Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Author Topic: Inconsistent operation of switches for Christmas Lights  (Read 686 times)

chaspear

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 2
Inconsistent operation of switches for Christmas Lights
« on: December 14, 2019, 12:12:36 PM »

Hi:
I have purchased over 50 different types of units from X-10 (and Radio Shack before X-10) going back over 30 years.
I use the mini-timers to control Christmas lights.
We have over 12 appliance controller units connected around the windows/porch to control several different Christmas light sets.
I have checked my amperage/wattage on all of the circuits with a Kill-a-Watt tester and are well below the capacity of all of the switch units, even on our longest strings of lights on our porch.
I find that the X-10 mini-timer unit (MT13A) only turns on SOME of the appliance units, BUT if I use my mobile remote battery operated controllers (X-10 models HR12A), ALL the switch units work properly, EVERY TIME, which doesn't make sense to me, especially since the MT13A is directly connected to the house grid.
ALL of them are on the SAME identification, House Code "C" and number 6 for Christmas Lights AND they're all on the same phase of power in the house.
I've swapped switches around and find the same performance problem with different switch units on different strings of lights.
I'm wondering why the mobile pad controller seems to be working much more reliably than the plugged-in mini-timer units, and what I can do to get our lights to work reliably when we're not around and want them to work in our absence.
I have 2 different "transceiver" modules (X-10 TM751) plugged in at two different locations.
All of my devices (except maybe some recent switch units) are over 2 years old, so out of warranty, but I'm just wondering if this is a common problem with the X-10 mini-timer controller units and whether they've fixed that problem in the current model (14) of this same device.
I have two different mini-timers: one of the X-10 MT-13A units and a late-model (before they went out of business) Radio Shack model 61-2470.
Both of these controllers have worked properly in years' past for both appliance AND lamp modules, but this year they both seem to be working erratically.
ALL my lighting is on the same phase of power coming into the house, so this is NOT a phase-difference issue, and we have very stable line power coming into our home.
I actually purchased one of the X-10 phase "bridge" units some years back to address that issue, but even that expensive device didn't fix the phase issue, so I re-wired some circuits so all the Christmas light controllers would be on the same phase.
Bottom line is whether the newer model MT14A minitimer would work any better than my MT13A, and if so, why.
If anyone has any suggestions about other things to try to get my timer/controller/transceiver units to work properly together, that would be helpful.
I hesitate buying a MT14A at $50 just to see if that would have a stronger signal that might trip these appliance switches any more reliably, but if anyone knows whether it might put out a stronger signal, I might buy another one.

Thanks in advance for any help figuring out why this equipment has stopped working.

Best,
Chas Pearson
Logged

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 276
  • Posts: 10310
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Forum
Re: Inconsistent operation of switches for Christmas Lights
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2019, 01:32:27 PM »

The newer mini timers do have a bit stronger signal out put.Authinx started to improve signal strength on all transmitters shortly after taking over X10WTI. However I suspect the issue is not signal strength issue but a signal sucker issue or noise take note what else is plugged in at the times your timers fail to turn on.
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 297
  • Posts: 12975
Re: Inconsistent operation of switches for Christmas Lights
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2019, 01:41:07 PM »

You may want to look at some of Jeff's great troubleshooting tutorials.
http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm

It does sound like you may have some power line signal issues. Like noise makers or signal suckers.
Logged

brobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 141
  • Posts: 971
Re: Inconsistent operation of switches for Christmas Lights
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2019, 09:48:31 PM »

Try plugging the mini timer into the same outlet as one of the transceivers and see if that helps.  Things like cellphone chargers can mess up X10 signals.
Logged

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2542
    • davehouston.org
Re: Inconsistent operation of switches for Christmas Lights
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2019, 07:20:10 AM »

I suspect brobin is right. While I don't have the MT13A, my MT14A outputs 10Vpp PLC or about the same as older TM751s and RR501s.

PS: X10 PLC transmitters themselves can be signal suckers so putting both on the same circuit may attenuate the signals from both but this is likely to be minor. In a test the output of a TM751 dropped 20% when on the same powerstrip as a TW523.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 07:56:58 AM by dhouston »
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No twees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston
 

X10.com | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
© Copyright 2014-2016 X10.com All rights reserved.