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Author Topic: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver  (Read 347 times)

tflemer

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Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« on: December 28, 2017, 04:57:52 PM »

I am currently using 4 TM751 transceivers to receive RF from IR sensors and SS13A wall switches.  Some of the changes I would like to make will add additional house codes in RF.  I would like to use a CM15A just as a transceiver, no timers/macros/attached PC.

I cleared a CM15A.  Created an empty runtime file.  Selected transceiver house codes in the configuration of AHP.  Did an update and downloaded the empty file.  Moved the CM15A to a desired outlet.  Testing with a couple of SS13As, the RF signal did not transfer to PLC.

OK – I have three CM15A.  I am not sure which one I used for the trial.  The first one, I purchased in 2006 to upgrade to AHP.  The second one I purchased in 2009 because the first one stopped working.  No macros, no timers controlling lights….  The second on failed in 2011.  Looking at the X10 forum and just searching Google to find an answer to why the CM15As failed, A tip (don’t remember where) that said the batteries and battery cover causes heat buildup and resulting CM15A failure.  So, when I purchased the third module, I did not install batteries and left the battery cover off.  X10 has worked mostly OK.  No catastrophic failure like in the past.  Have not seen any more Forum comments regarding this problem recently.

I have been running trials of various HA software packages.  All three modules will generate and receive PLC commands.  The RF side I am still sorting out.

As a test, I took two SS13As: one set to B1-3; the second set to D5-7.  I have a TM751 transceiver set to B.  Switch B1 activation shows in the log and the module toggles.  D5 shows in the log, but does not toggle the respective module.  When I add another TM751 set to D, switch activation toggles the module.  It appears that the CM15A(s) are decoding the RF signal but not resending out as a PLC.

I read number of threads on Tuicemen’s X10 Issues? Please Read This First! On X10 Forum from 2006 that described the functionality of monitored and transceiver.  If I understand correctly, the CM15A should act the same as a TM751.  Mine are not.  When I have a corresponding module in AHP then the module will toggle.  So, is this a defect (burn out) in the CM15A(s) or is this the proper function? 
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Brian H

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 01:23:44 AM »

I have a CM15A set to transceive all sixteen House Codes. In a stand alone setup. No programs or batteries in. Not connected to a computer. So it can be done.

Have you tried in the Tools Menu.
Hardware Configuration.
Tranceived House Codes. Specific and check the House Codes you want to use?
Update Interface.

The CM15A has RF reception problems.
If you do some searching here. You will see mods to extend the plastic tube antenna. As about half the receiving antenna is wrapped around the inside of the case. Some have fastened a metal rod to the tube to have better reception.

The SS13A also has transmission distance problems. Dave has some information on extending both the CM15A and SS13A range on his web pages.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston/X10_feng_shui.html

If the CM15A is not being tested in the same location as a working TM751. You may want to try it there.

Jeff has some great troubleshooting tutorials you may get some information from.
http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 05:03:04 AM by Brian H »
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tflemer

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 09:33:40 AM »

Thanks for the great check list to follow.  I had some red herrings that confused my objective.  Confirming that RF signals would be sent out as PLC.  On two of the three CM15A I have, the battery status screen LED stays red regardless if (good) batteries are in place or not.  Those two are out.  On the third module, batteries in LED goes green.  This is the one I narrowed my testing on.

One switch, D5; One SS13A, D5-7; One Cm15A; One TM751 set to D; AHP transceiver set to D.  Tested while connected to a PC and not.  In both cases a D5 RF signal does not go to the switch.  Plug in the TM751 and the D5 switch toggles.

With my “empty” runtime file Macros and Timers are at 0 and 0.  If I load my current runtime file with Macros and Timers, memory used is 27% and 3%. So, this would say that AHP is communicating with the CM15A.  It looks like the CM15A is no longer receiving RF.  The Activity Monitor does not show any D5 activity.  If I plug in the TM751, then Activity Monitor shows D5.

