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Author Topic: XTBM Comes Through!  (Read 16436 times)

lflorack

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XTBM Comes Through!
« on: April 22, 2010, 09:26:27 AM »

Quick background:
  • XTB-IIR
  • XTBM
  • AHP Running on CM15 (plugged directly into XTB-IIR at the panel box)

A few months ago, I ran into a problem with my three outside front lights that are on two separate switches and using socket rockets.  Turns out that the bulbs I was using (100 watt incandescents) were creating too much heat and the socket rockets were overcome with the heat and unable to reliably turn off when AHP/CM15 tried.  I 'fixed' this by changing the incandescent bulbs with equivalent lumen CFL bulbs because they ran much cooler.

It's been a couple months since then and everything was running flawlessly (100% really) until a few days ago.  Then I started having issues with missed commands, lights coming on when they weren't programmed to come on, many extra dimming commands, etc.  Always at night.  Never in the morning.  The AHP log showed me all the extra noise that was happening, so I got out my recently purchased XTBM and took a look at the readings.  My signal strength was almost 5 (XTB-IIR is putting out an excellent signal).  But the noise level -- which is normally .01 - .03 was .22 - .24  :o -- again only at night.  So, I toggled all of the items that only run at night and found that although the CFL's in the outside fixtures had been running w/o issue for about 2 months or so, they were now creating a TON of noise.  If I turned them off, the noise level returned to normal levels.  So, I thought that since the CFL's I'd put in place were working well for 2 months, they were OK.  Not so anymore I guess.  I've put 75 watt incandescents in their place and all is well again.

So, I've learned two things from this:
  • Although I knew that some CFL's were noisy, I thought these were OK since they ran well for 2 months or so.  I guess CFL's can change after time.
  • The XTBM is truly an indispensable tool for troubleshooting your X10 issues!

 >!

Lee
« Last Edit: April 22, 2010, 01:15:53 PM by lflorack »
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JeffVolp

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Re: XTBM Comes Through!
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2010, 10:02:03 AM »


The CFLs I use to test the AGC in every XTB-IIR are temperature sensitive.  In the winter they take a couple of minutes to come "in-band" and cause significant interference.  In the summer when that room is warmer, they generate in-band noise as soon as they are turned on.

In another case I had a 4W 120V LED bulb work fine for a couple of months, but then switches on that circuit started to misbehave.  I did not suspect that bulb because it had been working fine, but the problem went away when it was relocated to another application where it could be isolated with a XPPF filter.

Jeff
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JMac

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Re: XTBM Comes Through!
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2010, 10:02:26 AM »

Thanks for that report - I've also had some quirks with CFL bulbs.  Went back to 60 Watt incandescent on four locations for more reliability.  My XTBM was very helpful to track down my problem areas.
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Brian H

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Re: XTBM Comes Through!
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2010, 12:52:38 PM »

My famous MicroBrite CCFLs where also temperature related. Started on the low side. Went through the 120 KHz X10 frequency and then went higher towards the Insteon area.  ::)
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lflorack

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Re: XTBM Comes Through!
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2010, 05:01:39 PM »

So I guess this means that if I want to use CFL bulbs in the future (might be forced to at some point), I'll have to filter each and every one of 'em in order to continue X10 use?  Is it possible that the CFL's will get better regarding 10 interference eventually, or is that just wishful thinking?
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HA Dave

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Re: XTBM Comes Through!
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2010, 05:35:01 PM »

So I guess this means that if I want to use CFL bulbs in the future.........  Is it possible that the CFL's will get better regarding 10 interference eventually, or is that just wishful thinking?

I am not a big fan of the CFL's myself... although I use them all over the house. I am a fan of LED bulbs. And the LEDs can be just as big as a noise generator (or bigger) as the CFL. Right now its a bit of shopping and trial & error. But the price has dropped on the CFL's... and the price of LEDs have eased a bit already. Some of the technically skilled here have tested both types of bulbs and have posted their findings.

I have found enough CFLs and LEDs... and expect to continue to be able to. I even think... it will be easier as time goes by and we collect more info on brand names.
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Brian H

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Re: XTBM Comes Through!
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2010, 06:44:26 PM »

I saw a post in the CoccoonTech Forums that a member saw one of the new incandescent type bulbs that meet the new Energy Ratings in a local home improvement stores. They are not banned just have to meet the new standards.
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dave w

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Re: XTBM Comes Through!
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2010, 07:39:19 PM »

I saw a post in the CoccoonTech Forums that a member saw one of the new incandescent type bulbs that meet the new Energy Ratings in a local home improvement stores. They are not banned just have to meet the new standards.
I'm curious as to how they increase the efficiency of an incandescent bulb? Unles maybe they burn a halogen at a lower color temp, like 3200K instead of 3600K(?). Any one how they are doing this? ???
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Brian H

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HA Dave

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dave w

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Re: XTBM Comes Through!
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2010, 08:46:11 AM »

Interesting, but the cocoon thread doesn't have much explanation...my theory is; they are using magnesium filament wire.  rofl
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Brian H

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Re: XTBM Comes Through!
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2010, 12:53:59 PM »

I am sure when one of us find one. Reports will follow shortly.
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