FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Jfn » Wed May 21, 2008 11:52 am

Do the FKX active repeater and PLCBUS equipment (As sold by Elekhomica) work together? Can anyone using PLCBUS equipment confirm this?

I am working on implementing X10 stuff in my house. Apart from filters and the FKX repeater, I intend to invest in PLCBUS micro modules as they are cheaper that Xanura.

Talking about filters, what type would you prefer and why: The Marmitek FD10, or the 2 times more expensive Xanura one?

I will be needing 3 filters, an active repeater and a lot of micromodules, although I will start with just one micromodule and a computer-interface because of budget reasons.


Als het niet gerepareerd kan worden dan is het niet kapot!
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Digit » Wed May 21, 2008 12:50 pm

Don't know, don't have a FKX repeater. Do you? Maybe we can arrange something by combining our 'gear'.

Regarding filtering for PLCBUS i was advised this one:
http://x10-hk.com/store/product_info.ph ... ucts_id=50

I should get 1 in the next 2 weeks or so.
Don't have much experience with filters yet (and actually hope i'll never get it either)
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Jfn » Wed May 21, 2008 1:22 pm

I do not have a repeater (yet), but I am about to buy one in the next few days, together with some other stuff I will be needing.

All X10 implementations that I know of (including PLCBUS) use a 120KHz carrier signal, so concerning filters it should not matter which ones you use.

Concerning the repeater however, it depends on how the PLCBUS protocol works (I have no info on it).

From what I learned about how the FKX works is that it decodes an X10 transmission (both X10 packets are actually transmitted twice) and then amplifies and re-tranmits it on all other phases.

Something like this:

L1 --> A1 OFF (The second transmission of the A1 OFF on this phase will be discarded by the FKX)
L2 --> A1 OFF, A1 OFF
L3 --> A1 OFF, A1 OFF

If the protocol-implementation of PLCBUS works the same (transmitting data twice) it might work. But that is what I want to find out.

If PLCBUS and FKX do not work together, I might have to resort to Xanura modules (Which is more expensive).

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Digit</i>
<br />Don't know, don't have a FKX repeater. Do you? Maybe we can arrange something by combining our 'gear'.

Regarding filtering for PLCBUS i was advised this one:
http://x10-hk.com/store/product_info.ph ... ucts_id=50

I should get 1 in the next 2 weeks or so.
Don't have much experience with filters yet (and actually hope i'll never get it either)
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby DMB » Wed May 21, 2008 6:23 pm

Digit and Jfn,

I own a FKX active repeater.
Maybe we can arrange something because I want to test the PLCBUS computer interface.

DMB
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Jfn » Wed May 21, 2008 7:51 pm

I am about to order a FKX active repeater, three filters, a computer-interface and one or more micro modules, but I am waiting until I know 100% sure that PLCBUS and the FKX work together.

Would be a waste of money otherwise. I can always use the FKX, but the PLCBUS stuff is not worth much on the second-hand market.

So if you are going to experiment I am very much interested in learning about the results.

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by DMB</i>
<br />Digit and Jfn,

I own a FKX active repeater.
Maybe we can arrange something because I want to test the PLCBUS computer interface.

Robert, please contact me on my emailadres or mobilephone.

DMB


<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Als het niet gerepareerd kan worden dan is het niet kapot!
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Jfn » Thu May 22, 2008 10:47 am

Just talked to the supplier of PLCBUS stuff:

The FKX and PLCBUS do not work together. Should you want to implement both X10 and PLCBUS in a 3-phase installation means that you will need two (active) repeaters: One for X10/A10 and one for PLCBUS.

I more or less though it to be this way because the protocol implementation of PLCBUS differs from that of X10/A10.

Filters are interchangeable as they only filter the 120KHz modulated carrier and do not need to have knowledge of the protocol.

Still debating now whether I should go for PLCBUS or X10.

Als het niet gerepareerd kan worden dan is het niet kapot!
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Jfn » Thu May 22, 2008 4:20 pm

On my way home today I happened to drive past Elekhomica so I payed them a visit (and some money to get my hands on some PLCBUS stuff).

For a little extra on top of the price of 1 FKX I now have: 3 fusebox-filters (63A), 3 micromodules, a 3-phase active repeater, a computer interface, a wireless remote and a tranceiver/equipment module.

I have a vacation coming, so plenty of time to experiment.

@DMB: If you are interested in testing, let me know.


Als het niet gerepareerd kan worden dan is het niet kapot!
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby DMB » Thu May 22, 2008 6:35 pm

Jfn,

In the 3th week of June Digit and I planned a test with the PLCBUS in combination with the FKX.
According to your information it is not possible to use the FKX together with the PLCBUS.

Did you buy only PLCBUS stuf or also the Eaton FKX?

In the "meterkast" I use 3 x SFX40 filters to avoid X10 for coming in and out.

