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Author Topic: Bad KR32A's ?  (Read 167 times)

peteben

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Bad KR32A's ?
« on: September 04, 2019, 05:28:24 PM »

Hello,

I just received a new SC1200 system to upgrade my old PS561. Included in the package were 6 KR32A remotes, however, only one of these seems to work correctly.
Out of the box, all the others would not flash the LED when pressing buttons. Removing the batteries got the LED flashing again, but the units are not recognized by the console. Pressing 'arm' for 5-6 seconds will result in two flashes when releasing the button; afterwards the unit is dead until the batteries are removed again.
Another difference between the functioning unit and the bad ones is that pressing buttons on the good unit shows a flashing LED while the button is held down, whereas the bad units only blink the LED once.

I've emailed support and am waiting for an answer, but wanted to check if anybody here had ever encountered this problem.

Thanks!

Pete
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toasterking

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Re: Bad KR32A's ?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 03:50:00 PM »

I have not used the KR32A, but I know that there are multiple versions of the KR19A and the programming procedure among them varies, so that may apply here.

But first, and please excuse my asking, have you replaced the batteries in the nonworking remotes or tried swapping batteries with working ones?  It sounds like the broken ones could be powering down due to undervolting as soon as you activate them.
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peteben

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Re: Bad KR32A's ?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 09:10:40 PM »

Yeah, it's the batteries. Although they all test fine (3V), I have one pair of batteries, that works in every remote. Strangely, this set a a slightly lower voltage than the pairs that don't work.
I have seen this type of strange behavior before, with my car's key fob. Tried several good batteries, it would not work. Eventually found one that did but don't ask me why.

I have ordered a bunch of batteries of different brands, and will try them.

Thanks for your response.

Pete
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toasterking

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Re: Bad KR32A's ?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 10:28:14 PM »

Although they all test fine (3V),
If you're just measuring the voltage with a multimeter when it is out of the circuit, you may not get an accurate representation of the battery's health.  The voltage of a nearly depleted battery may drop as soon as there is a current draw, so you need to measure the voltage under load.  "Real" battery testers do this.  You could also use a ballast resistor in parallel with the battery to load it as you check the voltage with a multimeter.  Google can help you with that.  :)
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peteben

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Re: Bad KR32A's ?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2019, 11:26:42 AM »

Yes, I tried that, too. Of course, with these remotes, there is hardly any current draw until a button is pressed. Then I see voltage drop to about 5.5V. Strangely, the pair of batteries that does work in every remote drops further than the ones that don't. Of course, this is a rough measurement with a DVM, I might need to look at it with a scope to see what is really going on.

I also tried hooking the remotes to a USB power supply and they work quite well with 5V or even less.

So the mystery remains, and I am a bit peeved that X10 would ship products like that. These things should work out of the box!  Seems to me the were not tested at all.

Thanks,

Pete

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toasterking

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Re: Bad KR32A's ?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 11:47:52 AM »

Okay, you did your homework.  :)  That's a pretty odd failure.

We've seen quality (and price) go up since Authinx bought the X10 brand, but only for products that they have redesigned.  I don't think these remotes fit into that category (yet).
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JeffVolp

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Re: Bad KR32A's ?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 12:20:40 PM »

I ran into a similar problem with button cells in a digital scale years ago.  Brand new cells did not work.  Further investigation showed that some button cells are intended for low current continuous demand, like a watch, and others for very intermittent high current transients, like a remote or digital scale.  The button cells may be the same size, but you need the one for high current transients for the remote.

Jeff
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X-10 automation since the BSR days

peteben

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Re: Bad KR32A's ?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2019, 12:21:45 PM »

All are working now, with new batteries. BTW, the new batteries have 3.28V vs. 3.05V for the ones that came with the remotes.
Kinda strange, but I am just happy to have all working.

But you're right, the quality of the new units is better; at least they use SAW resonators instead of the imprecise LC circuit of the old units.

Thanks,

Pete
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peteben

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Re: Bad KR32A's ?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2019, 12:26:31 PM »

Hello Jeff,

thanks for that insight. That would make sense. I was beginning to think that maybe some of these cells had a high internal resistance, and were dropping too many volts when the processor was resetting.
The three different brands of batteries I got today are all working, though.

Thanks, everyone,

Pete

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