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Author Topic: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers  (Read 540 times)

madbrain

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X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« on: September 28, 2017, 08:00:08 AM »

I have been trying to setup a whole house audio system that uses 5 old receivers as power amps on two different floors to drive 13 pairs of speakers, and Chromecasts as sources. I used one appliance module per receiver to be safe relating to the wattage.

After masking the noise from each nearby spider of Chromecasts with 10A Filterlinc filters, my X10 signal travels well on the powerline accross floors due to a still-working Smarthome dryer-type phase coupler, whether I'm sending that signal using heyu from a Raspberry Pi or Odroid XU4, or from an RF X10 remote and transceiver (as long as there is a nearby transceiver in that room, I only have 2 transceivers and 17 rooms) ...

When not using X10, all 5 receivers are well behaved, meaning if I pull the power cord from the wall, and plug it back in, the receivers come back to the exact state that they were in before power was cutoff - all settings are preserved, volume is still the same (0 dB on all receivers!), front display is still dimmed all the way down and almost invisible, and if they were powering speakers (ie. not in standby mode), they all resume playing once power comes back.

I assumed these receivers would work ideally with X10 as I could just turn them on and off with appliance modules.
But it turns out using X10 modules and on/off commands is not the same as yanking the power cord.
3 of the receivers are well behaved, and never have issues with the module.
Those receivers are :
Yamaha RX-V2400
Denon AVR-1904
Pioneer Elite VSX-56TXi

Two of the receivers have issues. I believe these are the oldest models :
Pioneer VSX-D509S (year 2000)
Yamaha RX-V995 (I think 1999 or maybe even less. I'm the original owner!)

The issues are both the same : when powering them back on with X10 on command, the receivers come back in their "factory reset" mode. They have not just forgotten the last input and volume, but also their entire speaker configuration. On the Pioneer, it can be reconfigured by IR remote. On the Yamaha, this requires physically pressing the "Speakers A" switch as it comes back on without any speaker on !
Imagine my surprise when I found this out.

I was partially able to solve it with the Pioneer VSX-D509S by trying many different X10 modules - Radio shack, X10, X10 Pro. Finally found the X10 Pro works OK with it, and it comes back up with all its settings.

No such luck with the Yamaha RX-V995 . The display doesn't even come back on after "Power on", like it does when yanking the power cord. Poweron/standby front button has to be pressed. And then it's back to factory settings ... I have spent a lot of time trying to make it work, and no go. I'm thinking this is due to the fact that X10 has local control and there sometimes a small amount of current going through. Clearly the Yamaha RX-V9995 doesn't like that at all.

Is there a way to cut the power completely with an X10 module ? That would presumably require something without local control.
I have read about some mods, but not sure if this is what I need or not, and whether I'm qualified to attempt them or not.
I would hate to have to part with my RX-V995 as it still sounds amazing through the 5.1 analog input. I know I can buy other units on craigslist for cheap, but where is the fun in that ? Hoping somebody can chime in and help solve this.

I'm open to considering other smartplugs too if they are sufficiently easy to interface with / automate. Haven't invested in any ZWave or anything else yet. All-wireless protocol would be a huge challenge in the big house built with very strong materials. All wireless signals have issues (cell, Wifi) and I have had to make huge investments in equipment and it's still not working as well as it should. Filtering X10 powerline noise is a breeze in comparison ...
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2017, 09:38:37 AM »

Have you considered the reset may be due to the amount of time the receivers are switched off?  I would expect them to include some energy storage so a brief power glitch would not reset the unit.

What brings this to mind is that I've swapped car batteries and the radio retained its settings.  But just two days ago I pulled the battery and brought it to the store for credit when I bought the replacement to save the extra trip.  The battery was out several hours, and I was surprised the radio had lost all its programmed stations.

If you have not already done so, a quick check to compare with unplugging and plugging back in would be to switch off and back on by X10 for the same interval to see if it makes a difference.  If that works, then you could extend the time to confirm it is the length of time the unit is switched off.

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2017, 12:45:41 PM »

The latest CFL Friendly Appliance Modules have very small current on the output. Just enough for the On/Off switch sensing so  it knows if it is On or Off.

Older ones do have Local Control Sensing on them. It has both a AC and DC component on it.
There is modification information if you want to try disable it. We can find it if you want to try it.

As a test try putting a plug tap on the Output. So you can connect both the receiver and a small incandescent load like a 4 or 7 watt night light bulb. Then see if anything changes.
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madbrain

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 11:42:16 PM »

Jeff,

Thanks for your reply, comment inline.

Have you considered the reset may be due to the amount of time the receivers are switched off?  I would expect them to include some energy storage so a brief power glitch would not reset the unit.

