X10 Community Forum

🔌General Home Automation => Automating Your House => Troubleshooting Automation Problems => Topic started by: Algore on March 16, 2018, 11:24:19 PM

Title: (Re)-linking 3 buildings
Post by: Algore on March 16, 2018, 11:24:19 PM
I have 3 buildings on my property, with X10 modules, light switches, etc. in all of them.

An XTB-IIR+ at the main panel serving all 3 buildings worked great.  Until I had to install and industrial-strength surge protective device.*  That puppy includes a great noise filter, and it killed the X10 between buildings.  X10 works fine within each building.

I tried a pair of PAC03 RF transceivers as an experiment to link 2 buildings, but both were DOA.  They responded to PLC signals to turn the relay on/off, but no response to any signals from a known good KR22A.  Two of the buildings are physically close enough that the PAC03s should receive each other. If that works, I'm willing to build a better antenna or add a preamp to the PAC03 or CM15a in the third building, which is ~200 feet away.

All buildings share a common computer network, with wifi available in each building.  The WM-100 transceiver looked interesting but I want to continue using AHP, and I won't use anything that requires interface to the cloud.  I haven't found a transparent wifi-PLC transceiver.

Any suggestions?  I still have the XTB-IIR+, although it doesn't see any signals when mounted in the main panel.  No fancy 32-bit X10 kit, just CM15a, dimmers, appliance modules, wall switches, smart outlets, etc.

*The house in on a hilltop in a part of the country that gets a lot of lighting.  I've installed lightning protection system (aka lightning rods) on each building, and have 2-layer surge protection, a big one on the main panel, and smaller 27 kA units in each building's sub-panel.  The big one was rated 65kA.  "Was" because a direct hit to the power line about a mile from here fried it, killed 2 computers, a router, and sundry other devices.  A power line disturbance monitor saw peak voltages above 1000 V; normally the 2-layer SPDs limit surges to less than 600 volts.

Now the main surge protector is rated 300kA.  Industrial units include very good noise filters.
Title: Re: (Re)-linking 3 buildings
Post by: dhouston on March 17, 2018, 12:06:33 AM
I'm not familiar with PAC03. I assume it's the PRO RR501. How far away are the buildings? Keychain remotes have limited range.
Title: Re: (Re)-linking 3 buildings
Post by: dave w on March 17, 2018, 12:26:10 AM
If the XTBIIR was meeting your needs prior to the surge protector, I'm wondering if you could not couple X10 commands around the surge protector using two X10 passive couplers across the protector.  (I'm assuming the surge is for 220V ).  i.e. on the coupler, L1 and neutral would be tied to the input side of the filter and L2 would be tied to the output side of the filter,  for each side of the 220V.  I do not know what the losses would be, but know this technique is used in a three phase system to get X10 coupled to each phase when the X10 command originates on one phase. 

Title: Re: (Re)-linking 3 buildings
Post by: JeffVolp on March 17, 2018, 01:17:50 AM
Is it possible to remove the noise filter from the surge protector?  The Leviton surge protector I installed in our home is supposed to be X10 compatible.  It includes banks of MOVs to clamp surges.  They do have some capacitance, and will present some loading to X10 signals.  The industrial strength unit you installed may also include large capacitors directly across both phases.  If so, you might be able to disconnect them so X10 signals are not significantly attenuated.  Or you might be able to add a 120KHz parallel resonant trap in series with each capacitor to block attenuation of the X10 120KHz carrier.

If that fails and if you have a spare CAT5 link between the buildings, you could add an XTB-523 in each of the other buildings, and couple them to the XTB-IIR+ digital port to relay the signals across.  You can contact me directly if you would like to pursue any of these further.

Leviton Surge Protector:  https://store.leviton.com/products/120-240-volt-single-phase-surge-panel-dhc-and-x10-compatible-80ka-l-n-max-surge-current-32120-1?variant=18216155267