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Author Topic: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP  (Read 562 times)

toasterking

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X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« on: August 14, 2018, 09:39:29 PM »

For anyone wishing to attenuate X10 signals coming from neighbors' houses or noise that might interfere with X10 (or just in need of a passive phase coupler), the X10 PZZ01 is on sale now for $30.  I got a better deal on mine years ago, but I've seen them sell for much higher.

But wait!  You can also get the Leviton version for $6!  It's the same thing but with the Leviton branding.  It appears Home Controls is liquidating them.  Or maybe they're just clearing them.  Either way, they're really cheap right now.  US shipping is $6.99, but it appears you can get multiple units with that shipping rate.
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HA Dave

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 10:04:04 PM »

Looks like the rest of their X10 items are still at a regular price.
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toasterking

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 10:24:30 PM »

Yeah, I checked that too, but alas.
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brobin

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2018, 04:10:40 AM »

 Appreciate the heads up on the deal.

 When I was building a new home in 2001 I had the electrician put one in when he installed the main service by the meter. Didn't do much. I never had a reliable X10 installation till putting in an XTB-IIR - money better spent!
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 08:24:33 AM »

I installed the Leviton version when I rewired our main panel.  I'm not sure it does much because I saw the modulated 120KHz from the neighbor's baby monitor on our powerline while developing the XTB-IIR.  And it did not seem to be as effective coupling X10 signals across the phases as the X10 XPCP passive coupler.

Be aware that installing the PZZ01 or Leviton 6284 requires cutting power to the panel because the neutral feed must be slipped directly through the filter.  If you don't have a main disconnect external to the distribution panel, the electric meter will probably have to be pulled for its installation.

Jeff
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toasterking

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 04:51:06 PM »

I can confirm that as a passive coupler, it works a lot better than nothing.  But I eventually needed an XTB-IIR anyway once I had enough X10 transmitters (and effectively greater attenuation) in the house.  I had no way of confirming noise levels before and after installation, so the baby monitor comment seems like useful information.  I don't think it should be referred to as a "blocker" if all it does is slightly attenuate the signal.  I wonder how likely it is for a neighbor's X10 transmissions to cross through a pole transformer and a PZZ01 and still interfere with one's system.

I got my power company to temporarily disconnect service to my house in order to install mine.  It was not difficult to install and the only problems I had were with them.  It took several form submissions and calls to explain to them that I wasn't moving or discontinuing service, I only needed it off for a day, I wanted it resumed at the same location under the same account, and I was doing to work myself.  Strangely, they still opted to actually cut the cables rather than pulling the meter.  And I also discovered that the cable connecting the meter box to the breaker panel had an outer sheath that was very good at being weatherproof, because it was full of water, as was the meter box since they had never put a proper drip loop in the cable drop from the pole.  I demanded they fix that also before I hooked things back up.  The contractor they sent out didn't believe me until I invited him inside and bent the cable over so it poured all over the floor.  Making that happen required several frustrating calls as well, and they refused to replace my cable (since it's past their demarc) even though their negligence had damaged it.  So anyway, be prepared for that kind of thing!
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docbell

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 06:11:28 PM »

But wait!  You can also get the Leviton version for $6!  It's the same thing but with the Leviton branding.  It appears Home Controls is liquidating them.  Or maybe they're just clearing them.  Either way, they're really cheap right now.  US shipping is $6.99, but it appears you can get multiple units with that shipping rate.

Also available on Amazon  (https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-6284-Multi-Phase-Blocking-240-Volt/dp/B0008IVHTW) for $5.22 with free shipping. These days my noise problems are self-inflicted, so even at that price I'm not sure it's worth the bother.
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toasterking

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2018, 09:30:59 AM »

Also available on Amazon [...] for $5.22 with free shipping.
Oh, wow.  Good catch!
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toasterking

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2018, 09:35:01 AM »

These days my noise problems are self-inflicted, so even at that price I'm not sure it's worth the bother.
I've read horror stories about people finding that their X10 problems were due to a next-door neighbor installing new CFLs.  Regardless of what my problems are today, I'd like to do whatever I can to help avoid that scenario!
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2018, 10:59:33 AM »

If you are planning on having an electrician work on your main panel anyway, I don't see any down side to installing one of these.  In my case, I found that installing one would require a major rewiring due to changed regulations.  If I were to install one, the PUD would require that a CVT that was installed in my basement be relocated outside the house.  The suggested cost was in the 5 figures range.  I decided that I'm not close to neighbors and I can get 99% of the way there with some filters and the XTB-IIR.  If it simply required a snap-on style coil, I'd do it in a heartbeat since these are so cheap.  But, since a homeowner can't work on the city side of the mains, it's not a simple install of a $5 part.

My suggestion is buy one and hold onto it until you need work on your panel.  In the mean time, talk to Jeff about the XTB-IIR and proper filtering.  Unless you have a neighbor that's absolutely blasting noise (which is likely a problem for the electric company to solve anyway), you should be good the foreseeable future.
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2018, 11:14:00 AM »

Unless you have a neighbor that's absolutely blasting noise (which is likely a problem for the electric company to solve anyway), you should be good the foreseeable future.

Several years ago it was actually the electric company that was blasting noise from Echelon smart electric meters in the Cincinnati area.  Working with a homeowner in that area, we came up with a filter that did the job.  Apparently Duke Energy recognized their error, and that problem has gone away.

Jeff
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2018, 11:16:21 AM »

I forgot about that.  Did they ever fix the issue or are those users still stuck with filtering out the electric company's problem?  I can't imagine that no audio/video-philes approached them about the issue.  I know those groups use noise filtration already, but from memory those noise levels were high enough those systems may have struggled.
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2018, 11:26:39 AM »

I forgot about that.  Did they ever fix the issue or are those users still stuck with filtering out the electric company's problem?

I communicated with someone at Duke Energy regarding the problem and offered to supply filters.  I never heard back, and soon after that demand for the smart meter filter dried up.  I can only assume they either switched to a different electric meter or resolved the noise problem themselves.

Jeff
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brobin

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2018, 03:01:43 PM »

Back in 1985 I used a Leviton 6276 across L1/L2 in the panel to resolve interference from a neighbor's baby monitor.  It made my GE HomeMinder work great again!  I took the 6276 with me when we moved and I still have it although where I live now the need for a baby monitor is not biologically possible rofl.  I installed a PZZ01 in a home during construction in 2001 and there it shall remain forevermore.  I did take the XTB-IIR with me from that home though.
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Noam

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Re: X10 PZZ01 whole-home signal blocker/coupler CHEAP
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2018, 10:28:42 AM »

These days my noise problems are self-inflicted, so even at that price I'm not sure it's worth the bother.
I've read horror stories about people finding that their X10 problems were due to a next-door neighbor installing new CFLs.  Regardless of what my problems are today, I'd like to do whatever I can to help avoid that scenario!
If you're talking about the problem I reported about 8 years ago, it was actually a neighbor's *older* CFL that caused the problem. As it aged, it started throwing out a lot of noise. It took several weeks and some creative detective work to find the problem, but in the end I bought him 2 new bulbs (since he had two of the same bulbs in his front porch fixtures), and never had that problem again. Some time after that, I had the same type of problem from one of *my* CFL bulbs, but I already knew how to troubleshoot and find that, so I had the problem fixed in about 30 minutes.
Part of what took so long to find the problem the first time was the fact that not only was it coming from outside my house, but it was coming from a house across the street, and one house over. It is almost 200 feet line-of-sight, and probably closer to 400 feet of actual wiring distance. And the problem was only happening at night - which was actually the clue that led me to his porch lights.
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