Author Topic: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?  (Read 3828 times)

dickflanagan

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Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« on: September 07, 2013, 04:20:04 PM »
I have an X-10 transmitting device being turned on and off by a remote UPB switch.  When the switch is on and the device is powered, the device should send X-10 signals down-stream, through the switch, to various X-10 receivers.  The device is being powered, but these return signals are not being received.

Is it possible that the circuitry of the UPB switch is blocking the X-10 signals and not letting them through?  Is this a known limitation or should I start looking for more typical X-10 problem areas?

Dick

Brian H

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Re: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 03:54:56 AM »
Very possible the electronics in the UPB switch are signal sucking the X10 signals.
I don't use UPB but have tested some Intermatic ZWave devices. They had a capacitor across the Line to Neutral power connections. To keep their electronics noise off the power lines. That capacitor acted like a signal sucker to my X10 and Insteon devices.
Since ZWave is RF only. This capacitor did not effect how they worked.

UPB hits the power lines with a very strong pulse and I can see its transmitter circuit possibly absorbing other protocol power line signals.

An X10 power line signal tester would help in determining if this was the case. Does the X10 transmitter work in the same location if directly powered and not through the UPB module?

 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 12:54:29 PM by Brian H »

dickflanagan

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Re: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 01:21:45 PM »
Hi, Brian.

All the documentation I have read says that UPB and X-10 signals should co-exist within the same network.  Apparently the two protocols use widely separate frequency bands so they shouldn't hear each other.  What they don't say is if that compatibility extends to UPB devices actually passing X-10 signals instead of simply ignoring them.

My X-10 transmitter is a remotely mounted motion sensor that for all intents and purposes is inaccessible.  However, the UPB switch is an interior rocker switch that I should be able to pull out to access the wires on both sides of it.

I had hoped to find someone with some hands-on experience with this combination before I started pulling wires out of the wall, but that will always be an option.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Dick

Brian H

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Re: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 02:45:28 PM »
AC power X10 motion sensor powered through the UPB switch and the switch is a relay type?
So the X10 motion sensors AC can be turned On and Off and when On the X10 power line signals pass through it.

Yes UPB and X10 use completely different signaling and should not interfere with each other, but will one type signal pass through the other type switch. I can't say.

dave w

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Re: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 03:35:14 PM »
  However, the UPB switch is an interior rocker switch that I should be able to pull out to access the wires on both sides of it.

I had hoped to find someone with some hands-on experience with this combination before I started pulling wires out of the wall, but that will always be an option.

I do not have any UPB, but if I understand your set up, You are controling a 120V X10 transmitter with a UPB wall switch and want to know if the X10 PLC signal will be passed through the UPB wall switch, correct? If the UPB wall switch is a switch that can dim, NO it is very unlikely that the X10 signal can get through the switch. If the UPB switch is ON-OFF only, using a relay, then...maybe.
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dickflanagan

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Re: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 06:01:06 PM »
Thanks Dave and Brian.

The UPB switch is the type that can be programmed to dim or not.  I have mine programmed to non-dimming and it is set to switch On (100%) or Off (0%) only.  If I were to have a dimable switch set to 100% would it still block the UPB signals?

Dick

Brian H

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Re: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 03:20:18 AM »
Even at 100% On. There is an electronic component {Triac} controlling the AC Line to the Load output. It most likely is causing the problems.

A relay would connect the AC Line to the Output through a set of contacts. Similar to a mechanical switch activated automatically.

The UPB switch you are using. It has a Neutral power wire and does not steal power through the load?  If it is a two wire {Line and Load with no Neutral}. It almost is a safe bet it will not pass X10 signals and may even not power the X10 sensor correctly.

dave w

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Re: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 06:10:28 AM »
If I were to have a dimable switch set to 100% would it still block the UPB signals?
$0.02
Yes.
The 120kHz X10 signal will not make it through the triac in the UPB switch regardless of the power setting. Also, even at 100% the triac adds small amounts of distortion to the AC power going to the X10 motion detector, which is likely to cause heart burn with the motion detector. You need a UPB switch that uses a relay.
http://www.homecontrols.com/HAI-Leviton-UPB-Relay-Wall-Switch-15-Amp-LV40A001?sc=23&category=85137
Since you apparently have a hybrid system using X10 and UPB, could you replace the UPB wall switch with a X10 relay style wall switch?
http://x10pro-usa.com/x10-home/switches/ws13a.html

UPB was developed by PCS which also used to make high quality X10 protocol products http://www.pulseworx.com/ . You could contact them about solutions. But they will probably recommend a relay style switch.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2013, 06:21:45 AM by dave w »
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dickflanagan

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Re: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 07:41:10 PM »
Thanks for the reference, Dave.  I contacted HAI and they confirmed that the triac circuitry of their dimmable switches will not pass an X-10 signal.  I have ordered a UPB relay wall switch to use as a test.  If it works, I will replace the other ones.

I appreciate everyone's comments and help.

Dick
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 07:43:58 PM by dickflanagan »

pomonabill22

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Re: Can X-10 Signals Pass Through UPB Switches?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2013, 11:47:52 AM »
Also, X10 if I remember correctly, senses and transmits on zero crossing, and a triac turns off (stops conducting) a few volts on either side of zero crossing even when "told" to turn on for the entire sine wave, so the X10 detecting and transmitting would never happen.
I would think a relay controller, like you are going to try, would work.

 

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