Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The X10Hub (PiX10Hub) is here! Created by the Community, for the Community.:)% #:)

Pages: [1] 2 3

Author Topic: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)  (Read 56918 times)

TakeTheActive

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 126
  • Posts: 1047
  • Old !@#$% Tinkerer!
X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« on: July 13, 2006, 09:18:06 PM »

I (just) came across this excellent "X-10 Checklist" over in the comp.home.automation newsgroup:
.
Quote
  • Install a whole house surge suppresser at the breaker box.  Use one for each feed if you have more than one.  Leviton and others make them that are compatible with X10.  You will need an empty 220v breaker slot.
  • Install a "phase" coupler at the breaker box.  You will need an empty 220v breaker slot for this as well.
[Another newsgroup User followed up with: I agree with everything Larry says with one additional recommendation. Instead of the coupler, use an ACT234 Signal Repeater/Coupler.  Rather than just coupling it repeates the signals at a higher level and will provide better coverage throughout the home.]

(Hire an electrician for these two steps if you are not comfortable doing this type of work.  This is nothing to fool around with.)

  • Buy an ELK ESM X10 meter.
  • Buy a handful of X10 filters.  The 5 amp ones are usually enough but if you have a lot on one strip use the 15 amp ones.
  • Put the filters on all of your computers, TV's, video and audio equipment.  If you have any low voltage halogen lights, like puck lights, for under cabinet, in nooks, etc., use one of the wire-in filters to isolate them.  They are great noise generators.
  • Build a list of ALL of your circuits.
  • Put your X10 controller in a "test" mode or get your partner to keep pressing the controller buttons and walk around and measure the signal level at every circuit.  Use a screw in lamp plug to check out lighting circuits.  When you are doing this you should have a good signal without any noise.
  • Do the same thing without any X10 signals.  The Elk meter should be dark.  Any indication is a noise problem.  You will then have to figure out what is causing it.  Do things like start the Heat/AC, appliances, turn off breakers, etc., until you find it.  I have never had any trouble with appliances, AC, etc., generating noise and since they are always on separate circuits anyway they should not be a problem but something is causing your problem.
  • Use a computer based controller that will log valid X10 activity. That will tell you if you have problems with neighbors, or things like the X10 RF modules that have a set of known problems.  If you have neighbor problems then you will have to use a X10 filter on your feed.
  • Don't use house code A or M.
[/size]

Originally created and posted on another Forum by me on Sep/05/2004 @ 1:46 PM
Logged
Low Post Count != Low Knowledge - High Post Count != High Knowledge ;)

ADVICE TO X-10 NEWBIES FROM AN X-10 OLD-TIMER

steven r

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 74
  • Posts: 2189
  • Halloween with X10
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2006, 09:34:09 PM »

You forgot the 1st step...

...Buy a winning lottery ticket to pay for it all.  ;)
Logged
BVC let's me tell my camera where to go!
:) Murphy is my beta testing pal. He helps me find problems whether I like it or not. :)

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 137
  • Posts: 6005
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 12:19:23 PM »

TaketheActive
Yup, If you want to "get down" with X10, this check list should be required reading.

My $0.02 is; if you are a tinkerer you can make filters from surplus $3 line filters and extension cords. Four bucks a pop makes extensive filtering less painful.

Yeah, but steven r, tell me how to automate any cheaper?
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

steven r

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 74
  • Posts: 2189
  • Halloween with X10
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 01:11:21 PM »

... if you are a tinkerer you can make filters from surplus $3 line filters and extension cords. Four bucks a pop makes extensive filtering less painful....
Would you post a parts list / diagram? I've been lucky so far to not need any filters but wouldn't mind having a few around just in case. (I currently have over 6 UPS units in active use as well as assorted other electronic equipment so I figure it's just a matter of time.)

...Yeah, but steven r, tell me how to automate any cheaper?
Well that's just it you really can't automate any cheaper. For the money, X10 is the best home automation deal out there. So what if it's not really "Plug and Play". I just pity the newbies that may not know what their getting into. After you've been using X10 for awhile you begin to understand to value of paying a little extra for more durable parts. e.g. As my old switches die, I plan to replace them with ones that use a neutral wire.

