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Author Topic: Newbie here with a few questions and need for suggestions  (Read 3218 times)

six_in_tombstone

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Newbie here with a few questions and need for suggestions
« on: September 02, 2012, 11:06:26 PM »

I just got my SC1200 system about two weeks ago. There are three zones I am having an issue with and I am sure it is because of RF range. 2 zones are windows and 1 zone is a motion sensor. I am going to try the passive RF repeater but I wonder if the same solution would help boost the RF range for the console maybe placing the wire next to where the antenna is on the console outside of it. Has anyone tried that? Also, would the repeater help with motion sensor, it comes up as tampered on console but I think there maybe RF interference because of where it is located and the signal has to go through a solid wood door. Because of the age of the house and the door is an original door it may have painted over lead paint on it. I did find an article on lead paint interfering with WI-FI signal not sure if that can also be translated to RF signal. If anyone has any suggestions I would be all ears on this one.

http://www.far-far-away.com/~yousif/articles/wifi-sig.php

I also need to set up two more zones for doors but the door frames are not flush with the doors and also one of the doors is metal. I've been reading mounting the magnetic with an inch thick piece of wood or plastic to the door can help for the metal door, but would the same solution help with mounting the magnet and sensor to a door frame that is not flush with the door? In a way bulking up the height of the magnet that is mounted to the door so it matches up with the sensor mounted on the frame. Or is it better to buy the type of magnet that you drill into the frame and put the sensor on the door instead?

Any suggestions on either topic would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 03:07:32 AM by six_in_tombstone »
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Brian H

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Re: Newbie here with a few questions and need for suggestions
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 06:09:21 AM »

There is no repeater for the X10 RF Security Sensor commands.

I had the same problem with the  DS12A Door Window sensor.
In my case I didn't use the internal magnetic switch and used an external long gap magnetic switch. Connected to the terminal block inside the DS12A and only registered the External Zone. Yes the DS12A has two separate Zones. The Internal magnetic one and the External one and each can be registered separately.

I believe some users have done some RF range extending. I don't remember if the external passive was tried on the consloe. Can't hurt as it is not permanent if it didn't help. Antenna runs around the seam between the top and bottom case from the front around to the back. If memory serves me.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 06:14:07 AM by Brian H »
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dhouston

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Re: Newbie here with a few questions and need for suggestions
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2012, 07:00:01 AM »

I just got my SC1200 system about two weeks ago. There are three zones I am having an issue with and I am sure it is because of RF range. 2 zones are windows and 1 zone is a motion sensor. I am going to try the passive RF repeater but I wonder if the same solution would help boost the RF range for the console maybe placing the wire next to where the antenna is on the console outside of it. Has anyone tried that? Also, would the repeater help with motion sensor, it comes up as tampered on console but I think there maybe RF interference because of where it is located and the signal has to go through a solid wood door. Because of the age of the house and the door is an original door it may have painted over lead paint on it. I did find an article on lead paint interfering with WI-FI signal not sure if that can also be translated to RF signal. If anyone has any suggestions I would be all ears on this one.
I doubt that lead paint significantly interferes with X-10 RF (310MHz) or even WiFi (2.4GHz and higher). If it did, you would find many such references. The lead is too dilute so it would require many, many coats.

As for adding a passive antenna to the console, it can't hurt as Brian posted.

There is a thread here on modifying the antenna...
While I do not recommend this antenna mod (it's unclear if/how the unit is isolated from mains voltage), there are clear photos of the disassembled unit so you can see the location of the internal antenna wire.

I have designed a small PCB w/galvanically isolated RF transformer (300VAC breakdown voltage) mounted to a BNC connector which can be used to safely add an external antenna to X-10 RF devices whether or not the electronics are isolated.
However, in this case, I do not know whether it's possible to find an area clear of components for mounting it. It needs a space about 1"Lx1/2"Wx1/2"H.

In a few days, I'll be looking for a guinea pig beta tester to try it with the security console. I have no need so do not want to buy one for experimenation
« Last Edit: September 03, 2012, 07:01:45 AM by dhouston »
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six_in_tombstone

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Re: Newbie here with a few questions and need for suggestions
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2012, 06:54:17 PM »


I doubt that lead paint significantly interferes with X-10 RF (310MHz) or even WiFi (2.4GHz and higher). If it did, you would find many such references. The lead is too dilute so it would require many, many coats.

As for adding a passive antenna to the console, it can't hurt as Brian posted.


I have designed a small PCB w/galvanically isolated RF transformer (300VAC breakdown voltage) mounted to a BNC connector which can be used to safely add an external antenna to X-10 RF devices whether or not the electronics are isolated.
However, in this case, I do not know whether it's possible to find an area clear of components for mounting it. It needs a space about 1"Lx1/2"Wx1/2"H.

In a few days, I'll be looking for a guinea pig beta tester to try it with the security console. I have no need so do not want to buy one for experimenation

I think I will try the passive antenna first on the console and on the sensor. I am not ready to pop open the console.....yet.

Your isolator looks cool. Let mek now if you have any takers on being a tester, if not I would be willing to try it.
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