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Author Topic: Wall switches failing to respond to commands  (Read 21565 times)

Brian H

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2005, 04:12:28 PM »

Terry C. If the new supply also makes
trouble use an X10 Type Line Filter. I had
to add one to my APC BX1000 UPS as it sucked
up all the X10 signals on the powerline.
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irving lamansky

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2005, 01:38:52 PM »

Terry C,
When you shop for your filters pick up a
couple of ten amp (smarthome 1626-10) and
two or three five amp (smarthome 1626).
They are a little pricey but you sometimes
can find a deal on eBay.
The filter is the first thing out of the
wall.  Use a big power strip for the
computer, printer, monitor, misc wall worts,
etc.  Then plug the power strip into the
filtered outlet.
This will help reduce or eliminate your line
noise from those sources.  Anything with a
power supply could be a culprit.  And a lot
of things come with "AC adapters" nowadays.
Another line noise story is posted on Dec 13.
Good luck
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terry c

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2005, 04:08:03 PM »

Thanks Brian and Irving I will look into
those filters, but as of now I replaced the
powersupply with one I had on hand in an
old computer and that took care of my
problem for now, everything is working
fine, has anyone ever tried that 90 dollar
signal booster and crossover thing you can
plug into a 220 dryer outlet? Would love to
hear some feedback on that, seen it offered
on Ebay.
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Brian H

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2005, 04:10:01 PM »

My three wire dryer type repeater work well.
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mike painter

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2005, 02:43:19 PM »

"I have had the push button wall switches
throughout my home for several years.  Now
they seem to be failing one by one to
respond to on-off commands but still work
to turn lights on or off from the module
button. "
All mine failed at the same time.
The transciever gets the signal - and so
does the new one I just bought (The relay
clicks and turns things on and off.)
Following advice from Tech support I
plugged it and a module into the same stip.
It did not work.
Tech support said they were fried.
I plugged in a new out of the box device
(remote chime) and it did not trigger.
Nothing added or changed. It all worked
when I left the house and nothing worked
when I got home.
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Brian H

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2005, 04:56:02 PM »

Mike; Not too common but; could be something
failed electrically. Someone here actually
had a power supply on their HP printer start
making noise and killed the whole X10 setup.
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terry hanes

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2006, 10:48:38 AM »

I have had a Radio Shack timer and wall
switches and receptacle modules controlling
lights in my home for many years. Recently
one channel on the timer failed and I decided
to replace the timer and get wall switches
and plug in modules which would handle
compact fluorescents.

The plug-in module (#2002SHL3) functions well
with a CFL lamp. It responds to timer remote
ON/OFF commands and programmed commands.

The Wall switch (#23895) will not respond to
the timer (which is plugged into the same
fuse line). The switch works manually for On
and Off.

The same switch taken out and hooked up on my
test bench in a similar cirsuit configuration
responds correctly and turns the test lamp On
and Off remotely and also responds to
programmed ON/OFF timer commands.

I can't see that there is any differnece
electrically between the circuit on the bench
and the circuit when the switch is installed
in the wall switch box.

Does anyone have any suggestions?  Terry
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ron

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2006, 04:37:39 PM »

I've been an X10 user (8-12) channels, a
timer, and various transmitters located all
over this under lit 100+ year farmhouse and
barn, for many decades - starting back when
the equipment was chocolate brown and labled BSR.

I've used just about every home automation
product they sell, and sold, and will mention
the best and worst parts when it comes to
reliability:

Unfortunately the wall switch is one of the
worst - it fails in one mode or another, or
altogether.  Transient sensitivity?  Maybe
and sometimes.  Use a Socket Rocket if
possible.  Before the "Rocket" existed, I
used to dissasemble lamp modules, remove
their plug and socket parts, and hard wire
them into the fixtures.  They are very
reliable too, as are the plug-in appliance
modules.

