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Mobile Charger vs home "X-10" controller

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by gregd, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. gregd

    gregd Member

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    So, I know this is somewhat a new-technology conflicts with old-technology gripe, but perhaps the issue is broader than what I'm experiencing... It appears that the Tesla Mobile Connector is preventing my X-10 home auitomation stuff from working, even without the car being plugged into the TMC.

    I'm the happy new owner of a 2010 Roadster 2.0, #834. Been charging it (slowly) off the home 120v while waiting for a 10-30 adapter for the Mobile Connector, which arrived on Friday. Saturday afternoon I installed a second 10-30 plug in the garage (essentially making a 2-plug outlet strip, one for the dryer, one for the car). Plugged the Connector into the new outlet, and the cable into the car. (I had already told the car to limit charging to 24A before plugging it in.) Click! Whirr! All seemed fine.

    Later that evening I noticed that the X-10 control system in the house wasn't working. I have two controllers; lights and appliances wouldn't respond to either controller, but but the modules still worked locally. Figuring the car on 240v was too noisy (even though it wasn't actually charging by then), I unplugged the cable from car. Still no joy with the X-10s. Unplugged the TMC from the new plug, and all is working again. The dryer itself can run without affecting things, so it's not simply a matter of having a device that bridges the 240v circuit. And the car on 120v is also ok, at least on the circuit I had it on. I simply can't run the house with the TMC plugged in.

    Since we're apparently supposed to keep the car plugged in when at home, I either need to go back to the 120v setup (annoyingly slow, and at 15A it limits what else I can do on that circuit), or find a way to filter or isolate the TMC so that it doesn't interfere with the operation of the X-10 system. I do have access to the wiring, but messing with 240v / 30A stuff is a bit scary... A quick search didn't yield anything that appeared to fit the need.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    There are X-10 filters for blocking noise:

    http://home-automation.smarthome.com/search?p=Q&asug=&w=x-10+filter

    I'd also strongly suggest going to Insteon technology, it is far far more reliable than X-10.
     
  3. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    It's could be noise on the line from the TMC or it could be that the TMC is filtering out the X10 signals. Either way, you're toast.
    As RDoc suggested, it's time to replace your stuff with Insteon which is much more robust, reliable and has some backwards compatibility with X10 so you might be able to use some of your legacy X10 stuff.
     
  4. gregd

    gregd Member

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    Yeah, I looked for those sorts filters, but I'm not seeing anyting in the 240v 30+ amp isolation-focused department. I'm thinking the TMC is more of a signal sucker, as opposed to a noise generator (X10, Noise Generators, Signal Suckers, and Filters). As far as I can determine, the TMC basically just a big Ground Fault unit, and shouldn't be consuming any power (or generating any hash) on its own. Haven't looked at Insteon, however. Thanks for the reference.
     
  5. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    Do you have a signal bridge on the X10 system (to bridge the 2 110V legs in the circuit break box)?

    When I had my X10 system, I didn't have a EV yet, however, I had an issue when I turned on a 240V oven, X10 would stopped working on the other leg of the house. It was fixed when I installed the signal bridge.

    I'm not exactly sure why, since you'd think the 240V appliance would actually pass the X10 signal rather than blocking it, but it's not supposed to be working without a bridge in the first place, so it was all just dumb luck anyway.


    Installing the bridge made things more reliable. Well... somewhat less unreliable at least.
     
  6. BerTX

    BerTX Member

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    Slightly off topic -- you are aware that an x10 controller uses more power than an LED lightbulb, right? More efficient to buy LED bulbs and leave them on...
     
  7. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    What's your source? They use on the order of 1 watt according to this:

    X10 Power Draw

    Still high, IMO, but not enough to power an LED light bulb.

    Personally, I found X10 extremely unreliable, so now I use Z-Wave, and it's been great.
     
  8. Danal

    Danal electricmotorglider.com

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    X10 is EXTREMELY sensitive to power line noise. At one point in time, I had a large X-10 installation. I had the line bridge that must be installed in the breaker box, designed to kill noise from outside. I had filters on everything I could think of that wasn't X10 controlled.

