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Author Topic: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?  (Read 6573 times)

jayman13

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Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« on: January 16, 2011, 08:35:33 PM »

I have a few switches that don't work I think because they are on other phase...Instead of getting a coupler I was thinking of just getting another "activehome professional computer interface and usb cable" for another computer I have on that phase.  Will that work?  I guess if I use the mobile software I'll have to make sure I'm using active home professional on that particular computer, right?  Is there any way to merge the two?
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 10:14:21 PM »

Getting a phase coupler is better for getting X10 signals to work on both phases rather than 2 computers with AHP.  Most if not all houses are fed 220 volts by the power company which is split into 2 110 volt phases.   Phase couplers can be as simple as a capacitor mounted in a electric stove's outlet or plug-in units in a circuit breaker box.   

Do a search here for Phase Couplers.   
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Brandt

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 01:56:59 AM »

Bought the XTB-IIR and never looked back wondering if I could have bought something better. I hooked it up using our dryer plug.
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jayman13

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 12:59:55 PM »

Bought the XTB-IIR and never looked back wondering if I could have bought something better. I hooked it up using our dryer plug.

I appreciate that.  That stuff sounds too complicated for me and more expensive.  If I have another computer interface with usb cable and the software already on my computer it seems easier to just do that.  Won't that work as long as each computer is on a separate phase?  I mainly control lights and stuff using my mobile device.
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Brian H

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 01:21:12 PM »

Some of the X10 power line signals may reach some of the other phases wiring.
As long as you watch your House Codes and Unit codes. So each CM15A does only it own modules. It could work.
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HA Dave

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 01:25:38 PM »

.... That stuff sounds too complicated for me and more expensive. 

I screwed around trying additional transceivers and such... for longer than I'd like to mention. The only way I could create a reliable setup was by coupling the phases... and I really tried to avoid that. It was silly in my case. All I needed was to plug in a  Dryer plug phase coupler (they are also available in 4-prong) this took $30... and a full 3 seconds to install. There are even better CHEAPER ways to do this (posted here on the forum)... that can be found doing a search.

X10... as cool as it is.. is much cooler when it works correctly.
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kamiller42

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 01:36:14 PM »

I had a similar situation, a CM15A could not control a lamp module because I think a phasing problem. I setup the CM15A to transmit a signal received on A3 to G3, which is controlled by a TM751 I tested and knew could control the G3.

This article describes the process.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Setting_The_CM15A_to_send_RF_Commands
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HA Dave

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 02:26:05 PM »

I had a similar situation, a CM15A could not control a lamp module because I think a phasing problem. I setup the CM15A to transmit a signal received on A3 to G3, which is controlled by a TM751 I tested and knew could control the G3.
This article describes the process.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Setting_The_CM15A_to_send_RF_Commands

That is a great workaround. I've done that myself.. sorta. I have a signal amplifer supplied by the cable company to boost there signal where the cable enters the house. Apparently the thing is also a noise generator of sorts. The receptacle where the amp plugs in... won't operate any X10 device (like an appliance module) which I needed there.

My solution was to create a macro that re-sent a RF signal on a different code... something like: When B6 was normally sent the macros would send C1 (2 macros for both On and Off). Then I plugged a TM751 into the other plug on the same receptacle as the noisey amp. The plug on the TM751 served as my appliance module and the amps line noise was not a problem as it didn't effect the RF (luckily).

Workarounds like this... are very much a part of Home Automation and X10. But they don't in my experience... replace a solid working setup.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 02:27:45 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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jayman13

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 02:49:05 PM »

.... That stuff sounds too complicated for me and more expensive. 

I screwed around trying additional transceivers and such... for longer than I'd like to mention. The only way I could create a reliable setup was by coupling the phases... and I really tried to avoid that. It was silly in my case. All I needed was to plug in a  Dryer plug phase coupler (they are also available in 4-prong) this took $30... and a full 3 seconds to install. There are even better CHEAPER ways to do this (posted here on the forum)... that can be found doing a search.

X10... as cool as it is.. is much cooler when it works correctly.

All good advice.  Thanks for everyone's help.  That coupler really looks easy.  I guess all I need to do is figure out if my dryer is a 4 or 3 pronged cord and then plug it in and that's it?
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HA Dave

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 07:17:04 PM »

...... That coupler really looks easy.  I guess all I need to do is figure out if my dryer is a 4 or 3 pronged cord and then plug it in and that's it?

Maybe. That is all many (maybe even most) people need. But every setup is different. I have no way of knowing how far from the breaker box your CM15A is... or how far the dryer is ether. The distance from your breaker box to the transformer (or neighbor) may make a difference as well. The devices used inside your home will contribute noise on your powerline. Some devices even absorb (suck) the X10 signal from the powerline.

I think if there was a single solution to every X10 household... X10 would market it as a kit. But this is something we all just have to feel and test our way through. But the forum is here... so you won't get stuck out there alone.
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Brian H

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2011, 06:43:20 AM »

If you have a four pin dryer plug. You maybe out of luck with a Smarthome unit. I believe they where discontinued and IMHO the three pin will also be discontinued. When the present stock is gone.
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jayman13

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 11:20:19 AM »

why are they going to be discontinued?  Seems like an easy solution for many...
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Brandt

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2011, 11:37:14 AM »

keep an eye on ebay...thats where I had bought/sold my 4 pin unit
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Brian H

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2011, 12:40:29 PM »

I feel that they are phasing out all their X10 stuff but may carry other manufacturers X10 devices.

Their X10 dryer repeater is also discontinued.
In that case I believe the four pins are still available and the three pins are gone.
They still are selling their 1132CU X10 interface but the software is not compatible with Vista, Windows 7 or had the daylight saving time changes fixed. Called it LEGACY!

They are pushing their Insteon Line Now.
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HA Dave

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Re: Different phases, 2 computer interfaces?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 01:08:29 PM »

There is also the Automated Outlet as well and other couplers (although installation is required). I've shopped the outlet at times and really like there pricing and low (flat fee) shipping rates.
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