Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The X10Hub (PiX10Hub) is here! Created by the Community, for the Community.:)% #:)

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: XTBM - Review.  (Read 28885 times)

BaBaLou.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 16
  • Posts: 244
XTBM - Review.
« on: October 04, 2009, 06:03:58 PM »

Well folks, I was the fortunate one to just get my hands on a ready to go, out of the box meter. The NEW "XTBM". :)%

     The unit came packed very well and as soon as I was able to put my hands on it, then I knew by the feel and ruggedness that this was another one of Jeff's quality products in my hands. Man that alone made it exciting, a “gizmo high”.
     Soon then I was off plugging the XTBM in outlets around the house seeing number and words popping up on the screen. Soon after I realized I better read the instructions a bit just to get a hang of those words and number.
     It doesn't take long to figure the XTBM out. Reading the instructions made more sense of my problems I am having.
     A nice part of this unit is you can set the meter to send a P1 on signal and then off with user settings any time the Noise level goes up and then down respectively. I didn’t realize until using the XTBM how CFL’s have so much noise. Never did they make a difference before so I thought, but did explain why when I have 12 lights on with CFL's then all of a sudden X10 starts to miss or skip, especially the sensors. The meter shows the X10 strength from any outlet in real number to better troubleshoot. You plug the unit and turn on a CFL bulb and see the noise go from 1 to 14, easily identifying the culprit making noise. Some CFL’s are definitely noisier than others, but funny enough the noise never makes it back to the panel, more localized.  It seems my house is good and filtered to most daily noise makers around the house.
   But now the new challenge is CFL's. Maybe a small round quarter size unit that needs to handle less than an amp that can be dropped into the socket of a light then screw in the bulb. Or maybe a rocket socket type with a filter built in as long as it can handle up to 25 watts. Well that we can leave to other to come up with more ways.
   I like this meter and it was worth every penny for a built unit. The X10 home needs one. It does troubleshoot a lot easier than any meter I used. Told me more in one day then I have tried finding in months. I told Jeff I was thinking of taking the meter with a transceiver and remote and a power bar, go to the local electronic or appliance store and using this meter try to find equipment that have the least amount of noise that can interfere with my X10 systems. I know, I know, to make sure I ask permission first.

   XTBM, no X10 home or business should be without one. It will help solve those pesky problems. I applaud Jeff on this outstanding product. He took the time and with his knowledge cam up with the solutions that acutely work to help make X10 even better, I even dare say perfect!!!
    >!
A Happy X10er.
BaBaLou.

PS. I have no association with Jeff Volp other than being a supporting customer and Fan.
Logged

Knightrider

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 62
  • Posts: 1743
  • I love my WM100!
    • This Automated House
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2009, 06:07:03 PM »

Instruction manual?
Logged
Remote control is cool,

but automation rules!

GregH

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 63
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2009, 07:58:08 PM »

Instruction manual?
I was wondering the same thing.  I found it on Jeff's XTB page: http://jvde.us/xtb/XTBM_instructions.htm
Logged

Knightrider

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 62
  • Posts: 1743
  • I love my WM100!
    • This Automated House
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2009, 08:03:55 PM »

Hey,
Thanks GregH. Don't know how I missed that.
Logged
Remote control is cool,

but automation rules!

JeffVolp

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Helpful Post Rating: 107
  • Posts: 2059
    • XTB Home Page
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2009, 08:28:24 PM »

Instruction manual?

I backfilled the documentation after the first few kits were shipped.  Most of it should have been on-line soon after you received your kits.  All the documentation is linked off the XTB page:  http://jvde.us/xtb_index.htm

The assembly notes were expanded based on feedback from you fellows.

Some of you asked how to test the unit.  Since that is tough to do without a scope, I added a self test for future kit builders.  That PIC (1.02) is available at no charge to those who bought the first kits.  At this time only the kits will include that feature.

Jeff
Logged
X-10 automation since the BSR days

HA Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 174
  • Posts: 6853
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2009, 08:20:15 PM »

I was lucky enough to get to use the XTBM myself. Although I only got to borrow the unit in return for my review which is now posted at:  http://www.thisautomatedhouse.com/XTBMReview.html. I included a video... (cause I think video is gooder than readin).

I agree with BaBaLou's statements. A nice device to say the very least! The perfect diagnostic tool for anyone using X10. Just plug the device [XTBM] in to any outlet (or lightsocket using a socket-to-plug adapter). The XTBM reads the noise levels and X10 signal strength from the same source where it gets it power. Perfect simplicity. Just use a remote to cause a X10 PLC signal to be sent from your CM15A or TM751 (or whatever). The meter will tell you the precise signal strength at the (any) location you care to check.

The only thing that could make it simpler and easier... would be to print the directions to a sticker.. that would attach to the bottom of the XTBM.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 10:06:01 AM by Dave_x10_L »
Logged
New ideas for marketing Smarthomes may alter the Home Automation world completely.... and forever.

JMac

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 23
  • Posts: 462
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2009, 10:24:49 PM »

I also want to add to the kudos for the XTBM.  I had a similar experience, finding a minor (if there is such a thing) signal sucker - a laptop charger.  In addition, there was also excessive noise from 4 CFL's that I changed back to low-wattage incandescent bulbs, as they were just for general night time lighting.  But, you know, I really didn't expect to see any problems at all since I generally have about 99+% reliability.  This helped made my automation function even better than before.
A real keeper......
Logged

JMac

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 23
  • Posts: 462
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2009, 10:29:24 PM »

   But now the new challenge is CFL's. Maybe a small round quarter size unit that needs to handle less than an amp that can be dropped into the socket of a light then screw in the bulb. Or maybe a rocket socket type with a filter built in as long as it can handle up to 25 watts. Well that we can leave to other to come up with more ways.

