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Author Topic: strange things happening  (Read 667 times)

Kenyon

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strange things happening
« on: November 15, 2021, 02:48:02 PM »

I've recently moved my office home and strange things are happening with my X-10. I  currently have 19 total X10 devices on A and B, mostly B except for 4 devices. I have lamp modules, wall modules, relays and more. I have more than one device with same code. The relays run non dimmable LED loads. The lamp modules all run low wattage LED lamps in bedside and living room table lamps. The wall modules run multiple LED loads ranging from twin 17 watt Par 38's outside to in ceiling pancakes in kitchen. I run X10 WIFI. I have the hardwired phase coupler. I have 4ea. 16ch controllers located in my house and my wife and I both have the X10 app loaded on our phones. I brought 4 computers, a 30" monitor, two printers, routers, switches and more to my home office with the computers all into UPS.  Could the UPS be the problem ? I have a couple of 50 watt LED's on our driveway on B5. I also have a lamp in landscaping at bottom of driveway on B5. Just recently the 2 50 watt fixtures (non dim on relay) have started coming on randomly. There are two devices on B5 but only one is randomly coming on. That would seem to be a random noise problem on the power line. Since we brought our office home everything's started acting weird. I have two loads that will not respond to WIFI at all. One is in our theater room and it will not respond to anything but a wired control plugged in in that room. The other is an outside under eve dual 17 watt LED light that was working fine.

This has become very frustrating. Should high powered UPS's cause funny stuff on the AC line ? Do I maybe need to try a new phase coupler in my AC panel ?

I've been using X10 for 30 years and have never experiences anything like this. VERY FRUSTRATING !

I'm looking for some insight.

 
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mcgrogan

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Re: strange things happening
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2021, 06:01:45 PM »

Kenyon, my sons have x10-controlled ceiling lamps & fans in their rooms.  When we replaced one of my son's UPS units with a larger one, the x10 units in the other son's room ceased working.  After MUCH experimentation I discovered that putting a line noise suppressor in front of the new UPS made the problem go away.  I suspect that you are encountering the same problem.
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Brian H

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Re: strange things happening
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2021, 06:36:29 PM »

The AC input conditioning on many UPS units.
Will absorb X10 power line commands as they look like noise to the UPS AC conditioner.
I have a Smarthome FilterLinc on my UPS. It is a 10 amp filter designed to isolate X10 and Insteon commands from the UPS. That is powering my computing gear.
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brobin

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Re: strange things happening
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2021, 08:13:36 PM »

Each UPS should be plugged into an X10 filter. The XPPF available at X10.com is rated for 5 amps but I've used them for years on UPS units supporting a PC, monitor and typical peripherals.  You can find some 10 and 15 amp ones on ebay:

ebay.to/30qFG3M  (this one is your best bet - buy one for each UPS)

ebay.to/3chH9vV

ebay.to/3HrfhE3

ebay.to/3FDQNpx

ebay.to/3kIUcLI

ebay.to/3Dqw8Er
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smatofu

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Re: strange things happening
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2021, 01:50:37 PM »

[I've been using X10 for 30 years and have never experiences anything like this. VERY FRUSTRATING !]

Frustrating but typical for X10.

X10 filters on UPSes, computers, and some electronics/chargers are a must.

Some additional things:

1. LED bulbs can go bad with time. I had cases with 4-LED bulb light fixtures, when I had to replace bulb-by-bulb to find the polluting bulb. 

2. When you testing, turn ALL lights and devices on. Sometimes the problem is with closet or stair lights that is on infrequently.

3. When you have any active modules (repeaters, CM15A, transceivers, etc) make sure they are on different house codes, otherwise they may flood the grid with infinite loop commands.


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Noam

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Re: strange things happening
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2021, 08:55:24 AM »

Since there were no posts for a month (until the previous comment), I'm guessing the OP figured out the problem.
However, the simplest solution (new stuff brought in at the same time the problem started) is likely the simplest answer (and the best place to start troubleshooting).
If all of the new equipment was plugged into a UPS, then unplugging the UPS would b the simplest test to start with. If you know when the problem is happening (same time, etc), run the test then. If you don't, then you'd need to unplug the UPS, and probably shut it's loads down if you'll need to leave it unplugged longer than the unit's runtime on battery.
Another few things to try (again, if the problem has been resolved, this is just for the benefit of others who might have similar problems):
 - Put the UPS on a filter (as suggested by several others here).
 - Move the UPS to a different outlet on the other phase (using a long extension cord - rated for the load of the UPS).
 - Plug the UPS in through an *even longer* extension cord - as wire length reduces the level of the noise in many cases.

If doing those things stops the issue, then it points back to the UPS being the problem, and a filter is probably easiest solution. If removing the UPS from the picture doesn't solve the problem, then it could be one of the other LED lights mentioned - or a combination of them and the UPS - and additional circuit-by-circuit troubleshooting would be needed. The hardest part is chasing an intermittent problem. Because if you can't reliably reproduce it, it's hard to be sure it's gone.
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HA Dave

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Re: strange things happening
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2021, 04:39:08 PM »

We shouldn't forget.... that the OP said "he brought his office home". Whereas it very well could be the UPS in his "now" home office. In my experience with X10 line noise.... it could also be a battery powered drill charging in the garage. Or.... something like that. 
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Noam

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Re: strange things happening
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2021, 08:25:44 AM »

.... it could also be a battery powered drill charging in the garage. Or.... something like that.
... or a noisy CFL on a neighbor's porch  -:)
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HA Dave

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Re: strange things happening
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2021, 10:07:12 AM »

... or a noisy CFL on a neighbor's porch  -:)

Yeah.... I wonder.... when we might see the "very last" CFL burning somewhere. Like in a shed or closet...
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Noam

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Re: strange things happening
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2021, 08:17:42 AM »

... or a noisy CFL on a neighbor's porch  -:)

Yeah.... I wonder.... when we might see the "very last" CFL burning somewhere. Like in a shed or closet...
Don't worry, LEDs can go bad and start making noise, too (and they can be cheaply made and noisy from the factory, too). So there should be plenty of opportunities to chase phantom noise, long after the CFLs have all gone away. :)
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