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Author Topic: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install  (Read 86008 times)

JeffreyB

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #120 on: November 14, 2011, 12:38:46 PM »

Jeff,

I'm in the same "Duke" area of Northern KY, Ohio (Cincinnati) as your other customer.  Could you PM me the name/contact info of that engineer?  I'm going through hoops with the first level support people at Duke and it's getting ridiculous at this point...

Thanks,
Jeff
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JeffreyB

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #121 on: November 23, 2011, 09:34:11 AM »

BUMP...  Any news on this?  Jeff, any updates on the effectiveness of your filters?  I spoke with the Duke engineer.  They may take me and 4 neighbors (on the same transformer) off the grid.  He indicated that they didn't think it was just the smart meters causing the problems, but the unit out on the transformer that gathers the usage data and then sends it on to Duke.  He said that they swapped back in the old analog meter for a few customers with issues and it didn't help indicating it was the unit on the transformer causing the problems.  All I know is I put a system in years ago to save me some $$$ by shutting off lights (occupancy and day/night sensors) and it's now costing me big bucks because I can't keep the damn lights off!  I've got every wall switch in my home on x10, my HVAC system, and my irrigation system!  I've had to disable x10 control of the HVAC and irrigation for obvious reasons...  This just sucks big time...

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #122 on: November 23, 2011, 10:31:50 AM »

BUMP...  Any news on this?  Jeff, any updates on the effectiveness of your filters?

Not since the post I made on November 11.  The fellow has been out of town.  There are two more filters on the way to him that include the ability to reject Insteon transmissions.  So they may help if it is 132KHz leaking through.  Hopefully I will receive another report this weekend.

There was a recent report from one of the XTB-ANR beta testers in another thread:

http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=25126.msg143895#msg143895

The XTB-ANR kits are available now, with a special price for buying a pair.  (The second one is essentially break-even for me.)

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #123 on: November 30, 2011, 11:06:52 AM »


I received some detailed data on the smart meter installation.  The fellow in the Duke Cincinnati service area has a spectrum analyzer.  With that he was able to see periodic bursts of 75KHz about once a minute.

Reading more about the LonWorks power line transceivers, 75KHz is an alternate frequency generated when the clock is 6.5536 MHz instead of 10.0 MHz.  So I am fairly sure his meter is communicating by LonWorks.

What was disappointing was his measurements showed the attenuation from the XTB-ANR was not that significant reducing the 75KHz from .5V to .3V.  The reason for that is the source impedance of the LonWorks transceiver is only 1 ohm, and it can drive 1 amp peak to peak onto the power line.  Another version of that transceiver can drive 2 amps peak to peak.  The ANR was designed to deal with noise sources, not powerful transmitters like that.

I'm working on a modified version of my Tuned Signal Sucker severely reduce the level of that 75KHz signal.  Hopefully we will have some results in a week or so.

Jeff
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dhouston

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #124 on: November 30, 2011, 11:39:26 AM »

Interesting. 75kHz is a definite problem for X-10 and may even be what drove my cheap microwaves out of their minds.

Does the Duke engineer know how it is getting into the household wiring? Or what it's function is?

On the former, wouldn't a whole house blocking filter take care of it?

On the latter, I don't recall the details but there was discussion a few years back of methods for bypassing the distribution transformers for data transfers. Maybe the 75kHz bursts do that and are what carry the usage data to the substation.

The LonWorks system is widely used in Europe but they have far more houses per distribution transformer than we do in N. America so it may be that the aggregators are not as dense as here.
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Noam

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #125 on: November 30, 2011, 11:51:30 AM »

Jeff -
I don't have a SmartMeter (yet - we've been told they are coming to our area within a year or so), but I've been watching this thread.
I'm not sure which meters our local utility is installing (they have already started in the adjacent county, but that doesn't guarantee we will get the same ones), but I'm hoping that by the time they install it, most of these issues will have been ironed out (or a suitable workaround will have been found).

Keep up the good work!
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Noam

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #126 on: November 30, 2011, 12:31:08 PM »

Well, it looks like our utility (PEPCO) is installing meters from "Silver Spring Networks".
I don't know the model for sure, but I saw one photo (from a local article) of a Focus AXR-SD meter.
The user who started this thread reporting his system didn't work at all after one of their meters was installed (same model), but I couldn't find anything else on them. I didn't see a resolution to his issue, or if the problem was caused by the removal of his coupler or not.

