X-10 question


Old 02-29-04, 01:41 PM
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Question X-10 question

I'm pretty new to X-10 and I hope this is the right forum to post this on. I recently purchased am IR543 and a couple of lamp modules to get my feet wet with the whole X-10 world. I find that when I plug them into some circuits in the house they work fine but in one of my basement circuits they don't seem to talk to each other. This particular circuit has several flourescent lights in it, could that be causing a problem with the X-10? I also noticed that the controller has to be plugged into the same circuit as the lamp module before it will work. Is this due to limited range of the IR543 controller?

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Old 03-01-04, 11:46 AM
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Not a particularly uncommon issue with X-10 modules and transmitters. They are not the best products on the market - they are simply the cheapest (the old agage "You get what you pay for" comes to mind.)

While X-10 is widely available and easy to integrate - it definitely has it's flaws. One of those is that interference from TV's, fluorescents, etc. can really kill the signal. Not to mention you will not get signals across phases without the phase coupler.

It's pretty much hit and miss with X-10 - if it doesn't work, troubleshoot a little, but don't waste too much time on it.

Good luck!
Old 03-22-04, 03:50 AM
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x10 trouble shooting especially with eratic behavior is more an art than science, imo

a case in point, my dad decided to plug in an old radio shack ac tv interference filter into his garage tv. everything x10 downstream stopped working. after removing the 5 buck interference filter and replacing it with an isobar interference-surge protector block, everything went back to normal. phase coupling, or better a coupler repeater appears to be the key to eliminating most of the x10 transmission problems. but not always. here's a couple of paragraphs from a good article and a link to that article on x10 phase coupling-repeating from home toys, that imo is worth the read. <p>Most "Home Automation" companies used to automatically include a repeater on any house that is 5,000 sq/ft or larger. Itís not that square footage is an absolute measure. Actually, we at ACT have successfully shot signal over 6 miles but I have also seen situations where I couldnít get signal 20 feet across a room. Its not the square footage, itís the impedance of the electrical distribution system. The relationship is this: the larger the system, the lower the impedance (usually). Another way to think of it is this: the larger the water pipe system, the more places the water has to go, the more likelihood of small leaks and the harder it is to keep the water pressure high.

As I said, most HA companies used to say that any house larger than 5,000 sq/ft got a repeater, but now many HA companies are lowering that figure to 4,000 sq/ft. As more and more homeowners install more and more home theater systems, computers and other electronic do-dads, the overall high frequency impedance is getting lower and lower (more "leaks") and so the need for a repeater becomes more prevalent. Not only will the repeater make increased signal available to the regular receivers, it will also fix that bothersome "phase-to-phase signal cancellation" problem <p>link <p>
home toys article on phase coupling x10
Old 06-25-04, 02:52 PM
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I put a repeater-Phase coupler on every job, but then again, I won't do smaller jobs (a couple of lights).
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