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Author Topic: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install  (Read 91859 times)

JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #180 on: December 28, 2011, 11:13:26 AM »

I just went out to the transformer and got the info off of the "data aggregator":

Ambient  Model X-3100-GB1

Here is a snippet from an article I picked off the web:

"Duke is using its SGIG funds to modernize communication between distribution lines and the company's back office.  In the Cincinnati area, it is installing Ambient nodes alongside every transformer.  Both smart meters and digital monitors on distribution lines send information via the power line to the box, which relays it to the Duke offices over a mesh wireless network.  The company is testing an Ambient communication node, and Echelon's Edge Control Node 7000 series, for this purpose."

Jeff
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 11:21:04 AM by JeffVolp »
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dhouston

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #181 on: December 28, 2011, 11:55:48 AM »

Echelon also has the "NES Data Concentrator" which looks like the ones in some of the pics sent by others. I have not spotted the one for my current apartment but where I was living, it was on a pole (easy to spot because of a bright blue LED) and looked like the Echelon version.

Also, I had found all of the different meters from various suppliers confusing but it is beginning to appear that most, if not all, are actually using LonTalk but referring to it by its ISO, ANSI or CE standard designation. Echelon's data concentrator also uses it. The meters and concentrators use Cenelec A Band (75-86kHz) or C Band (115-132kHz) for the powerline protocol and the signal amplitude varies, growing considerably stronger if it encounters "noise". The concentrator can be set to query the meter (for usage) on 5 minute to 24 hour intervals. There's an optional SO (?) pulse output which can be RS232C,  a set of XYZ relay contacts or flashing LEDs. The pulse rate is 1 pulse = 1 Watt hour (i.e. 1000 pulses per 1kWh). A Zigbee module is also optional.

One affected user sees random ONs with an X10-made switch but not from a Smarthome Insteon/X10 module set to the same address and sees no valid X10 codes in an Ocelot log. Another sees randon ONs in one X10-made module but not in another X10-made module at the same address.

While Cenelec A or B frequencies can block (interfere with) X10, I think it may be high amplitude signals operating directly on the PIC processors used by X10 (although I'm unsure of the mechanism) that cause the random ONs. Power surges, spikes and brownouts can cause similar events.
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JeffreyB

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #182 on: January 07, 2012, 09:56:26 AM »

Well, the Ambient node was turned off two days ago.  All false "ON"s have ceased.  I also am not getting any blocked commands.  Proof enough for me!  I'm not sure how long Duke will be able to keep me "off the grid", so there still needs to be some long-term fix...

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #183 on: January 07, 2012, 11:41:01 AM »


I have been working with a customer in the Duke Cincinnati service area to come up with a viable solution.  His last report was that there had been no switching errors for four days.

We are using a combination of clamp-on ferrite filters over the service entrance lines and X10 bandpass and low-impedance notch filters to attenuate the incoming smart meter signal.

The clamp-on ferrite filters are not easy to obtain, and I am in the process of ordering a batch.  I am working with him now to come up with an optimum design for the notch filter.  The first version was too susceptible to being detuned by powerline inductance.

Simulations on the noise eliminator that I had proposed some time ago were promising.  It would cancel any powerline noise at the distribution panel, and repeat valid X10 signals at a high level.  Unfortunately, it looks like that would be too expensive to produce

Jeff
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dhouston

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #184 on: January 07, 2012, 12:43:33 PM »

Given that JeffreyB had an Insteon/X10 module on the same X10 address and it did not experience random ONs while his X10 switch did, I wonder if the random ON (and maybe OFF) might be fixed by disabling local control on the switches (and modules) that experience random ONs. Blocked commands might be alleviated if Duke could be persuaded to reduce the frequency of the concentrator queries of the meter.
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Noam

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #185 on: January 07, 2012, 07:27:13 PM »

Given that JeffreyB had an Insteon/X10 module on the same X10 address and it did not experience random ONs while his X10 switch did, I wonder if the random ON (and maybe OFF) might be fixed by disabling local control on the switches (and modules) that experience random ONs. Blocked commands might be alleviated if Duke could be persuaded to reduce the frequency of the concentrator queries of the meter.
I don't know if it is the local control that is the issue, since that generally watches the "load" side of the module.
When I had the issue with my neighbor's bad CFL, I had both X10 and Insteon devices, and only the Insteon ones were having issues. the X10 ones seemed to be fine.
It was attributed to the different sensitivity levels in the different devices.
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zekyl314

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #186 on: January 09, 2012, 01:12:56 PM »

I have Duke Energy in Cincinnati, and after the install if the Echelon Smart meter, my X10 modules come on at random times.  It also happens for my Dad, so I know it is occurring.  I have read through the forum, has anyone found a good cheap solution to fix?  Do you think calling Duke would do any good at all?  I assume if I call their customer service they won't have a clue as to what I am talking about or blame it on my equipment that has been fine for 5+ years.

