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Author Topic: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers  (Read 18053 times)

difend

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CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« on: December 08, 2010, 04:26:00 PM »

I have a 1600 sq ft ranch house in a small town using Consumers Power as a supplier. The house was built in the late 60's so it's all copper wiring, short run and the service box is high quality. I'm not bridging or filtering.

The set up:
- 12 modules and switches using various codes.
- A CM15a plugged in about 4 feet from the switch box.
- The furthest module is about 80 feet from the CM15a. 

What happens:
- When I manually switch on a module or switch in the software the light turns on or off. This is consistent any time I test the light.
- When the light is supposed to turn on or off via a stored timer 3 switches/modules don't work. The ones that don't work stay consistent.
- If I save the timers to the CM15a 6 switches/modules don't turn on or off via the CM15a stored timers. The ones that don't work stay consistent.

Again, when I throw the switch manually in the Active Home Pro all the modules and switches work.

So I tried to troubleshoot the problem and I can't find anything that makes a difference. Different modules work manually but not using software timers. I can change the codes and they work manually but not via software timers. New timers set up as simple as possible don't make a difference. I have tested to see if it is a phasing issue and it doesn't make any difference if the module is on the same phase or not.   

I'm willing to buy filters or crossovers if I can be sure they will solve the problem, but the computer room switch module works consistently and the one next to the TV works consistently. It doesn't matter if the computers, TV, fridge, freezer or furnace blower are on or off.

I can't figure out why some modules turn on manually using the software but will not work if I set up a timer.

HELP!!!
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difend

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 02:03:56 PM »

HELLLLLLLLP,  B:(

I've been going round and round this problem and tried all the troubleshooting ideas I can think of.

I have plugged a module into the same circuit about 6 feet away and it has the same problem, manual yes and by timers no.
I plugged manual switch units into other circuits around the house and the same thing happens.
I've monitored the system and when it is scheduled to turn the light on if it doesn't I can manually turn it on and that works fine.
I've unplugged my computers and about everything that could induce noise but no change.
I've read and dug around on the internet but nothing points me in any way.

I could try a filter but again the manual switches work fine anytime.
I could try an amplifier but the signal reaches all modules without hesitation or problem whenever I use manual switches.
I thought of replacing the unit but again manually turning on the modules works fine.

This seems to be something in the unit or the software but I am not sure how to check that.

HHHHHEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPPPP.
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dave w

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 02:51:57 PM »

Suddenly there is an increase in the "doesn't work with the timer" comment/complaint. X10 seems oblivious, meaning they do not see a problem or there is a work-around on the forum and they are not interested in fixing the problem at their end.

Try completely deleting the macro and rewrite it from scratch.
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troll334

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 02:56:10 PM »

greetings,
So, I've been playing with AHP and the CM15a for about a year.  Timers in my world are flakey. What I've learned to
do is to create a macro and set a timer on it vs. a timer directly on the module or switch. Include anything you want
in that macro even if it's simply the switch, socket rocket, etc. Cumbersome, Yes. Effective, at least in my world, Yes.
Give it a shot and see. You may want to create a new AHX file with which to experiment. Clear out the CM15a's memory.
before you download the simple test macro.
Hope I haven't just bored the heck outta ya!
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difend

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2010, 08:54:42 PM »

Thanks for the responses.

It's good to know that I'm not alone with this timer issue.

Dave, have you talked to x10 about This issue and are saying they are not addressing it? I reset my file last night and there are still issues, some modules seem to work but others are still flaky. Do you know if there is another piece of software that controls the CM15a? How about about a different transmitter that say, works off linux as just a queue manager?

Troll334
Not bored, if I'll try your suggestion to make a macro instead of just a timer.
Do you have any advice or notes about creating the macros?
from what I have seen there relatively simple.
Some lights are programmed to go on and off several times a night.
Can I do a variable timing.
I'll look around and see what I can find but a couple good links would help.

Thanks for your help. :)%
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thejackal

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 09:06:41 PM »

I also have allot of macros just for timers. It can get to be a pain but it's the easiest work around I've found so far. I have a couple TM751 transmitters that I use to couple phases in select rooms and just use the macros to send RF signals.

Maybe not the best plan but it works for my application.
 I've found that certain power supplies that I don't have filters on and forget to unplug can affect some timers/switches. It's not an always situation with the troublesome power supplies too. Some days it's fine other days it's not. I just need to get on Ebay and buy some filters but I've been stretching my X10 budget to get more switches and junk. I can unplug a power supply or 2 for now.  rofl
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dave w

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010, 09:54:50 PM »

Dave, have you talked to x10 about This issue and are saying they are not addressing it? I reset my file last night and there are still issues, some modules seem to work but others are still flaky. Do you know if there is another piece of software that controls the CM15a? How about about a different transmitter that say, works off linux as just a queue manager?
No I have not spoken to the "inside technical" X10 in many years. They have a good firewall. Customer service reps essentially are script readers, with the technical Support being only fractionally better.

It is just that timer problems have been around for a long time with no software fix. As troll has pointed out there seems to be a work around which may explain why X10 has been pretty silent about the issue...I don't think they consider it an issue.

Yes there are several controller software for both PC and MAC that uses the CM15A as PLC interface. Just Google "CM15A software".

