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Author Topic: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On  (Read 26972 times)

AdamF

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AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« on: December 30, 2007, 11:34:42 AM »

Hi all,

I've read many posts about fluorescent lights flickering and turning back on using appliance modules.  I have an AM466 controlling an aquarium strip light.  It often flickers when turned off (which I can live with) but what I can't live with is the fact that it turns itse;f back on after my Active Home Pro turns it off.  Again, reading these forums it looks like this issue is caused because of the trickle current used for local control.

I had this light plugged into a lamp module for the longest time.  I changed it becuase I figured it wasn't safe having a 3-pin light plugged into a dimmable 2-pin lamp module.  It would flicker but NEVER turned itself back on.

Is my only option truly to open this thing up and cut the diode like in the mod examples on this forum?  I do have a PAO11 Receptacle that I could use to plug this light into.  I just figured that the AM466 was easier.  What I don't understand is why is the AM466 marketed as a "Fluorescent Lamp Module"?  It says, "Plug fluorescent light fixtures such as shop lights and energy-saving screw-in fluorescent light bulbs (in table or floor lamps) to control them with ActiveHome Pro and remote controls".  It seems that you can't really control fluorescent lights with the module.

So, I just wanted to make sure that my options were either:

a. Cut the diode in the AM466 meaning I would lose local control

b. Use a wall receptacle outlet

Thanks in advance.
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Oldtimer

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2007, 12:29:30 PM »


So, I just wanted to make sure that my options were either:

a. Cut the diode in the AM466 meaning I would lose local control

b. Use a wall receptacle outlet


Go to this post http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=14210.0 and click on the links to "Module Replacement" and "Lamp Modification".  They describe another way of controlling the effects of leakage current.
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Brian H

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2007, 12:59:15 PM »

Cutting the diode doesn't always work completely. The appliance module still has a very small current flowing in the output even with the diode cut. I removed the last resistor making this current and the module became unstable! Since the module has a mechanical switch in it. It has to sense if it is on or off so if it is lats say on another on command does nothing. Without the sensing I got a machine gun rap rap rap as it tried to turn on and then gave up. ::)
Another trick besides OldTimers great mods; is to use a small 7 watt night light bulb with the other load so it stops the flicker and going back on.
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Knightrider

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2007, 02:17:46 PM »

I know this is a crappy way of doing things, but it works for me.  I add a second "isolation relay" to the mix.  the module turns on the relay which directly powers up the device.  i use this to power up strobe lights on a dj rig.  By using the relay, I can easily switch out appliance modules without having to modify each unit.
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AdamF

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2008, 12:10:39 AM »

I'm getting extremely frustrated right now.  First I tried a lamp module on the fluorescent light because I had one laying around.  It actually worked okay but not perfect.  And I knew it wasn't what I should be using so I got the AM466 appliance module.  As my thread indicates, this didn't work at all.  I'm not sure how you could ever use this on a fluorescent light like X10 claims.

So, I took out the AM466 and replace the outlet with a PA011 recepticle.  I obviously have the light plugged into the top controllable outlet.  I'm now having two issues:

1. The light still flickers when it goes off.  And, it still sometimes turns itself back on!!  How is this possible?  Do these recepticles have local control?

2. The recepticle only responds to RF commands.  I can get it to turn on/off from the remote.  But it's not working from AHP.  So, to test this out I created a macro in AHP where I send an on and then off command via RF to the address of the recepticle.  It now turns on/off just fine.  Why does it only work via RF?

This is really starting to drive me nuts.  Why is this so hard?  Someone please HELP!!

Thanks all.
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Brian H

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2008, 07:08:45 AM »

1) Looking at the PAO11 Install sheet shows it; like the Appliance Module; has Local Control. It also says loads smaller than 40 Watts may flicker. Basically it is an appliance type built into an outlet.
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/pao11.pdf

2) Did the AHP setup control the Appliance Module in the same place?  Are there any other RF receivers in the setup? If so the CM15A AHP interface may not be able to reach the outlet with a powerline signal; while sending an RF signal to another receiver that can get a powerline signal to the outlet is possible.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2008, 07:54:26 AM by Brian H »
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AdamF

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2008, 10:04:01 AM »

1) Looking at the PAO11 Install sheet shows it; like the Appliance Module; has Local Control. It also says loads smaller than 40 Watts may flicker. Basically it is an appliance type built into an outlet.
http://www.x10pro.com/pro/pdf/pao11.pdf

Darn, it didn't know this had local control.  The light is 40W.  How the heck do I control this thing then?  Nothing really seems to work.  In fact, the lamp module seemed to work the best but I'm not comfortable converting a grounded 3-pin plug to 2-pin to work in a lamp module.

