Building A Connected World Introduction This purpose of

Building A Connected World Introduction This purpose of
Building A Connected World
Introduction
This purpose of this guide is to help you in your efforts to achieve a professional installation and verify proper operation of
the Decora Home Controls (DHC) products in your home.
Safety note: Some of the procedures in this guide will include steps that will have you working directly with 120 Volts AC.
If you are not sure how to work with high voltage, to avoid endangering yourself or others, please contact a qualified
electrician and make arrangements for them to do the actual work.
Important note: The model numbers of most of the transmitters and receivers made by Leviton changed in mid-2004 to
maximize X10 protocol compatibility. These changes are irrelevant to this guide. You may have a product that starts with
the letters HCC, HCM, HCS or HCP. The replacement model numbers start with HXC, HXM, HXS and HXP. If you see a
reference in this guide to a HXC7S or HXM06, just translate that in your mind to HCCS7 or HCM06. The instructions are
exactly the same for the new numbers and the old numbers.
Getting started.
Topic 1: What you should know before you ever start troubleshooting.
Something you should know: About 80%-90% of the DHC product that is returned as defective, tests good back at the
factory. So, before you start replacing products out of frustration, here are some simple tests and checks that you can
perform in the field.
General rules and things to check before rolling up your sleeves.
Make sure that the below conditions are met:
Environmental Conditions
• DHC is designed for interior use, so if operating temperature regularly drops below 32ºF or rises above 122ºF, there may
be an accelerated failure rate.
Verify proper installation
• Always insure that there is a Leviton repeater/coupler (HCA02-10E) properly installed and energized.
• Appliance and lamp plugs are firmly inserted into receptacle modules
• Appliances, lamps and lighting fixtures have their switches in the ON position
• Lamps and lighting fixtures have working bulbs, especially in applications with no neutral wire.
• Transmitters and receivers set to the same House and Unit (address) codes.
• All Leviton series 51110 and 51120 system surge protective devices are compatible with DHC power line carrier signals,
but some of the other surge protective devices found on the market can interfere with proper operation.
Verify correct application
• A lamp or fixture containing a built-in dimmer cannot be controlled by an incandescent dimming receiver.
• Fixtures with electronic transformers must be paired with PE400-1 power extenders for proper operation.
• Lighting loads are within the working range of the receivers. (Typically, a minimum of 60W to a maximum of 300W1000W, depending on the device)
Other Considerations
• A neighbor that shares a utility transformer may have a DHC or other automation system that is transmitting on the same
House Code.
• Recent changes have been made to the home’s wiring or new electronic equipment may have been installed.
• Verify that no faulty connections exist between aluminum and copper conductors, especially in moist climates. These
can corrode and create occasional shorts and arcs.
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Now, if all of the above are OK, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions:
1) Has the equipment in you home ever worked properly?
a. If your answer is “No, not really”, it’s quite possible that the DHC product in your home simply isn’t set up
or programmed to work the way you want it to.
b. If your answer is “Yes, it worked fine until recently”, this should be a BIG RED FLAG. Something has
changed. WHAT CHANGED?????? This is far and away the most common cause of calls to the various
tech support activities. Think hard, because in over 95% of cases, something identifiable happened about
the same time that the equipment stopped working properly.
i. Some new product may have been installed or your programming may have gotten changed.
ii. Something has changed in your home that is affecting the ability of the DHC product to work
properly.
iii. Something has stopped working and needs to be replaced.
Topic 2: How to use and program DHC
This section will explain DHC concepts and supplement the instruction sheets. In the tech support world, we laughingly
refer to these as packing material. You know, those pieces of paper in the box that everyone immediately throws away?
A good understanding of these concepts will make for a more professional and smoother installation.
Let’s talk, in real-world terms about what makes up the DHC line.
There are three basic groups of products that make up most of the product line:
Transmitters. You can think of these as the “Talkers”. A transmitter is a device that sends a control signal to the device
(receiver) that is actually doing the work. It is sometimes called a “controller” or “programmer”. If you’re not sure which
products fall into this group, see the list at the end of this topic.
Receivers. You can think of these as the “Listeners”. The receiver is the dimmer, switch, receptacle or plug-in device that
the light (or load) actually gets power from. Many people use the generic terms “dimmer” or “switch”. If you’re not sure
which products fall into this group, see the list at the end of this topic.
Repeater/Couplers. You can think of these as the “Bullhorn” that the Talkers use to make sure that the Listener can hear
what they’re saying. This is the device that amplifies the signal so that it is easier for the receiver to separate it from
background noise. Some people call this the “amplifier” or “system amplifier”. In most of the homes you’ll run into, this
should be cat # HCA02-10E, but there are others. If you’re not sure which products fall into this group, see the list at the
end of this topic.
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What does a transmitter do?
