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Author Topic: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP  (Read 12547 times)

jeffdharlan

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Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« on: October 30, 2009, 12:59:29 PM »

I have read conflicting comments on what repeater/coupler combos (dryer plug-in module) actually work with ActiveHome Pro.  I was looking at this one: http://www.smarthome.com/4826B/SignaLinc-3-Pin-Plug-in-Coupler-Repeater/p.aspx but I saw a post that said that the repeater didn't interpret dimming commands correctly and would dim lamp modules to 0%.  For $100 I can't have that happen.

If you could kindly post what you use and the performance of it with AHP I would truly appreciate it.  I want to make an educated decision before investing in one.

BTW I do plan on buying an RF amplifier, but want to take care of PLC-amplification first.

Jeff

 ??? :-\
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jadams77

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 01:30:56 PM »

I have had some issues that may be caused by my Laviton repeater-coupler.  http://www.homecontrols.com/Leviton-Signal-Coupler-Repeater-LVHCA02  I this device on a pre AHP setup.  I seem to get repeated transmit signals, 20 or so, to some modules.  I disconected the repeater and the problem stopped.  I just found this today so time will tell.
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Brian H

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 02:06:28 PM »

There have been reports of the Leviton HCA02 causing signal firestorms in some installations.
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dave w

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2009, 02:42:03 PM »

I have read conflicting comments on what repeater/coupler combos (dryer plug-in module) actually work with ActiveHome Pro.  I was looking at this one: http://www.smarthome.com/4826B/SignaLinc-3-Pin-Plug-in-Coupler-Repeater/p.aspx but I saw a post that said that the repeater didn't interpret dimming commands correctly and would dim lamp modules to 0%.  For $100 I can't have that happen.

If you could kindly post what you use and the performance of it with AHP I would truly appreciate it.  I want to make an educated decision before investing in one.

BTW I do plan on buying an RF amplifier, but want to take care of PLC-amplification first.

Jeff

 ??? :-\
$0.02

XTBIIR or ACT234 are the only repeaters to consider. I have the ACT, and it is a great repeater that handles all X10 coding. The XTBIIR also handles X10 coding flawlessly AND has a considerably higher output over the ACT234.

Leviton, X10, and Smarthome all have problems they should not have. I have owned both the Leviton and the X10 (essentially the same unit) and consider them only one notch above junk.


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jeffdharlan

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2009, 02:49:37 PM »


$0.02

XTBIIR or ACT234 are the only repeaters to consider. I have the ACT, and it is a great repeater that handles all X10 coding. The XTBIIR also handles X10 coding flawlessly AND has a considerably higher output over the ACT234.

Leviton, X10, and Smarthome all have problems they should not have. I have owned both the Leviton and the X10 (essentially the same unit) and consider them only one notch above junk.


For a novice, how difficult would it be install either of these items?  I am not an electrician, just a computer programmer  ;D

Does this install into a breaker box?
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dave w

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009, 03:04:34 PM »

By code they should not be mounted in the breaker panel but should be wired to the panel. So you need an extra box mounted at the panel. However I mounted my ACT in a utility room and wired it into the back of the clothes dryer. This is probably also against code. Maybe mellomark will know.

The following is the original thread and I strongly recommend reading about the use in-line fuses and disconnect.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=18877.msg105624#msg105624
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Mellowmark

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2009, 05:49:20 PM »


  I am an electrician and I have seen several different devices inside Panelboards. I will do some code searching to see if it really is illegal.  To be on the safe side purchase a 6x6x6 J box and chase nipple.  Attach the Jbox to the panelboard with the nipple in between, hopefully room permits. Run the leads Through the nipple and wire per instructions.  If the wires aren't long enough just use some wire the same size or larger, 12 or 14 romex is fine. Wire nut them inside the box and hook them to a 15 amp two pole breaker. 

  I have a xpcr wired that way. I am sure this way is legal.

  I wish I had an act or xtb, so I don't know if they will fit in that size box. If they don't, get the size box they will fit in. 

Ps... Make sure you use a lock nut and or ground wire. etc. 

  I would have an xtb if it was UL listed, because all electrical installations are supposed to be listed devices.  I would even like to sell and install some for customers.  I really do not want to offend J Volp because he is such an asset to this community. I would much rather see him get that device listed.  It seems to be the best device on the market for what we want to do.   


  Idea that extended commands are only repeated or handled properly by few devices becomes a problem for all of us.  I would much rather see some sort of standard that works and is Leagal.  I am still not sure if my xpcr handles all the commands I intend to use.  I have only been researching my own home installation as of yet.  I will be adding a lot of switching that will most likely deserve such a blow torch as Mr. Volps esteemed device. 

