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Author Topic: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??  (Read 12992 times)

dhouston

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2012, 03:46:57 PM »

The PSC05 was plugged one end into the AC outlet and the other end was plugged into the module that is coming off of that green board on the bottom of the Base Controller. If you go back to the original screenshot (the one with inadequate lighting) you can see part of the powerline cord from the PSC05 near the bottom left.

That's what I thought but the picture wasn't clear so I wasn't sure.

OK! I think we can make some educated guesses about how it works and about how you might get control of it.

The other responders appear to have been correct in assuming you merely need to find a way to send X10 signals to the powerline. The PSC05 will receive/decode them and the Calnoria unit then turns on/off the appropriate sprinkler valve.

I'm hesitant to suggest anything that requires X10 software running on a PC. I consider X10's approach to software to be worse than amateurish and I see no need to have a PC run 24/7 to control things like this.

I wish I were closer to NJ but we can probably handle this via email and the postal service. I'm sure I have a surplus RR501 (or equivalent) RF transceiver that receives RF codes from a remote. I'm not sure I have a surplus remote but I'll dig through my surplus box to see. If not, they are not too expensive...
The combination will allow you to explore which of 16 housecodes it uses and then which of 16 unitcodes are assigned to individual zones. At that point, you can decide how you want to control it long range. How technical are you?

I'll loan you whatever I do have. It will take a couple of days for me to get it in the mail - I'm disabled so will have to use Priority Mail. We can move the discussion to Private Messages where we can exchange needed details.
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dhouston

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2012, 02:48:01 PM »

I suggest a step-by-step approach to make sure we understand everything before deciding on a final resolution.

The drawing above shows my suggestion for a test setup using a handheld remote (HR12A) to send radio signals to the HC50RX which will resend the codes over the powerline to the PSC05 which then controls the Calnoria unit.

If we can control it this way, we can then decide how to automate it. If we cannot control it this way, we need documentation or someone local with enough X10 knowledge to figure it out.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 06:53:56 AM by dhouston »
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Brian H

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2012, 02:56:52 PM »

That would be an easy way to test all sixteen unit codes for all sixteen house codes.
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dhouston

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2012, 11:29:38 AM »

It would be very helpful to get documentation if still available. From the screenshots of the discontinued webpage...
Quote
Even more sophisticated operation can be realized by sequencers capable of taking advantage of our expanded control functions. The expanded function set adds status polling of valve and error states.
From other statements it's apparent that sequencer refers to X-10 controllers so it would be nice to know which sequencers are capable of taking advantage of our expanded control functions.

Obviously, the Calnoria units are capable of sending as well as receiving X10 PLC (PowerLine Control) so it would simplify things if we could get a list of the expanded control functions rather than have to discover them via trial and error. Since it uses a PSC05, the codes must be ones the PSC05 will report so they have to be valid X-10 codes. While you can send arbitrary codes, the PSC05 will only receive/report valid X-10. Perhaps, expanded function set is nothing more exotic than Status Request, Status On, Status Off.

The first step is to see if it still functions under X10 control and discover which HouseCode (A-P) it uses. (It then uses all 16 Unit Codes of that HC.) We need to get started ASAP. I need to get the HC50RX packaged/addressed and arrange a Priority Mail pickup before Wednesday when I'll be gone all day undergoing some medical tests prior to surgery scheduled for the following week. 

A few years back I worked with ZBasic to incorporate low-level X-10 PLC send/receive in their command set. They operate in the background keyed to ZC with the user only needing to define input/output bit arrays and then populate or process the appropriate array. Their $10 ZX-328n can do this and the software to automate control of the Calnoria units will be quite simple. I can adapt existing code for the firmware as well as Windows, Linux or OSX software to interface with it.
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LMCFashions

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2012, 10:16:13 AM »

Okay so after a few mishaps with a toilet leaking into the basement and flooding it out, a hinge on the gate to the vinyl fence breaking and sending it falling to the ground and my husband going into the hospital for kidney surgery this is where I am now.... :o
1. I purchased two transceiver modules (House code A which is all of the garden lights and house code C which is flood lights & sprinkler) and the PalmPad remote control (HR12A). I was then able to successfully walk around the house and figure out all of the codes to operate all of my exterior lights and motion sensors...and then I marked them with the proper house code on the remote!
2. When I went to the PLC with the remote and started pressing buttons on it (C3, C4 etc) I got a strange flashing pattern on the (x10) PSC05. I'd have to double check to be certain but I believe it was 3 quick flashes with each button I pressed on the remote. That was all though. The sprinkler itself never physically turned on nor did the red lights on the PLC. Is this good or bad? I THINK I'm getting close though!  :)%
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dhouston

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2012, 10:39:01 AM »

In this case, the flashes are good - they indicate the commands are on the powerline. At this point, it looks like the X10 side of things is good - we just need to find why the sprinkler valves are not responding.