One of the best is the wireless motion
sensor.   It has incredible battery life,
works in a wide range of temperatures, and
works the vast majority of the time, even on
nearly dead batteries.  When it doesn't work,
it's usually a signalling collision.
Excellent design.  No failures.  (They have
an ambient light sensing mode, but I couldn't
seem to make it work, but it's really not
needed in most situations.  Just the auto off
saves electricity, even if it does operate in
the daylight.)
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ron

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2006, 05:08:25 PM »

To all with the wall switch problems - I've
looked over all your comments and suggestions
and have observed a variety of inconsistant
failures described and (sometimes) solved.
'Been there done that.  Terry C. (121105)says
reversing the "blue and black" wires worked
in their case;  still Paul (112205)says
reversing his did no good.

Then I got to thinking:  This wall switch
module, and the only one that I can think of,
does NOT have access to both the Hot and
Neutral wires without one of them passing
through the load.  Incandescants are probably
the load that it was designed for.
Flourescents present a very different load
(and 2nd wire return) to such a two-wire
controller and could be the cause of these
"strange" failures.

Again, to put it another way, the wall switch
is the ONLY x10 controller (module) that
doesn't have a direct connection to both
power lines.  Beleive me, these "series"
designs are difficult and present many
tradeoffs compared to one that doesn't have
to look "through" the load to get commands.
I suspect minimal filtering protection
because filters, particularly in such a
serial design, tend to attentuate the X10
signals too, which may explain the outright
failures I, and many of you have experienced.
I'd try other ways (types of modules) for
these particular loads.

The Socket Rocket comes to mind...



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Brian H

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2006, 06:29:39 PM »

There are mods on web sites to add the white
neutral to wall switches.
I have used socket rockets to run CFLs
though common wisdom says don't use a triac
type control on a CFL. Since it does not dim
they seem to work fine for me.

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ron

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2006, 07:04:59 PM »

To Brian,
I certainly did forget that the Socket
Rockets are non-dimmers.. I do agree that
SOME CFLs may run just fine with the rocket,
and if not, the rocket is easier to change
out than a wall switch.

Do the neutral mods to the wall switches
really help, particularly with the outright
failures?  I assume, without looking it up,
that one has to open the module to add the
neutral... Assuming there's a N in the box?
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Brian H

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2006, 07:48:00 PM »

I believe you cau a common run and add the white wire for neutral. On the same web page another mod found thet in the wall switches X10 has a floating input on the controller chip. With only the weak internal pullup on the input. It caused false triggers on and off. They added a stronger pull up on the chip and in their case made false triggering better. I can't say if the mods help. I have no problem the [2] 2 wire X10 switches. Most of my home is now other brand modules and switches. http://www.idobartana.com/hakb/index.htm is where some of this is.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 02:46:59 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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mike painter

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2006, 08:14:26 PM »

My total failure fixed itself. I walked
into the kitchen and the light came on, so
I checked everything else and it worked.
Naturally I did the next logical thing and
turned on my - not hooked up to an X-10
device - porch light and it came on. Note.
On or off the X-10 devices didn't work.
This was two or three days after it stopped
raining.
This is an old house and I would not be
surprised to find the porch switch is on
the ground side of the circuit and that
just enough moisture was seeping through
something to set up a path to ground that
was noisey for some reason.
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ron

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Re: Wall switches failing to respond to commands
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2006, 10:57:44 PM »

To Brian H,
I was curious if the neutral helped with the
failures to operate either remotely, locally,
or altogether.  Unsupressed transients
certainly can entirely kill such a control.

The open, or high impedance imput on a unused
CMOS chip can raise havoc, depending on it's
intended function.  I hadn't heard of, or
experienced much "mysterious cycling" , thank
goodness.  Most of my annoying "failures"
aren't permanent, but merely a failure to
respond on first push, even with transmission
extenders, from time to time.  Pushing the
opposite (on v. off) can sometimes "wake up"
the desired channel again right away.

I can't say the same for other wireless light
controls I've tried and tested - the
Heath/Zenith wireless wall switch of 1994
comes to mind - the receiver cycled like
crazy when airliners on their departing climb
over here passed by.  Their circuit was
completely analog, even crude by the digital
wireless "standards" of the time and was
obviously bothered by the aircraft radio
transmissions.
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