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Author Topic: macro won't start  (Read 17626 times)

ssteig

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macro won't start
« on: March 26, 2010, 08:00:30 PM »

Hello one and all.
I am new to macro's. I have written a macro that works great when i trigger it from the computer. (computer temporarily hooked to CM15A)
I thought i had the macro triggered by a motion sensor that triggers M6 on when activated. The activity monitor clearly says M6 on but the macro with the trigger M6 on never starts. I feel like i am missing something obvious which is frustrating for a control freak like me. ;)
Steig
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HA Dave

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2010, 08:51:24 PM »

I am new to macro's. I have written a macro that works great when i trigger it from the computer. (computer temporarily hooked to CM15A)
I thought i had the macro triggered by a motion sensor that triggers M6 on when activated. The activity monitor clearly says M6 on but the macro with the trigger M6 on never starts. I feel like i am missing something obvious which is frustrating for a control freak like me. ;)

So... if "The activity monitor clearly says M6 on"... what makes you think the macro doesn't start? Since the activity monitor is hearing the M6 On signal... (but even that could be tested with a lamp module and light set on M6)... maybe the macro isn't completing. What would the 1st action the macro should perform?

Often times a macro can function better with a slight delay between actions. I generally use a 1 sec delay between hearing the trigger... and sending a new signal. Slight delays can ease the confusion of multiple signals on the RF and/or PowerLine.
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Boiler

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2010, 02:22:32 PM »

Hello Steig,

Could you possibly post your macro and your version of AHP?

Depending one your version of AHP, your macro activity may not show up in activity monitor.  As an example:
1) We recommend using the LM14a interface module for "soft start" units (LM467, WS12a, etc).
2) The LM14a interface uses "extended code" commands.
3) Extended code commands (macro executed) will not show up in activity monitor for earlier versions of AHP.
4) Later versions of AHP show the extended code commands, but have other "issues".

Let us know where your at (AHP version), the type of module you're communicating with, what your macro looks like and we'll try to help.

As Dave_x10_L indicated, it's possible that your macro is indeed activating, but you're having communication or protocol problems.

Boiler
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Knightrider

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2010, 05:57:19 PM »

The "Obvious" thing being missed here might be this:

After you set up the macro, did you download it to the CM15A?  It's the third option under the "Tools" tab.
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HA Dave

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2010, 09:34:59 PM »

The "Obvious" thing being missed here might be this:
After you set up the macro, did you download it to the CM15A?  It's the third option under the "Tools" tab.

I've done that!
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captainjerky

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2010, 10:56:31 AM »

I have a similar problem.  I use motion sensors to trigger my Nightwatch cameras with a side macro for activating lights to help with the illumination.  Sometimes, the system works.  Other times, not so much.  When I check the activity log, I see that the RF was received from the motion sensor, but that no macro was sent back out.  I know the macros work, because every once in a while, they fire off as advertised and I capture images.  I can also trigger them manually and they work fine.  I use the motion sensor to activate a phantom switch, and the recording and lights are separate macros triggered off said switch.
I realize there are line noise, phase issues, and a plethora of X10 issues, but here's my thread-related question:
If Activehome's activity log registers the incoming RF signal, is it possible the signal is still too weak to trigger the macro?  By extension, if the RF makes it to the PC, should it be strong enough to work?  If so, could anyone suggest why my macros don't fire regularly?
I've contacted a trusted electrician and hope to procure a phase coupler in a day or two, but in the meanwhile I am giving up on the security cam setup and installing my door/motion sensors for the security system instead.  At least I know THAT will work...
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HA Dave

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2010, 11:47:15 AM »

... I use motion sensors to trigger my Nightwatch cameras with a side macro for activating lights to help with the illumination.  Sometimes, the system works.  Other times, not so much.  When I check the activity log, I see that the RF was received from the motion sensor, but that no macro was sent back out.  .........
If the RF is received... and the macro not triggered... you may have a problem with the macro. Cleaning up (re-writting) the macro... getting everything in the same room.. and with limited conditions may help. Make sure the macro is loaded to the CM15A.. NOT run on the PC. Some conditions used in macro require the code used to be a monitored code. I am guessing... you have a macro problem.
 
