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Author Topic: X10 soft start switches and SDK  (Read 13702 times)

schmuttis

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X10 soft start switches and SDK
« on: April 26, 2016, 10:13:59 PM »

We are using ahcmd.exe to call sendplc commands to WS12A smart switches. Can someone tell me what actually happens when you send a command like "dim 20"? We have two switches installed controlling 50 7-watt bulbs each. We'd like to have them change levels separately during the evening. They don't seem to respond the way we would like. We've tried running a bright 100 followed by a dim 40, bright 100, dim 60, etc. Sometimes they seem to get stuck. Other times the bright 100 seems to hold too long before the dim takes effect. Sometimes they just stay dimmed and don't change. This is running within a loop in a macro. Any documentation or suggestions on how these switches react to dim and bright commands would be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 12:58:41 PM by schmuttis »
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Brian H

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Re: X10 soft start switches and SDK
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2016, 06:22:07 AM »

The load being controlled by the WS12A.
Standard incandescent or 120 volt Halogen?
Not dimmable LED or low voltage with a power supply. As most act strange on a WS12A.
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schmuttis

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Re: X10 soft start switches and SDK
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2016, 12:34:23 PM »

The load on each WS12A is 50 7-watt incandescent bulbs. The script being run is an AutoHotKey script. Our interface is a CM15A.

I attached a picture of the chandelier that we created and are trying to control via X10.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 01:03:47 PM by schmuttis »
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dhouston

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Re: X10 soft start switches and SDK
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 03:25:57 PM »

How many switches?
Are all using the same housecode?
How much time between commands?
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 soft start switches and SDK
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2016, 06:51:32 PM »

You will always have issues your seeing using the ahcmd.exe
This file was only created to show simple send command possibilities of the SDK.
It wasn't designed for multiple send commands run closely together.
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toasterking

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Re: X10 soft start switches and SDK
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 07:15:35 PM »

The number you specify after the "dim" or "bright" command is the percentage by which you want the brightness lowered or raised.  The SDK is supposed to keep track of the previous dim level and figure out how many raw DIM or BRIGHT commands it needs to send to the powerline interface to achieve the difference.  Some modules have different dim resolution and thus take fewer or greater DIM or BRIGHT commands to reach the same percentage.  The SDK is supposed to figure out the module's dim resolution for this calculation (I think) using the device model assigned to that X10 address in ActiveHome Pro.  AHP and the SDK share some components in common, and the SDK/service uses the current ActiveHome Pro configuration whether or not you are using AHP.  If you have not already, install AHP and make sure that you have a module defined with the same house/unit code as your WS12A and make sure that the model is set to WS12A.  Save the configuration and see if that makes a difference with your commands in ahcmd.exe.

Also take into consideration what Tuicemen said.  ahcmd.exe is provided as an example for experimentation rather than a full, supported program, and is not guaranteed to do anything at all!
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dave w

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Re: X10 soft start switches and SDK
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2016, 09:25:03 PM »

I attached a picture of the chandelier that we created and are trying to control via X10.

WOW! I want me one 'o them things!

But your attic must be a rats nest of wires.

Your description of getting stuck during a dim, reminds me of a time I used hacked X10 modules (sans internal chokes) to dim video studio lighting. They would get stuck also. I had a similar phenomenon when dimming strings of Christmas lights laying in puddles of water.

First, looking at the other responses it is probably software related, so go down that road first. My thoughts are hardware based as the hardware was causing my episodes of getting stuck during a DIM from a wired "Maxi" controller.

Here is a couple of questions:
When they are being dimmed and "get stuck" does it always seem to be about at the same brightness level?
Does this getting stuck or not responding to a Dim command happen to both WS12 circuits, or only one?
When "stuck" will they respond to an "OFF" or an  "ALL OFF" command?
If they will not respond an OFF command I suspect a noise problem generated by at least one bulb on each circuit.

What makes an incandescent bulb make noise? A poor connection in the socket resulting in arcing. Look for any of your bulbs flickering. OR (sorry for this) make sure each bulb is tight in socket.

Good luck
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Brian H

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Re: X10 soft start switches and SDK
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2016, 06:13:53 AM »

Do you have an X10 phase coupler between the two incoming power lines.?
If you do have one. Is it a coupler repeater and what model number is it?
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