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Author Topic: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?  (Read 3794 times)

jclarkw

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Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« on: November 22, 2015, 09:54:10 AM »

Aside from simply wanting to verify that the interface clock is correct (e.g., to see if the backup battery is still working), I have a need to program a CM15A to run in a different time zone (to be shipped by FedEX overnight while the batteries last).  AHP 3.318 Help says under Hardware Configuration,

"ActiveHome Pro automatically sets the clock in the ActiveHome USB. The Time Zone information is automatically taken from your computer's settings."

I can't find any other useful entries.  Obviously this leaves open a lot of questions.  Can anyone answer them:

1) When does the interface time actually get set?  When the USB is plugged in?  When the Hardware Configuration page is opened?  When the Hardware Configuration is saved to the interface?

2) Is is possible to read the time in the interface itself without setting it from the computer?  (I seem to recall that some older versions of AHP did, or appeared to do, this; but now the interface time always seems to agree with the computer time.)

3) What happens if the computer time zone is different from the location set in Hardware Configuration?  Is a time-zone offset applied to the interface time, either on setting or on reading?  Or is the interface location used only to generate the dawn/dusk time table?

In general, have others found satisfactory solutions for the problems posed in the first sentence that they are willing to share? -- jclarkw
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dhouston

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Re: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2015, 05:25:05 AM »

I have never used any of X10's software for the CM15A but suspect the CM15A is similar to the CM11A, sending a request for the current time every second after it is powered up. If there is appropriate software on the PC, it will respond to the request, setting the current time and the requests will stop.

What happens when a new CM15A is installed? IIRC, the mini-timer clock accuracy while on battery power was atrocious and I doubt the CM15A is any better.
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Brian H

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Re: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2015, 08:31:38 AM »

I did a test with AHP 3.318 and a CM15A with no batteries installed in storage.
Installed batteries and connected to computer.
Opened AHP and in the Hardware Configuration Tab the correct Time and Date was shown. As was the correct time zone.
Changed the Time without closing AHP. When I opened the Hardware Configuration Tab again. The new time was showing.
I suspect when AHP or Hardware Configuration Tab in AHP is run. The time and date are checked.
Since the Hardware Configuration Tab reads the time and date. I can't say  for sure that AHP does check it at start up.
I also feel the clock on batteries is not accurate. The controller IC does not have a RTC feature. So I don't know how it keeps the time,
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Tuicemen

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Re: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2015, 08:57:05 AM »

I also did a small test.
I unplugged the USB cord from the PC  then changed the PCs clock to 1 hour later (should have did 1 hour sooner for a better test ::) :' )
I then opened AHP and the hardware configuration page which showed no interface connected in the interface time slot.
I then closed AHP and reconnected the Cm15 USB cable and opened AHP then closed AHP.
Timers which were to be fired in 1/2 hour were missed.
I assume the CM15 got the new 1 hour later time change when AHP was opened.
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Brian H

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Re: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2015, 09:04:16 AM »

I made another small finding.
On the main AHP screen. If I changed the time. The time and date display on the bottom edge also showed the new time.
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dhouston

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Re: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2015, 09:36:36 AM »

Aside from simply wanting to verify that the interface clock is correct (e.g., to see if the backup battery is still working), I have a need to program a CM15A to run in a different time zone (to be shipped by FedEX overnight while the batteries last). 

Will it connect to a PC running AHP at the new location or do you need it to run standalone once it arrives?
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dhouston

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Re: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2015, 09:46:57 AM »

I also feel the clock on batteries is not accurate. The controller IC does not have a RTC feature. So I don't know how it keeps the time,

It does have a pin (15) which senses when it's on battery power so it may have a software RTC which runs during that state.
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jclarkw

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Re: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2015, 03:06:45 PM »

Aside from simply wanting to verify that the interface clock is correct (e.g., to see if the backup battery is still working), I have a need to program a CM15A to run in a different time zone (to be shipped by FedEX overnight while the batteries last). 

Will it connect to a PC running AHP at the new location or do you need it to run standalone once it arrives?

It will not connect to a computer at new location (at least not until I go there in a few months and set my computer to local time).  Therefore I programmed it with the computer here but set to the destination time zone and then unplugged it before resetting this computer's time zone.  At least when I unplugged it, AHP showed the destination time and zone.

Thanks to everyone for testing and observations! -- jclarkw
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dhouston

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Re: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2015, 04:22:08 PM »

Let us know how it turns out.
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Noam

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Re: Interface Time in CM15A -- Read vs. Set?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2015, 11:59:41 AM »

From what I remember from some troubleshooting work I did with the AHP developers a few years back, it syncs the time any time you download to it, *and* every two hours (when it is connected to a computer running the X10Nets service).
With regard to the accuracy of the clock, I remember reading reports of bog "clock drift" issues when the CM15A was left disconnected from a PC for long periods of time, so you may have similar problems with the unit you are shipping. I think the drift issues were related to accuracy of powerline frequency, so your results may vary.
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