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Author Topic: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)  (Read 18277 times)

SteveRF

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Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« on: February 03, 2006, 08:15:23 PM »

I made a simple antenna mod to my MASTER
CM15A by pulling the excess (antenna wire
already coiled up in the box) antenna wire
out through the top of the "existing  antenna
(take the bulb off the top), soldering
another 9 or 9.5 inches forgot what I
measured, to the end of the existing antenna,
glued a thin hollow tube to the whoe thing
and put it back in the utility room.  Viloa,
my range has increased dramatically. I walked
out off the rear deck and was about 30-40'
from the CM15A and it was still working well
with a handheld remote.  Not sure at this
point what the limit is.  Now I can try some
outside motion detectors that were not able
to communicate with the CM15A before the mod.
So far so good...
SteveRF
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Brian H

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2006, 06:26:27 AM »

Yes I believe JoeS on the accessha.com
forums did something close to what you did.
He used the exsisting antenna wire only with
an extended tube. One point that newer cm15a
users may find. Unlike the older models with
the extra antenna wire just bunched up in
the case. Newer units have the extra antenna
wire hot glued in a wide 'U' shape to the
main board. I have a few of both types.
Older bunched up newer hot glued.
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Eric Edberg

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2006, 09:14:26 AM »

The RX RF range does indeen suck.  Worse is
the TX RF range.

Be carefull when doing other mods.  Most
that I have studied will improve RX
reception, but will also adversely affect
TX RF range as they are not impedance-
matched.

This solution should not affect the already
questionable TX range.

I personally built the mod below as I was
not worried about TX range that much.  I
get 175 feet RX with my PalmPad from 3
houses away.

http://www.shed.com/tutor/mr26ant.html
This site also has pretty pictures of the
cm15a.


Don't forget to stick to 50 ohm (impedence)
components as that is not clearly specified
in hardly any of the plans you read.  This
is why TX suffers because it's not
matched/tuned to the antenna (e.g.: similar
to how CBs need to be tuned -- SRW)


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Brian H

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2006, 11:07:21 AM »

The transmit antenna is completly different
in the cm15a. A separate wire from the
transmitter module; only glued to the top
cover and doesn't even stick out of the
case. So we know why that range stinks.
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Brian H

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2006, 11:16:36 AM »

Eric; Yes the twin lead antenna. Some have
used it with good results. I also saw one
made from 5 pieces of heavy wire on a SO239
connector. Four where ground planes and the
fifth the receiveing element. I found the
complete cm15a schematics and photos on the
FCC Web Site. X10 left them all in public
access [some like Smarthome do not].
B4S is X10s Grantee ID.
B4SCM15A is the whole ID#.
Remove spaces added here:
https://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/oet/cf/eas/rep
orts/GenericSearch.cfm
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SteveRF

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2006, 10:39:24 AM »

All that info is great and I appreciate the
details but what I was trying to convey is
a "simple and easy" way to increase RECEIVER
range.  After more testing, this simple
modification has given me total control all
over the house and adaquate range outside. I
didn't have to worry about impedance
matching, antenna tuning or going to the
local radio shack for parts. It was a simple
effective, non-intrusive, solution that
works.
SteveRF
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Brian H

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2006, 04:15:53 PM »

Yes we did go off on a tangent. The
extending of the original wire in a longer
tube is a great way to get distance. Even
just uncurling the original one and adding a
longer tube helps, added wire is a plus.
Just for owners with newer units. The extra
wire maybe hot glued in a 'U' shape on the
main board.
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JimC

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2006, 06:11:13 PM »

SteveRF,

Thanks for the information. I use motion
sensors throughout my property, inside and
out and I have been looking for a simple
way to improve reception of the CM15A. I
really donít have the time or desire to get
inside the thing and start tinkering. Your
solution is just what I was looking for.

Thanks again,

Jim
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_ _ ...† ..._ _

SteveRF

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2006, 08:48:55 AM »

Jim and Brian,
Hello from the Gulf Coast.
Jim, hope this mod works for you.  My
existing Rcv antenna was coiled in the box
and did require me to open it up,uncoil and
gently pull it up through the existing
antenna.  As Brian mention, some may find the
receive antenna glued to the case.  I
suppose what is most important is that you
make sure to only mess with the receive
antenna for this simple mod.  Mine works
pretty darn well now.  Now for the new
software update.  Hope that does not mess it
all up.
Regards,
SteveRF
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Tony Olson

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2006, 05:43:38 PM »

SteveRF - the mod sounds right down my
alley (simple). I'm great at taking things
apart, but a liitle slow in putting them
back together <g>. I assume you take the
CM15A apart with the 4 screws on the back
and clip the bulb off the antenna and pull
it up through. What did you solder (9
inches) to the antenna? I need to get range
when I'm hooked to the PC using the MyHouse
Plug In. I usually have my CM15A plugged in
another location for better reception. I
not comfortable with electronics (I'm an
old data processor).

Thanks.

Tony.
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Brian H

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2006, 07:02:07 PM »

Tony; Even if you don't do the whole mod for
antenna jack. You may want to look at the
internal photos in the mod files for
refference. Remember newer units may have
the extra antenna wire glued to the main
board. Also someone on accessha used a piece
of hollow tubing from a hobby shop, to
extend the tube itself after getting the
excess from the main housing. Actually I
believe they replaced the tube with a longer
one.
www.accesha.com
In the modification area.
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Tony Olson

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2006, 06:14:51 AM »

Thanks Brian H. Actually I've looked at the
mod on www.accesha.com already which made
SteveRF's mod more appealing to me <g>.
Before I proceed I'll review and print it
off.


Tony
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SteveRF

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2006, 08:58:09 AM »

Tony,
Yes, you are correct.  I did open the CM15A
and found part of the internal receive
antenna wire coiled up inside the box before
runing up into the existing antenna. I
clipped the bulb off the top of the existing
antenna, pulled the excess wire up so that it
extended out the top of the existing antenna,
measured the existing length (about 9 or 9.5
inches) and soldered a exact equal amount of
wire onto the top of the existing antenna
wire.  Then I glued a small plastic tube that
slipped down over the new wire and the old
antenna. The whole thing is now approximately
18" long. The only reason I used an addon
tube was to support the new wire at the
solder joint. For the first few days, I just
used a stiff straw to support it with some
tape.  That was for testing.. The big red
straw looked like heck but it worked well..
Let us know how your mod goes...
Regards,
SteveRF
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Tony Olson

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2006, 12:30:48 PM »

Thanks much SteveRF.

I'm trying to increase range (when I need
to be connected to my PC) by using a USB
extender and putting the controller as high
as possible in my PC area.

I'll keep you posted how I come out with
the CM15A mod.
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SteveRF

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2006, 11:52:57 AM »

Tony, Thanks for input.
I have 2 CM15A's, one is disconnected 24/7
and is mounted high in my utility room next
to a breaker panel that also has a passive
coupler across the 240v line.  That is the
unit I made the antenna mod to. It does all
the bull work and contain all my macros and
timers.  The other CM15A is connected 24/7 to
my computer and I use it for X10 video only
and the house codes on that unit are
restricted to only the Video uses.  So far, I
am very pleased with the rf receive range I
am getting.  Let us know how it goes with
your setup.
SteveRF
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