All a transmitter does is send (or transmit) out an order (command) for a receiver (or group of receivers) to do one of 4
things:
1) Turn on
2) Turn off
3) Brighten
4) Dim
That’s it, and that’s all it does.
It’s just as important to understand what a transmitter doesn’t do. It doesn’t:
1) Know what receivers are out there
2) Store any information about any receivers
3) Provide power to any lights
In fact, all a transmitter does is act as a remote control for the guys who are actually doing the work (the receivers). This
doesn’t mean that they aren’t important. Transmitters are the heart of any power line carrier system (which DHC is).
Without them, you’d just have a bunch of manual dimmers.
Programming a transmitter
Ok, let’s be accurate. You don’t really “program” a transmitter (except for the Toscana and 6312, which are special cases,
and the 6311, which is obsolete). All you are doing is setting the starting address. Addressing is an important concept,
and we’ll come back to it later.
NOTE: For this next part to make sense, it’ll really help if you have a transmitter in front of you as you go through
it.
There are two ways to set the starting address on a transmitter, depending on whether it’s old-style or new-style.
New style - Using the Indicator Position Diagram (a fancy name for stickers included with the installation sheet and Figure
2), set the transmitter’s starting address to the address that you want the first receiver to respond to (i.e., if you want to
control receiver addresses starting at C3, set the transmitter’s starting address to C3. After this procedure is done, the first
button on the transmitter will send commands to C3, the second button will send commands to C4, and so on). To set the
code on the transmitter, perform the following steps:
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1) Remove wallplate and front face of the transmitter (Figure 1).
Figure 1
2) You will see rows of BLACK buttons, each with a protruding plastic LED to its left (see Figure 2). The left
hand row of four buttons is used to set the Unit Codes (numbers 1-16). The right hand row of four buttons
is used to set the House Codes (letters A-P).
3) Using the matrix diagram (Figure 2), identify the “Program” button and press it once. All of the LED’s will
start to flash about every 2 to 5 seconds.
4) To set the Unit Code (number): Determine the code setting desired (for the above example, it would be
“3”). Using the matrix chart (Figure 2), determine which switched should be turned ON. For each switch
that should be turned on, press the button to the right of the respective LED. When turned ON, the LED
will stop flashing and stay ON.
5) To set the House Code (letter): Determine the code setting desired (for the above example, it would be
“C”). Using Figure 2, determine which switched should be turned ON. For each switch that should be
turned on, press the button to the right of the respective LED. When turned ON, the LED will stop flashing
and stay ON.
6) Press the “Program button again. LED’s will stop flashing. The starting address is now set.
I admit, this looks and sounds horribly complicated, but after you actually do this once or twice, it will be completely clear.
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Figure 2
Old style – (Way easier, but not as pretty) It’s easy to identify old-style, because when you pop the faceplate off, you’ll see
two wheels. One (Unit code) is black and has numbers around it and the other (House code) is red and has letters around
it.
On old style transmitters, simply set the letter and number wheels to the address that you want the first receiver to
respond to (i.e., if you want to control receiver addresses starting at C3, set the black wheel to 3 and the red wheel to C.
After this procedure is done, the first button on the transmitter will send commands to C3, the second button will send
commands to C4, and so on).
Anyway, let’s say you’ve set the starting address on the transmitter to C3. From now on, whenever someone presses the
top ON button, the transmitter will send out a signal telling any and all receivers that are addressed at C3 to turn ON. If
nobody has addressed any receivers to C3, guess what? Nothing happens.
If you’re thinking that this doesn’t apply to the HXC7S scene controller, you’re partially right, and you’ll find more detailed
information in Topic 3 “Care and feeding of the HXC7S”.
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What does a receiver do?
A receiver is a “listener” and it does a number of things with what it “hears” on the power line. The receiver is the part of
the system that actually does the work. Keep in mind that most of the time, the receiver is listening for its own address
code, and if it doesn’t hear it, it won’t respond to any instructions from transmitters. (We’ll talk about addresses later in this
guide.)
If you see or hear term “Manual Control”, it simply refers to pushing on the paddle of the receiver, switch or dimmer
instead of using some remote device to do it for you.
Here’s a list of things that receivers can do:
1) They remember their own address
2) If they are included in a scene, they remember a specific light level for that particular scene.
3) They actually provide power to the lights or loads (they can turn the lights on or off, and in some cases they dim
and brighten the lights as well).
4) If they are 2-way (-1TW) models, they send information back out about what they are doing (i.e., on, off, or current
brightness level) so that other devices in the DHC network can show the status change. Please see topic 4
“Receivers with 2-way communication” for more info on 2-way receivers.
It’s also good to know what a receiver can’t do.
They can’t:
1) Control another receiver
2) Act as a 3-way (or 4-way, etc.) for another receiver.
3) Turn themselves on or off without being told to do so.
There are actually two possible types of “programming” for receivers.
