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Author Topic: Wall Switch with a mind of its own  (Read 64953 times)

icepick

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Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« on: July 27, 2005, 02:45:47 PM »

I have spent almost 2 hours looking through
Posts and have seen others with similar
problems like mine, but unfortunately, no
real fix.
I have had ActiveHome for about two years
and it has been working great!  I upgraded
to ActiveHome Pro a few months ago, and one
of the lights goes on by itself. It is a Pro
Wall Switch - PLW01 with a mind of its own.
It just turns "on".  I can turn it off with
no problems, but it will go on by itself
again.  I do not have macros or timers
programmed for that particular switch. When
I check the history for that switch, it does
not show any.  I changed the House Code, but
still has the problem.  I changed the switch
with another, and the problem seemed to have
gone away for a week.  Then it came back.  
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arf1410

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2005, 04:05:08 PM »

Do you use any flourescent bulbs - they can
turn back on, on their own
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icepick

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2005, 04:16:50 PM »

No.......The bulb is a regular incandecent
bulb, 100W.  Besides, it has been working
great for years with the old ActiveHome.
This all started when I upgraded to
ActiveHome Pro.  There were no other changes
in the house except for the ActiveHome Pro
upgrade.
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arf1410

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2005, 04:37:51 PM »

try using your old CM11a as an activty
monitor to see if the CM15A is sending out a
signal to turn on that light
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icepick

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2005, 05:40:39 PM »

It doesn't seem to be getting a any signals
from the ActiveHome Pro Interface.  I also
disconnected AND unpluged the Interface from
the outlet. The light still went "on" on its
own.
I remember seeing a Post to do
a "modification" the the Wall Switches.  I
can't seem to find it.  Does anyone know the
link?!  
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Brian H

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2005, 06:34:04 PM »

Any new additions to you home besides the
cm15a? Some devices can make noise that may
false trigger some X10 devices. I have seen
others say their wall switches sometimes do
what you have described. Any other
tranceivers or x10 controllers in the mix? I
has a confused TR16a Phone Responder turn
lights on and off as I dialed my touch tone
phone. Had to reset it by unpluging and
reconnecting it.
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david l

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2005, 10:14:16 PM »

Icepick, I have been plagued with the same
problem with wall switch modules since the
day I first used them years ago.  I have
almost totally given up on them as they
randomly turn on apparently from noise on
the power line. Yesterday, during a storm,
the only one I have left in the house turned
on with every lightning flash.  I convinced
a friend of mine to try out X10 stuff; he
bought a bunch of wall switches and same
problem.  Drives him crazy and I think he
hates me now...  He does not have AHP Pro or
any other computer interface.

I doubt very much that it is AHP Pro causing
this. I had the same problem long before
AHP.  It is more likely something has
changed in your house or in your neighbour's
house (on the same line transformer), for
instance a new appliance such as a washer or
microwave; anything that might generate
powerline noise.

Power companies like sending signals down
the power line too, and it could be caused
by something they have started...

You can find the schematic at
http://www.laureanno.com/WS467-2.PDF.  I
recall someone saying that pins 8 and 9 on
the IC are floating and they are very
susceptible to noise and you could try
connecting these through a 1k resistor to
either plus or minus and see if that helps.
I haven’t tried that but probably will some
day.


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icepick

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2005, 12:55:51 AM »

Brian H,
No new additions except for the AHP.  No
Transievers, I got rid of them all when I
upgraded to AHP.  The whole reason for me to
upgrade was to get rid of the transievers.
I had 3 and wanted to add more modules,
which meant more transievers.  Seemed that
AHP was the anwswer to my problems, by
controlling all house codes and eliminating
the transievers.  Everything else seems to
be working fine, except for this one wall
switch.  I have tried to put another wall
switch in its place only to have it work for
about a week and then turn "on" again by
itself.  I only have the AHP Interface and a
five-in-one remote (which the batteries have
been removed).  I even took the batteries
out of the motion sensors.  Thanks for the
suggestions......
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icepick

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2005, 01:16:52 AM »

