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Author Topic: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems  (Read 57987 times)

tom j

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ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« on: May 04, 2006, 01:22:19 PM »

Hi just ordered and received the new ActiveHome Pro, well the first thing I've noticed was the poor range. The range appears to be 1/2 or possibly less then the  range of a 12 dollar TM751 transceiver. Is the unit I have defective this can't be the normal operating range of the unit. Anyone else experiencing this problem. A lot of nice features but VERY POOR RANGE. Thanks

Tcj
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Brian H

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2006, 04:34:22 PM »

Could be defective; but many have reported range issues. In fact there are how to's on adding external antennas to the cm15a.
www.accessha.com is one of them.
My older cm15a was about as good as my RR501 until I found that the antenna coupler in the RR501 was not in proper place. Then it had better range then the cm15a.

Some have also preserved the warranty by wrapping some wire around the plastic antenna that extends a longer distance then the attached plastic one. Horizontal position of antenna from body also helps.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2006, 06:25:52 PM by Brian H »
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roger1818

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2006, 04:43:38 PM »

This is a common problem.  There are a bunch of threads on here which discuss the RF range issue.  Do a search on "RF Range" in this forum and see what comes up.
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X10 Pro

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2006, 04:58:53 PM »

Without purchasing additional products or modifying your CM15A, here are some simple things to try:

  • Move the CM15A away from the computer. Use a longer USB cord or hub if need to. PC often put out RF noise that can affect the RF performance of the CM15A. Trying putting the CM15A up higher (on the desk instead of next to it, say) to keep the signal transmitting in an open area.
  • Adjust the antenna. Seems simple, but turning the antenna away from the body of the interface can sometimes make a big difference.
  • For RF reception (acting as a transceiver or triggering macros) try disconnecting the USB cable and see if that makes a difference. Sometimes noise from the PC itself can be coupled onto the USB cable and create a problem.
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Tuicemen

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2006, 05:13:14 PM »

Most users have found they can double the range of their CM15A simply by moving the unit to the highest floor of the house.
As X10 Pro suggests all those options will make a difference as well.
Also If possible plug the CM15A into a outlet which is on another breaker/fuse other than the outlet you pc is pluged into. ;)
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tom j

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2006, 06:52:25 PM »

Could be defective; but many have reported range issues. In fact there are how to's on adding external antennas to the cm15a.
www.accessha.com is one of them.
My older cm15a was about as good as my RR501 until I found that the antenna coupler in the RR501 was not in proper place. Then it had better range then the cm15a.

Some have also preserved the warranty by wrapping some wire around the plastic antenna that extends a longer distance then the attached plastic one. Horizontal position of antenna from body also helps.

Thanks guys really appreciate the help! just can't understand why x10 can't get it right. This is a really nice product actually beyond my expectations with the capability of accessing all house codes they really could of had a real winner and then they dropped the ball with this range issue guess they want every one to buy repeaters, unbelievable!!

Tc j
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Tuicemen

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2006, 08:02:39 PM »

There are some of us that get very good range if you can't improve the range the least bit with the tips X10pro suggested return the unit for another. I get over 100ft recieve range
and more than I need in send distance!(with out any modifications) ;) :) .
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Brian H

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2006, 07:01:51 AM »

One thing to remember on the all house codes. AHP defaults to none so many have to enable it before using.
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JimC

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2006, 07:20:54 AM »

Tuicemen ,

You stated.

Quote
I get over 100ft recieve range and more than I need in send distance!(with out any modifications)

Could you please tell us your set up? Is the CM15a connected to the computer. If it is connected to the computer have you used a USB extension cable to get it farther from the computer. Is it on the same outlet as the computer?

