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Author Topic: Noise  (Read 7013 times)

kobble kobble

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Noise
« on: December 14, 2010, 03:23:25 PM »

Boy oh boy, I've been reading your posts and I'm confused as you are. It seems the most common "it's not our fault" reason for so, SO many problems is the old noise ploy, so better get your check book out.

And you'll need filters for each computer installation (I have 3), every item that has a motor (refrigerator, freezer, fans, TV's, stereos, cable TV boxes, humidifiers, etc (I figure I have 9 standard) and I need a circuit box isolator to separate my power tools lets say 2), and you'll need filters and power strips for sockets where you plug chargers into so you can gang them (I have at least 3) and you'll need a noise filter for your incoming line if the neighbors Christmas lights or CFL bulbs are overwhelming the noise of your controller. That's around $500 for the parts and then there's the installation cost for the incoming line unless your an electrician (I had an estimate of $450 (labor and additional service box installation and wire runs)). So that's about $1000 for noise filtering.

And you'll need amplifiers the one I saw that was guaranteed to "solve your problems" for about $120 but you have to sign a waver of liability in case of fire or equipment damage. So that's at least another $120.

And then there's a cross over for an additional $120 to $150 (I've seen them up to $250)? 

And then there's replacing every CFL or florescent lamp in your house. I guess incandescent bulbs are about a buck apiece (I have about 30 in my house) but there's the loss of the energy efficiency and that's more money every month. Oh, and don't forget you have to have at least a 40 watt bulb to guarantee voltage sensing. And, oh, don't forget you will need to use only new bulbs because as a filament stretches it changes the resistance and can induce harmonic noise in the circuit. So that's another $30 to $40.

After all that you've potentially spent another $1300 to $1500 to get your $45 CM15a to work consistently and you are still subject to the dreaded noise ploy.

But, you know, maybe your doing good, I've read about people that can get a CM15a to work with no problems at all. Maybe your one of those houses that have no noise, no motors that generate noise, no power supplies, no Christmas lights, no computers and none of your neighbors have them.

I've done the dreaded noise search unplugging everything in my home and plugging them in one at a time to find the current offender, and it didn't turn up squat. Maybe if I hook an oscilloscope to my line and meter the circuitry noise, ugh no I don't think that's is possible. I hooked a volt meter up once and the power fluctuates more than I imagined.

It's always the same, the timers work for a few days then they get flaky and then don't work and then they work and then it's sporadic, and on and on and on. Maybe the problem is coming from the computer I use to program my CM15a. Maybe the problem is coming from the power supply on my neighbors vibrator. I'm just not sure how effectively anyone can ever identify the dreaded noise problem.

Anyway, I digress: I'm with you all, I need a better explanations of whats happening, you know frequencies, signal wattage, you know real information. At least something better that maybe it's some abstract noise from a potentially indeterminable number of sources, inside or outside of the house, but it's not our hardware. OR, I need a better technology.

Here's an kluge I've resorted to for home security. I use macros that have multiple on or off commands each set a few minutes apart and a number macros sending off signals at timed intervals just to be sure I don't have lights on all night long. The good news is random light timing is good for security.

The bad news is if your trying to get something to turn on at a specific time then better get your check book out and buy a digital timer with a good battery backup. 
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troll334

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Re: Noise
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 03:52:25 PM »

Heck, I'll take a stab at this one.
1) Did you expect a response or did you just need to vent a bit :)
2) I don't think anyone, other than X10's advertising team, has ever said this stuff is plug-n-play. Well, maybe 20 years
ago when our powerlines were relatively quiet.
3) Unless your motors are very old, I don't believe they will be much of an X10 noise problem. Well, maybe on startup.
4) If you have a good repeater that sits on both legs, you don't need a bridge device.
5) I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, I decieded to create a nearly 100% reliable X10 system so I invested in
the good stuff after reading many more posts than I believe you have. Please, no insult intended. We're a pretty good
bunch of X10 users on this forum. WE WILL HELP YOU.
6) Go live on this site http://jvde.us/ for a few hours.
Lastly, I've spent about $400 on 'the good stuff' which included Jeff Volp's XTBM, XTB-IIR, and about a half-dozen
XPPF filters (from eBay). Didn't buy the filters until I got finished using the XTBM. Though I would have needed more
than a dozen filters but not so.
I hope you find peace in your X10 endeavor. I did.
warmest regards,
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AHP 3.236. CM15A. XTB-IIR. XTBM. Hauppauge 950Q.

