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Author Topic: SC 1200 Flacky operation  (Read 5738 times)

Billy150

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SC 1200 Flacky operation
« on: April 29, 2013, 07:12:01 PM »

My original X10 PS 561 Powerhouse controller failed after 5 years.  It worked quite well over this period of time ( a few hick ups with some door sensors).
I bought the new SC 1200 (only choice I guess).  Some of the new features are really good,  like not having to reset the whole system for one bad sensor.
However,  as I have read,  the range (with built in antenna) is not very good. My main complaint is that every two to three days a window/door sensor has its number flashing on the console screen. One door is only 3 feet from the console.  The console is mounted 7 feet off the floor on the wall.
I open and close that window and itís fine again (till tomorrow or next day)
Iíve replaced the questionable sensors 3 times.  (some were DS 12A and DS10A)  
What gets me is these sensors are the closest to the console (10 Ė 15 ft. straight line of sight).  This unreliable item is becoming annoying.
Has anyone else experienced this or have any thoughts on the matter ?
So far,  I'm rather disappointed with this new SC 1200.


Thanks,  Bill
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 07:19:44 PM by Billy150 »
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dave w

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 07:58:52 PM »

However,  as I have read,  the range (with built in antenna) is not very good.
Has anyone else experienced this or have any thoughts on the matter ?
Search the forum for "SC1200" and you will see plenty of comments about same symptoms. Antenna polarization seems to be one of the poor range problems. Try proping the console up so it sets vertical. That seems to help, as does the hack of taking the antenna wire out of case and letting it hang down.
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Billy150

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 08:32:47 PM »

Thanks Dave.  I just tried it.  I put the end that doesn't open toward the ceiling.  I think that's where the antenna is.

The part that puzzles me is that the 2 closest sensors are playing games with me.  They've both been substituted 3 times.

Bill
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Brian H

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 06:00:09 AM »

Are you getting a trouble zone display for those sensors?
That would indicate the console didn't receive the Heartbeat check in from the sensor with in four hours and they send one every hour.
If not can you describe the problem. Like door or window is closed but the console thinks it is open.
Are the problem sensors mounted on metal?
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dave w

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2013, 08:43:35 AM »

I put the end that doesn't open toward the ceiling.  I think that's where the antenna is.
If I read that correctly, it sounds like it is upside-down(?) I meant (as a test) get it vertical is if mounted on the wall.
Brian H has a couple of these, including the original Radio Shark model, and can help better than I.
Good Luck!
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Brian H

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 11:09:15 AM »

Photos in this thread show the antenna. Wrapped around the case from front to back. Along the seam where the top and bottom case snap together. I can't comment on modifying the antenna other than it would void the warranty.

http://forums.x10.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=468ohrlu4ckirulej1c7r0i4n3&topic=26293.msg148480
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Billy150

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 09:34:36 PM »

Every other day or so,  one of the zone numbers shows in the display. Of course I can't set the alarm,  without opening the door/window to reinstate it. The number in the display is on steady.  The weird part is that they are zones that are fairly close to the SC1200.

The farthest zones don't cause a problem. It seems if the antenna was the problem,  the farthest zones would be dropped. I even changed the problem zones to different numbers after deleting their original number, to no avail.
It's still under warranty (3 weeks old) so I don't want to pry it open. 

I'm just thinking these new consoles are not as good as the ps 561 model.  This is really starting to get annoying.
Has anyone exchanged the console for a new one?  Is X10 a pain to deal with on something like this?

Bill
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Brian H

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2013, 06:21:18 AM »

If the Zone number is On and there is no error message like problem.
The SC1200 thinks the zone is open.
I would double check the magnets are properly aligned.
Are the sensors mounted on a metal door?
The internal magnetic switch in the DS12A is touchy to the magnets position. We did have a user find that their DS12As magnet moved enough past the sensor body to go closed and back open again.
If you have the chime enabled. You should hear a chime note when any sensor goes open.
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Billy150

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 10:48:51 AM »

The 2 zones giving me the most aggravation are both mounted on solid core wooden doors (DS12A). I have a mix of DS12A and DS10A sensors throughout my house. One has a gap of 1/4" and the other is 5/8". In fact one of these sensors is literally 3 feet from the console. Instructions never say what distance should magnets separated by.  Strangely enough, the farthest 2 sensors (DS10A) are mounted on a steel exterior doors that are not giving me problems. The arrows on the sensors are aligned perfectly.

I'm coming to my wits end as to how to rectify  this ongoing annoyance.  Any more help would be appreciated.

Bill
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 11:04:15 AM by Billy150 »
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dave w

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 06:45:50 PM »

I'm coming to my wits end as to how to rectify  this ongoing annoyance.  Any more help would be appreciated.
Maybe you have a gap problem, not a range problem. Narrow the gaps.
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Brian H

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 06:54:48 PM »

My doors had fancy trim and at the time all the SC1200 kits came with DS12A sensors.
I ended up using the second zone connections on the terminal block on the lower edge. With wide gap magnetic switches. Only registering the second DS12A zone and not the internal first one. Yes the DS12A has two independent zones built in.
Since my SC1200 Console died I have but the whole setup into storage.
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Billy150

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2013, 01:15:55 PM »

Thanks for the replies.  I've tried all of the above.  Whats weird is, I can go 2-3 days with no problem,  then a zone blinks on the console.

When I installed the SC1200 last mo. at first I used all my existing sensors (DS10A) and immediately had some zones lighting up within a day. I experimented by moving the SC1200 to different locations and keeping it as high off the floor level as possible.  I then started substituting new sensors (some DS12A and DS10A) to no avail.

The old ps561 didn't have these problems with the existing sensors (I guess because of the superior antenna -  Big mistake X10 by making internal antenna).

I guessing a new SC1200 won't fix anything (how good is X10 on exchanging something like this?)

Thx again,  Bill
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 03:25:34 PM by Billy150 »
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Brian H

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2013, 07:25:00 PM »

The reception range for the SC1200 has been reported here frequently and why we have modification messages on how folks are doing it.

If it is not showing a trouble message {missed the sensors checking in}  and just a zone number indicating an open sensor.
The console may have issues and you may want to contact X10 support. As we are end users here and can't speak for X10 directly.

I know the warranty last time I looked at the sales pages was 90 days and there is a restocking charge for fully operations devices the user decided they didn't want.
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Billy150

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 07:06:18 PM »

Thanks Brian.  I called X10 to get an RMA number to exchange for a new one. However since I called, the SC1200 has been working perfectly for about 1 week. so I held off sending it back.  Then, (don da don don)  a flacky zone.  I decided to reset the system and start from scratch.

I don't know if this is normal but,  as I started to install zone 1 (done) I walked over to zone 2 (and bingo zone 2 caused to Sc1200 to beep and install,  but I didn't even open the contacts to chose it. I uninstalled/reinstalled zone 2 (good) then as I walked over to zone 3 the SC1200 beeps and installs zone 3 & 4 without me doing anything. The SC1200 couldn't know what door I was at.

Has anyone else seen this strange occurrence ?

Bill

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dave w

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Re: SC 1200 Flacky operation
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 07:49:06 PM »

The SC1200 couldn't know what door I was at.
doo, dee, doo, doo - doo, dee, doo, doo. (Twilight Zone music plays in background)
"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop...the Twilight Zone."
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 07:55:20 PM by dave w »
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