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Author Topic: Ghost lights coming on  (Read 7643 times)

Danny Rego

  • Guest
Ghost lights coming on
« on: May 16, 2005, 10:48:39 PM »

I have an X-10 wall switch hooked up to my
dining room light, and it always seems to
come on at random.  At first I thought it
was the code, so I tried a bunch of
different ones....even making sure the CM15
woundn't transceive the same house
code....it would still randomly turn
on...then I thought the switch was fried,
so I replaced it with another one.....still
comes on at random.  In my activityt
monitor I see NO ACTIVITY, yet the light
just magically comes on every now and
then?!  What could be the cause, and how
can I fix this?  (I have a coupler plugged
into the dryer plug)

HELP!
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Tigger

  • Guest
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2005, 11:05:20 PM »

That could be a (known) bug with some models of wall switches.  Noise on the power line can influence the circuitry in the switch.

See http://www.idobartana.com/hakb/index.htm for ideas on fixing this problem.


T
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 02:48:40 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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ed

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Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2005, 09:23:42 AM »

I have a similar situation, but I have
determined that the problem is my Treadmill.
I use my Treadmill to exercise early in the
AM, and while using the Treadmill NONE of my
light controls may be operated due to noise
generated by the Treadmill.  Also, while on
the Treadmill, I have a Lamp Module and a
Wall control connected to two diferent
lights.  The lights and the controls are both
electrically close to the Treadmill.
Occasionally one of those lights will come on
while I exercise on the Treadmill; however, I
have no programmatic control set for either
of those light.  My intent for those two
lights is to use a remote to turn them on/off
as I desire.
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dave w

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Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2005, 01:02:02 PM »

This probably doesn't apply here because I
don't think wall switch has local sensing.
However I have had similar problem with a
Lamp Module and a loose bulb in socket
creating an intermitent contact. If your
dining room light has only one bulb, make
sure it is screwed in tight.
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"This aftershave makes me look fat"

roger1818

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  • Roger H.
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2005, 01:33:23 PM »

Ed:  You can solve this problem by plugging
your Treadmill into an X10 compatible noise
filter.  Automated outlet sells the X10 Pro
XPPF 5 Amp Plug-in Filter for $15.99.

Dave:  A loose bulb may not cause lights to
turn on with a wall switch, but it could
cause them to turn off since the wall
switch requires a continuous electrical
path through the load to power itself.  If
the bulb were to momentarily loose contact,
it could reset the switch back to off.
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ed

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Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2005, 03:32:05 PM »

I have tried the filter method.  The
Treadmill requires a larger filter than 5
AMP.  I was also told by Home Automation
support that my Treadmill may be putting
noise on all three wires.  They explained to
me that the Noise filter only filters the hot
line.  This is not gospel - I am no expert,
just passing on what I was told.  Thank for
you suggestion.
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Tigger

  • Guest
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2005, 04:45:15 PM »

 
There are 10-amp and 15-amp filters on
the market.  I think Smarthome has a 10-amp
version.  Check E-Bay for the 15-amp version.


T
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roger1818

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  • Roger H.
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2005, 04:00:51 PM »

Ed:  I am not sure that this is actually
your problem.  A more likely problem is
that there is too much noise for the filter
to block all of it.

Regardless, one possible solution for you
would be to plug the treadmill into a
powerbar that has an EMI/RFI filter and
then plug the powerbar into an X10 filter.
Using only a powerbar could absorb X10
signals potentially causing signal strength
problems.  Plugging the powerbar into an
X10 filter will protect you from that
problem and will remove even more noise.
Alternately you could use two X10 filters
(one plugged into the other).

I noticed that SmartHome says the
following, ďAnother thing to test is the
receptacle. Since the filter only filters
on the neutral, be sure the receptacle is
wired correctly (be careful!). If it is, a
volt meter should read 110v between the
smaller blade slot and the ground.Ē  I
checked and the XPPF has the filter on the
hot wire so their answer is a little
inconsistent.  It might be worth checking
that your receptacles are wired correctly.

With regards to the 5A filter, I hadnít
thought that a treadmill would need more
than that.  I was thinking of my elliptical
trainer, which only needs power for the
computer and to change the resistance.  I
guess a treadmill has a motor for the belt,
which draws a lot of current.

Tigger:  ACT makes a 15A plug-in filter.
Automated Outlet sells it for just under
$30.  One nice thing about this filter is
that it has a user replicable fuse.  The
fuse on other filters isnít easily
replaceable.
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Danny Rego

  • Guest
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2005, 06:31:57 PM »

I don't know if it's a noise problem or
not, but this is the ONLY light doing this
in the whole house.  It's got 5 bulbs, and
I wonder if that has anything to do with it
(5 60W bulbs?!)

This is driving me crazy, and I'd really
like to use my X10 switch on that light.
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Danny Rego

  • Guest
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2005, 06:44:32 PM »

Hey Tigger thanks for that link...I found
this...has anyone tried it?

"The WS467 wall switch (and I suspect it's
variations, as well) does indeed "randomly"
turn on.

Specifically, under the correct conditions,
a WS467 can "glitch" on due to a power
spike from a large bank of magnetic ballast
fluorescents on the same circuit, large
motor, etc. And filter caps across the
78566 chip, resistor change in the "button"
line nor MOVs do not help.

The solution is actually quite simple, once
it is figured out. The 78566 chip in the
WS467 contains 2 unused pins (pin #8 and
pin #9) who's function is unknown to me.
However, manipulation of pin #9 can cause
the WS467 to turn on the light.

After discovering this, I have since tied
pin #9 to -v and the "random" light turnons
have stopped. My personal preference is to
install a 10K 1/8-1/4w resistor across the
top of the ic between pin #9 and pin #18. A
hard wire will probably be ok, but not
acceptable standard practice when dealing
with bidirectional I/O pins."
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Danny Rego

  • Guest
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2005, 06:57:07 PM »

Anyone out there know how to tell the
wattage of a resistor?  I have a bunch that
I got from Radio Shack years ago, but I'm
not sure about the wattage?!
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Danny Rego

  • Guest
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2005, 06:59:10 PM »

(or perhaps if someone could say typically
what the lowest wattage you can get
is....then I can gamble at least)
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Tigger

  • Guest
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2005, 09:24:24 PM »

Resistor wattages are usually just based on
size.   I don't know if they've come out
with a standard to delineate wattages.

The smallest resistor I've ever seen is an
1/8 watt, and those are very small.  Given
that 1/4-watt resistors are probably .89
cents or less at radio shack, you could just
get a new one. . .   ;-)


T
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Danny Rego

  • Guest
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2005, 09:59:17 PM »

Well....that description says between a 1/8
and 1/4 watt resistor's good, so I guess
I'll take my chances.

Time to dig up my soldering iron.

Hey X-10...why don't you just make the damn
switches like this?!?!?!
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roger1818

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  • Roger H.
Re: Ghost lights coming on
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2005, 10:34:30 AM »

Danny:  There is nothing wrong with using a
resistor with too high a power rating.  You
could use a 10W resistor if you wanted
(although you would never fit it in the
case ;) ).  For resistors (unlike light
bulbs) the power rating is only an
indication of how much heat it can
dissipate before burning up.  The
resistance is what determines the effect
the resistor has on the circuit.
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