As follow up – I added a piece of coat hanger to the CM15A antenna with tie-wraps some time ago.  It helped with reception.
One of my red herrings was, I tested with a SS13A on B1 next to the CM15A in the basement.  I forgot, I had TM751 set to B in the living room.   All of the SS13As in use are with in 20 feet of the antenna and only need to pass through one floor.  Jeff’s tutorials on line issues are great.

At this point the issue comes down to cost.  I have enough TM751s to cover my needs now, but I want to add four more house codes.  Four TM751 = $100 and I will cover more outlets.  Another new CM15A is $80 with a life expectancy of 3-6 years.  Also, looking at the WGL X10 receivers.  Will probably look at compressing house codes before I do anything.

Thanks again for the help.
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Brian H

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2017, 11:13:11 PM »

The WGL V572B is a nice module.
One thing to keep in mind. It requires an X10 TW523, X10Pro PSC05 or Smarthome 1132B to interface to the power lines.
All are discontinued.
The JV Digital Engineering XTB-523 is a good replacement and has more features than the other ones. Including a stronger power line X10 signal.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 02:02:55 AM »

testing things with both the TM751 and CM15 connected to your power line will result in conflicting test results.
the TM751 is not a polite transceiver it will step on signals sent out of the CM15 however if the TM751 sends the signal out first the cm15 will wait for the power line to be clear before sending out the signal.

If you setup the tm751 in AHP then the cm15 will not act as a transceiver on that house code.

Your tests should be none with the cm15 Interface purged of macros and timers and all devices should be removed.
Then set the house codes to transceive using Specific.
All TM751 modules need to be removed from outlets.
Move your CM15 to a central location and as high as possibly to maximize its RF range
 >!
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tflemer

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 11:32:56 PM »

Thanks.

Did not know that AHP would not receive if a TM751 is added in.  Good to know.

Followed your check list.  Removed all TM751.  The two older Cm15As received and transmitted to PLC.  The newest one did not.  Added TM751s back into power line, one at a time.  Still works.  Also, tried CM15As without USB connection to a PC.  The older ones worked fine, the newer one, no.

Our home is older (100+).  The main floor is double brick.  There is a bay widow with foam insulation with foil and aluminum siding on top.  The second floor is lathe and stucco with chicken wire attached to 1x12s.  Hence the TM751 use.  So, to use the CM15A as a transceiver, where a TM751 can grab a stronger signal, I should add in a module via AHP for each TM751? Then download and use without connection?
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Tuicemen

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 11:58:26 AM »

The RR501 would be a better module then the TM751 as it waits for the powerline to be clear before sending a X10 signal thus avoiding signal colisions
An even better solution to your RF issues would be the SR751 X10 RF repeater
I tested these out here and at my off grid place and got extreamly good coverage and was able to tripple my previous RF distances in some cases.

I've used a single TM751 in the past to overcome a RF signal issue but I'd not want more then one my self in a setup (just me)
I replace my TM751 with the SR751 and haven't been happier.





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dave w

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 12:51:59 PM »

tflemer, FWIW

Leviton made an X10 protocol, all house code,  transceiver for a short time under their "Intellisense DHC " moniker. I have one, but never put it in service, so can't speak to it's range.  It also acts as a Lamp Module.
There can't be many of these left.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Leviton-HCPRF-1TW-DHC-300W-Max-60W-Min-Incandescent-Green-Plug-In-RF-Receiver/271651102669?epid=1700234402&hash=item3f3faadfcd:g:94sAAOSwF1dUUQsz
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 12:58:33 PM by dave w »
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toasterking

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 03:03:23 PM »

Leviton made an X10 protocol, all house code,  transceiver for a short time under their "Intellisense DHC " moniker. I have one, but never put it in service, so can't speak to it's range.  It also acts as a Lamp Module.
There can't be many of these left.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Leviton-HCPRF-1TW-DHC-300W-Max-60W-Min-Incandescent-Green-Plug-In-RF-Receiver/271651102669?epid=1700234402&hash=item3f3faadfcd:g:94sAAOSwF1dUUQsz
I have used one of these.  It does translate all X10 RF address codes onto the powerline and its lamp module can be set to any X10 address.  All of that works great.  The RF range is not so great.  I didn't do any scientific measurements, but the range seemed significantly less than a TM751 or RR501.  For anything transmitting from farther away than the next room, I wouldn't recommend it.  Very disappointing for a unit that could have otherwise replaced multiple transceivers.  It may still be worthy of a look if you have the know-how to improve the antenna.  It uses a solid wire for an antenna which is coiled up in the package and is the installer's duty to straighten.

