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Author Topic: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)  (Read 6804 times)

Tuicemen

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2015, 01:19:41 PM »

#:) Great work Tuicemen. What does this all mean for this long-awaited device's eventual release as a consumer product? Thanks.
Thanks Dan1,
Most of my discoveries thus far shows the Hardware works well with commands issued in a medium sized household.
If you own a cm15 this will perform slightly better (compared to mine)
I don't see any major Hardware related issues that would affect a final build as long as it is based off this unit I'm testing.
But then I'm unsure of the hardware's limitations and this may be limiting the software.

The major issue that will cause further delays could be the software and how long it takes to get out another build.
The next software build will really tell.
I've yet to be able to connect from the internet however this appears to be software related

I do know the owner is as eager as the rest of us to see this released but he want a quality unit.
I don't expect the software to be perfect for the initial release.
However I hope with everyone's test suggestions, I can make suggestions that will make most some what satisfied with the initial release.

I wish I could give some idea as to a release date but really I have no idea.
I don't expect it to be till after October but then I've been wrong before. ;)
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Dan1

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2015, 03:15:43 PM »

#:) Great work Tuicemen. What does this all mean for this long-awaited device's eventual release as a consumer product? Thanks.
If you own a cm15 this will perform slightly better (compared to mine)
I've yet to be able to connect from the internet however this appears to be software related
I do know the owner is as eager as the rest of us to see this released but he want a quality unit.
I wish I could give some idea as to a release date but really I have no idea.
I don't expect it to be till after October but then I've been wrong before. ;)

Don't own the cm15. My X10 stuff (http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=29235.0) is pretty basic and not new. I still use a few modules and switches in my basement. When newer CFLs stopped working properly with X10 is when I really stopped adding modules, and that was years ago. Authinx has to sell this product to the average consumer like myself. I don't think X10 items have been sold in retail stores anywhere in NYC for years. Radio Shack may have been the last store to sell them around here, and not for maybe 10 years.
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Tuicemen

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2015, 06:29:07 PM »

I wouldn't expect to see x10 modules offered at a retail store any time soon again.
The old owners damaged the rep which the new owners are trying to repair.
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toasterking

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2015, 10:36:26 AM »

I hate to say this, but I don't expect X10 to have mass appeal to the average consumer again.  Development has been behind competitors for a long time now, and even if it catches up, the barrier to entry will always be higher now because of the additional filtering and planning needed to retain compatibility with power supplies used in modern equipment on the power line in the average consumer's home.  The only way to completely fix the latter is not to use the existing protocol.  Competing systems are available now that have a lot more functionality out of the box with less hassle.

I'm not the average consumer, and I love X10 because it's so hackable.  I don't want one-box solutions that do something cool and high-tech; I want solutions I can build that do exactly what I want.  X10 has directly catered to this sort of thing in the past with their TW523 interface, PowerFlash Module, Universal Module, and SDK.  I don't mind the barrier to entry because I get a system that has enjoyed broad manufacturer support over the years (and thus many inexpensive and varied modules available), has an open and published (and SIMPLE) communications protocol, has many modules that are electrically customizable (old-fashioned through-hole PCB design helps with this), supports both power line and RF communication, has a free SDK, and is not cloud-dependent.  How many other systems can claim all these features?  I don't know of a single one.
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dhouston

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2015, 11:46:33 AM »

If they are to find a market, they need to abandon PLC and use RF exclusively.
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toasterking

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2015, 12:56:12 PM »

I've seen that other automation systems that use power-line communication like Insteon and UPB also have their share of problems with power-line noise and signal suckers.  It's all very useful when it works, but power lines simply weren't made to be data buses.  However, I also think that the current X10 RF implementation is nice as a supplement to PLC but is not nearly robust enough to build an entire home installation around, even in a small house like mine.  The transmission distance needs to be better, it needs to detect collisions and retransmit, we need repeaters that don't compete with each other, we need at least status query, extended dim, and some manner of scene support, and we need some manner of privacy or encryption.  Some of these are doable without breaking compatibility with existing devices, but not all are.  If they're going to go RF, it needs to be something that can compete with Z-Wave.  Just my opinion; feel free to disregard as desired.
EDIT: Clarification:  As a supplementary system, I can forgive/cope with these weaknesses and mitigate the issues that result.  As the core of a home automation installation, it would be unacceptable.

While on the topic of interference, I'll note that when there is power-line interference, there is usually something you can do about it since you have physical access to the wiring that is used as the bus.  With RF, if a neighbor or nearby business happens to have some device that spews out strong noise at the same frequency that your RF gear uses, you don't have any options short of building a Faraday cage around your house.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 12:59:43 PM by toasterking »
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dhouston

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2015, 03:30:05 PM »

FCC limits on RF transmit power will likely mean there's no reason to worry about neighbors.

And, while X10's shoddy design and lousy QC probably means that X10 transmit power is far below FCC allowed power, range is easily increased by better receiver design and by designing so that antennas have galvanic isolation using things like isolation transformers which would allow for use of more efficient antennas and RF preamps. 300' range is easy with no increase in transmit power.
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toasterking

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2015, 04:35:14 PM »

So we have a potential solution for one of its many problems so far!  Progress is good!   ;D
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Tuicemen

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2015, 05:01:06 PM »

300' range is easy with no increase in transmit power.
That may be desirable distance for some but for me this would mean I could have over 10 neighbours possibly causing problems with my setup in the city.
Talk about a trouble shooting nightmare. B:(
As it is now I have only two maybe 3 neighbours possibly able to cause issues with RF.
With one new SR751 I now get almost 200 feet at my off grid place where there is no neighbour close enough to cause a issue, even if the 300 foot range was to be incorporated.
Maybe a range reducer would be needed for some. rofl
 >!
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dhouston

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Re: PLC Wi-Fi Module test ideas (input requested)
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2015, 06:23:13 PM »

One need not jump to the maximum. A more efficient antenna can give 50'-75' with a (plug-in) pre-amp increasing that to +300'.

All of Europe uses 433.92Mhz for X10 and nearly all other automation. And, they allow more transmit power. I haven't seen many interference complaints.
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