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Poll

Do your Powerhorns work correctlly with the new SC1200A console?

Yes Completely
- 4 (40%)
Partially
- 3 (30%)
No Not at all
- 3 (30%)

Total Members Voted: 10


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Author Topic: SC1200A and Powerhorns?  (Read 20521 times)

Brian H

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SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« on: March 13, 2011, 07:07:07 AM »

Trying to find out how Powerhorns work with the new SC1200A Security Console.
If you have Powerhorns and the SC1200A console. How are they working for you?

If you have the model of the Powerhorn {PH508 or SH10A} and the date code from the small round white sticker on the Powerhorn.
This data would be helpful in determining what does and does not work correctly.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 07:20:43 AM by Brian H »
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tom j

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 01:15:55 PM »

Hopefully this will send a message to x10 and they will see fit to correct this but I won't hold my breath because I don't want to die.  :'   >*<


Tom j.
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jrcppr

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 10:41:33 PM »

Powerhorn does not have any power at all!!!!  At first, I thought it would be dangerous to trip it while being close to it.  My God, was I wrong!   The console is a lot louder than the Powerhorn.  They should replace it with a really powerful one or at least add a couple of terminal posts to it so you can hookup your own TRUE powerhorn, siren, strobe light or whatever.
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Brian H

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 06:04:46 AM »

Which Powerhorn?
The PH508 Large Powerhorn is quite loud.
The SH10A Small Powerhorn is not as loud.

If your Powerhorn is a PH508 and is not as loud as the console. It could be defective.
Though the screech of the console and the alternating Hi/Low tone from a PH508 could be perceived differently. It is still quite loud and I can't get too close to my PH508s when sounding.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 07:55:49 AM by Brian H »
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JudyH

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 11:55:44 PM »

I have PSH01 and PH508 powerhorns -- neither is very loud; shrill but not loud.  I was told that these two were the same, and that there was nothing louder available.  Please advise.

I'm having numerous problems.  Now that I"ve found this forum, I see that I am unfortunately in good company.  The senior tech Thomas who consults by phone has told me that NO ONE else is having any of the problems that I am having.  Obviously that is not true.  Brian don't you two share information?  Can it be that Thomas does not read the forum input?   PLEASE help!
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Brian H

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011, 05:58:28 AM »

JudyH; This is a user to user forum and almost all of us here are volunteers.
With a few X10 employees occasionally looking in.
So for the most part we have no contact with X10.
I doubt most X10 Technical Support Technicians would even read the forums.

Yes the PSH01 is the X10Pro version of the X10 PH508. Other than the case markings. They are the same.
I have opened both models and they are the same electronics. If both are about the same age.

Now older hardware design versus present hardware design. Old ones are measurably louder than the present hardware version.
I have again compaired an old date Code Hardware PH508 to a present Date Code Hardware PH508. Totally different internally.

Can you describe some of your problems. Many of the users here have better solutions than official X10 employees.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 06:53:09 AM by Brian H »
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JMac

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 09:47:17 AM »

If you have minimal soldering skills and welcome a challenge this is the only way to go for "sound".

http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=21998.msg124859#msg124859
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 09:48:49 AM by JMac »
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JudyH

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns and sensors
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2011, 11:37:08 AM »

Thanks for helping to educate me, Brian.  Obviously, I'm a new participant here.  I just can't believe that the OFFICIAL, PAID senior tech doesn't look at these forum inputs.  He really has told me that NO ONE else has reported the problems that I'm having, yet I find all of them covered in the forum comments.  The problem I'm having with the horns is that I don't find them usefully loud, and ONE of the 6 does not sound with the new console.  It worked just fine with the old one.  But I have many other problems too, if I can report them here too:  MAINLY I've got two sensors that after a few hours report problems.  One will indicate that the related window is open, and it is NEVER open.  For the past 5 days, I've turned off my external light-sensing light on the outside of that end of the house [roughly above this window, but not directly] and the window sensor has been fine.  Mind you, I've got another window at that end that hasn't had any problems [yet!].  I seem to have the same issue at the other end of the house where I've got a window sensor and door sensor.  The window sensor works fine, but the door sensor has the same intermittent "problem" reports as the first above.  I've checked with the hardware store where I've bought these, and the two systems are definitely not operating at the same 310 MHZ frequency.  Help?
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Brian H

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2011, 12:47:26 PM »

Well it sounds like you have read the threads and know that what you are seeing. Has been reported by others.
I don't have any suggestions at the moment, but know others will chime in with more help.

Are you using the new DS12A,MS18A and KR32A or the older MS10A,DS10A, KR10A modules with the SC1200?

I have a unofficial list of Powerhorns that are problems.
By chance do you have the Date Code on the small round white sticker on the silent unit?
Maybe better than the ones that sound everytime you arm the console.  ???
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 01:02:20 PM by Brian H »
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dave w

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns and sensors
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 12:56:29 PM »

I've checked with the hardware store where I've bought these, and the two systems are definitely not operating at the same 310 MHZ frequency.  Help?
$0.02
That is incorrect, but it doesn't matter.
The problems you describe, have been described by others, and other than the one horn that does not sound with the console, there is no magic wand fix. Perhaps this is just another "build error" or another firmware "tweek" that turns out to be an "oops".  IMHO your only recourse is to send everything back for exchange.

Also you might elevate the complaint of insufficient volume of the powerhorns to a supervisor. X10 made design changes, probably trying to reduce manufacturing costs, and once again they have shot themselves in the foot.

