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CM11A or equivalent in Europe? [Resolved: bad batteries in CM11a]

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  • CM11A or equivalent in Europe? [Resolved: bad batteries in CM11a]

    Most of my system has been migrated to Z-Wave, although I do have a few X10 modules left, notably for Xmas lights. Recently, I have been getting Fatal error messages for my (very old) CM11A interface. I'm assuming that the device is on its last legs as it is getting more and more difficult to get the X10 plug-in to communicate with it. Does anyone know of a supplier in Europe of either CM11A or its successor, the CM15? Otherwise, would a US 110v model work with a 240-110 transformer? Thanks for any feedback.

  • #2
    Try unplugging it and disconnect it from the computer for many hours or a few days. Take out the batteries as well. This has cured issues for me in the past. In matter of fact, I think the advice in the past is to run it without batteries. I have some that are 30+ years old and still working.

    Where in Switzerland are you from. I miss Europe...
    HomeSeer 2, HomeSeer 3, Allonis myServer, Amazon Alexa Dots, ELK M1G, ISY 994i, HomeKit, BlueIris, and 6 "4k" Cameras using NVR, and integration between all of these systems. Home Automation since 1980.

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    • #3
      Batteries? Don't believe there are any. My CM11A plugs into a wall socket. I'm about 20km outside of Geneva. Winter just beginning to set in here

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      • #4
        Take a look at Jeff Volp's website. It looks like he has discontinued the 240V version of his CM11A emulator interface, but he may have useful suggestions.
        Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
        HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

        HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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        • #5
          The US version (at least the two I have) have a battery compartment in front (bottom). I just looked and they are rated for 120v 60 hz only. I would disconnect and unplug as described above. Then retest. I have seen them do weird things and, if unpowered for many hours, then they start working... I have done this about 5 times since they came out in the late 80's/early 90's. Don't use them anymore, but it has always done the trick... Of course, it is possible that they are defective....

          I miss the Alps. Greet the Alps for me.

          HomeSeer 2, HomeSeer 3, Allonis myServer, Amazon Alexa Dots, ELK M1G, ISY 994i, HomeKit, BlueIris, and 6 "4k" Cameras using NVR, and integration between all of these systems. Home Automation since 1980.

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          • #6
            You're using the cm12. Yes they do go bad particularly when they are left lying up. You could buy a CM19 which is the only X10 controller for sale on the European market. It's a USB unit. HS3 supports this unit. I doubt you'll have a new one before Christmas though. You could try and attach your CM12 to a PC, run a copy of Active Home Pro to test it. If its still working clear it's memory and try it again on HS

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            • #7
              What, if any, error messages are shown in the HS3 log for the X10 plugin?

              I have found that CM11a devices will become erratic when the AAA batteries get low, or if no are batteries installed. I am assuming the CM12 uses similar firmware and may act the same. As mentioned above by others: unplug your CM12, install new batteries and plug it back in. This may resolve your issue.
              Best regards,
              -Mark-

              If you're not out on the edge, you're taking up too much room!
              Interested in 3D maps? Check out my company site: Solid Terrain Modeling

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              • #8
                After several restarts, yesterday I finally got the X10 plugin to communicate with the CM11. My CM11 is in a rather inaccessible spot, so it's only just now that I have got down on my hands and knees to unplug it. Sure enough, it *does* have 2 AAA batteries. I had no recollection of this and as you might imagine, they are both completely flat. Since the device is plugged into a wall socket, I wonder what purpose these batteries serve? I've put 2 fresh ones in, and HS3 is up and running again with all plugins working, touch wood. Still curious about the batteries though........

