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Author Topic: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please  (Read 1471 times)

nabril15

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Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« on: November 22, 2020, 02:19:03 PM »

Hello all
As proud as I was and am to "show off" my x10 set-up when guests used to come over for dinner, I'm equally as frustrated when commands don't get to where they're supposed to.
My MT14 controlls all modules, and up to 2 days ago, everything worked fine and on time; no new electronics or chargers were plugged in at the house.
Since those 2 days, modules number 5 and 8 will not respond to a button press on the controller. Number 5 is an xps2 that controls the pool pump, and number 8 is an xps3 switch for outdoor lights. I repeat that they worked fine 2 days ago, and I now must walk out to those 5 and 8 switches to turn on and off.
I moved the mt14 to various outlets around the house, and 5 and 8 still fail; other numbers work fine.

An unused IBM rr501 equivalent set to number 1 clicks repeatedly when I manually press 8 on and off. If I press on once, the rr501 clicks 2 or 3 times in quick sequence.

Did the mt14 go bad? What can I try? I know there's an x10 tester of sorts available, but I don't have it obviously.
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Brian H

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2020, 03:59:08 PM »

If you temporarily reset the problem X10 modules address. To a known working X10 address the MT14 can control. Do they work or still not work?
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nabril15

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2020, 04:23:00 PM »

Brian
Is the H for helper??

I changed the xps3 number 8 to other known working numbers, and it failed to respond from the remote or from the mt14a.
Manually pressing the rocker turned it on and off.

I did not test with the number 5 xps2 because it's harder to get to physically.

The rr501, set to 1, doesn't respond to the remote. Could it be the culprit? That it wrnt bad and is causing major noise on the lines and thus clicking repeatedly when i press 8 on and off with the mt14 plugged to the same outlet?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 05:37:24 PM by nabril15 »
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Brian H

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2020, 06:29:10 AM »

The remotes have to use an X10 transceiver. The MT14 is power line only. So you have to have a transceiver to process the X10 remotes.

If you use the On Off button on the RR501. Does it still click a few times? It has sensor in it. To see if it is On or Off. So it doesn't try to change state if it is in the state the command was. If it clicks a few times. Either the sensor in it is failing or the ratchet switch is dirty.

If it responds to an X10 command on Unit Code 8. Something is wrong. It only has Unit 1 and Unit 9 addresses. Either the MT14 is sending the wrong unit code or the RR501 is going bad.

The RR501 has a power line transmitter in it so it could be sending garbage on to the power lines. It also is polite. If it see an X10 power line signal or noise fooling it. It will not send the received  RF signal back on the power lines.

Do you have any X10 power line repeaters between the two incoming power lines. That could be causing issues?
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nabril15

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2020, 07:05:28 AM »

Thank you Brian
Yes, I have an rf receiver plugged in for radio commands, and that's the one clicking repeatedly when I press 8 on; I'm sorry if I got my device names wrong.

I've had an xtbr repeater plugged in to the outlet closest to the inside sub panel.
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Brian H

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2020, 06:46:11 PM »

Does it also click repeatedly if you push the local On Off button on the module itself or only when commanded from the MT14?
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nabril15

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2020, 10:18:11 PM »

Hey Brian
Clicking on the rr501 by push of button by hand works and sounds fine = 1 click.

I mentioned the rr501's woes in case it helped troubleshoot the 2 switches that are my main stressors - the xps2 (code 5) that controls the pool pump, and the xps3 (code 8 ) that controls landscape lights; both of those require going outside to turn on and off by hand at the desired times.
In the same box where that xps2 is, sits another xps3 that failed to receive signals as of recent. If I push its rocker in and hold it in, the lights come on. If I release the rocker, the power cuts out, and it does not respond to any signals.
Could this faulty xps3 be causing noise or blocking the signals from reaching codes 5 and 8 perhaps??
I'm gasping for a solution.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 10:36:37 AM by nabril15 »
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Brian H

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2020, 11:17:42 AM »

It does sound like you have a power line signal problem to the problem modules

Is the XTBR on the panel for the problem modules?
If it is you may want to look at its LED to see if it is showing any patterns. While sending signals and with no traffic being sent.
If it is the earlier revision with the X10 Boost Outlet on it. You may want to see if the MT14 can do anything from that location.

