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Author Topic: My programmed AHP timers no longer work.  (Read 4606 times)

Graphics Guy

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My programmed AHP timers no longer work.
« on: April 25, 2012, 12:23:18 PM »

Hi to all,

I am 77 year old senior citizen and not very knowledgeable with X10 or electronics so I really don't know where to start or even the correct questions to ask.

I have a simple system where light switches and power outlet receptacles have been replaced with X10 components and originally set up so the table lamps plugged into the outlet receptacles turn on at dusk and off at midnight.  There is also a micro switch on the garage door that is connected to a Universal Module that triggers various inside and outside lights when the garage door is activated at night.  This was all programmed into AHP years ago by a knowledgeable friend that is no longer available.  My problem is that a system that worked great for many years no longer responds to AHP commands and hasn't for several months. 

This is what I want to fix:
A.  The programmed timers will turn On & Off the icon indicators in the AHP program Rooms screen but the lights they are suppose to control do nothing, so I figure no signal is being sent at the same time via X10 to the various components.

B.  I CAN operate one light in the basement computer room by clicking on the icon on the Rooms screen, so sometimes a signal must be getting sent and the CM-15A must be working,  at least occasionally, but it only works on that one light and it will not do the same thing on any other switches or lights throughout the house.

The switches all have pilot lights so I can tell if they have been activated either manually or by computer and when pressed manually operate the lights normally, so I don’t think the switches are the problem.  This is how I have been operating the lights since the AHP stopped doing this for me.

This is what I have tried:
I am running Win 7 64 bit and was informed from someone on this forum to upgrade my version from Ver. 3.228 to 3.318 to make the program compatible, which I have done.
I have been told to re-designate my lamp modules for non softstart, and this has been done.
I replaced the batteries and insured that the CM-15A unit was firmly plugged into an active wall outlet and not an extension cord.
I checked Win 7’s Control Panel>Device Manager and the CM-15A unit shows up as USB Active Home Interface – working properly.
I have not changed any module codes.

I am unsure as to what I should try next to solve my problem so if anyone has any ideas please respond.

Respectfully,   Graphics Guy
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: My programmed AHP timers no longer work.
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2012, 01:16:51 PM »

I'm using AHP 3.310 and have all old-style (non soft-start) modules in the first floor and basement and 2 soft-start modules in the upstairs which is storage only.  No problems at all. Do  you have filters on all computers as they are prodigious noise producers?  That might be the problem with your timers.   I presume your modules are correctly installed, old-style and Soft-Start as incorrect set up causes problems.   Old style don't work properly when not set up in AHP.

Look at the module set-up in 3.318, there should be both LAMPS and Older Lamps (no SoftStart)  Lamps is for Soft-Start modules and Older Lamps is for old (non Soft Start) modules.  If all your modules are correctly set up, timers should work.
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Brian H

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Re: My programmed AHP timers no longer work.
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2012, 01:21:12 PM »

Maybe power line communications problems.
Is the computer equipment and the CM15A in the same outlet or power strip?
Can we say you have not done anything about phase coupling or checking for electronic equipment that maybe causing signal problems?

Did you have a chance to look at some of the troubleshooting links we listed in your other thread?
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Tuicemen

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Re: My programmed AHP timers no longer work.
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2012, 04:16:05 PM »

Since every thing was working up until several months ago.
I'm wondering if this is a smartmeter issue. ???
Try and think back to when the system stopped being reliable.
Did you introduce anything new?( PC,Compact light bulbs,TV,items requiring chargers)
Did your power company install a smartmeter?(there is a thread concerning this)

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dave w

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Re: My programmed AHP timers no longer work.
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2012, 08:47:53 PM »

I am 77 year old senior citizen and not very knowledgeable with X10 or electronics so I really don't know where to start or even the correct questions to ask.

I am unsure as to what I should try next to solve my problem so if anyone has any ideas please respond.
Well you have done an excellent job of detailing your problem. Most of the time the forum gets something like "My lights don't work, how come?"
Anywho I agree with Brian and Tuicemen about something now generating electrical noise which ends up corrupting the X10 signals on the homes powerlines.
This is a good link to read and helpful explaining most of X10s foibles (except smart meters).
http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm



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Graphics Guy

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Re: My programmed AHP timers no longer work.
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 12:03:36 PM »

Hi to all,

Thanks for all the help. Let me take each one and try to supply an answer.

Dan:  I am unsure what filters you are referring to. I do not have my computer plugged into any filter – that I know of.   It is plugged into a dedicated power outlet. When we designed the house I had several dedicated lines straight from the breaker box installed in what we call the computer room.  After Tuicemen suggested it, I changed all of my lamps to “Older Lamps (No Softstart)”.  All lamps are incandescent bulbs. I imagine Softstart are the new monsters we are being forced to use.

Brian:  As mentioned above the computer is plugged into a dedicated power outlet, and the CM15A is plugged into another power outlet in the room, along with a TV and a Comcast DTA Digital tuner box.  Unfortunately that is the only place close enough to the computer where I can connect a USB cable.      No, I have not done anything about checking phase coupling (?) or checked for other equipment that might cause problems.  I am not sure how to do any of these things and just barely been able to visit the troubleshooting links you guys suggested, but have not found anything significant as of yet.

