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Author Topic: X10 gone wild  (Read 7735 times)

Dan Lawrence

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2011, 03:04:06 PM »

You plugged the CM15A interface into the same outlet as the computer. Was the computer isolated from the CM15A by a X10 filter? Computer power supplies are known trouble makers.

The Dryer Outlet Booster. Is it the Smarthome Repeater or Passive Coupler model?
The repeater version has been known to sometimes make signal firestorms on the power lines.


Almost every X10 user has had the computer noise problem, I did.  Every computer (including laptops) MUST have a filter on it.  My wife's first laptop didn't put noise out, but laptops 2 and 3 did.  We have 3 computers in the house and every one has a filter on it.

As to dryers, it depends on the maker, some do, lots don't. My dryer doesn't put noise out, every light in the cellar is X10 controlled and all work fine.
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dave w

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2011, 04:47:19 PM »

Every computer (including laptops) MUST have a filter on it. 
Oh gee whiz, I have five computers and none have filters. I have 80 plus X10 modules all working fine.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2011, 05:11:53 PM »

Where are you located?   I'm in Baltimore. MD and here you need a filter on computers if you have X10, otherwise anywhere you have a computer, X10 won't work on any circuit that has a computer on it. 
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dave w

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2011, 05:23:41 PM »

Where are you located?   I'm in Baltimore. MD and here you need a filter on computers if you have X10, otherwise anywhere you have a computer, X10 won't work on any circuit that has a computer on it.  
Dan, Location has nothing to do with it. I am sure there are other X10 users in Baltimore that does not have a filter on their computer.
Not EVERY CFL makes noise that effects X10. Not EVERY flat panel TV makes noise, Not EVERY computer makes noise. Statements like "X10 won't work on any circuit that has a computer on it." is simply not correct. Just because it works, or it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it is the same for all users.
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Brian H

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2011, 06:15:25 PM »

I have a 1.6 watt {yes 1.6 watt} CFL nightlight that is a big signal sucker as measured by my XTBM.  ???
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dhouston

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2011, 07:08:33 PM »

Not EVERY computer makes noise.
I agree. I have 3 desktop PCS, an older laptop, a Mac Mini and an older Mac G4 with two LCD monitors (shared by multiple PCs and the Mini) as well as a few CFLS - none cause any X-10 problems. My Triplite UPS causes no ill effects either. There are no filters on any of the above.

I have a pre-ELK model of the ESM1 that shows 10Vpp from a TM751 as well as an RR501.
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Noam

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2011, 08:32:01 PM »

Where are you located?   I'm in Baltimore. MD and here you need a filter on computers if you have X10, otherwise anywhere you have a computer, X10 won't work on any circuit that has a computer on it. 
I also live in MD (in the DC suburbs), and while some of my PCs are filtered, others are not. However, with my XTB-IIR, I might not even need the filters I have (but they were in place before I got the XTB-IIR).

As Dave said, it really isn't a matter of location. It is a matter of how noisy (or signal-sucky) the power supplies in your computers (or other electronics) are.

True, I'm in PEPCO's service area, but I don't think BG&E is is doing anything special that causes EVERY computer power supply in Baltimore to generate high amounts of noise. I think you just happen to have been "lucky" with the power supplies in the computers you bought.
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kkoncelik

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2011, 09:56:50 PM »

Here is my latest update
OK I have not been able to make X10 work since AUGUST and at best it was 90%.  I had lights that would go on but not off and then some that would not work at all.
So I tried to turn off all circuits at the breaker then put them on one at a time. As I did and explained before it did not matter what order by the time 1/3rd of my home was on X10 quit.
Here is the twist. Could not sleep last night so what else can I do but try to debug X10.  Went around the house and disconnected plug in the house including the refrigerators, washer, dryer, computers and and and. OK nothing on but the X100 computer and monitor.
There are a few switches and lights on the same circut and lo and behold they started working but the History screen never changed. It  is green where I have outlets and red in every other square. Has  been for some time.
Checked the other circuits and all but two units worked.  Small maybe 22 second delay but it worked.  Started to plug stuff in. Stuff still worked but it took longer and longer. Finally it got up to 6 seconds delay but most stuff worked.  The two that never worked were two  that used to be the  only ones that worked before.
Finally all up and running I added the computers and televisions.
Dead slow. 
Turned off X10 and rebooted.

Same thing.
Went out and did some Christmas Lights. Added all that crap to the line and came back in. Still Red and green but now its working similar to the way it did in August.
A few extra outlets are not working but in general mucc better than before.
I am totally confused on this one.
The response is about a second now and I am running more than I ever have.
Its definately not 100% I say about 80% but I do see signal across the coupler.  The only thing I did and this was early on was added the second power boost to the system but that was right away.
Confused more now than ever.
I am also waiting for a refund on the one phase coupler they owe me.

w
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mike

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2011, 08:16:51 AM »

.....
Checked the other circuits and all but two units worked.  Small maybe 22 second delay but it worked. .....

.....Its definately not 100% I say about 80% but I do see signal across the coupler.  The only thing I did and this was early on was added the second power boost to the system but that was right away.......

