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Author Topic: new to X10 installed by previous owner  (Read 2662 times)

ajrs72

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new to X10 installed by previous owner
« on: July 27, 2013, 01:17:57 PM »

Purchased a home in 2012. The previous owner had installed several X10 transmitters with the xp4d-w switches on them.
One controlled my kitchen lights and has worked fine (after I figured out how to use it :)
The other one controls my foyer light and the two outside porch lights. Last week my lights starting simply blinking (fast) and the switch wouldn't dim them or turn them off - in other words I lost complete control of my outside lights. I've had to 'unscrew' the bulbs to get them to stay off.
Not knowing what I'm doing, I purchased a replacement switch (Xp4d-w) and of course, nothing works on it now (won't control anything).
So, I know at some point I have to program something somewhere, but am not even sure if it was the switches failure (since the other light (foyer) on the switch continues to work just fine as well as dimming, etc).
Help? Suggestions?
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dave w

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Re: new to X10 installed by previous owner
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 02:55:42 PM »

The XP4D is only the four button faceplate for the XPT transmitter portion of the wall switch so the new XP4D has not totally eliminated the switch.
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/xpt.pdf

Also as I recall there are different versions of the 4 button faceplate and switch and I think the issue version of the plate needs to match the issue version of the XPT.
http://www.thehomeautomationstore.com/xpt.html

XPT does not control the light directly, but instead sends a digital signal over the powerlines to a receiver that actually controls the fixture. So in your case the receiver for the outside lights could be bad. There are several versions of these receivers.
A wire-in version
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/xpdf.pdf
or
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/xpfm.pdf

Also socket screw in versions
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/psm04.rlm20.pdf

In addition Smarthome.com has receivers which work with X10 protocol so is difficult to be specific regarding your receiver fixtures looks or possible location.
So there are more possibilities in addition to the XP4D.

Also electrical noise can cause X10 modules to quit working, although the fast flash sounds like a bad receiver at the fixture, or a bad XPT, and not noise. Also It would be hard for a defective XPT to make the light flash any faster than perhaps once per second since X10 signalling is fairly slow. I think you need to find your receiver for the outside lights.

More information on X10, noise and general troubleshooting:
http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm
http://www.davehouston.net/
 
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 03:13:00 PM by dave w »
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ajrs72

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Re: new to X10 installed by previous owner
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2013, 05:52:31 PM »

Dave,
First of all, thank you for all the information.
Second, does every light that is controlled by the switch have to have a receiver in the box with it?
The reason I ask is that we replaced one of the lights in the kitchen and I don't recall it having anything other than wires up in there. Could it be 'downstream' somewhere as well? Meaning in between the switch and the where the wires hook up to the fixture?

Both outdoor porch lights simply have 'holes' coming through the ceiling or wall where the wires poke through- and don't have a box, so unless the receiver is back in the ceiling or wall where I can't see it, then I'm not sure they have them.

Thanks again,
Aaron
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dave w

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Re: new to X10 installed by previous owner
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2013, 06:06:53 PM »

Dave,
Second, does every light that is controlled by the switch have to have a receiver in the box with it?
The reason I ask is that we replaced one of the lights in the kitchen and I don't recall it having anything other than wires up in there. Could it be 'downstream' somewhere as well? Meaning in between the switch and the where the wires hook up to the fixture?

Both outdoor porch lights simply have 'holes' coming through the ceiling or wall where the wires poke through- and don't have a box, so unless the receiver is back in the ceiling or wall where I can't see it, then I'm not sure they have them.

Yes,  The XPT can not control the fixture directly, so somewhere there has to be a receiver for each individually controlled fixture. Maybe in junction boxes in the attic/basement? I doubt they would be burried in the wall, unaccessable.
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Brian H

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Re: new to X10 installed by previous owner
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2013, 06:09:57 PM »

Every device controlled by the XPT. Has to have an X10 receiver controlling the load.
No it does not have to be a fixture module.
It can also be a wall switch like the XPD3. http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/xpd3.pdf
PLW01. http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/plw01.pdf

What type of bulbs are in the fixtures?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 06:23:51 PM by Brian H »
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ajrs72

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Re: new to X10 installed by previous owner
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2013, 06:38:58 PM »

Ok, well in both cases the wires at some point run through some other switches. Until you said they had to have these 'receivers' I just thought they were another point of controlling the fixtures (even though they are in weird locations, basement and stairs to basement), but then when you mentioned Smarthome has some compatible stuff that's when it clicked....they are Smarthome, Toggle Linc  m#-23894W.

Should I try and replace one of these and see if that fixes the problem?

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ajrs72

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Re: new to X10 installed by previous owner
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2013, 06:43:06 PM »

And Brian, one has a incandescent normal style bulb, the other light has 2 candelabra incandescent style
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dave w

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Re: new to X10 installed by previous owner
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2013, 06:54:13 PM »

It can also be a wall switch like the XPD3. http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/xpd3.pdf
PLW01. http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/plw01.pdf

What type of bulbs are in the fixtures?
O-o-p-s! Brain Flatulance here. I forgot about other controlled wall switches  :o. Lived in Florida too long, all the brain juices have dried up.  Sorry ajrs72.
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Brian H

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Re: new to X10 installed by previous owner
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2013, 07:45:01 PM »

23894 is a Smarthome X10 ToggleLinc Dimmer.
It is discontinued but a web search may find some.
Unlike an X10 2 wire dimmer that steals power through the load. It has a Neutral Power wire and does not steal power through the load.
Here is the sales page for the module. It has a link to the Full Users Manuals.
http://www.smarthome.com/23894I/ToggleLinc-X10-Remote-Control-Dimmer-Ivory/p.aspx

Do the lights work properly if you use the toggle button on the module itself?
If you turn Off the circuit breaker for the problem ToggleLinc, wait maybe 30 seconds, then power it back up. Does it still pulse the lights on and off? If it does. It may have failed or the connections are loose.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 07:53:45 PM by Brian H »
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JeffVolp

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Re: new to X10 installed by previous owner
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2013, 10:17:59 PM »


The rapid on/off flash might be do to the X10 burglar alarm interface somewhere.

Jeff
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