1) All receivers can be “programmed” to an address. This process is normally called “setting” the address. It only has
to be done once, but if it gets messed up the first time, or if you need to change it later, the procedure is exactly
the same.
2) Some receivers are “scene capable”. What this means is that they have the ability to remember “scene”
information in addition to address information. We’ll discuss this in more detail when we talk about programming
scenes.
Figure 3
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How to program a receiver:
For now, we’ll just cover how to set the address for the receiver.
Again, there are the new-style (referred to as 1-button programmable) and the old style (with the wheels).
Note: If you need to set the addresses on a large number of receivers, a table-top controller (Leviton cat. No.
6320), which is sometimes referred to as a “maxi-controller”, can come in very handy.
1) If you have the type with the wheels, it is done exactly the same way as we discussed in the transmitter section.
2) If you have the one-button style, it’s still pretty simple:
a.
For hard wired units, at the receiver, remove the wallplate. Do not remove the rocker paddle. There is a
small hole on the front upper right side of the body of the receiver, right next to the plastic rocker (See
Figure 3). For the purposes of this procedure, this is the Program Switch. Using a small pointed object
(i.e., a toothpick or small screwdriver), depress and hold the Program Switch until the ON/OFF LED
(located at the bottom edge of the rocker) begins to flash. Note: Do not use a ball-point pen for this as it
may appear to work, but the point can’t penetrate far enough to put the receiver in program mode. The
unit is now ready to accept a DHC address code. In fact, it will take the first address code it hears on the
power line and remember it as its address, so make sure no one else is pushing buttons while you are
doing this.
b.
For plug-in units, press the small, clear button on the front of the unit until the LED inside the button
begins to flash. The unit is now ready to accept a DHC address code. In fact, it will take the first address
code it hears on the power line and remember it as its address, so make sure no one else is pushing
buttons while you are doing this.
c.
If you only want one receiver to respond to a specific address (for instance C3), make sure before you do
the next step that that none of your other receivers are in program mode.
d. Now, go to a transmitter set up for the address that you want to use and press the appropriate button. (If
that sounds confusing, here’s an example. We’ll use an HXC4D for this because they’re pretty popular.
Let’s say you have set the starting address on the HXC4D to C1. This means that the top button will send
commands to any receivers (there can be more than one, but that’s up to you) addressed to C1. The
second button down will control receivers addressed to C2, and so on, down to C4. Now, in this example,
let’s say you want to set the receiver address for the above receiver to C3. What you would do is press
the third button on the HXC4D. This sends out a C3 command.) If you can see the receiver from that
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location, you should see the LED on the receiver flash once or twice and then turn OFF. The address on
any receivers that were in program mode is now set to the desired code. (In our example, this would be
C3.)
Example
Let’s say that we have an HXC4D and 4 HXM10’s in a living room.
The HXC4D is going to control all of the HXM10’s, one with each button.
One HXM10 is for the chandelier. We want this to be the top button on the HXC4D.
One HXM10 is for the sconces. We want this to be the 2nd button on the HXC4D.
One HXM10 is for a recessed can light. We want this to be the 3rd button on the HXC4D.
One HXM10 is for a track light. We want this to be the 4th button on the HXC4D.
We have decided that we are going to use addresses B1 through B4 in this room.
C h an d elier
Sco n ces
R ecessed L ig h tin g
T r ack L ig h ts
ON
OFF
ON
OFF
ON
OFF
ON
OFF
If you follow the below procedure exactly, the above is precisely what you will end up with.
Example procedure
1) Remove wallplate and front face of the HXC4D.
2) You will see rows of BLACK buttons, each with a protruding plastic LED to its left. The left row of four buttons is
used to set the Unit Codes (numbers 1-16). The right row of four buttons is used to set the House Codes (letters
A-P).
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3) Using the matrix diagram, identify the “Program” button and press it once. All of the LED’s will start to flash about
every 2 to 5 seconds.
4) To set the Unit Code (number): Since we want a starting address of B1, if you look at the matrix, you’ll see that
for a “1”, none of the LED’s in the Unit (or number) column should be lit. If any LED’s in this column are on, press
the button to the right of that LED to turn the LED off.
5) To set the House Code (letter): Since we want a starting address of B1, if you look at the matrix, you’ll see that for
a “B”, you want only the top LED in the House (or letter) column to be lit. To turn the LED on, press the button to
the right of that LED. The LED will stop flashing and stay on. If any other LED’s in that column are on, press the
button to the right of that LED to turn the LED off.
6) Press the “Program button again. LED’s will stop flashing. The starting address for the HCC4d is now set to B1.
7) Put the face plate and wall plate back on the HXC4D.
8) Now, let’s set the address for the HXM10 that powers the chandelier. Go to that HXM10 and remove the wallplate.
