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Author Topic: Newbie Help  (Read 4592 times)

Willyv

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Newbie Help
« on: September 19, 2009, 09:29:41 PM »

I am a new user to the X10 AHP system and have had nothing but trouble since attempted installation. First to explain what I have installed...

1. AHP V3.236
2. USB interface
3. PLW01 Wall Switch Module (several)
4. MS14A Eagle Eye Motion Sensor (3)
5. DX7000 Security Console with DS10 Door/Window Switches and Motion Sensors.

My Issue...
1. My PLW01 wall switches work randomly. I can not get a consistant operation from any of them. Sometimes they work and sometimes they do nothing. From the switch directly they work everytime. From PC they randomly work and when I create a macro, it works on the PC but not in real life.
2. I can not get all of the DS10's into AHP. My AHP USB interface is relatively close to the security console and the console picks up all of them.

My USB interface is plugged into a wall outlet on the main level of my dwelling. The USB cable penetrates an opening I have in my floor and connects to a dedicated PC in my Basement. I do run 2 servers and have 3 PCs above the other electronics I have around the house. I.E. 3 TVs etc...

I have tried various house codes to see if that was my issue but nothing. I have been reading the POST about filters and such but I am still confused as to whether I need them or not. My house was built in 1910 so I would say that there is some wiring that has not been updated yet I.E. cloth jacketed wire.

Looking for some advice to see if I am missing something or if should be buying additional items to make this work

Thanks
X10 Frustrated
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Mellowmark

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 05:20:31 AM »

Hey I am new too and have some same issue. Keep reading allot of stuff to learn these guys have most of it figured out and posted already.   looks like phase coupling and antenna mods to controller for me helps.  I did both of those things so far and my stuff is getting better.    I just ordered two filters for possible TV and computer..  Easy enough to just turn off to find out though after you get the phase coupler and or booster.
Good luck.
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M M ElectricMan

Brian H

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 10:07:06 AM »

Do some of the DS10 sensors register in AHP and some do not?
The CM15A does not have a good track record on good RF range. This maybe your problem.
There are many threads on how folks added antennas to the CM15A for better reception distances.
Also if the CM15A and the computer are on the same circuit. Many computer power supplies can absorb X10 signals or make power line noise that can effect signal strength. My APC BX1000 UPS is on a 10 amp X10 type filter. Some generic filters can absorb X10 signals at to them it is noise. Also some surge stripe with generic noise filters can also.
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HA Dave

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2009, 10:11:37 AM »

...... looks like phase coupling and antenna mods to controller for me helps. 

I think most people enter into Home Automation with a single project in mind. They want a camera to keep an eye on the car, or they want an alarm, or a way to turn off the living room lamp... from the bedroom upstairs.

So for many.. if not most.. these issues never come up. But most of us here at the forum have gone more than a step beyond turning out a light. Coupling the phases and and beefing up the CM15A's reception... is a big step towards making X10 a heck of a lot of fun.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 10:13:48 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2009, 11:50:28 AM »

I am a new user to the X10 AHP system and have had nothing but trouble since attempted installation. First to explain what I have installed...

1. AHP V3.236
2. USB interface
3. PLW01 Wall Switch Module (several)
4. MS14A Eagle Eye Motion Sensor (3)
5. DX7000 Security Console with DS10 Door/Window Switches and Motion Sensors.

My Issue...
1. My PLW01 wall switches work randomly. I can not get a consistant operation from any of them. Sometimes they work and sometimes they do nothing. From the switch directly they work everytime. From PC they randomly work and when I create a macro, it works on the PC but not in real life.
2. I can not get all of the DS10's into AHP. My AHP USB interface is relatively close to the security console and the console picks up all of them.

My USB interface is plugged into a wall outlet on the main level of my dwelling. The USB cable penetrates an opening I have in my floor and connects to a dedicated PC in my Basement. I do run 2 servers and have 3 PCs above the other electronics I have around the house. I.E. 3 TVs etc...

