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Author Topic: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?  (Read 46301 times)

JeffVolp

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Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« on: September 26, 2011, 12:13:07 PM »


Some of you may be aware of my working on an active noise reducer to combat noise generated by the multitude of electronic devices in our homes today.  I just finished a feasibility test, and WOW, it works!

I started by injecting 120KHz at 1Vpp onto the powerline.  The XTBM indicated High Noise, and neither it nor a X10 module were able to decode commands coming from a Maxi Controller plugged into the same power strip.  I switched on the ANR and the XTBM indicated the noise dropped by a factor of 10.

The XTBM was then able to decode commands just fine, but the X10 module still had trouble until the 120KHz noise was reduced to 400mVpp before attenuation.  It did work fine at the higher noise level if I shifted the noise frequency +/- a few KHz off 120KHz.  But even with a noise source sitting right at the center of the X10 bandpass, the ANR allowed the module to work with a noise level that would normally totally block X10 communication on that circuit.
 
The next step is to build up a few beta units and get them out to people plagued with serious noise problems.

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 01:14:33 PM »

Sounds good.
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Noam

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 02:28:39 PM »

Jeff -
Sounds wonderful, I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.

1. Would the ANR need to be connected to the line (I assume it will either be a plug-in box, or a box with a line cord attached) between the noise and the modules, or would it work anywhere it is plugged into the system?
2. Would it work for cases where noise is coming in from outside the home (like I had)?
3. What do you estimate the price range will be when you are ready to market them?
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JeffVolp

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 03:20:53 PM »


The XTB-ANR will be a plug-in module slightly smaller than the X10 XPPF filter.  It will severely load down any noise on the circuit it is plugged into.  When plugged into an outlet near the distribution panel, it should attenuate noise coming in from outside the home.  If the noise source is inside your home, best results may be obtained by plugging the ANR into the same circuit.  If there is noise on both phases, two ANRs may be needed - one for each phase.

I've done everything I can to keep the cost down, including using a transformerless supply.  I just totalled up the cost of the components.  The PCB and case are almost half the cost.  Even using bare bones PCBs without solder mask or silkscreen, the total is $32, not including shipping.  So, the kit will probably be $39, and the assembled unit $20 more.

Beta PCBs are on order now, and those units should be available in a couple of weeks.

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 09:41:58 AM »


Insteon compatibility...

While the XTB-ANR works even better than I expected, the one issue remaining is Insteon compatibility.  Right now it will squash Insteon signals just like any other noise.  Since some of you have combined X10 / Insteon systems, I want to make it also “Insteon friendly”.  The problem is that Insteon signal bursts overlap the X10 transmit window, and noise that looks sufficiently like an Insteon command would not be eliminated from that window.  Thoughts?

Jeff
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dave w

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 09:48:54 AM »

Not an answer to your question, but is there any thoughts on incorporating two ANRs in the XTBIIR? Or making a dual unit for wiring in to breaker panel?
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Brian H

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 10:05:59 AM »

Well if the ANR is tightly tuned to the X10 120KHz.
I doubt the Insteon 131.65 KHz. Starting 800us before Zero Crossing will work with it.
I have a mixed system and will give your questions some thoughts.

How critical is the 120KHz?
I have some right from X10 that are like 122KHz and even higher.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2011, 10:10:03 AM »

Not an answer to your question, but is there any thoughts on incorporating two ANRs in the XTBIIR? Or making a dual unit for wiring in to breaker panel?

Actually, I had thought about a combined two-phase unit, but something like that would be way off in the future.

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 10:20:42 AM »

How critical is the 120KHz?
I have some right from X10 that are like 122KHz and even higher.

The prototype will pass signals over the range from 115 to 125KHz that are above the noise level during the X10 transmit window.  To be compatible with Insteon, it would also have to pass signals near 131KHz over the Insteon transmit window.

Jeff
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systemdm

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 11:22:20 AM »


Insteon compatibility...

While the XTB-ANR works even better than I expected, the one issue remaining is Insteon compatibility.  Right now it will squash Insteon signals just like any other noise.  Since some of you have combined X10 / Insteon systems, I want to make it also “Insteon friendly”.  The problem is that Insteon signal bursts overlap the X10 transmit window, and noise that looks sufficiently like an Insteon command would not be eliminated from that window.  Thoughts?

Jeff


Would it would be feasible to sell two separate units?   One for the X10 only environment and one for the X10 and Insteon environment.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2011, 12:07:33 PM »

Would it would be feasible to sell two separate units?   One for the X10 only environment and one for the X10 and Insteon environment.

Yes, that is certainly feasible.  The only difference is the firmware.

I'm working on an algorithm to identify the difference between an Insteon signal and just about any random noise source even if it is at the same frequency.

Jeff
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Noam

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 03:00:35 PM »

Would it would be feasible to sell two separate units?   One for the X10 only environment and one for the X10 and Insteon environment.

Yes, that is certainly feasible.  The only difference is the firmware.

I'm working on an algorithm to identify the difference between an Insteon signal and just about any random noise source even if it is at the same frequency.

Jeff
Jeff -
Is there any way to be able to turn the Insteon mode on or off, perhaps with a sequence of commands, like one would use to configure an XTB-IIR?
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JeffVolp

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 03:30:52 PM »

Is there any way to be able to turn the Insteon mode on or off, perhaps with a sequence of commands, like one would use to configure an XTB-IIR?

While also feasible, I would rather avoid that level of complexity.  I am looking at using the same technique to identify Insteon commands as is used in the XTBM.  If it doesn't have the right signature, it will be considered noise.

Jeff
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Noam

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2011, 04:20:26 PM »

I am looking at using the same technique to identify Insteon commands as is used in the XTBM.  If it doesn't have the right signature, it will be considered noise.
That's certainly a better way to do it.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Active Noise Reducer – Maybe the CFL Silver Bullet?
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2011, 11:53:34 AM »


Here's a photo of the prototype in case anyone is interested.



Jeff
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