...I realize there are line noise, phase issues, and a plethora of X10 issues, but here's my thread-related question:
If Activehome's activity log registers the incoming RF signal, is it possible the signal is still too weak to trigger the macro?  By extension, if the RF makes it to the PC, should it be strong enough to work?  If so, could anyone suggest why my macros don't fire regularly?
If the log shows the RF as received... it was (period). No need to worry about the strength of its reception... the problem is most likely in the macro.. IF the macro was not triggered. Otherwise... a phase issue could prevent the execution of the macro by not allowing the cameras/lights/whatever to receive the signals.

I've contacted a trusted electrician and hope to procure a phase coupler in a day or two, but in the meanwhile I am giving up on the security cam setup and installing my door/motion sensors for the security system instead.  At least I know THAT will work...
That's a good idea. Coupling the phases is the first best step in creating a reliable X10 setup. Even if this problem doesn't turn out to be phase issue related.... coupling the phases is good.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 11:52:38 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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dave w

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2010, 11:56:51 AM »

If Activehome's activity log registers the incoming RF signal, is it possible the signal is still too weak to trigger the macro? 

By extension, if the RF makes it to the PC, should it be strong enough to work?  If so, could anyone suggest why my macros don't fire regularly?

To piggy back on to DaveX10 comment:

I don't use AHP but know there is one or more buggy versions as far as macro execution. I believe 3.228 is a stable version. There are many posts on the forum with directions on how to roll back. I think Dan Lawrence has provided detailed directions, among others.
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captainjerky

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2010, 12:50:48 PM »

I considered the rollback, but I received the VA-12A USB/Pc converter because I have Windows Vista, so I'm stuck with that for now... I'll try deleting the macro, clearing the interface, removing batteries, etc, and try the macro again...
Thanks for the advice; it's always good to hear from others who have been doing this longer than I have!

Ryan
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captainjerky

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Interesting Development
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2010, 06:18:17 PM »

So I've been racking my brain trying to figure out why my signals aren't getting through.  I have an older CM15A with a polarized plug rated at 3 watts, and a new one without the polarized plug rated at 6 watts.  I unplugged them while playing with options for transceiving.  Then I realized that the Wireless PC Transceiver (CM19A) was still receiving RF signals.  I unplugged the CM19A and plugged the CM15A's back in and was now receiving the RF transmissions and executing macros!  Now my only problem seems to be weak RF range in the MS14 motion detectors.  While I think the two different types of transceiver were arguing with each other, I think the CM19A had better range, because if I use a spare motion sensor right by the PC/CM-15A to trigger macros, they run perfectly.  Getting the signal across the house, however, seems to be a problem.  I heard there was an easy rubber band antenna mod for the MS14?
Actually, my excitement died down a bit later when I realized that when macros would trigger, the cameras wouldn't switch.  I had assumed the CM19 did that, but since the CM15 was also receiving RF I thought it would be able to switch cams.  Apparently not.  Now I'm off to look for that MS14 antenna mod...
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 08:54:53 PM by captainjerky »
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HA Dave

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Re: Interesting Development
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2010, 08:58:49 PM »

............. I heard there was an easy rubber band antenna mod for the MS14?
(Interesting about the cm19a... that wasn't mentioned in the original post.) There is an antenna mod of sorts for the MS14A... although I have never used it before. If I remember correctly you would need a 9 1/4 inch length of 12 gauge wire or coat hanger attached to the left side [your left when facing the front of the sensor]. A search here may provide better or more detailed directions.

I have altered or modified a couple CM15A's. Such antenna mods are well documented here at the forum... and I know they work well. Of course.... there is the other option (maybe least desireable).