Thanks for any info. I have my unit plugged into the same outlet as the computer and the USB cable is connected all of the time. I, at best, get only 40 feet range.
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Tuicemen

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2006, 05:31:35 PM »

My CM15A is connected to the computer 24/7 with the usb cable supplied antena is in the upright position I get more range if it is pointed horizontal  but I don't need the range. My computer and all Pc stuff is on one out let pluged into a APC  UPS the Cm15 is pluged into a different outlet which is also on a different breaker.
All this is setup in my office on the second floor of the house which also happens to be the centre point of the lot. ;) :)
House is an older brick  home close to 100 years old so not metal studing . ;)
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tom j

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2006, 09:17:24 PM »

Here's a quote from Accessha.com  "During our initial tests with the original CM15A antenna, reception was marginal beyond 20 feet through one interior wall using a HR12A PalmPad remote. The KR19A SlimFire Key Chain remote had difficulty transmitting beyond 5 feet with direct line of sight. This was the case with two separate CM15A units we tested. During our initial tests with the original CM15A antenna, reception was marginal beyond 20 feet through one interior wall using a HR12A PalmPad remote. The KR19A SlimFire Key Chain remote had difficulty transmitting beyond 5 feet with direct line of sight. This was the case with two separate CM15A units we tested." I just can't believe that x10 would bring a product like this to market with these kind of range issues. Haven't tried adjusting the antenna yet but with the poor range I'm getting I can't believe it's going to make a significant difference, I will report back though. Seems like x10 wants everyone to buy a transceiver, unreal. Say Tuicemen, when did you purchase yours maybe x10 has made some improvements or has resolved this problem. Thanks

tcj
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Brian H

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2006, 07:02:13 AM »

tom j; X10 has made some changes to the cm15a; since accessha.com did the tests. My early cm15a had the extra antenna wire in a random ball of wire, inside the case. My later one has the extra wire hot glued to the case in a large 'U' shape. That may have improved things somewhat. That said my RR501 still is better than my cm15a units and mine are in the box unused. I use a different brand controller for my X10 controls.
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roger1818

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2006, 09:26:58 AM »

I just can't believe that x10 would bring a product like this to market with these kind of range issues.

X10 has made some changes to the cm15a; since accessha.com did the tests.

Brian is Correct.  It seems as though X10 had problems with their first production build.  Many companies will build thier prototypes domestically (sometimes even in-house), but will have their production units built off shore (or at a larger contract manufacturer).  This transition often isn't without pain as the manufacturer needs to learn how the product needs to be built.  More recently built CM15As seem to be much better than the older ones and perform similarly to the TM751 and RR501.
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tom j

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2006, 06:44:30 PM »

Brian is Correct.  It seems as though X10 had problems with their first production build.  Many companies will build thier prototypes domestically (sometimes even in-house), but will have their production units built off shore (or at a larger contract manufacturer).  This transition often isn't without pain as the manufacturer needs to learn how the product needs to be built.  More recently built CM15As seem to be much better than the older ones and perform similarly to the TM751 and RR501

Hi Roger, thanks for the help, say whats the advertised range anyway? I very well may have to return this one just got it about a week ago so I would imagine it's the updated version. I'm really relieved to hear that there have been some improvements since Accessha.com did their initial review. I'm not a x10 brasher I really love a lot of their stuff I've just had so many problems with some of there products lately so I guess my patience is short. I just don't feel as consumers we should have to reengineer some of their products. Say Brian are you out there need you to take a look at something. Roger I also may need your help to. Thanks

Tcj
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roger1818

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Re: ActiveHome Pro Range Problems
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2006, 11:11:56 AM »

say whats the advertised range anyway?

X10 Pro can correct me if I am wrong but I don't think a range has been advertised.  There are so many factors which affect range that it wouldn't mean much anyway (walls, elevation, transmitter strength and RF interference).  I like to classify transmitters into 4 categories: 4AAA, 2AAA and button cell.  Since the 4AAA transmitters run on 6V they have the best range, the 2AAA transmitters only run on 3V so they have a reduced range and the button cell transmitters tend to be small and so their antenna tends not to work as well (they tend to have the best range when either the top or bottom are pointing towards the transceiver).
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