I agree with this completely.  To anyone's knowledge is there such a filter available?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 10:31:35 PM by JMac »
Logged

Knightrider

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 62
  • Posts: 1743
  • I love my WM100!
    • This Automated House
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2009, 11:04:54 PM »

   But now the new challenge is CFL's. Maybe a small round quarter size unit that needs to handle less than an amp that can be dropped into the socket of a light then screw in the bulb. Or maybe a rocket socket type with a filter built in as long as it can handle up to 25 watts. Well that we can leave to other to come up with more ways.

I agree with this completely.  To anyone's knowledge is there such a filter available?

To my knowledge, such an item would be impossible to produce.
Logged
Remote control is cool,

but automation rules!

BaBaLou.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 16
  • Posts: 244
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2009, 02:22:04 PM »

One can only wish I guess for any easy fix. :'

     A modified XPPF, remove the socket and plug, keep the case or even find a smaller one and then will wire it in next to a switch for a CFL circuit will do for me. The noise from bulbs I have are showing a consistant low noise level, jumps when turning off and on also.

     Another good find with the XTBM. :)%
Had a consistant High noise level coming from one Phase of three at the business system. Tracked it down to one breaker consisting of 3 track lights, 2 sets of 3 bulbs and one set of 5. All lights are incandescent, so what gives. Nothing on that breaker except the lights. The noise goes away when off and kicks up just before the light go on. B:(
     I was using a WS467 and then noticed that the switch was slightly warm. The bulbs in all the lights was at 50 watts each for a total of 550 watts. The rating for the switch is 500 watts. Since I had nothing else to use at the time except a XPFM wired in module and so I used that instead of the WS467. The noise went away totally and boosted the reliability of the system to almost perfect.
     It seem that by overloading the WS467 was the culprit for the high noise level and drop of v to that one phase. Notch another one for the XTBM. :)%

BaBaLou. >!
Logged

HA Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 174
  • Posts: 6853
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2009, 03:00:08 PM »

......... The noise went away totally and boosted the reliability of the system to almost perfect. Notch another one for the XTBM.

It is amasing what you can do with just the signal strength and noise data.
Logged
New ideas for marketing Smarthomes may alter the Home Automation world completely.... and forever.

JeffVolp

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Helpful Post Rating: 107
  • Posts: 2059
    • XTB Home Page
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2009, 03:24:27 PM »

     I was using a WS467 and then noticed that the switch was slightly warm. The bulbs in all the lights was at 50 watts each for a total of 550 watts. The rating for the switch is 500 watts. Since I had nothing else to use at the time except a XPFM wired in module and so I used that instead of the WS467. The noise went away totally and boosted the reliability of the system to almost perfect.
    It seem that by overloading the WS467 was the culprit for the high noise level and drop of v to that one phase. Notch another one for the XTBM. :)%

While hunting for another problem I was surprised by how much noise a heavily loaded dimmer switch can inject onto the powerline.  This is especially true if the lamps are dimmed, and the triac switches on near the peak of the waveform.  Of course, that does not interfere with X10 communication, and would be ignored by the XTBM.  In this case the lights were probably near maximum brightness, and the triac would be turning on early in each half cycle, which is where X10 signals are transmitted.

Jeff
Logged
X-10 automation since the BSR days

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 136
  • Posts: 5977
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2009, 04:46:55 PM »

Had a consistant High noise level coming from one Phase of three at the business system. Tracked it down to one breaker consisting of 3 track lights, 2 sets of 3 bulbs and one set of 5. All lights are incandescent, so what gives. Nothing on that breaker except the lights. The noise goes away when off and kicks up just before the light go on.
Just for giggles, try tightening each bulb.
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

BaBaLou.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 16
  • Posts: 244
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2009, 09:35:36 AM »

Had a consistant High noise level coming from one Phase of three at the business system. Tracked it down to one breaker consisting of 3 track lights, 2 sets of 3 bulbs and one set of 5. All lights are incandescent, so what gives. Nothing on that breaker except the lights. The noise goes away when off and kicks up just before the light go on.
Just for giggles, try tightening each bulb.

How does that go again, Righty tighty, lefty loosy.  >*<

I better check rofl


BaBaLou
Logged

mikey

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 5
Re: XTBM - Review.
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2009, 03:13:13 PM »

I have been using X-10 equipment since the early 80s, its great stuff but you NEVER install it to control something that absolutely MUST be turned on or off because its simply not reliable, it works most of the time, but you can not count on it.
Last August (8/2009) I Installed an XTB-IIR by attaching it to my breaker box and I have seen 100% (no failures!) successful X-10 control for the last 4 months. I did not mess with the default settings, I just reinstalled it into a NEMA box next to my breaker box, it took a few hours and cost me ~$25.00 for the NEMA box & misc parts.
This changed Everything!, I am using Activehome pro Macros & Timers and will probably add on updates to get even more versatility.
I cant recommend the JV Digital Engineering XTB products enough!


Logged
Pages: [1] 2
 

X10.com | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
© Copyright 2014-2016 X10.com All rights reserved.