There is a small hole on the upper right side of the body of the HXM10, right next to the plastic rocker (See Figure
3). For the purposes of this procedure, this is the Program Switch. Using a small pointed object (i.e., a toothpick or
small screwdriver), depress and hold the Program Switch until the ON/OFF LED (located at the bottom edge of
the rocker) begins to flash. The unit is now ready to accept a DHC address code.
9) Since we want the HXM10 for the chandelier to respond to the top button on the HXC4D, and we’ve already set
the starting address of the HXC4D to B1, we must set the address on this HXM10 to B1. If that sounds hard, it’s
not. Just go to the HXC4d and press the top button. The flashing LED on the HXM10 will turn off and, unless you
change it in the future, it will respond to any B1 command that comes along. Specifically, you can now turn the
chandelier on and off with the top button of the HXC4D.
10) Now let’s set the address for the HXM10 that powers the sconces. Repeat step 8, but do it at the HCM10 that
powers the sconces.
11) Now repeat step 9, but this time, press the second button on the HXC4D so that the “sconce” HXM10 will be set
to B2.
12) Now let’s set the address for the HXM10 that powers the recessed can light. Repeat step 8, but do it at the
HXM10 that powers the recessed can light.
13) Now repeat step 9, but this time, press the third button on the HCC4D so that the “can light” HXM10 will be set to
B3.
14) Finally, let’s set the address for the HXM10 that powers the track light. Repeat step 8, but do it at the HXM10 that
powers the track light.
15) Now repeat step 9, but this time, press the fourth button on the HXC4D so that the “track light” HXM10 will be set
to B4.
OK, go ahead and button everything up, you’re done. This is the end of the example.
This concept is the same for any “1-button programmable” receiver. All you have to do is change the addresses to the
ones that you want.
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Addressing; what’s the big deal?
Addressing is a basic concept that is critically important. If you understand what addressing is and how it works, your life
will be much easier.
Let’s say you want to order a pizza. You have to tell the pizza guy (excuse me, I mean the delivery engineer) what street
and house number to go to, right?
DHC addressing works pretty much the same way.
There are two parts to a DHC address:
1) The “House” code (letters A-P) is like the name of the street.
2) The “Unit” code (numbers 1-16) is like the house number.
If all you told them was the street name, the pizza company wouldn’t know what house you wanted it to go to, right?
On the other hand, if all you told them was the house number, you’d still end up going hungry.
So, if you think of DHC addresses as a bunch of streets (up to 16, that is A-P) with up to 16 (1-16) houses on each street,
you’re going to understand it well enough to use it correctly.
As a general rule, when you get ready to start programming in a home, it helps to break up the house into rooms and use
one letter (house code) per room, then just number the lights in that room. For example, use house code A for the living
room, house code B for the kitchen and so forth.
Not only does this make it simpler to remember what code to use for each light in the room, but you’re less likely to end up
accidentally controlling a light in the kitchen when you push a button in the bedroom.
This also makes it much easier to avoid mistakes when using a scene controller. For more details on this, see topic 3
“Care and feeding of the HXC7S”.
Programming scenes
Before we get into the nuts and bolts of scene programming, it’s important to understand what a scene actually is.
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Traditional lighting control uses the “load control” concept. This means that you push one button, and one light turns on or
off. This usually works great in a small “visual area”, such as a closet or pantry, but for larger visual areas, there’s a better
way. Scenes!
A scene is a “look” or “mood” that is created by using all of the available lighting sources at the same time, at (typically)
different levels. Here’s an example:
In your home, the kitchen and dining area do not have a wall separating them. This means that both rooms are in the
same “visual area”.
Now, let’s say that you just installed new high-end cabinets, granite counter tops and a nice hardwood floor, as well as all
new lighting fixtures and a new tile back splash.
You just spent a lot of time, money and effort picking out exactly what you wanted in your home, but now if you sit down at
the table and turn on only the light over the table, most of your investment is buried in darkness.
Wouldn’t it be nice to push one button and have the light over the table turn on, and when you look around, other
(dimmed) lighting effects show the sparkle in the counter tops, the grain in the wood flooring, the accents in the new tile
back splash and the detail in your new cabinets? This is a scene!
Another benefit of using scene control is that it minimizes or eliminates “wall acne”. You know, that row of 6 or 8 switches
that are necessary to control all of the lights?
You just spent a bunch of money getting the room just right. Does a row of light switches enhance your room or detract
from it? If, like most people, you don’t care for a bank of switches, why not put in one scene controller in place of all those
switches, and move the switches into the pantry or closet?
Now, on to scene programming!
Important – Scene information is stored in the receiver, NOT the transmitter.
Obviously with all the bold, underlining and italics, I think this is really important.
Yes I do and I’ll tell you why.
Almost all of the issues people encounter when programming scenes is a direct result of a failure to understand this
concept.
When you program a scene, there are two basic concepts that you must keep in mind:
1) To be part of a scene, a receiver must be “scene capable”. You might think this is obvious, but let’s just say that it
bears repeating.
