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Author Topic: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?  (Read 9883 times)

dahur

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Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« on: October 25, 2007, 11:51:59 PM »

Since I've been having such bad luck getting more than 2 modules to work, I have been investigating couplers and or amplifiers to connect my 2 phase service. I was wondering if anyone has any personal experience with using these. If they work, or is it another way to get my $$, with little or no results.

I also was reading about Z-wave as an alternative, but geez it's expensive compared to x10. Although, it appears to work much better , according to what I've read anyways. If I can't get AHP to work, or my old Home Director, I may just pay the price for the the other technology.


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HA Dave

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2007, 12:14:57 AM »


....................I have been investigating couplers and or amplifiers to connect my 2 phase service. I was wondering if anyone has any personal experience with using these. If they work, or is it another way .................


If you have a very small setup, like a lamp, or light or two..... you may not need any phase coupling or device filtering. However, apparently your having some problems.

I use a passive phase coupler. Many users also use line filters. Some find they need to amplify the signal. Every system/home setup is different.

Its best to start with mapping your curcits, find out if you have line noise... or a phase caused lack of signal. Lots of info on this has been written here [on the forum] about this. Puck wrote an excellent how-to guide.
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jkarney

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2007, 01:09:53 AM »

dahur

I have used the Smarthome Plug-in Coupler Repeater. & three Smarthome BoosterLinc X10 signal boosters. This worked fairly well after I took the time to Map my Electrical Circuits following Pucks guide and then measured & corrected the offending signal suckers.

You will find the following link very helpful in how to best improve your X10 signal strength. Topic: Ta's X10 Troubleshooting Tips Thread [Updated: 2007/03/05]  (Read 9368 times)

My only remaining issues were if some device was plugged in, say a cordless drill battery charger, this offending device would suck the signal down to a X10 hit or miss operation. With kids and so many new electronics devices that they plug in; who knew what a new offending device would be. So at times I would find myself having to move the Boosterlinc to a new location or purchase another filter to compensate.

X10 Filter Links:
FilterLinc™ 5-Amp Plug-In Noise Filter.
FilterLinc™ 10-Amp Plug-In Noise Filter.
Leviton In-Line Noise Reducer 6289.

Just yesterday I pulled all three Boosterlincs, and the coupler/repeater out of my 2,200 s.f. house and installed an XTB-IIR. X10 Transmit Booster (XTB) All I can say is: WOW. The XTB-IIR really drives the X10 signal 5V plus even with my many Cfl's not filtered. I use an Elk ESM1; the max it can measure is a 5V signal. Much more than enough to achieve reliable X10 operations (AHP and my CM15A could not be happier). For me anyway this was a fix all.

Quote from: Dave_x10_L
Every system/home setup is different.

My X10 system is fairly large with 30+ modules (still growing). At the end of the day I wish I had found the XTB-IIR much sooner as the cost of the coupler/repeater & Boosterlinc's add up quickly.

With a little work you can make you X10 system (large or small) extremely reliable. Not to mention the WAF goes way up.  ;)

Cheers  ;)

« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 10:22:48 AM by JeffVolp »
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dahur

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2007, 02:01:40 AM »

Wow, that was interesting reading.  I have about 10  modules connected in my home. 5 work from my Home Director receiver/remote. and I can get 2 of those to work with my PC.  I think I'm going to contact Jeff and order one of the XTB's. I don't think $80+8 is all that much. After reading the link you sent, I know that will cover only one phase, and I may need a coupler. But I think I'll try the XTB first and see what happens. It sure sounded good.  I don't understand why in 1997, I could control everything(16 modules), from my PC, and now I can't.

