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Author Topic: various x10 control issues  (Read 16876 times)

JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2015, 11:07:33 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?

Yes, I had read your earlier post that they are XPS3's, which are relay switches.  You might have defined them differently when you set up the program.  Since the B switch works fine, it must be defined correctly.  Just make sure the same is true for the A switch.

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2015, 11:12:15 AM »

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).

Actually, the X10 TW523/PSC05, XTB-523, and XTB-IIR all have opto-isolated digital ports, and also isolate the controllers from the powerline.

I'd be happy to send you an XTB-523 for your testing if you would like one.  (The schematic is on-line now too.)

Jeff
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nabril15

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2015, 11:15:11 AM »

Jeff, I edited my previous post with an additional question. Kindly glance at it please.

I'm sorry to keep asking and delving, but I continue to learn.
You mentioned that I must have defined the switch for light B correctly and to verify A. How would I have done that? I bought the switches from an ebay store, unpacked it, installed it, gave it code 3, and both switches worked fine for a year or 2. Where do I even have the option to define anything?
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JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2015, 11:57:18 AM »

I went back through your posts again and saw you are just using the X10 timer, and not a timer in ActiveHome Pro.  Sorry for confusing you with someone else.

Your timer should be sending the correct ON/OFF commands.  So you must have a noise problem on that circuit.  Think about anything that was added or changed in your electrical system around the time the switches began to misbehave.

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2015, 12:34:23 PM »

Did you verify you are really on one phase?
Most breaker boxes do not have all of one phase on a side. Each phase alternates between breakers. So on most breaker boxes every other breaker is on the opposite phase. For both sides of the breaker box.
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joe s.

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2015, 12:49:59 PM »

Quote
Each phase alternates between breakers

Good catch Brian....I was thinking maybe he had some weird breaker boxes (he said he has two) with his initial statement of "all on one side".
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nabril15

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2015, 12:55:17 PM »

Did you verify you are really on one phase?
Most breaker boxes do not have all of one phase on a side. Each phase alternates between breakers. So on most breaker boxes every other breaker is on the opposite phase. For both sides of the breaker box.


Shoot. I didnt know this Brian. I assumed that the left column off breakers were on 1 phase,  and the right side on the other. How do I identify which is which? I'll search online.

EDIT -- I feel like such an idiot. I am so sorry.
I looked online, and sure enough confirmed what Brian and Jeff stated, breakers alternate between phases from side to side; my assumption was completely wrong of the phases being on each side. I will have to look at my panel and map out the circuits again.
Now the trick is to be able to identify if the 2 breakers in the top row are phase 1 or 2 (left or right)
1000 apologies.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 01:52:20 PM by nabril15 »
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JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2015, 02:34:21 PM »

Hopefully, that is all it is.

BTW, even though phases alternate down each side, they can be different side-to-side.

Our old panel back east:

A  A
B  B
A  A
.....

At our present home (Square D):

A  B
B  A
A  B
.....

That one got me.

Jeff
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Brian H

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2015, 02:57:40 PM »

If you didn't have alternating phase connections next to each other. You could not have any 220 volt circuits with a tandem breaker.

You may find a layout on the inside cover of the breaker box.

I have an old house with a Federal Pacific breaker box.

Unique layout.
A A
A A
A A
B B
B B
B B
....
Yes only six positions out of twenty four. Where a tandem 220 breaker will have 220 on them.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 03:04:46 PM by Brian H »
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joe s.

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2015, 07:26:38 PM »

A phase coupler is really the best solution (to cover your whole house so you can add X10 devices as you please; regardless of the phase).  There are some plug-in ones available that plug into your stove or dryer outlets (those appliances are 220v which uses both phases) as follows:

http://www.smarthome.com/simply-automated-zpci-p30a-30-amp-nema-10-30-universal-inverting-phase-coupler-booster.html

Depending on the type of plug your electric dryer or oven use.  Not sure how good they are, but with Jeff's XTB product boosting your signal, it "should" work.  Best way to tell is to run your dryer or oven, and see if the problem miraculously goes away.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 07:36:36 PM by joe s. »
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nabril15

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2015, 08:01:34 PM »

Jeff,  you are probably correct,  and I may invest in an xpcp which is a bit cheaper. I opened up my GE panel from 1980, and the label inside is quite faded. But I think I can make sense of the drawing  attached. The paddles for the breakers alternate from left to right,  starting from the top left. Does anyone agree?

EDIT... Looking again,  I think I have
aa
Bb
Aa
Bb

**** I asked in an electrical forum,  and I was told that Ihave a single phase with 2 hot legs. ***
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 10:47:53 PM by nabril15 »
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JeffVolp

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2015, 01:27:49 AM »

**** I asked in an electrical forum,  and I was told that I have a single phase with 2 hot legs. ***

When comparing single-phase and 3-phase systems, most North America homes have a 120V/240V split-phase distribution system.  Power is normally transmitted by the utility company over a 3-phase system, but the step down transformer that provides power to most homes is connected across just one of the three phases.  Neutral is connected to the center tap of that transformer's 240V secondary.  Using that as a reference, the two "legs" provide power 180 degrees out of phase with each other, which is probably why we normally refer to them as opposite phases.

In any case, if you have X10 devices on both "legs" or phases, you need a coupler to propagate the 120KHz efficiently between them.

Jeff
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dhouston

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2015, 04:52:41 AM »

**** I asked in an electrical forum,  and I was told that Ihave a single phase with 2 hot legs. ***

Most residential wiring is what electricians refer to as split phase where one of the three 220-240V phases in the utility's distribution system is split into two legs (or phases) that are, as Jeff notes, 180 degrees apart. I've tried to explain this as briefly as possible on this page.
http://davehouston.org/coupling.htm

As noted here, there are several variations in how breaker panels are organized.

Because of the need for large air conditioners, the area around Phoenix has a lot of residences, dating from the '40s & '50s, with true 3-phase systems. Large condos may also have 3-phase as do industrial buildings converted to lofts. Most of Europe has 3-phase residential feeds but only one phase is typically used for lights except in large units with high current needs
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Noam

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2015, 01:35:04 PM »

Jeff,  you are probably correct,  and I may invest in an xpcp which is a bit cheaper. I opened up my GE panel from 1980, and the label inside is quite faded. But I think I can make sense of the drawing  attached. The paddles for the breakers alternate from left to right,  starting from the top left. Does anyone agree?

EDIT... Looking again,  I think I have
aa
Bb
Aa
Bb

**** I asked in an electrical forum,  and I was told that Ihave a single phase with 2 hot legs. ***

From the drawing you provided, it does appear that your breakers alternate "by row," meaning that the two breakers next to each other are on the same phase (leg), but are on the opposite phase (leg) from the row above and/or below.

From that, mapping out the circuits shouldn't be that difficult. It really doesn't matter which phase you call "A," and which one you call "B" - just as long as you consistently label each row accordingly. Double-pole breakers (220 breakers for things like an electric oven/stove/dryer/air conditioner) sit across both phases.

Once you've mapped that out, you can go back and troubleshoot the misbehaving lights - I suspect they are not on the same phase.
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nabril15

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Re: various x10 control issues
« Reply #44 on: May 30, 2015, 09:18:44 AM »

Thank you Moan
I installed (plugged in)  an xtbr,  and all my x10 woes disappeared.
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