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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:25 PM   #1
Marge
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Electrical Question

Have a mystery and wonder if anyone might have a clue. Have used the X10 remote system in our house for years (OK, so we're lazy). Had some rope lights on the cabinets and used the outlet shared with the fridge for the X10 receiver. Has worked fine for a few years.

Changed the lights around today and when we plugged back into the receiver, they would not go on. The lights, when plugged directly into the outlet DO work. Moved the receiver to another outlet and it worked fine.

We have two outlets on the fridge circuit. Both do not allow the receiver to work, but the lights function when plugged in directly to either of those outlets. And we did try top and bottom of both outlets with the same results.

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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:33 PM   #2
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Are the lights plugged into the receiver with the antenna? If so, it's a relay type; can you hear the click?.

If it's not the receiver, it's a module that gets a signal from the receiver over your house wiring, which gets it's signal from the remote control. Sometimes the receiver and the module have to be on the same 110V leg of the 220V or the signal might not reach it.
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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:39 PM   #3
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Dave, it's not the antenna unit (that's on another outlet with nothing plugged in). This is the same outlet we have used for five years and the receiver/unit works on other outlets, just not the two on the fridge circuit. I'm typing but Wiley is talking...I know nada about electricity, 'cept it's a bad idea to shower and iron clothes at the same time.

Wiley said the lights did come on once, after a few tries, but not again.
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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:43 PM   #4
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Try moving the antenna unit to another outlet. Your house has 220 coming into it, which splits into two separate 110V circuits. If the antenna unit and the light module are not on the same circuit, they rely on some leakage path for the X10 signal to get through. They actually sell gizmos you can plug into your dryer outlet that bridge the two circuits enough for the signal to get through.
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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:47 PM   #5
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I'd usually try to be my own helpful self on a 'lectric problem, but...............I ain't got no eye-dee what an X-10 system is.
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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:49 PM   #6
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Be careful, just commenting in this thread may cause you to receive daily spam from the X10 company.
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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:49 PM   #7
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Will give that a shot. Thanks.
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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:55 PM   #8
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They do make plug-in bridges between the split phases, but I don't have any 220vac plug in devices. You can wire one into the power panel, but that can be a little messy. What I've found works for me and is cheap, is just get a second receiver and plug it into an outlet on the other leg of the power - then, you've got both sides covered. Been working for me for a number of years.

It basically depends on how far you are from the transformer and the strength of the signal you generate.
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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:58 PM   #9
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Yeah, it's kind of hit/miss what makes it work. When it's working right, it's handy. I actually had a garden sprinkler circuit controlled by it for a couple of years. Program I wrote would check the weather on the internet in the morning, and if no rain was expected it would water the garden. Watering time was based on expected high temp.
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Unread 12-01-2007, 07:59 PM   #10
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OK, Wiley moved the antenna unit to another outlet and it worked...then, being the stubborn ever curious person that he is, he moved it back to the original outlet...and it worked. There's a lot of muttering going on around here.

Hope this means I don't have to get up to shut the lights off.

Will let you know if they still work tomorrow. Did I say that out loud?

EDIT: Program I wrote would check the weather on the internet in the morning, and if no rain was expected it would water the garden.

Don't you ever call me pretentious.
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