BTW... I know the advantage of the neutral wire switches. My question is: Are both the older 2 wire switches and the newer ones with a neutral connection the same from an energy use stand point? It's just that with the 2 wire ones the X10 signal has to travel though the load. Right?
Logged
BVC let's me tell my camera where to go!
:) Murphy is my beta testing pal. He helps me find problems whether I like it or not. :)

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 137
  • Posts: 6005
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2006, 12:45:13 PM »

... if you are a tinkerer you can make filters from surplus $3 line filters and extension cords. Four bucks a pop makes extensive filtering less painful....
Would you post a parts list / diagram? I've been lucky so far to not need any filters but wouldn't mind having a few around just in case. (I currently have over 6 UPS units in active use as well as assorted other electronic equipment so I figure it's just a matter of time.)

Sure go here:

http://www.meci.com/product_info.php/cPath/396/products_id/5600104

and buy a bunch. If you are a tinkerer, you won't need a diagram...it's too simple. Cut an extension cord in half and connect the appropriate ends to the "ins" and "outs" of the filter. You do not need to ground the filter, unless whatever you are filtering requires a ground, in that case use a grounded extension cord.

Obviously where the extension cord is soldered to the filter connections, there are live, uninsulted solder connections. Some of my filters I have mounted in plastic boxes, others I have just drizzled a heavy application of hot glue over the connections to insulate them. Not having dogs or children, I can get away with this (hand wringing warnings are NOT solicited, thank you anyway).  And these babies are sooo ugly you have to hide them behind the TVs, microwaves, computers, etc. that you are filtering, anyway.  If your situation isn't the same, mount the the filters in insulating boxes for safety.

MECI has many types of line filters, the 560-0104 work very well (especially effective on switching power supply noise) and they are good for 20 amps. Not all the line filters MECI has work as well.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 11:25:58 AM by roger1818 »
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 137
  • Posts: 6005
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2006, 12:48:07 PM »

Sorry - didn't use the quote function quite right in the previous response.

[I fixed it for you -- Roger1818]
« Last Edit: July 25, 2006, 11:26:31 AM by roger1818 »
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

steven r

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 74
  • Posts: 2189
  • Halloween with X10
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2006, 01:08:01 PM »

...Sure go here: http://www.meci.com/product_info.php/cPath/396/products_id/5600104...
...If you are a tinkerer, you won't need a diagram...it's too simple....
Thanks!

I thought you were building it from scratch (resistors & everything) when I was thinking I needed a diagram. This should be a breeze. I think I'll put it in a box or at least use some heat shrink tubing as I do have a cat as well as kids that like to watch me blow things up. (I did a demo of how a GFI circuit works by touching a live wire to ground once. Should of run it through a load. My 11 year old loved the sparks.)

Do you think I could get an outlet and the filter into an outlet box?
Logged
BVC let's me tell my camera where to go!
:) Murphy is my beta testing pal. He helps me find problems whether I like it or not. :)

steven r

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 74
  • Posts: 2189
  • Halloween with X10
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2006, 01:16:03 PM »

...buy a bunch...
...MECI has many types of line filters, the 560-0104 work very well (especially effective on switching power supply noise) and they are good for 20 amps. Not all the line filters MECI has work as well.
Wow at only $1.95 each with a minimum order of $20. I guess I will be buying at least 11 of them. Maybe I should see if they have any thing else I need.
Logged
BVC let's me tell my camera where to go!
:) Murphy is my beta testing pal. He helps me find problems whether I like it or not. :)

phorce1

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 3
  • Posts: 60
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2006, 01:53:06 PM »

Do you think I could get an outlet and the filter into an outlet box?

Size: 5" x 4"

Nope. Not even close.

You could probably search around for some cheap 6"x6"x4" plastic enclosures and build them into those with 2 regular wall outlets mounted to the box-top. You could get fancy even and add a 20amp pop breaker or fuse if you're anal about safety (and want to be able to prove it wasn't your fault in the event of a fire).

Rated 20amp @ 250VAC so it should easily handle 30amp+ @ 110VAC (and the wall outlet you plug it into isn't rated that high so it's a safe build).

