Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The Buster PiX10Hub is here! Created by the Community, for the Community.:)% #:)

Pages: 1 [2]

Author Topic: Noise  (Read 7023 times)

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 137
  • Posts: 6089
Re: YES and NO
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2010, 12:37:32 PM »


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 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.
Kobble Kobble
I thought the forum was trolled because you essentially “stirred the pot” and then left. But you are back, so my assumption of being trolled was wrong.

You are not understanding X10. The protocol, the devices, or the company.

X10’s market platform is to sell by being the least expensive. Period. And I think the philosophy starts at the design stage and propagates from there. They know they have old technology. They know there is no way to increase the communications reliability and at the same time “keep the technology”. They are very limited with what they can do and remain a PLC product. But there are workarounds that bring communications reliability to high levels. In your words: “Get out the checkbook”. Although you blow the costs to improve the reliability out of proportions.

I think Noam explained it really well, X10 powerline control (PLC) technology fails because the communications medium (the homes internal powerlines ) has become hostile to the PLC signal. Updating or adapting new protocol will not solve the problem. X10 Inc, and other companies like ACT and JV Digital Engineering  has done about everything they can do to reduce the communications medium hostility. But X10 Inc does a lousy job of making you aware of the limitations. They let this forum do it for them which, to me, is understandable. After all I have not seen car brochures stating the vehicle is subject to breakdowns, flat tires, car wrecks, etc. X10 does dance around the subject in their feeble user instructions. (Yes, I do have issues with X10).  But the axiom of “you get what you pay for” has to be applied here. As I said in earlier post.  It is not the junk you imply it is. But it isn’t Z-Wave either.

Your problem, is evidenced in your statement: “But maybe it's just me? The companies I've worked for have required 99.99% functionality from technology "out of the box".

Sure, but what is the cost of that equipment? Are you buying the cheapest on the market??  Because with X10, you are. Now that isn’t bad, as long as you understand, it is the cheapest and the oldest.  You can’t expect Mercedes quality and performance when you are buying a Yugo.

You are trying to apply Six Sigma, and premium equipment standards to a five dollar product.

I think X10 has software issues, but since I abandoned AHP after a year of use, I will not try and defend it. I think it better than it used to be but is still problematic. Same is true of X10 cameras which gets a lot of forum complaints, although a large percentage of those complaints are created because the new user does not read the instructions.

Finally your “knowledgeable” statement of:  “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.” Is humorous. Thank you for putting a smile on my face.

Since you are expecting high communications reliability without having to "massage the system" by adding repeaters, filters, etc. I suggest you forget about X10 and investigate Z-Wave.
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

Noam

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 49
  • Posts: 2805
Re: YES and NO
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2010, 01:59:46 PM »

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.
Now... about those competing HA technologies. Which ones AREN'T based on X10s?

I never said they weren't based on X10's (although there are hard-wired systems out there that don't rely on powerline communication at all). However, some of the others have done things (I use Insteon as an example, because I have a little experience with it) to make the signal transmission more reliable. For example, all Insteon devices act as repeaters. The signal gets repeated three times (each device receiving the signal re-transmits it - up to three hops), which is designed to help overcome noise and signal attenuation down the line. In addition, there are Insteon devices that communicate via powerline AND RF, which not only bridges the phases, but gives the signals a better chance of getting through.
Logged

Brandt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 11
  • Posts: 728
  • Sorry miss, I was giving myself an oil-job.
Re: Noise
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2010, 02:11:35 PM »

I've been resisting posting to this topic, because I hate having chit chat topics show up in my unread posts....but here goes...



