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Author Topic: test sending unit??  (Read 11710 times)

mikeeusa

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test sending unit??
« on: January 27, 2008, 10:06:46 AM »

Have some old equipment that is having problems. First I have a Radio Shack # 61-2604 dual floodlight outside motion detector (looks just like the new one that X10 offers). Inside there is a Radio Shack # 61-2688 sounder/actuator module. Both have worked flawlessly for about 15 years. Recently the sounder/actuator was unplugged (which has been done numerous times before) and now the floodlight motion detector still works but the sounder will not work. I have checked and tried changing the codes to no avail. I just got a new RSC15 remote controlled chime thinking it was the inside unit that had a problem, still nothing.

I was wondering if there was a way to check to see if the motion detector was sending a signal or not?

I tried to find another sounder/actuator unit but apparently it is not made anymore, unless I missed it.

I know this is old stuff, but it was still working independently from everything else and no, nothing has been added or deleted from the system.
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Boiler

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Re: test sending unit??
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2008, 12:32:37 PM »

mikeusa,

Welcome to the forum.

From your description, I'm assuming that your Motion Detector/Flood Lamp is correctly sensing motion and turning your outdoor lamps on.  It isn't communicating (X10) with your indoor chime - Correct?

I've had the PR511 version installed for ~8 years now with no problems (3 units).  I'm not sure what vintage your unit is.  With this in mind, I'd lean toward a new device (noise source or signal absorber) installed in your home that is now preventing communication.

I'm also assuming that you don't have a X10 computer interface (CM15a or Cm11a) that can monitor X10 transmissions.  If that's the case, you'll need to revert to some "old fashioned" troubleshooting techniques.

Assuming that you motion sensor is sending a signal, and your chime can't "hear" it, try the following -
  • Search for newly installed devices (computer, TV, ETC) and unplug.
  • Move your chime module to the same circuit as the flood lamp. If this isn't possible, try a branch circuit close to your load panel and on the same phase.
  • Breaker method - Install your chime module on the same phase as the flood lamp and turn off all the other breakers in your load panel.

I have had my PR511's get confused as a result of a power interruption (they interpret this as a ON command).  Although this doesn't sound like the problem you are experiencing, you could try removing power from the unit for a few minutes.

Get back with us with your results.  It is possible that your floodlamp has succommed to corrosion.  That would entail a completely different troubleshooting path.  If you're interested, there are schematics located here : IdoBartana PR511 Schematic

Boiler
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mikeeusa

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Re: test sending unit??
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2008, 01:20:16 PM »

Boiler,
The motion sensor is working and turning the floodlights on so I know that the sensor part is active.

Checked around and nothing new has been added.

What I am going to try later today is to remove one of the floodlamp bulbs and replace it with a screw-in/plug-in adapter (if I can find it) and plug the chime into it. I figure that this will definitely put it on the same circuit!

Was kind of hoping that there would be a way to use a circuit tester to find out if a signal was getting to the receptacle. I have a circuit-voltage-amp tester, but don't know what to look for on the gage display. Not real geekie on the technology end of X10, so don't know what I am looking for. Will let you know what happens when I do the above test.

Never mind, halfway through setting this test up (I found the adapter) I realized that as soon as the floodlight was activated, the chime would do its initialization routine and nothing would be accomplished. I guess I am getting desperate, my mind is not thinking all the way through.  ;)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 02:09:57 PM by mikeeusa »
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Boiler

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Re: test sending unit??
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2008, 09:17:51 PM »

What I am going to try later today is to remove one of the floodlamp bulbs and replace it with a screw-in/plug-in adapter (if I can find it) and plug the chime into it. I figure that this will definitely put it on the same circuit!

Was kind of hoping that there would be a way to use a circuit tester to find out if a signal was getting to the receptacle. I have a circuit-voltage-amp tester, but don't know what to look for on the gage display. Not real geekie on the technology end of X10, so don't know what I am looking for. Will let you know what happens when I do the above test.

