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Author Topic: List of Signal Suckers and Interfering Devices?  (Read 2941 times)

N-Tesla

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List of Signal Suckers and Interfering Devices?
« on: November 12, 2023, 09:45:34 AM »

I'm wondering if anyone has come up with a list of plug in devices that either suppress X10 signals (signal suckers) or put so much interference on the line as to overpower the X10 signals?

I've tossed several Philips branded "Surge suppressors" that you plugged into the outlet and then plugged your device into the "protector" (single, 3 and 6 outlet types) because as soon as I plugged the surge suppressor in, my X10 died. Some times on one or two branch circuits, sometimes appearing to affect the entire house.

When it comes to noise generation I ran into a lot of LED bulbs (early on) that messed up the X10.
I don't recall brand/model now but they were name brand bulbs.

And my personal favourite, a FoodSaver Model V3820 Vacuum sealer.... as soon as I plug it in (without turning it on) it wipes out X10 on the entire system.
It also wipes out weaker AM radio signals. An XPPF module fixed the X10 issue. (Not the AM interference.)


Would it make sense to have a sticky list that people can add devices to, to aid in troubleshooting?


Just a thought.

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Tuicemen

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Re: List of Signal Suckers and Interfering Devices?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2023, 11:11:58 AM »

What device causes issues for you may not for someone else. Many had noticed led bulbs (when first started to emerge) even from same manufacturers and same age behaved differently.
Same can be said for power supplies and surge protectors.
What didn't cause a issue yesterday might start causing a issue tomorrow.  :(
A search for noise or signal suckers will turn up many examples. I've been fairly lucky as for issues with noise and signal suckers but I do have a noise meter which quickly finds any problem device.
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N-Tesla

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Re: List of Signal Suckers and Interfering Devices?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2023, 11:32:20 AM »

What device causes issues for you may not for someone else. Many had noticed led bulbs (when first started to emerge) even from same manufacturers and same age behaved differently.
Same can be said for power supplies and surge protectors.
What didn't cause a issue yesterday might start causing a issue tomorrow.  :(
A search for noise or signal suckers will turn up many examples. I've been fairly lucky as for issues with noise and signal suckers but I do have a noise meter which quickly finds any problem device.

I have a feeling it's one of Jeff Volp's "No longer available" XTBM meters.... ::)

Which means I'm SOL on that one.  :(


Your "you and not others" suggestion had me realize that yes, highly likely in the sense that a manufacturer gets complaints that "product X" is messing up PLC devices (X10 isn't the only one playing in that territory) so the manufacturer adds a filter or makes a change to the next "Lot" of the item they make, but it may still have the same model number on it.

So looking at the bulb, device or whatever, you can't tell whether it's the old lot that had trouble or the new one that has been fixed.

Just thinking about even X10 devices like the RR501. I have some really old ones that only do 8 house codes - 1-8 or 9-16 - whereas the new(er) ones do all 16 codes and the front switch just selects the internal appliance module between 1 or 9.

They didn't change the model number as far as I know. They're all "RR501".
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Brian H

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Re: List of Signal Suckers and Interfering Devices?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2023, 12:43:10 PM »

Many switching type power supplies can be signal suckers or noise makers.
Many electronic devices. Can also but it may depend on the units design. To keep the devices internal electronic noise off for the power lines. They put a capacitor across the power lines. Kills the internal noise but also sucks up X10 signals. Though if they have a choke coil before the capacitor. It will probably not be a signal sucker. I have LED TVs and thay do absorb X10 signals as my XTBM shows, but since I also have an XTB-IIR with a >10V X10 signal. Only one needed a filter as even absorbed. Most of the house has a >1V X10 signal at the sicker location.

We see occasionally a refrigerator or microwave with electronic controls also be an issue.

The filtered AC input on many UPS units will also absorb X10 signals. I have mine on a 10 Amp Smarthome FilterLincs filtered outlet and the unfiltered pass through the automation interface. In my case a 2413S PLM.

I have not seen any definite list but as pointed out. May depend on your exact equipment and how it likes X10 signals.

Yes the XTBM can be a big help. On a rare occasion they may have a unit from a user that dumped X10 for another protocol.
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brobin

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Tuicemen

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Re: List of Signal Suckers and Interfering Devices?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2023, 07:10:33 AM »

Yes I have one of Jeff's meters.
Another thing that helps track down problem devices is to map your circuits. I once had a incandescent light bulb that caused me an issue it was on a x10 lamp module and worked fine but every thing down line from it on that circuit failed when it was on.
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N-Tesla

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Re: List of Signal Suckers and Interfering Devices?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2023, 09:17:34 AM »


I have a feeling it's one of Jeff Volp's "No longer available" XTBM meters.... ::)

Which means I'm SOL on that one.  :(


Right now there's a Monterey tester available on ebay. It's an excellent meter for solving X10 problems. I have one as well as an XTBM and still use it. Well worth the price.


Seems I'm always a day late and a dollar short....  :P

The item sold between your reply and me looking at the link.

NOTE: Not sure why but I tried to reply using the "quote" button, and I wasn't allowed to send the reply.
It said I'm not allowed to post links in my messages, so I had to delete your link from the quote.

I'm new (in terms of not having made many posts)  so I suspect this is a restriction on new users.
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N-Tesla

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Re: List of Signal Suckers and Interfering Devices?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2023, 09:26:48 AM »

Yes I have one of Jeff's meters.
Another thing that helps track down problem devices is to map your circuits. I once had a incandescent light bulb that caused me an issue it was on a x10 lamp module and worked fine but every thing down line from it on that circuit failed when it was on.


If I could post images I'd post a pic of my panel.
This started out as a very small farmhouse in the 1800's.... Then got an addition in the 1970's...
It's a total rats nest of new wiring connecting to old circuits in a dirt floor basement. Some of the old wiring is still knob and tube inside the walls....
I've been  trying to do exactly that as far as mapping but it's not easy.

I did just buy a PLC01 Power Line Repeater. Obviously nowhere near Jeff's repeater but I bought it because it's portable and has an LED on it that blinks when valid codes are received.
I figured it would work as a makeshift "detector" that I can see where I do or don't get signals. But no clue how good or bad the signal is even if it's tripping the LED.
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