As far as the one PowerHorn that does not work, plug it into same outlet as the SC1200, does it work then?
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JudyH

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2011, 09:17:35 PM »

Thanks again, Brian.  I have several door/window sensors, and all are DS10A.  I've asked Thomas, the 2nd level technician, several times about whether the newer model would perform better, given my specific issues, and he does not believe it would make any difference -- but cost $10 more per sensor.
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JudyH

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 01:00:11 PM »

Hi Brian and Dave,  thanks for your efforts to help.  I gather you are indicating that I was given the wrong frequency by Thomas.  Alas, that turns out not to matter.  I tested by turning off the light-sensitive outdoor light for 5 nights.  No problem, so I felt fairly sure I'd isolated the problem since the problem had been occurring daily [namely, various kinds of problem messages on the nearby window sensor.  BUT THEN I turned the light back on, and for over a week there was no problem.  And then after over 2 weeks of no failures, last night the problem light came on during the night [thankfully not triggering the alarm which was on].  I reset it by simply pressing the "set" button, and it has yet to fail again.  This is simply random.  It is nothing short of crazy making.  Additionally, 3 days ago I replaced a door sensor for the 3rd time -- it had been failing daily, and now it has not failed YET again.  I can only cross my fingers.

Is it correct to conclude if a sensor fails when the alarm is set that it SHOULD NOT trigger the alarm?  It has concerned me with all the crazy intermittent failures that I could not safely set it when I'm not home [which of course is the primary I purchased this darned system FOUR months ago].

What is your view about the orientation of the console itself?  I hadn't read anything until on the forum yesterday re that being any kind of issue.  Mine is horizontal, and all 3 consoles that I've been thru in the 4 months have been.  I don't have a viable way to hang it vertical and be near a phone outlet.

Thanks for your valuable help, Judy
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dave w

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 02:38:44 PM »

Hi Brian and Dave,  thanks for your efforts to help.  I gather you are indicating that I was given the wrong frequency by Thomas. 
No,  X10 security remote sensors all transmit on the same frequency...no exceptions. So if sensors do not transmit to the console, it is not because they are "on the wrong frequency" (if I understand you or Thomas correctly).  Instead it could be the signal from the sensor is just not getting to the console reliably. Yes console orientation could have some effect. Try propping console up perpendicular just for a test. If things suddenly get better there might be solution other than nailing to wall.

When the outside light is on, what are you calling a "failure"?  If the light is a CFL bulb, it can be making electrical noise which can disrupt the signals the console puts on the homes powerlines to control the PowerHorns and remote control of lights. CFL bulbs should not have any effect on the RF communications between the remote security sensors and the console. RF communications can be effected by the distance between sensor and console, the number of walls the signal has to transmit through, Although probably not impossible, I don't think the outside light could be directly effecting a security sensor.

Can a faulty sensor cause an alarm? Yes, but would likely be a failure of the window switch.  Describe what you are calling a failure?
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JudyH

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 03:04:07 PM »

Thanks for your input, Dave.  Re the frequency, the issue was whether the alarm system was on the same frequency as something else in my home.  That issue "seems" to have been ruled out.

Regarding changing the orientation of the console, nothing "suddenly" gets better when I make changes.  The failures are always out of the blue, and apparently unreleated to anything.  But that does raise one question that I sent out to the "community" yesterday [is that the only way to begin a new "thread"?] - I asked if forceful rapping on a window might in some way cause an signal issue from a window sensor, and at that not immediately but several hours later?

I'm lumping all the sensor issues into what I've termed "failure" -- basically it is whatever causes the zone light to come on on the console - sometimes it will tell me there is a "problem", sometimes it gives me an erroneous "low battery" message, and other times the light comes on and I can only gather that the sensor has failed to communicate with the console within the required time.
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dave w

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Re: SC1200A and Powerhorns?
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 04:26:56 PM »

Re the frequency, the issue was whether the alarm system was on the same frequency as something else in my home. 

I asked if forceful rapping on a window might in some way cause an signal issue from a window sensor, and at that not immediately but several hours later?

I'm lumping all the sensor issues into what I've termed "failure" -- basically it is whatever causes the zone light to come on on the console - sometimes it will tell me there is a "problem", sometimes it gives me an erroneous "low battery" message, and other times the light comes on and I can only gather that the sensor has failed to communicate with the console within the required time.
1. The X10 frequency for the security remotes and the standard X10 wireless remote controls (Palm Pad, Slim Line Switch, keychain remote controls, motion sensors, etc) is 310MHZ. The security remotes send out a digital signal to identify themselves differently from the standard X10 RF controls. Garage door openers are another common user of the 310MHz group of frequencies. The 310-315MHz band is intended for very short range applications.

2. Forceful rapping could cause and "instant" alarm from the magnetic window switch being "bounced" open, however I don't see how it could cause a delayed alarm...my $0.02.

3. Some of these symptoms could be caused by "fringe" or weak RF signals from the sensors. But IMHO there are indications on the forum that X10 has also had build problems with the SC1200 consoles. If all your replacements came from the same date code or lot, you might be experiencing multiple bad units. In my not so humble opinion, X10 has a miserable ability to track, segregate, and control "bad builds". Bad builds happen, how well you capture and control is a different matter.

I dunno, I think some knowledgeable manager from X10 needs to step in and give aid.   :'
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