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Thread: No control!

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    Question No control!

    I have been messing round with X10 for a couple of years now and overall have had poor experiences. This may be because I don't iron out the problems when they surface.

    So here goes: May be someone can help with my long term problems and show my wife that it wasn't all a big waste of time / effort / money. lol

    I have a SC9000 security control center. I have the KR21 remotes which alarm and disarm the system perfectly. However the lights on and lights off do not operate A1 and A2 like they should.
    I have tried to change the A1 and A2 to D1 and D2 and other codes, but all with no luck. So I gave up.

    All of the lights (8 in total) work perfectly most of the time. The ones operated by the MS13 sensors are unreliable and don't switch on every time. Again this is a long term problem which I have just shelved, putting it down to the location of the MS13.

    I got a second (probably 12th) wind after Christmas and decided to buy some plug in units to operate some lamps. (Energy saving bulbs - so using appliance plug ins). I plugged the first unit in last night next to the TM13 and programmed the unit to L9. Perfect. I then went to the other end of the same room, plugged in the unit and sent the X10 command but nothing happened.
    Thinking I had a dodgy plug unit I swapped it for another and tried again - no luck.
    I then took the unit I had already programmed but that didn't operate in that socket either!
    I changed to the other socket in the double gang and still no luck.
    I took the same unit into the kitchen and it worked.

    It was a little late last night so I decided to either smash all the units with a hammer or go to bed. As the hammer was somewhere in the garage I decided on bed.

    Laying in bed for a few hours I have logically narrowed it down to a few problems. Can anyone (if you are still reading) help elliminate or comment on any of them?

    1. To much noise or interferance.
    2. Length of cable between TM13 and plug in unit.
    3. Wiring problem to the tested sockets.

    I will carry out the following tests tonight to try and close down the issue:
    A. plug the TM13 into the socket next to the dodgy socket.
    B. Move the TM13 nearer to the main fuse box.

    Do you think this is related to the SC9000 problem?

    Are MS13's prety unreliable, or it just mine?

    All / any help or comments would be greatly appreciated

    Frank

    PS: The house is only two years old so I am assuming has been wired to modern standards. There is even a neutral wire to each of the light switches, which saved me hours of messing.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    Update:

    I carried out the following tests last night to try and close down the issue:
    A. plug the TM13 into the socket next to the dodgy socket.
    B. Move the TM13 nearer to the main fuse box.

    A. that operated lamp 2 (the one I couldn't get to operate), but lamp 1 (that worked yesterday) stopped responding!
    B. that operated lamp 1, but not lamp 2!

    I tried the TM13 in various sockets and eventually found one that operated both lamps. I tested the original lights and they also work OK.

    Still no idea why - but it works.

    I will try and solve the SC9000 problem next.

    Frank

  3. #3
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    What house code is the Sc9000 set to.
    Have you tried any other house codes for the lights. House codes J and above seem to be more Prone to noise than the lower house codes.
    MS13s have quite a good range, I have a client who has 2 and one of them is over 15m away from the MS13. Decent batteries are a must. No cheapo ones here. I use and recommend energizer lithiums. May cost more but then they last at least twice as long. Also the MS13s are quite picky when it comes to how they are mounted and how they get triggered. Like most PIRs its better to cut across the beam rather than walk towards it.
    You mention a TM13, what house code is this set to.
    As regards to the A1 and A2 problem. Can you control these lights direct from the SC panel
    CFLs are potential X10 signal killers. Especially the cheaper ones. Can you try the same setup with normal bulbs.
    good luck
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  4. #4
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    I will have a play with house codes this weekend and report back.

    Current setup is:

    L1 Outside Floodlight (half of a 2 load app switch from K-Lo)
    L2 Outside Welcome Light (half of a 2 load app switch from K-Lo)
    L3 Hallway Light (half of a 2 load app switch from K-Lo)
    L4 Downstairs WC (half of a 2 load app switch from K-Lo)
    L5 Kids Playrom (LW12)
    L6 TV Room (LW12)
    L7 Upstairs landing (W12)
    L8 Master Bedroom (AW12)

    New L9 TV room Lamps (both X102 - 2027UK from K-Lo)

    MS13s:

    L3 in hallway
    L4 in WC
    L7 on landing

    I have three cameras but have not installed them yet.

    The SC9000 lights were set to A1 and A2. I tried then on B1, D1, and D4 all with no luck. I will have another play this weekend now I have moved my TM13 to a different socket. The TM13 is set to house code P.

    There are a lot of energy saving bulbs in the house, in fact they are in every light socket, with the exception of the TV room, kids play room and the kitchen.

    I use re-chargable battries which are Uniross 1000 mAh.

    I will give another update after the weekend.

    Frank

  5. #5
    Automated Home Guru FrankMcAlinden's Avatar
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    Hi Frank

    Have a read of Jeff,s stuff might help....

    http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm

    HTH
    Frank
    Home of FirM - the Multi Zone IR Transport System
    http://www.armaghelectrical.com.au/index.html

  6. #6
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    Thanks Frank, but the link seems to be invalid.

    I've not had much chance to mess with the system as I have been attempting to get my USB to RS232 coverter to work. Can't find a driver anywhere for Vista, so I am considering sending it back and buying a CM12 with a USB connection.

    I have been attempting to get the Xtenscape programme to work on my iPhone, but without the converter I am stuck.


    Frank

  7. #7
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    link works for me ...

    'though the links inside the home page didn't all do so the first time I tried them - some did, some didn't ...

    'however ... went back to them after reading through the first, and they all did ...

    a good read, fascinating !
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 28th January 2009 at 09:17 AM. Reason: typos etc

  8. #8
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    OK the link works for me today - not sure what hapened yesterday!
    Some very interesting reading. The only problem is the cost of an X10 monitor/meter! 160 is the cheapest I've found. If I was going to use it to install a few houses then it would be worth it. But, 160 for a couple of hours is not really an option.

    I think what I've done to solve the problem is (unintensionally) put the TM13 nearer to the main distribution box.

    I had another play with my SC9000 last night. I had the housecode set to A and the Unitcode set to 1. I pressed the 'lights on' on the KR21 with no effect. I pressed the 'Alarm on' and that worked.

    I then changed the code to L1, L3, B1, B2 but none were operated by the KR21. Any ideas?

    On a positive note, I have noted that the MS13's seem to be more reliable now I have moved the TM13. I guess they were working correctly all along, but the signal was getting lost.

    I will keep playing and reporting.

    Frank

  9. #9
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by franktate View Post
    I had another play with my SC9000 last night. I had the housecode set to A and the Unitcode set to 1. I pressed the 'lights on' on the KR21 with no effect. I pressed the 'Alarm on' and that worked.

    I then changed the code to L1, L3, B1, B2 but none were operated by the KR21. Any ideas?

    Frank
    Have you tried switching the lights on directly from the panel rather than the using the keyfob. If this works then it maybe the keyfob. Have you got another keyfob you could try.
    You can rent a signal meter from Lets Automate http://www.letsautomate.com/10948.cfm? they charge 7.5 pounds /week. So not too bad. You have to pay the full amount first, then keep it for a week and send it back and then you are refunded the difference.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  10. #10
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    @Toscal
    I have used both KR21's, but both give the same result. I tried from the panel but it still doesn't operate the lights.
    The SC9000 is pluged in next to the TM13 so my only conclusion is either the SC9000 isn't sending out the signal or the signal isn't as strong as the TM13.

    Thanks for the info regarding hiring. I will deffinately be going down that route.


    Frank

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