I read on the site of Elekhomica that there is a converter for conversion of X10 to PLCBUS and vice versa.

DUTCH: "De PLC4808 vertaald de PLCBUS naar X10 commando's en X10 commando's naar PLCBUS."

Maybe it's a idea to use these converter on each phase so the FKX repeats the PLCBUS to X10 converted signal?

DMB

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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Jfn » Thu May 22, 2008 7:37 pm

I only bought PLCBUS stuff, yes.

I intend to only fit PLCBUS in my house. Should I need an X10 device I will install a convertor module.

The PLCBUS computer-interface comes with a HomeSeer driver. For Linux I will have to resort to some own programming to make the unit work. It is very easy to get access to it under Linux. Just plug it in and it is instantly recognized:
Code: Select all
ohci_hcd 0000:00:03.2: wakeup
usb 3-1: new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 6
usb 3-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
pl2303 3-1:1.0: pl2303 converter detected
usb 3-1: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB1
Reading the data involves some programming I have to do myself as I have not found software yet that does exactly what I want.

Als het niet gerepareerd kan worden dan is het niet kapot!
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Digit » Thu May 22, 2008 11:34 pm

I'm beginning to like PLCBUS. I now have 4 working plugin modules and 2 interfaces, and if Elekhomica wouldn't have sent me the wrong controller, i would have had PLCBUS in the livingroom right now.[:(]
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Jfn » Fri May 23, 2008 4:06 pm

Hooked-up a micromodule, just to test whether it works or not:

Image

It does!

The reason I bought appliance micro-modules is that I intend to use energy-efficient lightbulbs ('spaarlampen') and those will not work with the lamp-modules.


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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby DMB » Fri May 23, 2008 7:45 pm

It looks like the Xanura modules.

I hope the connectors for the 2.5mm2 wires are better than the Xanura ones. Sometimes new out of the box the screw is "dol gedraaid" or the connector is broken on the print.
I said new out of the box, before even touch them with a screwdriver.

Is there also a warning in the manual for the "turning moment" of the screws or are the connectors stable enough?

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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Jfn » Fri May 23, 2008 8:09 pm

There is no warning in the manual about fastening the screws. To me, broken units out of the box means a lack of quality-control. Should not happen.

There is a wiring diagram in the manual, but unfortunately they forgot to mention what colour the various wires have (3 for a dual-appliance module) ... Comparing to a single-appliance micro-module (2 wires) I found out that black = common, red = switch 1 and blue = switch 2.

Btw, fitting those modules is not an easy task!

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by DMB</i>
<br />It looks like the Xanura modules.

I hope the connectors for the 2.5mm2 wires are better than the Xanura ones. Sometimes new out of the box the screw is "dol gedraaid" or the connector is broken on the print.
I said new out of the box, before even touch them with a screwdriver.

Is there also a warning in the manual for the "turning moment" of the screws or are the connectors stable enough?

DMB


<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

Als het niet gerepareerd kan worden dan is het niet kapot!
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby Jfn » Sat May 24, 2008 7:41 pm

Checked the manual again, and it mentions the coulours of the wires btw.

I spent all day fitting two of those micromodules. Had to redo part of the wiring which gave me some troubles. And then, how do you fit a micromodule in a 40 mm deep hole, including all the wiring and the switch. The following picture shows the micro-module and 5 (of a total of 7) wires that I had to fit in the tiny space:

Image

After carefull trying and fitting you the get following result:

Image

I also found out that all light-switches are fitted with 40mm (or less!) deep boxes. On most switches it is therefore impossible to fit a micro-module. Putting a micromodule near the lamp is an option, but this means running an extra (black) switch-wire from the switch to the lamp and this is virtually impossible because the pipes carrying the electrical wiring do not have room for additional wires.

Considering the time it took me to fit only the kitchen with micro-modules, but more importantly the lack of room behind most other light-switches, I might drop PLCBUS / X10 completely. I do not mind the effort it takes to implement PLCBUS, but when the construction of the house offers no option to implement it, I have no choice but to cancel PLCBUS.

I will let it rest for a few days to make up my mind, but to anyone interested in PLCBUS stuff that is as good as brand-new: Do not hesitate to drop me a mail. The stuff that might go on sale is mentioned a few messages aboe this one.






Als het niet gerepareerd kan worden dan is het niet kapot!
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FKX active repeater and PLCBUS

Postby DMB » Sat May 24, 2008 9:54 pm

Jfn,

You need the same space for the Xanura modules.
The minimum hole of the connection box is 50 mm.
When you build a new house and want to use the modules you should order 50 mm holes.
The other problem I learned the last 5 years of using Xanura is that e.g. the SAIX becomes very hot in a 50 mm connection box.

Digit showed a PLCBUS module with build in switch (blue lights) on the forum. Maybe this is a solution for your problem.

I am interested in your PLCBUS stuf.

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