I was originally into a robotics hobby for about a year, but it takes a LOT of work to do very little in robotics, so I drifted away from that...It seems that with home automation you can essentially turn your whole house into a robot with a lot less work!!! Basically robotics is a platform with sensors, a processing unit, and actuators; which home automation seems to fit the bill for that. Anyway, not wanting to spend too much money on my hobby I got into X10, even more so after reading the book "Smart Home Hacks"...since X10 has been around longer than I've been alive there is a lot of material and resources to give you ideas and help you along!!! I started out small in my own bedroom, but one Christmas I ended up using a mini timer and appliances on the lights that year....After migrating out of my bedroom I found out about phases and noise issues right away!! I decided I REALLY want to get into home automation so I took the dive and broke out the wallet!!! I ended up getting the XTB-IIR phase coupler/repeater, the XTBM signal meter, almost every X10 filter available, and I still had a problem!!! One circuit on one of the phases was absolutely dead to the world!! the rest of the circuits were fine!!  It turned out to be two things....The washing machine right next to the XTB-IIR where the phases came together for the Dryer Plug, and a Power Line Conditioner attached to the High End Stereo System...Power Line Conditioners are essentially power line vacuums! I hear Uninteruptable Power Supplies are just as bad!! Anyway, I don't think those types of things were around the household back in 1977/78 when this protocol was invented!! In most cases there will ALWAYS be noise and signal suckers, it's just a matter of getting that threshold low enough to where the X10 signals can survive in that harsh environment. In many cases it may only be one or two devices that one does not think to check and that's not so bad!! If I would have found those couple of devices first, I may have been able to get away from buying the XTBM and XTB-IIR and been okay with those cheap capacitor couplers for a buck!! As painful as it is do what people recommend and get a good infrastructure up in place so you can begin setting up your X10 playground!! This can be done by simply mapping out your breaker box/circuits/phases, and unplugging everything in your house and plug one thing back in at a time until you find a problem...This is free and there are many posts about that!! In the end you may be able to get away with the cheapest coupler possible and maybe only a couple filters!!

Yes, the X10 website and the quality of the products do seem to make it look like a gimmick, but as far as Im concerned these things are so cheap they are basically consumables....I can get this stuff off eBay for less than a nice dinner at a local restaurant....

btw, my Dad used to work for radio shack in the late 70s and he has an original TRS-80 Color Computer I...so a few years back I got into collecting vintage computers and bought a whole bunch of TRS-80 stuff off eBay...I ended up with the Home Automation tape and controller for the CoCo I, but since then I have never tried to use it with home automation...that would be funny though!!
Here is a picture of my plug n power controller on a TRS-80 wiki I created:

http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/26-1182
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 02:25:52 PM by Brandt »
Logged

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 291
  • Posts: 12830
Re: Noise
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2010, 03:26:44 PM »

Inseon is backward compatible to the X10 signaling but is not the same.
X10 uses 120KHz signals timed to the Zero Crossing of the AC
Insteon it 131.65KHz and starts 800 microseconds before Zero Crossing and continues thought Zero Crossing for 1023 microseconds.
Using BPSK {Binary Phase Shift Keying} not bursts of 120KHz signals like X10 uses.
Logged

HA Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 174
  • Posts: 7043
Re: YES and NO
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2010, 04:40:48 PM »

I never said they weren't based on X10's (although there are hard-wired systems out there that don't rely on powerline communication at all).

I am sorry. I didn't mean to be critical... really. Inseon is a fine technology and there is nothing wrong with using it.

I get tiffed when people (like the OP) post that X10 is somehow an old or outdated HA technology. The implication is generally like "back in 1975 all anyone had was incandescent lightbulbs and homemade crystal radios". And that NOW... in the modern age... X10 no longer works.

In reality X10 works as well now... or as poorly.... as it ever has.

There are many many variables with HA technologies... and the users of those technologies. A simple single automation use... is and will likely continue to be somewhat simple... and easy. It is generally speaking only when setups grow and or expand into larger or whole house setups that problems arise. Often you can almost hear the frustration in a post when a user decided to expand his automation setup.... only to find new devices no longer behave like the very few, or one, original device did.

