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Author Topic: TTA's X10 Troubleshooting Tips Thread [Updated: 2007/03/05]  (Read 46049 times)

TakeTheActive

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TTA's X10 Troubleshooting Tips Thread [Updated: 2007/03/05]
« on: August 27, 2006, 05:54:01 PM »

I'm gathering all of my X10 Troubleshooting Tips into this one thread.

This should serve 2 purposes:

  • It will be easier for Newbies to find it.  :)
    .
  • It will be easier for ME to find the LINKs to refer back to individual posts from new questions.  :-[


MAP / MEASURE / CORRECT

TTA's Tips Discussion Links:


Click on a LINK to go directly to the thread and discuss what you LIKE  ;D  *OR* DISLIKE  >:(  about a TIP !

TTA's Selected Tips From Other Members Links:



TTA's 'FOR REFERENCE ONLY' Links:



Reviews from our Valued (and Happy !) X10 Community Members:

Quote from: marineau
Your method is very clever, and deserves that I studied it of advantage!
I could surely use this method for other things too !

Thanks

Quote from: Puck
I'm fairly new with using X-10 stuff (about a year now) and since I started using AHP (last April), I have visited this site as a Guest almost daily. ...in some cases (at least with me) the help I was looking for either already existed so I didn't bother to join in or I just worked through the problem myself.

So, now I decided to join in for 2 main reasons...

  • 1) to say thank you to all the regulars here for all their help. Particularly guys like TTA & Tuicemen. I don't know if you realize how many people you help, or at least lead in the right direction, but I guarantee you it's more than you are aware of.
    .
  • 2) In the year that I've been using X-10, I have learned a lot and the only way I can help share my experience is be a member of this board.

Dan[/size]

Quote from: Don N
TTA,

I think you should change the name of your thread from "TTA's X10 Troubleshooting Tips Thread" to "TTA's X10 Troubleshooting Tips Thread for Dummies."  And of course you will need to make sure the title (lettering) is yellow with a black background.  Just a a thought!!!!!  And by the way, great tips and thanks for providing a great service!!!

Don N

"TTA's X10 Troubleshooting Tips Thread for Dummies" . . . . . Thanks Don N, Dan, marineau!  :D
Since the 'Post Ratings' (i.e. 'Helpful'/'Unhelpful') were recently turned back on, if you've gotten *ANY* benefit from my efforts here,
*ALL* 'Helpful' Votes are most certainly appreciated!
:)
But, if on the other hand, you read something that you *TOTALLY* disagree with, PLEASE, *BEFORE* you DING me with an 'Unhelpful',
send me a PM, explain the problem to me, and allow me the opportunity to correct it.
:-\
« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 02:32:31 PM by TakeTheActive »
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TakeTheActive

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PLC / RF Transmitters, Receivers and Transceivers
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2006, 05:43:25 PM »

EVERY X-10 installation needs a:

  • X-10 PLC Receiver - Lamp or Appliance Modules, Wall Switches, Socket Rockets, CM11A, CM15A, PR511, RR501, etc...
    .
  • X-10 PLC Transmitter - Mini-Controller, Maxi-Controller, CM11A, CM15A, PR511, RR501, TM751, etc...

In addition, you can optionally add:

  • X-10 RF ReceiverCM15A, RR501, TM751
    .
  • X-10 RF Transmitter - Palmpad, Credit Card Controller, Battery-Powered Motion Detectors, CM15A, etc...

A module that is listed in BOTH the Receiver *AND* Transmitter groups for either PLC or RF is known as a Transceiver (Transmitter *AND* Receiver)

« Last Edit: December 13, 2006, 01:12:17 PM by TakeTheActive »
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TakeTheActive

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X-10 Checklist (from GROUP:comp.home.automation)
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2006, 06:17:35 PM »

I 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
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TakeTheActive

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TTA's "Quick N Dirty" X-10 Troubleshooting Hints...
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2006, 07:03:06 PM »

What Do I NEED :

. . . . .CM11A or CM15A: to log X-10 transmissions
ELK ESM1: to "see" X-10 transmissions and noise
FILTERS: to "block" noise and/or signal suckers
KNOWLEDGE: Follow my SIG LINK and then read all of the LINKs you'll find there - ESPECIALLY Uncle Phil's


What Do I DO :

IMO, the *BEST* way to troubleshoot X-10 is:

. . . . .Swap modules (Everybody keeps a JUNKBOX full of spares, right? ;) )
Unplug 'suspects' and/or Install 'temporary' filters
Measure Signal Strength (I have my ELK on an extension cord so that I can plug it into the 'circuit in question'
 and easily see the display from wherever I'm activating the transmission)
You *DO* have all the circuits in your home mapped out on paper, right?  ;)


List of LINKs ( more to be added to as time allows ):

« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 06:19:29 PM by TakeTheActive »
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TakeTheActive

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ACT X-10 Troubleshooting Flowchart (courtesy of 'Uncle' Phil Kingery)
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2006, 11:42:00 PM »

Please, for the sake of everyone involved, try to avoid posting any questions until you've followed the Troubleshooting Flowchart *AND* read all of "Uncle" Phil's excellent articles located at:

PCC Technical Tips Directory

No one can learn everything in one day - X-10 takes an investment of TIME on your part. But, when you're finished reading & absorbing, you'll be a MUCH HAPPIER X-10 Camper. :)

Thanks in advance! ;)
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TakeTheActive

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HOUSECODES: By Room or By Module Type or By Function or...?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2006, 11:05:30 AM »

When choosing HouseCodes (after you purchase your 17th module!  :o ), how do you decide how to group things?

Do you go by:

  • Random, starting with A, B, C  :o
  • Room
  • Module Type
  • Function

Well, since I'm writing this tip, I recommend Function:)


Here is My Current HouseCode Setup, for example:

  • C: All above-ground lights (originally dictated by the HeathKit SL-5320 :) )
    .
  • H: All above-ground appliances
    .
  • F: All motion sensors
    .
  • L: Alll below-ground lights and appliances
    .
  • M: All macros (but, this was *BEFORE* I knew - currently I'm getting 'false' M5s when I press H5 on a Palmpad and plan to change this)
    .
  • N: Nighttime motion sensors
    .
  • P: Annunciators - Chimes and Universal Modules
    .
  • B: 1½-Way Status Indicators  [TTA TIP] 1½-Way Status Reporting [Positive LOAD Feedback Loop!]

LOGIC:

  • All above-ground lights are grouped on HC C so that the DS7000 can flash them
    .
  • All above-ground appliances were REMOVED from HC C so that the DS7000 WON'T turn them off
    .
  • All below-ground lights and appliances were moved to HC L because HC C and HC H were FULL
    .
  • All motion sensors were grouped on HC F because they "eat up" two addresses each
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TakeTheActive

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MAP / MEASURE / CORRECT
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2006, 02:56:46 PM »

Boilerplate NEWBIE Response:


  • Did you [/size]MAP out all of your circuits? Are the problems on DIFFERENT phases?
    .
  • What signal strength does the [/size]ELK ESM1 X-10® Signal Meter show / MEASURE[/b] on the "problem " circuits / switches / outlets?
    .
  • How many FILTERS do you have installed to [/size]CORRECT any of the "problems " that you uncovered?[/size]
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 11:30:23 PM by JeffVolp »
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