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Bye Bye Standby sockets (Old type)

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    Bye Bye Standby sockets (Old type)

    Just in case any of you have got some of the old Bye Bye Standby BBSB4AW sockets, and they have the standard failure mode - turns on, then immediately turns off again - take a look at BigCliveDotCom's "Fascinating failure mode of metallised film capacitors" video on Youtube.

    Just in case you don't want to watch the whole video, you need to replace the large yellow 220nF capacitor !

    I will sort through my old sockets to find a failed one, and replace the capacitor to see if that sorts it out. If anybody else is interested, I have just purchased 50 capacitors, so there will be some left over ! Just in time ! I was about to dump them !

    Tim

    #2
    Success !

    Well, that took a bit longer than I wanted, as I ended up using all of my spare time to look after my Mother !

    Anyway, out of 18 of these sockets that I had in my parts box (All X10 and BBSB has been removed to be replaced with Z-wave over the last few years) I found one to be completely dead, and three to be suffering from the turn it ON, it turns OFF a second or so later failure mode. I removed the 220nF capacitors from all three, and found their capacitances to be much lower than they should be (12nF, 43nF and 46nF). I checked three new capacitors to be the correct capacitance, and so fitted them.

    The result is THREE out of THREE working again

    Looks like I've found some sockets for the forthcoming Xmas lights ! (Yes, I know, not yet bah humbug).
    Last edited by Traction Tim; November 15, 2015, 10:09 AM. Reason: Added failed capacitances.

    Comment


      #3
      Over 1300 views and no responses ? What does that mean?

      And finally, I checked the remaining sockets and had 12 working but some with limited range. I swapped out all of their capacitors too (Values of originals were not as low as the totally failed capacitors, but apart from one, were much less than 220nF) and they are all restored to full range.

      The Xmas lights are looking good with HS3 this year, without having to rob my z-wave sockets

      Comment


        #4
        Over 1700 views - Must be time to write a guide !

        Well, somebody keeps checking this, as there have been over 1700 views ! Must be time to write a "How to" guide, so take a look here:

        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...W%20Repair.doc

        That should be a Word document as a public Drop Box link that works for everybody. Please let me know if it does/doesn't. Don't try this fix unless you know what you are doing, and ensure your capacitors are rated for the job !

        My re-capped BBSB4AW sockets have done an admirable job with my Xmas lights They may not be as good as z-wave sockets, but they are cheeeep !!!

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks

          Tim, many thanks for a very useful document. I've started to notice some variance in range performance with some of my BBSB sockets and this seems a likely candidate explanation. From your knowledge of the circuit, is the capacitance measurable without disassembly of the plug? If possible could you also give a MPN for the replacement capacitors you used?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by djbenedict View Post
            Tim, many thanks for a very useful document. I've started to notice some variance in range performance with some of my BBSB sockets and this seems a likely candidate explanation. From your knowledge of the circuit, is the capacitance measurable without disassembly of the plug? If possible could you also give a MPN for the replacement capacitors you used?
            Last edited by Traction Tim; August 10, 2016, 11:22 AM. Reason: Capacitors are 0.22uF (220nF)

            Comment


              #7
              Took the worst performing of my sockets apart just now, removed the capacitor and measured it. 66nF! So another consistent data point for this theory. My replacement caps are on order.

              I wonder why the degradation causes the range reduction? My understanding is that this capacitor's major function is RF interference suppression, I assumed in the outgoing direction. Can there really be enough 433MHz rubbish on the mains wiring to interfere with the receiver? Perhaps the presence of many degrading BBSB sockets means that, yes there is?

              Just one other thing, I think the Torx screws are actually T10s - well at any rate I used a T10 driver to undo my socket just now. I'm guess a T9 driver would work too but it's a (significantly) less common size...

              Thanks again for taking the time to make such a good write-up Tim.

              Comment


                #8
                Hi again, since replacing the capacitor did fix mine, I didn't look any further into the circuit. I understand that X2 capacitors are normally used for interference suppression, but I have a sneaking feeling they are being used to power the receiver and relay here. My main failure mode was that the relay would pull in, then instantly drop out = insufficient voltage/current. Changing this capacitor fixes it, and improves the range.