    The system would work for days, weeks, or months... then whole large segments (not just a single branch circuit) would go unresponsive. Because something had been plugged in. Computers were the worst. Laptop/Desktop didn't matter. Switching power supplies, very common in computers, absolutely destroy X10. As time passed, switching power supplies became more common. Perhaps a "Clock Radio". A smartphone charger. Whatever. We had lights that did not have physical switches, X10 only. Couldn't turn them on (and sometimes couldn't turn them off).

    Yech.

    Finally, I gave up. As stated above, Insteon or Z-Wave. I strongly prefer Insteon for a long list of reasons... but either one will work very reliably in most homes.

    Ditch X-10. Really.
     
  9. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    if you don't have a signal bridge, I have at least 2 of them availble, since going to Zwave years ago.
    PM if interested.
     
  10. BerTX

    BerTX Member

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    I did exactly the same test using the exact same measuring device, although not for as long as they did. I may have used older x10 devices, as it was some time ago.

    It's not important, and this information is probably more correct than my experience, so I respectfully withdraw my assertion. I did, however, quit using the home automation because of my testing. If I ever have need of it again, I'll certainly re-test the efficiency rather than dismiss it as inefficient. Thanks!
     
  11. tga

    tga Active Member

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    I hesitate to think about how much time I've spent over the years debugging X-10 noise weirdness. I bought one of these cheap X-10 signal meters 10+ years ago:

    X10 Signal Meter

    It was great for identifying line noise, measure the strength of valid signals, and measuring the effectiveness of filters. I have mostly switched to Insteon for the reasons already mentioned, but I have some old legacy X-10 gear that works fine, so I don't mess with it (ie, Elk had a great 240V 30A X-10 relay I use on a hot water heater; there was no good Insteon equivalent for years).

    Switching supplies are a nightmare. I had at least a dozen Radio Shack plug in line filters (do they even sell those anymore?) around my house to clean up the signals.

    Since the charger in the car is essentially a big switching supply, I wouldn't be surprised to see it wreck havoc with X10. Also, the mobile connector probably has a small switching supply to power the J1772 brains. Plugging into a 240V drier outlet gives it a direct line to inject noise into the breaker panel. Just because you don't have problems when charging on 120V doesn't mean the car/TMC isn't the source of your pain.

    I'd guess that you don't have issues on 120V for a couple of reasons. Perhaps your X-10 gear is on the other hot leg from the mobile connector, and you have sufficient isolation to prevent crosstalk? In that case, you may see noise problems if you turn on a 240V appliance (stove, waterheater, dryer). A 240V (ideally resistive) load is a great phase coupler - that may make your interference worse in this case (by coupling the noise onto the other leg). Alternately, you may have a filter plugged into the same circuit (or even between the line and the TMC) that is preventing noise from propagating down that leg. Plug in surge protectors are a big culprit here - plugging the car into a surge protector, or plugging a surge protector into a nearby outlet can filter out the noise and prevent it from causing issues.

    Honestly, this is a problem that may be best solved by sufficient application of $$$. Like others have suggested, I'd probably solve it by dumping X-10 and going with another more robust system. Even with a good, well filtered system, I'd still occasionally lose X-10 signals (lamps would occasionally not turn on or not turn off). Insteon has been rock-solid for me for ~7 years, and they have a really good selection of stuff these days.
     
  12. JohnGarziglia

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    #12 JohnGarziglia, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
    Might try this: X10 In-Line Noise Reducer or two of these with one each wired across each leg of the 240 volt circuit: X10 Wired-In Noise Filter, 20A, 3-Wire

    This article says that two of the wired in noise filters can be used across 240 volt lines: X10, Noise Generators, Signal Suckers, and Filters ("The big 20 amp X10 Pro XPF can be used to isolate an entire circuit. Two of them can be used to isolate a 240V circuit")

    If one or the other works, please let us know as I might try it. I do not think that my TMC screws up my X-10 system any more than anything else, but it would be nice to isolate it to eliminate it as the source of problems.

    All the other comments are right. X-10 systems are buggy, inconsistent, and frustrating in today's world of electronics.
     

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