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Author Topic: Clue?  (Read 41068 times)

PaulBennett

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Clue?
« on: March 22, 2006, 10:37:36 PM »

Strangely buried in 'Module Problems' in another forum was perhaps information which should have been here.  Brian H said somthing about transcieved house codes being critical to the RF output not working.   I use house code A and K as I have way too many modules to fit in one house code. 

In my software I have  'A' and 'K' checked but I didn't have 'Specific Codes' checked but relying upon 'Automatic'.  And since the software does receive the sensors I assumed the box worked.  But according to BrianH, if the transcieved codes aren't properly set in software, the RF output from the macro may not get sent.  If the box receives a airborne rf signal on HC A and a macro dictates an wireborne rf output on 'K' which is somehow handles differently in a conditional macro than a simple macro, which would explain the problem.  I don't have time to experiment now but put this forth as a possible (totally unacceptable) reason for the malfunction. 

I've used X-10 for over a dozen years with 4 different controllers and this is the first which hasn't worked properly.  With a couple dozen modules in use for some time,  and need for 3 house codes...my multiple camera order is very questionable now.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2006, 09:51:04 AM »

Hey nice to see I'm not the only user diging deep into the forum! :)
If you PM me a link to the post I'll move it! :) ;)
I had thought the problem with AHP not adding HC to the transcieved House codes was fixed (perhaps it is reseting when updating) in any case X10Pro may want to add this to the ' To Do list '. ;)
You stated your using codes " A" and "K"  I'm surprised that a long time user would use code "A" as this eventualy leads to problems! Although I'm long time user myself and I still use "A" (just to lazy to move everything) ;) it may or may not be the cause of your problem! 
So here is another clue/tip for users Use codes "A" and "M" only as last resorts! why? Every thing defaults to "A", when batteries go thats where the device goes (usualy! (motion sensors go all over the place but eventualy end here))  , anything with a wheel selector  goes to"M" if the wheel mech goes (so I've been told) ! I would have thought HC" I " ::)
« Last Edit: March 23, 2006, 09:57:10 AM by Tuicemen »
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PaulBennett

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2006, 02:44:54 AM »

You say you are surprised that I would use HC 'A' but proced to anticipate the very reason.  Yes, when I placed my sensor outside, facing the driveway, I read the fine print about it resetting to A1.  So I decided not to fight the system.  Forseeing freezing weather could causing a power loss malfunction which would cause a reset to A!, so  I chose to use A1. 

The driveway is somewhat huge, easily accomodating a dozen cars and in one back area I have an Heathkit outside floodlamp with integral sensor which I bought as a kit in 1982 for $150 when the sensor technology was new.  It has worked unfailingly since then with it's only fault being set off by cats, atlthough it is mounted 9' off the ground. I wish I could tie it into the X-10 system.   Nearby I have a Sony CC color camera tied into my TV channel 4.  This cameras predecessor worked unfailingly for 6 years until the house painter power washed it into netherworld.  I was an engineer for HP and am accustomed to high quality reliable electronics which will explain my tantrums in the forum.  My expectations are that things work.

But the new driveway sensor has yet to detect it's first car.  Mounted at eye level, it detects humans up close like the postman but it ignores cars  But it doesn't turn anything on anyway except the appliance relay in the nearby receiver in the garage.  That receiver, set to HC 'A',  does send an rf signal down the houre wiring which is seen and logged by the  CM115A at the other end of the house.  But that CM115A doesn't retransmit a HC 'K' rf signal into the house wiring.   Without apologies,  I keep repeating this as someone isn't getting the message.   The fix is easy, and I'm about to break out the SDK and my VB6 and write my own program but I'd rather spend my time learning a new guitar song which is much more fun.  Or hows to give me a copy of the source code and let me fix the problem?  No charge.

Methinks some neighbors might be using HC 'A'  as years ago I found numerous false positives.  But for me the driveway sensor is not that critical.  My goal has been, upon receiving trigger, to send TV codes for PIP so the tv would image the car which just drove in.  Chosing HC 'K' was fine until now, faced with punching a key in 11 times and holding the eleventh, I wish I'd chose HC 'D'    Sometime I would like to see a forum poll on the frequency of house codes useage.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2006, 11:44:47 AM »