What brings this to mind is that I've swapped car batteries and the radio retained its settings.  But just two days ago I pulled the battery and brought it to the store for credit when I bought the replacement to save the extra trip.  The battery was out several hours, and I was surprised the radio had lost all its programmed stations.

If you have not already done so, a quick check to compare with unplugging and plugging back in would be to switch off and back on by X10 for the same interval to see if it makes a difference.  If that works, then you could extend the time to confirm it is the length of time the unit is switched off.

Jeff


It's definitely not the amount of time. Receiver resets even if it's off for a couple second when X10 module is used.
No issue at all for longer periods with manual power cord pull/plug .
This is clearly something happening only with the X10 module.


Seems like you were right, I tried it again with the power cord plugged a bit longer and it reset itself too. Maybe there is a battery inside. I don't remember it ever losing its settings before. Looks like this is not fit for automation.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 01:20:57 AM by madbrain »
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dhouston

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 07:05:34 AM »

Maybe there is a battery inside.

More likely just a large capacitor.
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Brian H

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2017, 03:12:35 PM »

A Super Cap does sound more logical.
Over maybe a small rechargeable cell that is now past it useful life.
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Knightrider

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2017, 03:27:34 PM »

I know this isn't a great idea, but I zone audio with 120v 4PDT relays powered by appliance modules down to about 2ohms per amp. I use an 8ohm resister at 20watts (Used to pick up these bricks from rat shack) on the downside of the relay to balance the load. My amp stays on all the time.
Granted, I don't blast anything. I'm old and don't like my music too loud anymore.
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BackAgain

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2017, 07:28:35 PM »

I have been trying to setup a whole house audio system that uses 5 old receivers as power amps on two different floors to drive 13 pairs of speakers, and Chromecasts as sources.

Being nosey, but I'm curious as to the average KwH/per day you  use.

Mine is around 15-20 depending on how much A/C or heat I need and loads of wash. etc.

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dave w

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 09:17:36 AM »

Being nosey, but I'm curious as to the average KwH/per day you  use.

Mine is around 15-20 depending on how much A/C or heat I need and loads of wash. etc.
FYI I know you are directing question to Knightrider, with his sound system worthy of powering an open air concert, but your usage seems pretty low. We have approx. 1900 sq ft home with fairly new heat pump. Our August bill was for 1300kWh. FWIW.
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BackAgain

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 05:53:59 PM »

That's 15-20 per day, less in mid season months with less heating and cooling.  I shoot for 10kWH/day and hit it sometimes.  Generally around 400kWH/month.  Lowest in the last two years was around 370 or so; high was around 550 in July (A/C) and December (heat).  I make it a point to keep it low.  One person, not much lighting that isn't LED.  NO TV at all (nothing worth watching, turned it off nearly three years ago).  Using mainly one notebook, sometimes a desktop but it's only on for a few hours.  Gas stove.  Microwave when needed.  21 CuFt Refrigerator and a small deep freezer.  A/C is a single window unit in the bedroom.  No central AC.  House is about 1,000 sq ft on the ground floor and a small upstairs.  2 1/2 car attached garage.  Outside shed with power for tools.

Even at all that, the bill is still one of my highest each month.  Ticks me off.  I went back over some old bills from about 10 years ago before I stopped working and started cutting costs.  I'm now using less than half of what I was then, but my bills are higher due to the rate increases.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 05:57:16 PM by BackAgain »
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Knightrider

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 07:36:31 PM »


FYI I know you are directing question to Knightrider, with his sound system worthy of powering an open air concert, but your usage seems pretty low. We have approx. 1900 sq ft home with fairly new heat pump. Our August bill was for 1300kWh. FWIW.
As user: Mrs knightrider has been known to lurk on this forum, I'm going to say I do not know what my daily KwH usage is. She tracks it via our South Central Power Company smart meter report.
I have been a mobile DJ since 1990, and yes, can blast close to 10,000 watts per channel at 8 ohms. Rarely need that, and my go-to amp is a 1500 watt hybrid unit with beautiful headroom.
For house amps, I use a Bogen amp that my dad kit-bashed into a stereo amp with dual 70v outputs, along with taps at 2,4,8, and 16 ohms.
I burried this in a closet and never plugged it into a kill-a-watt meter, but I'd guess it burns quite a bit of power. I have no desire to remove it, as I think it was built in the mid 70s and still sounds great to this day. When I was 16, the old engineer that inspired me to pursue EE, replaced a MOSFET in it and charged me $12. I'm now 42.
I've put all kinds of goofy loads on that amp, and it's refused to die. Probably has it down to .5 ohms.
I doubt I will ever find anything like it ever again .
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dave w

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Re: X10 appliance modules vs audio receivers
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 06:46:39 PM »

I  can blast close to 10,000 watts per channel at 8 ohms.
I got a Hobart motor/generator welder that can do that. And it sounds like a jet turbine when running. Neighbors love it.  rofl
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