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Author Topic: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP  (Read 25936 times)

pvignola

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Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« on: March 20, 2011, 01:48:44 PM »

I have 2 lamps on lamp modules, these are regular lamps with incandescent bulbs in them.  I have a TM751 on the second floor set to house code A which is the same house code the lamps are on.  I have triple checked (or more) my settings in AHP and they are correct.  These lamps will turn on, off, and dim fine with the remote but AHP will not turn them on or for some odd reason.  I have many other lamps in the house that work well with AHP and the remote.

I have looked at the activity monitor and the CM15a is sending the correct commands to turn the lights on and off but the lights just aren't going on or off.

Any ideas as to why this isn't working with AHP?
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Knightrider

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2011, 01:59:19 PM »

How old are the lamp modules?  What version of AHP?  Are the lamp modules correctly identified as soft start or not?  Are you sure the signal from the CM15 is propagating on both phases?

Have you tried searching the forums for answers?
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Tuicemen

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2011, 02:23:09 PM »

Are you sending RF signals for the lights?
The TM751 responds to RF not PLC.
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dave w

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2011, 05:02:24 PM »

Any ideas as to why this isn't working with AHP?
Yes.

You could have a phase coupling problem where the TM751 is on the same phase as the lamp modules but your CM15A is on the opposite phase.
You could have a electrical noise problem between the CM15A and the lamp modules. (computer, etc.)
You could have the CM15A plugged into a surge protector that blocks the X10 powerline commands.
You could have a bad CM15A. (this is easy to test for. Plug the lamp module into same outplet as CM15A and test.
Search "noise", "phase coupling", "signal sucker"
or go here:
http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm
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pvignola

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2011, 08:01:47 PM »

Thanks for the responses guys.  I thought that if I used AHP (the latest version) it would send PLC not RF.  I understand that the TM751 uses RF and that is why the remotes work.

As far as phases go and phase coupling I will have to read up as I know nothing about phase coupling.  I can tell you that the TM751 and the lamps are on the same floor but I'm not sure about the phases or circuits they are on.  Man this stuff can be complicated.

The lamp modules are brand new I just ordered them last week.  The CM15a is not plugged into a surge protector so I think I am OK there.

@Dave W I will try to plug the TM751 into the same outlet as the CM15a and let you know what I find. Thanks for the suggestion.

@Knightrider How do I check if the modules are soft start or not in AHP?  I also know nothing of phases like I mentioned above so I am not sure the CM15A is hitting both phases.


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Knightrider

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2011, 08:07:31 PM »

When you turn on the lamp, does it come on instantly at full brightness, or does it "ramp up"?  The instant on units are the older ones and have to be designated as such in the software.
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pvignola

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2011, 08:14:19 PM »

dave w I plugged the the TM751 into the same outlet as the CM15 was and it did't turn on the lamps either.  I would deduce that it means I have a phase coupling issue is that right?
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pvignola

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2011, 08:16:20 PM »

Knightrider The come on at full brightness and ramp down at "off"  What should I set them as in AHP?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 08:18:46 PM by pvignola »
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Knightrider

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2011, 08:18:31 PM »

I'll answer for my esteemed friend Dave W,  Sounds like a phase issue to me. Now we're getting somewhere, Boomer.  My guess is that if your lamp modules are newer than 2008, they are soft start and you needent worry about my previous posts.

Phase issue is most likely the culprit.
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pvignola

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2011, 08:44:36 PM »

Wow I just read about phase coupling and most of the info went right over my head.  I have a basic level of understanding of electricity.  I have a home that will most likely never have any more than say 50 X10 devices in it.  I plan to add the X10 security system at some point but I believe that is mostly RF device so my system may never have more 32 power line devices.  Right now I am using only 12 power line devices.

