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Author Topic: Is or isn't a phase coupling problem?  (Read 5832 times)

jeremy c

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Is or isn't a phase coupling problem?
« on: November 20, 2005, 08:09:48 PM »

I'm trying to operate a lamp module (rocket
socket) from my computer.  It works when I
plug the lamp in some receptacles but not
others in my house.  I read through some
forum posts and discovered the phase
coupling issue.  I purchased the
recommended capacitor and installed it
across two phases in my panel - but it
didn't help.  I still can't control the
light when plugged into certain
receptacles.  I've also read on one forum
post that if I have a phase coupling issue,
the problem should go away while any two-
phase device (like my dryer) is running.  I
tried that and it didn't help.  Is it
possible this is some other problem like
noisy electrical in my house?  If so, there
seem to be many
couplers/amplifiers/repeaters/filters,
etc.  Is there something that someone on
this forum specifically would recommend?  I
am currently in a less than 3000 sq ft home
but will soon be moving to a greater than
3000 sq ft home so I'm looking at the xpcr
coupler/repeater but am not sure if this
will filter out noise well enough??

Thanks!
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Brian H

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Re: Is or isn't a phase coupling problem?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2005, 04:32:47 PM »

You could have noise or a signal sucker in
the house. Try the poor outlets with things
like TVs and other electronics unpluged. Is
the X10 controller unit on the computer
pluged into a surge strip or an UPS? If so
both can drastically reduce the signals. I
have an X10 type filter on my APC BX1000 UPS
power input code to stop it from absorbing
the X10 signals.
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roger1818

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Re: Is or isn't a phase coupling problem?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2005, 05:22:32 PM »

Jeremy: Poor phase coupling is certainly the
most common cause of problems with X10, but
it isn't the only one.  As Brian says,
powerline noise and signal absorption are two
other common problems.  Although different,
both exibit the same behaviour and both can
be solved with appropriate use of noise filters.

I wrote tutorials on Phase Coupling and
Powerline Noise.  You can find them at:

http://www.x10.webhop.org/Phase_Coupling.htm
and
http://www.x10.webhop.org/Powerline_Noise_and_Noise_Filters.htm
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jeremy c

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Re: Is or isn't a phase coupling problem?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2005, 11:48:59 PM »

Thanks for the great info.  I read the
article.  I'm not using a surge suppressor
on the USB receiver, and my laptop has it's
24VDC converter (might be some noise
filters in that?).

Anyway, so if interested in a whole house
filter, do you recommend a particular
unit?  Model?

Thanks!
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roger1818

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Re: Is or isn't a phase coupling problem?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2005, 10:02:48 AM »

Jeremy:  A module does not need to be plugged
into (or even near) a noise trap for the trap
to have a negative effect on the X10 signal.

As far as your laptop is concerned, computers
(laptops included) use switching power
supplies, which often generate a lot of
powerline noise.  Some have noise traps to
reduce the noise generated.  Either way it
will have a negative effect on your X10
signal.  Since the power switch doesn’t
disconnect the power supply from the AC
power, the noise (or signal absorption)
occurs even when it is powered off.

As far as whole house filters, I can’t really
recommend one over another.  They all work on
the same principle, so they are probably all
very similar in performance.  When shopping I
would check out Automated Outlet
(http://www.automatedoutlet.com) though.
They tend to have the best prices, and they
provide good service.  If you buy more than
$100 worth of stuff from AO on your first
order and put “palmpad” (all lowercase) in
the coupon code box, they will send you a
free PalmPad.
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jeremy c

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Re: Is or isn't a phase coupling problem?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2005, 01:04:43 AM »

thanks, will do!
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Tuicemen

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Re: Is or isn't a phase coupling problem?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2006, 10:20:35 AM »

One other newly created problem is Arc Fault breakers

Required by law(both in the USA and Canada)for bedrooms  in all newer homes !

It's amazing we've all lived this long with out them! ::) ;) :D

Although these are required only for the bedroom outlets I have heard of noisy ones bleeding noise into the other circits!

I've installed 3 of these (same brand) and found one to be very noisy!

If you have these turn them off and test your module if it works chances that is the problem!
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