Is there a way to set the housecode on the Calnoria unit? You might have to try all housecodes on the remote and transceiver to find where it is set. The Calnoria unit, remote & transceiver must all use the same housecode

Is there power to the Calnoria unit? In your picture, the green light is lit so it likely has power.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 10:47:38 AM by dhouston »
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dave w

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2012, 10:47:15 AM »

1. I purchased two transceiver modules (House code A which is all of the garden lights and house code C which is flood lights & sprinkler) and the PalmPad remote control (HR12A). I was then able to successfully walk around the house and figure out all of the codes to operate all of my exterior lights and motion sensors...and then I marked them with the proper house code on the remote!
2. When I went to the PLC with the remote and started pressing buttons on it (C3, C4 etc) I got a strange flashing pattern on the (x10) PSC05. I'd have to double check to be certain but I believe it was 3 quick flashes with each button I pressed on the remote. That was all though. The sprinkler itself never physically turned on nor did the red lights on the PLC. Is this good or bad? I THINK I'm getting close though!  :)%
dhouston's lightning like response beat me, but, I am posting anyway as I think we are on the same scent.

In your  July 18, 2012, 09:56:15 AM  post, you said the sprinkler zones were labled A1, A2, A3, etc. To me, that indicates the Calnioria is programmed to respond to House Code A. If so, then sending it House Code C through the PSC05 will be ignored. It all has to match (Calnoria HC, AND HCs for the remote and the transceiver).
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 10:52:44 AM by dave w »
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LMCFashions

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2012, 02:43:11 PM »


Is there a way to set the housecode on the Calnoria unit? You might have to try all housecodes on the remote and transceiver to find where it is set. The Calnoria unit, remote & transceiver must all use the same housecode

Is there power to the Calnoria unit? In your picture, the green light is lit so it likely has power.
I do not see anything at all that would allow me to set the housecode on the Calnoria however, I took the faceplate off of the electrical outlet that the Calnoria is plugged into and it is set on housecode A9. I mistyped on my July 18th post when I said the Calnoria unit was labeled with "A" codes. It is in fact labeled with "C" codes. I am wondering if this could be the problem and was contemplating on either switching that electrical outlet over to house code C or just plugging the Calnoria unit into another non x10 outlet altogether. (I haven't tried it yet because I was afraid of blowing something up!) I also wondered if he had it plugged into A9 because of some sort of Macro timer he was using? In other words the 2 way interface with the Palm remote was fine if he wanted to manually turn on different zones here and there but if he wanted to set it up on a timed schedule throughout the week he used the A code? There is definitely power to the Calnoria unit because we have been using it manually. I did try getting a hold of the that Calnoria owner via email but never heard back from him.
<-- Top of Calnoria Unit
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 02:56:37 PM by LMCFashions »
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dhouston

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2012, 02:58:53 PM »

I would try with the outlet set to C. I doubt this is the problem but it should not create a proble. Nor would just plugging it into another outlet.

But, if neither work, I think you need to try to call California to get documentation.
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LMCFashions

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2012, 05:10:06 PM »

  :)% I am happy to report, "I can now lay in bed at 4AM and water my lawn via remote control!!!" (Of course now we have a monsoon outside from the remnants of the hurricane!) Thank you everyone for all of your great advice and suggestions!! Even though the Calnoria box was marked C1, C2 etc (as shown in the above picture) I sat there with the remote and transceiver trying every house code until I saw a zone light go on on the Calnoria unit....who would have thought it would be house code L (for LAWN I bet!)?! Now that I have that working...next stop...a macro to set up timers so I don't have to sit here every day pushing buttons on the remote!  ;)
 >! #:)
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dhouston

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2012, 05:40:55 PM »

Great!  :)%

For macros, you will need something like the CM11A or CM15A. Both have been discontinued but dealers still have the CM11A. You will need a PC or laptop to download the macros after which it can run on its own (until a power failure).

If your PC has no serial ports...
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 05:52:32 PM by dhouston »
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LMCFashions

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2012, 07:24:55 PM »

I did also purchase the Activehome Pro software and the RF Wireless Remote Receiver (Model MR26A). However, I'm starting to think that this MR26A is a piece of junk so I'm considering replacing it with the Firecracker Module. In the meantime though at least I know the house code for the irrigation system. My question is which "generic module" should I use to represent the Calnoria unit in AHP? They don't even have an option for that two way interface either.  :-\
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Brian H

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2012, 07:47:27 PM »

Active Home Pro?
It only works with a CM15A, CM19A with a TM751 or a CM11A. I don't believe a MR26 serial device will work with AHP.

The TW523 or X10Pro PSC05 will not be on the list as it can't be directly controlled. It only converts data to and from the Calnoria to power line signals.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/TW523
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 07:51:47 PM by Brian H »
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dhouston

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2012, 07:49:05 PM »

I don't think either the MR26A or Firecracker will prove useful.

I'll let others handle AHP questions as I've always written my own software and am unfamiliar with current versions. I would guess that you can treat the sprinkler valves as if they were appliance modules - one for each address. It won't have a clue about the PSC05 two-way interface but that should not be an issue as it merely receives codes from the powerline and passes them to the Calnoria unit.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 07:51:39 PM by dhouston »
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LMCFashions

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Re: Just purchased a "smarthome"...with pieces missing??
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2012, 08:29:14 PM »

Active Home Pro?
It only works with a CM15A, CM19A with a TM751 or a CM11A. I don't believe a MR26 serial device will work with AHP.


I was told by the tech at AHP, prior to purchasing the software that it was fully compatible, however after that credit card payment posted and I called back for support I was told that it was not one of their better modules and there was a lot of issues with interference and signal problems. I have found that it works when it wants to...but that isn't very often. :o
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