Thanks,
-Mike
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #187 on: January 10, 2012, 11:57:35 AM »


We have made significant progress addressing the smart meter problem at one home in the Duke Cincinnati service area.  That meter interacts with its data accumulator at 75KHz and 86KHz.  When first installed it rendered the X10 system in that home virtually unusable.  We have since progressed to the point that there have been several days without a problem.

The solution has been to install clamp-on ferrite filters over both “hot” service entrance cables to add some impedance to the smart meter signals, and then to add a low-impedance filter to severely attenuate whatever signals leak through.  We are still working on an optimum filter, but good results have been obtained with the X10 XPNR straddling the incoming 240V, and low-impedance 86KHz notch filters across both phases.  It is essential for the clamp-on ferrites to be installed to add some impedance for either of those filters to be effective.

We have done a lot of research on clamp-on ferrite filters.  We are now using the RFC-20MA from Intermark.  While most of the clamp-on filters are targeted at blocking noise in the megahertz region, these Intermark filters have a low-frequency material that is effective in the range of interest.  They are expensive though.  I have some on order now, and will be adding them to my product list when they arrive.  The exact price depends on how much it costs to ship them to me, but they should be less than $18 each.  A minimum of one must be installed on each entrance cable, but we will be testing with multiple filters when this lot comes in.

We will also be testing a new wide-bandwidth attenuator in about a week.  Parts for that are on the way now.

Hopefully we will have a final solution to those of you plagued with this problem in another couple of weeks.

Jeff
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Noam

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #188 on: January 10, 2012, 12:26:58 PM »

It is too bad that the responsibility for solving this falls to the homeowner (and their friends), and not to the utility company. After all, THEY are the ones that created the problem by installing the new meter in the first place.
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zekyl314

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #189 on: January 10, 2012, 12:46:30 PM »

I have also opened a case with Duke in Cincinnati.  Not sure if I'll get anywhere, but I figured it could not hurt.
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JeffreyB

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #190 on: January 10, 2012, 01:38:50 PM »

Mike (zekyl314),
PM me with your contact info and I'll pass it on to the Duke engineer I'm dealing with.  It will then be up to him whether he contacts you, but he's been very responsive for me.

Jeff
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zekyl314

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #191 on: January 10, 2012, 01:53:24 PM »

Jeff, message has been sent to you.
-Mike

Mike (zekyl314),
PM me with your contact info and I'll pass it on to the Duke engineer I'm dealing with.  It will then be up to him whether he contacts you, but he's been very responsive for me.

Jeff

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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #192 on: January 10, 2012, 02:27:19 PM »


I have had communication with a Duke engineer in Cincinnati.  My customer in that service area is also working directly with them.  We will be sharing our results with them with the hope that Duke will address it from their end.

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #193 on: January 25, 2012, 12:56:50 PM »


I posted an update on the smart meter problem here:

http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=26056.msg146781#msg146781

As yet, nobody has contacted me regarding the solution.  While I have already invested hundreds of dollars on the clamp-on ferrite filters (which must be purchased directly from the manufacturer), I won't order components for the filters if there is no interest in this solution.

Jeff
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JeffreyB

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Re: X-10 Modules not Responding after Smart Meter Install
« Reply #194 on: February 06, 2012, 02:08:21 PM »

Jeff,

have you passed on your results to the Duke engineer Paul?  I would think that a working solution would interest them and could possibly make you a few bucks.  Duke could offer this as their solution.  I'm still of the mind that the home owners should not foot the bill for this Duke induced problem.  Right now my solution was to have them take me off the grid and it didn't cost me a cent.  How long they'll keep me off is not known...

Jeff
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