Author Topic: X10 Signal Monitoring  (Read 513 times)

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Offline L_Euler

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X10 Signal Monitoring
« on: May 29, 2019, 05:27:42 pm »
I have a batch of older X10 devices that are slowly starting to stop working and I'm pretty sure its a combination of modern device power supplies sucking down the signal and a few lightning surges over the years.  So, what I am looking for is a simple signal monitor circuit that will let me connect a portable oscilloscope to the mains power and verify the 120kHz X10 signal level.  There are a few analyzers available, but they are awfully spendy for what I want to do.  I was thinking a small high impedance RLC circuit that won't blow up when connected to 120VAC, but still be able to extract the X10 signal.  Any help is appreciated.
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Offline Bryan

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Re: X10 Signal Monitoring
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2019, 09:53:03 am »
Interested in the same thing. I find with todays cheapo switching supplies in consumer electronics it is almost impossible to have reliable X10 communication. Literally have to add a filter to every offending device.
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Offline bicycleguy

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Re: X10 Signal Monitoring
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2019, 05:12:44 pm »
Gave up on X10 years ago and switched to Insteon.  Req'd a little more complicated software and more expensive modules but the functionality and reliability are night and day.
As to your monitor question, I believe you can salvage the req'd parts out of one of your many failed X10 modules(I'm sure you have) as that's not the part of it that usually fails.
 

Offline Bryan

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Re: X10 Signal Monitoring
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2019, 10:20:11 pm »
I have an older aquarium controller that only has the option of communicating by X10, newer versions of the product allowed communications to a breakout box. I assumed the X10 commands were deciphered that way. What I would like to do is put together a Arduino project where the controller communicates directly with a Arduino and then can control 4 or so relays. Similar projects out there but they all require deciphering the protocol from the mains line after the PSC505. I just need to figure out how to decipher the protocol and Arduino codes without the zero crossing on the mains line stuff. Basically read the z10 protocol straight from the controller before it goes to the mains via the PSC505 and control a number of relays that way.
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: X10 Signal Monitoring
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2019, 10:27:10 pm »
While commo problems are real with X10, I have also had many, many modules fail at the output triac stage for dimmer modules, and in the incredibly cheap relay used in some of the switched modules.  Don't forget to look at that end of the circuit.
 

Offline Bryan

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Re: X10 Signal Monitoring
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2019, 10:33:09 pm »
Yes, I agree, the plan is the Arduino will take the place of the modules. Just drive Triacs and relays and control them all from one breakout box. I have noticed with the advent of LEDS and low power devices the X10 modules are becoming useless. One constantly lights up my cfl or led light briefly every couple seconds. believe it has to do with a control circuit on the module. Some hacks to fix, but never had any luck in resolving the issue.
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: X10 Signal Monitoring
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2019, 01:46:33 am »
So, what I am looking for is a simple signal monitor circuit that will let me connect a portable oscilloscope to the mains power and verify the 120kHz X10 signal level.  There are a few analyzers available, but they are awfully spendy for what I want to do.  I was thinking a small high impedance RLC circuit that won't blow up when connected to 120VAC, but still be able to extract the X10 signal.  Any help is appreciated.

Depends what you consider to be spendy. You could get a Micsig high-voltage differential probe for your scope. http://www.micsig.com/html/41.html I've seen the  DP10013 around US$120-150 on eBay.
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Offline David Hess

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Re: X10 Signal Monitoring
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2019, 02:45:48 am »
After rough low and high pass filtering of the coupled signal, I would use a variable bandwidth and center frequency bandpass filter which as I recall can be done with a state variable or bi-quad active filter but a gyrator based RLC bandpass filter might be easier.

Or depending on how good your DSO's FFT function is, minimal prefiltering might be sufficient to use it directly.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: X10 Signal Monitoring
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2019, 08:19:14 am »
MicSig and GW Instek scopes have filtering but in this case I'd use an external filter to get rid of the 50Hz mains frequency.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 


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