I wish it showed a spec sheet telling what frequency range it attenuates and how much.
Logged

steven r

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 74
  • Posts: 2189
  • Halloween with X10
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2006, 02:07:56 PM »

..I wish it showed a spec sheet telling what frequency range it attenuates and how much...
Me too but for $1.95 what can you expect. If they've worked for you that's enough for me. I suppose if one weren't enough filtering, you could pair a couple of them.

When I first saw the $20 minimum order I had visions of a drawer full of extra filters. As I've explored the site more I've come to realize just spending $20 will be a challenge. I feel like a kid in a candy shop.
Logged
BVC let's me tell my camera where to go!
:) Murphy is my beta testing pal. He helps me find problems whether I like it or not. :)

Smokin Paul

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 11
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2006, 10:44:41 PM »

Hi Dave,

   I just ordered the in line filters.

> Sure go here:
> http://www.meci.com/product_info.php/cPath/396/products_id/5600104

Has anyone here noticed if these filters reduce or filter out x10 signals? Has anyone noticed X10 signals getting weaker after they were installed? I do have an XTB X10 amplifier that gives me a strong x10 signal level so I am hoping it will not be a problem.

If they are x10 signal suckers I could always use them behind my existing filters to increase their effectiveness.
Logged

Charles Sullivan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 93
  • Posts: 1565
    • HEYU - X10 Automation for Linux, Unix, and Mac OSX
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2006, 11:35:46 PM »

Luckily I haven't needed to use X10 noise filters in my house. 

The ideal X10 noise filter would look like a short circuit to 120 KHz as seen from the appliance plugged into it but look like an open circuit to the same frequency as seen from the power line side.  However "ordinary" noise filters usually act as short circuits to high frequencies from either side and will normally attenuate X10 signals as well as any noise, i.e., just be signal-suckers.

I wasn't able to locate the manufacturer's part number (Cornell-Dublier Mfg P/N: APFV20316) provided for this line filter by MECI  on the Cornell-Dubilier website (http://www.cde.com) so it's difficult to judge whether it would help, hurt. or do nothing insofar as X10 signals are concerned.  Perhaps someone else will have better luck.

Logged
Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

HEYU - X10 Automation for Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X     http://www.heyu.org

JeffVolp

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 107
  • Posts: 2068
    • XTB Home Page
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2006, 10:16:31 AM »

X10 filters are specifically designed to block passage of X10 signals without presenting a load on those signals.  Industrial and military surplus filters are designed to protect equipment from line noise.  X10 signals are line noise.

Often these filters have a diagram on the top with values.  From that you can determine whether it will be helpful in an X10 application.  A filter that has a capacitor directly across its input terminals may attenuate X10 signals on the circuit it is connected to.  How much it attenuates is determined by the capacitor value.

Logged
X-10 automation since the BSR days

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 137
  • Posts: 6005
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2006, 12:46:42 PM »

Smokin Paul and others

YES the URL MECI filter I referenced,  stops X10 in its tracks. You need to place the filter AT the noise source with any X10 control between the line and the filter.

Internally the can is a low pass,  L-C, PI filter.  Each line has a series inductor, so I don't think phorce1 is correct in thinking it would be good to 30 amp, since full 30 amp would be going through each coil when used at 120V.

I have never o'scope'ed the filters response, and component values are not shown on the can, but I bet roll off is faily steep after a kilohertz or two.

As far as the $20 minimum order..."MECI",  "Electronic Goldmine",  "All Electronics" etc, have so much neato stuff that  I got 20 bucks spent by the time I get to page three of the catalog(s). I had not even thought about the minimum order limit when posting the URL. Sorry to all.
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

JimC

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 41
  • Posts: 631
Re: X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2006, 01:53:56 PM »

Quote
I had not even thought about the minimum order limit when posting the URL. Sorry to all.
  No need for an apology. This site has so many interesting things I find it hard to believe that anyone would have trouble meeting the minimum. Dave W, If you have other links that are this good please pass them along.

Jim
Logged
_ _ ...  ..._ _
Pages: [1] 2 3
 

X10.com | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
© Copyright 2014-2016 X10.com All rights reserved.