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Author Topic: Smart meter problem solved  (Read 54248 times)

JeffVolp

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Smart meter problem solved
« on: January 23, 2012, 10:37:06 AM »

We have a solution that has virtually eliminated the smart meter problem at one home in the Duke Cincinnati service area.  That particular smart meter was communicating with its data aggregator at 75KHz and 86KHz.  Those strong signals were near enough to the 120KHz passband that they were interfering with X10 communication.

Across-line filters in the home, even deep notch filters tuned to the smart meter frequency, were not sufficient in themselves.  One thing observed was that the smart meter apparently transmitted an even stronger signal when an attenuator was placed across the line.  And there appeared to be more communication attempts, increasing the likelihood of corrupting X10 signals.

My customer found a low-frequency "clamshell" ferrite filter to clamp over the incoming service entrance cables to add impedance to the smart meter signal.  Initial testing was done with one filter clamped over each hot lead.  Along with a filter to provide a low impedance load to the smart meter signal, a pair of the ferrite filters was the first step in restoring acceptable X10 operation.

Since then we have gone through a series of different internal filters and added more ferrite filters to the service entrance cables.  The recommended solution is to use 2 or 3 ferrite filters on each of the "hot" service entrance cables, and a single shunt filter across the incoming 240VAC.  The X10 XPNR is effective for the shunt filter, but a modified version of the XTB-TSS (Tuned Signal Sucker) performed better, particularly at the 86KHz frequency.  Since that is closer to the X10 passband, it is more of a problem.

Best performance was actually obtained with an 86KHz notch filter across the 240VAC.  However, tuning of a series-resonant notch is very sensitive to powerline inductance.  The configuration of the installation being tested had relatively low inductance between the smart meter and where the filters were being installed, so the detuning from line inductance was not too severe.  The series-resonant notch filter may not be the best general solution because of its sensitivity to detuning from powerline inductance.

I now have a small stock of the ferrite filters, with more on backorder.  I will be purchasing parts to assemble more of the 250VAC XTB-TSS in the near future.  Please contact me directly if you are interested in this fix.

Jeff
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:40:26 AM by JeffVolp »
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Knightrider

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 08:49:57 PM »

Jeff,

First of all, you just moved up a notch on my hero list.

Second, is this really the financial responsibility of the homeowner to undo damage done by the utility?

BTW, it was John Wayne that just got knocked down a peg.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 11:16:39 PM »

Second, is this really the financial responsibility of the homeowner to undo damage done by the utility?

Unfortunately, that is one question that I can't answer.

In reality, the utility company didn't "damage" anything.  They just rendered equipment that worked fine for years unable to function properly anymore.  Gee, I have several TVs and DVRs that are also in that category.  (No, I don't own a HDTV flat screen yet.)

Jeff
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Knightrider

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 09:57:52 PM »


In reality, the utility company didn't "damage" anything.  They just rendered equipment that worked fine for years unable to function properly anymore.  Gee, I have several TVs and DVRs that are also in that category.  (No, I don't own a HDTV flat screen yet.)

Jeff

Point well taken. It's just the thought that I can choose to purchase items that dirty up the powerline or not.  Not sure I have a choice when it comes to a smartmeter install.
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Cincydew

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 12:00:13 PM »

I have been struggling with Duke since they installed the "smart meter" on my house last year.  My X-10 system immediately began randomly activating lights.  I can't get anyone to talk to me about a solution.  I have seen some posts that suggest that in some cases Duke has done something to alleviate the problem.  I am hoping that someone can direct me to the proper resource. 
Bummed in Cincinnati.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 12:24:32 PM »


I offer a kit that includes 4 clamp-on clamshell filters and a shunt filter that goes directly across the 240V.  This solution worked at a home in the Cincinnati area. 

I had several communications with Duke engineers regarding our efforts.  One of the engineers said they would be ordering a kit.  That was a several months ago, and I never heard back from them.

Since the clamp-on filters must be installed over the hot service entrance cables inside the distribution panel, this must either be done by an electrician or someone comfortable working directly inside the panel.  The shunt filter is installed across a 240V breaker.

If you want further information on this solution, please contact me directly.

