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Noise on the line

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  • Noise on the line


    For those in the UK what do you use to eliminate noise on the powerline?

    I've been using (and had some joy) the Marmitek X10 Plugin Filters.

    But I've just installed some new Plinth Lights in the kitchen which work via RF but not from HomeSeer (CM) .... I don't really want to purchase a load more Plugin Filters and go on a witch hunt, I'm hoping there's a better solution out there.

    Is there?


  • #2
    Don't think there is a solution to noise unless you get some kind of booster (I think act make one) and "shout" over the noise.

    Best solution is hunt it down - there are noise meters available (not cheap).

    What's the detail on the plinth lights - are they x10 controlled - when you say rf - what's the interface you are using to get to them and how/where is your x10 (cm presumably) connected (extension lead, spur, loft, with the pc plugged into it).



    • #3

      The plinth LEDs are are plugged into a Marmatek Transceiver Plugin Module. I can control them with an RF Controller (HR10).

      The HomeSeer PC lives in the living room near the fuse box. The PC is plugged into the CM.

      It may be worth mentioning that the Living room is part of an extension around 4 years old so the electrical wiring is not that old. The rest of the house (Cottage) is around 130 years old. I don't know when the electrics were originally put in .... but its definately old wiring as the cables are black and red. (I'm no sparky by the way)

      HomeSeer can control nearly everything in the house without any problems (old and new). I did have issues with my bookshelves in the sitting room (which is next to the living room) but an X10 Plugin Filter sorted that out. However there is one socket in the Sitting room where I have to resort to a Transceiver Plugin to get any control.

      The kitchen is at the back of the house and you have to go through the sitting room to get there.

      The pantry light works no problems in the kitchen (Bayonent Module). Its just the Plinth lights where I have to resort to RF.

      Also the light at the back door works no probs with HomeSeer. You have to go through the kitchen to get there (this is also apart of the old house).

      Upstairs (old and new) all work fine, although I've not tried every socket.

      Some signal booster sounds good, also the new X10 modules from Kevin Lo that pick up weaker signals sounds good. But ideally I'd like to eliminate the noise.



      • #4
        the kitchen is where i had most of my problems with noise...

        almost all my appliances have X10 filters fitted - microwave, TV (on standby), tumble drier, fridge freezer and dishwasher - but not the washing machine!

        good thing is though it was easy to unplug them all and plug back in one at a time to find cuplrit - or many culprits in my case...


        • #5
          I had big problems trying to get X10 to function properly, mainly due to noise on the line.

          By far the biggest culprit for me was Belkin uninterruptible power supplies. Whenever one of these was plugged into any socket, about 50% of my X10 stuff stopped working. If it was plugged in anywhere near the CM12U then that would also freeze up and stop working. I tried all manner of fixes including filters, which helped in some cases but not in others. I also have some X10-2 modules which seem better, but still I suffered a degree intermittent non-switching.

          I have just about given up with X10 now. I still have a few bits left in use, but I am now using the newer breed of HomeEasy modules with an RFXCom transmitter & the RFXCom Homeseer plug-in.

          Initially I had a few reception problems with the HE304 ceiling modules located at 15 metres or so from the transmitter, but a small modification to the antennas on these modules seems to have sorted that. The HE302 plug-in modules don't seem to suffer any reception problems at 30 metres ish.

          The modules can be programmed for up to 6 different transmitters / remotes and the RFXCom plug-in now supports configurable coding of the modules, so it's very unlikely that anyone else will trigger your modules. At present, my RFXCom receiver can't receive the new HomeEasy remotes but apparently a receiver firmware update will soon be available to sort that out.

          So far I'm quite impressed with this setup. Switching is almost instant from Homeseer, reliability seems good so far and line noise isn't a problem. The range of modules available is a bit limited compared to X10 but I suppose the biggest benefit is the cost. Modules are about half the price of X10 equivalents and you don't have the added cost of filters etc.




          • #6
            I also gave up on installing new X10 modules, and switched to PlcBus. It's faster, two-way, and noise doesn't seem to be a problem.


            • #7
              Homeasy reliability

              HI Paul,
              I am also considering switching to Homeasy (just having the firmware upgrade). I have read some reports that they are flaky (as they are cheaply made) and unreliable. Forsaking the initially reception problems due to range, what are your experiences.
              Thanks, David


              • #8

                I have been testing the HE304 ceiling, and HE302 plug-in modules for about a month now. Perhaps this is a little too early to make any worthwhile judgement on long-term component reliability, but so far (forsaking the antenna modification I did on the HE304's) these units have performed without any problems. No failed switching yet.

                Just about everything these days seems to be "cheaply made" in the Far East. The units themselves look and feel very well made and appear to be made of good quality materials. None of the usual Far Eastern shabby plastic mouldings.

                I have had the HE304 and 302 apart and the internal components also appear to be well assembled. Probably mass produced by machines. I am no electronics expert, but I have been told by someone in the electronics trade that all the internal components are of good quality and should not provide any problems in the longer term.

                At present, I am controlling the modules almost 100% of the time from my RFXCom transmitter and so far I'm happy with the results. It works reliably with the RFXCom transmitter and I suppose only time will tell if the internal components will last in the long term.



                • #9
                  Thanks for that. I did buy a couple of the HE304's and try them, as you say they appear well made, work efficiently and respond immediately. I was considering ZWave, though they are nearly three times the cost. I will certainly be giving the Homeeasy product a try.
                  Thanks for your feedback.


                  • #10

                    I noticed that you have a plug-in for the PLCBUS. I did have a look at going down the PLCBUS route, as I would like to have the 2 way communication, but I thought I would test a few HomeEasy modules first as I already have the RFX gear and the PLCBUS stuff is quite a lot more expensive than the HomeEasy. I have about 25 modules of various sorts so upgrading would not be cheap.

                    I also have 100% low energy light bulbs which X10 does not seem to play well with sometimes.

                    I may still go for PLCBUS if the HomeEasy proves to be unreliable.

                    Do you use any sort of filtering with the PLCBUS, or does it work ok without?




                    • #11
                      PlcBus works without filters here.

                      However, as half of my modules are still X10 (I didn't fully migrate yet because of the cost), I still have the old X10 filters in place.


                      • #12
                        Thanks stipus.

                        I may order a couple of modules and a PC interface for testing. I suppose I am a bit wary of powerline based systems as I have had a less than exciting experience with X10.

                        Which interface do you have, USB or RS232? Do you know if the USB interface is true USB or is it an RS232 with adapter?

                        Sorry for all the questions.



                        • #13
                          I have the RS232 version of the PlcBus 1141 interface.

                          The USB version has an internal PL2303 USB converter, and I know a few customers who experienced problems with the PL2303 driver. I strongly suggest you order the RS232 interface if you have free COM ports...

                          230V PlcBus is a technology similar to 110V UPB. Most users do not need any filter with this technology.


                          • #14
                            Thanks again stipus.

                            If I were to change, I would go for the RS232 version as I have spare com ports.

                            It would probably be the 2 way communication feature that would push me to switch to PLCBUS. I am currently having good results with the HomeEasy modules and the RFXCom tramsmitter / receiver combinaton. Of course there is no status confirmation with the HomeEasy system but switching is very fast and so far, reliability seems good.



                            • #15
                              PlcBus has a special command that can request the on/off status of up to 16 modules (a single house code), in less than 1 second.

                              A 1 second request to get the status of 16 modules is amazing. I don't know any other home-automation protocol with such a feature.

                              PlcBus has been very reliable here. I had 2 faulty modules, but they were quickly replaced.