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by concordseer View Post
                  You're using the cm12. Yes they do go bad particularly when they are left lying up. You could buy a CM19 which is the only X10 controller for sale on the European market. It's a USB unit. HS3 supports this unit. I doubt you'll have a new one before Christmas though. You could try and attach your CM12 to a PC, run a copy of Active Home Pro to test it. If its still working clear it's memory and try it again on HS
                  Thanks for your suggestion. Mine is definitely a CM11 - must be 20 years old. I found the CM19 you mention on a UK automation site. I see the USB cable to connect to the PC, but how does it connect to the powerline to send out X10 commands?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lio View Post
                    ... Still curious about the batteries though........
                    Glad to learn that fresh batteries and a restart of the device brought it back to life! The batteries are used to maintain a real-time clock in the interface in the event of a power failure. The CMxx interfaces can be used stand-alone to execute stored macros based on times or events when programmed with the ActiveHome software. These features are not used with HS3 since HS3 is far more powerful and flexible than the simple ActiveHome macros. {Edit} Your CM11a hardware may need good batteries for reliable operation, and dead batteries in the unit could cause erratic behavior - as you have discovered.
                    Last edited by mfisher; December 16th, 2018, 11:26 AM. Reason: Clarify statement on using batteries in the CM11a.
                    Best regards,
                    -Mark-

                    If you're not out on the edge, you're taking up too much room!
                    Interested in 3D maps? Check out my company site: Solid Terrain Modeling

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lio View Post

                      Thanks for your suggestion. Mine is definitely a CM11 - must be 20 years old. I found the CM19 you mention on a UK automation site. I see the USB cable to connect to the PC, but how does it connect to the powerline to send out X10 commands?
                      It's rf to pl via a separate transceiver. You'll see the plugin transceiver on the UK Automation website. You don't need batteries for the CM11 using HS as it doesn't support downloaded macros so dump them. You may need to clear its memory to stop that erratic behaviour

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by concordseer View Post
                        ... You don't need batteries for the CM11 using HS as it doesn't support downloaded macros so dump them. You may need to clear its memory to stop that erratic behaviour
                        A few of the CM11a units I've used over the years have become erratic when used without batteries. These may have been early production units, just too long ago to remember.
                        Best regards,
                        -Mark-

                        If you're not out on the edge, you're taking up too much room!
                        Interested in 3D maps? Check out my company site: Solid Terrain Modeling

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                        • #13
                          You’re right. But, there were early versions of HomeSeer that did allow you to download the schedule to the CM11A. That was discontinued a long time ago.


                          Originally posted by mfisher View Post

                          Glad to learn that fresh batteries and a restart of the device brought it back to life! The batteries are used to maintain a real-time clock in the interface in the event of a power failure. The CMxx interfaces can be used stand-alone to execute stored macros based on times or events when programmed with the ActiveHome software. These features are not used with HS3 since HS3 is far more powerful and flexible than the simple ActiveHome macros, but the hardware still needs good batteries or it will eventually stop working properly (as you have discovered).
                          HomeSeer 2, HomeSeer 3, Allonis myServer, Amazon Alexa Dots, ELK M1G, ISY 994i, HomeKit, BlueIris, and 6 "4k" Cameras using NVR, and integration between all of these systems. Home Automation since 1980.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Krumpy View Post
                            You’re right. But, there were early versions of HomeSeer that did allow you to download the schedule to the CM11A. That was discontinued a long time ago.
                            Yep, I tried using that feature initially but found it was just better to have HS in control all the time.
                            Best regards,
                            -Mark-

                            If you're not out on the edge, you're taking up too much room!
                            Interested in 3D maps? Check out my company site: Solid Terrain Modeling

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here continue to utilize the CM11A with no batteries along with the W800(s).

                              Relating to X10 here utilize CM11As, TW-523s (tested with Ocelot controller), Volp original X10 amplifier and Volp's dual phased TW-523 emulator.

                              X10 is 100% here.

                              Mounted these along with UPB powerline and Volp power line adjacent to the fuse panel on their own breakers with long serial cables to the computers.

                              Electrical wise went out the bottom of the fuse panel with one conduit, along the bottom installed single outlet duplex 1/2 outlet boxes (metal).
                              From the PIMs ran custom serial cables along the side of the fuse panel up to the ceiling and over to the automation boxes. Inside the fuse panel ran electrical wires from each of these PIMs to separate marked breakers in the panel. It is overkill for one circuit to have one breaker.

                              These days also leave an old Elk powerline monitor on 24/7 on the computer rack.
                              - Pete

                              Auto mator
                              Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU - Mono 6.4X
                              Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.4X

                              X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation.

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