PEPCO's website says the meters use 900MHz and 2.4GHz to transmit their data back to the utility, so I'm hoping that means they are not sending signals on the powerline itself (and therefore shouldn't be interfering with my system).

Does anyone have any other information on their meters, and what (if any) interference they may cause with my X10 installation?
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #127 on: November 30, 2011, 12:57:29 PM »

As I noted before if BGE (Baltimore Gas & Electric) wants to install Smart Meters and cannot guarantee they won't block x10 signals, they don't get access to to my house (electric & gas meters are inside).
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Noam

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #128 on: November 30, 2011, 01:02:35 PM »

As I noted before if BGE (Baltimore Gas & Electric) wants to install Smart Meters and cannot guarantee they won't block x10 signals, they don't get access to to my house (electric & gas meters are inside).
Dan -
1) I don't know how that helps me (meter is outside).
2) I don't know about BGE, but I'm guessing they have a similar clause in their customer agreement as Pepco does - that failure to provide them access to the meter to work on it could result in them shutting off your power.
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #129 on: November 30, 2011, 01:04:49 PM »


The 75KHz is being injected directly onto the powerline to communicate with the "data aggregator".  There is nothing to stop it from coming into the house.  He read .5V in his lab, which is a long run from the distribution panel.  The X10 signal was .3V barefoot, and 2V with the XTB-IIR in service.  Since the XTB-IIR hits the panel with 20-30Vpp, you can see that the 75KHz is probably over 5V at the panel.

I wonder about the effectiveness of the PZZ01 or Leviton 6284.  I also thought about the ferrite "doughnuts", but they are most effective up in the megahertz region.  But even adding a few ohms to the source impedance would help.

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #130 on: November 30, 2011, 01:18:33 PM »


I'm beginning work on a device that should eliminate the problem entirely.  It will null out all but X10 signals (and possibly Insteon) at the distribution panel, and amplify valid X10 signals.  So if a utility company drives any signal into the home, it will be totally cancelled.  They will have to provide some isolation between the meter and the distribution panel if they don't want their own signal killed too.  Unfortunately with my present workload, that is at least a year off.

Jeff
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Noam

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #131 on: November 30, 2011, 01:21:09 PM »

I just got off the phone with PEPCO (DC/Maryland).
They told me that the two meters they are installing in my area are the Landis+Gyr Focus AXR, and the GE 1210+C.
I don't see a GE 1210+C, but I see an I-210+C (understandable mistake). The GE looks to be a single-phase meter, so I'm guessing I'll be getting the AXR.
Other than the one post here, I haven't seen any other reports of X10 problems with it, which is a good sign.
However, they don't know when we will be getting the new meter. Their goal is to have the entire region done by the end of 2012.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #132 on: November 30, 2011, 06:40:52 PM »

As I noted before if BGE (Baltimore Gas & Electric) wants to install Smart Meters and cannot guarantee they won't block x10 signals, they don't get access to to my house (electric & gas meters are inside).
Dan -
1) I don't know how that helps me (meter is outside).
2) I don't know about BGE, but I'm guessing they have a similar clause in their customer agreement as Pepco does - that failure to provide them access to the meter to work on it could result in them shutting off your power.

If they shut off my power, I'll get a lawyer and sue them.   Smart Meters are for the company, not the user.
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Noam

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #133 on: November 30, 2011, 08:44:50 PM »

If they shut off my power, I'll get a lawyer and sue them.   Smart Meters are for the company, not the user.

Sounds like a plan!
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #134 on: November 30, 2011, 09:37:11 PM »


A modified version of the Tuned Signal Sucker is on the way.  It places a very heavy load on the 75KHz, but leaves the 120KHz virtually unchanged.  Hopefully we will have further results over the weekend.

The customer pointed out that the 1 ohm output impedance of the Echelon transceiver not only produces a very powerful signal, but it will also seriously load down any X10 signals that occur while it is transmitting.  Even the XTB-IIR was not designed to drive into a 1 ohm load, so this may be a difficult one to solve.

Jeff
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