Jeff
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gg4000

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 06:46:34 AM »

Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.
Where is a link to find different filters. X-10 always puts a CM15 in my cart and not the filter.
I do have a smart meter but would also like to block noise from 2 desktops here.
Thanks

Brian H

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 07:06:32 AM »

I tried looking at three independent automation dealers sites. All of them don't have the X10Pro XPPF filter and the X10Shop lists it as discontinued. That maybe why you get the incorrect item in you cart. Which is strange as the CM15A is also discontinued.

The Smarthome 1626-10 10 amp filter is what some use. I have one on my UPS for the computing gear and the unfiltered outlet on the front. Has my controller in it.
http://www.smarthome.com/1626-10/FilterLinc-10-Amp-Plug-In-Noise-Filter/p.aspx

The ACT AF120 is a 15 amp filter that also is being used.
http://www.smarthome.com/4845ACF/ACT-AF120-15-Amp-Plug-In-Noise-Filter/p.aspx

Another search did find a vendor with the XPPF. Just remember they get warm and smell if pushed to their 5 amp rating.
http://www.thehomeautomationstore.com/xppf.html
« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 07:09:05 AM by Brian H »
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JeffVolp

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 09:27:26 AM »

I am a few weeks away from offering my own 10A filter.  It functions as a low-pass like the XPPF.  It does much better at rejecting out of band noise than the other high-current notch filters.

To keep the cost as low as possible, the PCB will just be bare bones (no silk screen or solder mask).  My target price is $29 for the kit, and $39 for an assembled unit.

Jeff
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gg4000

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 03:17:06 PM »

Thanks for the replies

I will try to find the source of the noise this weekend. Will probably get a few Smart Home filters.

Jeff I did want to look into getting the Smart meter filter too.
I think I saw your web page, but can't find it at this moment.
Also not looking forward to removing a live wire. I've done it before, but still don't like it much.
Would be nice if there was a clamp on type, like the clamp on amp meters.

JeffVolp

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2012, 04:18:26 PM »

Jeff I did want to look into getting the Smart meter filter too.
I think I saw your web page, but can't find it at this moment.
Also not looking forward to removing a live wire. I've done it before, but still don't like it much.
Would be nice if there was a clamp on type, like the clamp on amp meters.

What I offer in the smart meter rejection kit are four clamp-on ferrite filters that go over the hot service entrance cables (two on each), and then a shunt filter that goes across a 240V breaker to prevent the smart meter signal from propagating further into the home.  There is no need to remove the neutral lead like must be done to install the X10 PZZ01.  The XTB website is:  http://jvde.us/xtb_index.htm

Jeff
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2012, 11:47:00 AM »

BGE (Baltimore Gas & Electric) is beginning the roll out of Smart Meters (electric and gas) but the Maryland Public Service Commission is going to force BGE to allow opt-out from them. Apparently the PSC discovered that Smart Meters do more than just block X10 signals, they do other things the public don't want.
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dave w

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2012, 02:45:24 PM »

Apparently the PSC discovered that Smart Meters do more than just block X10 signals, they do other things the public don't want.
Interesting. Do you know what the public did not like, like privacy issues?
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Noam

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2012, 09:34:49 PM »

BGE (Baltimore Gas & Electric) is beginning the roll out of Smart Meters (electric and gas) but the Maryland Public Service Commission is going to force BGE to allow opt-out from them. Apparently the PSC discovered that Smart Meters do more than just block X10 signals, they do other things the public don't want.
Are the *specific* models that BG&E is rolling out known to cause problems with X10?
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Smart meter problem solved
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2012, 10:52:26 PM »

BGE (Baltimore Gas & Electric) is beginning the roll out of Smart Meters (electric and gas) but the Maryland Public Service Commission is going to force BGE to allow opt-out from them. Apparently the PSC discovered that Smart Meters do more than just block X10 signals, they do other things the public don't want.
Are the *specific* models that BG&E is rolling out known to cause problems with X10?

We don't know, BGE has not yet announced what Smart Meters they will be rolling out and the PSC has not announced what the "other things" are, it may be the "smart gas meters". 

BGE stopped using meter readers about 10 years ago, the house key they had (our meters are inside the house) was mailed back to us at that time. 
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