The XPS2 that seems to go dead. May have an issue or the wiring to it may have developed issues. It does not have any X10 power line transmitter in it. So it should not cause problems unless its receiver circuit has a problem. It is also a 220V module so it uses both incoming lines
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 11:24:47 AM by Brian H »
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nabril15

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2020, 11:37:29 AM »

Thank you Brian
The XTBR is closest to the subpanel that feeds all of the house's interior circuits. The 2 trouble switches happen to be on the main panel that's outside; it doesn't have an outlet on it.

The xps2 works fine on the hand rocker, and it is relatively new. I bought it used, however, so it's not truly new.
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Brian H

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2020, 06:18:57 PM »

Sorry I misread one of your posts.
The XPS3 next to the XPS2 that seems to stop working after pushing its rocker paddle. May have an issue.

The LED patterns on the XTBR may still give you come clues. Do you also have a phase coupler near it. As JV Digital says a phase coupler can help to get signals to the other phase.

If you have not tried disconnecting electronics in the home and testing may help. Things like chargers and other equipment that was fine in the past. Can sometimes deteriorate over time. Especially any on the same panel as the problem switches.

Did you try the MT14 in an outlet powered by the panel feeding the problem modules?
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nabril15

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2020, 01:44:02 PM »

Ok. Some testing from this morning:
1. Using the remote to power code 8 on and off makes the xtbr blink red twice.

2. Using the mt014 plugged into the same outlet as the xtbr, makes it blink red 5 times.

3. I took the mt14 outside and plugged it in to outlets on the same panel as the xps3 code 8
 The result : the first try - no response. A second spontaneous try of code 5, turned it OFF, but not back on. In other words, I tried code 5 for grins, and it turned code 5 off (the pump which was running).
Agghhh
I have unplugged any extra anything that wasn't there during the 100% working state days ago.
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bkenobi

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2020, 02:06:22 PM »

When trying to locate a naughty device in your home, one approach is to turn off all circuits outside of your immediate test (just the send and receive circuits on).  Test and confirm function.  If working, turn on one breaker at a time between tests until it doesn't work.  Proceed until all known bad circuits are located.  Then, on each bad circuit, locate all devices and turn them off to see if they cause an issue.  I used this method in conjunction with my XTBR to determine where I needed to install filters.  I recently found that my new electric reclining couch causes noise and requires a filter!

nabril15

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2020, 09:40:37 AM »

Thank you ObiBen
I am about to try that approach again because this is frustrating. It's as if the house's wiring is defying me, challenging, and rebelling.
I have 3 panels, 1 main and 2 subs, that feed all of the x10 devices in the house. So it's difficult to isolate circuits and breakers with so many variables.
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Brian H

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2020, 12:47:01 PM »

Do you have any phase couplers on any of the panels? To get the X10 commands from one phase to the other phase.

If you have a plug in style X10 module. You could also move it around to find possible low signal levels.

A crude X10 coupler. To do some tests with. An electric stove or oven on hi. Maybe an electric dryer depending on if it has electronic controls. Can get some X10 signals between the phases.

One thing to consider. The XPS2 is 220VAC and the X10 signal has to be on both phases and depending on the signals polarity. Actually reduce or cancel the X10 signal on an XPS2.
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nabril15

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Re: Help me unfustrate with my MT14. I think. Please
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2020, 01:01:08 PM »

Brian, I do not have any phase couplers since everything has worked fine until now.

I will try the oven or dryer test to troubleshoot code 5 some more. Thankfully, that xps2 controls a variable speed pool motor that powers itself on and off by itself. So if that xps2 stays on eternally, the pump works fine on its own; yes, I could remove the xps2 and just wire the motor directly to the source lines.

The code 8 xps3 is the one that continues to challenge. That one is on a panel at the back of a gazebo that feeds a few gfci outlets and a small refrigerator; nothing else is plugged in out here.
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