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Author Topic: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)  (Read 18274 times)

me too

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2006, 03:14:06 PM »

I have another simple antenna modification
that I tried that does not include cutting,
opening or physically changing the antenna.
I took about 10 inches of lightweight
galvanized wire,  and wrapped it around the
antenna at the mid section a few times.
Then extended the wire past the antenna
about 8 inches.  My range improved
dramatically. The wraps of wire around the
CMA15 antenna may act as a loading coil.
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bill

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2006, 08:11:53 AM »

Just a question.  Would a Whole House
Transceiver (V572AB) not achieve the
objective that we are all looking for in an
antenna mod.
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SteveRF

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2006, 11:27:06 AM »

Bill,
The objective here was to simply increase the
reception range of the existing CM15A with
minimal effort and expense.  In my opinion,
adding another whole house transceiver
(V572AB) to the setup adds another interface
and process to the loop that the CM15A was
intended to handle.
Bocage, that was a good idea ! I should have
tried that first...
My first test  was to simply pull off the
bulb at the top of the antenna, grasp the
antenna wire with a tiny set of needlenose
pliers and pull up just enough to add a 9.5
ince piece of hookup wire.  I then slipped a
Macdonalds drink straw over it and tested...
worked well and I didn't even have to open
the case.  Of course my final solution was to
make something a bit more permanent and nicer
looking... Final cost: ZIP....
SteveRF
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2006, 11:41:42 AM »

Reading all this makes me wonder why X10 USA
hasn't done a similar mod to the CM15A. It's
not the proverbial "rocket science". Extend
the antenna  to 18" at the factory and
everybody benefits.
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I don't SELL this stuff... BUT I sure do ENJOY using it!!!

SteveRF

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2006, 11:55:18 AM »

Dan,
You made a GOOD POINT !
Maybe they should have used an extendible
antenna similar to their security consoles.
But then, it would not have looked so cute.
It would have worked better !
SteveRF
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bill

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2006, 06:18:42 PM »

SteveRF
I understand your point but since I do not
plan on doing any antenna mods, I seriously
would like to know if the V572AB solution
would be as good an alternative. (Range and
reliability particularly with motion sensors
over various house codes)
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Brian H

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2006, 07:43:27 PM »

The v572ab will add much distance to your
reception. It interfaces with an X10 TW523
or X10 Pro PSC05. It sends the decoded X10
signals back on the powerline to the cm15a
or any other X10 signal receiving module if
you want direct control. So normal X10
signal cautions are needed. Like can the
signal get to the needed areas of the home
and is there anything to absorbe or noise to
mask the signals.
Needs at least a two outlet wall outlet. One
for the X10 interface and one for the power
wall wart. Smarthome has a version with
their 1132B serial interface that also
provides power to the v572.
Mine added great distances to my remotes
never tried long range motion sensor tests.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2006, 09:53:16 PM »

Why spend close to $80.00 when what SteveRF
did for very little out of pocket expenses
does the same thing?

Makes zero sense to me.
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I don't SELL this stuff... BUT I sure do ENJOY using it!!!

Tony Olson

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2006, 08:37:40 AM »

Great ideas...

Bocage - what's lightweight galvanized wire
and where do you get it? Radioshack?

SteveRF - where did you get your hookup or
antenna wire. What type of covering goes
over the top of the extended antenna; where
can I purchase it?

As you probably guessed by now I'm
electronic knowlege challenged <g>. Me with
a soldering iron is a bit disconcerting <g>.

Tony

Tony
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me too

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2006, 08:48:08 PM »

It's a NO 20 soft galvanized wire.  I made
about 6 turns around the antenna before
extending it up 8 or 9 inches.  I got the
wire at my local ACE Hardware.  I always
keep it around because it comes in handy
with repairs and such.
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Brian H

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2006, 07:13:07 AM »

Tony; I have seen a similar antenna
extension in a message thread in
accessha.com.
In that case they removed the whole tube and
used a longer one. Avilable in varried sizes
at your local hobby shop. I bought both 1/8"
and 3/16" 'StripStyrene' for the project as
I was not sure which would fit better. Then
got side tracked and the project got changed
to the add antenna connector and the
extension never happened.
Bocage's externally coupled added thing
sounds good also. No internal things needed
at all.
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WinS

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2006, 02:19:16 PM »

SteveRF
Thanks for starting this thread - very
informative.  FWIW, here's my experience.  I
had done the accessha.com mod, adding the F
connector, coax cable and antenna (from
another site).  This did improve the
reception but I still had "dead" areas where
the motion sensors wouldn't work.  Well, I
like to experiment so I did the
following...after reading a few manuals on
antenna theory.  I first clipped the ground
wire from the F connector (inside the CM15A).
Then added a short (18 inches or so) coax
cable.  The cable was stripped at one end so
9.5 inches of the center wire was exposed
(the shield was removed).  Then I looped the
coax from the F connector under the CM15A and
up the side so that the base of the bare wire
was about 2 inches above the component side
of the circuit board, and perpendicular to
it.  Picture: CM15A horizontal with circuit
board up, soldered side down, coax/connector
coming from side and looping under and up
opposite side of unit with shield ending 2
inches above unit and bare wire extending
vertically 9.5 inches.  Really was quite easy
to do since the connector mod had already
been done.  Anyway, I found that with the
circuit board acting as the antenna
groundplane the reception was much improved
and the "dead" spots were gone, probably
because this design is more omnidirectional
than the other antenna design (from the other
web site).  The distance the base of the
antenna is from the circuit board influences
it's effectiveness, and I found 2 inches to
be best. This resulted in the best reception
for my home variables.  I even got the most
distant motion sensor to work - about 75 feet
away through 4 walls.  Interestingly,  this
is little different from just extending the
wire as discussed in this thread, except that
the wire is shielded.  Just thought I'd add
my two cents.
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SteveRF

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2006, 03:15:22 PM »

Tony,
The hookup wire was nothing more than some
small guage (think I used 14 or 16) solid
copper wire. I happend to have some in the
shop but any short piece of small guage solid
copper wire should do.  I used a short piece
of stiff plastic tube I also found around the
shop.  That was it.  Soldered on the end of
the existing antenna and slipped the tube
over it and glued.  It is just one vertical
antenna.  Soon as I have a chance, I will put
a motion detector outside and see how much
distance I get but my handheld units  all
work well outside around the home.
Regards,
SteveRF
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Tony Olson

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2006, 09:58:41 AM »

Thanks all for the info. I tried Bocage's
non invasive technique and it does increase
the CM15A range. Maybe I'll give SteveRF's
and Brian H's mods later.

Tony

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martin

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Re: Simple Antenna Mod (That Works!)
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2006, 10:11:26 AM »

I have to try this as well, will report back.
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