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Author Topic: CM15A will be back soon!  (Read 42056 times)

dhouston

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #105 on: December 08, 2012, 01:32:44 PM »

It really is a CM15A.    Datecode: 12K48    FCC ID: B4SCM15A

Internally, it appears identical to two others that I got soon after it was introduced.

I have designed a daughterboard that replaces the MCU, allows access to PLC IN/OUT, RF IN/OUT, EEPROM, etc. and adds a real RTC. It will have both USB and RS232 interfaces as well as several other enhancements.

It will not be compatible with X10 software but I'll provide open source Windows/Linux/OSX software.

It uses an FTDI chip that isn't shipping yet. I'll test as soon as they are available but a full release will have to wait until the  
roZettaTM/ZarduinoTM hardware/firmware/software is stable which should be within 90-120 days.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 01:37:47 PM by dhouston »
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Brian H

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #106 on: December 08, 2012, 02:02:20 PM »

Thanks for the information.
Not even some decoupling caps soldered on the solder side of the PCB.  B:(
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pomonabill221

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #107 on: December 08, 2012, 03:15:52 PM »

Is the soldering job quality about the same as the old one? (lousy, that is!)...  Am guessing it is, and WHAT NO decoupling AGAIN!?!?!?!
Looks like they didn't learn anything (no surprise here!)
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dhouston

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #108 on: December 08, 2012, 03:59:39 PM »

No decoupling capacitors (easy to add - see link below, scroll to bottom) but the quality of the PCB and the wave soldering look better than my older ones.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 04:02:24 PM by dhouston »
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dave w

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #109 on: December 08, 2012, 06:17:47 PM »

No decoupling capacitors (easy to add - see link below, scroll to bottom) but the quality of the PCB and the wave soldering look better than my older ones.
IMHO X10 was relying on build quality (parts down, flush with PC board, etc.) to eliminate the requirement for four 5 cent bypass cap.

Now they have a new manufacturer to re-train. Maybe the new manufacturer has some quality dual flow wave solder machines for the 1960's, non eyeleted, hand inserted, PC board. But the good news is, it is about the same price as the same 2005 unit.  Ya can't beat that!  :D
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dhouston

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #110 on: December 09, 2012, 05:08:31 AM »

...it is about the same price as the same 2005 unit.
The introductory price of $70 for a CM15A plus LM465 is not bad for this day and age.

I think they could have done better with a totally new design but suspect their designers have been with them since the X10 beginning in the '70s and are uncomfortable with those newfangled SMD thingys.
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pseeker

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #111 on: December 10, 2012, 02:54:22 PM »

Maybe they no longer have designers on staff but the original BOM, gerber files, schematics, pick and place instructions and FCC approval for their existing designs.
I think they could have done better with a totally new design but suspect their designers have been with them since the X10 beginning in the '70s and are uncomfortable with those newfangled SMD thingys.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 04:56:37 PM by pseeker »
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the other steve

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #112 on: December 18, 2012, 05:29:56 PM »

I have been using my old CM15a for so long that I just assumed that all the talk here on the board was about RF performance as bad as mine.

My new CM15a has RF range at least twice as great as the old one.  Not good, mind you, but better.

Who knows?  I'm so excited about it that I may even try software newer than 3.228.  (recommendations are welcome.)

AHP lives, at least at my house!  I have been using X10 for decades so far...

Steve
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dhouston

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #113 on: December 18, 2012, 06:04:42 PM »

My new CM15a has RF range at least twice as great as the old one.  Not good, mind you, but better.

Since there was no hardware change, it's likely that your new CM15a center frequency is a better match for your transmitters. IOW, it's a happy accident and others may have different experiences.
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dave w

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #114 on: December 18, 2012, 06:16:34 PM »

As I recall, the first CM15A production units had most of the receive antenna wire rolled up in a ball with only the very end of the wire tucked in the external "soda straw". Later X10 must have convinced the factory to do a better job of spreading the internal portion of the antenna wire around the interior of the case a little better, so by year two of production there was a range improvement.
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the other steve

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #115 on: December 18, 2012, 06:30:16 PM »

That is likely the case.  I upgraded from the CM11 to the CM15 as soon as it came out.

Steve
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Brian H

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #116 on: December 18, 2012, 06:58:38 PM »

I have two of them with the receiving antenna. Tied into what looks like a random ball of knots. One of them now has an external F connector for a antenna on it.
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dhouston

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #117 on: December 18, 2012, 07:30:40 PM »

As I recall, the first CM15A production units had most of the receive antenna wire rolled up in a ball with only the very end of the wire tucked in the external "soda straw".

I have two very early models and that was not the case with either. They had minimal wire between the antenna and receiver. The newest one, that I just received, may even have slightly more wire between antenna and receiver than the early ones. And, the transmitter antenna looks just like the two early models. Perhaps, there was always some variation in how they were assembled.  

In any event, the distributor I'm working with is currently testing my antenna designs for the CM15A, TM751 and RR501. Barring any surprises, they should be available Q1 2013 (as soon as manufacturing can be arranged) and everyone can have more than adequate range.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 07:46:45 PM by dhouston »
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dave w

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #118 on: December 18, 2012, 08:03:21 PM »

Tied into what looks like a random ball of knots.

Yes those are "inductance nodes" which acts as concentrators for the already powerful RF signals from the X10 remotes.  rofl
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Noam

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Re: CM15A will be back soon!
« Reply #119 on: December 20, 2012, 10:27:12 AM »

... My new CM15a has RF range at least twice as great as the old one.  Not good, mind you, but better...
You might want to try the "18.5-inch wire" mod. It seems to improve reception for a lot of people.
It doesn't involve modifying the CM15A itself, so it doesn't affect your warrantly. You simply secure an 18.5-inch straight wire alongside the CM15A's antenna (using tape, plastic "zip ties," etc). You are not making an electrical connection between the new wire and the antenna, it is simply acting as a "reflector," to help draw in the RF signals, and direct them to the existing antenna.

Quote
... Who knows?  I'm so excited about it that I may even try software newer than 3.228.  (recommendations are welcome.) ...
Be careful with any versions newer than 3.310. That's when X10 changed the "SoftStart" behavior. If you have any dimming modules that are not "SoftStart," you'll need to edit them in AHP to select the correct module type from the "Old Lamps - no SoftStart" category.
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