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Author Topic: “Clickty-clickty-click” Repair  (Read 13870 times)

dave w

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“Clickty-clickty-click” Repair
« on: October 29, 2009, 03:16:45 PM »

FWIW Information

If you have an Appliance Module which does not change state but makes a  “clickty-clickty-click”  sound when you send it an ON or OFF command, you have a problem which may be fixable.

Having used Appliance Modules since X10 first came out, I have identified four causes of “clickty-clickty-click”. Three of which can be rectified fairly easily by users who have “peeked” inside and are familiar with the internal workings of the Appliance Module. The solutions are aimed at that level technical user.
 
The four causes I have seen are:
1.Heavy “inductive kick” (voltage/current spike) from load causes the relay position sensing circuit to miss a change of contact position.

2.Dirty relay contacts causes the relay position sensing circuit to miss a change of contact position.

3.Stuck cam or contact in the “latching relay” mechanics.

4.Bad relay position sensing circuit.

The following will address items 1-3, as the fixes do not require test equipment or soldering.
Item number one is the rarest and the easiest to fix. Items two and three require opening the Appliance Module and item four, identified by process of elimination, is a “buy a new module” fix.

Identification and fix.

1. “Inductive kick” is caused by highly inductive loads, such as motors, large transformers, magnetic ballasts in fluorescent lights, etc. The relay position sensing circuitry and the local control circuitry are heavily intertwined so “clickty-clickty-click” could be a function of a confused local control feature also. The trouble shooting identification, is to plug a 7-watt night light (seven watt, not four watt) in the Appliance Module along with the inductive load. If “clickty-clickty-click” quits and the module begins working, the fix is to leave the night light in the circuit. The night light dampens the inductive spike so the module will begin working normally.

2. Dirty relay contacts can also cause “clickty-clickty-click”. Dirty or pitted contacts are caused by the same inductive loads as listed in item one, and additionally high wattage loads like space heaters, coffee makers, large lights, etc. can cause the relay contacts to carbon and pit up. This problem is or has been frequent for me. The solution is to open the module and burnish the relay contacts with a very fine toothed file, a Dremel tool with a wire wheel, fine sand paper, or if nothing else available, steel wool. The steel wool is the least desirable since the wool usually sheds wool fibers which are great for creating short circuits, if not thoroughly cleaned from the pc board. If you can not identify the contacts of the Appliance Module relay, buying a new module is probably the best solution for you.

3. Stuck cam or frozen relay contacts is usually caused by gummy, thickened, grease which X10 uses to lubricate the cam and relay “armature”. The “clickty-clickty-click” is usually quieter than the “clunk” normally heard from the Appliance Module when it works normally. Module age is the biggest cause of this problem.
The fix is to open the module and spray silicone lubricant on the cam assembly. I also spray the silicone lube in the armature spring end of the relay. You can see the spring as you look down the end of the relay assembly. Before putting the Appliance Module back together, use a pencil to gently press against one of the four teeth on the cam assembly and rotate the cam. Do this several times to rotate the cam a full revolution and check for freeness.  Again, if you can not identify the cam, gear teeth, relay armature contact, etc, then buying a new module is probably the best solution for you.

4. If cleaning the relay contacts and ensuring the cam rotates freely has not solved “clickty-clickty-click” you have pretty much narrowed the defect to a component failure on the pc board, which again takes us to buying a new module as the best solution.

Hope this general information helps.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 03:55:21 PM by dave w »
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Brian H

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Re: “Clickty-clickty-click” Repair
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2009, 03:44:22 PM »

  Great information.  #:)  >!
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HA Dave

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Re: “Clickty-clickty-click” Repair
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2009, 04:00:37 PM »

Very Helpful information. Thank You for sharing.
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JMac

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Re: “Clickty-clickty-click” Repair
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2009, 04:24:57 PM »

I have not had this problem (yet), but now I know how to fix it if it does.  Thanks.
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