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Author Topic: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home  (Read 12484 times)

zinger084

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=Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« on: November 11, 2009, 12:00:12 PM »

I currently have X10 and Active Home installed at my house and I have never had problems until a few months ago.  I have the pro switches and one socket rocket.  All of these were working flawlessly until a few months ago.

All of the sudden, X10 stopped working COMPLETELY.  The timers would not work; the manual override on the Activehome interface would not turn lights on or off, and I could not communicate with my modules at all.

Nothing has changed in the house regarding mechanical equipment, etc...

I replaced the batteries in the tranmitter, I checked for software updates, and I even BOUGHT a NEW transmitter.  My computer recognizes it in device manager with no problems.

I am in dire need of help.  This system worked awesome before but now it seems like there is a serious issue with this software/hardware.  I am extremely close to throwing it out.

Thanks. B:(
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 12:08:20 PM by zinger084 »
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Brian H

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 12:26:26 PM »

Active Home for the older serial CM11A Interface or Active Home Pro and the CM15A USB Interface?

Something may have changed recently. Maybe nothing memorable, but even changing a CFL to a new one could make a difference.

Since nothing seems to work. It could be the interface itself. Can you put one of the modules in the same outlet as the interface and see if it can be controlled there.
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zinger084

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 12:38:49 PM »

I am using the 15 with the USB interface.

I also reinstalled Activehome Pro twice.

In addition, I cannot plug anything into the same line as the interface because all of my receivers are lightswitches (in wall) and I have one socket rocket that does not have the code designation on it (A1 maybe?)

Other ideas?

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dave w

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2009, 01:26:57 PM »

I am using the 15 with the USB interface.

I also reinstalled Activehome Pro twice.

In addition, I cannot plug anything into the same line as the interface because all of my receivers are lightswitches (in wall) and I have one socket rocket that does not have the code designation on it (A1 maybe?)

Other ideas?


Yeah, start troubleshooting with the Socket Rocket.
You have said that you:
1. Bought a new CM15A
2. Re-installed Active Home Pro twice.

It is logical to assume your problem is not the CM15A nor AHP. Since the problem occured suddenly it is probabaly a noise issue.

As Brian suggested, plug the Socket Rocket into same outlet as the CM15A and try to send it commands. If you are unsure what HS-UC the Socket Rocket is programmed to, you need to try to program it so you will know it is working. Then move the Socket Rocket to different rooms to find out where you lose the signal. Are you sure you did not get anything new about the same time everything quit working?
Maybe this troubleshooting tutorial will help. Read about "Noise" and "Signal Suckers" first.
 
http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm
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HA Dave

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2009, 04:32:10 PM »

....Something may have changed recently. Maybe nothing memorable, but even changing a CFL to a new one could make a difference.

Brian H is correct!

I had a problem myself recently. It seemed as though my CM15A couldn't distinguish between the house/unit codes correctly anymore. Then I noticed the cameras weren't working. First I tried a remote (instead of just Voice Command)... then I tried a different remote. Then I checked the CM15A... to see if I had fumbled the settings somehow. Then I swapped the CM15A (I keep spare light bulbs too).

I did all that before I stopped and asked myself... OK.. what has changed.

We recently repainted the inside of the house. A big job but the results are worth it. When we moved the furniture out of the rooms... there was an unused receptacle behind the big hutch in the dining room. When we moved the furniture back I plugged a nice heavy extention in the plug. My wife used the plug... she plugged an Iconic Pro air filter in it. That's all it took. Moving the filter back to the other side of the same room (but a different circuit) resolved the problem.

I need to buy a filter... but that may be a different post.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 04:40:11 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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Brian H

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 06:21:31 PM »

If it was just the Socket Rocket and it was stuck on then it most likely had failed.
With nothing responding. It could be something changed.
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zinger084

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 03:23:34 PM »

Well... thanks for the help.  Figured out what it was by shutting down individual breakers on the house and testing X10.  It ended up being a Mirage iPod Dock that we recently moved to the basement... and as soon as I saw it I unplugged it and X10 worked like normal.  Thanks again all for having me check for interference before pitching a useful system...
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Brian H

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2009, 03:47:24 PM »

Thanks for the update.
Add another charger to the ever growing list.

You maybe able to use an X10 filter on it. If you can't find a place where it doesn't effect the system.
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HA Dave

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2009, 08:02:48 PM »

Let me also add my thanks for the update. Its so nice to get feed back... so we can see how things go.
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jadams77

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2009, 08:59:12 AM »

I'll jump in and add another device to the 'signal sucker list', my Samsung LCD TV.  Like zinger084, I was ready to pitch the system when my water heater timer would not come on or go off at the programed time.  It was one of those DUH moments.  Everytime we were watching TV at the scheduled time for on or off, it didn't work.  Haven't bought a filter yet, but at least we know the culprit.
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JeffVolp

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2009, 09:19:37 AM »

X10 commands are sent as a series of signal bursts coupled to the powerline.  Presence of a burst signifies a logic "1", and absence a logic "0".  Noise near the X10 carrier frequency can fill in those blank frames, making it impossible for a receiving module to decode the command unless it includes some form of AGC to raise its detection threshold above the background noise level.  Older modules made by X10 did not incorporate AGC, but I believe some of the newer ones do.  It would be interesting to do an A/B test to see if the newer modules are better dealing with noise generaters.

Jeff
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jadams77

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2009, 08:34:37 AM »

Jeff, Thanks for the information.  Could you explain what AGC stands for?  Is there anyway to tell if a device has AGC incorporated?  My ELK-9100 switch is about 5 years old.

Thanks
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JeffVolp

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2009, 08:59:21 AM »

AGC = Automatic Gain Control.  It might also be implemented as automatic threshold control because that is easier to do than a variable gain amplifier.

Regarding your Elk-9100, check your manual or on-line documentation.  I noticed yesterday that someone was selling both AGC and non-AGC versions of the X10 pro lamp module.

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2009, 10:34:14 AM »

PLM01 AGC
PLM03 Soft Start no mention of AGC.
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jadams77

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Re: =Need SERIOUS HELP= Extremely Frustrated with Active Home
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2009, 01:27:04 PM »

I checked the documentation for the ELK-9100 and don't see any mention of AGC.  I sent an e-mail to ELK asking if the 9100 has this feature.  Would you suspect that a filter on the TV would fix the problem?  If so, can you recommend one?

Thanks,
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