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Author Topic: Power Outage/Restoration Triggers  (Read 9801 times)

Noam

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Power Outage/Restoration Triggers
« on: October 15, 2010, 09:05:37 AM »

A few years ago, I had asked the X10 rep on the forums about this, and was told the developers were too busy trying to work out bugs in AHP to look into it.
I never heard anything back, but I decided to raise the question again since we have a new X10 rep reading the forums.

I know that the circuitry in the CM15A has some way of determining if it is plugged in or not, as the battery meter ticks down from 48 hours whenever it is unplugged. Clearly, the device knows if there is AC power or not.
Knowing that, I was wondering if there is a way to add in a feature that would trigger a macro whenever the unit powers up.
We have power outages from time to time ( a lot more this summer, for some reason), and the purpose of this feature would be to trigger a "put things back the way they belong" macro after the power is restored. I know that the CM15A will pick up where it left off, but if things were supposed to happen while the power was out (outside lights coming on at dusk, for example), and there was no power when those timers were supposed to trigger, the system has no way to go back and "catch up".
I have written a series of conditional macros to take care of this situation for me, and I trigger them using a PowerFlash module (with the contacts shorted, set to send a momentary "on" signal). However, it is only reliable if the power outage lasts for a few seconds, long enough for the internal capacitors to discharge. I would like something that would be more reliable, something that would trigger EVERY time the unit loses and regains power, regardless of how short the outage is.
If there were a way to trigger a command every time the unit switches from batter to AC power, that would be the ideal way to do it (yes, it would trigger every time you move the unit from near your PC to wherever you normally keep it, but that's a small price to pay for reliable power outage detection).

Is this something the developers could look into, and figure out a way to accomplish?
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dave w

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Re: Power Outage/Restoration Triggers
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2010, 12:41:06 PM »


Noam, I use a 180 second time delay relay on my outlet strip to delay re-powering my computer after a power interuption. The idea is to let the utility stabilize before booting the computer.

In the event X10 programmers do not respond, you could add a time delay to your Power Flash. By using the N.O. contacts the time delay would execute and then the relay would provide the closure to the Power Flash.

http://www.alltronics.com/cgi-bin/item/23B005/52/Agastat-NF-21-75

http://www.electronicsurplus.com/leftnav/relays/timedelays.cat
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Noam

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Re: Power Outage/Restoration Triggers
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2010, 01:08:53 PM »


Noam, I use a 180 second time delay relay on my outlet strip to delay re-powering my computer after a power interuption. The idea is to let the utility stabilize before booting the computer.

In the event X10 programmers do not respond, you could add a time delay to your Power Flash. By using the N.O. contacts the time delay would execute and then the relay would provide the closure to the Power Flash.

http://www.alltronics.com/cgi-bin/item/23B005/52/Agastat-NF-21-75

http://www.electronicsurplus.com/leftnav/relays/timedelays.cat

My dad (he's the EE) and I had looked at using a timer chip a few years back. The problem was that a very short power interruption (less than a few seconds) didn't give the capacitors in the circuit enough time to discharge, so the circuit never triggered the Powerflash. I'll have to ask him about using one of these relays instead.
Thanks.
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dave w

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Re: Power Outage/Restoration Triggers
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2010, 06:25:13 PM »


My dad (he's the EE) and I had looked at using a timer chip a few years back. The problem was that a very short power interruption (less than a few seconds) didn't give the capacitors in the circuit enough time to discharge, so the circuit never triggered the Powerflash. I'll have to ask him about using one of these relays instead.
Thanks.
OK take that same timer circuit and have your dad add a extra transister and a zener. The transister supplies VCC to the 555 timer. When line voltage drops below say 80 or 90V have the zener cut-off bias to the transister. That should add some time and also give you a "brown-out" trigger.

This is a rendition of a very old "Compressor Guard" DIY circuit for HVAC compressors. If you need a schematic, PM me I may be able to find one. It is in a vsry old Popular Electronics magazine, I don't think I can "pencil it out" any more (not my design but friend and I worked on it before sending to PE).
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