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Author Topic: Improvement to the XTB-ANR  (Read 2087 times)

JeffVolp

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Improvement to the XTB-ANR
« on: July 05, 2016, 05:08:06 PM »

I am working on a firmware upgrade to the XTB-ANR to operate in a "stealth" mode.  Rather than always attenuating everything on the powerline, it monitors the background noise level, and only switches on its attenuation when the noise level rises to the point where it could begin to affect X10 operation.  An added feature pulses the LED briefly every two seconds to give a crude monitor of the background noise level.

The reason for the upgrade is that I had been working with someone dealing with some serious signal suckers.  He thought the problem was due to noise, and had added XTB-ANRs to his system.  XTBM readings showed absolutely zero noise and very weak signal levels.  The signal from one remote transmitter was too low for XTB-ANR to recognize to turn off the attenuation.  We eventually isolated the worst signal suckers, and signal levels came up an order of magnitude.  So did the noise levels, and now the XTB-ANRs are actually doing something.

A few beta units are available for evaluation.  Please contact me directly if you are interested.

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: Improvement to the XTB-ANR
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2016, 09:49:14 AM »

The beta test is over.  Everyone who responded was happy with the update, and especially the noise monitor.   All new units are now shipping with version 1.10.

Jeff
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JeffVolp

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Re: Improvement to the XTB-ANR
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2021, 10:19:25 AM »

The new batch of XTB-ANRs uses a new PIC microcontroller with a higher clock speed that allowed tightening the X10 pass window significantly.  To allow for component tolerances, it will reject noise 5% outside the 120KHz passband.

This version also includes the "stealth" mode and crude noise level monitor.  It is a plug-in replacement for the firmware in prior units.

Jeff
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brobin

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Re: Improvement to the XTB-ANR
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2021, 12:51:15 PM »

Is this different from the ones shipped a few years ago?  Should I upgrade mine?
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JeffVolp

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Re: Improvement to the XTB-ANR
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2021, 11:40:17 PM »

Is this different from the ones shipped a few years ago?  Should I upgrade mine?

The firmware is indeed different as it used a newer PIC microcontroller.  But except for the significantly tighter pass-band, it works essentially the same as version 1.1 released in August 2016.  If you don't have 1.1, I believe the upgrade is warranted because of the "stealth" mode and the noise level indicator.

Jeff

(corrected typo)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2021, 01:48:53 PM by JeffVolp »
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JeffVolp

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Re: Improvement to the XTB-ANR
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2021, 11:14:27 AM »

Since people have been asking about availability of the XTBM to measure powerline noise, I thought I would mention that a crude noise monitor was added to the XTB-ANR when the stealth mode was incorporated.

The XTB-ANR flashes its LED in sequences to indicate the background noise level.  A single brief flash every couple of seconds means the background noise is about 10mV - nothing to be concerned about.  Three brief flashes indicate about 30mV of noise.  Above that the ANR turns on its noise reduction, and the flashes become longer.  A sequence of four or more long flashes means you may have a serious noise source on that circuit or phase that you should track down and isolate.

The final batch of the XTB-ANR is still available, and you might consider it as another tool to help maintain your X10 system.

Jeff
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