Please accept My apology Jeff for Pointing out what looks to be the only thing wrong with the XTB.  No disrespect.   

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Brian H

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2009, 06:13:12 PM »

The ACT CR234 and CR134 [134 can be set to split or three phase] use a 4 11/16" X 4 11/16" square box and don't go inside the box.
It has two slots that match the lower two ears on the box and the top screws to the two top ears. Like a real thick cover for the box.

http://www.act-solutions.com/PCC/pdfs/PCCInst/cr234_instr.pdf

http://www.act-solutions.com/PCC/pdfs/PCCInst/cr134_instr.pdf
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Mellowmark

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2009, 06:26:21 PM »

Thanks Brian, The ACT show they are listed in the specs.

If your panel is in a spot that will not allow the box next to it.  You can fish a 3 or 4 wire romex  and install the jbox in the basement rafter or ceiling.  same two pole breaker.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2009, 06:59:52 PM »

  I would have an xtb if it was UL listed, because all electrical installations are supposed to be listed devices.  I would even like to sell and install some for customers.  I really do not want to offend J Volp because he is such an asset to this community. I would much rather see him get that device listed.  It seems to be the best device on the market for what we want to do.   

I seriously investigated it, but the cost was prohibitive.  As I recall, the cost would have approached $10,000, including the semi-annual inspections of the "production facility".  (My workbench?)  And each unit needs its own UL listing.  At my volume, that would double the cost of the unit.  I also looked into an alternative inspection service, but even they were way beyond anything I could afford.

Unfortunately, the inspection services seem to be for companies that produce thousands of units a year.  If anyone knows of an affordable alternative, please let me know.

Jeff
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Walt2

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2009, 05:42:58 PM »

I have read conflicting comments on what repeater/coupler combos (dryer plug-in module) actually work with ActiveHome Pro.  I was looking at this one: http://www.smarthome.com/4826B/SignaLinc-3-Pin-Plug-in-Coupler-Repeater/p.aspx but I saw a post that said that the repeater didn't interpret dimming commands correctly and would dim lamp modules to 0%.  For $100 I can't have that happen.


I bought one of those, and after all the decades I had X10, this is the only device that was so bad, I returned it.  It would get into a state where it kept repeating and repeating the same command, forever, until I finally unplugged it.  If I remember correctly, it was extended commands, like those used for direct dim.

Quite a major disappointment since its specs read as if this could have been a really nice addition to my X10 system.
 
I ended up with their BoosterLinc.  Its only problem is that it tends to get hung up like once a year, and I have to push its reset button.  Also, it doesn't couple phases so I also have a passive phase coupler.

 

« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 05:55:42 PM by Walt2 »
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rnorton888

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2009, 10:13:17 PM »


I have only used X10 for about 2 months but was disappointed in the signal strength I got out of the box. I did alot of reading every night to find a solution. I finally bought the XTB-IIR from JV Digital Engineering and went from average of 1.20 to 9.00 and most were 9.99. No problems at all. I am now looking for the twine antenna mod that was on-line but is not here anymore or at least I cant find it and I am gonna be a happy camper.
I also had a plug right next to the panel already so I just connected a power supply cable to the box so its all easy to take later when I move.
Thanks for the great Repeater >!
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Brian H

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2009, 06:21:01 AM »

Which antenna mod are you looking for?
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Geewiz

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Re: Your opinion/experience on Repeater/Couplers & AHP
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2010, 06:41:38 PM »

I've been using X10 for 4 or 5 years now.  My home is about 4,200 sq ft and as I started out, I could only reach 1/2 the house with about 75% reliability.  I tried out the Signalinc coupler repeater, plugged in to the upstairs dryer outlet and it increased coverage to about 3/4 of the house with about the same level of reliability...maybe less.  The Signalinc seemed prone to producing firestorms that would drown out plc signals. 

I then tried the X10 XPCR and wired it in to the main panel.  It was less than useless and I'm thankful I only paid about $20 for it from one of the Ebay dealers.

About a year ago I bit the bullet and ordered one of the XTBIIR units from Jeff V.  WHAMM what a difference!  I now get about 98% coverage to the house with about 98% reliability on the signal transmissions. 

To my mind, the XTBIIR put the FUN back in X10.

I installed the double pole breaker and wiring myself.  It's not rocket science, but does require some caution when dealing with wiring.  Not sure if this is any help, but here's a (crappy) picture of my installation.  I ran wiring from the service box to a gangbox next to the service panel, and from there in to the XTBIIR, which you can see in the lower right hand corner of the pic...



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