Author Topic: Problems with Chime Module  (Read 10122 times)

Brian H

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2013, 03:04:36 AM »
I remember we where seeing poor House Code and Unit Code switch contacts in the X10 Forums. On many different models.
Sometimes rotating them a few times cleared it.

dave w

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2013, 06:17:11 AM »
Yes, I just replaced a two wire SoftStart WS467 with a junk box old style WS467. I converted the old one to a three wire switch so I could drive some LED candelabra bulbs in an outside light. The switch would not respond to the desired code but would respond to house code M "All Lights ON". A dead give away of intermittent switch contacts. I'm wondered if I got the HC dial properly seated after reassembling, so took it apart again, then twirled the dials after second reassembly.

Unfortunately even with the neutral addition, the LEDs flickered when off. Actually, I liked that because it gave a gaslight effect, however once off, they would not turn back on remotely. I assume the flicker generated a lot of noise, so I'm back to incandescent in the fixture. sigh.
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Jeff

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2013, 08:24:03 AM »
The chime module still worked fine after being on overnight.

So...

Either it was a poor contact for one of the code switch wipers, or perhaps something on the powerline was interfering with it receiving commands.

I'll be sending it back to Woody.

Jeff
X10 automation since the BSR days...

woodyl

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2013, 09:19:32 AM »
The chime module still worked fine after being on overnight.

So...

Either it was a poor contact for one of the code switch wipers, or perhaps something on the powerline was interfering with it receiving commands.

I'll be sending it back to Woody.

Jeff

Jeff,

Thanks for your investigative work.  I did take one of the modules apart and I examined the contacts, but they looked ok to me.  I'll experiment with the other one that I have to see if adjusting the contacts will make a difference. 

That's a good idea to test with the heat gun.  I never thought of that.  Otherwise, it's possible that interference is an issue, but I have several other wireline modules, transceivers, etc., and none of those are having problems, only the chime modules.  I will take a transceiver and a chime module to somebody else's house and test from there. 

woodyl

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2013, 05:29:22 AM »
Jeff,  I got the module that you sent back.  Thanks again for checking it out!.  So, here's what happened:  You had it set to housecode P1, so first I set a transceiver to P and tried it on that code.  It did not work.  Then I set it to my usual housecode, E and tested again.  Nothing.  I have a lamp module set to E4 that works just fine.  I set the chime module to E4 and substituted it in the  same outlet that I had the lamp module in.  Using a palmpad to test, the first 5 times, pressed E4, nothing. 

On about the 6th try, the chime sounded.  Then all, subsequent attempts failed.

So, the chime worked one time, and then would not work, using the same housecode and outlet.  This is consistent with what I saw before.

Next, I moved the chime module out onto my deck, which has a branch circuit which I know for sure has nothing else plugged into it.  Suddenly, the chime module is working!  The deck is new and has a new 3-wire branch circuit.  Most of the wiring in my house is about 50 years old and most of the circuits are 2-wire, without a ground.  I haven't had problems with any other modules that I'm using, but for some reason, it seems that the chime module is not happy with some of the branch circuits.  I don't know if the difference is a 3-wire vs 2-wire circuit or if there's some kind of interference on some of the circuits.  Any ideas?

dave w

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2013, 06:26:55 AM »
On about the 6th try, the chime sounded.  Then all, subsequent attempts failed.

So, the chime worked one time, and then would not work, using the same housecode and outlet.  This is consistent with what I saw before.

I don't know if the difference is a 3-wire vs 2-wire circuit or if there's some kind of interference on some of the circuits.  Any ideas?
FWIW
Unless you are testing chime module in same outlet as your Palm Pad transceiver, you can't eliminate the possibility of electrical noise or signal suckers in the system. Absense of ground line should not be a factor. I'm wondering if your chime module is just less sensitive than your other modules. Does your E4 lamp module have the SoftStart/Resume Dim features? If so, it has AGC and would explain why it worked but the chime module in same outlet did not.
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Jeff

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2013, 06:35:57 AM »
Since the chime module does not incorporate AGC, you may have a noise source blocking it from decoding X10 signals.

X10 commands are sent as a series of signal bursts coupled to the powerline.  Presence of a burst signifies a logic "1", and absence a logic "0".  Noise near the X10 carrier frequency can fill in those blank frames, making it impossible for a receiving module to decode the command unless it includes some form of AGC to raise its detection threshold above the background noise level.  For an example, please read this report on a Cellet cellphone charger:

    http://jvde.us/x10/x10_cellet_noise.htm

Moving the chime module out to the deck probably put a lot of wire between it and the noise source, and reduced the noise level.  As Dave W said, your lamp module may incorporate AGC to better deal with powerline noise.

