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Author Topic: remote acts strange on one two-way  (Read 17342 times)

john

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remote acts strange on one two-way
« on: November 14, 2005, 01:45:59 PM »

I have installed X10 modules and switches all
over the house.  I've recently encountered a
strange one.  There is one x10 three-way
switch pair that will respond the the remote
ONLY if this was the last device the remote
controlled, either on or off, or if it was
activated manually via either wall switch.

I have checked the possibility that it is the
only device on the other side of the
electrical panel, and that is not the case.
The devices are about evenly split.  It also
does not matter if I move the transceiver to
an outlet on the other side.  
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lee

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2005, 03:53:31 PM »

I have a similiar situation with a 2 way
switch. I was a beta tester for the
ActiveHomePro software and now have my whole
house automated. Everything was working
great until one day, the remote nor the
interface would turn on one of the two ways.
It can be turned on at the switch and then
turned off with the interface or remote.
This makes no sense to me as it was working
corretly originally.
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roger1818

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2005, 06:27:09 PM »

Are you talking about a 2-way
lamp/appliance module or a 3-way wall
switch?  X10 doesn't make any 2-way wall
switches but there are some 3rd party 2-way
wall switches.
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lee

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2005, 07:38:38 PM »

My mistake...I did mean a 3-way wall switch.
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roger1818

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2005, 10:30:45 AM »

Lee: The X10 brand wall switches (both
regular and 3-way) are the least reliable of
all the modules since they donít have a
neutral wire connection.  So if one module is
going to stop working, it will most likely be
a wall switch.

If you CANíT remotely turn the light ON, but
you CAN remotely turn the light OFF, the
problem is likely something (probably on the
same circuit as the switch) generating
electrical noise.  The cheap X10 modules
donít have automatic gain control, so even if
your signal is stronger than the noise, if
the noise is too strong, the module wonít be
able to distinguish between the two.  Turning
the wall switch on will weaken the noise (and
the signal) and may make it able to
differentiate between the two (this isnít
true for lamp and appliance modules).

I would start by unplugging (not just turning
off) electronic equipment on the same
electrical circuit as the wall switch.  If
the equipment that is causing the problem
isnít on the same circuit as the switch, I
would then try turning other breakers off to
find out what circuit it is on (donít turn
the circuit that the controller is on off
though).  Once you have found the problem
equipment, you then need to plug it into an
X10 noise filter.
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lee

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2005, 11:43:34 AM »

Hey thanks, Roger. That makes sense although
it was working fine until recently and I
have not added anything else to that
circuit. I am adding a plug-in phase coupler
and don't know if that will help with this
problem but know it will with interface
communication with other modules.
Thanks again for your help.
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roger1818

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2005, 01:44:31 PM »

No problem.  The thing about digital
electronics is it either works or it doesnít.
It doesnít take much for it to go from just
barely working to just barely not working.
It is possible that although you didnít
change anything, one of your neighbours did
or the power utility changed something.

Adding a phase coupler is always recommended
for reliable operation.  It might fix this
problem, but it might not also.  One word of
warning about the plug-in phase couplers
though is that they are of the ď2-wireĒ type,
which will prevent 220V (Heavy Duty) modules
from working.  Since most people donít use
this type of module, it usually isnít a
problem, but it is worth mentioning.
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john

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2005, 04:55:34 PM »

The other day, I pressed the "on" button on
the remote and the WS4777 did not activate.
I had used the remote to activate another
device since I had last activated/deactivated
the WS4777.  By the way, the symptom appeared
also while trying to turn the WS777 OFF.

Anyway, I held the button for 5-6 seconds and
the light came on.  (yes, incandescent).

Today I tested it by first turning the WS777
on, then using the remote for another device,
then for the WS777.  I then reversed it by
first turning the WS777 off, then following
the same sequence except ending by turning it
on.  All worked and relatively quickly.
Seems to have fixed itself.  Do these things
simply get tired?
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roger1818

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2005, 05:32:31 PM »

No, they shouldn't get "tired."  Your signal
strength is probably marginal (sometimes it
works and sometimes it doesn't).

I know you said that it doesn't mater which
phase it is on, but I still recommend that
you get a phase coupler.  While you are at
it, you might want to pick up a couple noise
filters.  UPSes and some better quality power
bars will suck up the X10 signal (even if
there aren't any modules plugged into it)
making it weaker for everyone else.  Plugging
them into an X10 noise filter will solve this
problem.
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john

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2005, 06:57:15 AM »

Thanks, Roger.  I do have 2 UPSs on my
computers, and have several power strips in
the office as well.  I will check out the
noise filters.  I'll also look in to a phase
coupler.  We have a 220v hot tub that runs
its filter cycle just about 24/7, so the
coupler may be a little less critical at the
moment.  It will make if more straightforward
and dependable, however.  You mention "X10
Noise Filters," so I assume X10 makes or at
least sells them from their web site.  What
about phase couplers?  
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lee

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2005, 09:42:06 AM »

John...I just bought a new plug-in phase
coupler on eBay for $19.99. Most any X10
product is available there. I hope X10 does
not delete this post!!
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roger1818

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2005, 01:09:08 PM »

John: By specifying X10 noise filters I was
implying that they must be X10 compatible.
X10 Pro makes one, but to my knowledge it
isnít available on X10ís website.  Your best
bet is Automated Outlet
(http://www.automatedoutlet.com/home.php?cat=43)
where they sell the X10 Pro XPPF 5A filter
for $14.99.  If you need more than 5A you can
get a FilterLinc 10A filter for $24.99 or an
ACT AF-120 15A filter for $26.99.

They also sell phase couplers starting at $15.99.

For more information on phase coupling and
powerline noise, I wrote some tutorials at:

http://www.x10.webhop.org/Phase_Coupling.htm
and
http://www.x10.webhop.org/Powerline_Noise_and_Noise_Filters.htm

BTW: If you are ordering more than $100 worth
of stuff from AE on your first order, put the
word ďpalmpadĒ (all lowercase) in the coupon
code section and they will send you a free
PalmPad remote.
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roger1818

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2005, 01:11:51 PM »

Whoops, I meant from AO (Automated Outlet)
not AE.
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john

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Re: remote acts strange on one two-way
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2005, 02:07:35 PM »

Roger,
Thanks for that info about AO.  I've copied
your response into an Outlook reminder to myself.

Lee, I do a lot of ebay-ing, but never
thought of checking there for my X10 stuff.
I'm also going to check on Roger's
suggestions there.

Thanks guys!
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