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 x10 always grounded?
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smarting
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2018 :  1:28:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am trying to use X10 appliance modules to control 12v reversible motors. I am trying to use 12V power adapters but it seems if I wire 2 adapters to the motor with opposite polarity for each direction then the motor is not powered because the power adapter ground circuit is not open but allows current to pass. So power never gets to the motor.

My solution is to try using a 4 channel relay to control both positive and negative leads to the motor. It is a 12V relay.

My current problem is figuring out how to trigger the relay. It has both high and low trigger jumpers. It has DC+ DC- IN1 IN2 IN3 IN4 connectors. I assumed if I use low trigger jumper and shorted the DC- with IN1 that the relay would be triggered. It doesn't work. Is ground not considered to be a "low trigger"? Thanks.

stusviews
Advanced Member

USA
15854 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2018 :  2:00:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A ground connection is for safety. No electric device requires a ground connection to function (except a GFCI outlet).

Reversible DC motors use one power supply. The polarity (+, -) is swapped to reverse the motor. A ground wire is not involved at all.

Describe your situation in more detail. Do you want remote control? Do the motors have an auto-stop? Will they be controlled simultaneously or individually? What is you ultimate goal?

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Geo
Advanced Member

Canada
803 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2018 :  07:22:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Appliance modules put out 120VAC, so make sure you don't cook anything. Furthermore, appliance modules do not like very much complex load, which 12VDC adapters are. You'd be better off having the appliance module control a 120VAC relay which, in turn, would control the power adapters.
Or, you could consider a Universal Module, which is just a straight relay switch, isolated from the 120VAC distribution. But make sure the module's contacts have the necessary current rating or you may have to add an additional relay.
As Stusviews points out, the polarity reversion is usually performed internally by an H-driver, but this is not always the case. Without knowing what you actually want to do it's hard to speculate.

GJN
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
3749 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2018 :  4:55:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
No electric device requires a ground connection to function (except a GFCI outlet).


Are you certain? All that I have read is that they will work (trip) fine without ground. Furthermore, they are suitable replacements (when properly marked: no equipment ground) for the old two-wire systems for those who want a three-prong outlet in place of the old style outlets.
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stusviews
Advanced Member

USA
15854 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2018 :  7:46:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There are residual current detectors, but these must be specifically labelled as "ungrounded" or "no equipment ground" and are primarily for use in locations before a ground wire was required.

It doesn't make sense to use one merely to gain use of a 3-prong plug as they cost nearly 10x the price of a standard 3-prong outlet.

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oberkc
Moderator

USA
3749 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2018 :  04:01:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
It doesn't make sense to use one merely to gain use of a 3-prong plug as they cost nearly 10x the price of a standard 3-prong outlet.


Except that it is illegal to install a standard 3-prong outlet without the ground wire available, whereas one CAN legally install a GFCI without the ground (in old installations, properly marked).
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Geo
Advanced Member

Canada
803 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2018 :  06:11:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fundamentally, GFCI detects imbalance between the hot wire current and its return through the neutral. That is to say, currents through the load and the neutral must be equal. If they're not it means there is some leakage path, usually to the ground which indicates a problem. GFCIs also detect current through the ground wire which, normally, should be just noise. A GFCI will work without ground connection, but the ground connection provides additional safety.
Remember, GFCIs use current transformers which represent inductors inserted to all power leads, thus attenuating the X10 signal. I had a couple situations where I had to remove the GCFIs for appliance modules to work.

GJN
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
3749 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2018 :  06:15:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I also replaced a couple of GFCI Outlets because of suspicion that they were causing problems with my insteon communication.
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stusviews
Advanced Member

USA
15854 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2018 :  1:58:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Often, the Insteon signal causes problems with GFCI devices

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