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Author Topic: Differences between TM751, TM751-C, RR501, and other X10 RF transceivers  (Read 2623 times)

madbrain

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Are any of these transceivers better than the others, in terms of range and powerline signal strength ?

My existing setup consists of 12 devices on 5 different house codes. 9 are hardwired switches on 4 different house codes. 3 are plug-in, each on a different house code. Using the CM11A, PLC signals only reliably reach about half of them. The others almost never work. I have many more switches and plug-in modules in a drawer, uninstalled, that I'm not using because of the noise problems.

I also have a CM17A, and two RF-X10 transceivers, models RTM75 and RR501. I have found that the RF reach of the CM17A in my office is pretty good. It reaches through several room/walls. By placing the transceivers on different outlets, and changing their house code, I'm able to control at least 11 devices (haven't checked on the 12th yet, it's not very important) reliably. At least, I was able to at the time of the day that I tested. I'm not sure it would work all the time. But this is encouraging as there was zero mishap so far in this test.
I will need at least one more transceiver, though. Consolidating all devices onto one or two house codes would not be enough - I need to use at least 3 outlets to reach every existing device, and thus, at least one more transceiver.

Thus, my question - which additional transceiver(s) models would be preferred ? I probably wouldn't be plugging anything into any of them, so any differences related to 2-pin/3-pin outlets, or wattage, is irrelevant. I would prefer a module without a relay/outlet at all, actually.

I am also wondering why X10 never made a transceiver that works on all house codes. As far as I can tell, the X10 RF protocol sends both the house code and unit code over the air. But the transceivers retransmit only signals for the house code they have specifically been setup for. It seems a bit silly. I suppose it makes sense in apartments or houses very close to each other. But there is no issue of interference with neighbors in my case, so a transceiver without any house code / unit code / outlet would work best.
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Brian H

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The TM751 can have its internal relay only controlled by RF commands as it has no X10 power line receiver in it. Since it does not have a PL receiver in it it just sends the commands when received or not polite. I don't remember which TM751 was shipped with out the internal relay but one for awhile was sent with the outlet outlet bottom a pass through outlet. Only Unit Code 1.

The RR502 has a PL receiver in it and should be polite. Waiting to send until the line is clear. It also can be both RF or PL internal relay controlled. Internal relay can be on Unit Code 1 or Unit Code 9.

There was a all House Code Transceiver made by Leviton if memory serves me.

WGL use to make a V572 all house code receiver and it had a external antenna you could mount higher. Mine covers the whole house. It needed a TW523 or XTB 523 interface or PL259 emulation port on a XTB-IIR to the power lines.

I have seen mixed reviews on the Smartint EZX10 device. It is supposed to do all of the House and Unit codes by default but you could program out unwanted ones.
https://smartenit.com/shop/ezx10rf/
« Last Edit: March 30, 2022, 06:57:16 AM by Brian H »
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toasterking

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Also check Dave Houston's site for some superb notes regarding what to be aware of if you have multiple transceivers in your house:
https://www.laser.com/dhouston/multiples.html

There was a all House Code Transceiver made by Leviton if memory serves me.
Indeed, that was the Leviton HCPRF.  I have one, and while it does work on all housecodes, receiving range is very poor, at least with X10-branded transmitters.  That may be the old superheterodyne vs. superregenerative receiver disparity at work, and it may work better with Leviton-branded transmitters, but I haven't checked into it.

The WGL V572 that Brian mentioned got great reviews in its day.  They also made a W800 series that connected directly to a PC and would pipe received RF commands directly to automation software, rather than transferring them to the powerline.

All of the latter are discontinued now.
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toasterking

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It's also worth mentioning that the X10 CM15A can be used as an all-housecode transceiver.  You can actually connect it to a PC and program which RF housecodes you want transmitted back onto the powerline.  RF reception range is limited, but there are antenna hacks for that.  For example: https://www.laser.com/dhouston/ImproveCM15A.html
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madbrain

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The TM751 can have its internal relay only controlled by RF commands as it has no X10 power line receiver in it. Since it does not have a PL receiver in it it just sends the commands when received or not polite. I don't remember which TM751 was shipped with out the internal relay but one for awhile was sent with the outlet outlet bottom a pass through outlet. Only Unit Code 1.

Thanks ! This is very helpful.