2) When a scene is programmed, each dimmer in that scene takes a “snapshot” of its own current condition (ON,
OFF or brightness level). The scene controller has no idea what each receiver is supposed to do. All of the
information is in the receiver.
Each dimmer has some special memory set aside for remembering scene information. Each scene has its own little
memory “slot”, and when the receiver hears a scene “command”, it goes the its memory slot for that scene and says “oh
yeah, for this scene I’m supposed to turn on (or turn off, or brighten or dim), and then it goes ahead and does it.
There are a couple of reasons that a scene capable receiver might not respond to a scene command.
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1) Since each scene command goes out to a “block” of addresses, any receivers with addresses that in that block
will simply ignore the command (after all, it’s not addressed to them). For more information about the “block”
concept, please go to topic 3 “Care and feeding of the HXC7S”.
2)
If the receiver was not installed or energized (or if its air-gap switch was pulled out) when the scene was
programmed, there won’t be any scene information in the receivers memory slot for that scene, so it’ll just sit there
and ignore the command.
On the first page of this topic, I promised you a list of current transmitters, receivers and repeater/couplers, so here goes:
Transmitters
HCCPG-1TW (Toscana)
HXC10
HXC1A
HXC1D
HXC2D
HXC3D
HXC4D
HXC7S
HCPRF
6308
6312
6315
6316
6320
6417
16400 (this includes all of the 16450 faceplates, except the –S and -SD versions, which are being discontinued)
Receivers (scene capable)
HCM06
HCM10
HXM10
HXS08
HCP03
HXP15
More receivers (not scene capable)
6227
6293
6337
6376
HXM06
HCS10
6280
6296
6371
6383
6291
6298
6375
Repeater/couplers
HCA02-10E – Can be used in all single phase (120V) applications.
6201 – Can be used in 3-phase (120V) applications, but it can’t repeat scene commands.
6299 – This is just a coupler. It’s not considered a repeater, because it doesn’t provide any amplification.
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Topic 3: Care and feeding of the HXC7S Scene Controller
This topic will discuss the following:
1) How to program a Scene with the HXC7S
2) How to use the HXC7S to erase a recorded scene from the memory of the receivers recorded into the scene.
3) How to use the HXC7S to set 1–button receiver addresses.
Programming a scene with the HXC7S
Important note: This may sound confusing, but basically you should simply make sure that all of the receivers that you
wish to include in your scenes are within a 12 address “block” (For example A1 to A12, or D5 to D16). Scenes may be set
for receivers set to the same house code as the transmitter and 11 additional sequential unit (number) codes (i.e., if the
starting address on the HXC7S is set to A1, the receivers that can be included in the scenes will be A1 through A12. If unit
code 16 is reached before 12 sequential codes, the transmitter (HXC7S) will roll over to unit code 1 and continue until 12
unit codes have been reached. (i.e., if the unit code on the HXC7S is set to 15, the 12 unit codes will be 15, 16 and 1-10)).
Another Important note: To avoid accidentally including a light into a scene (for instance, your probably don’t want the
light in the master bedroom to come on when you press a button in the kitchen), I recommend giving each room (or “visual
area”) in the house a different House Code.
Yet Another Important note (does not apply to Leviton’s 2-way or –TW receivers): If you are using non-Leviton
scene controllers, you’ll usually be happier if you set all of the lights that you’ll be putting together in scenes to the same
exact address.
1. Example: You know that you want all of the lights in the kitchen and breakfast nook to be in the same
scenes. (Trust me; you’ll like the look you’ll get if you do it this way). Simply set all the kitchen and
breakfast nook lights to the same address (for instance C4).
The reason for this is simple; non-Leviton scene controllers don’t have the ability to control address “blocks” the way
Leviton products do.
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Procedure (this assumes that you have already set your desired starting address. If you have not, please go to the section
titled “DHC concepts”.):
1) Press and hold the scene button that you would like to program for approximately 5 seconds. All LED’s will flash
except for the scene button you have selected. You are now in the programming mode.
2) At each scene capable local receiver (Cat. No. HCM10 or HCM06), switch (HXS08 or HCS10), or module (HCP03
or HXP15), adjust lights to desired level or condition (for switches and plug-in modules, set to ON or OFF).
3) Press the selected scene button on the HXC7S. The LED next to the scene button will flash for approximately 5
seconds, and then stay ON. The scene is now programmed.
Note: Since the scene is actually recorded in the receivers (not the HXC7S), any receiver addressed to one of the 12
sequential unit codes will record (snapshot) its own condition (i.e., dimmed level, ON or OFF) when the recording
occurs. If you wish to exclude a receiver within this address group from the scene, you must either pull the air gap
switch (if so equipped), or if the receiver (i.e., the HCS10 and plug-in units) does not have an air gap switch, unplug or
disconnect the receiver prior to step 3 above.
