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Author Topic: X10 Signal Meter  (Read 104666 times)

GregH

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #45 on: September 03, 2009, 05:32:03 PM »

FYI to kit buyers.

The kit is an easy build.
Not nearly as many components as the XTB-IIR. 
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GregH

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2009, 01:37:36 AM »

I have the XTBM assembled.  It went together rather easily, except that I installed the header with the short side up and it didn't reach the LCD plug.  I replaced the header (Jeff said to cut the plastic off and de-solder the pins individually) and put it back together.
I have an XTB-IIR in my house and on start-up the XTBM notes that I have a repeater.  Line 1 on the LCD displays X4.31 F120k so I believe the XTB-IIR is really doing its job.  Line 2 displays the last X10 command and VALID if the command was good. 

Jeff, are there any particular stress tests you'd like me to run on the unit?

It looks like you have another winner.  Thanks for creating the XTBM.

Greg
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JMac

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #47 on: September 20, 2009, 05:49:54 AM »

Assembled mine also.  I thought that I was the only one that had installed the header upside down.  For those intent on installing it backwards, be warned it's not an easy task getting it back out, and in doing so you'll probably destroy the part.  I had to get a replacement header from Jeff.
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #48 on: September 20, 2009, 09:08:17 AM »

I have an XTB-IIR in my house and on start-up the XTBM notes that I have a repeater.  Line 1 on the LCD displays X4.31 F120k so I believe the XTB-IIR is really doing its job.  Line 2 displays the last X10 command and VALID if the command was good. 

That means the repeater ampltude at your location was 4.31Vpp, and the repeater is right on the money at 120KHz.  Note that I had incorrectly kitted some units with a 4.99K 1% instead of 499 ohms 1%.  The unit will read low if that resistor is the wrong value.  Replacement resistors have been mailed.

I'm sorry that a couple of you installed the header wrong.  I thought that would have been clear from the high resolution photo:

http://jvde.us/xtb/XTBM_v10_pcb.jpg

Thanks for being one of the first to assemble the unit.

Jeff
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GregH

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #49 on: September 20, 2009, 11:35:07 AM »

...I'm sorry that a couple of you installed the header wrong.  I thought that would have been clear from the high resolution photo...
Well, clear to me versus clear to you, O Great One, can be two different things!  rofl
Believe me, this was a case of operator error. 
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #50 on: September 20, 2009, 12:30:05 PM »

I'm sorry if the photo wasn't clear enough.  Since a couple of you made the same mistake, I added a comment about the orientation in the assembly notes.

Please let me know if anything else was unclear.  I hope to have time to create an expanded version of the assembly notes in the next week.

Regarding the display:

X is X10 signal voltage in Vpp
F is X10 or noise frequency in KHz
N is maximum noise seen in or immediately after the X10 reception window.

The decoded X10 commands should be obvious.

It displays "VALID" for two seconds after decoding a valid X10 command.  Then it goes back to monitoring the powerline.

High noise is indicated by ^Noise^.

I will expand on this in the on line documentation in the next week or two.

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #51 on: September 26, 2009, 11:40:50 AM »

Documentation is up on the website now linked off the XTB page:

http://jvde.us/xtb_index.htm

I would appreciate any feedback from those of you who assembled the first kits.  Once again I apologize for sending one wrong resistor value.  I hope your units are working well now.

Any comments you have on the updated assembly notes or the instructions would also be appreciated:

http://jvde.us/xtb/XTBM_instructions.htm

http://jvde.us/xtb/XTBM_assembly.htm

Thanks,

Jeff
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dave w

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2009, 05:34:12 PM »

After the 4.99K resistor change to the correct 499 ohms my XTBM is working great! The assembly was easy. My only confusion was looking at the caps for conventional pf/mf  value numbers. It took a few minutes to realize the numbers found on the caps are vendor part numbers, not values and tolerance.

I really like the P1 "Noise Alert" feature. I have our system now giving "house wide" verbal alerts "I have detected high system noise" if noise is detected during the day. The noise alert is logged but otherwise ignored at night.  Makes tracking noise bursts much easier when you know the exact moment the burst occured.

The X10 community has needed this tool for a long, long time.

Thanks Jeff!!!
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2009, 05:57:20 PM »

My only confusion was looking at the caps for conventional pf/mf  value numbers. It took a few minutes to realize the numbers found on the caps are vendor part numbers, not values and tolerance.

Because of their small size, most manufacturers use short hand for the capacitor values.  Just like 5% resistor color codes, 101 means 100 pF, 102 means 1000 pF, 103 means 10,000 pF or .01 uF, and so on.

The other side usually has codes for tolerance and temperature coefficient.

I'm glad the unit is working well for you now.  That extra digit in the 1% color code got me.

Jeff
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Knightrider

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2009, 06:46:32 PM »

Got mine built today.  Took me about 90 minutes or so to assemble.  The only problem that I had was that the color bands on the resistors have gotten smaller and tend to blend together. Not to mention that it's hard to get those items in the holes on the board.  Maybe if the kit were enlarged (and the components) it would be a little easier to put together.
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GregH

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2009, 10:05:46 AM »

Those components getting smaller is why I bought a 2x visor! :)
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Knightrider

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #56 on: October 04, 2009, 10:21:06 AM »

Buying a 2X visor would be admitting that I'm getting older.
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #57 on: October 04, 2009, 10:27:52 AM »

I bought one of those bench lights with the saucer-size magnifier a couple of years ago, and it is a huge help for working with these small components.

Jeff
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Knightrider

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #58 on: October 04, 2009, 11:08:03 AM »

Anywho......

What's an acceptable noise level on that thing?  My home indicates a level of 01 most of the time.  Just for grins, I plugged a Chinese cell phone charger in next to it and got a level of 19-20 under no load, and somewhere near 40 under a load.

On another note, my Sears controller has an output signal of 5 to 7.2 when next to the XTBM, (which I assume is VERY good) while my CM15A give a reading of .17 across the house. 

The .17 (F 118 [slight drift due to wiring?]) is perfectly fine for controlling devices.

Maybe we need a thread so others can compare notes?
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Knightrider

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Re: X10 Signal Meter
« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2009, 11:13:53 AM »

One more thought.

Jeff,
While assembling the unit, I realized what kind of thought went into the design, testing, assembly notes and support.

Thank You

(Jeff sent me a new firmware version PIC right after he realized an issue with the self test mode.)

It's rare in this day and age to see a company that actually cares about a product after it's left their door.

It's my opinion that the price is extremely low for the time and effort put into it by one person, but then, I think the same for BVC and PC Companion.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 11:16:28 AM by Knightrider »
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