Tuicemen:  I am not familiar with smartmeter’s.  If you are referring to a control that the power company attached to my water heater to moderate power during peak times then yes I do have one installed, but this was installed several years ago, way before I started having trouble with AHS.   
As far as introducing new equipment in my house:  In my Entertainment Room, next to the Computer Room I have 4 DVD/VHS recorders each controlled by a Comcast DTA digital tuner box, 4 TV’s,  3 13” TV’s I use as monitors for my recorders and one 50” Plasma TV connected to a Comcast HD Cable box, and I am constantly switching out equipment.  Because I anticipated the large power requirement I also had several dedicated lines installed for this equipment when the house was built so this shouldn’t affect anything in the computer room.  Until I am unable to buy them, I only use incandescent light bulbs. I have tried out the new curly shaped ones and find out that they don’t put out sufficient brightness for me to read.   As mentioned above, I do have the CM15 plugged into the same outlet as a 32” Plasma TV and the Comcast DTA box used as a Digital tuner.  I have clicked on the troubleshooting link you sent me but I am still trying to find my way around that site. 

Again, thanks to all that responded.  I apologize for the lengthy reply but I am trying to supply sufficient answers to your questions so you are aware of my setup.
Respectfully,  Graphics Guy 
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: My programmed AHP timers no longer work.
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2012, 12:56:42 PM »

Hi to all,

Thanks for all the help. Let me take each one and try to supply an answer.

Dan:  I am unsure what filters you are referring to. I do not have my computer plugged into any filter – that I know of.   It is plugged into a dedicated power outlet. When we designed the house I had several dedicated lines straight from the breaker box installed in what we call the computer room.  After Tuicemen suggested it, I changed all of my lamps to “Older Lamps (No Softstart)”.  All lamps are incandescent bulbs. I imagine Softstart are the new monsters we are being forced to use.

Brian:  As mentioned above the computer is plugged into a dedicated power outlet, and the CM15A is plugged into another power outlet in the room, along with a TV and a Comcast DTA Digital tuner box.  Unfortunately that is the only place close enough to the computer where I can connect a USB cable.      No, I have not done anything about checking phase coupling (?) or checked for other equipment that might cause problems.  I am not sure how to do any of these things and just barely been able to visit the troubleshooting links you guys suggested, but have not found anything significant as of yet.


Tuicemen:  I am not familiar with smartmeter’s.  If you are referring to a control that the power company attached to my water heater to moderate power during peak times then yes I do have one installed, but this was installed several years ago, way before I started having trouble with AHS.    
As far as introducing new equipment in my house:  In my Entertainment Room, next to the Computer Room I have 4 DVD/VHS recorders each controlled by a Comcast DTA digital tuner box, 4 TV’s,  3 13” TV’s I use as monitors for my recorders and one 50” Plasma TV connected to a Comcast HD Cable box, and I am constantly switching out equipment.  Because I anticipated the large power requirement I also had several dedicated lines installed for this equipment when the house was built so this shouldn’t affect anything in the computer room.  Until I am unable to buy them, I only use incandescent light bulbs. I have tried out the new curly shaped ones and find out that they don’t put out sufficient brightness for me to read.   As mentioned above, I do have the CM15 plugged into the same outlet as a 32” Plasma TV and the Comcast DTA box used as a Digital tuner.  I have clicked on the troubleshooting link you sent me but I am still trying to find my way around that site.  

Again, thanks to all that responded.  I apologize for the lengthy reply but I am trying to supply sufficient answers to your questions so you are aware of my setup.
Respectfully,  Graphics Guy  
Try plugging the CM15A into a outlet that has nothing else plugged into the outlet and is close to the computer that has AHP on it.  I suspect the TV and the cable tuner are putting noise on the power line which is probably why nothing works.  I have my CM15A plugged into a outlet close the to the computer that has only the CM15A and a MC460 desktop controller

edited by tuicemen to fix quote (readability)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 04:03:57 PM by Tuicemen »
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dave w

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Re: My programmed AHP timers no longer work.
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2012, 01:49:27 PM »

In my Entertainment Room, next to the Computer Room I have 4 DVD/VHS recorders each controlled by a Comcast DTA digital tuner box, 4 TV’s,  3 13” TV’s I use as monitors for my recorders and one 50” Plasma TV connected to a Comcast HD Cable box, and I am constantly switching out equipment.  Because I anticipated the large power requirement I also had several dedicated lines installed for this equipment when the house was built so this shouldn’t affect anything in the computer room.  Until I am unable to buy them, I only use incandescent light bulbs. I have tried out the new curly shaped ones and find out that they don’t put out sufficient brightness for me to read.   As mentioned above, I do have the CM15 plugged into the same outlet as a 32” Plasma TV and the Comcast DTA box used as a Digital tuner.  I have clicked on the troubleshooting link you sent me but I am still trying to find my way around that site. 
G. Guy,
You *might* be shooting too high by looking at all your video / audio gear. Most of the time the nastiest noise makers are small. Like a new cell phone charger for example. The very light weight wall wart power supplies are switching power supplies and are noise makers. However not all noise makers corrupt the X10 signals. Look (think) about what changed when things quit working. What new electrical device did you add? Also the plasma TV is a likely noise maker, whether on or off. However if you had the CM15A plugged in the same outlet as the plasma when everything was working, the plasma is not likely your problem. As a test, go around your house and unplug your video/ audio gear, and wall wart plugs, then go turn a few lights on and off using AHP to see if they now work. If they do, you know the problem is noise and finding the source is next step.
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Tuicemen

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Re: My programmed AHP timers no longer work.
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 04:01:18 PM »

Modules not responding after A Smartmeter install
This may explain the Smartmeter issue the electric companies have been slowly installing these over the past few years but some haven't been activated untill late last summer or early winter.
There is another thread which many users contributed to to help narrow down the model of meters that were problem causers
Smart meter survey
I'm unsure of your location but the main problem I think was with meters from Duke electric in the Cincinnati  area.
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