2) Did the AHP setup control the Appliance Module in the same place?  Are there any other RF receivers in the setup? If so the CM15A AHP interface may not be able to reach the outlet with a powerline signal; while sending an RF signal to another receiver that can get a powerline signal to the outlet is possible.

Yes, the appliance module was plugged into the EXACT same place.  In fact, I plugged the AM466 into the bottom plug of the PA011 and gave it a different address and it worked just fine from AHP or the remote.  So, I have no idea why the PA011 won't respond to AHP.  I've had to create macros that send the address via RF to control the PA011 with AHP.
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Brian H

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008, 01:22:18 PM »

40 Watt is for a Incadescent type bulb. Fluorescent and Compact Fluorescent are completely different animals. They have electronic ballasts and act 100 % different than a incandescent that is basically resistive.
What is being used to receive the RF from AHP? TM751; RR501; Security Console?
The PAO11 maybe less sensitive to powerline signals could be one thought.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 06:46:26 PM »

The PAO11 is the X10 Pro version of the X10 SR227. both have an X10 controlled outlet and a non-controlled outlet.  Both types are listed in AHP, the SR227 in the Appliance section and the PAO11 in the X10 Pro section.

The controlled outlet has the X10 address, the other is a standard outlet.  Something plugged into the controlled outlet will respond to the X10 outlet, a AM466 with a different address will work in the non-controlled outlet as it is plugged into a standard outlet.
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AdamF

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2008, 07:07:46 PM »

40 Watt is for a Incadescent type bulb. Fluorescent and Compact Fluorescent are completely different animals. They have electronic ballasts and act 100 % different than a incandescent that is basically resistive.
What is being used to receive the RF from AHP? TM751; RR501; Security Console?
The PAO11 maybe less sensitive to powerline signals could be one thought.

For RF I'm using a TM751 with a Palm Pad remote.  This combination works fine for the controlled outlet on the PA011 and the appliance module that is plugged into the botton non-controlled outlet.  The controlled outlet and the appliance module have different addresses.  However, from AHP, I can only control the appliance module.  The controlled outlet on the PA011 does not respond.  The only way I can get the controlled outlet on the PA011 to respond in AHP is to create a macro that sends a hardcoded RF command.  I just send an "ON" command or an "OFF" command to the address of the controlled outlet on the PA011.

Even if I get the control working okay, I still don't see a good solution to control this aquarium strip light.  Is there anything without local control that one could recommend?  I've tried three things already.  Thanks for all the responses.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2008, 10:21:10 PM »

Did you add the PA011 to AHP with its address along with the AM466 in the uncontrolled outlet with its separate address?  AHP should be able to address both as long as the addresses are different.
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AdamF

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2008, 11:17:36 AM »

Did you add the PA011 to AHP with its address along with the AM466 in the uncontrolled outlet with its separate address?  AHP should be able to address both as long as the addresses are different.

Yes.  In AHP I have the PA011 at address D2 and it's definitely set as a PA011 recepticle.  I also have the AM466 appliance module in AHP with address D9 and it's definitely set as an applicance module.  The AM466 responds from AHP just fine but the PA011 does not.  They both respond just fine with the Palm Pad remote using a TM751.
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dave w

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2008, 12:01:36 PM »

FWIW
A Socket Rocket with proper adapters will work for this. It has no local control, so will not turn back ON after being turned OFF. It has no leakage current, so will not cause lights to flicker. It can not accidently be dimmed. Because they can not be dimmed I have had no problems running small inductive loads on Socket Rocket (150W limit).  Unfortunately it will requre a "kluge" of adapters, especially if you want to ground the flourescent fixture.
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steven r

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2008, 12:35:01 PM »

...Unfortunately it will require a "kludge" of adapters, especially if you want to ground the fluorescent fixture.
Well put. As I began to visualize what would be needed, "kludge" seemed a very appropriate choice of words.
As I see it and correct me if I'm wrong, you would require 4 adapters as well a a wire to run by the socket rocket between two of the adapters.
You might want to put it all in a box to make an inspector happy.  ;)
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Noam

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Re: AM466 and Fluorescent Light Turning Back On
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2008, 03:30:59 PM »

To defeat the local control, it has been suggested that you plug in a 2-way or 3-way tap adapter to the module or outlet. You then plug the fluorescent light into one of the outlets, and a small incandescent night-light to the other side. The night-light will prevent the flickering, and prevent the light from turning back on by itself.
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