this circuit until you communication improves.

Quote
Also, I have a couple of track-lights wired in using in-line modules and in the last week, I'm frequently finding that if I try to turn them off, they shut off then come right back on. I want to say this is happening even when I unplug in CM15A which really worries me since I would suspect a macro is the only thing that could cause such specific behavior.

Low voltage lighting can be a problem with the XPFM modules.  These units have load sensing capability that allows them to sense when the local load is switched on/off.  Your track lighting may be generating an Inductive pulse on turn off that is fooling the load sense into turning the XPFM back on.  We've seen this a number of times with devices controlling Fans.  Others have reported that an inline filter may moderate the pulse to the point where it will not affect the XPFM (no first hand experience here).

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axgupta1

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Re: Apparently random behavior and intermittent response
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2008, 03:25:47 AM »

I am not sure if this makes any sense. I had a 52" rear projection HDTV. I noticed that whenever the TV an on and volume was turned up, the send/receive LEDs on the phase coupler/repeater used to blink. Though it never caused interference with any of the x10 modules, it probably indicates that some devices are capable of generating considerable line noise. Ever since I got the LCD TV, the blinking is gone. The LEDs on the 4826 serve as a troubleshooting tool for me.
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