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Author Topic: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?  (Read 10159 times)

wyx2000

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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 04:54:36 PM »

Go for it!!  For a buck each you could get 5. You can't miss.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 04:57:06 PM by Dan Lawrence »
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dave w

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2011, 05:06:25 PM »

I see a one dollar phase coupler , anyone tried it? does it work?

I agree with Dan, for a buck...what the hey.
But a repeater, which not only couples the signal between the two phases but also amplifies the signal on both phases, will fight noise problems.
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Brian H

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2011, 06:13:47 PM »

I had a .1uf AC rated cap across the power lines. Even got fancy and tuned it with a 18uh inductor.
Smarthome's dryer outlet coupler was a .1uf cap with a 18uh coil in series across the power line.

They work sometimes , but as pointed out. Only couples what is getting to the breaker box back on the other power line.
So lets say your CM15A is transmitting at 5 volts and by the time it gets to the breaker box. It has been reduced to 1 volt.
You start out with 1 volt on the other power line that has to then deal with noise and signal suckers.

The XPCR was a low cost repeater coupler but there seem to be a large price jump lately.
Better is an ACT CR234.
Best JV Engineering XTB-IIR
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JeffVolp

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2011, 06:17:53 PM »


You beat me to it Brian - about the series inductor.  Also, if it is the capacitor in the photograph, that is not X2 rated for across powerline operation.

Here is more info on couplers than you probably care to know:

http://jvde.us/x10/x10_couplers.htm

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2011, 06:54:47 PM »

I also didn't see any markings indicating across AC power Line Rated.
Mine specified it was a X2 across AC line rated at 275 volts AC.
The ones in the Smarthome Dryer Outlet coupler didn't say AC rated either.
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wyx2000

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2011, 06:59:07 PM »

I also didn't see any markings indicating across AC power Line Rated.
Mine specified it was a X2 across AC line rated at 275 volts AC.
The ones in the Smarthome Dryer Outlet coupler didn't say AC rated either.


It is $5 to me since I have to pay $4 for shipping. Tail wigging the dog.

If it works, I guess I guess I only need one, if not, 5 doesn't help
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Brian H

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2011, 07:17:46 PM »

Here is the phase coupling X10 knowledgebase information.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Phase_Coupling

It indicates X10 does not recommend a capacitor across the power lines.
Though they are talking a 600 volt DC rated capacitor and I used one specified for across AC power line use.

I don't think the one in your link is rated for across AC power line use.
I know someone here reported one failing and blowing apart. I don't know if it was from that vendor or what the users capacitor was rated at.
Smarthome had the nerve to use a 400 volt one in their dryer outlet coupler.

The X10Pro XPCP is a passive coupler but made for X10 signal coupling and is rated to be connected to a breaker box.
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/xpcp.pdf
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 07:27:37 PM by Brian H »
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JeffVolp

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2011, 07:42:54 PM »

It is $5 to me since I have to pay $4 for shipping. Tail wigging the dog.

Even though it is only a fraction of an ounce, that will have to ship as a First Class "package" at $1.75 (when printed on-line).  Add the cost of a padded envelope and some time to print the label and packing list, and $4 isn't unreasonable for S&H.

The XPCP is a far better choice, and can still be picked up for $13 on eBay.  See my report on couplers listed above.

Jeff
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wyx2000

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2011, 08:00:54 PM »

Open the powerbox control panel sounds a big thing to me, I was planning to install the $1 one into the 220V socket, seems much easier?
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dhouston

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2011, 08:28:15 PM »

Open the powerbox control panel sounds a big thing to me, I was planning to install the $1 one into the 220V socket, seems much easier?
And much, much more dangerous. You have been given excellent advice about needing an X2 type capacitor if you insist on proceeding this way. Take the advice.

The $1 capacitor is not rated for this. If it fails, it will likely short across 220V. If you are lucky, it will make a loud bang - if not so lucky, lots of smoke and flames.

X2 capacitors are rated for things like this - they fail open by design.
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dave w

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2011, 08:30:32 PM »

Open the powerbox control panel sounds a big thing to me, I was planning to install the $1 one into the 220V socket, seems much easier?

It is a big deal. You can get 'cuted if you don't know what you are doing. I had not looked at the Ebay auction when I said to go for it for a buck. I am now going to redact that recommendation.
You will be a lot happier if you go for a real repeater rather than the cap.
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wyx2000

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2011, 10:19:22 PM »

ok, so no $1 coupler, no passive coupler, but a coupler repeater.
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dave w

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2011, 01:26:33 PM »

You gonna be  a sooo happy!
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rjniles

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Re: Does the ebay one dollar phase coupler work?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2011, 06:52:56 PM »

Open the powerbox control panel sounds a big thing to me, I was planning to install the $1 one into the 220V socket, seems much easier?
And much, much more dangerous. You have been given excellent advice about needing an X2 type capacitor if you insist on proceeding this way. Take the advice.

The $1 capacitor is not rated for this. If it fails, it will likely short across 220V. If you are lucky, it will make a loud bang - if not so lucky, lots of smoke and flames.

X2 capacitors are rated for things like this - they fail open by design.

I had them go pop two different times, I now use the x10 bridges.
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