@dave w, it was a nice idea.  (I thought so too at one time, obviously.  ;))
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dhouston

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 04:18:30 PM »

I don't know how you measured range but the Leviton HCPRF has just over half the PLC output of the RR501 or TM751 which reduces its usefulness even if you improve RF range.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 04:20:29 PM by dhouston »
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toasterking

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 04:23:51 PM »

I don't know how you measured range but the Leviton HCPRF has just over half the PLC output of the RR501 or TM751 which reduces its usefulness even if you improve RF range.
It seems, then, that an HCPRF has similar performance to the CM15A for both RF and PLC, albeit possibly with fewer firmware bugs to get in the way.
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tflemer

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 06:45:22 PM »

Thanks everyone.

I have been seeing “lot” sales of X10 on eBay.  Had not seen a X10 Activehome kit before.  Not sure if retailers are cleaning out their backrooms or what.  I wanted a CM11A, which the kit has and was able to pick up one for the price of a CM11A alone.  The kit comes with a RR501.  So, will give that a try.

Making changes to our set up.  We currently have a XPCR close to the mains panel.  The CM15A is about 25 ft away.  Both are in the basement.  Doing trials of some third-party HA software, I am finding the PLC sent out from the CM15A must not be as good.  Sometimes when I trigger a module, the results are totally unexpected.  Signal to turn on a living room light will turn on the bathroom light or a bedroom light.  Not even consistent.

Will replace the XPCR with a XPCP and move the CM15A next to the mains panel.  Looking to locate a CM15A as a transceiver either in the attic or on the second floor.  Which ever works best.  Would like to eliminate the TM751 modules.  Will probably need an added module to cover the separate garage and backyard.  The Leviton unit looks interesting.  Also, helps that I now know the proper set up on the CM15A.

The TM751 has been sort of a double stumble for me.  First, I use house codes B and C for IR sensors that trigger macros to control modules.  In our case, the TM751s do not have anything connected.  So, If I had something connected, I would have included in AHP and probably avoided the issue altogether.
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Brian H

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 02:22:35 AM »

Sounds like you got a deal. CM11A and some other goodies.

X10WTI had a CM11A stock order that they sold to an X10 dealer.
They still have 1402 left. So they are still around.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 02:31:26 AM by Brian H »
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HA Dave

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 05:52:28 AM »

I have been seeing “lot” sales of X10 on eBay.  ....

I keep re-inventorying my X10 supplies.... and making rough calculations based on my age... so as to determine if my supply of parts and pieces will last long enough. It's a never ending thought process.  rofl
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toasterking

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Re: Using a CM15A as a multi house code transceiver
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 06:55:42 AM »

X10WTI had a CM11A stock order that they sold to an X10 dealer.
They still have 1402 left. So they are still around.
I bought two of those (one as a spare) from that dealer after my CM15A went flaky and eventually died.  Things went well for about 2 days until I experienced my first hardware lockup.  I was plagued with intermittent communication issues with the CM11A.  Some failure modes were correctable in software (destroying COM objects, stopping X10nets service, disabling serial port, enabling serial port, starting X10nets service, recreating COM objects); others were not.  I even experienced the spontaneous "random command storms" that can be caused by a CM11A with an unconnected serial cable (except mine was connected) twice.  I replaced the CM11A with the second unit I bought as a spare.  No change; same problems prevailed.  Then one day, I finally decided to try JVDE's XTB-232 as a replacement, which I assembled from the kit, and I've never looked back.  It's been rock solid since day one and also puts out a much stronger signal.  Be aware that it does require that the PC be powered on 24/7.
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