4) Repeat steps 1 through 3 to program each additional scene until all scenes are set.
Erasing a scene from receiver memory
1) Press and hold the scene button that you would like to erase for approximately 5 seconds. All LED’s will flash
except for the scene button you have selected. You are now in the programming mode. Keep in mind that the
scene information is actually stored in the receivers, so the receivers that you wish to erase or remove from the
scene must be energized.
2) Press the OFF button on the HXC7S. This will send the “erase/remove scene” command to all active receivers
within the 12-unit code group. This works exactly the same way as recording a scene, but in this case you are
telling the receivers to record an “empty” scene.
3) If you wish to exclude a receiver within this address group from this process, you must either pull the air gap
switch (if so equipped, see figure 4, below), or de-energize (unplug, disconnect, etc) the receiver prior to step 2
above.
Figure 4
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Setting receiver addressing with the HXC7S
This procedure allows you to set or change the address (house code and unit code) of any receiver with 1-button
programming capability, even if the only controller that you have is the HXC7S scene controller.
Note: This is probably the most complex way to set receiver addressing, but if the scene controller is the only controller
you have, this will work. Again, the easiest way to do this is to use a table-top or “maxi” controller.
Procedure:
Using the Indicator Position Diagram (Figure 6), Set the HXC7S’s transmit code or starting address to the address that
you wish the receiver to respond to (i.e., if you wish to program the receiver to address C3, set the HXC7S’s starting
address to C3). To set the code on the HXC7S, perform the following:
1) Remove wallplate and front face of the HXC7S.
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2) You will see rows of BLACK buttons, each with a protruding plastic LED to its left. The left hand row of four
buttons is used to set the Unit Codes (numbers 1-16). The right hand row of four buttons is used to set the House
Codes (letters A-P).
3) Using figure 6, identify the “Program” button and press it once. All of the LED’s will start to flash about every 2 to 5
seconds.
a. To set the Unit Code (number): Determine the code setting desired (for the above example, it would be
“3”). Using the matrix chart below, determine which switched should be turned ON. For each switch that
should be turned on, press the button to the right of the respective LED. When turned ON, the LED will
stop flashing and stay ON.
b. To set the House Code (letter): Determine the code setting desired (for the above example, it would be
“C”). Using the matrix chart below, determine which switched should be turned ON. For each switch that
should be turned on, press the button to the right of the respective LED. When turned ON, the LED will
stop flashing and stay ON.
4) Press the “Program button again. LED’s will stop flashing. The starting address is now set.
Figure 6
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5)
Place the receiver in program mode:
a.
For hard wired units, at the receiver, remove the wallplate. There is a small hole on the upper right side
of the body of the receiver, right next to the plastic rocker. For the purposes of this procedure, this is the
Program Switch. Using a small pointed object (i.e., a toothpick or small screwdriver), depress and hold
the Program Switch until the ON/OFF LED (located at the bottom edge of the rocker) begins to flash. The
unit is now ready to accept a DHC address code.
Figure 7
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b. For plug-in units, press the small, clear button on the front of the unit until the LED inside the button
begins to flash. The unit is now ready to accept a DHC address code.
6) Send the Address command
a. At the HXC7S, press any scene button. You should see the LED for that scene turn ON at the HXC7S. If
you can see the receiver from that location, you should see the LED on the receiver flash once or twice
and then turn OFF. The address on any receivers that were in program mode are now set to the desired
code (in this example, the receiver(s) would now respond to C3 commands).
To set different addresses on additional receivers, repeat steps 1 through 3, changing the code in step 1 each time to the
desired address.
Note: When you have set all of the desired addresses on your receivers, don’t forget to change the starting address on
the HXC7S if the desired starting address is different from that of the last receiver you addressed.
Topic 4: Receivers with 2-way communication
Most readers are aware of the fact that Leviton now make receivers that are capable of 2-way communication.
What does this mean?
Simply put, a 2-way receiver sends out a signal when it changes what it is doing (i.e., turns on, off, brightens or dims). The
idea behind this is so that the transmitters that talk to this receiver will know something has changed if someone goes and
changes the condition of the receiver by hand (or any other way).
These are some great products and some people are installing them in big batches. Unfortunately, doing that can get you
into trouble a couple of ways. To understand why, you need to know basically how they work and what their limitations
are.
Concern #1
Most of you are aware of the “no more than four” rule. For those of you that aren’t, this rule is that you aren’t supposed to
put more that 4 transmitters on any one branch circuit. The reason for this rule is that any transmitter other than the one
whose button is currently being pressed, acts as a source of signal loss. By limiting ourselves to a maximum of 4 per
circuit, we are able to keep this “signal suck” down to levels that don’t really have a negative effect.
