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Author Topic: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver  (Read 374 times)

nabril15

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strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« on: August 03, 2020, 10:21:15 AM »

Hello forum. I haven't bothered you in a while, but I must today.

I have an IBM RR501 transceiver that has worked for years as controlled by an MT14 controller; that RR501 has a lamp plugged into it.
As of a 2 weeks or so, the lamp doesn't turn on or off at it's programmed time, and I've had to do it manually using a remote.
Summary: the rr501 receives radio signals, but not hardline signals.

I moved the MT14 to the same outlet as the RR501, and powerline signals get through SOMETIMES. At times, I have to press ON-1 a few times and it will work, and at others, doing so many times won't turn the lamp on. All other on/off codes (2-8) turn on and off perfectly.

Has the RR501 hardline receiver component gone bad within it perhaps? I swapped it with a TM751, and it didn't receive hardline signals, but that's normal, correct? The TM751 only receives radio signals, if I'm not mistaken.

EDIT - i forgot to mention that I've come down a few morning and seen the lamp turned on, which means that the rr501 somehow received an ON command in the middle of the night. I've also seen it turn off at a time that is not programmed in the MT14.

THank you
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 10:45:13 AM by nabril15 »
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JeffVolp

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2020, 12:27:17 PM »

I suspect powerline noise is the culprit.  High noise will block the RR501 from decoding commands from the powerline.  And you are correct that the TM751 cannot receive commands from the powerline at all.

Are there CFL or LED lights on the same circuit, or perhaps controlled by the RR501 itself?  If so, try switching temporarily to incandescent to see if that makes a difference.  It could also be a plug-in power module, such as a cellphone charger.  Once you find the culprit, just replace with a device more compatible with X10 operation, or isolate it with an appropriate X10 filter, such as the X10 XPPF.

Jeff
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nabril15

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2020, 12:36:40 PM »

I suspect powerline noise is the culprit.  High noise will block the RR501 from decoding commands from the powerline.  And you are correct that the TM751 cannot receive commands from the powerline at all.

Are there CFL or LED lights on the same circuit, or perhaps controlled by the RR501 itself?  If so, try switching temporarily to incandescent to see if that makes a difference.  It could also be a plug-in power module, such as a cellphone charger.  Once you find the culprit, just replace with a device more compatible with X10 operation, or isolate it with an appropriate X10 filter, such as the X10 XPPF.
Jeff

hello Scholar
The lamp connected to the rr501 has led bulbs on it, so I'll start there. Between the 3 of us, there are cell-phone and laptop chargers plugged in near the rr501, so I will isolate one by one, and find the guilty offender.
thanks Jeff
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dave w

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 04:50:27 PM »

I'm in agreement with the look for a noise problem, but going to go down a rabbit trail as an FYI.

Does the relay in the RR501 work reliably when you push the local control button on the 501? Press it several times in quick succession. If the relay works every time, I'll go back to sleep.

[verbose mode ON] Years ago in a home in south florida, I had five RR501's in the attic, each on a different house code. The RR501s were only used for house code tranceiving. The RR501 outlet control was not used.

One by one they failed over the years. They each became intermittently unreliable. I could test them by standing under where I had them mounted in the attic and use a Palm Pad to turn Unit 1 on and off. Sure enough, on the House Code that I was having trouble on, sometimes I would hear the relay click, sometimes no click. When I retrieved the suspect RR501 out of the attic sauna I would push the local control button multiple times and again relay operation was erratic.

It was a power supply problem. Likely an electrolytic cap drying out. I never tried to trouble shoot, just tossed them.

But try pushing your local control button multiple times (maybe once per second)  and see if the relay keeps up. It may save you some frustration looking for the elusive noise. $0.02
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 04:53:00 PM by dave w »
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nabril15

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 05:01:08 PM »

. $0.02

thanks dave. I just walked over to it, and it turned on and off with the local button after 8 consecutive pushes.

