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View Full Version : X10 Pro issues


emby
07-21-2009, 09:59 PM
Ok everybody I need some of your experiences and troubleshooting skills. The system is as follows: 4 Cast 600 Transformers in various areas of the estate. All of them are plugged into an X10 pro receptacle. First receptacle is dialed A1, second recpt. dialed into A2, third and fourth receptacle are dialed intoA3.
Home base timer is correctly set up. System was working fine until last Friday then they all stopped working. Went to the site today and none of them were on even though the base unit was set to be on via timer.
This is what I had to do. Unplugged each transformer checked for voltage with voltage meter. As soon as I put the leads in the receptacle I could hear the receptacle switch on. Plugged the transformer back in and it is working. I had to do that to all four of the receptacles now has anyone here experienced that? If so what would cause all of receptacles to do that?
Your help would be much appreciated.
Regards,
Ken

Pro-Scapes
07-21-2009, 10:13 PM
Ken did you read the other thread on this subject ?

Questions for you.

Why are you using x10 plugs and not appliance mods inside the transformers ? Just curious.

When you unplug from the x10 mods and plug it back it it will toggle the unit on or off. Is it working now or just on ?

Is the system phase coupled ?

Has there been an addition of any new electronics that could be introducing noise into the power system ?

Has any other electrical work been performed on the site since the system last worked flawless ?

Since all 4 stopped working together I would look for an issue at the clock. Either you have a bad clock or it is on a different phase with no coupler and or something introducing too much noise now. I carry a spare clock in my truck they are inexpensive and it makes an excellent trouble shooting device.

emby
07-21-2009, 10:39 PM
Thanks Billy I have added my replies under your questons.

Ken did you read the other thread on this subject ?
Sorry Billy did not see that thread but I will check it out after.

Questions for you.

Why are you using x10 plugs and not appliance mods inside the transformers ? Just curious.
Two of the transformers were already installed on site. The other two are installed in two different out buildings and to be perfectly honest with you I did not think of it. My bad. your good idea. Thankyou.

When you unplug from the x10 mods and plug it back it it will toggle the unit on or off. Is it working now or just on ?
The home owner has a wireless remote and he could operate all of them on and off with the remote. They would not come on via the main timer. I think this might be the problem....

Is the system phase coupled ?
No need to phase couple as I moved the breakers onto the same phase.

Has there been an addition of any new electronics that could be introducing noise into the power system ?
I-Pod docking station for his stereo system..this was the first thing I asked of the homeowner..Has there been any work done at the house.

Has any other electrical work been performed on the site since the system last worked flawless ?
None.

Since all 4 stopped working together I would look for an issue at the clock. Either you have a bad clock or it is on a different phase with no coupler and or something introducing too much noise now. I carry a spare clock in my truck they are inexpensive and it makes an excellent trouble shooting device.
I think that this might be the case Billy. I have an extra clock but did not have it with me tonight. If they could turn the lights on and off with the wireless remote then the problem must be with the main unit. I just thought it was very weird that they all toggeled on when I placed my meter leads into them.
Thanks for babysitting me through that.

Ken

Pro-Scapes
07-22-2009, 08:23 AM
Its not babysitting. I am sorry if it made you feel that way. I was trying to help you troubleshoot it.

With 2 of the transformers in different buildings thats a long way to ask X10 to travel. I have x10 in my barn for the flood lights so I can turn them on from inside the house and it can be sporadic IF I do not use the phase coupler repeater.

Try the new clock if you can. If that doesnt work you have 2 options. I would see about a coupler repeater or installing a UPB system.

Now your saying the system works fine via the remote ? That will tell you that all of your outlets and the tranciever is working fine. Its a clock prob either signal is not getting from the clock to the locations or the clock just isnt putting out the signal.

emby
07-23-2009, 09:11 AM
Billy,

I have ordered the repeater/coupler and I will be giving him a new clock as well. Very important client and I want to ensure that it does not happen again. I have mentioned to him about the UPB technology and that we might have to make the switch.
One question about UPB... If they already have the X10 receptacles and wireless is the Pulsworx UPB compatible with those receptacles? If not I guess I will have to change to say an appliance adapter inside all of the transformers like you suggested earlier. (that was a great tip so thank you as I never even thought about doing that)

Ken

JoeyD
07-23-2009, 10:30 AM
I do not think the X10 receptacles will work with UPB.

Pro-Scapes
07-24-2009, 08:40 AM
I think smarthome has or had some sort of device which bridged UPB to x10 but if you ask me its one more piece to go bad.2 completly different protocols so you would basically be installing a translator

If you wanted to upgrade to UPB I would simply swap out the outlets for GFCI (or make sure your circuit is GFCI protected)' and since you are using cast transformers you would be able to place a plug in appliance mod right inside the trans on the timer plug.

You would need either a laptop running upstart to program it or one of the pocket programmers. You could also use the controlscape desktop timer which would not need a computer or any sort of programmer as it can all be performed from the clock. I usually do not use upstart unless I need to incorperate existing line voltage lighting or doing some sort of lighting that would require dimming and or scene setting. In your case you would not be able to dim with the transformers you are using so I would either use a PCS tech timer or a controlscape clock. I would still install a phase coupler.

JoeyD
07-24-2009, 09:46 AM
you can always program your UPB system using upstart at your PC. YOu dont have to be onsite with a laptop although that would be easier. Just program everything and then go to the job and plug the mods and the timer in!

SamIV
07-24-2009, 12:35 PM
Put this in the wrong place

emby
07-24-2009, 08:24 PM
Thanks Billy and Joey,

On this particular site the previous electrician installed GFCI breakers for all of the outdoor receptacles which was nice for me. Sometimes installing receptacles are a pita.
I love the idea of installing the appliance modules inside the transformer as well as having the flexibility to program from home and then install.
As usuall you guys are awsome and I cannot thank you enough for sharing your knowledge and experiences.
I will be going to the site next week to change out the X10 Pro clock/timer and add the coupler/repeater. I am thinking that will solve the problem. From now on I will only install the UPB for the customers that want that type of control.
Thanks again.

Ken