Homeseer is an excellent (but expensive) program that can use several different X10 interfaces (CM15A, CM11A, ACT TI103, Smarthome 1132). However Homeseer has been slowly migrating to Z-Wave while raising their price, so is no longer a good choice if you are "X10 only".
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troll334

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 09:17:31 AM »

Check out http://forums.x10.com/index.php?board=103.0
You'll find a bunch of good stuff in there; including some with screenshots.
Yes, building a macro is easy.
Start AHP
Click the plus sign next to Macros in the left window pane
In the right pane:
Name your macro.
If it's just used for a timer, make the HC/UC combo something that's not in your landscape, e.g., H5
You don't really care about the On/Off setting next to the Trigger field (unless your gonna trip it using a sensor also)
Find your switch, lamp module, appliance module over in the right side (may have to pulldown to select a room)
Drag that object into the main macro window and set it's mode (On / Off)
Close the macro (click on the room; left pane)
Click the bottom right clock icon on the new macro (timer)
Click New
Enter time, choose weekday, weekends, etc.
Save (bottom rite)
Download to your CM15a
watch the magic happen.

You can add multiple times and even conditions to this macro.
Now, you just built the 'On' macro. You need to build another macro to turn the device off...and 'Add' a timer
to run that at the appropriate time.
play around, enjoy, continue to post your questions.

Advice: If you're gonna have a bunch of On/Off macros for timed events, get out a piece of 8.5" X 11" (landscape)
and create yourself a timing diagram. Time on the horizontal axis and 'On' / 'Off' on the vertical. Draw a bar-graph type
line for each macro to indicate when the device is On and when Off. This way, when the ghosts, gremlins, and
poltergeists appear, you can be sure you don't have one timed macro event stepping on another. It's a nice visual
aid. I've got so many line graphs and colors on a single sheet of paper, it's looks like a darned rainbow. But it's saved
me from going nutz with all the timed events I've deployed.
good luck,
'the verbose one'
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difend

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2010, 06:20:56 PM »

YEAAAAAAAaaaaaAAAAAaaa!!!!
I'm getting a better result now, well I'm getting results.
I converted all the timers that were not working and now they work fine. Thank you.
Making macros was a snap. I did something like the chart you said but I used a bar chart.   
The timers that were working before the Macro's came that I didn't convert are now getting flaky.
I'll be converting those too, so every timer and light will have a macro of some sort, ha, ha, ha.
OK, here's the $60,000 question, why don't the timers work without macros?
Thanks for suggestions on other software but all I wanted to do was turn lights on and off.
M
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2010, 06:58:35 PM »

I've had X10 since the middle 1980's with a CP-290 and DOS software, replaced that with a CM11A and Active Home and got to deal with timers (no macros) and they worked as they were written.  When I got XP I fell to the "disapering Com Port syndrome" where the CM11A would vanish and come back, vanish and come back, ad infinity,  so the CM15A and ActiveHome Pro came, and AHP happily imported the .X10 files AH created and all the timers came along.  I then wrote my first and only Macro, a keypress one (A5 on a MC 460 Desktop controller) that turns off all lights on 5 housecodes.   
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I don't SELL this stuff... BUT I sure do ENJOY using it!!!

difend

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2010, 02:49:29 PM »

I started with the X10 system sold by radio shack tooo long ago to remember. It had an interface that could be programmed using a TV and this little joy stick thing, but it was only good for a couple modules. It was predictable and worked great (even as flaky as the interface was). Then I too moved to a CM11 and that worked great but not so strong for storing controls in the box.
I took your advice and made macros for all the light units and had success. Where it fell apart is when I started using the security setting. Does anyone know how the security setting works and why it might be failing to work? I still have a couple set to security but have moved the rest back to standard timing. 
Hum, I was just thinking, I have an old computer with serial ports, I could install 95 or 98 on it, do you think it would be more predictable to use the CM11 and the computer as the control for a couple dozen modules?
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ps653

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2010, 08:44:52 PM »

I'm no expert, but looking at the activity monitor when I use a timer (which doesn't work) it issues the commands as:

L1 (Lamp)
L Bright 100% (Lamp)

but when I issue the command manually, or using a macro to turn on and a separate macro to turn off the commands are issued as

L1 (Lamp)
L On (Lamp)

Bright 100% doesn't get to the lamp.  On does.

 -:) -->> Ok -- I fixed my problem by reading the stickied thread "Soft-Start Dimmer Problems -PLEASE READ FIRST".  My issue was with the WS467 - I hadn't read the sticky as I had no idea what a soft start dimmer was.  By changing the module to a 2 way lamp module AHP sends a command that works. 

Seems to me that X10 should be fixing this problem (maybe by allowing us on a module by module basis to override brightness with on/off) rather than ignoring it for years (the stickied thread is from Oct 2008).  B:(
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 08:57:23 PM by ps653 »
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Brian H

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2010, 05:59:32 AM »

I am not sure it addresses timers, but in preferences. There is a choice to issue an On in place of a Bright 100% for macros.
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ps653

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2010, 06:33:42 AM »

Unfortunately the configuration setting doesn't work for timers - at least in my AHP version 3.296 (and in version 3.301 which I just installed).  Maybe I'll bring this up on the X10 facebook page.  They seem to be actively monitoring it and responding to issues there which they don't seem to be doing here.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 06:53:23 AM by ps653 »
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difend

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Re: CM15a turns on lights manually but not using stored timers
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2010, 02:59:37 AM »

Merry Christmas all... Thanks for the additional input. I did find that using the lowest technology module added a factor to reliability but I couldn't get the software to be random with timing. I was hoping to add some randomness to the system using "security" but it doesn't seem to work with any consistency.
Do anyone know anyone else that has the source code for this application so we can run it through a process log? My experience with software tells me that there is possible some leak in the software where commands are given to the CM15a. It is easy to flash graphics on a computer screen but a whole nether matter to exercise machine commands to a remote device. Maybe this is something like the infamous wheel mouse driver error in so many other software packages.
Anyway, I feel your pain about the troubles you are having and the seeming lack of response from the programming team.
I think I'm wandering over to the Face-book pages and seeing what is happening over there.
Thanks for all your help here, see you around.
Have a happy new year.

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