  • Put the motion sensors on there "own" house code. 
  • DON'T transceive that code on the CM15A 
  • Use a TM751 near the sensors to put the signal on the powerline. 
  • Use that PLC signal to trigger your macros.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 09:07:09 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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captainjerky

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2010, 05:11:07 PM »

Ok, so I think my system is finally running reliably. 
What I did:
Turned off CM-15 transceiving for the house code that the motion sensors are on (F).  Cameras are on HC G.  I also unplugged the VA19 PC Transceiver.
then I set up a TM-751 to the house code of the motion sensors.  Now, it all seems to be working fine.  2 days and I've captured the photos I needed from my cameras, though it seems that without the rubber band/wire passive antenna mod to the backyard MS-14, the RF signal is just a tad too weak to trigger hte macros. 
I also discovered that, now that I am playing with Onalert, I need to do the F-connector mod to my CM-15s anyway, since a TM751 can't pick up those RF codes.  So once I get my Cm-15s modded I may try removing the TM-751.  X-10 tech support needs to include a warning that the CM-15 reception is crap, and should toss in a free TM751 with every order.
More info as I test more.
Thanks to all for your very helpful suggestions!
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HA Dave

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2010, 10:32:25 PM »

Ok, so I think my system is finally running reliably. 

Thanks for reporting back and letting us know.

I also discovered that, now that I am playing with Onalert, I need to do the F-connector mod to my CM-15s anyway,

The CM15A antenna mods... really make a difference.
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captainjerky

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2010, 11:01:11 PM »

Hey all-
I posted this in the general help forum, too, but I wanted to pass along my thanks to all in this forum who have helped me in my continuing efforts with X10 systems.  My wife is even starting to believe in me!  :-)

Hey folks, just a quick update on RF issues that I've finally gotten over (though I make no claim that I thought this stuff up, just adapted it and went through much trial and error based on the INSANELY HELPFUL people on this forum!)
For controlling macros for motion sensors and cameras in my home, I ditched the CF19 that came with the camera kit.  I am using two CM-15A's with the "clip the end off and connect 38 inches of thing gauge wire to the end" modification.  RF went from reception of 10 feet with the stock antenna to outside in my garage with the antenna mod.  Still not entirely sure that both are receiving the RF though, since I think only the one plugged into the PC is getting RF signals from my DS10's through my Onalert plugin.  Who cares, it works!
I am using a TM751 transceiver set to the motion sensor house code (motion sensors and cams each have their own house code) with the CM 15A's set to not transceive the motion sensor code.
Also, I really wish I could remember who thought this up, but I was surfing so long today that it' all blurring together, so I apologize.  Someone mentioned that a way around interference from metal in the surroundings of a DS10 would be to relocate the unit itself and use some wire to dramatically extend the leads that the magnetic switches are attached to.  That saved my bacon.  I have sensors on my garage and service doors, both made of metal.  I used some old garage door opener sensor wire and ran the wire from my DS10 on the door all the way to the wall by the interior door, and it works.  Hot damn, I feel like this might actually work out in the end!
Again, thanks to all who post and offer their tips and advice.  It's paid off big time for me, and I hope things continue to go well on this end!
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HA Dave

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Re: macro won't start
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 09:07:03 AM »

...... My wife is even starting to believe in me! 

What is really cool... is when the wife asks for an automation event or device (could you make this come on automatically).

For controlling macros for motion sensors and cameras in my home, I ditched the CF19 that came with the camera kit.  I am using two CM-15A's ......... not entirely sure that both are receiving the RF though, since I think only the one plugged into the PC is getting RF signals from my DS10's through my Onalert plugin.  Who cares, it works!

FYI... in order to use the DS10A RF signals with the CM15A you must have OnAlert and AHP running (on a running PC) connected to the CM15A. That's likely why the signals are only being received by the one CM15A (which would be connected to the running PC).
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 09:08:52 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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