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Author Topic: X10 module date codes  (Read 4541 times)

toasterking

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X10 module date codes
« on: July 26, 2015, 11:23:29 PM »

Modules made by X10 often have a round sticker with a 4- or 5-digit alphanumeric code which indicates the week that the module was manufactured.  This is helpful for identifying a specific version of a module because X10 had a bad habit of making design changes to modules without changing the model number and without adding a submodel or revision number.  If you understand the date code, it can be easier to determine which revision you have without opening its case, based on the known characteristics of modules released in the same time period.  Based on parts of the formula I have found in various places, these are the rules for the date code (as best I am able to surmise).

The date code is in this format:
AABCC
AA = 1- or 2-digit numeral indicating the year.  If 1 digit, the year is from 1980 to 1999 but does not indicate which of those two decades.  (If the module bears the BSR brand name or the main IC inside the module is labeled with the Pico brand name, it's likely 1980-1989.  Credit to Dragon for finding this!)  If 2 digits, the year is 2000 or later. 
B  = single alphabetic character indicating the month of the year.
CC = 2-digit numeral indicating the week of the year.

Examples:
04B09
04 = Year 2004
B = Month February
09 = Week 9
9th week of 2004 during February

02L51
02 = Year 2002
L = Month December
51 = Week 51
51st week of 2002 during December

8E21
8 = Year 1998
E = Month May
21 = Week 21
21st week of 1998 during May
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 06:46:30 PM by toasterking »
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Brian H

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Re: X10 module date codes
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2015, 06:10:02 AM »

There use to be a wiki page on Date Codes but it seems to be MIA.
There is a mention in the wiki VA11A page on Date Codes where the VA12A was implemented.
It seems to  indicate the "B" character is not the month.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/VA11A
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toasterking

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Re: X10 module date codes
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2015, 12:07:52 PM »

It seems to  indicate the "B" character is not the month.
Thanks, Brian.  I had missed the article on the VA12A date codes.  It doesn't actually state that the "B" character is not the month; it just doesn't confirm that it is.  However, I have looked at many of these date codes, and the example given in that article is the first one I have seen in which the math doesn't work out.  The 37th week of 2008 occurred during September, which should be the letter "I"; not "G", which is July according to "my" rules.  So, I think something is out of place here:  Either the article has a mistake, or they didn't use an actual date code in the article, instead making one up on a whim, and didn't follow all of their own rules for date codes.  I'd be willing to accept the latter since the article says "...sticker with a code like...", suggesting that the example is hypothetical, and it doesn't mention anything about what the letter means.  Perhaps the article's author just didn't know.

BTW, I found this handy listing of all week numbers for every year:
http://www.epochconverter.com/date-and-time/weeknumbers-by-year.php
(Links to other years are at the bottom of the page.)
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Dragon

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Re: X10 module date codes
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2017, 02:22:35 AM »

I think a single-digit year code can mean 198X instead of 199X in some cases, at least when the unit contains a main chip labeled as "PICO" something.  I have pictures and an explanation here,
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Brian H

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Re: X10 module date codes
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2017, 06:14:56 AM »

I have three of the Model:X10-HD243 Heave Duty Appliance Modules.
Made by BSR (USA) Limited with the single digit year code 2J42. My thoughts agree with yours. 198X possibilities.

There was an explanation of the 5 digit newer date coded in one of the X10 Wiki entries.
In a Lamp Module differences entry.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/SoftStart
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 06:21:36 AM by Brian H »
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toasterking

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Re: X10 module date codes
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2017, 06:46:51 PM »

I think a single-digit year code can mean 198X instead of 199X in some cases, at least when the unit contains a main chip labeled as "PICO" something.  I have pictures and an explanation here,
Thanks, Dragon!  Until recently, I had no 1980s-era modules, but I believe you are correct.  I just recently found a couple of brown, BSR brand X10 appliance modules, and until now had no reason to take them apart.  But here I go.
Model X10-014601 (appliance 2-pin), module date code 2B06, PICO IC date code 8004
Model X10-014611 (appliance 3-pin), module date code 0K47, PICO IC date code 8042

I think the first is probably 1982.  The second could possibly be 1980 since its IC was manufactured 5 weeks prior.  I don't know if the BSR brand name was still around in 1990.  The month and week line up correctly for all 3 dates.

One thing that has me a little confused is that the second module has a much more contemporary design than the first, suggesting it may be 1990.  It has a ratcheting relay, while the first one supposedly made in 1982 has a non-latching open-frame SPST relay and an IC with a wider DIP package.  My other thought is that the "0" on the sticker looks a lot more like the letter "O" than a zero and it may be an inspection sticker rather than a date code, i.e. inspected OK by #47.

I'm attaching a photo of the inside of the 1982 BSR X10-014601 just because I've never seen one like this and I am in awe of how antiquated it looks.  In contrast to every other X10 module I've seen, it has a very bulky open-frame relay that does not latch and appears cobbled together from 2 discrete parts (a limit switch and separate electromagnet).  It's also heavier than the other module and always resets to "OFF" if power is lost.  Aside from its vintage aesthetic, it also appears to be much more complex to assemble and mass produce.

The question now is how to determine whether it's 198x or 199x without disassembling the module!

I updated my first post in this thread to reflect your finding and gave you a "helpful" point.
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