If you install a bunch (more than 4) of transmitters on one branch circuit, the signal strength starts going down pretty
quickly. If you have a tester that can measure signal strength, go ahead and try it. You’ll see what I mean. To see this for
myself, I wired 10 transmitters together and plugged them into a power strip. My signal strength dropped from 5 volts
down to less than 2 volts on a piece of wire less than 10 feet long.
The reason that I brought up this rule is because any device that has the ability to transmit has the same effect on the
signal and (yep, you guessed it) a 2-way receiver is also a transmitter.
So, when you’re installing 2-way receivers, you must use the “no more than four” rule. Since you can easily end up with 3
receivers on a branch circuit, that particular circuit could only have one transmitter on it. Be careful.
Concern #2
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Have you ever noticed that when you press a button on a transmitter that the LED next to the button flashes several times
before your light does anything? What’s happening is that the flashing is an indication that the transmitter is “talking”.
Usually the delay is only a fraction of a second, but the light doesn’t come on until the transmitter is done “talking”. Also,
while the first transmitter is talking, no other transmitter can talk. This is also the primary reason that you shouldn’t set
multiple –TW receivers to the same address (see page14).
Now take an example where someone has decided to install 10 transmitters in a home to control 30 or 40 receivers (from
the calls I’ve gotten lately, this is a medium-sized install). If all of the receivers are 2-way, then they might have not only
low signal strength issues (see concern #1), but you may also have one or both of the following symptoms:
1) There is a big delay between pressing a button and the light coming on.
2) You have to either press a button several times to get the light to come on, or you might have to hold your finger
on the button for a long time to get the light to come on.
Concern #3
2-way receivers cannot be controlled with a wired remote (i.e., MS00R).
If you find that you want or need a 3 or 4-way arrangement for a specific light (for instance, a hallway light), and you are
using 2-way receivers, you must use a controller (HXC10, HXC1D, etc). If you must use a wired remote, consider using
the –DW version of the receiver instead of the –TW version.
General rule
So, use the 2-way receivers where that feature is a positive thing (i.e., where you actually need remote indication), and
don’t use them where they are not really needed. Not only will you experience smoother operation, but you’ll save some
money, as 2-ways are the most expensive version of any particular receiver.
Topic 5: Why can’t I control my lights?
If your system worked fine until recently, you describe what has started happening in one of the following ways (and
remember, you’re looking for something that has changed):
1) The lights in the home are turning on and off by themselves, and I haven’t pressed any buttons.
2) Every time I try to turn on a specific fixture or group of fixtures, I have to hit the button on the controller several
times to get it to work.
3) Usually, my lights work just fine, but sometimes they won’t turn on or off.
4) Lately, I have absolutely no control of my lights from my controller, but they work fine when I manually turn the
dimmer on or off.
5) I can always turn my lights on, but sometimes I have trouble getting them to turn off.
Before we get to the actual procedure, please review the below notes, as they can help you do this much more smoothly
and easily.
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Note 1: Before you start, make sure that you understand what your symptoms actually are and write down exactly what is
going on. This may sound strange, but your symptoms will probably change during this process and you want to make
sure that you are troubleshooting one issue at a time.
Note 2: Special tools. You should use a Signal analyze for troubleshooting. If you work with DHC installations on a regular
basis, you should really get a signal analyzer that displays addresses and measures noise and signal strength. It will
make your life much easier. Here’s an example from real life. There is an installation in Washington State that had worked
fine for several years, and then just stopped working. After much anguish, frustration and product replacement, someone
finally went to the site with a Monterey Instruments signal analyzer and it took about 20 minutes to identify the exact
cause of the symptoms and fix it (in case you’re curious, this was caused by the homeowner’s installation of a bunch of
low-end, inexpensive compact fluorescents. They were sucking all of the signal in the house down to nothing). If you have
one of these but don’t know how to use it, see the final topic “How to use the Monterey Instruments power line signal
analyzer”.
1) If you are using a signal analyzer or o’scope, you’ll need a set of double-ended leads with alligator clips on each
end (or, if your test device is a plug-in type, you may wish to make a break-out device with a female plug on one
end and two alligator clips on the other end. If you decide to make one, make sure your leads are at least a foot
long).
Note 3: If you can get your hands on a Monterey Instruments analyzer, grab one and keep it close. Used properly, it can
cut your troubleshooting time by at least 80%. Our sales force has had about 250 Monterey Instruments analyzers
available now for a couple of years, but most people have a hard time using it because the operation of the tester isn’t
very intuitive (obvious), and the user’s guide seems to be written in “engineerese”. Actually, once you get used to using
the tester, you should go back and look at the owner’s manual. It’s actually got a lot of good stuff in it
Note 4: If you don’t really understand how this product works, it’s important that you at least know the basics. Go back to
Topic 2 and read it. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration if you do this before you try to start troubleshooting.