Earlier, I did some other tests. Remember that the MT014 is plugged into the same outlet as the RR501.
- Pressing ANY number from 2-8 on/off on the MT014 works perfectly; it's 1 that's failing.
- During the earlier tests, I saw 1 come on or off after pressing 2 or 3 off, for example = pressing other numbers on/off (2 or 3) turned #1 (the 501) on/off. Yes, it's weird.
- I removed the 2 led bulbs from the lamp that is plugged into the 501, but pressing #1 ON did not make the 501 click on. There are no other leds or chargers on that circuit, so it will be difficult or impossible to find the culprit.
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JeffVolp

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 05:59:20 PM »

- Pressing ANY number from 2-8 on/off on the MT014 works perfectly; it's 1 that's failing.

I'm, kind of puzzled by this.  The relay in the RR501 only responds to unit codes 1 and 9.  Nothing should happen for unit codes 2-8.

Jeff
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nabril15

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2020, 06:18:10 PM »

- Pressing ANY number from 2-8 on/off on the MT014 works perfectly; it's 1 that's failing.

I'm, kind of puzzled by this.  The relay in the RR501 only responds to unit codes 1 and 9.  Nothing should happen for unit codes 2-8.
Jeff
Precisely. Either the circuitry inside the MT014 is messed up so that pressing on the ON-2 button causes interference with the ON-1 button and the signal got sent??? Or, there is soooooooooooo much noise on the line that the number in the command got garbled those few times????
My hypothesis is that the ON-1 command is not being sent "properly" by the mT14 whether pressed by hand or by programming. I pressed the ON-1 button repeatedly, and on a few occasions the light came on by the 4th or 5th press. The same thing happened with the OFF-1. So is it possible that there's dirt/dust/ants/anthrax on the 1 button that's causing problems? For the record, the 5 buttons work fine. The ON-2 thru 8 commands work fine.

As a stubborn Scorpio, I shall keep investigating..
Neither answer is plausible nor likely. I wish that I had another MT14 to test this out.
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Brian H

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 06:55:35 PM »

The first button 1 or 5 does not work. When the button select is set to 1-4 but is OK on the 5-8 choice?

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nabril15

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2020, 07:09:47 PM »

The first button 1 or 5 does not work. When the button select is set to 1-4 but is OK on the 5-8 choice?
The great Brian H? It's good to see you sir.
Your statement is sort of correct. I say "sort of" because I've pressed 1 5 times and on the 5th push, the 501 clicked. But then OFF won't work.
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dave w

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2020, 08:48:48 PM »

thanks dave. I just walked over to it, and it turned on and off with the local button after 8 consecutive pushes.
OK. You definately do not have my power supply problem.
As promised, I'm going back to bed.
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Brian H

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2020, 06:07:19 AM »

If you don't find a noise problem or signal sucker.
I would suspect the RR501 or the MT14A has issues.
Like Dave W. I had an RR501 get real strange and it was the power supply. Though mine showed a different set of problems.
The MT14A's power supply {it also has the power line transmitter in it} maybe getting flake with electrolytic capacitors going bad.

You don't by chance. Have one of Jeff's XTBM testers or ELK ESM1 power line meters?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 06:29:06 AM by Brian H »
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Tuicemen

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2020, 08:17:58 AM »

Power line noise can take weeks or months to find the source without a tester. The culprit is not always on the same circuit, just powering off will not always stop the culprit nor are they always constantly producing noise. Some devices produce noise from day 1 others like laptop power supplies seem to do it as they get older. I even had an incandecent light bulb do this.
 Do your self a favor if you dont have a tester, get or borrow one. Getting one of Jeffs testers was the best investments I made in my X10 system.
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nabril15

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Re: strange behavior from RR501 transceiver
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2020, 04:24:47 PM »

Do your self a favor if you dont have a tester, get or borrow one. Getting one of Jeffs testers was the best investments I made in my X10 system.
thanks Tuice...Unfortunately, I decided to get a tester too late since Jeff is out of them.
I resolved the #1 lamp problem, by using another module that I had as a spare, and it responds well to the signals.
The RR501 got moved to another outlet just to receive the radio signals; it still does not power on/off from the MT014, and now, #8 on/off from the remote doesn't work. That worked fine up until 2 days ago in its original location.
I would conclude that perhaps the RR501 is not functioning at 100% or that something else is now interfering with number 8 from a radio signal.
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