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Author Topic: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There  (Read 5887 times)

Tipiford

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Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« on: September 13, 2023, 02:35:28 PM »

I have a DHC Noise Block prior to entering my breaker box, and have never seen other computers online. Now, about half of my modules aren't responding and my "Find other Computers" screen is pretty much full.
Any ideas here? (Obviously, my code is G.)
« Last Edit: September 13, 2023, 09:57:55 PM by Tipiford »
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JeffVolp

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2023, 05:26:54 PM »

The likely cause is powerline noise either originating in your own home or coming in over the utility feed.  Lights and plug-in modules are becoming less of a problem with power conversion moving to higher frequencies or being eliminated entirely.  Now the problem is often caused by variable speed motors in major appliances or HVAC systems.  And solar inverters can be a major noise source.

I installed the Leviton version of that noise block in our home, and I saw the 120KHz carrier from our neighbor's baby monitor on the powerline when I was developing early XTB products.

Jeff
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Tipiford

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2023, 11:30:48 AM »

The likely cause is powerline noise either originating in your own home or coming in over the utility feed.  Lights and plug-in modules are becoming less of a problem with power conversion moving to higher frequencies or being eliminated entirely.  Now the problem is often caused by variable speed motors in major appliances or HVAC systems.  And solar inverters can be a major noise source.

I installed the Leviton version of that noise block in our home, and I saw the 120KHz carrier from our neighbor's baby monitor on the powerline when I was developing early XTB products.

Jeff
I thought the idea behind the noise blockers were to keep stray signal out of the home, anything past the meter.

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brobin

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2023, 12:07:44 AM »

The one you have keeps noise from the outside from getting in but doesn't do much, if anything, for noise generated within the home.  Have a look at Jeff's tutorials here: https://jvde.us/x10-troubleshooting/
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Tipiford

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2023, 05:51:05 PM »

The one you have keeps noise from the outside from getting in but doesn't do much, if anything, for noise generated within the home.  Have a look at Jeff's tutorials here: https://jvde.us/x10-troubleshooting/
Thank you, I have looked through these before─a good tutorial─and I am well acquainted with many X10 issues (I was an X10 dealer in the early 80's until Bad Actor X10 started dumping products in chain stores where I could stock inventory from Radio Shack cheaper than I could purchase it from X10, my distributer), but I have never seen this influx of such massive signal noise before, and especially not inside my home where no changes have been made, and all of a sudden, half (or more) of my system is inoperative.
So, I'm presently at the quandary of whether I should move to Insteon, which I believe to support X10 (and from what I've read, is not much more reliable than X10). or move to another system─maybe like Zwave─which would run waay too costly for my lowly fixed income during the passage of old age and retirement.
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brobin

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2023, 06:25:35 PM »

I've had this happen a couple of times. One is mentioned in one of Jeff's tutorials where a wall wart cell phone charger turned out to be a perfect X10 blocker right out of the box and more recently when a wall wart that had been plugged in for 6 years for a Tivo Mini suddenly started doing the same thing shutting down X10.  It's frustrating because you've added nothing new but they do go bad but still put out the correct voltage so it isn't obvious.  Time to start unplugging things including laptop power supplies to find the culprit. My money is on a bad wall wart. Please post what you find.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2023, 12:22:16 AM »

My earlier point was that if the filter was not blocking the 120KHz carrier coming in from our neighbor, it would not be blocking powerline noise coming in from another home sharing the same distribution transformer.

To expand on brobin's post, we had a LED light that had worked fine for about a decade start to inject enough noise onto the powerline to cause problems for its Leviton X10 switch (which has AGC to reject powerline noise.)  Replacing it with an identical bulb purchased at the same time solved the problem.  So while the prior bulb was still working, something in it had failed so it turned into a noise generator.

Jeff
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Tipiford

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2023, 05:47:01 PM »

My earlier point was that if the filter was not blocking the 120KHz carrier coming in from our neighbor, it would not be blocking powerline noise coming in from another home sharing the same distribution transformer.

Jeff
I can understand that, however, 192 codes showing activity in "Find other Computers," appears unrealistic, so I'm assuming my DHC Noise Filter is working (This would mean one or more neighbors are, all of a sudden, using all these codes─there are only 11 or 12 of us on the same transformer). The codes I'm using are G..., and the 48 empty codes without noise are all in F, L and O; every other code is showing noise in either red or yellow squares (mostly yellow), and most of my modules are either partially working. or not at all.

To expand on brobin's post, we had a LED light that had worked fine for about a decade start to inject enough noise onto the powerline to cause problems for its Leviton X10 switch (which has AGC to reject powerline noise.)  Replacing it with an identical bulb purchased at the same time solved the problem.  So while the prior bulb was still working, something in it had failed so it turned into a noise generator.

Jeff
To further troubleshoot, I unplugged all chargers, and for good measure disabled all GFIs, and turned off all circuit breakers with X10 units/modules; still seeing the massive noise.

Could this possibly be my CM15a?
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Brian H

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2023, 06:35:23 PM »

Try your other electronic devices.
Like LED TV or anything with electronic controls. That seem to be in everything these days.
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brobin

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2023, 06:45:42 PM »

Try the non-X10 circuit breakers too. You could urn off ALL the other breakers and if the noise is gone start turning them back on till you see the noise to narrow down the culprit. 
Can you control X10 from another controller without the the CM15a plugged in?
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Tipiford

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2023, 08:42:55 PM »

Try your other electronic devices.
Like LED TV or anything with electronic controls. That seem to be in everything these days.
I should have mentioned I had also unplugged the TVs, as well.

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Tipiford

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2023, 08:47:12 PM »

Can you control X10 from another controller without the the CM15a plugged in?
Nope, only partially, using a CM19a controller.
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Tipiford

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2023, 08:49:59 PM »

Try the non-X10 circuit breakers too. You could urn off ALL the other breakers and if the noise is gone start turning them back on till you see the noise to narrow down the culprit. 
I will try this maņana while no one's in repose.
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brobin

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2023, 09:16:10 PM »

If you have any UPS systems unplug those too. I have all mine plugged into filters.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Find Other Computers, Finding What Shouldn't Be There
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2023, 12:17:25 AM »

I can understand that, however, 192 codes showing activity in "Find other Computers," appears unrealistic, so I'm assuming my DHC Noise Filter is working (This would mean one or more neighbors are, all of a sudden, using all these codes─there are only 11 or 12 of us on the same transformer).

No, that is not how noise works.  It doesn't create actual X10 commands.  It creates random bit patterns that occasionally match an actual X10 code.  If you clear all of them out you will see them gradually build back again.

Jeff

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