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Author Topic: Extending remote control range  (Read 26777 times)

axgupta1

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Extending remote control range
« on: November 23, 2008, 06:58:42 PM »

I read this article on http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Improving_Remote_Control_Range which recommends installing another TM751 or RR501 transceiver which will transmit rf signal to CM15A. The impression I got from reading this forum was that having CM15A and another RR501/TM751 transceiving on the same housecode is a bad idea.

Question is can I install a RR501/TM751 in addition to CM15A to improve the range of remote?

Thanks...
Arun
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HA Dave

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 07:35:26 PM »


Question is can I install a RR501/TM751 in addition to CM15A to improve the range of remote?


Sure you can. Just be sure that the CM15A doesn't transceive whatever code the transceiver is set on. Or only set the CM15A to transceive codes that you don't have a TM751 set on. The use of the RR501 is different. The RR501 is called a polite transceiver and will listen and wait. They are easier to intergrate into a system.

The problem with the CM15A is its range can be less than desireable in many setups. There are many different modifications posted here for extending the RF receiving range of the CM15A. As far as I know they all work. I did a quick easy mod on my CM15A and it works great now. Since I use several House codes in my setup... it just wouldn't be practical to plug in a bunch of RR501's or TM751's all around the house.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 02:59:45 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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axgupta1

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 07:59:54 PM »

I did see the mods but could not figure out which one is good or bad. Can you please tell which one you did? I also want the CM15A to look nice with the modification in place as it is installed in a prominent place in the house. Is there any kind of frequency matching requirements for the antenna?

Many thanks for quick reply...
Arun
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HA Dave

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 11:25:42 PM »

I did see the mods but could not figure out which one is good or bad. Can you please tell which one you did? I also want the CM15A to look nice with the modification in place as it is installed in a prominent place in the house. Is there any kind of frequency matching requirements for the antenna?

I snapped the tip off the end of my plastic antenna.... and taped and soldered on a 9 1/2 inch wire. Took 5 minutes and cost nothing... my CM15A isn't easily seen. I may someday do the mod where the CM15A's case is opened up and a TM751's antenna is used [to replace the plastic one]. I think that mod would both work well... and look professionally done.
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axgupta1

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 04:01:09 AM »

This is great. I can gently saw off the plastic tip, solder extra length of wire, cover it with something like a nice plastic straw. The straw can be changed if it gets damaged.

Thanks...
Arun
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PajamaGuy

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 05:37:11 AM »

Heads-up! Be gentle - when I did this mod, I had to "melt" some of the glue that was in the tube, and the hobby shop had the plastic tubing. 
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Brian H

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 06:45:32 AM »

I also used a plastic tube used in hobby models.  ;D
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axgupta1

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 05:58:48 PM »

I will be extra careful. Thanks for the heads-up.
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PajamaGuy

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2008, 07:44:48 AM »

Just another $0.02 - Doing the solder a 9˝" piece of wire mod was at least as much a pain as was doing the "F" mod.  Having said that, I'd still recommend the antenna extension, and if it works, stop there.

I did the 9˝" extension, and my CM15A worked very well, but from one specific location only.  And (IMHO) with better reception comes more RF interference - especially from the computer room/office.

2 weekends ago, I did the "F" mod.  It was pretty darn easy.  But if you're going to do it, these instructions are the best I've found: http://www.accessha.com/howto_fconnector_page1.html

And as a cautionary note:  I found (after doing the MOD) that not all coax is equal.  I had some pieces that would flat-out not work - as in no signal - sometimes better reception with nothing attached to the CM15's F-connector.  So my advice is, try different pieces of COAX.  And mine seems to work best with WGL Designs antenna kit for the V572.

After doing the Mod- i am able to shut-off one repeater!   Yea!!!

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PajamaGuy
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axgupta1

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 06:55:34 PM »

The F-connector mod is not that bad. I will do that once I decide on what kind of antenna I will use.

Thanks...
Arun
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Brian H

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2008, 06:57:59 AM »

I have also used an antenna from a WGL V572 kit as a test for my CM15A with F Connector.
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axgupta1

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2008, 07:04:19 AM »

I looked at the website but could not find the WGL V572 antenna being sold separately. Can you please let me know where you got the antenna from?

Thanks...
Arun
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PajamaGuy

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2008, 07:38:40 AM »

At the bottom of this page: http://www.wgldesigns.com/w800.html

...but it looks like $22.18 with shipping & tax delivered to me.  With no offense to WGL Designs intended, that's a bit expensive.  I believe I can duplicate it by using a male-male F connector, and a 9˝" piece of copper/brass rod (hobby shop) that will push into one end.  The bracket is a simple "L" shape with one hole for the F-connector, and 2 for screws.  Add some heat-shrink and if you have some RJ-6, you're done.

I'm going to try it anyway -   >!

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PajamaGuy
Win-7 - Dell XPS -Automation
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HA Dave

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2008, 09:10:59 AM »

I'm going to try it anyway

Do keep us informed PajamaGuy! Not only is following along with your upgrade informative and helpful for anyone else considering improving their X10 setup.... it's also entertaining to us regular readers here.

Keep up the good work!
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Brian H

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Re: Extending remote control range
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2008, 04:36:16 PM »

I took the one from my V572A as a test.
Now that my automation is a mix of protocols. I mainly only use an ACT CR134 Coupler repeater for my X10 signals. Along with a RR501 and a few RF remotes.
The CM15A and AHP are used only for tests and trying to answer questions here.
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