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Author Topic: Unusual PSC05 Failure  (Read 767 times)

JeffVolp

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Unusual PSC05 Failure
« on: August 24, 2017, 07:30:11 PM »

Today I found there was no hot water when I went to wash my hands.  A quick check confirmed the hot water heater was fine, so something else was wrong.

Over a decade ago I set up a hot water recirculation loop to provide almost instant hot water at all faucets.  The pump is controlled by an X10 lamp module that is switched on for about a minute every 15 minutes throughout the day to purge the lines.  The pump worked fine when plugged directly into the outlet, so I suspected that the lamp module might have failed.  Since we were getting ready to watch a movie, I planned to take care of it later.

Then the lights, equipment rack, and subwoofers would not respond to X10 commands.  A quick check with my XTBM showed the noise level was .17Vpp at 120-124KHz, more than enough to block X10 operation.  I plugged my prototype XTB-ANR into that outlet, and then the X10 modules responded to commands.

After the movie it only took a few minutes to track the strongest noise to the breaker panel.  The only devices there are several old transformer style power modules and the PSC05 for the Rain8.  I unplugged the PSC05, and noise level dropped to .01Vpp.  Then I plugged the PSC05 back in with the Rain8 cable disconnected, and the noise level jumped back up.  I swapped in a spare TW523, and everything is working again.

I took the bad PSC05 down to my workbench, and it pegs the XTBM noise reading when both are plugged into the same power strip.  Obviously something in the PSC05 failed.

Jeff
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dave w

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2017, 08:37:40 PM »

The pump is controlled by an X10 lamp module that is switched on for about a minute every 15 minutes throughout the day to purge the lines. 
Oh my goodness. A lamp module powering an inductive load???  I thought I was the only one to try such foolishness.  ;D

My favorite trick when trying to avoid the clunk of an appliance module is to use a lamp module to power a 120V AC coil, K style relay.

I once tried to use a lamp module, with a snubber network across the triac, to speed control a box fan but the fan still did not like it, even when the lamp module was at full ON.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2017, 11:29:42 PM »

The pump is controlled by an X10 lamp module that is switched on for about a minute every 15 minutes throughout the day to purge the lines. 
Oh my goodness. A lamp module powering an inductive load???  I thought I was the only one to try such foolishness.  ;D

It is a small 1/25HP motor, and I verified it worked fine with the old-style On/Off lamp module.  The alternative would have been a solid state relay that also uses a triac, and works essentially like a non-dimming lamp module.  I don't think an appliance module would still be working after 12 years switching on/off about 70 times a day.

Jeff

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Brian H

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 06:13:15 AM »

Thanks for the information.
Looks like you had the PSC05 power line transmitter keyed On constantly.
I will be interested if you find the problem.

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dave w

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 11:46:59 AM »

I don't think an appliance module would still be working after 12 years switching on/off about 70 times a day.
Jeff
rofl
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JeffVolp

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2017, 02:12:31 PM »

Looks like you had the PSC05 power line transmitter keyed On constantly.

Yes, that is exactly what happened.  It is transmitting a constant 120KHz, peaking at about 6Vpp, and falling off as the power supply discharges each half cycle of 60Hz.  I've found my worst noise generator ever.  And it was made by X10!

Update - during further testing it died completely - not even the LED comes on.  Nothing inside looks overheated.

Jeff
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 07:31:48 PM by JeffVolp »
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toasterking

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 10:12:18 PM »

My favorite trick when trying to avoid the clunk of an appliance module is to use a lamp module to power a 120V AC coil, K style relay.
I am curious now.  Do you mind sharing an example of one of these relays you use (part number or link if possible) and a little info about your implementation?  Do you mount the relay inside the lamp module?  Do you just wire the relay coil in parallel with neutral and hot out from PCB and relay contacts in series with hot pin of outlet, or do you actually get fancier and replace the TRIAC?  How reliable has this been?  Have you tried it with a "soft start" lamp module, and if so, do the contacts chatter during the transition?  Please and thank you!
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Brian H

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2017, 06:34:15 AM »

I have done the Silent LM465 modification. To replace the triac with a Sharp S116S02 solid state switch in an older before soft start LM465. It worked well. In short term tests. No long period tests done.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=11032.msg63049#msg63049
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JeffVolp

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 09:41:21 AM »

It is interesting how these discussions diverge.  How about that rain in Texas!  Isn't that where Authinx is located?

Jeff
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dave w

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2017, 11:14:55 AM »

Do you mind sharing....
Hi Toaster! Have not seen you in a long time.
No I go the simple route. 120V relay with line cord soldered to coil terminals, plugged in to an OLD style (non soft start) lamp module. In home control software, the Lamp Module HCUC is identified as an Appliance Module so Homeseer will never try to dim the module.
http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G20836
http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G20943
Electronic Goldmine used to have better assortment of 120V relays. I have bought several DPDT relays from them, but I only find this DPST now.
I never tried the solid state relay mod that Brian H mentioned. I think you need a SSR that triggers at the zero crossing only, and I could not confirm that operation from the ones in the "surplus" outlets. Heaven forbid I pay Mosler etc. prices.  :' 

 I just mount the external relay in a plastic box. If controlling 120V device I cut an extension cord in half and solder the plug end and the tap end to the proper terminals of the relay. But I also do things like; use  (DPDT) relay to switch  audio from computer or tablet (music stream),  to a house wide wireless speaker system. So the home control system can interrupt music with a home automation statement (someone is at front door) etc.  I bought a dozen or so "Home Alert" rebranded X10 lamp modules cheap, years back, so use the relay trick to be able to use the LM surplus on other uses besides lamps.

I should mention: Lamp Modules do not like inductive loads, and inductive loads do not like Lamp Modules. I always test a new relay by powering it ON by a lamp module for at least 24 hours to verify the coil will not over heat.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 11:54:33 AM by dave w »
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toasterking

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2017, 10:06:12 PM »

Hi Toaster! Have not seen you in a long time.
Hi, Dave!  I'm still lurking occasionally, though I don't always have a reason or time to post.

I just mount the external relay in a plastic box.
I'm glad this simple approach is working for you and you were able to do so many things with it.  For some reason, I was expecting something a little more elaborate.  Probably because I did not know what a "K style" relay is.

It seems that a common size for a PCB relay with 120VAC coil is 13 x 25.5 x 29 mm.  If my measurements are correct, I could just barely cram one of these into the empty space in an old "no soft start" lamp module if I bend the "kickstand" prong of the heat sink out of the way and possibly lay a resistor flat.  I think having it integrated might ultimately be neater and cheaper and be simpler to assemble if you just want a quieter appliance module.  But if I'm already tearing the thing apart, I probably should go ahead and modify it like Brian suggested and ditch the TRIAC, since I'm also not crazy about the "plug and pray" style of testing you mention.  But then, it's no longer as simple.

I had thought maybe you were already doing something like this.

Any day now, Authinx might give us a redesigned appliance module with a quieter relay and this will be unnecessary.  Any day/decade now.
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dave w

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 12:05:25 PM »

since I'm also not crazy about the "plug and pray" style of testing you mention.
<grin>
Yeah, but anytime you mod a module (say that three times fast) you are going to do a similar burn-in/smoke test. . .
I still might jam a SSR in one of those surplus Lamp Modules. Let us know how you make out.
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LAF

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Re: Unusual PSC05 Failure
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 04:12:31 PM »

Quote

Any day now, Authinx might give us a redesigned appliance module with a quieter relay and this will be unnecessary.  Any day/decade now.

I find the noise to be advantageous as it confirms the command issued actually worked.   ;D
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