If you have not already done so, you may want to read some of my other troubleshooting guides:

    http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm

Jeff
X10 automation since the BSR days...

woodyl

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2013, 08:41:10 AM »
On about the 6th try, the chime sounded.  Then all, subsequent attempts failed.

So, the chime worked one time, and then would not work, using the same housecode and outlet.  This is consistent with what I saw before.

I don't know if the difference is a 3-wire vs 2-wire circuit or if there's some kind of interference on some of the circuits.  Any ideas?
FWIW
Unless you are testing chime module in same outlet as your Palm Pad transceiver, you can't eliminate the possibility of electrical noise or signal suckers in the system. Absense of ground line should not be a factor. I'm wondering if your chime module is just less sensitive than your other modules. Does your E4 lamp module have the SoftStart/Resume Dim features? If so, it has AGC and would explain why it worked but the chime module in same outlet did not.

I can't see why the addition of a ground wire would matter, either.  I did test the module in the same outlet as the transceiver and it didn't work there.  I have a mix of modules, some of them with SoftStart and some without.  The particular lamp module I swapped it with was an old one and did not have SoftStart.

woodyl

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2013, 08:43:42 AM »
Since the chime module does not incorporate AGC, you may have a noise source blocking it from decoding X10 signals.

X10 commands are sent as a series of signal bursts coupled to the powerline.  Presence of a burst signifies a logic "1", and absence a logic "0".  Noise near the X10 carrier frequency can fill in those blank frames, making it impossible for a receiving module to decode the command unless it includes some form of AGC to raise its detection threshold above the background noise level.  For an example, please read this report on a Cellet cellphone charger:

    http://jvde.us/x10/x10_cellet_noise.htm

Moving the chime module out to the deck probably put a lot of wire between it and the noise source, and reduced the noise level.  As Dave W said, your lamp module may incorporate AGC to better deal with powerline noise.

If you have not already done so, you may want to read some of my other troubleshooting guides:

    http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm

Jeff

Some kind of line noise seems like the most likely answer.  It appears that the chime modules are more sensitive than my other modules.  I'll look at the troubleshooting guides again and see if I can isolate the source of the noise.

bcwmachine

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2013, 02:30:06 PM »
Woody,
I cured all my misc. problems the brute force way. JVDE XTB II R, WGL 572RF32 plugged into the XTB II R, and the CM15 plugged into the XTB II R.
All my intermittent problems went away, the whole mess works fine now. Also running AHP on an XT machine because when I ran it on a Win 7 machine it would periodically go crazy. (looping macros, only way to cure it was shut everything down.)
XTB II R has its own outlet and 220 breaker off a sub panel. No room in the main panel for more breakers.
Bruce

Barry_IA

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2013, 05:22:33 PM »
Yes, I just replaced a two wire SoftStart WS467 with a junk box old style WS467. I converted the old one to a three wire switch so I could drive some LED candelabra bulbs in an outside light. The switch would not respond to the desired code but would respond to house code M "All Lights ON". A dead give away of intermittent switch contacts. I'm wondered if I got the HC dial properly seated after reassembling, so took it apart again, then twirled the dials after second reassembly.

Unfortunately even with the neutral addition, the LEDs flickered when off. Actually, I liked that because it gave a gaslight effect, however once off, they would not turn back on remotely. I assume the flicker generated a lot of noise, so I'm back to incandescent in the fixture. sigh.

Hi Dave W!

I have the same problem with an indoor candelabra using three 3W Flicker bulbs: if it is plugged in alone into a LM465 it would faintly flicker when it was supposed to be off.  I think it was OK when ON but I don't recall.  "Solved" the problem by running an extension cord to a light we have not to far away -- this seemed to create sufficient load.  FWIW also noticed a CFL would flash maybe once a second when off (different controller in a different room).  Wondering if a flurosecent controller would solve your problem?  (Havent tried any here yet.)

Brian H

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Re: Problems with Chime Module
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2013, 04:31:39 AM »
The LM465 has a Local Control Sensing circuit. The small current from that circuit would make low current loads do unwanted things. LM465s should not be used on a CFL as even at 100% On the AC wave is modified.

The older Appliance Modules also have both Local Control Sensing and the ratchet switch On/Off status sensing circuit.
They can also sometimes make loads pulse or the module to trigger back On.
The newer Appliance Modules sold as CFL friendly. Only have an extremely small ratchet switch On/Off status circuit and work most times.

There are modifications for both the older {before Soft Start} Lamp and older {not CFL friendly} Appliance modules. To remove the Local Control sensing current.