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 Multiple X10 TM751
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kmand
New Member

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2018 :  3:59:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have the x10 firecracker working correctly with a TM751. The problem is I have several wall module lights, and wherever I plug in the TM751 one of two lights won't work. If I change where I plug it in the other light won't work. They work properly with a single X10 control box. I have old two wire electrical wiring and I guess the connection between circuits is weak.

I don't suppose I could use two TM751s because the unit code is fixed.

Any suggestions?

oberkc
Moderator

USA
3935 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2018 :  4:25:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do you have an x10 phase coupler?
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kmand
New Member

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2018 :  5:03:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is in a 2 bedroom apartment. The two problem lights are actually one in each bedroom, and the bedrooms even have a common wall (but different breakers).

The circuit breaker box says "Single-Phase, Three-Wire, 120/240 Vac". So I don't have a phase coupler, and it wouldn't seem I would need one with a single phase electrical panel.
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Tuicemen
Average Member

Canada
74 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2018 :  6:54:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Tuicemen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
you can use multiple TM751s each set to a different Hose code the unit code would however always be 1.
you say you have multiple lamp modules. is it only thetm751 and the other module that you have issues with?

Have you tried a totally different module in the trouble spot?
You don't state which house code or unit number the trouble module is. Have you tried a totally different house code?
Have you tried spinning the code wheels around a few time? some times the contacts need to be cleaned spinning the code wheels help.
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avion
New Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  02:31:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit avion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You did not mention how many outlet changes you tested. Try plugging the TM751 into other outlets.
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BLH
Advanced Member

5983 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  03:03:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
120/240 is split single phase. 120 from each line input to neutral and 240 volts line to line. So it is possible they are on opposite incoming lines to neutral.

Some big apartment complexes maybe three phase from the power company Each unit has two of the three lines and the neutral. Alternating between units so the total load is balanced on all three lines. In that case it is 208 line to line and 120 from either line to neutral.

Edited by - BLH on 09/15/2018 03:08:11 AM
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
3935 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  04:19:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My money continues to be on phase coupler. Do you have a 240V outlet in the apartment (electrical range, dryer)?

Apparently, the term "phase" could often be better described as "leg". As BLH stated, you could still have devices on opposite "legs" of your single phase system.

Not sure about the use of two TM751 devices. This might work if you use an RF remote, but not sure that it would be a reliable method when using powerline devices to issue commands.


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Geo
Advanced Member

Canada
815 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  07:14:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oberkc is right. If you can measure 240VAC you definitely have two phases and you need a coupler.

GJN
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kmand
New Member

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  12:14:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looking at the diagram on my circuit breaker panel, I buy the description that there are two 120's and a neutral, with the left hand breakers on one 120 and the right hand breakers on the other. The bedroom breakers are on opposite sides.

The apartment (now my condo) was built in the 1950s and has the orginal wiring. The fusebox was replaced with the breaker panel during some weather damage repairs.

All the modules I'm talking about are wall modules for ceiling fixtures. Lamp modules are no trouble. The wall modules are mostly non-dimming radioshack modules, although a "new" Powerhouse module had the same issue.

The reason I got the non-dimming Powerhouse module was to replace a Smarthome dimming PCC RD161 I had been using in one bedroom. It failed, I didn't really need dimming, and it was too deep for the wall box requiring an external frame. However, while for the years it was working the TM751 could reach it from the other circuit. I guess it was more sensitive.

One other observation. Both bedrooms are at the end of their respective circuits on the other side of the apartment from the panel. One of those circuits passes the living room where there is another similar wall/ceiling fixture module. That module can at least respond to "All Lights" issued from the TM751 on the other circuit while the further out bedroom one doesn't. When Switching modules behavior stays with location. I guess the signal just gets weaker further out.

I'm not eager for another RD161 because of the depth problem.

I guess I need a phase coupler. Is there a way to do that without an electrician and mounting something in the wall?
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Tuicemen
Average Member

Canada
74 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  2:29:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Tuicemen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There are plugin type phase couplers these plug into either a Dryer or stove outlet & the dryer or stove then plugs into them.

There are also PLC repeater boosters available.

Another method would be to place a TM751 on each phase & set each to a different house code (say A & B). All modules on one phase would have house code A all modules on the other Phase, house code B.
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oberkc
Moderator

USA
3935 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  4:16:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It may not be important, but it may not be correct to assume one leg on the panel left side and the second leg on the right. More likely, in my estimation, is opposite legs alternating from top to bottom.

I used to use the plug-in phase coupler. The improved performance was amazing. I ised the 240v dryer outlet for the coupler, which had a pass-through for the dryer plug. If you choose to go this route, make sure your plug configuration matches that of the phase coupler. These have evolved over the years, so best be surel they match.
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kmand
New Member

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  4:52:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I looked more carefully at the wiring diagram on the breaker box. In fact the left and right breakers go to the same 120, its the rows that alternate. This makes sense since the breakers for the 240 outlets are one under the other in consecutive rows and tied together physically so they throw together.

The bedroom breakers are on different sides, but there is a row in between them, so they connect to the same 120.

Doesn't seem like a phase coupler would help.

I could use a second TM751 with a different House Code. I can compensate in software since I'm using "br" on Linux, and have voice control with Google Home. Still there are times when its easier to use one of the traditional X10 button boxes and changing the House Code is more than a button press.
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Tuicemen
Average Member

Canada
74 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2018 :  6:36:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Tuicemen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You may wish to try one of these PLC repeaters
https://www.x10.com/x10-pro/specialty-devices/plc01.html
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kmand
New Member

USA
18 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2018 :  06:25:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I went ahead and bought one of the X10 PLC repeaters, and found a combination of outlets for the TM751 and the PLC that worked! I feel lucky that this pair of sockets worked and has continued to work for at least a week now. Several other pairs would work for a while, then stop working until I unplugged and replugged in the PLC. One of the semi-working outlets for the PLC was just around a corner in the same room from the fully working one (and of course on the same circuit).

At any rate, I'm good!
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