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Author Topic: Newbie with module switching question  (Read 3380 times)

noop

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Newbie with module switching question
« on: November 18, 2014, 11:35:16 AM »

Hello:

I know absolutely nothing about the X-10 components, so I will ask away and let the responders prove that I know less than nothing.

What I would like to do is to have several (about 5) appliance modules turn on at the same time using a power/no power switching device instead of a key-chain/home base/button-pushing requirement, etc. My main question is: Can the TM751 transceiver, or similar compatible device, be made to turn the appliance modules on when the transceiver has power, and turn them off when the transceiver does not have power? Does this require some sort of switching intermediary, or can the TM751 be modified in any kind of way? Would a home base need to be kept on "all on" while the TM751 became the switch by not having power/having power? Any help would be appreciated.

Noop
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Brian H

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 11:45:53 AM »

When the power to a TM751 or any other module goes Off. There is no way for it to send an X10 Power Line Command.

Are you are only testing a circuit to see if it has power and not the whole instillation having power?

You maybe able to use a 120 Volt AC relay to determine if the AC you want to test is On or Off. Then have the relays contacts. Trigger a Powerflash module to send an On or Off to the Appliance Modules {all on the same X10 Address}. That only would apply if the whole installation was not powered up. Just a circuit you wanted to monitor.
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noop

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2014, 12:21:58 PM »

Brian:

Thank you for responding to my questions. My real question has nothing to do with testing a circuit. By way of full disclosure: I have an area that I use 6 space heaters to heat. The heaters do not have a thermostat. I am using a Lux WIN 100 plug-in thermostat on one of the heaters (600/1200 watts) and would like to use that as a thermostatic switch for the others, as buying 5 additional Lux units is expensive. The Lux unit works by supplying power to an appliance when the low temperature is reached, and turning off power when the high temperature is reached. My thought is to use the X-10 Appliance modules at each heater location. By plugging the TM751 transceiver into the Lux unit, I was hoping to use it as a switch to power on/power off the modules, based on the presence of electrical power to the TM751 unit.

Is there some way to send an on/off signal to the Appliance modules based on power to the TM751 transceiver, or similar device? I looked at the Powerflash unit; is this more what I would need to do what I want? Does the Powerflash unit require any kind of manual  reset, or does it just need to have power restored, in order to reactivate itself?

Thanks again.

Noop
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dave w

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2014, 01:46:39 PM »

In Brian's absence I can help a little. Your last question first. Yes, the Power Flash is the device you need. It sends a "X10 ON" (on it's address) when a closure (like a magnetic switch, a relay, thermostat contacts, etc) is applied to the Power flash input terminals. When the relay, thermostat, etc opens, the Power Flash sends an "X10 OFF". The Appliance Modules and the Power flash would all have the same House Code Unit Codes. 

You can not use the switched 120V from your LUX thermostat to trigger the Power Flash.  The Power Flash will trigger by contacts opening and closing, or very low AC or DC voltage. A small low voltage wall wart like a cell phone charger or a relay with a 120V AC coil (used to be available at Radio Shark) could be driven by the LUX with the wall wart output or relay contact closure fed to the Power Flash.
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netrunner

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 01:55:07 PM »

Here's one solution:

1) Find an old unused "wall-wart" low voltage power supply (like an old cell charger) and strip the wires on low-voltage side.
2) Attach the stripped wires to an X10 powerflash module (not universal)
3) Set the powerflash module to low-voltage mode and to send unit ON when power=on and OFF when power=off.
4) Put each heater on an appliance module set to the same unit code as powerflash

Now whenever your Lux thermostat unit turns power on/off, all applicance modules will turn on and off .

Note that the wall-wart will provide a small amount of voltage for about 1-5 minutes after the Lux  unit turns off because of it's internal capacitors. 

good luck.
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Brian H

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2014, 02:04:54 PM »

As mentioned earlier. The TM751 can not send anything with the AC off and it only processes X10 RF commands from remotes. So it will not work in your project.

Here is the manual for the Powerflash.
http://www.authinx.com/manuals/X10/PSC01.pdf

netrunner elaborated on what will work. A 120 volt AC relay would also work but a wall wart would be a simpler and neater way to go.

Your heaters are 120 volts?
The maximum load on an X10 appliance module is 15 amps {1800 watts} resistive load like a heater. So the 600/1200 watts should be within specifications.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2014, 03:16:09 PM by Brian H »
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Knightrider

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2014, 08:18:28 PM »

To piggyback on Dave W's response:  I haven't seen the relay (275-217) in a rat shack for many years. I think you can still order it though.
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Brian H

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 07:38:27 AM »

The 275-217 Omron relay is no longer a valid stock number.
New stock number 275-0044.
http://www.radioshack.com/125v-ac-10a-dpdt-relay/2750044.html#.VGyOgWewUi8

Socket is still 275-220
http://www.radioshack.com/socket-for-10-amp-plug-in-relay/2750220.html#prefn1=brand&start=18&sz=12&prefv1=RadioShack

A low voltage wall wart triggering the Powerflash maybe easier to wire up safely.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 07:52:04 AM by Brian H »
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noop

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2014, 11:31:36 AM »

To all who replied:

Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this matter. The cellphone charger sounds like the easiest way to go as a low voltage device to trigger the Powerflash module, easier still because I already have one that I can use. I would have spent lots of time and some money trying to configure this arrangement; it is unfortunate that a thermostatically triggered transceiver does not exist, as I believe that I am not the only person to want that device. When I think that instead of this, X-10 manufacturers make a warmer to "fool" the central HVAC thermostat, well, it makes me shake my head. The heaters that this arrangement will control are nice, fairly low consumption, fairly high output ceramic heaters whose only drawback is the lack of an incorporated thermostat.

I am grateful that this post elicited the gracious, informed response that it did. It appears to be one of the few Internet forums that does not engage in name calling because of a difference of opinion, or chide the ignorant for their lack of knowledge. The Internet as it should be.

Thanks again.

Noop
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dave w

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2014, 08:57:35 PM »

To piggyback on Dave W's response:  I haven't seen the relay (275-217) in a rat shack for many years.
Since they are in trouble and restructuring, they should rename themselves "Cell Phone Shack". I have to drive 80 miles to a Frys for parts now days. But they still deserve the name Radio Shark with their prices.   rofl
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bkenobi

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Re: Newbie with module switching question
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2014, 11:16:08 AM »

Fry's doesn't carry as much as Radioshack used to.  They definitely spread things out more though.  I think one bin at old Radioshack could hold everything in an entire Fry's row, though it doesn't help that half of the pegs are open at my local Fry's.  <sigh>
 

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