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Author Topic: problem setting X10 T38A dual floodlight unit to only turn on lights at night  (Read 287 times)

mikeythemars

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I have a X10 VT38A motion detector dual floodlight mounted unit above a rear exterior stairway.  That unit has an adjustable knob labeled "Floodlight Control, " which is supposed to allow you to to set motion detector in the unit to either always turn on the lights when it whenever it senses motion, or to only do that when it is dark out.

For some reason, even when I turn the knob all the way to the left (where the setting indicator states "dark"), the motion detector is still turning on the floodlights whenever it detects motion, even if it is bright dayllight outside,  I've even tried turning the floodlight control knob all the way to the right(where the setting indicator states "light,") to see if the problem is the setting labels being wrong, but still have the same "motion detector is always turning on the floodlights irrespective of time of  day" problem.

I don't know if this is a known issue or it indicates there is a problem with the unit.  Any troubleshooting suggestions would be appreciated.           
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dave w

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The way I am reading the manual, if the "Camera Mode" switch is in Auto, the lights always come on. To me it is saying the Camera Mode has priority over "Floodlight Mode".  Try turning Camera Mode to Manual and see if the lights still come on when light.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 06:14:11 PM by dave w »
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mikeythemars

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Hi Dave and thanks for responding to my post.

I did try setting the camera to manual, but the floodlights are still turning on whenever the VT38A unit detects motion, irrespective of whether it is light or dark out.

Can you send me a Iink to the VT38A manual you referenced?  I'm asking because the only one I could find online (which is at:

https://fccid.io/B4SVT38A/User-Manual/Exhibit-D-Users-Manual-per-2-1033-b3-171245)

is showing different switch designations than the ones on the vt38A unit I have, which is leading me to wonder whether X10 produced different versions of this unit.   

Specifically, the manual I found is showing the camera manual/auto setting switch you referred to as one instead labeled  "unit code" and is also showing the darks vs. light sensor settings reversed,with "dark" being the full right setting and "light" being the full left one.

Additionally, the printed instructions on the inside of the flip down door regarding camera mode in my VT38A unit appear to contradict what you interpreted from whatever manual you had access to.  Regarding camera mode, they state the following:

"Set CAMERA MODE switch to MANUAL for camera to stay on unless you turn it off from an x10 controller. Set switch to AUTO for camera to turn on with motion and to turn off some time after motion stops. Floodlights turn on with motion then time out and turn off regardless of switch position   

If those instructions are correct, they appear to state the floodlights on my VT38A unit are triggered independently of how the camera is configured.  Also, I can't find any reference in the VT38A manual I found on how to use an X10 controller to shut off just the camera in the unit but not the motion detector. If that is possible, it would presumably require having either having different addresses for the camera and motion detector or changing some sort of settings in SmartHome for the configuration of the VT38A unit, which I have not been able to find.

Thanks again for any additional suggestions you might have on getting this unit to turn it's motion triggered floodlights on only at night.   

       
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Brian H

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Here is the X10 Wiki entry for the VT38A. http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/FloodCam
Its manual link is broken.
Near the bottom of the page is a number of questions. You may find some assistance with some of them.

The FCC manual is labeled 8/01.
I found a manual labeled 11/02.


« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 06:15:11 PM by Brian H »
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Brian H

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It maybe possible the instructions do not match the manual. We have seen things like the LM465 redesigned for Soft Start.
There was no model number change to help identify the update. They just started to ramp up and down at a few second rate. With a note on the sales page and wiki entry.

There may have been more than one firmware revision for the VT38A. To correct issues or improve operation. Almost all  the time we didn't get any information on firmware changes.

X10 cameras used the House Code and Unit code to turn them On and Off. They used a 4 Unit Code group for cameras. 1-4,5-8,9-12 and 13-16. Turn On one in the group the other three turned off. So you could control up to four cameras easier. When powered up they defaulted to On. So single camera setups did not have to be turned on at power up. Four cameras could use lets say. C1,C2,C3 and C4. Send an On to C1. C2,C3 and C4 would go off with no Off command needed. When powered On each would be On and interfering with each other until one of them was sent an On command.

The cameras are turned On and Off with power line commands. If you are using an X10 RF remote or camera remote. The command has to be sent on the power lines by a module that receives the RF command and sends it back to the power lines.

Some of the questions in the Wireless Camera section of the wiki. May also give you some added information.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Wireless_Cameras

You mentioned Smarthome. Are you using one of their software programs? Like Smarthome Manager or Smarthome Manager Plus?
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 09:18:09 AM by Brian H »
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Brian H

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You may want to look at some of the other FCC documents on the VT38A. Like the Operational information.
https://fccid.io/search.php
In the search box. B4SVT38A

You may also find some information on the VT38A. In this review here. http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=10202.0
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 08:08:14 AM by Brian H »
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dave w

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Can you send me a Iink to the VT38A manual you referenced?  I'm asking because the only one I could find online (which is at:

Additionally, the printed instructions on the inside of the flip down door regarding camera mode in my VT38A unit appear to contradict what you interpreted from whatever manual you had access to.  Regarding camera mode, they state the following:

"Set CAMERA MODE switch to MANUAL for camera to stay on unless you turn it off from an x10 controller. Set switch to AUTO for camera to turn on with motion and to turn off some time after motion stops. Floodlights turn on with motion then time out and turn off regardless of switch position   
     
mikeythemars, Sorry, I have not been on the forum for a while, but it looks like Brian H got you a copy. Here is another from different source, but looks to be the same as the one Brian referenced. The manual has the same exact nomenclature as you state is in the floodlight cover. I was reading "switch position" as the  flood light adjustment pot because it made sense that they might want the floodlights on anytime the camera came on, and X10 manuals have always had clarity issues.

Maybe you have a bad unit.
https://www.manualslib.com/manual/338913/X10-Vt38a.html?page=4#manual
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Brian H

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In an earlier message here.
I attached the manual file in the message.
Dave's looks like the same one I have in my attached file. It is a later version than the one in the FCC Database.

If you look at the external photographs in the FCC Database. Notice the Camera Mode: Manual-Auto switch. Was originally Unit Code +1.  ::)

The FCC schematic shows the switch and darkness level setting pot but is not too clear on how they work.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 07:43:05 PM by Brian H »
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beelocks

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KISS.

My first thought would be to check for an external light sensor and then check for crap over said sensor.
Not everything that goes wrong with X10 is electronical.
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Although my explanations may not be exactly clear, I do hope for slightly less cloudy.
 

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