I am at a loss as to what to do.  Any suggestions?
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2011, 10:36:55 PM »

What they mean about phases is most houses receive electric power at 220 volts AC, in the house at the circuit breakers that is split into 2 110 volt phases.  X10 powerline signal cannot cross the phases without some kind of phase coupler.    If you do a search here for "phase couplers" you will find what you need to use. 

What kind of stove does your house have?  Let us know as there is easy test if you have an electric stove. 
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Noam

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2011, 09:37:27 AM »

... What kind of stove does your house have?  Let us know as there is easy test if you have an electric stove. 

220V Electric stoves, ovens, dryers, or water heaters can *usually* be used to test if a phase coupler will help.
When they are on, these devices generally bridge the two phases together, so X10 signals can pass across.
However, this might not be a fool-proof test for you, as some 220V devices may not work well for passing X10 signals through.

If you have any plug-in 200v appliances (usually only a stove or an electric dryer would fit into this category), you should be able to buy a plug-in phase coupler that goes in between the appliance and the socket, which will pass the signals between the two.
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dave w

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2011, 10:31:17 AM »

Wow I just read about phase coupling and most of the info went right over my head.  I have a basic level of understanding of electricity.  I have a home that will most likely never have any more than say 50 X10 devices in it.  I plan to add the X10 security system at some point but I believe that is mostly RF device so my system may never have more 32 power line devices.  Right now I am using only 12 power line devices.

I am at a loss as to what to do.  Any suggestions?

Before doing anything else, make sure your CM15A is set to transceive the house codes you are using. The control is under Tools/Hardware configuration in AHP.

As Noam explained, any 220V-240V appliances couples to both 120V phases in your home. But they only "bridge" X10 signals when they are on. If you have a 220V stove, turn the oven on and use a remote to send to the CM15A (now set to transceive) Unplug the TM751 for this test, otherwise it will trample the PLC codes coming from the CM15A.  If the lights start responding you likely have a phase coupling issue. Unplug the CM15A and try the TM751 in same outlet, The TM751 has a slightly higher PLC signal output than the CM15A. If the light do not respond, you could still have a "noise maker" on the same circuit as the TM751/CM15A. Constant electrical noise can be generated by switching power supplies which are in everything now days. Typical culprits are power bricks for printers, notebooks, etc. flat screen TVs, computers, cell phone chargers, etc. etc. etc. You can try unplugging the suspects and retesting.


If you plan on expanding your system you need a "Repeater". A repeater detects a X10 signal on one phase, amplifies it on that phase and also bridges it to the other phase.  A high output repeater can many times over come a noise problem by shear brute force (boosting the X10 signal to a higher level than the noise), eliminating the need of a lot of filters on suspect noise makers. IMHO the XTBIIR is the best on the market. Next is the ACT CR234. Both are pricey. An alternative is the X10 PRO  "XPCR" which I have seen on EBay for under 20 bucks...cheap enough to just buy as a test. These repeaters listed must all be wired into your electrical panel. Smarthome.com has a repeater which plugs in to a three prong 220V dryer outlet.

What you are seeing are very typical "start-up" problems and are fixable, it just takes a little detective work.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 10:47:36 AM by dave w »
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2011, 01:21:37 PM »

I would suggest replacing any TM751 with a RR501 as the 751 is NOT "polite" it sends PLC signals as soon as it gets the RF signals.  The RR501 is "polite" it waits to see if the line is clear before sending (about a second and a half). 
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Noam

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Re: Lamp Modules (LM465) not turning on or off via AHP
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2011, 01:28:20 PM »

I would suggest replacing any TM751 with a RR501 as the 751 is NOT "polite" it sends PLC signals as soon as it gets the RF signals.  The RR501 is "polite" it waits to see if the line is clear before sending (about a second and a half). 

Dan -
That's a good point, but since both the TM751 and the CM15A are unable to control the lights from that location using PLC, it sounds to me like it is a phase issue and/or a noise issue on the powerline. The "rudeness" of the TM751 doesn't come into play when sending PLC straight from the CM15A.
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