HA Dave

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Re: Noise
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 03:53:36 PM »

Boy oh boy, I've been reading your posts and I'm confused as you are. It seems the most common "it's not our fault" reason for so, SO many problems is the old noise ploy, so better get your check book out.

Oh give me a break! You certainly couldn't have read bunches of posts.... you just registered as a user.. less than a hour ago.

I don't know what your problem is (however I am sorry your having problems) but posting a huge rant on a Community Forum really makes little (or no) sense. You seem like a bright enough guy by your writting (ranting?) skills... so I would guess that you also didn't read enough to learn that this is a forum ran only by users of X10.

X10 can be an easy and fast fix for almost all users. As systems and setups get larger and more complex... it is factual to say X10 isn't a plug and play technology. But it would also be factual to say: [If you do take the time to read here at the forum]... It is rare that someone who wants an automation setup... ever fails to achieve that.
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Home Automation is an always changing technology

dave w

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Re: Noise
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 04:44:53 PM »

Kobble;  Nice epistle, but its mostly all poodle gas.

X10 remote control/automation technology is old. Consequently there are a lot of things in the modern house that interferes with X10 power line based communications, and that's just the way it is. So, for most installations, it has to be massaged a little to get it to work.

If you don't want to be bothered with this, then go for Z-Wave technology, but be prepared to pay the price which will be between $25 and $60 for every item in your home you want to control. Also be prepared to massage Z-wave some also.

X10 isn't "Plug-N-Play" like the X10 web site would have you believe, but it is not junk either. I have used X10 for remote control/home automation since very late 1970's. At one time in a larger house I had 127 X10 modules for complete home automation, from controlling every light in the home down to logging how long my well pump ran everyday. Today I have a voice capable home control system with 89 X10 house code - unit code address for controlling and monitoring the home. I have five computers, six monitors, three flat screen TVs, and a couple dozen wall warts, two microwaves, etc. etc. etc.  ALL with noise producing switching power supplies. But I have ONE filter and ONE "flame thrower" repeater.  My X10 signal reliability is about 98%.

So quit cherry picking the forum comments to create a rant that is loaded with inaccurate assumptions.

If you want our help, we are ready. But help us by being specific with questions, leaving out all the dog flatulence.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 07:30:31 PM by dave w »
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thejackal

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Re: Noise
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2010, 07:15:48 PM »

Nice epistle, but its mostly all poodle gas.
NICE

I've just started with x10 back in late October and the forums have helped me allot!  >!
90% of the time everything works as planned 10% of the time you pull hair and use some choice words!

If you don't want to invest time in a x10 project then the head aches will win. There is so much that can be learned just by taking the time to read the forums. The search box is your friend. Google is your friend. My set up has grown pretty big with lots of macros, timers and flags. If you can't handle the basics of set up then you are going to LOVE macros, timers and flags.

Take some deep breaths and search your problems. X10 is a blast and cheap too.  That's just my $0.02 take it or leave it.
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george536

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Re: Noise
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 08:33:08 PM »

+1 i also just recently started and im glad i did, simple ebay filters for my laptop was the only thing that was keeping me from not controlling my x10 stuff, But i put in a cheap 30 dryer plug in phase coupler and a boosterlinc for good measure for maybe future problems. 
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dave w

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Re: Noise
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 05:50:40 PM »

I think we have been trolled.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Noise
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 01:30:20 PM »

Dave, I suspect you are right.
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I don't SELL this stuff... BUT I sure do ENJOY using it!!!

