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Author Topic: lights randomly turn on  (Read 25404 times)

gga

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lights randomly turn on
« on: December 09, 2011, 04:32:40 PM »

I'm new to this site so I hope this is the proper place to ask for help?  I've used X-10 for many years (maybe 15 or more) and had very few problems.  I just use it to turn lights on and off.  I have 16 or so light groups with half on house code A and half on B.  Just in the last two weeks I find various lights turning on by themselves.  It seems random and can be on either code A or B.  I can't think of any new electrical equipment that I have installed.  I tried using some different house codes including C,D,E and F.  The problem remained with C,E and F.  For several days D had no problems so I was about to switch everything to D but last night the lights on D2, D3, D4 & D5 all came on.  Another clue? is that no lights have ever turned off on their own.  I have also tried unplugging all my "sending" devices (maxi control, mini control and RF control) but that had no effect.  Is it likely I'm getting outside electrical noise?  Would some kind of filter help?
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dhouston

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 05:24:42 PM »

Has your electric utility recently installed smart meters?
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gga

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 05:31:26 PM »

Yes.  Just a few weeks ago.  Is that causing the problem?  If so how I can block it out?
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Brian H

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 06:29:05 PM »

Long 12 page thread on this subject.
May not be able to filter it out.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=02e0hasuc9fmt0vl0140f32s90&topic=22508.0
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dhouston

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 06:52:35 PM »

Yes.  Just a few weeks ago.  Is that causing the problem?  If so how I can block it out?
At this time it is still unclear. There have been several reports of problems after smart meters were installed but not all have been traced to the meters and I'm still looking for a smoking gun, especially for the random turn-ons like you report. I think it's time to try to build a database of meter suppliers (and utility company), of specific problems (i.e. random ons, offs and/or blocked commands) and of the model numbers of modules and switches affected.

For instance, has anyone seen this phenomena with a Smarthome switch/module (whether X10 only or Insteon/X10) or is it limited to those of X10 manufacture?

Knightrider has set up a topic where those with similar issues can report in a standardized way so we can start tracking these. See...
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 02:24:29 PM by dhouston »
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gga

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 01:28:05 PM »

I checked my new Smart Meter installed by the utility company.  The brand in Echelon model 83021-21AA.  Went to their website and saw description of a "smart grid" which includes powerline communication so I'm assuming that's the problem.  Called Duke energy and they said someone would call me back on Monday to discuss the problem.
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dhouston

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 02:32:35 PM »

Would you mind going to the link in my message above and filling in the data requested. So far we are seeing anecdotal reports and it would be helpful to start building a bit more rigorous structure for tracking purposes.

Where are you located?
Do you have any Insteon/X10 modules?
If anyone in the Cincinnati area is having this issue with Duke, I can loan you an Insteon/X10 module for testing a theory. I'd like to see what happens to it when set to the same X10 address as an X10-made device that is exhibiting random behavior.
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luke03

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 03:38:14 PM »

I wonder if there is any power line command monitoring device that can actually record all the things going on on the power line.
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dhouston

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 03:58:59 PM »

I wonder if there is any power line command monitoring device that can actually record all the things going on on the power line.
Yes and no. An oscilloscope through the proper coupling may show it but it depends on the nature of the event causing the problems. Spikes of very short duration, which are known problems for most X10 devices, can be very hard to capture because there's no simple way to trigger the 'scope and recording all the time will quickly fill up memory on a storage type scope.

OTOH, the periodic bursts of 75kHz that Jeff Volp thinks are causing this should be fairly easy to capture and, as soon as I get some time to spend on it, I'll try to set up my Protek 220 'scope card to see if they are present on my line which has an Echelon meter of the type under suspicion.
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JeffVolp

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 04:19:45 PM »


There is another thread with a poll for people with smart meters.  None of the ones listed there seem to cause any problems, but none are Echelon.  The fellow I am working with also has an Echelon smart meter.  It looks like Echelon may be the common denominator for this problem.   Echelon is the company that makes those high power transceivers for powerline communication.

Jeff
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dhouston

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2011, 04:31:04 PM »

There is another thread with a poll for people with smart meters.
Different from the one above? Have a link?

I believe there have been a few reports of problems with non-Echelon meters.
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JeffVolp

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2011, 04:38:57 PM »

There is another thread with a poll for people with smart meters.
Different from the one above? Have a link?

No, that is the one.  I was referring to different from the discussion here.

Jeff
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gga

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2011, 12:26:10 PM »

Where are you located?
Do you have any Insteon/X10 modules?
If anyone in the Cincinnati area is having this issue with Duke, I can loan you an Insteon/X10 module for testing a theory. I'd like to see what happens to it when set to the same X10 address as an X10-made device that is exhibiting random behavior.

West Chester, Ohio
I have no Insteon Modules.
I'm in the Cincinnati area, using Duke and I'd be happen to try one.
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Noam

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2011, 01:41:46 PM »

Do you have any Insteon/X10 modules?
... I'd like to see what happens to it when set to the same X10 address as an X10-made device that is exhibiting random behavior.

I can tell you what I experienced.
When my neighbor's noisy CFL shut down my system, ONLY my Insteon modules stopped responding to the X10 commands. My "true" X10 modules still worked.

I remember trying Insteon switch-to-switch control, but I don't remember the results.
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dhouston

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Re: lights randomly turn on
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2011, 02:44:52 PM »

When my neighbor's noisy CFL shut down my system, ONLY my Insteon modules stopped responding to the X10 commands.

That's a different phenomenon - the Insteon module sensitivity is much greater (and the bandwidth is narrower). But I'm only interested in the random turn-ons, not blocked signals.
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