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Author Topic: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)  (Read 7003 times)

Tuicemen

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PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« on: August 17, 2015, 07:36:14 PM »

This unit is currently in a limited beta test and I do have one as I expressed in the Wi-Fi thread
What I would like is some ideas for testing from the community. this would ensure a extensive test.
Keep in mind this is only a Wi-Fi to PLC  no RF  (no Wi-Fi to RF) module and I won't be commenting on all success or failures of suggested tests here as this is just to get a feel for what may be expected.
I can state the hardware works as expected and I think the major work needs to be done on the software side.
Any issues I may find needs to be confirmed with other testers to be sure it isn't just my router setup.
 >!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 12:36:15 PM by Tuicemen »
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dave w

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 02:40:22 PM »

$0.02

This might be early since the manual is likely still being written, but I think ease of setup and a procedure as bullet proof as possible is an imperative.

How easy does it connect to the LAN? Is it as easy as installing a new Windows computer in your WiFi network?  What about WAN access? Is port forwarding necessary? Is a DYNDNS necessary? Does the phone app do all the heavy lifting? etc.

I guess those thoughts should follow through on how easy the phone app is to set up with lights and devices, etc. Being a retired Motorola technical instructor and technical writer on government WMD demil projects  make me sensitive to those areas often overlooked.

Also I hope Authinx takes a different marketing approach compared to old X10. Although new X10 must not shoot themselves in the foot, but I hope they do not advertise the product to be much easier to setup than it actually is.  Old X10, advertising how easy it was to setup the original non WiFi four camera XCam system went something like:  " SO EASY TO SET UP, AN EIGHT YEAR OLD CAN DO IT 5 MINUTES!!". Which soured a lot of new users against old X10.


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Tuicemen

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2015, 03:49:59 PM »

There was no instructions with the unit I received so I had to request a how to setup email.
The setup I don't expect to change much and is fairly straight forward however an android device is currently required so it is a little more difficult then setting up a new PC.
I'm currently unable to test off site with the internet however it does use a Port # and I suspect this needs to be configured in ones router for off site connections.
Connection via the internet is a top my test list as is easy of use for the app ( device, rooms, scenes, timers setup)
 >!
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dave w

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2015, 05:59:22 PM »

"Tuice"
You know what to test for. Do us proud.  >!
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Tuicemen

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2015, 07:40:29 PM »

 :-[
Well I'll sure try, the old x10wti ignored some of my input/suggestions in testing of past devices So far this hasn't happened with Authinx.
My input on the XPS4 is something that Authinx looked at closely.

I have sent my observations to another tester for confirmations and feed back as  I don't wish to  delay this any more then it already has been.
the main issue is the software from my experience so far.
 >!
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toasterking

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2015, 10:53:13 PM »

Regarding the initial setup, it needs to be easy for brand new users to unbox and get working with minimal effort, but some users will also have a CM15A and ActiveHome Pro or something similar.  There needs to be at least minimal instructions to help existing users augment or migrate from their existing setup.

Does it work with multiple controlling devices (phones/tablets) and does the status of each X10 module stay in sync across those devices?  Similarly, if a module status changes while a device is out of WiFi range, does it sync correctly once it reconnects?

I am probably not a typical user, but I would also be very interested in the hardware performance and protocol conformity.
  • Does it correctly follow the powerline access sequence to avoid causing powerline collisions?
  • Does it detect collisions during transmission and retransmit?
  • How susceptible is it to line noise?
  • How strong is the powerline signal it sends (Vpp) and is there any measurable signal drift/jitter over the duration of the transmission?
  • How does it react to a power outage?
  • How about extended codes?  Can it send an extended dim command to directly set a lamp module to a discrete dim level?
  • Dim ratios are always twitchy and can vary from one module type to another.  When sending bright/dim commands to a module that cannot make use of extended dim, does it accurately keep track of the dim percentage?

I'm not expecting answers to those, but those are some things I would play with whilst testing.
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Tuicemen

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2015, 07:32:39 AM »

Thanks toasterking,
I have tested for some things on your list. and some things I had intended to but they slipped my mind. Your list has helped to remind me to look at some things.
 I can say it reacts well to power outages as I have unplugged it and moved it to different locations it was even unplugged for 12 hours before being plugged back in and it reconnected to the router just fine.
 >!
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toasterking

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2015, 12:59:40 AM »

Good to hear!
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Tuicemen

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Some interesting Wi-Fi Module test discoverys!
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2015, 12:31:46 PM »