I have tried various house codes to see if that was my issue but nothing. I have been reading the POST about filters and such but I am still confused as to whether I need them or not. My house was built in 1910 so I would say that there is some wiring that has not been updated yet I.E. cloth jacketed wire.

Looking for some advice to see if I am missing something or if should be buying additional items to make this work

Thanks
X10 Frustrated

The first thing you should consider is to go to http://software.x10.com/pub/applications/activehome/  and look for ahp_updt_204.exe.  Save that and install it over 3.236, as it is known as a buggy release, but X10 contuses to send it out to new purchasers.  Once  3.204 is installed, use the update link in AHP to upgrade to 3.228, the last good release of AHP.  Doing that will affect your timers and any macros you have.
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Willyv

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2009, 10:59:24 AM »

Thanks for the replies.
This week I installed a XPCR Coupler Repeater. I thought my troubles were over as I did this at night and all lights responded very well with the Macros and Timers on AHP and also any remote I had. However, this morning I went and tried to test a few (make sure I was not dreaming) and nothing. Only 1 lamp module responded via AHP and remotes.
My assumption is that something must be different at night than during the day. Took a quick tour around my house and it is the same as it was last night.

My next step I think is start turning circuit breakers off to see if I have a major area of concern.  B:(
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2009, 12:05:05 PM »

I suspect it's 3.236 that's the root of the problems.  Do what I posted earlier about backdating AHP to 3.228 as see it things improve.
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Willyv

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2009, 06:06:15 PM »

Sorry I forgot mention that I did reset to 3.228 last week.
Now I went to work (Real Job) for awhile this morning and when I returned today, everything was responding through AHP and remotes. What was still not responding are the timers and some lights by using macros.

So as I was writing this I wanted to try some things out so I could post results. And wouldn't you guess... Nothing works again!!! This is mind boggling. The only control I have now is one lamp module that is fairly close to the USB transceiver. ???
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Knightrider

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2009, 07:51:02 PM »

I think you need to check for CFL's or other noise producing electronics on the home wiring.  It sounds to me like you have some transmission/reception issues.
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Brian H

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 06:47:45 AM »

Do you do something at night; like charge a cell phone? Phone chargers are known problem makers.
Anything on at night like CFLs or anything with electronic controls could be a problem.
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Willyv

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 05:35:33 PM »

Thanks Brian,
You gave me an idea and I found out that at night, the house is relatively cool. I have 2 huge Hunter Ceiling fans that run off a remote that turns them on when temp rises to 72DegF. At night they don't usually run but during the day when its warmer, they run constantly. So I switched them off and viola! Everything works as expected.

So now, is there a filter I can stuff behind the wall switch? :)%
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Brian H

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 06:27:58 PM »

Best thought is filtering the AC feed to the fans as they are either making power line noise or sucking up the X10 signal.
They do make wired in X10 type filters if you can find out the current the fans draw.
I Leviton makes a 5 amp one PN: 6287 and X10Pro has a 20 amp PN: XPF; but it is quite large. Fits a three gang box if memory serves me.

Did we ever give you the link to Jeff Volp's great troubleshooting tutorials?
http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm
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Willyv

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Re: Newbie Help
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2009, 08:51:03 PM »

After reading through some post I think I would rather do as much filtering at the distribution panel as possible. By the way thanks for the Tutorial Link. After reading through the tutorial and some other post, there are several mentions to install the X10 transmitter at the distribution panel. I am assuming they mean to install an outlet directly or in close proximity to the DP? However with my setup, I would need to run a USB extender and do the antenna mod since signal to and from my basement will degrade.

I am in the mist of mapping my DPs (I have 2) but with family home it is difficult to do all at once. The prior owner did not do any logging of what breakers fed what so I am at the mercy of doing it the old fashion way.

Since I have 2 DPs, would it be advantageous to put all Signal Sucker / Noise Generators into my 2ND Panel and just filter the panel? (attached is a Drawing of my DPs). Since most of the house wiring is accessable in my basement through junction boxes, I can do this relatively easy by creating one or 2 new circuits.

Thanks

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