Author Topic: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance  (Read 827 times)

neurosis

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Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« on: March 11, 2017, 12:16:00 PM »
Hello,
I have been discussing a problem with my CM11A+XTB-IIR having terrible errors, delays, and often rotten performance from HomeSeer3. One of the discussants there asked me to post this solution to noise on the line to you, Jeff, to see if you can explain why it works.

Bottom line, it has dramatically improved my system response by inserting an old FilterLinc between the CM11A and the XTB-IIR as shown in this picture.

Thanks.

Mike

Brian H

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 07:53:56 AM »
Interesting.
Since your CM11A is in the unfiltered outlet on the front and not in the filtered outlet on the bottom.

Jeff;
I do have a schematic of the 1626/1626-10 FilterLinc filter if you would like to see it.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 03:47:34 PM by Brian H »

Jeff

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 07:32:27 AM »
The X10 Boost input is isolated from the powerline by a low-pass filter so the XTB-IIR can distinguish commands coming in there from commands coming in over the powerline.  A return-signal bandpass amplifier feeds powerline signals to the X10 Boost input so a controller can still monitor powerline traffic.  Some powerline noise can look like X10 signals after passing through that bandpass amplifier.  Since the CM11A and CM15A do not incorporate AGC to ignore powerline noise, they can believe that noise is X10 traffic on the powerline.

There are two good options.  The easiest is to just plug the CM11A or CM15A into an adjacent wall outlet, and use the XTB-IIR strictly as a repeater.  Or if you have the latest firmware, you can reduce the gain of the bandpass amplifier to make it less likely that the CM11A or CM15A will be bothered by the powerline noise.  But that also reduces sensitivity to X10 commands coming in over the powerline, which could be an issue for controllers located a long distance from the XTB-IIR.

Your solution would also reduce the amplified powerline noise by adding the filter's parallel-resonant tank circuit across the X10 Boost input.

We also make our own X10 filters, the XTB-F10 and XTB-F15.  While also using a T-network like the higher current X10 and SmartHome filters, the we use different values for better performance.  The schematic for the SmartHome product also does not include the bleed resistor that is required for UL approval.  The schematic for the XTB-F10/F15 is on our website.

  http://jvde.us/xtb/xtb-f10_schematic_v10.pdf

Jeff
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 07:43:56 AM by Jeff »
X10 automation since the BSR days...

bkenobi

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 08:29:41 AM »
Interesting.
Since your CM11A is in the unfiltered outlet on the front and not in the filtered outlet on the bottom.

That is an interesting arrangement that doesn't seem like it should do anything other than make the CM11A prone to fall out of the outlet.

CM11A -> Filterlinc non-filtered outlet -> 3-to-2 outlet adapter -> XTB-IIR booster port

Jeff

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 12:18:24 PM »
Interesting.
Since your CM11A is in the unfiltered outlet on the front and not in the filtered outlet on the bottom.

That is an interesting arrangement that doesn't seem like it should do anything other than make the CM11A prone to fall out of the outlet.

CM11A -> Filterlinc non-filtered outlet -> 3-to-2 outlet adapter -> XTB-IIR booster port

Actually, it makes sense.  It is sort of working like plugging in the X10 XPNR.  The filter has a parallel-resonant tank circuit on the AC input.  In addition to loading down in-band signals somewhat, it will also attenuate out-of-band noise that could interfere with CM11A communication.

Jeff
X10 automation since the BSR days...

Brian H

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 03:39:45 AM »
I did some random tests with my XTBM. At various locations in the home. XTB-IIR feeding the home wiring. HR12A-RR501 sending the X10 commands.

I did find a FilterLinc or XPPF added to an outlet without a load on its output. Would reduce the XTBM's voltage readings.
Depending on what else was on the circuit. I found some locations where the FilterLinc absorbed more signal than the XPPF.
While other locations the absorption was about equal.

Jeff

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2017, 06:40:14 AM »
I did find a FilterLinc or XPPF added to an outlet without a load on its output. Would reduce the XTBM's voltage readings.

Previous testing showed signal loss from plugging in an unloaded filter is typically in the range of 10% to 20%, depending on run-length and what else is on that circuit.  Attenuation from a filter plugged into the XTB-IIR X10 Boost input may be more due to the impedance between the amplifier and the Boost input.  And of course, the CM11A adds its own load to the picture.

Jeff
X10 automation since the BSR days...

bkenobi

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2017, 07:47:22 AM »
I did find a FilterLinc or XPPF added to an outlet without a load on its output. Would reduce the XTBM's voltage readings.

That's very interesting.  I have a number of FilterLinc's around my game room to help with various equipment.  Nothing is turned on 99% of the time but I've found that when I try my XTBM anywhere near that room, I get no signal.  When everything is unplugged, I get very high readings from the XTB-IIR (5-9.99 from memory).  I could never figure out what was going on, but your comment makes me think that the FilterLinc's could be eating all of my signal.  They are plugged in but the equipment behind them is off/zero load so perhaps this explains it!

Brian H

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 09:48:07 AM »
Many electronic devices have their power supplies always running in standby.
Unless the equipment has a physical On/Off switch or it is unplugged. It still would be connected to the AC though the Filterlinc.

Jeff

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 06:59:37 AM »
Nothing is turned on 99% of the time but I've found that when I try my XTBM anywhere near that room, I get no signal.  When everything is unplugged, I get very high readings from the XTB-IIR (5-9.99 from memory).

Typical signal suckers like tower computer power supplies have capacitors either directly across the AC input or from each power prong to ground.  So it doesn't matter whether the device is turned on or not.  All X10 filters will cause some signal attenuation, usually in the range of 10% to 20%.  So you want to use them only on devices that cause even more attenuation or inject noise onto the powerline.  It would not be wise to add filters to devices that to not impact X10 signal propagation.

Jeff
X10 automation since the BSR days...

bkenobi

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2017, 08:09:38 AM »
I added the filters to the locations where signal was being degraded most significantly (around 5 or 6 worst offenders).  X10 works fine in this area now, but the XTBM can't see the XTB-IIR hail for some reason.  I didn't worry about it because everything else seems to function correctly.

Jeff

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2017, 12:34:44 PM »
but the XTBM can't see the XTB-IIR hail for some reason.

It's probably the other way around - the XTB-IIR not seeing the XTBM repeater query.  While the XTBM pumps out a significantly stronger query signal than standard X10 transmitters, it is no where near the power of the XTB-IIR.  If the repeater query does work on other circuits, it most likely means that circuit has a very long run or there is still a signal sucker on it - or perhaps enough X10 filters so that they appear as a distributed signal sucker.

Jeff
X10 automation since the BSR days...

bkenobi

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Re: Novel use of X10 Filter for Better HS3 System Performance
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2017, 01:59:02 PM »
My guess would be a long line with several filters adding up.  I believe I've unplugged the device from the filters before and it didn't change anything so I found other filters in my box to try.  Same result, so this sounds like what you're talking about.