I did some extensive tests over the weekend using JV Digital Engineering's XTBM-Pro x10 Signal Analyzer
This is one tool that really is handy for not only troubleshooting but also getting to know your setup.
Using this I discovered some interesting things.
These test were all done at my off grid solar place and I plan to do more extensive test in the city.
I initially was getting some really strange readings with the Wi-Fi unit plugged in.
1:
Multi PLC send readings, collisions and other errors.
None of these affected any of my timers or macro However that possibility could have happened in a more extensive setup.
Since I had my Cm15a plugged in as well as a new X10 PLC repeater (I'm testing as well) I assumed it was the repeater so I removed it from the system which cut down some repeats but not collisions.
The strange thing was If I sent a command from the Wi-Fi unit with the app there were no collisions.
I fired up AHP and looked at the X10 activity it too showed multi PLC commands after a RF.
I ran around looking for equipment that may be adding PLC signals and the only thing that I could come up with was the DS7000. However I had already unplugged it  ???
So I unplugged my CM15 figuring it had finally bit the dust.
Sent a RF command to turn on a light close by and it came on.
WTF  ??? ??? the XTBM-Pro showed I was still sending PLC with a RF with no collisions and no repeats. But what transceiver was plugged in? ???
The WI_FI module B:( B:(
Unplugging it and sending a RF resulted in nothing working. :)%
I was told this had no RF capabilities ??? :' obviously it does! though it is most likely only for receiving. :)%
With this new discovery I suggested some app changes that would allow us to benefit from this.

2:
With both the Wi-Fi and cm15 plugged in I also noticed the first PLC send was  less powerful then the second. Both the Wi-Fi unit and cm15 were on the same circuit however the Wi-Fi unit was closer to the XTMB-Pro which was also on the same circuit.
I place it on a separate circuit and removed first the Wi-Fi unit from the system then the CM15 testing each separately.
The Wi-Fi Unit produced a PLC signal almost twice as strong as my old CM15

3:
I knew my backup generator created some noise while running though the XTBM showed this to be only .04vpp
I tested from this circuit with the Wi-Fi unit  sending to another circuit and had no issues but this wasn't a good test so I set out to find something that would generate lots of noise.
With out the XTBM this would have been next to impossible however with it I found my coffee maker to be a real noise maker at one point in its brewing cycle producing .99vpp for a short period with the generator running as well.
With this info I move the Wi-Fi unit to the same outlet with the XTBM plugged into a nearby outlet(same circuit) I watched for the peek noise and sent a On command from the App.
Even in a very high noisy situation the command made it to a near by light.
It is possible I missed the peek noise  when sending (I find it hard to believe a signal got threw that) so I'll run this test again using a RF remote a few more times.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 01:53:52 PM by Tuicemen »
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dave w

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2015, 08:26:57 PM »

You are just teasing me Tuice. Just teasing me.  B:(
Someone lend me a hankie.
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Tuicemen

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2015, 09:30:32 PM »

You are just teasing me Tuice. Just teasing me.  B:(
If Authinx is teasing me with this prototype then I'm teasing you.  rofl
A interesting puzzling fact is my prototype seems to be the only one that will transceive RF ???

Since this is a Wi-Fi device placement will be key for best results I have mine directly beside my router though it seems to work from any outlet I plug it into even a noisy one.
My generator when running sends noise over the whole building, no mater where I plug-in the XTBM-Pro for testing it reports .04Vpp
I've also tested with the XTBM (not the pro model) and it shows the generator producing the same noise.
Another interesting thing, with noise on the line the XTBM-Pro shows the Wi-Fi module sending a stronger X10 signal then with no noise on the line ???

The performance in a noisy situation I'll admit needs further testing, However at my off grid location I'm limited to noisy devices as I've got rid of most.
Although I haven't test all the things that I rarely use.
 >!
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JeffVolp

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2015, 12:55:49 AM »

Another interesting thing, with noise on the line the XTBM-Pro shows the Wi-Fi module sending a stronger X10 signal then with no noise on the line ???

Actually, I would expect that because the noise would add to the X10 signal level.  The incoming signal passes through a bandpass amplifier and precision rectifier.  Any in-band noise will be included with the X10 signal itself.

Jeff
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dave w

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2015, 08:03:03 PM »

A interesting puzzling fact is my prototype seems to be the only one that will transceive RF ???
Yes, that is pretty weird. It was even a surprise to Authinx?

If this is a preview, I hope X10 gives us a way of disabling the X10 receiver, for those of us that handle RF in other ways (e.g. WS800).

Still it's pretty exciting that at least you are playing with (at last) a real product.
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Tuicemen

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2015, 09:04:20 PM »


If this is a preview, I hope X10 gives us a way of disabling the X10 receiver, for those of us that handle RF in other ways (e.g. WS800).
.
Actually I recommend a lot of RF options once I discovered the capability.
The software currently doesn't address RF.
Ignoring it similar to how AHP does was one suggestion for a option.
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Dan1

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2015, 11:58:25 AM »

 #:) Great work Tuicemen. What does this all mean for this long-awaited device's eventual release as a consumer product? Thanks.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 11:59:58 AM by Dan1 »
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