David L,  Thank you for your suggestions.
Unlike you and your friend's problems, mine
started when I upgraded to AHP. Maybe it was
just coincidence. But, I had no problems
with the old AH for over two years.  Wind,
thunderstorms, and lightning.....no
problems.  Worked great.  All I wanted to do
was get rid of all the transievers and be
able to add to my system with a all-in-one
interface.  Thought my solution was AHP.
Ever since I installed and started using
AHP, my problems started. (There are other
problems, but this one drives me crazy). I
have replaced the wall switch and after a
week of working fine, it starts to act up
again.  I took the switch that was giving me
problems out and put it in another location
in the house.  It then worked as normal.
The problem is isolated to the one location.
Tried different hose codes and numbers, but
no luck. You might be right to say that my
neighbors might have added something that is
now causing my interference.  But why only
that switch??  I have other modules on the
same circuit and same room room, and the
others are working fine. I need to find the
specific instructions for the wall switch
modification and get my soldering iron out
and do some electrical work. Can't hurt any
at this point. Anyone out there know the
link to the instructions or the exact
procedure for the modification?!?
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icepick

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2005, 01:24:33 AM »

Additional information to my problem:
I addressed another module in the same room
to the "same" address as the problem wall
switch.  Both are set to C-7.  When I came
back home this evening, I found the same
problem wall switch had turned "on" the
lights, but the other module with the same
address did not turn on the other lights.
So if there is noise or a something causing
the wall switch to be fooled into thinking
to turn on, why didn't the other module with
the same address on the same circuit, in the
same room turn on also?!?
This is crazy!
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icepick

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2005, 01:25:50 AM »

Additional information to my problem:
I addressed another module in the same room
to the "same" address as the problem wall
switch.  Both are set to C-7.  When I came
back home this evening, I found the same
problem wall switch had turned "on" the
lights, but the other module with the same
address did not turn on the other lights.
So if there is noise or a something causing
the wall switch to be fooled into thinking
to turn on, why didn't the other module with
the same address on the same circuit, in the
same room turn on also?!?
Checked the history and activity and nothing
was registered.
This is crazy!
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david l

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2005, 08:52:43 AM »

I won't belabour rhe point but you have to
understand that these wall switches come on
from line noise and/or radiated noise
(arcing, lightning) but each one varies in
its sensitivity to any specific noise
spike.  There are thousands of different
devices in your neighbourhood that create
millions of different noise spikes on the
line and through the air.

Earlier this summer I installed 2 wall
switches in my cottage up north where I
thought for sure they would work.  No AHP
(no computer at the cottage).  No neighbours
using X10.  They were mounted side by side
in the same electrical box on the same
circuit.  Several times a day one or the
other would come on. Never both at the same
time. I replaced them with two others.  Same
thing.

I gave up and controlled the lights with
appliance modules and never had the problem
again.  Try this “old standby” noise test if
you have a soldering gun handy (has to be a
soldering GUN with the trigger switch – they
generate great transients).  Plug the gun in
nearby and click the trigger a few times.
Bet the lamps come on!

I mentioned in my previous post about the
schematic and a hack.  Try it!  Let me know!
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carmine pacifico

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2005, 09:30:48 AM »

Icepick

As much as I detest the cm15a with AHP,
your problem it’s not caused by the cm15a +
AHP.
X10 wall switches (and appliance switches
else) have the ability to remember status
even after a power failure:
if switch was on and power failed, when
power is restored the switch will turn
itself on; this is a great feature but
electrical noise ( NOT STRAY X10 CODES )
cause the switch to turn on, the
modification presented by Bartana will
solve the issue:

http://www.geocities.com/ido_bartana/

This problem is  random and is location
specific not house code specific.
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icepick

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2005, 10:06:31 AM »

David L ......Thanks for the info.........
I will try the soldering iron trick you
described.  I have two with triggers, a
Weller and a Radio Shack. I got the
schematics and with Carmine Post, I now have
the exact modification instructions.
I guess that the soldering iron will have
two jobs: 1)Line Tester and 2)Solder Duty
for the Modification :)
I'll let you know how the test and mod goes.
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icepick

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Re: Wall Switch with a mind of its own
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2005, 10:09:26 AM »

Carmine, Thanks for the link.  Looks like
there are a lot of other mods for the
X10's.  A very useful site.  I know what
I'll be doing this weekend.  I'll let you
how it turns out.
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