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Author Topic: Power Line Issues / Interference ?  (Read 2807 times)

wickvegs

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Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« on: March 09, 2022, 09:15:09 PM »

X10 stopped working again out of the blue.  I have had no issues with it since the last time I was here and I got the replacement X10.  It passed all of the troubleshooting and then it hit me.

The Mrs has setup her indoor greenhouse this time of year to grow seedlings and has plugged the lights via powerstrips into the same circuit.  I unplugged all of them and boom - lights came on as usual with the drive alert.  As it sits right now, the lights and the X10 are on the same house circuit.

So is it just too much activity / power going through the line that is preventing the X10 signal from triggering the lights or is it a line noise issue that the right power strips would solve?

Thanks...
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bkenobi

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2022, 12:18:40 AM »

Power strips often kill X10.  If you need to use a power strip that has a surge protection in it, you will probably need to add a plugin filter.  If you don't need the surge protection, you can find power strips that are basically just splitters.

Brian H

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2022, 06:25:07 AM »

Put the surge strip on an a filter designed for X10 use or try a simple strip with no surge features.
To isolate the strip and its devices powered from the AC line.
Unfortunately many of the filters are now discontinued.
The X10 XPPF is a 5 amp unit though pushing it to 5 amps on my older ones it got very warm.
The Smarthome 1626-10 is a 10 amp filter. It is what I have on my UPS to isolate it from the power line. Due to the world wide parts issues. I don't believe they are available from Smarthome but maybe on an auction site.

If you can unplug the strip for even a few moments and the X10 signals get better. It would indicate it is making the problems.
I have a filtered surge strip and to keep noise down it had a .1uF AC rated cap across the power lines. Removing the cap fixed the signal absorbing of the cap.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2022, 06:29:35 AM by Brian H »
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brobin

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2022, 08:54:53 PM »

A lot of those indoor greenhouses use flourescent UV bulbs and the power supplies are know to cause noise issues.  Either way, a Plug-In Filter should remedy the problem.
 
https://www.x10.com/collections/x10-filters-and-repeaters/products/xppf
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JeffVolp

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2022, 10:36:13 AM »

Unfortunately many of the filters are now discontinued.

The schematic for the XTB-F10/F15 is on-line along with the parts list and assembly instructions.  If anyone is interested in taking over production I'll even provide the Gerber files for the PCBs.

Jeff
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bkenobi

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2022, 10:46:33 AM »

Although I don't know a source for new filters, I have historically purchased some off ebay.  My preference is the SmartHome FilterLinc units.  They range from $5-15 usually so not too bad for a small number of locations.  If you need a lot of them, I'd definitely consider building them with Jeff's design since you'd be able to order enough parts to make it worth the time/money savings.

JeffVolp

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2022, 11:28:36 AM »

My preference is the SmartHome FilterLinc units.  They range from $5-15 usually so not too bad for a small number of locations.  If you need a lot of them, I'd definitely consider building them with Jeff's design since you'd be able to order enough parts to make it worth the time/money savings.

Parts alone for the XTB-F10/F15 cost about $20, and would be even more now.  Of course that was reflected in their performance compared with other filters.

Jeff
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bkenobi

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2022, 11:12:00 PM »

Parts alone for the XTB-F10/F15 cost about $20, and would be even more now.  Of course that was reflected in their performance compared with other filters.

Jeff

I don't doubt that!  I believe the SmartHome filters were around $40 new when they were available, so when I say I got them for $5-15 that was obviously a discount due to them being used.  IRC, the ones that were $5 were actually sold as "broken" which I gambled on meaning they blew the 5A fuse.  I was right so I fixed them with a simple soldered in 10A fuse to convert them to the 10A version.  Both the 5A and 10A use the same internals other than the fuse from what I found on inspection, so I got lucky to a degree.  When I looked earlier, there were a couple down towards $10 on ebay but most were a lot more so I'm not sure what the economics of new or used would be today for someone that wasn't willing to wait for a deal.

Brian H

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2022, 06:16:37 AM »

Besides the 10 amp fuses.

I have seen some posts where the components (mostly the heavy coils leads). Where the solder was poor or had cracks. Made poor contact and soldering fixed the issues.

That 5 amp or 10 amp difference and more costly 10 amp ones. Where just a different size fuse and nothing else as you have found.

ACT made an AF120. 15 Amp X10/A10 filter you can still find on some auction sites.
Had a external fuse holder So you could change it if you overloaded it.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2022, 06:52:06 AM by Brian H »
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wickvegs

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2022, 09:48:00 AM »

A lot of those indoor greenhouses use flourescent UV bulbs and the power supplies are know to cause noise issues.  Either way, a Plug-In Filter should remedy the problem.
 
https://www.x10.com/collections/x10-filters-and-repeaters/products/xppf

Dumb question - but do I plug the x10 into the filter or the powerstrips she has her grow lights plugged into?
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Brian H

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2022, 10:01:08 AM »

Plug the filter into the wall socket feeding the power strip with lights attached.
So the filter output is connected to the strips AC Line Input.
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bkenobi

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2022, 10:07:51 PM »

The filter will stop any interference from a device plugged into it from affecting the rest of your system.  Obviously you don't want to plug an X10 module into the filter since that would keep it from functioning.  Jeff made some devices that were designed to attenuate some noise that would protect a circuit branch but I never tried them.  I don't know if he has any more so perhaps that's a non-issue anyway.

Brian H

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2022, 07:05:20 AM »

He is still showing the XTB-ANR as available with a special price for two. One for each phase.
https://jvde.us/xtb-anr/
The XTB filters look like they are gone.
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bkenobi

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2022, 10:26:26 AM »

Yeah, the XTB-ANR is what I was thinking of.  Thanks for posting the link Brian!

wickvegs

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Re: Power Line Issues / Interference ?
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2022, 12:46:08 PM »

I ordered and installed the X10 XPPF Plug In Noise Filter.

Perfection - lights now work without an issue.

Thanks to everyone for their assistance!


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