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Author Topic: X10 relay switch selection  (Read 4765 times)

bkenobi

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X10 relay switch selection
« on: January 08, 2013, 10:55:01 AM »

I need to decide whether to install a WS13A or XPFM on my attic fans.  Both will work, but the WS13A could provide local control if I enter the attic and it decided to turn on.  The deciding factor I'm looking for is whether anyone knows how noisy one is versus the other.  I'm installing one for each fan which are located above bedrooms.  If they were turned on/off at night and the click was particularly loud, the WAF could be diminished.

I'm probably going with the WS13A due to availability of the XPFM, but thought I'd ask in case the latter is significantly quieter.

Brian H

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 11:49:16 AM »

Basically both have the same mechanical ratchet switch in them so either one would be about the same sound level.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 12:17:28 PM by Brian H »
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 05:40:04 PM »

Then since I need an electrical box for installation anyway, I guess I'll go with the WS13A.  Thanks!

bkenobi

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 11:00:35 AM »

I got the WS13A installed in one attic last night.  I thought it turned out pretty good albeit a bit complicated.  I already had a thermostat and humidistat installed.  I figured there's no reason to tear them out since they work fine and could be a backup if something in this system is fishy (I would just disable the WS13A and be back up and running).
Code: [Select]
main -> WS13A -> humidistat -> fan
              -> thermostat ->

While I was up there, I installed an attic light as well.   ;D

The contractor wired the thermostat and humidistat in series.  As a result, I had to go into the attic to adjust the temperature and humidity settings a couple times a year in order to keep them working all year.  But, I never found that they worked all that well.  They seemed to be either on or off all the time.

In any case, I got it installed and buttoned up.  I called my wife up to see and she shrugged and said "ok..."   rofl

I figured that was a good thing until I demonstrated the function and she heard the click from the relay.  That was followed by "will it make that noise at night?"  So, now the WAF dropped off quite a bit unless I install a RTC so the fan doesn't cycle at night.  Kinda defeats the purpose.

Does anyone have a way to reduce noise of the relays?  I could wrap the electrical box with insulation or switch to a different model for that section of attic.  The other end of the house is the guest side, so it won't bother her.  Thoughts?

dave w

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 11:23:09 AM »


Does anyone have a way to reduce noise of the relays?  I could wrap the electrical box with insulation or switch to a different model for that section of attic.  The other end of the house is the guest side, so it won't bother her.  Thoughts?
The clunk is what it is. If the box is anchored to a attic truss, the truss will make a great resonator throughout the house. I doubt wrapping will help much, ...maybe remount the box in rubber standoffs, or if you don't mind the code violation issues, let the switch hang out side the box .
BTW the Smarthome brand of switches are much more quiet.

Also now that your fan is controlled by AHP, ever think about connecting your thermotat and humidistat to PowerFlashes and let AHP control?

It just gets all out of control after a while, doesn't it.  ;D
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 11:24:47 AM by dave w »
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 11:48:32 AM »

I was just thinking about switchlinc modules actually.  I have a togglelinc relay switch installed at the entry and it is really quiet.  I actually have 2 togglelinc's sitting in my box for future use, but it seems like a waste to use them in the attic (more expensive than some other options and I bought them for the toggle's look).

I installed a XPFM in a different attic section on an exterior spot light.  I remember faintly hearing it when actuated, but not nearly as loud as the ws13a.  My original design used arduino controlled relays to switch the fan.  I decided on x10 so I could override if necessary.  I guess a last resort would be going with those instead of ws13a.

dave w

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 12:07:19 PM »

I like a giant knife switch at the bottom of the stairs. I could automate with an air cyninders controlled from solenoid valves and Universal Modules....this could be fun.
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 11:25:18 PM »

I wouldn't even use x10 (or any other system) given a choice.  The installed sensors weren't cheap (around $120 for the set of 4), but they don't perform the desired action really. 

dave w

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 08:31:36 AM »

I wouldn't even use x10 (or any other system) given a choice. 
:o
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 09:46:03 AM »

Taboo?   rofl

I'm just saying that a simple mechanical/electric solution would probably be more robust over time than any setup involving microcontrollers and/or HA software and communication.  If I could accomplish the same task with a simple relay and a couple bimetal thermometers, I'd probably be in the attic fixing things less often.

bkenobi

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 09:52:18 AM »

While I'm thinking about it, would it be possible to use a X10 universal module with a relay of my choosing to actuate the fan?  I've never used the UM, so I don't know if it would work here.  Does it have a relay inside that will clunk?  It's probably a lot easier just installing a switchlink module, but UM are a LOT cheaper.

Brian H

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 10:19:52 AM »

UM506 has a large low voltage mechanical switch in it and clunks.
Not the same mechanical switch as in the appliance modules. It is a big slide switch and a coil at each end. Pulse one coil it slides to the On position and the other coils slides it to Off position.
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2013, 02:31:18 PM »

Sounds like a solenoid.  a different clunk is still a clunk.  I'm going to try to acquire some sound dampener from a car audio place to see if that helps. if not, I'll just have to get a couple switchlinc's or use the togglelinc's I already have.

dave w

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013, 03:40:37 PM »

OK If you want to turn down a different road.

Use a Socket Rocket to drive a 120V coil relay.

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/RLY-453/120-VAC-RELAY-DPDT-12-AMPS/1.html

I have many of the above relay and they make a quiet "click".
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 relay switch selection
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 05:37:41 PM »

I think I have a couple of those in my parts bin based on your past recommendation.  They are pretty quiet from what I recall (certainly quieter than ws13a!  I'll build a couple test rigs to show my boss the options.   :'
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