Recent Posts

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1
Wi-Fi / Re: Sonof modules (Itead Studios)
« Last post by Tuicemen on December 14, 2017, 08:24:07 AM »
I just read on the Sonoff forums true local control will be added by years end.
I'll believe that when I see it.
I also found a way to get local control (no cloud needed) via they way you initially setup the devices. The step by step is here for those interested:
https://blog.ipsumdomus.com/sonoff-switch-complete-hack-without-firmware-upgrade-1b2d6632c01
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XTB Products / Re: XTB-232 location
« Last post by taflemer on December 13, 2017, 07:59:37 AM »
Yes - good point.

Currently the XPCR has two dedicated breakers in the mains.  I am still noodling through dimensions for each unit.  Looks like a 3-gang box with a decora plate would work well.  Just need one duplex outlet for the XTB-232 and a switch filler plate.

I am using a Winbook tablet as the controller.  I can leave it where it is or move next to the mains.  Space is at a premium near the mains.  If I do move it, one more duplex outlet instead of a filler plate, add a filter for the wall wart and all should be good.  The added load of a XTB-232 and even a small controller sould be insignificant.

You have been most helpful, thank you.
3
XTB Products / Re: XTB-232 location
« Last post by Jeff on December 13, 2017, 06:32:44 AM »
Thank you for the feedback on the troubleshooting guides.

That sounds like a perfect approach except for mounting it inside the gutted disconnect box.  It is handy to be able to see the LED on the cover of the XTB-232 to monitor what is going on.

Jeff
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XTB Products / XTB-232 location
« Last post by taflemer on December 13, 2017, 05:14:39 AM »
I have read through your troubleshooting guides (couple times).  Great info.

Rebalancing the breaker panel.  Really like this recommendation.  In my case first go through was not that promising.  There are significantly more breakers with PLC than not.  Will need to dig into my original balancing spreadsheet to see if I can shift loads.  Some of the loads are obvious, like the whole house X10 filter and the repeater.  Two breakers right there.

Locating the XTB-232 next to the breaker panel.  Another great recommendation.  I currently have a XPCR in a gutted disconnect box along side the mains panel.  I am thinking to replace the XPCR and CM15A with XPCP passive coupler and XTB-232.  There are a couple of issues.

Current location of the CM15A and controller is about 25 ft. away.  I can run a serial cable from controller to XTB-232 or move the controller as well.  The mains area is getting crowded, but might be able to fit in.

THe XPCP is smaller than the XPCR.  Colocating the XPCP and XTB-232 next to the mains would seam to be optimal.  However, need to ask. would mounting these two devise in close proximity cause any trouble?
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XTB Products / Re: XTB-232 Questions
« Last post by taflemer on December 13, 2017, 04:45:28 AM »
Thanks, most helpful.
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XTB Products / Re: XTB-232 Questions
« Last post by Jeff on December 12, 2017, 07:23:54 PM »
The XTB-232 has been used with a variety of USB to serial converters.  I tested myself with an expensive Edgeport and a very inexpensive one purchased on eBay.  Since it seems to work well with all converters, the choice is yours.

Both the CM11A and XTB-232 run at 4800 baud.  There should be no problem with a wire length of 20 feet or even more.

All XTB assembled products are tested on an AFCI circuit (Square D), and it has never tripped from any XTB signals.

The assembled XTB products are soldered by hand.  The components are much smaller than the Heathkit era, so you may need a magnifier to check values and your solder joints.

I recommend packaging it into the case that comes with the kit.

Jeff
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XTB Products / XTB-232 Questions
« Last post by taflemer on December 12, 2017, 03:34:43 PM »
I am looking to make our HA system more robust.  So, have been researching the XTB-232.  There are some questions that I have.

I will need a USB to serial converter.  There are a number of these convertors available on the market.  Is there one that is preferred over the others?  Also, is there a length of run limit for the converters on the RS-232 side?

I recently installed AFCI breakers in the main panel.  Pause. To date there has been no interaction between the breakers and X10 PLC signals.  Yah.  Does the higher signal voltage output of the XTB-232 cause any trouble with AFCI breakers?

Looking at the photo of the XTB-232 PCB, I think I am capable of assembling the kit. Flashing back to HeathKit and Audio Amateur mag project days, the XTB-232 seems reasonable to build.  The cost savings would be great, but to build something, that is the thing.  Also, I am thinking of building into a panel with a X10 passive coupler next to the main box.  Are these kits better left to wave soldering or can I have some fun? 
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X10 General Topics / Re: X10 ESP8266 WiFi interface
« Last post by Tuicemen on December 07, 2017, 02:09:49 PM »
Since simple web calls is what the ESP will be listening for the Apps and Applications should only need to do Get, Puts, Deletes and listen for responses.
Postman for Chrome makes playing with those easy and helpful for debugging.
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X10 General Topics / Re: X10 ESP8266 WiFi interface
« Last post by daveh on December 07, 2017, 01:27:41 PM »
I think I've found what may be a preliminary solution. Here's another compiled Transparent WiFi-Serial firmware...
     https://github.com/beckdac/ESP8266-transparent-bridge
and here's a Virtual Serial Port for Windows that connects via TCP...
     https://www.hw-group.com//products/hw_vsp/index_en.html

As time allows, I'll flash an ESP-01 with the bridge firmware. Then I'll install the virtual port and connect the ESP-01 to a CM11A for testing.
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X10 General Topics / Re: X10 ESP8266 WiFi interface
« Last post by daveh on December 06, 2017, 06:57:24 AM »
In addition to the hardware which Jeff is working on, we need ESP8266 firmware which will serve as a simple WiFi to Serial adapter. It needs to configure the UART for 4800bps and merely pass comms traffic to/from the XTB hardware. I may be able to create this using ZBasic for ESP8266 but if there's anyone fluent in C/C++ they might be able to modify the esp-link code at...
     https://hackaday.com/2015/09/18/transparent-esp8266-wifi-to-serial-bridge/
to meet our needs.
 
Here are two other links which may be helpful.
     http://espressif.com/sites/default/files/documentation/esp8266-technical_reference_en.pdf
     http://espressif.com/en/products/hardware/esp8266ex/resources
     
We also need Apps and applications to interface with the hardware once it is ready.     
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