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Author Topic: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off  (Read 696 times)

mikeybmars

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Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« on: October 26, 2017, 10:28:00 AM »

I use X10 macros via a Cm15A to contol props in my Halloween display.    All work fine except for one, which is having sporadic issues.  It is a timed macro that at one point sends a command to a three pin appliance module to turn a mirror ball motor on and then sends a second command 26 seconds later to turn it off.   

The problem is that command in the macro doesn't work consistently.  Sometimes it executes the sequence properly, but more frequently it turns the appliance unit on but then turns it off prematurely (about 10 seconds after it turned it on).

I have already done troublshooting to see if other modules in my setup are causing this problem, and came up empty.   The mirror ball motor doesn't draw a big load (it's rated at 3 W, <0.1 A ) so I don't think that's the issue.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what else I should be doing to fix this?

 


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Brian H

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 12:27:19 PM »

If you turn it On directly through AHP. Will it sty On until you turn it Off?
It is possible it is making power line noise and falsely triggering it back Off.

Would you happen to know if it is new enough to be the CFL Friendly one?
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mikeybmars

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 11:01:06 AM »

Thanks for the reply.   The appliance module I am using is a AM466, which is older so I don't think it is CFL friendly.  If I go into my AHP software and flip the switches for that appliance module, yes, it can be manually turned on and stays on until I manually turn it off. 

However, if I run the macro from the computer, I encounter the same premature turn off problem I described.

One other point I can add is the appliance module always prematurely turns off at the exact same point in the macro, right after a universal module in it executes a momentary closure of the relay it contains (which triggers a sound card to start running).   The appliance module turns off immediately after the second "click" comes from the universal module, which signfies it's relay going back to open mode.   
 
When you mentioned the possibility of line noise, are you referring to that being possibly created by the appliance module itself or are you referring to that being perhaps  being created by the mirror ball motor it is controlling, or some other external noise source?    Asking because I could try plugging that motor into an XPPF filter and then plugging that filter into the AM466.   
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Brian H

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 06:03:03 PM »

Thank you for the information.
I think you macro maybe sending an off when you momentarily pulse the Universal Module and it also is turning off the AM466.
Can you post the macro?
The Universal Module is not an the same X10 address as the AM466?
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mikeybmars

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2017, 10:39:38 PM »

Thanks for you thoughts.   I will post the macro once I copy it.  My functioning copy of original AHP software is on another (aging) computer, which I only turn on to access it and will do tomorrow.

As for the macro sending an off signal when it sends a command to the universal module, the macro is written to only send an "on" signal to it (since the module is set on momentary, it doesn't need an off signal and I don't think AHP automatically creates one).   Lastly the universal and appliance modules have different addresses.
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mikeythemars

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2018, 01:45:33 PM »

I have been doing extensive troubleshooting on the issue I described in prior posts and now suspect that for some unknown reason that a lamp module is  causing the problems with the macro.

Here is the original macro. Note I removed the appliance unit that was controlling the animatronic motors and replaced it with a Universal module that causes an external low voltage relay to close, which sends 120 AC to the motors.  Did that after finding that both two and three prong appliance modules were stopping prematurely whether or not I included or deleted the lamp module shown in the macro.             

Tigger H2
Turn UM506 Universal Module F3 ON (closes an external  low voltage relay that supplies 120 AC to the animtronic motors).
Delay 3 seconds
Brighten LM465 Lamp module K4 50%
Delay 3 seconds
Turn UM506 Module O9 ON (module set to momentary delay, which triggers an audio chip unit to start playing)
Delay 31 seconds
Dim LM 465 Lamp module K4 50%
Delay 3 seconds
Turn UN506 Universal Module F3 OFF

What I have found in my now extensive troubleshooting is that the macro works properly if remove the lamp module instructions.

Or put another way, the universal module (F3) controlling the motors on the animatronic does not shut off prematurely if the lamp instructions are removed.  That  suggests the momentary closure of the other universal module O9 is on it's own is not the cause of the problem I am experiencing with the other universal module (F3).   That module only reverts to shutting off prematurely (right after the Universal module O9 completes its momentary closing) if I inlclude the lamp module in the macro.  That issue happens irrespective of where the lamp module is plugged in.  I have also tried changing the address on the lamp module and trying different ones (I have both the IBM Home Director and Radio Shack Plugn' Power versions of the LM465).

The good news here is I appear to have isolated the source of the problem (albeit still don't know what is causing it).  The bad news is that the animatronic routine is enhanced by the brightening and dimming actions and that is lost by having to remove the  lamp module. 

« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 04:40:40 PM by mikeythemars »
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dave w

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 04:20:21 PM »

FWIW
I have not used AHP in a long time. But I do remember having problems and fixing by deleting the macro and rewriting from scratch. I also remember deleting devices and then re-creating and that action fixing problems. I guess something gets hosed in the database.
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Knightrider

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 04:41:11 PM »

Don't forget to clear the interface memory.
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mikeythemars

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2018, 06:31:49 PM »

Don't forget to clear the interface memory.

I have cleared the interface memory and have emptied the "wastebasket" on AHP.   Still having the problem.  Have also tried deleting the macro and re-inputing it, which does not resolve the issue.  Again, the fact the macro works when I delete the lamp element makes me feel like something odd starts going on between the particular modules in the macro when a lamp one is included.     
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Tuicemen

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2018, 06:52:52 PM »

Try unplugging the lamp from the module and run the macro.
If things work the issue is the lamp or bulb, if the issue remains try a different lamp module and test again.
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dave w

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2018, 07:45:12 PM »

I delete the lamp element makes me feel like something odd starts going on between the particular modules in the macro when a lamp one is included.   
If Tuicemans suggestion does not work, try deleting the lamp from the database, not just the macro. If that doesn't work, forget Halloween and move on to Christmas.
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mikeythemars

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Re: Appliance module keeps prematurely turning off
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2018, 08:18:16 PM »

Try unplugging the lamp from the module and run the macro.
If things work the issue is the lamp or bulb, if the issue remains try a different lamp module and test again.

Thanks, I will try that.

FYI, I just tried running the macro with the lamp module  included, but changed the settings on the latter.  I set it to turn the bulb directly on at the beginning of the routine without fading it up and likewise to turn it directly off at the end of the routine without fading it down.  That worked, the universal module conrolling the motors worked properly, no premature stops.  So I now wonder if the fader signals I had previously being sent to the X10 lamp module were somehow complicit in causing the universal module to shut down prematurely.   If that is the case, it's strange because I have other animated props in my Halloween production that I have programmed using X10 which employ lamp modules to fade their illumination in and out and have never had issues with them causing side effects.
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