But each X10 user... wether meaning to or not has decided to be the engineer of his or her electronic home automation machine. How well or how poorly that machine [or setup] works will be conditional. For the most part... the amount of effort made and depth understanding of the technology by its engineer will determind it's dependability. I think... for the most part.. that can be said of all machines.
Logged
Home Automation is an always changing technology

Noam

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 49
  • Posts: 2805
Re: Noise
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2010, 09:56:58 PM »

Inseon is backward compatible to the X10 signaling but is not the same.
X10 uses 120KHz signals timed to the Zero Crossing of the AC
Insteon it 131.65KHz and starts 800 microseconds before Zero Crossing and continues thought Zero Crossing for 1023 microseconds.
Using BPSK {Binary Phase Shift Keying} not bursts of 120KHz signals like X10 uses.
Insteon was designed so that the new devices could not only speak "Insteon", but could also speak "X10". Insteon devices can be given an X10 address, so they can interact with the existing X10 the consumer might already have installed.
Logged

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 291
  • Posts: 12830
Re: Noise
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2010, 07:05:43 AM »

Noam; Thanks for the added data. It may help others.
I am one of the Insteon Developers Group members and knew that already.

Some of the new modules have dropped X10 completely. The newer firmware units dropped X10 Scenes and the new SynchroLinc does not to X10 at all.
Logged

Noam

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 49
  • Posts: 2805
Re: Noise
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2010, 08:18:13 AM »

Some of the new modules have dropped X10 completely. The newer firmware units dropped X10 Scenes and the new SynchroLinc does not to X10 at all.
Well, I guess I have to be really careful what I buy next. All of my wall switches are either Smarthome (pre-insteon), or Insteon. I had plenty of issues with my X10 wall switches, so I replaced them with Smarthome ToggleLincs. When I added more, I decided to go with Insteon, in case I decided to go to all Insteon at some point in the future.
Logged

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 291
  • Posts: 12830
Re: Noise
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2010, 10:09:17 AM »

I don't think the Primary X10 address will go away.
I understand the X10 Scenes where dropped to make room for things like LED brightness adjustments and the beeper in some modules.
I also found an obscure bug with the X10 scenes and the X10 All Units Off command.
Logged

george536

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 2
  • Posts: 47
Re: Noise
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2010, 02:06:55 PM »

wheres the popcorn smiley
Logged

-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 81
  • Posts: 1340
  • He's just this guy. You know?
    • wgjohns.com
Re: Noise
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2010, 10:15:30 PM »

wheres the popcorn smiley

 -:)

Yeah, I'm in "listen and learn mode" with this Insteon stuff too.   :)%
 >!
Logged
-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

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 49
  • Posts: 2805
Re: Noise
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2010, 10:30:31 AM »

I never used scenes with my X10 setup, which is part of the reason I won't go to Insteon at this point. Scenes are really not designed for my setup. Nearly all of my setup is timer-based. A few of the macros are there to keep the timers running smoothly (setting flags, clearing flags, etc), but I really don't have any single-button "magic shows".

I don't claim to know everything there is to know about Insteon, but I've read a lot about it.
I decided to start buying SmartHome switches a few years back, after I had a few X10 wall switches (the older WS12's I think) start going bad. They would turn on by themselves, as they were prone to do in noisy enviroments.
SmartHome was just starting to release Insteon at the time, so their older switches (the X10 compatible non-Insteon ones) were going on clearance, and I got some pretty good deals.
I really liked the fact that I could buy a toggle switch that looked (mostly) like a normal toggle switch, and acted like one, too (up is on, down is off - what a concept!).
As I expanded my setup, I decided to stick with SmartHome for the wall switches, since I was happy with the ones I had gotten earlier.
Once they ran out of the older (non-Insteon) switches, I decided to spend the money and invest in Insteon switches. They were more immune to the noise (I later found out they had *different* noise issues), and they would already be in place if I decided to migrate everything over to Insteon at some point down the road. (I've priced a conversion out, and it would probably cost me close to $1000 to do it right at this point - still not ready to spend the money on it).
The one thing that X10 still has over Insteon at this point is the software. As much as we complain about it, it can run circles around the stuff that SmartHome has to offer, at least in a standalone controller.
I have a neighbor who couldn't solve his X10 noise issues (he didn't really try too hard, though), and switched everything over to Insteon. He bought the network-attached controller, which is a really great idea for a product.
However, from what I've seen, the software it comes with leaves a lot to be desired, for my needs.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2]
 

X10.com | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
© Copyright 2014-2016 X10.com All rights reserved.