Any idea about the RTM75 I have ? Is it built without a PL receiver, like the TM751 ?
Edit: I tested it, no PL receiver in it indeed. At least, it doesn't respond to unit code 1 on the selected house code.

Quote
The RR502 has a PL receiver in it and should be polite. Waiting to send until the line is clear. It also can be both RF or PL internal relay controlled. Internal relay can be on Unit Code 1 or Unit Code 9.

Did you mean the RR501 ? I couldn't find any reference to the RR502.

Quote
There was a all House Code Transceiver made by Leviton if memory serves me.

If you recall more about it, I'd like to hear about it.

Quote
WGL use to make a V572 all house code receiver and it had a external antenna you could mount higher. Mine covers the whole house. It needed a TW523 or XTB 523 interface or PL259 emulation port on a XTB-IIR to the power lines.

Nice, but I don't have any of these other devices, and most of them aren't for sale anymore, so it won't be an option for me.

Quote
I have seen mixed reviews on the Smartint EZX10 device. It is supposed to do all of the House and Unit codes by default but you could program out unwanted ones.
https://smartenit.com/shop/ezx10rf/

Nice. It costs 4-5x the price of a single-housecode receiver, and less flexible (limited to a single outlet, obviously) so not very appealing.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2022, 07:38:46 AM by madbrain »
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madbrain

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Also check Dave Houston's site for some superb notes regarding what to be aware of if you have multiple transceivers in your house:
https://www.laser.com/dhouston/multiples.html

Thanks, this is also very nice to know.
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madbrain

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It's also worth mentioning that the X10 CM15A can be used as an all-housecode transceiver.  You can actually connect it to a PC and program which RF housecodes you want transmitted back onto the powerline.  RF reception range is limited, but there are antenna hacks for that.  For example: https://www.laser.com/dhouston/ImproveCM15A.html

Thank you. Are you saying I can program the CM15A with a PC to select the housecodes to transceive, and then use it without a PC ? That's pretty cool. Too bad about the limited RF range.
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SkipWX10

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It's also worth mentioning that the X10 CM15A can be used as an all-housecode transceiver.  You can actually connect it to a PC and program which RF housecodes you want transmitted back onto the powerline.  RF reception range is limited, but there are antenna hacks for that.  For example: https://www.laser.com/dhouston/ImproveCM15A.html

Thank you. Are you saying I can program the CM15A with a PC to select the housecodes to transceive, and then use it without a PC ? That's pretty cool. Too bad about the limited RF range.

FWIW, the CM15a is a stand alone controller in that you can program it to take care of lighting/appliance tasks and macros, etc and then disconnect and it will manage all the functions, as well as work as an RF receiver.
My CM15a runs my day to day lighting and has for many many years.
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madbrain

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FWIW, the CM15a is a stand alone controller in that you can program it to take care of lighting/appliance tasks and macros, etc and then disconnect and it will manage all the functions, as well as work as an RF receiver.
My CM15a runs my day to day lighting and has for many many years.

Thanks. For now, I opted to purchase a couple of additional RR501 transceivers from Ebay. This should allow me to extend the life of my X10 system. And perhaps put some of the plug-in modules back in service. I'll think about the CM15A perhaps in the future. I know the PLC signal cannot reach all rooms from a single outlet, though, so it would make sense only if it was in the same price range as an RR501, but it's not close. I thought about it before as a replacement for the CM11A, but the software support under Linux is too problematic. Most software works with the CM11A/CM17A over RS232 but not with the CM15A.
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Brian H

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Correct RR501 not my mistypes RR502  :(
The Leviton is a HCPRF-1TW.
See page K6.
http://communities.leviton.com/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/1979-102-1-2963/CAT%20L101%20Section%20K.pdf
256 addresses is all 16 House Codes and 16 Unit Codes.

If you need so many transceivers to cover the house.
Do you have any X10 coupler repeater in your house.
Have you done any signal corrections. For things line noise makers and signal suckers?

Jeffs great X10 Troubleshooting tutorials. https://jvde.us/x10-troubleshooting/
« Last Edit: April 01, 2022, 06:44:07 AM by Brian H »
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toasterking

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Thank you. Are you saying I can program the CM15A with a PC to select the housecodes to transceive, and then use it without a PC ? That's pretty cool. Too bad about the limited RF range.
Yes, and it retains your configuration without the PC connected as long as it retains AC power or has working AAA batteries installed.  ;)
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JeffVolp

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The WGL V572 that Brian mentioned got great reviews in its day.  They also made a W800 series that connected directly to a PC and would pipe received RF commands directly to automation software, rather than transferring them to the powerline.