                I had a look for a voltage dropper circuit using X2 capacitors, and found this.

                I don't think we need to do any more thinking with this one ! Just keep some spare capacitors for next time
                Last edited by Traction Tim; August 10, 2016, 11:37 AM. Reason: Updated URL

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ah yes, I'm sure you're right - I haven't experience the 'immediately turns off again' problem, just loss of range.

                  A bit of reading about this type of capacitor indicates that the self-healing mechanism is used during manufacture as well as during their service lifetime. I wonder if the ones fitted were from the bottom of the barrel in the first place?

                  That would be consistent with my experience of the Bye Bye Standby stuff in general - good design but let down by poor manufacturing quality. I recently acquired an online controller which is a neat box, and means I can now control all my stuff from my phone, but it should never have passed QA. The through-hole soldering looks like it was done by hand, and badly at that. Oddly the SMT on the main board is fine, but on the separate radio modules that was terrible too - again looking like a load of hand work.

                  By any chance have you disassembled any of the "2011" Bye Bye Standby sockets - the more "square" ones? (like this). I have a mixture of types. Yet to notice any range problems with the 2011 ones, but maybe just because they have fewer miles on the clock...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I recently acquired an online controller which is a neat box, and means I can now control all my stuff from my phone
                    I had the BBSB online controller a few years ago when I was running Harmony 2007. Unfortunately the Harmony dev preferred that single use BBSB box instead of the RFXtrx433 which is a marvellous transceiver that works with MANY protocols including BBSB. Take a look here.

                    I moved over to HomeSeer V3 Pro (HS3) to be able to use the latest HA equipment, without having to discard my existing X10 and BBSB equipment. Homeseer can control the BBSB equipment via the RFXtrx433, the X10 equipment with a CM11, and the modern mesh networking Z-wave equipment by another USB dongle. You can even work between protocols - e.g. turn a z-wave light on with a BBSB remote (etc).

                    How about turning on the AV amp on/ AV amp to the correct input channel and volume/ Projector ON/ Projector screen down/ Sky box ON/ Lights off/on simply by pressing SKY on the SKY remote controller ? Table lights ON when SKY is paused ? One USB-UIRT

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thanks, I will check this stuff out. I quite like the fact that the BBSB online box means that no PC needs to be switched on to drive any of the sockets via the network. I freely admit the setup chez moi is very simple so I am sure much more sophisticated things are possible!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi again djbenedict,

                        Please let us know if the capacitor change gives you the increased range; it would be good to have some more evidence from another user. Apart from the terminally ill sockets that just turned off when you tried to turn them on, I had found that the sockets just got weaker and weaker, and wouldn't reliably switch any more unless they were moved physically closer to the transmitter. After doing the capacitor change, I was able to use the BBSB sockets at all extremities of my house for Xmas lights. Full range restored !

                        HA has always been interesting to me, and it is addictive. Wake up lights in the morning, all lights on if you hear a funny noise, temperature monitoring in multiple areas with a 1-wire network, movement captured by my CCTV system sends a JSON message to HS3 and flashes a table lamp. It's as big as your imagination will let it be

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi Traction Tim, I stumbled across your post regarding fixing BBSB4AW sockets. I have several with the exact behaviour you mentioned and see you created a 'how to' guide, however the dropbox link (above) doesn't work for me. Is this doc still available somewhere?
                          TIA

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Sorry for missing this post, it does look like the link has expired. Try this one:

                            https://www.dropbox.com/s/37kmp1qizn...epair.doc?dl=0

                            Let me know if you can see it, and if it helps

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi Traction Tim. I know it's been some time since you posted your excellent article (Dropbox above). You mentioned in the article " My new 220nF capacitors are to the same specification as the originals, but are made by a USA manufacturer –See gray capacitor below.". Can any 200nF (such as theses: https://www.amazon.co.uk/0-22UF-220N...7573113&sr=8-9) be used? if not, can you advise what capacitor type you used and where you got it (from the USA)? Thanks.

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