HA Dave

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Re: Noise
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 02:32:37 PM »

I think we have been trolled.

I can't disagree with ether you or Dan. By definition as well as in real life Trolls do exist. This forum is spammed and likely trolled regularly.

Most of the spam here is merely embedded links to sell non Home Automation related items. Those spammers are the main reason I don't sell anything from my Web Site or YouTube Channel (linked below on all my posts) I have never profited even a dime off my X10 endeavors. But fortunately X10 has developed swift workable processes for dealing with spam.

However..... even calling a poster a Troll can be considered a violation of proper Forum Etiquette. We need better ways to recognize or define, and then deal with this known problem. I have seen it become MUCH more of a problem at another forum. We need to delete Troll Trash... if and when it can be found. And.. we need a way to define what is a troll post. IMHO... I think we have been trolled more than most realize.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 02:34:19 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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kobble kobble

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YES and NO
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2010, 07:10:44 PM »

Never underestimate the power of denial... and I'm not talking about a river in Africa.

Vent, yes that was a vent. I suppose because I believed the misrepresentations and exaggerations of the X10 marketers I'm not allowed to vent. Yes, it's true I should have known that any company that resorts to t&a to sell products is not above board. What's the line, "peelers are stealer's". I know real men don't read documentation, but the documentation included with these products also refers to plug and play. I don't think anyone would disagree that the documentation is less than complete or accurate unless they wrote it.

Am I critical, yes, after working in technology fields for 30 years of sales, programming, management and tech support I have never felt more frustrated with a "technology" company than this. 

And for reading posts, I've spent lots of time on this site reading posts where the poster gives up or the question is dropped. Yes, some questions are answered and mostly as work around. Hence, "oh boy it's noise again". Just a reminder to one smarmy (and hey, that's not name calling but identifying an attitude) commenter, you don't have to log in to read, only to post.

I searched the web I found loads of complaints with x10, mostly about the software but oddly not much "technical information". Seems there are lots of people that have paid big bucks for product and then got to the point where "it works most of the time but is subject to fluctuation" so then spent more money and got better results but not 99.99% functionality.

But maybe it's just me? The companies I've worked for have required 99.99% functionality from technology "out of the box" and I know it's very attainable with standard off the shelf components and not with an open check book. Here's something to think about, one company I've worked for used banking information so if you had a credit card in the past 15 to 20 years then I was probably responsible for the security of most of your credit cards and pin numbers. Think I should have striven for the same quality of service that this x10 software and hardware supplies, wouldn't you all be happy with that.

Here's another point I'd like to make. If people just "kobble" their systems together and don't complain or "rant" or use "negative comments about the technology" then the manufacturer never gets solid (clean your act up) feed back even if in form of frustration. If there's no pressure to do something to fix it what's the use, what's the purpose, why try. Are you satisfied with the same technology from 30 years ago when it would only take a 5% change to get it up to date. After all, this stuff is made in China for pennies. Maybe it won't matter as one poster said, "I've complained about the software crashing but x10.com doesn't seem to care, they don't do anything to fix the problems". Wouldn't it have been great if the George and the boys just found workarounds to deal with those pesky British?

In closing, yes I did post this to stimulate some action and who knows, maybe more than a few people read it. Maybe we'll all see more and more posts closed by "why don't they fix the software" or "why are they still selling 30 year old technology" or "why don't they upgrade the hardware".

So if you want to call me a Troll then have at it, I've been called a lot worse by better men. But hey, I understand you have to "keep order" in your blog and we mussant have any negative comments. I guess this means that you and your friends Heindrick and Herman will be escorting me out now.
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HA Dave

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Re: YES and NO
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2010, 07:29:45 PM »

Vent, yes that was a vent. Am I critical, yes, 

... Just a reminder to one smarmy (and hey, that's not name calling but identifying an attitude) commenter, you don't have to log in to read, only to post.
Yeah... I knew that. I referred to the pattern of your action... not the technical capabilities of the forum. And... I really think my attitude is more cocky.. than smarmy.