All of the latter are discontinued now.

WGL - Gerald Warren Lohoff, age 82, of San Antonio, Texas passed away on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.  The V572A pops up occasionally on eBay, usually as part of a larger lot of X10 stuff.  That's where I picked up a spare for myself.

Jeff
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X-10 automation since the BSR days

madbrain

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The Leviton is a HCPRF-1TW.
See page K6.
http://communities.leviton.com/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/1979-102-1-2963/CAT%20L101%20Section%20K.pdf
256 addresses is all 16 House Codes and 16 Unit Codes.

Thank you !

Quote
If you need so many transceivers to cover the house.
Do you have any X10 coupler repeater in your house.
Have you done any signal corrections. For things line noise makers and signal suckers?

Jeffs great X10 Troubleshooting tutorials. https://jvde.us/x10-troubleshooting/

I am aware of Jeff's tutorial. I believe my noise/signal sucker situation cannot be resolved, given the number of electrical devices I have, lack of space in panels to install filters, lack of filter availability, and lack of sufficient funds to pay an electrician to install filters in panels. I have discussed it in other threads, and don't wish to go over it again. It would cost far less to just rip out all hard-wired X10 devices from my home - it's just 9, not too many. Still not sure what smart switches I would replace them with, though, and the X10 switches function fine as dumb switches, so, no good reason to rip them out at this time.

Using the CM17A and RF transceivers is one of my last attempts to salvage the use of X10 in my house. The cost of the transceivers is fairly modest, and if it doesn't work reliably enough, I won't have wasted too much money.
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madbrain

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Thank you. Are you saying I can program the CM15A with a PC to select the housecodes to transceive, and then use it without a PC ? That's pretty cool. Too bad about the limited RF range.
Yes, and it retains your configuration without the PC connected as long as it retains AC power or has working AAA batteries installed.  ;)

Thanks. I knew my CM11A can work without PC as well. Just never used that functionality. It doesn't transceive. And the PLC transmission is poor as it works off a single outlet. I chose the least broken one in my office. For most, no PLC signal goes through at all, even to turn off the XPS3 switch that controls the ceiling light in the same room. Only a single outlet works at all to do that. There are X10 filters on everything that's plugged in to all the outlets in the room. In think the fact that they are surge protector outlets is a huge part of the problem. But the situation wasn't great even before I installed them. The CM11A has bugs where it sometimes locks up. It's hard to distinguish when that happens vs a noise problem.

At least the CM17A using RF has never locked up on me using Active Home Vista on Windows, and now Home Assistant on my Pi 3B+. I have never seen the 2 transceivers I have lock up either, either when receiving commands from the CM17A, or from the two RW724 remotes that are hanging off the wall outside my office and home theater, respectively. Any problems with those RF remotes not working was always tracked to batteries needing replacement. The RW724 always control units 1/2/3, and that's the reason why I use several house codes. I can't really consolidate to a single house code unless I also change the remotes, which I am not going to do at this stage. I will probably consolidate the 5 house codes down to 2. Adding transceivers to support multiple house codes and different noise at different outlets makes sense to me . I do have an HR12A remote that works, too, but it's not designed to be hung off the wall. Also have an RSS18 which could be taped to the wall, and doesn't require unit 1/2/3.  I don't think it's as nice as the RW724s, though. The RSS18 requires a non-rechargeable CR2032 battery, and would have to be untaped from the wall for replacement. Not a great design. All those remotes are white also, which clashes with the other 97 switches in the house that are Light Almond. Unfortunately, I don't think X10 ever made remotes in other colors. Beggars can't be choosers, though.

I have a couple XPS4s still new in the box that I may have installed, if this attempt using RF works. Otherwise, they'll go to ebay.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2022, 09:46:05 PM by madbrain »
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Brian H

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The WGL web site is gone now. As I kind of expected.
I do have the WGL V572 configuration software if any one get one maybe from EBay and didn't get the software.
I have both the standard one and one made specially for Smarthome that could get power from the 1132B interface or wall wart. The signal pin outs are different. So depending on the X10 interface you used. One used the standard phone cable and the other the data style cable.
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