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 issues with Smartlinc, Insteon & X10
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ThomasK
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2012 :  4:51:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After upgrading to a new Mac and a new version of Indigo to work with it, I switched from a 2414 to a 2413 Smartlinc. I have a mixed X-10 and Insteon system (6 units) to control lights, on at dusk and off at 10:30 pm or dawn. Very erratic performance, improved when I reset the Smartlinc. Doesn't seem to be phase dependent (i.e., with 220 v. oven on or off) but when things don't work and I unplug Smartlinc and plug it in with button depressed everything works fine, for a while. Since it doesn't seem to be a phase problem...what can I do to keep from resetting Smartlinc every day or so? I am at whit's end, having spent a fortune just to upgrade from my old Mac. All I want to do is control a few dumb lights!

oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
2517 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2012 :  5:04:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Doesn't seem to be phase dependent (i.e., with 220 v. oven on or off)


Unfortunately, I can't help with indigo or smartlinc, but I can suggest that relying on an oven for phase coupling is a bit optimistic. I would not rule this possibility out if your oven is the only method you rely on.
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stusviews
Moderator

USA
11459 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2012 :  6:25:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Neither the 2413 nor the 2414 is a SmartLinc. The SmartLinc is a 2412.

The 2413 is a PowerLinc Controller (PLC), is old technology, and is not compatible with newer Insteon devices. It's available only as a USB device. The 2414 is a PowerLinc Modem (PLM), is compatible with current as well as older Insteon technology, and is available as either a USB or serial interface. The 2414 is dual-band. The 2413 is not. With appropriate software, either can control X10 devices. But, as devices are added, either X10 or Insteon, X10 performance suffers.

Turning on an electric oven may help, but does not guarantee coupling the opposite legs of the split, single-phase electric supply.

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ThomasK
Starting Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2012 :  08:36:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the replies. I guess I confused Smartlinc with Powerlinc. Sorry. But the info on the website indicates that the 2414U no longer works with Insteon devices sold after March. It was my impression that that was the old technology and the 2413U was newer, is dual band and would work with all devices. It is very interesting that unplugging and resetting the 2413U solves the problem temporarily but I obviously can't do that twice a day. Am I wrong that a phase problem would not act that way?
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BLH
Advanced Member

4470 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2012 :  10:57:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes the 2414U is the old PLC. The 2413S and 2413U are the latest dual band PLM's.

Edited by - BLH on 09/21/2012 12:27:28 PM
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oberkc
Advanced Member

USA
2517 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2012 :  12:49:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Am I wrong that a phase problem would not act that way?


Marginal communication can act in strange ways, in my experience. Lack of phase coupling can cause communication to be marginal. I would not rule out this possibility.
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Geo
Advanced Member

Canada
586 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2012 :  11:04:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would also recommend a phase coupler and a booster. You want a strong signal for reliable communications. The X10 devices use 120kHz carrier, Insteon uses 131.65kHz. For most part the difference is insignificant, but if your signal is already marginal, this additional mis-tuning can push it over the edge. Also, devices use resonant LC circuits with a fairly high Q to tune out the power line noise. With time the circuits get detuned causing additional drop in the signal delivered to the unit.
An oven has about the same resistance as the input impedance of an X10/Insteon device. That means that turning it on can improve the signal very little - I can't give you how much. It depends on the location of the oven in relation to the transmitter and the receiver.
Finally, I found that power line carrier devices claiming X10 compatibility are not always fully compatible. There are often (undocumented) quirks in the software which prevent full compatibility with a competitor product.

GJN
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Geo
Advanced Member

Canada
586 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2012 :  06:45:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One observation: My wife bought herself an iPad last week. It's charger managed to kill power line signal in several circuits of a very well behaved system. Plugging the charger through a filter fixed the problem.

GJN
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