In closing, yes I did post this to stimulate some action and who knows, maybe more than a few people read it. Maybe we'll all see more and more posts closed by "why don't they fix the software" or "why are they still selling 30 year old technology" or "why don't they upgrade the hardware".

So if you want to call me a Troll then have at it,

Well... there we have it... dave w called it first.

As described by Robert Bond in The International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, trolls usually exhibit a typical pattern of behavior:

In The Art of Trolling, published on the web, it is suggested that in Usenet usage, a "troll" is not a grumpy monster that lives beneath a bridge accosting passers by, but rather a provocative posting to a news group intended to produce a large volume of frivolous responses. The content of a "troll" posting generally falls into several areas. It may consist of an apparently foolish contradiction of common knowledge, a deliberately offensive insult to the readers of the news group or a broad request for trivial follow-up postings.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 07:48:19 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: YES and NO
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2010, 10:31:23 PM »

... and then he pulled the Fascist censorship card ...

But hey, I understand you have to "keep order" in your blog and we mussant have any negative comments. I guess this means that you and your friends Heindrick and Herman will be escorting me out now.

"Look at me!  Look at me!  I'm being oppressed!"   >*<

Reminds me of a bad Monte Python sketch.   rofl

I needed a good laugh today.   :)+
 >!
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)
bill@wgjohns.com

In the real world, the only constant is change.

When I'm online you can find me in the Home Automation Chat Room!

Noam

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Re: YES and NO
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2010, 11:06:50 PM »

"Look at me!  Look at me!  I'm being oppressed!"   >*<

I think the correct line (as I remember it) is: "Help!, Help!, I'm being repressed!"

As for updating "30-year old technology", the "noise" issues don't stem from X10.com's designs at all.
They didn't invent the protocols being used, they just sold a lot of products and made a lot of money off that technology for year.
When the protocols were invented 35 years ago (according to Wikipedia, X10 was developed by a Scottish firm names Pico Electronics), we didn't have the same noise-producing and signal-sucking devices we have today. TVs, computers, and even refrigerators have all been known to cause interference with the X10 signals.
There are other, competing technologies out there, at lese one of which (Insteon) can be set up to co-exist with X10, and even use X10's modules.
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: YES and NO
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2010, 11:30:42 PM »

"Look at me!  Look at me!  I'm being oppressed!"   >*<

I think the correct line (as I remember it) is: "Help!, Help!, I'm being repressed!"

I knew someone would call my bluff on that.   #:)
Honestly, I don't even remember which movie it was in.
(sneaks off to Google)
Ahh!  You're quite correct!  Also, it was in Monty Python and the Holy Grail!
Obviously time to break out the DVD again.   :)%
 >!
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)
bill@wgjohns.com

In the real world, the only constant is change.

When I'm online you can find me in the Home Automation Chat Room!

HA Dave

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Re: YES and NO
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2010, 11:38:12 AM »

........  When the protocols were invented 35 years ago ......., we didn't have the same noise-producing and signal-sucking devices we have today. TVs, computers, and even refrigerators have all been known to cause interference with the X10 signals.
There are other, competing technologies out there, at lese one of which (Insteon) can be set up to co-exist with X10, and even use X10's modules.

We didn't have computers at home 35 years ago. I didn't get my first computer till 1982. Not 35 years ago, true, but not that far off.

However watching the peacock "in living color" was very much a part of 1957 (much longer ago than 35 years). I was still a kid when Dad brough home Mom's first Microwave oven in 1968 (42 years ago). With the exception of lightweight wall-warts and battery chargers.. there isn't as much difference in today's modern home and the modern home of the 1950's.

Now... about those competing HA technologies. Which ones AREN'T based on X10s?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 11:43:41 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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