You probly wouldn't be much happier using the SDK as it is badly in need of a update!
I seen Smarthome has a driveway sensor designed for picking up traffic maybe this would work better for you application!
Quote
But it doesn't turn anything on anyway except the appliance relay in the nearby receiver in the garage.  That receiver, set to HC 'A',  does send an rf signal down the houre wiring which is seen and logged by the  CM115A at the other end of the house.  But that CM115A doesn't retransmit a HC 'K' rf signal into the house wiring.
I have a friend that had a tm751(not that thats what your using) for years and finaly tried  to use it without any luck with his cams. When I tested it I found it recieved and would turn on itself but not send any PLC house codes! This may to be your problem check to see if you can send another unit number down the PL (eg.A4) to a module if that works thats not the prob.
As AHP is a transciever it pics up rf and you say the macro blinks but no reponce maybe you don't need the transciever in the garage I suspect you don't(remove it and see)!
I just tested a macro using my transciever A & code B macro works fine. Now if I remove my tranciever A no go(and it shouldn't)  But AHP still sees my RF and button flashes on the macro but it doesn't fire B (no PLC signal from the transciever)
Forgive me if I'm stating something you,ve already tried but I'd like to figure this out as well .I don't want to have these problems when I move as I'm thinking of adding something simular(long remote drive)!
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Mystyx

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2006, 11:21:47 PM »

I ussually stay away from A because of new technology will show up here more, phones, security ect.

heres my common Find Other Computers


I need to change my K HCs but will look into other changes at that time, but A comes up always, and keyfob alarms will sometimes show up as random codes are regenerated. you should watch this at different times to see the best for you.
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RebHawk

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2008, 01:41:33 AM »

So here is another clue/tip for users Use codes "A" and "M" only as last resorts! why? Every thing defaults to "A", when batteries go thats where the device goes (usualy! (motion sensors go all over the place but eventualy end here))  , anything with a wheel selector  goes to"M" if the wheel mech goes (so I've been told) ! I would have thought HC" I " ::)

I'm confused as to why you (and others) suggest avoiding the *entire* set of unit codes in A and M.  As I understand it, motion sensors default to A1 when the batteries get weak/fail, and a module with a flaky wheel set goes to M13 (can't remember if it is 13, but in any event, it is only ONE code).

It just seems to me that it is wasteful to avoid a whole range of housecodes just because one HC/UC combo in each can be a problem.  My suggestion is to put a couple of small lights in a mechanical room on lamp modules, one set to A1 and the other M13.  Then, if you have any of these failures, you will notice it by that light being on.  You can then feel free to use the remaining HC/UC's, thus not throwing away a significant amount of your address space.  Or am I missing something?

Regards,
--Lee
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steven r

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2008, 02:01:10 AM »

...I'm confused as to why you (and others) suggest avoiding the *entire* set of unit codes in A and M.  As I understand it, motion sensors default to A1 when the batteries get weak/fail, and a module with a flaky wheel set goes to M13...
There's been a lot of discussion on this subject before. (Search the forum for details.) I think it boils down to personal preference for most.
When I first started using X10, I avoided HC "A" just in case a neighbor was using. (In actuality I don't think, I've ever had a neighbor that used X10 in over 20 or 30 years.)
I stay away from HC "A" but use "M".
I also reserve HC "P" for testing. As well as I believe when the AHP software is loaded an RF signal of P16 is sent.
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RebHawk

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2008, 02:14:09 AM »

I understand, but I'm not willing to throw away 1/8 to 3/16 of my address space, especially considering that the total address space is only 256 units.  I have simply added dummy switches to P1 (BoosterLinc test signal), P16 (AHP On Signal), and a light on A1 to inform me of dead motion sensor batteries.  I admit I don't have a reserved dummy module for M13, but this problem seems remote to me, since I'm not changing code wheels on my modules daily :D .  I guess I'm also different than most in that I (for the most part, except for PowerHorns) I divide my modules by room or room group, and assign a housecode to each room or room group.  This makes it much easier to use one RF creditcard remote or stick on switch for that room.  As an example, if I were to put all my ceiling fans on one house code, overhead lights on another, and desk lamps on a third, I'd need 3 separate remotes just for the living room.  Not very efficient, IMHO.

Regards,
--Lee
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 02:16:29 AM by RebHawk »
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Puck

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2008, 08:47:43 AM »

You don't have to avoid using full sets of house codes; you just have to be aware of some failure modes that can occur and what their results are. It's advisable to work around these potential problem HC/UC combos, but not practical to not use them completely.

A1, A2 & P16 are the only addresses that should not have a dedicated X10 module assigned without the intent of detecting these errant signals.

Just to clarify the M13 issue:

If the house code wheel goes open on a device, it's house code will go to "M", its UC will not be affected. E.G. HC/UC "xx" goes to HC/UC "Mx" where "x" is any valid HC or UC.

If the unit code wheel goes open on a device, its unit code will go to "13", its HC will not be affected. E.G. HC/UC "xx" goes to HC/UC "x13".

So technically, unit 13 for all house codes can be a potential problem. Having an indicator for M13 only covers 1 of 31 possible failure modes due to an open HC/UC wheel.
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HA Dave

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2008, 10:23:19 AM »


........I'm not willing to throw away 1/8 to 3/16 of my address space, especially considering that the total address space is only 256 units...........


