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Author Topic: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install  (Read 80770 times)

skaggz

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X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« on: January 30, 2011, 11:26:43 AM »

HELP!
I have been using X-10 for 10 yrs and it has worked perfectly  to EVERY module be it an in-wall switch or a plug-in module.
Just a week ago or so I noticed that the Power company had installed a SMART METER on my panel. I just figured, Welcome to the Prison Planet, but didn't think anything about the chance that my power would work differently.
The next day I tried to use one of my 3 remotes to operate the lighting and no response. I tried all the remotes and even new batteries, no change. I moved the TRanciever and got a different result (some worked some not) but not all of them will work regardless of the phase that the transceiver is plugged into.
This troubles me and I am inquiring for anyone else who may have experienced this trouble after a SMart MEter install.
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Brian H

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 11:42:28 AM »

Would you happen to know what Manufacturer and Model of this Smart Meter is?

We do have reports of the TED5000 causing X10 problems.

I know Smartlabs is testing their Insteon Smart Grid stuff with some utilities.
http://www.insteonsmartgrid.com/
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 01:36:15 PM »


This has been reported by several people now.  Something about the powerline communication with those smart meters interferes with X10 control.  It would help if we could get some details of their protocol so we can try to come up with a workaround.

Jeff
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rjniles

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 02:15:57 PM »

Do you have the 2 phases of the electrical service coupled? Try running your electric clothes dryer and see if all the modules work.
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dave w

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 05:26:32 PM »

Do you have the 2 phases of the electrical service coupled? Try running your electric clothes dryer and see if all the modules work.
The OP said the system had been working for 10 years. It is probably not a coupling problem, unless skaggz had a repeater that suddenly failed, coincidentally the same day the power company installed a Smart Meter.
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dave w

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 05:32:37 PM »

HELP!
Just a week ago or so I noticed that the Power company had installed a SMART METER on my panel. I just figured, Welcome to the Prison Planet, but didn't think anything about the chance that my power would work differently.

Who makes the meter? Is there a manufacturer model number?

I would call the power company and ask about it. So many devices now days use the homes power lines for other communications. Maybe a PZZ01 would help and maybe the power company would pay for and install(?). (Yeah, I know, not very likely).
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 06:59:25 PM »


One fellow who ran into this problem was not able to install a Leviton 6284/PZZ01 because of the configuration of his panel.  However, he did try a Leviton 6285/XPNR noise reducer.  It did reduce the noise level as indicated on the XTBM by a factor of 10, but that still wasn't enough to entirely correct the problem.  Adding capacitive “signal suckers” didn't help either, and he eventually gave up on X10.

This was the installation that prompted me to develop the Tuned Signal Sucker.  It has even more attenuation than the XPNR, including some “in-band” attenuation.  (The amount of in-band attenuation is adjustable with an internal jumper.)  The hope is that two of these (one plugged into each phase near the distribution panel) will reduce the noise level sufficiently for X10 devices to work again.  The downside is that because of the attenuation of even in-band signals, some sort of signal booster will likely be needed in larger installations.

I do have a couple of beta units still available, and you can contact me by email if you would like to pursue this option.

Jeff
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dave w

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 07:31:59 PM »


One fellow who ran into this problem was not able to install a Leviton 6284/PZZ01 because of the configuration of his panel. 

Jeff, is this something from the Smart Meter?

Is this the system where the Smart Meter sends data back up the line to a Wifi or cellular transmitter at the pole xformer?
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 07:41:36 PM »


His problem also began right after the installation of a Smart Meter.

I could find almost no details on how smart meters communicate.  One manufacturer (Siemens) says they use spread-spectrum technology between 9 and 500KHz.  That certainly covers the X10 band.  I could find nothing about the actual protocols used.

Jeff
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 08:16:24 PM »

From what I'm reading about Smart Meters from our power company, BGE, it replaces the current electric meter, not go into the breaker panel. Right now it's totally optional, plus the company wants the rate payers to pay for them, so the Maryland Public Service Commission is getting involved. The "Smart Meters" are to help the company, not the users. 
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skaggz

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2011, 12:19:17 AM »

Wow, Great responses. Thank you all Jeff, Dave, Brian and Dan, (forgive me if I missed anyone), I'm brand new and do not yet know how to respond to individual replies but I thank you all and am at least a little comforted knowing that others are with me on this.
The Manufacturer is SILVER SPRINGS NETWORKS it's a FOCUS AXR-SD  EPS
under that it reads FORM 25 CL200.
I will call the Subcontractor that installed the device. SMUD, the Utility told me last week when I first called them to complain that I would have to call the Vendor they used to install them.
I can't swear to it but I really do believe that I had a Phase Coupler installed on my side of the Panel and now there is nothing there. I am uncertain because I know I purchased the device from X10 but remember being a little intimidated with connecting up the wires in a 240v panel by myself but I remember not having all my modules working when I first installed them and for the last several years they all have worked irrespective of the Phase they are on so, I'm thinking they removed it because it interfered with their Smart Meter.

Thanks again I will post results.
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Brian H

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2011, 06:07:34 AM »

Thanks for the update.

Let us know how it turns out.

I believe I found some information on the meter if any technical type is interested. Page 5 has a description.
Not sure if a X10 coupler between the lines would mess things up
http://www.defranchiseoncor.org/SmartMeters/Landis-Gyr_Focus_AX_Manual_NY_State.pdf

The -SD indicates the utility company can do a remote disconnect of service.  ::)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 07:57:42 AM by Brian H »
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2011, 10:51:25 AM »


Thanks for finding the documentation.  It appears that is just a modern day version of the old mechanical electrical meter with a disconnect feature.  The meter itself does not include a communication mechanism, but they do refer to a Gridstream RF communication link that runs at 902 to 928MHz.  That would certainly not bother X10.

I wonder if this all comes down to their removing the passive coupler when the meter was installed.  If so, the first step would be to reinstall a good passive coupler, such as the XPCP.

Jeff
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2011, 02:32:53 PM »

Jeff, I've never heard of any electric meter EVER being mounted in a curcit breaker box.  Mine certainly isn't, plus usually electric power is delivered at 220 volts and split to 110 in the breaker box(es).  That's how my house is wired, half the house is one phase and the other half is on the other phase. I have an electric stove and use the capacitor in the outlet box for the stove trick. My old X10 dealer sold me the proper rated capacitor and I installed it myself.  PRESTO!!!  my phases were coupled.     
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2011, 03:32:38 PM »

I never thought the meter was "in" the circuit breaker box.  The documentation shows it is intended to be a form-fit-function replacement for the old mechanical meter.

Our main exterior disconnect panel that feeds all 240V loads and several 120V circuits also has the meter plugged right into it.  If the passive coupler was installed in that type of panel, it could easily have been removed by the contractor who changed the meter.

The question I had was what kind of communication is used between the utility company and the new smart meter.  The Siemens smart meter uses a spread spectrum technique spanning from 9 to 500KHz.  Since that overlaps the X10 frequency, it might cause a problem.  While this particular meter does not support communication directly, a separate communication module referenced in the documentation works in the 900MHz range.  That certainly would not be an issue for X10 communication.

The original poster said he thought there was a phase coupler installed, but it now appears to be missing.  Since it is unlikely the meter is the cause of the problem itself, I suspect the problem may be due to the possible removal of that phase coupler by the contractor who replaced the meter.

Of course, the meter does contain electronics.  It might also contain a surge protector that is a signal sucker, attenuating an already weak signal to the point it no longer provides reliable control.

Jeff


« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 04:12:51 PM by JeffVolp »
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