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Author Topic: various x10 control issues  (Read 16910 times)

dhouston

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2015, 08:51:26 PM »

The XTB-IIR has an internal terminal block for connections.  You can see that here:

http://jvde.us/xtb/XTB-IIR_case_800.jpg
Jeff,

What's the function of the modular jack, J3?
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JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2015, 12:55:38 AM »

What's the function of the modular jack, J3?

TW523 emulation.  It actually does quite a bit more than the TW523 because it can both send and receive extended commands.  And it has a mode option that provides real-time full half-cycle output for a controller that can actually do its own collision avoidance.  I find that mode handy when capturing commands on a digital storage scope.

Jeff
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dhouston

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2015, 04:31:10 AM »

TW523 emulation.  It actually does quite a bit more than the TW523 because it can both send and receive extended commands.  And it has a mode option that provides real-time full half-cycle output for a controller that can actually do its own collision avoidance.  I find that mode handy when capturing commands on a digital storage scope.
Do you mean those controllers that touted collision avoidance as a feature despite relying on a TW523?
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JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2015, 10:01:37 AM »

Do you mean those controllers that touted collision avoidance as a feature despite relying on a TW523?

No, I'm thinking about a new controller possibly based on the Arduino or Raspberry Pi.  There the user should be able to check each bit as it comes in.  If a "1" comes in when a "0" is being sent, then there was a collision.

Even at that, it is still possible for two transmitters to begin sending the start pattern simultaneously, corrupting one or possibly both transmissions.  But it is certainly better than using the TW523, whose output lags real-time by half the X10 doublet.

Jeff
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dhouston

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2015, 10:38:57 AM »

I don't want to hijack the OP's thread but there were a few top-shelf controllers that touted collision avoidance even though they only saw the collisions after the TW523's delay in reporting the powerline activity. I don't recall whether the Ocelot was one of them. But, it occurs to me that they might be able to take advantage of your unit's real-time reporting to actually avoid collisions.
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joe s.

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2015, 11:03:31 AM »

Quote
Jeff,

What's the function of the modular jack, J3

I use that port to plug in my WGL/V572 RF Whole House Transceiver.  I bought that transceiver years earlier (originally used a TW523 which failed after a few years of use).  The WGL transceiver gives me tremendous wireless remote coverage.  Covers whole house plus "normal sized" yard.  Actually went across the street and turned on my XMAS lights with a palmpad while installing/testing them this year.  Mighty good use of that port!
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Noam

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2015, 11:22:43 AM »

What's the function of the modular jack, J3?

TW523 emulation.  It actually does quite a bit more than the TW523 because it can both send and receive extended commands.  And it has a mode option that provides real-time full half-cycle output for a controller that can actually do its own collision avoidance.  I find that mode handy when capturing commands on a digital storage scope.

Jeff
I was using that jack to send X10 signals from an Arduino (although I've since retired that function of the Arduino - as I no longer need it).
I would be interested in a RaspberryPi-based control system - once that would directly connect via that jack (without the need for a CM15A controller), if anyone is working on something like that.

--Noam
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nabril15

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2015, 09:26:23 AM »

I revisit the thread because the issues continue. It's been a while since my first post, so at this point I've forgotten a bit of the troubleshooting I've done.
Here's where I stand:
I purchased an XTBR booster/repeater and I plugged it in to an outlet that is located a foot below my electrical panel; so I assume that is the closest outlet. I plugged in my MT13a mini controller to that same outlet.
I continue to have on/off issues with one of my outdoor lights (as described in the OP). Both of them have the same Sylvannia LED bulb, but only one comes on at 7:45pm as set in the mini controller. At 7am, that same light does not come off.

I replaced the actual bulb I mentioned in the OP with another one of the same brand prior to buying the XTBR. Should I switch those 2 bulbs to see if the issue is the bulb itself?
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joe s.

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2015, 10:29:08 AM »

The instructions with the XTBR say:
Quote
Since the XTBR only drives the phase it is plugged into, a good passive coupler is still required to propagate its strong signal to the opposite phase.  A coupler may also be necessary to receive signals from other transmitters on the opposite phase.

Its just a guess, but I would say the outlet below your panel must be on the opposite phase to the misbehaving bulb..  Move the XTBR & controller around to other outlets and see if the problem suddenly goes away.  If it does, you must not have (and will need) a phase coupler for that panel.  If you have a phase coupler then ignore this post and look for something else (like noise or devices absorbing signal on that particular line).
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JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2015, 10:30:15 AM »

From your original post:

    Light A turns on at dusk from the timer, but needs a manual command to turn off in the morning.
    Light B needs a manual command to turn on, but turns off at 10:45 PM from the timer.

It seems kind of strange that one only responded to the ON command and the other only to the OFF command.

Your last post indicates that one light is now behaving properly, but you are still having trouble with the second light.  And it is now ignoring both ON and OFF commands from your timer.

Since you opted for the XTBR rather than the XTB-IIR (which drives both phases) you still need a good phase coupler to propagate its signal over to the opposite phase.  The X10 XPCP is a good one.  That should insure all circuits in your home receive strong signal levels.