I often read posts that mention the limitations of ONLY 256 H/U codes. I am a big fan of X10... and although I make no claims as to having a huge set-up... mine isn't tiny. I currently use seven (7) house codes. One house code is dedicated to my home theater, and another to my security cameras. I use the "A" code (only) in my office.. so as to have that housecode handy for testing... as that is the X10 default code.

I have one House Code.. set aside for forwarding (macros)... to any other H/U code. This allows me to to consolidate certain devices from several "rooms" to a single PalmPad remote.

My Macros have eaten up more H/U codes than I would have originally guessed they would have! I even have an entire house code I have set aside for Phantom [AKA dummy, fake, ghost, virtual] modules.

I have a good imagination... and can see myself using part(s) of another three or even four House Codes. But 256 House - Unit Codes are a lot of codes!

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RebHawk

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2008, 10:43:08 AM »

Well, I just got started in X10, and I'm either using or have in hand (but haven't yet installed) modules that will take up about 115 codes.  This doesn't count macros, which will add a few more.  I can easily imagine someone with a larger house than mine who would run close at least on codes.  One other problem is the number of HC.  If you organize modules by room as I do, 32 HCs with 32 UCs would make things easier to organize.  I understand the history of how the system was developed and why there are only 16 of each.  I'm just saying layouts would be a lot easier to plan for most folks with a little more breathing room.  How many times have you run out of UCs in a given HC and wished you just had a couple more UCs in that HC?

Regards,
--Lee
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RebHawk

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2008, 01:07:59 PM »

Another problem is that some modules use an entire HC, and they are the type of module you might want more than one of.  I'd love to have 2--3 TempLincs interfaced with AHP via the TempMon driver, but from what I can see in the TempLinc docs, each TempLinc requires a complete HC to ensure no chance of its signals walking on those of another module in the house code.  Reserving 3 HCs for TempLincs won't work in my setup...

Regards,
--Lee
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HA Dave

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2008, 03:45:41 PM »

Well, I just got started in X10, and I'm either using or have in hand (but haven't yet installed) modules that will take up about 115 codes.  This doesn't count macros, ..............

Another problem is that some modules use an entire HC, and they are the type of module you might want more than one of.  I'd love to have 2--3 TempLincs interfaced with AHP via the TempMon driver, but from what I can see in the TempLinc docs, each TempLinc requires a complete HC to ensure no chance of its signals walking on those of another module in the house code.  Reserving 3 HCs for TempLincs won't work in my setup...


So.... if I read this correctly.... you are using (or have purchased and intend to use) 115 modules, switches, cameras, chimes or other singular devices. I am impressed!

However... even if you tied-up an additional three entire House codes with Templincs, another 48 Codes... that would still only total 163 codes. With 256 available (be sure to check my math) doesn't that leave 93 codes. Ok... knock off A1, M13 and P16... and you still have 90 codes for Phantom (dummy, fake, ghost, virtual) modules.

I am not trying to be argumentative... I have read this before and am genuinely trying to understand.

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RebHawk

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2008, 04:09:48 PM »

Yes, you are correct.  Something like 20 motion sensors (which take 2 codes each), 13 hacked smoke alarms, 8 door/window sensors, 2 dehumidifiers (using a powerflash hooked to a FanTech humidistat), lights in every room but the guest bedroom, all fans except guest br fan, 4 FloodCams, 2 Motion Floods, a few outlets, lamp modules, and such.  It's a big setup.  I have learned since my last post that I can probably squeeze 3-4 TempLincs on one HC, so that eases that crunch.  However, you missed part of my next-to-last post:

Quote
I can easily imagine someone with a larger house than mine who would run close at least on codes.  One other problem is the number of HC.  If you organize modules by room as I do, 32 HCs with 32 UCs would make things easier to organize.

I am already out of unit codes in some house codes, which has forced me to move some modules that I would like to keep organized in those HCs to other HCs. 

Heck, a bigger problem for me than the HC/UC problem is keeping enough AA and AAA batteries charged to keep the DS10As and MS14As running LOL.

Cheers,
--Lee
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steven r

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Re: Clue?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2008, 05:28:50 PM »

...a bigger problem for me than the HC/UC problem is keeping enough AA and AAA batteries charged to keep the DS10As and MS14As running...
How long does a charged set of batteries last for you in your sensors? I don't know about DS10As but I wouldn't consider using rechargeable batteries in an MS14A. The power use is so low, at least in my MS14A, that self life of a battery charge would run down long before the battery use. e.g. I can't even remember when I last changed the alkaline batteries on my sensor.

Rechargeable batteries are considered most useful in high drain / heavy use applications. In low drain applications such as remote controls alkaline batteries are far more practical.

The wireless window sensors for my alarm use CR123 batteries that last for years.
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