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Author Topic: Sudden change in system operation  (Read 528 times)

Brucels

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Sudden change in system operation
« on: March 10, 2019, 11:41:11 AM »

I am using a CM15A controller, programmed with ActiveHomePro on a Windows 7 PC, to operate a variety of X-10 lamp modules throughout my home, which was built in 1917 and has knob and tube wiring, for the most part.

The system had been operating flawlessly for a number of years: turning lights on and off and dimming them as programmed. Yesterday morning, I noticed that lights had not turned off as usual and tried to do so manually via several controllers. Nothing worked. I even moved the controllers around to different outlets. It seems that the controller will operate a module when plugged into the same outlet as the module, but even that isn't consistent.

I am not aware of any changes in electrical service within or outside the house. Can anyone suggest steps to  find the problem and solve it?
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Brian H

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Re: Sudden change in system operation
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2019, 12:55:19 PM »

Have you gotten any new electrical devices or moved existing ones around? Even something like a new charger for a phone or cordless device.

Do you have any X10 coupler or repeater  between the two incoming power lines? That may have failed.

Jeff has a great set of X10 troubleshooting tutorials.
http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm
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brobin

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Re: Sudden change in system operation
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2019, 01:22:16 PM »

Even without making any changes, things can change on their own. Just last week I had a problem develop that only affected one lamp. Drove me nuts for the day it took me to find the problem. It was the wall wart for an old cordless vac that was plugged into an outlet in a closet on the other side of the house.  I had the benefit of an X10 signal tester but just walking around and unplugging things or turning off breakers one at a time will get you there. Keep in mind that the problem could be coming from another home on the same street transformer particularly if you don't have a coupler installed. Turning on a 220 volt appliance like an oven or electric dryer might help troubleshoot that. The link BrianH provided will be immensely helpful. Start there and let us know what you find.
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LostDog88

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Re: Sudden change in system operation
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2019, 01:26:24 PM »

Even without making any changes, things can change on their own. Just last week I had a problem develop that only affected one lamp. Drove me nuts for the day it took me to find the problem. It was the wall wart for an old cordless vac that was plugged into an outlet in a closet on the other side of the house.  I had the benefit of an X10 signal tester but just walking around and unplugging things or turning off breakers one at a time will get you there. Keep in mind that the problem could be coming from another home on the same street transformer particularly if you don't have a coupler installed. Turning on a 220 volt appliance like an oven or electric dryer might help troubleshoot that. The link BrianH provided will be immensely helpful. Start there and let us know what you find.

Agreed. I have three lamps that are on two different modules. One of the modules with one lamp was working great and still is.
The other two lamps on one module suddenly wouldn't respond. I found that the charger for my vape batteries was the culprit! Ugh.  B:(
However, plugging the charger into a different outlet closer to the filter/repeater solved the issue. Would've never guessed that one! LOL
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brobin

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Re: Sudden change in system operation
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2019, 01:42:55 PM »

When I first started using X10 over 35 years ago all was well till my neighbors had a baby. They bought a wireless baby monitor that used PLC instead of RF. There was no internet or, for that matter, PCs yet and it took time to learn about troubleshooting but I finally found a resource at a local electrical supply house that sold Leviton DHC (X10) and installed what's now called an XPNR in my panel to solve it.
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Brian H

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Re: Sudden change in system operation
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2019, 06:29:25 PM »

One more thought.
Try rotating the House Code and Unit Code dials around a few times. We have seen an occasional problem with the switches getting dirty and actually changing the X10 address.
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Brucels

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Re: Sudden change in system operation
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 03:07:27 PM »

Here's an update: I discovered purely by accident that the system worked fine when one laptop was unplugged from its AC charger. Replacing the charger solved the problem, so the original charger must have been creating noise in the electrical wiring that blocked the X-10 signals.
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brobin

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Re: Sudden change in system operation
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 04:56:39 PM »

Very typical problem.  As I described in an earlier post about the wall wart for an old cordless vac, they can be fine for years and then start causing trouble. Glad you found it!  :)% #:)
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