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Author Topic: Modules no longer work at nights. (updated)  (Read 2915 times)

apica

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Modules no longer work at nights. (updated)
« on: December 05, 2011, 02:51:03 PM »

Hello everyone. I'm having a problem with my x10 setup that has me totally confused. I have the CM15A interface, 1 rocket socket, 1 lamp module, 1 appliance module, 5 in1 remote control, 1 wireless transceiver and a slimline wireless wall switch along with AHP 3.316.

All was working well but lately I have not been able to turn my lights or appliance on a night using AHP, remote or wall switch. Everything works perfectly during the day. Whenever the dusk to dawn lamp in my yard (not x10) comes on I lose control over my modules.

If I try to turn modules on using AHP I can see where the signals are sent and received but nothing happens. I had an electrician check the voltage coming into my breaker panel and I'm getting 109 volts.

Do you think it's a low voltage problem?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 12:36:26 PM by apica »
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Noam

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2011, 03:10:04 PM »

Whenever the dusk to dawn lamp in my yard (not x10) comes on I lose control over my modules.

That's where I'd look first.
What type of bulb is in it?
I have had problems with CFLs going bad, but they still looked like they were working. There was an audible buzz from the light, and it produced enough electrical noise to drown out the rest of the system.
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dhouston

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2011, 03:28:14 PM »

Whenever the dusk to dawn lamp in my yard (not x10) comes on I lose control over my modules.
What type of lamp in the dusk to dawn unit? CFL? LED? Incandescent?
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apica

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2011, 03:29:42 PM »

Whenever the dusk to dawn lamp in my yard (not x10) comes on I lose control over my modules.
What type of bulb is in it?
It's a CFL and actually I am hearing a buzzing sound from it. I'll change the bulb and update accordingly.
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Noam

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2011, 03:42:08 PM »

Whenever the dusk to dawn lamp in my yard (not x10) comes on I lose control over my modules.
What type of bulb is in it?
It's a CFL and actually I am hearing a buzzing sound from it. I'll change the bulb and update accordingly.

In the meantime, just unscrew the bulb (or turn the light off) if you want your system to work.

I had a similar problem. Twice, in fact (those of you who have heard the story can stop reading now if you want). The first one I found pretty quickly (I started turning off breakers, and it was on the first one I tried). The second one took several weeks to find, because it wasn't in my house. (Those who have heard the story and are still reading, let's all say the ending together now) It was across the street on my neighbor's front porch.
He doesn't have X10, so he never saw a problem. I offered to buy him a new bulb. Problem solved
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dave w

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 07:47:25 PM »

Do you think it's a low voltage problem?
No. A socket rocket should still work at the lower voltage. But the lower voltage could be causing more line noise, or changing the frequency of the noise so that now it knocks out the X10 signals.

I would be more interested as to why the voltage is that low. Is the 109 a daytime or night time measure?
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Brian H

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2011, 07:59:11 PM »

The clue is your dusk to dawn light is effecting the X10 signals.
Have you tried a new bulb yet or removing it as a test?
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Knightrider

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2011, 09:53:08 PM »

Can anyone here verify whether or not it's a good idea to stick a CFL behind a CDS cell?  I'd think not, but have been wrong before.
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Brian H

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 06:14:38 AM »

May not be a good idea to use a CFL in a light controlled by a photo cell. Unless the fixture is rated to do so. I have one with a small relay that is OK with a CFL. If it was a triac controlled one. Bad idea.
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apica

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 08:57:27 AM »

Good morning all. I removed the CFL bulb from the dusk to dawn lamp last night. And everything was back to normal  :)%. I did not hear the audible buzz but the bulb was slightly flickering. Seems that was probably what was causing the line noise. I will replace with a new bulb tonight and test again.

Thank you all very much for your advice.  >!
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apica

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 09:06:31 AM »

Quote
I would be more interested as to why the voltage is that low. Is the 109 a daytime or night time measure?
It was a night time measure. I will do a daytime measure as well. Strangely most of the buildings I have occupied have all had low voltages. I live in Jamaica.
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dhouston

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2011, 09:36:32 AM »

According to this article, the standard for Jamaica is 110V/50Hz so 109V is not far from ideal.

Problems would arise if there were any three-phase systems their as the 120V/60Hz X-10 devices will transmit based of 60Hz and not 50Hz. However, that's not an issue here. CFLs and LEDs frequently output high frequency noise to the powerline. It's due to their poorly designed switching power supplies.
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apica

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Re: Modules no longer work at nights.
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 12:36:06 PM »

replaced the bulb in the dusk to dawn lamp yesterday and the lights and appliances are now functioning normally. Now to setup some timed events.

Thanks to all again.
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