Author Topic: Zone 4 is and isn't there  (Read 6822 times)

Barry_IA

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Zone 4 is and isn't there
« on: September 25, 2013, 10:28:32 AM »
Hi Folks!

(This problem started months before the one I posted as "Problem by HouseCode? It used to work!" in the Modules and Switches area.)

Have a PS561 (X10 PowerHouse "Personal Security Console with Voice Dialer").  For some time Zone 4 (Dining Room Door) has been slowly (~1 Hz) flashing, which seems to indicate the module has not 'checked in' with the base in over four hours.  If the door is open and the alarm is set rapid dinging; if the door is closed can set the alarm normally, which seems to indicate there is communication.  The sensor module has been replaced/swapped out -- same results.  The module has been moved: along the floor and on a table.  Sometimes will been 'seen' and the slow flashing stops for a while (week or two).   ...Lately have noted if the slow flashing stops if the door is open the LED will be on constant (door open indication), if the door is closed the LED will be off (door closed).  Open or close and the console will immediately go back to the slow flashing.

Have 'rebooted' the base console (PS561) ==> unplugged from AC and removed the battery.  This requires reinstalling the various devices.  Hasn't corrected the slow blink supervisory error.  And yes, it does give the five 'dings' error periodically.  Distance between the door sensor and base console is about 20 feet; the signal does travel through walls with ductwork and electrical/electronic.

Am thinking about getting the V572; wondering if this would help for the potential communications problem (though that brings up the potential of a weakened security system if the power fails).

TIA!

Brian H

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 12:23:05 PM »
V572 would not change anything. It takes an X10 RF signal and sends it on the power lines.
The Door Window Sensors use X10 RF communications directly to the PS561 and the console does not receive signals on the power lines from Door Window Sensors.

dave w

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 01:11:52 PM »
Would the V572 work with AHP and On Alert plug-in with 24-7 computer? (Retire the PS561)
Barry did you try hanging an extension wire on the antenna of the PS561?
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Brian H

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 03:27:42 PM »
V572A does not process Security Messages.
V572RF32 does process Security Messages. By mapping the message to a standard X10 power line command.

Barry_IA

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 04:37:36 PM »
Thanks for the replies!  I didn't think the V572 would work; considering the V572RF32 just because it does the extended commands and only costs a little bit more.  Not thinking either communicated with the PS561, so thanks for verifying that.  Was thinking maybe the PS561 had a powerline input also but hadn't read anything -- just wishful thinking.

Adding to the PS561's antenna is a consideration -- probably would start with doubling the length, though adding anything could also detune and make things worse.  Wonder where my book on radio propagation and antenna design is?!

FWIW this afternoon did pay attention to the door sensor when going outside.  The console was doing its 1 Hz flash thing -- "where's the door sensor?"  When I opened the door the sensor's LED flashed a longish single flash -- "that's not right!"  Checked a different door -- series of blinks.  LIS, over the last several months have swapped sensors, so I'm thinking the sensor isn't bad but the communication between the two devices is.  This tends to make Dave W's antenna extension suggestion a viable consideration.  Might try an extension on the wire to the magnet and put the sensor in various locations to test; ductwork blocking/attenuating the signal??

dave w

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2013, 05:37:24 PM »
Adding to the PS561's antenna is a consideration -- probably would start with doubling the length, though adding anything could also detune and make things worse. 
Detuning shouldn't be a big problem on a receiver, is more of a problem on transmitters. You will be able to tell if you have detuned it. The frequency is 310mHz so add wire in increments of 18 inches (1/2 wave). 

I don't know if anyone was able to salvage the old X10 forum, but there was several posts about adding antenna to the SC1200 and the PS561 and improving reception from the security transmitters.
This after shave makes me look fat.

Brian H

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 03:30:31 AM »
Tuicemen has recovered the X10 forums. In read only format.
Jeff has added a link to it. On the top right of every page here.
http://tuicemen.com/x10forums/

Barry_IA

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 07:07:14 AM »
Looked at the old/read-only X-10 Forums re: security modules -- had problems past page 4 or five: kept trying to access the no longer existent X10.com site. 

Currently trying a longer antenna.  No change noted.  At this point fully retracted the PS561's antenna and using an alligator clip to attach half of a rabbit ear antenna (VHF) -- found one in my Junque Box I could take apart easily.

Will reset the system tomorrow (unless something magically works today).  Zone 4 is still slowly blinking and the sensor was still just doing a single longish blink as opposed to the other sensors' series of flashes when the sensor state is changed.

Barry_IA

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 09:25:03 AM »
Well, that didn't work. :(    Unplugged alarm (PS561's AC + Battery) for ~2 hrs; attached of fully extended VHF antenna (rabbit ears) to end of fully retracted antenna of alarm.  Re-installed sensors.  Dining Room (4) was long blink with alarm powered off (before re-install).  [Blink was at the door/window sensor.]   At re-install was still a long blink but installed.  Maybe 5 minutes later slow blink at PS561 [Zone 4] and the five dings started.  (Thought the '5 dings' would take closer to four hours -- supervisory function.)

As I mentioned in an earlier message, have swapped out the Door/Window sensor because the original one was doing the same.

Brian H

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2013, 10:32:19 AM »
Well those symptoms are strange.
There is the possibility the console has started to go bad.
I was going to say try leaving the Zone 4 space empty but you can't choose a zone to register to. Like the SC1200 allowed.

I had another thought.
You said you have a extra sensor you tried.
How about you install the extra sensor as Zone 4 and put it right next to the console. Then add the one on the problem door.
See if the problem stays in Zone 4 or moves to Zone 5.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2013, 02:24:18 PM by Brian H »

Barry_IA

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2013, 08:26:26 AM »
Hi Brian!

Glad to to find I'm not the only one thinking those symptoms are a little strange! <g>  Will try 'moving' the current Zone 4 to Zone 5 -- might take a few days because of work schedules (someone is not going to be a happy camper when their keyfob doesn't turn off the security system!!). 

That 'long blink' on the door/window sensor seems to be a clue as to what the problem is, just don't know what it is trying to tell me.  The communication is there, just not fully.  (Long single blink of the LED on the sensor as opposed to the usual series of rapid flashes.)

Will report back soon.

Barry_IA

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Re: Zone 4 is and isn't there
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2013, 09:08:54 AM »
OK: so far, so good!  Shortly after I got up this morning removed the battery and the AC power to the alarm console (PS561) and the batteries to the door/window sensor at Zone 4.  Figured may as well try resetting the offending sensor while I'm at it.  Waited about an hour-and-a-half, re-installed.  Zone 4 is now the spare DS10A sensor, Zone 5 is the wacko sensor formerly at Zone 4.  So far everything is working properly: no slow blinks nor no series of five dings  at the alarm console, plus the 'offending' sensor is now giving the normal series of flashes as opposed to the previous long blink when activated.