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Author Topic: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification  (Read 15137 times)

HA Dave

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CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« on: January 02, 2009, 03:24:12 PM »

It is interesting when speaking [writting, chatting] about the CM15A.....  range limitations and antenna mods also come up. I purchased the AHP/CM15A so as to try out BVC and have since become BVC's biggest fan.

Almost immediately after receiving the CM15A... I did a cheap (free) and dirty (ugly) modification of the "external - transceiver" antenna. The mod worked fine for me... I documented what I did (I took pictures) and posted it. Of course whereas this mod did allow me to replace the growing number of transceivers that were consuming my receptacles... it also had another limitation.

The CM15A also has an internal remote control sending antenna.

This antenna sends RF commands to devices. The actual use of the CM15A's RF send function is limited.... and in most cases.. (in previous months and years) a repeater would be recommended. Of course my X10 signal repeater... doesn't repeat Ninja commands. And... what I wanted  the CM15A to do was to control my Ninja via Voice Command [ie: deck camera show me the truck]

What I did... can hardly be called a modification.

Because I did the quick-easy external antenna mod before... I had never opened the CM15A case. I had read that in some earlier models of the CM15A the internal RF-send antenna (a wire) was hot-glued to the case. On my unit... it was threaded through some plastic holding brackets molded into the case.

While I had the CM15A open... I replaced the plastic antenna that I had broken the tip off of... and soldered on a bare wire to improve reception.. in a previous mod and replaced it with a shiny metal one from a spare TM751. I added a lock washer to make the antenna "fit" into the space provided. Then I used a Dremel to scuff-up the round end of the antennas base. Then with a hot soldering iron and some flux... I placed a bead of solder center of the round pad-like antenna end. I cut off the old plastic antenna and tined a spot of white wire that was part of the old antenna. Soldered the wire to the antenna and pressed the TM751 antenna into place.

Now to improve the INTERNAL RF send antennas range... I used the Dremel again, to cut a small groove in the case... and fed the gray wire to outside the case. It was almost too easy. It was done so quickly I had time to help the wife take down Christmas lights.

Range tests:

The receive antenna showed no difference from my earlier mod. I used a ActiveEye motion sensor set to trigger a sound wav to test range. I already knew the limits of the motion sensor... and the range matched perfectly.

The sending range of the now exposed "gray-wire antenna" was increased! Previously... I hadn't been able to control the Ninja from [AHP] the CM15A. Actually from where the CM15A is located I couldn't control the Ninja using the CR14A remote. But can now control the Ninja... via AHP/CM15A. The Ninja is located about 45 feet from the CM15A through two interior walls and one exterior wall... up from the basement and through the floor and ceiling... to the peak of the roofline outside.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 07:34:23 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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Knightrider

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Re: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2009, 05:00:23 PM »

Well Dave,
It looks like you've raised the bar yet again.  I'll try the mod myself this weekend and see how my range improves.  I'll try to report back here Monday with my results.
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HA Dave

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Re: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009, 05:19:51 PM »

...  I'll try the mod myself this weekend and see how my range improves. 

What I did was so simple and easy.... it would be hard to call it a mod. However... if your "gray-wire" antenna is hot glued to the case you could solder in a new replacement gray wire. I measured mine while I had the case open.... and it was 9 and 1/4 inches long from board to tip (or 23 and 1/2 of those Canadian inches)
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Brian H

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Re: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 06:11:53 PM »

Again you have raised the level of data here. Nice going. Helpful for you.
My transmit wires are all Hot Glued.

I see your white receiver antenna wire looks shorter than in mine. Did you change it or is that the latest thing in CM15As?
My very early one actually has the white wire in a big random ball knot.  :'
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HA Dave

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Re: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 06:41:52 PM »

.... I see your white receiver antenna wire looks shorter than in mine. Did you change it or is that the latest thing in CM15As?

The white wire [on mine] is about four inches long... but is hot-glued so as not to have much play in it. I cut the wire at the plastic antenna part so as to get as much of the wire to work with as I could.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 03:59:55 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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Puck

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Re: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2009, 12:21:01 AM »

.... and it was 9 and 1/4 inches long from board to tip (or 23 and 1/2 of those Canadian inches)

I think you mean litres.  ;)

Thanks for sharing your mods Dave  >!
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HA Dave

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Re: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2009, 01:18:49 AM »

Thanks for sharing your mods Dave 

I should have also shared: That I was a little too cautious to mod the CM15A... without a spare. So 1st I bought a scratch-N-dent AHP... a real bargain [$29.99] and now I have a back-up. And I was able to Voice Command my Ninja today... I enjoyed that (steven r has been able to do that with his Sentinel for some time). Before the mod I couldn't control a ninja located anywhere outside my office (where the CM15A is also located).

I enjoy the mods... or at least I enjoy making my setup do what I want it to do. Bill didn't give me a heads-up before he upgraded BVC to use Vanguard, Sentinel and Ninja Commands. So I've been playing catch-up with my setup.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 07:29:33 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2009, 01:45:11 AM »

My first reaction was to say; "I can't believe it was that easy!"

Then again, breaking the receive antenna was pretty easy and more or less started all this antenna mod stuff to begin with, so I guess I shouldn't be so surprised.   :'

Very cool!   8)  And a "helpful" from me also!

 #:)
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HA Dave

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Re: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2009, 10:04:14 AM »

My first reaction was to say; "I can't believe it was that easy!"

Well you know me.... anything worth doing.. is also worth a YouTube Video. The Video shows me.. in my living room, voice commanding BVC, to operate the Ninja.

Of course... BVC [and AHP with the CM15A] are located in my basement office. I am using my Baby-monitor microphone setup to get my commands [voice] to the PC. The [now exposed RF antenna] CM15A transmits the signals to the Ninja out back. With my internal cable setup... security cameras are automatically displayed on TV's that are ON.

And yes.... it was really that easy.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 12:53:43 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: CM15A RF sending... Antenna Modification
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2009, 12:58:47 AM »

Dave_x10_L,

Nice video!   8)

Nice plug at the end too.   :'

Thank you!   :)%
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