Thanks so much for the information.
Dan
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Brian H

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2007, 06:55:08 AM »

Modern electronic devices can make powerline noise or act like a signal sucker. We have had problems reported with a new electronically controlled washer dryer setup. Same for a PC power supply or even a new switching type cell phone charger.
I have used the Smarthoe Dryer Outlet repeater and now have an ACT CR134. The Smarthome caused a signal firestorm with some X10 two way modules.
I have seen many good reviews of the XTB; though I do not have any experience with one.
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philliec

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2007, 11:45:13 AM »

Wow there is a lot of science that went into many of these responses. Mine is a little more empirical. I have x10 in two homes. In both instances it was obvious that some of the plugs were on one phase and some on the other. For the first home I bought a passive phase couple that plugged into the dryer. That really helped in most instances, but not all(?). That’s ok, I worked around it.
At one time I did have a severe problem that my x10 stuff would not work very well anywhere in this first home, but that was related to an old computer monitor giving off a lot of spurious noise.  As soon as I dismantled the old monitor, all was well and still is well.

On the other home that was much larger, it again was obvious right off the bat that I had a phase problem. In this instance I bought a Smarthome phase coupler/repeater. I have not had a phase problem since.

In both instances it was obvious that there was a phase problem and the phases needed to be bridged.

Craig
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Craig

dahur

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2007, 06:15:53 PM »

[

My X10 system is fairly large with 30+ modules (still growing). At the end of the day I wish I had found the XTB-IIR much sooner as the cost of the coupler/repeater & Boosterlinc's add up quickly.

With a little work you can make you X10 system (large or small) extremely reliable. Not to mention the WAF goes way up.  ;)

Cheers  ;)


Quote




I just  paid for a XTB, sent the waiver in, and Jeff said he'd ship it out Monday.  Per his recommendations about filters, , I  ordered 3 from Smarthouse USA, and chose the AF120, mainly because of it's 15A rating.
I have my fingers crossed...
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jkarney

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2007, 06:23:58 PM »

dahur,
Did you get the XTB-IIR or the XTB single phase plug-in style?

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dahur

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2007, 12:11:47 AM »

I got the XTB single phase plug-in style.  I know if I still have problems, my next step will to be bridge the phases.
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jkarney

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2007, 12:35:19 AM »

If you have a three pin 220v dryer outlet and need a Smarthome Plug-in Coupler Repeater just PM me. I have one that just went on the market.

Let us know how things work out.

Cheers   ::)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 12:36:56 AM by jkarney »
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dahur

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2007, 01:38:05 AM »

If you have a three pin 220v dryer outlet and need a Smarthome Plug-in Coupler Repeater just PM me. I have one that just went on the market.

Let us know how things work out.

Cheers   ::)

The reason I ordered the XTB instead of the XTB-II, is because I don't have a 220v plug anywhere. My dryer is gas. Thanks for the offer though, I appreciate it.
Thanks again for the link to Jeff.
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spam4us

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2007, 02:19:34 AM »

IF....you have an electric stove with a 220 line, try turning on the oven and the top burners at the same time then test your modules while the oven and burners are glowing.  If the modules work, then you have a phase coupling issue that the coupler will solve.

You can also do this if you have an electric dryer (which you don't) or any other 220v appliance.

This will not resolve whether or not you have signal suckers.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 02:22:26 AM by spam4us »
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JeffVolp

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2007, 09:30:12 AM »

Quote
Thanks again for the link to Jeff.

FYI, just Google XTB if you ever need the link.

The XTB is going out today (Saturday).

Jeff
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dahur

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2007, 12:55:55 PM »

IF....you have an electric stove with a 220 line, try turning on the oven and the top burners at the same time then test your modules while the oven and burners are glowing.  If the modules work, then you have a phase coupling issue that the coupler will solve.

You can also do this if you have an electric dryer (which you don't) or any other 220v appliance.

This will not resolve whether or not you have signal suckers.




Hey, that's a great idea to "bridge the phases".
 I tried it, and I still couldn't get my other devices to respond. So now I'm thinking this HDTV and my other added electronics are "signal suckers".
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 03:23:11 PM by dahur »
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spam4us

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Re: Anyone try phase couplers/amplifiers to fix AHP/x10 problems?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2007, 04:21:23 PM »

dahur
     Make sure when you turn the stove on that both the oven AND the top burners are glowing when you try to turn on/off your modules. The 110 phases won't be "coupled" if they're not both on (glowing) at the same time.
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