Never mind, halfway through setting this test up (I found the adapter) I realized that as soon as the floodlight was activated, the chime would do its initialization routine and nothing would be accomplished. I guess I am getting desperate, my mind is not thinking all the way through.  ;)

Your circuit tester will not be able to detect the X10 signal.  The signal is superimposed on your 60Hz 120V powerline. 

Your idea of plugging the chime into the flood lamp socket may not be a bad one.  As you noted, the initial "turn on" of the lamp will confuse your chime.  However, subsequent motion may be detected by the sensor and relayed via X10 (while the lamp is already on).

I'm not sure whether the floodlamp detectors work this way   I'm hoping and another forum member can confirm.

Boiler
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mikeeusa

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Re: test sending unit??
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2008, 08:37:13 AM »

mmmmmmm? Subsequent motion .. that's a thought. Oh well, I spent the time searching for the adapter and found it, might as well try that. Thanks for jogging my brain and make me actually think ALL the way through a problem.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: test sending unit??
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2008, 11:00:37 AM »

What I am going to try later today is to remove one of the floodlamp bulbs and replace it with a screw-in/plug-in adapter (if I can find it) and plug the chime into it. I figure that this will definitely put it on the same circuit!

Was kind of hoping that there would be a way to use a circuit tester to find out if a signal was getting to the receptacle. I have a circuit-voltage-amp tester, but don't know what to look for on the gage display. Not real geekie on the technology end of X10, so don't know what I am looking for. Will let you know what happens when I do the above test.

Never mind, halfway through setting this test up (I found the adapter) I realized that as soon as the floodlight was activated, the chime would do its initialization routine and nothing would be accomplished. I guess I am getting desperate, my mind is not thinking all the way through.  ;)

Your circuit tester will not be able to detect the X10 signal.  The signal is superimposed on your 60Hz 120V powerline. 

Your idea of plugging the chime into the flood lamp socket may not be a bad one.  As you noted, the initial "turn on" of the lamp will confuse your chime.  However, subsequent motion may be detected by the sensor and relayed via X10 (while the lamp is already on).

I'm not sure whether the floodlamp detectors work this way   I'm hoping and another forum member can confirm.

Boiler

I don't know about the floodlights, but the other X10 (non-security) motion detectors send the On signal only once, then they wait for a period of time after motion is no longer detected to send the Off signal.

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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

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mikeeusa

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Re: test sending unit??
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2008, 12:49:10 PM »

Very true and I, once again, thought it through and came to the same conclusion. I have resigned myself that there is no way to test the unit as for signal sending. I will be breaking down and getting another one later today. I guess I really can't complain about getting about 15 years of service out of any electronic device. Appreciate everyones thoughts on this.
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: test sending unit??
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2008, 01:44:08 PM »

I don't know about the floodlights, but the other X10 (non-security) motion detectors send the On signal only once, then they wait for a period of time after motion is no longer detected to send the Off signal.

Uh, oh - I was mistaken.  Other X10 Motion Detectors DO repeat the On signal, at least the MS14A does that I have.  If there's continuing motion it repeats the On signal about every 10-15 seconds.  (I still can't say about the floodlights.)

Sorry for the misdirection.

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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

HEYU - X10 Automation for Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X     http://www.heyu.org

spam4us

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Re: test sending unit??
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2008, 12:52:33 AM »

Quote
The MS16A ActiveEyes do not repeat the ON signals. Sounds like a good addition for the motion sensor comparison chart on the Wiki site. 

INCORRECT! ;) ;D ::)  Apparently the MS16As you have are different then the ones I and Charles have.  Mine repeat the ON signal about every 8 seconds or so. I have about 12 of them mounted around my property and they all behave this way.

Please check your activity monitor and verify. You may not have the correct knowledge to make your statement  ;)

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Puck

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Re: test sending unit??
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2008, 08:34:25 AM »

Quote
The MS16A ActiveEyes do not repeat the ON signals. Sounds like a good addition for the motion sensor comparison chart on the Wiki site. 

INCORRECT!

Thank you for the correction spam4us, they do indeed repeat the on signal. I have deleted my incorrect post. (And gave you a helpful for pointing out my error so others won't be confused.  ;))

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