It is possible the LED light is generating noise when on.  Or there is something else on its circuit generating noise when the light is supposed to switch.  A test would be to swap in an incandescent bulb to see if that solves the problem.  If so, then you probably have a noise problem to deal with.

Since the XTBR is only driving one phase, you could check your panel to see if the misbehaving light is on the opposite phase.  If so, you could try plugging the XTBR into another outlet on that phase near the panel.  If that solves the problem, it confirms the need for a phase coupler.  Or you could swap circuits around so both lights are on the same phase driven by the XTBR.

There is one more thing to check.  Since these are relay switches, you have to use the correct commands for those switches.  They will not respond to the extended code light on command intended for dimmer switches.

Jeff

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nabril15

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2015, 10:31:14 AM »

The instructions with the XTBR say:
Quote
Since the XTBR only drives the phase it is plugged into, a good passive coupler is still required to propagate its strong signal to the opposite phase.  A coupler may also be necessary to receive signals from other transmitters on the opposite phase.

Its just a guess, but I would say the outlet below your panel must be on the opposite phase to the misbehaving bulb..  Move the XTBR & controller around to other outlets and see if the problem suddenly goes away.  If it does, you must not have (and will need) a phase coupler for that panel.  If you have a phase coupler then ignore this post and look for something else (like noise or devices absorbing signal on that particular line).

Joe/Jeff -- Thank you. That outlet is on the same phase as the lights and all of my x10 stuff at this time. All of my x10 stuff is on the same phase (side of the panel).
The behavior has changed from what I originally posted.
Light A does not turn on at dusk, and needs a manual command to turn off.
Light B turns on and off from the controller as programmed.

Bulbs a and b are the same Sylvannia LED bulb. I will try with an incandescent bulb tonight on light A.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 10:36:33 AM by nabril15 »
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JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2015, 10:33:42 AM »

Joe--that outlet is on the same phase as the lights and all of my x10 stuff at this time.

OK, if you know for sure that everything is on the same phase as driven by the XTBR, then you should check for noise on the circuit that is misbehaving.

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2015, 10:49:31 AM »

The behavior has changed from what I originally posted.
Light A does not turn on at dusk, and needs a manual command to turn off.
Light B turns on and off from the controller as programmed.

So light B is now working fine, but light A ignores both commands.  Switching to an incandescent would only effect the OFF command if the LED bulb was generating noise when on.  While that is still possible, something must be interfering with the ON command.  Again, verify that you are sending the correct command for that switch.  It cannot be defined as a dimmer switch in ActiveHome Pro because that will send the wrong ON command.

If that is OK, then look for any potential noise generator on the same circuit as that switch.  It could be another LED or CFL light, or possibly a small modular "wall-wart" power supply.

Jeff
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dhouston

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2015, 10:50:26 AM »

I was using that jack to send X10 signals from an Arduino (although I've since retired that function of the Arduino - as I no longer need it).
I have designs for shields that fit the ZA-328 (Arduino UNO R3 born anew as a ZBasic device) and ZA-2560 (Arduino mega2560 R3 born anew as a ZBasic device). Both do true collision avoidance and can work with the TW523, PSCO5, XM10, Jeff's devices that emulate the TW523 and PowerLine Communications Interfaces of my own design (which isolate the controllers from the powerline).

They support low-cost WiFi and Bluetooth modules, have battery-backed RTCs and 128KB EEPROMs for timers/macros.

I also have a daughterboard which replaces the Cypress microcontroller in the CM15A. The daughterboard includes a WiFi module, battery-backed RTC and support for 128KB EEPROMs (on the main CM15A PCB).

I hope to have these available by July. All can be reprogrammed with the free version of ZBasic. Or one can reinstall the Arduino bootloaders (or just use Arduinos) if more comfortable in that programming environment.

Quote
I would be interested in a RaspberryPi-based control system - once that would directly connect via that jack (without the need for a CM15A controller), if anyone is working on something like that.
I do not have anything specific to the Pi but the latest version is supposed to be able to run a reduced version of Windows 10. Depending on what reduced means I may be able to provide this. I plan to use GLBasic to create interfaces/apps for Windows, Linux, OSX, iOS, Android, etc. and it might be fairly simple to make a version for the new Pi.

Code for all the above will be open sores so others can modify them anyway they desire.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 10:59:10 AM by dhouston »
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nabril15

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2015, 11:00:09 AM »

 Again, verify that you are sending the correct command for that switch.  It cannot be defined as a dimmer switch in ActiveHome Pro because that will send the wrong ON command.

Continued thanks Jeff. The light switches on the wall are XPS3's.
How do I verify that I'm sending the correct command for the switch? Do I have to get the signal analyzer? Light B comes on fine, so I must be sending the right signal, right?

I will look at everything in the offending circuit of light A, disconnect/remove it, and press the on/off button for that code (2) on the MT13. Is that a valid testing procedure? Is my pressing of the on/off button on the MT13 the equivalent of the MT13a sending the commands on its own at the specified time?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 11:07:46 AM by nabril15 »
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