More 2 cents.....  a comment an idea to try...

comment is that looking at this thread most computer comments have been about putting out noise.  reason I have to have filters on all (5) around here is not for stopping noise but for stopping the signal sucking;  no filter and x10 sig measures say 1v at the outlet; simple filter in line and sig goes up to 3v at the socket.  with 3 buildings separated by 100's of feet and separate power drops into each, sig strength is a major problem here.  I'd say I'm at 90% working but I must be diligent.... UPS on TV and associated equip gets same filter for same sig suck measurable problem.  so i'd suggest using them rather than not if in doubt.  can't hurt.

idea to try:  sounds in your posts like you have TWO repeater things on your system - is it so?  I have wracked my brain to try to understand how noise/sig_suckers can cause up to 22 sec delay from time you push button to result (turning on).  Only thing I can think of is you have 2 repeaters and so they are playing tennis with your initial command, smacking it back and forth over the power line, exciting each other to repeat yet again and all these repeats are actually colliding on the power line and it takes 30 of these volleys before one gets thru - sometimes?  Possible?  You know the cm15 defaults to repeat (transceive) and if you added 1 or 2 others??  You might try turning all off but one - that's my idea.
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2011, 09:42:05 AM »

I have wracked my brain to try to understand how noise/sig_suckers can cause up to 22 sec delay from time you push button to result (turning on).

The CM15A has a "polite" transmitter, and it will delay sending a command if it believes there is already X10 activity on the powerline.  Some noise can look like X10 traffic, which causes the delay in CM15A transmissions.

This crops up once and awhile with the XTB-IIR because its return signal amplifier can increase the level of in-band noise.  That can cause a CM15A plugged into the X10 Boost input to delay its transmission, but it will work fine when plugged directly into the powerline.  One customer recently reported this happened suddenly, and I suggested that he look for something new that was added to the powerline.

Jeff
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kkoncelik

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2012, 09:56:38 PM »

Ok its been a while since I posted but I got X10 to work much better.  I spent a lot of time with a four trace scope and watched the signals.
To cut to the bottom line the CM15A as stated above waits until it sees no other activity.  But in my case the signal is very very weak and I do not see anywhere near a volt on my line. The noise I do have is now noticeable because I am not looking at a 1-5V but I am looking at 15 to 75 MV.  Line noise is about 20MV or less most of the time.  I have a ton if wire in my home and lots of gadgets.
Only my slot machine and arcade games and the blower on my fireplace really screw things up.  But the signal is low.  I bought two power booster claiming to boost power by 10X.  More like 50% than 1000% but it got most of the X10 signals above the noise levels. But that is really not the problem.  Again weak signal.
So I simply moved the X10 CM15A closer to the circuit breaker box.  It was 60 feet away. It is now 10 Feet away and I had to do a fairly long 15'ft usb cable to get the CM15A back to the first floor and it took a while to get that to happen with the holidays and all.
I bought a ton of filters and they are helpful in keeping spikes down but the basic line noise is still there.  Wish the filters were a bit stronger.
Cannot talk scope results with X10 technicians because they have stated they haven't used a scope or at least the ones I talk to.  Its always line noise as the catch all problem without explaining why.  So here is the Why .  As stated on many blogs the signal is weak and especially the smart meters on your house there is always going to be some inherent noise.  I have tons of electric working at all times many computers (all on noise filters now based on this blog) and anything else I think may contribute to a problem.  But again other than a major noisy item and I see few in my home and they are off most of the time just moving closer to the circuit breaker made the most difference in signal strength. ( I would recommend a power booster while minimal take what you can get.)

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kkoncelik

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2012, 10:15:52 PM »

Continuing on the previous post.  I am looking at the circuitry in both the power booster and the filter and going to see if I can increase the power or filter capability. I asked if they had a better filter and they responded that they have 15 amp unit.  Not looking for power capabilities looking for filter capabilities.
I have my system now working and I now can use it.  Still not 100% but much much much better.

Also found out if you do new construction it does not have the childproof tamper and the inspector today rejected it so now I have to figure out how to get around that.  Its the only thing that failed inspection. Go figure.  In an existing home it is not required and is grandfathered in so most of you are fine but new construction depending on where you are you may wish to talk to the building permit dept before you install these in a new construction.

So bottom line I have my system working much better, power boosters helped, filters probably help on delay of operations definately don't hurt, biggest change is getting CM15A closest to circuit breaker box. There are some real noisy items like my slot machines and video games followed by the fireplace fan, the Panasonic Viera TV and then you are down to things like the computers which mine don't seem to be too bad and then general electric devices. 

Hope this helped but seeing this stuff on a scope really changed the way I approached the problem. Again the signal is weak and that seems to be the biggest problem.  Since moving the CM15A I have not had my lights gone wild any more.


Hope this helps smeone out there.
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mike

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Re: X10 gone wild
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2012, 06:58:35 AM »

couple comments/ideas fwiw....

if u want more filtering, why not try plugging a filter into a filter?  2 in series will double the filtering, 3 gives 3x.....  at least u can test it.  I have 4pc dual 4ft florescent lites in one garage and a single filter let me turn them ON but not off;  dual filter and I can turn off also.  there should be no downside to putting filters in series - just make sure still if u use xppf 5 amp models to not use on more than about 2.5a load to prevent a fire.

Jeff's XTB-II repeater DOES increase sig strength more than your experienced 50% from other brand....  I can watch a 500mv sig go to 7000mv (7v) consistently.
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