The vast majority of these issues are caused by one of four things:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
Excessive noise on the power line is interfering with communication
The signal level is too low at the receiver for consistent and reliable operation
“Inadvertent” control
Incorrect application.
Improper installation.
The first three are by far the most likely culprits.
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Issue 1: The lights in the home are turning on and off by themselves, and I haven’t pressed any buttons
Probable cause: Inadvertent control
For a long time, it was thought that this complaint was almost always caused by too much “noise” on the line (for our
purposes, noise can be defined as undesirable electrical activity cluttering up the power line), but recently we’ve
discovered that in over 95% of the cases, it turns out to be “Inadvertent” control.
Inadvertent control simply means that something is telling the light to turn on when you don’t want it to. This can be
caused by a number of different things:
1) Receiver house codes set to “A”. Most manufacturers (including Leviton) of X-10 compatible devices ship their
products set to house code “A”. If you leave yours at “A”, and so does your neighbor, you may end up controlling
each other’s lights. Please try to avoid using House Code “A”.
2) Receiver house codes set to “P”. A number of manufacturers (including Leviton), provide built-in test signals for
diagnostic use. These test signals send ON and OFF commands to house code “P” addresses. Please try to
avoid using House Code “P”.
3) Fire/Security system. Some brands of Fire and Security systems use Power Line Carrier (PLC) signals to
communicate. This can result in your lights turning on or off when you don’t want them to. If you suspect this
might be the case, you should be able to resolve it by either altering the programming of the Fire/Security system,
or changing the addressing on your DHC products.
4) Possible inclusion in scene. If scene is programmed without a very clear understanding of addressing and scene
programming, you can easily end up with a scene that controls more than you really want it to.
Now, it is possible that these symptoms are caused by something else, so let’s discuss it a little more.
There are a couple of different ways that noise can cause this issue:
1) The noise spikes may be being interpreted by the receivers as instructions to do something.
a. Analogy - This would be like getting a call from the boss telling you to do something. You go ahead and
do it. Later it turns out that it was a wrong number, but it sounded like your boss, and he was telling you to
do something that he would normally tell you to do, so you did what he told you. Oops!
Important Note: More and more homes are installing air handlers that employ variable frequency drives (generally
known as VFD’s). This type of air handler has proven itself to be a major contributor to this particular complaint. If your
home has VFD’s, you can still get PLC devices to work, but you need to plan on filtering the heck out of the VFD. Please
don’t confuse “variable frequency” with “variable speed”. These are two different principles and “variable speed” isn’t likely
to interfere with PLC systems.
2) The instruction may have been sent by the homeowner pressing a button on a controller, but was delayed due to
noise.
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a. Analogy - Your supervisor got a call from his boss with instructions for you to fly to Cleveland.
Unfortunately, your supervisor couldn’t reach you right away because all the phone lines were busy. Now
your supervisor is dedicated and has a good memory even if he’s not all that bright (obviously this doesn’t
apply to any of my bosses who may read this) so he keeps trying to get through to you and he finally gets
through after two weeks and tells you to fly to Cleveland. Now, you have no way of knowing that you were
supposed to be in Cleveland two weeks ago, so being the resourceful person that you are, you zoom to
Cleveland. When you get to Cleveland, your supervisor’s boss sees you getting off the plane and
wonders what the heck you are doing there. For a more technical explanation of what happens, keep
reading.
This issue is actually related to the way that all X10-type controllers work. Since they are essentially a
network, the controllers are designed not to transmit if they see another controller transmitting on the network.
It’s possible that when a button is pressed on a controller, the controller detects activity on the line (noise) and
interprets it as another controller “talking”, so it delays transmitting the command. Since the controller will
store the command for several minutes while it waits to transmit, the lights could come on several minutes
after the command. This may cause you to think that they came on or turned off by themselves.
Issue 2: Every time I try to turn on a specific fixture or group of fixtures, I have to hit the button on the controller
(transmitter) several times to get it to work.
Issue 3: Usually, my lights work just fine, but sometimes they won’t turn on or off.
Issue 4: Lately, I have absolutely no control of my lights from my controller, but they work fine when I manually turn the
dimmer on or off.
Assuming that the lights work fine when controlled by the manual rocker or button on the receiver, this is a communication
issue. The first thing we need to do is to find out if it is caused by (1) noise or (2) weak signal. In either case, we need to
verify that a repeater/coupler has been properly installed in each breaker panel in the house. This is very important.
OK, here’s how to approach one of these.
Procedure:
1) Identify the receiver that powers the light (load) that is misbehaving.
a. If you’re not sure how to do this, that’s OK. Go to all of the receivers (not the transmitters) that you can
find and manually turn them on, one at a time, until the light that’s associated with the issue turns on. Be
careful that you don’t accidentally pick a 3-way remote (MS00R).
2) Pull the receiver out of the wall and connect your measurement device to the hot and neutral leads on the back.
(See safety note) If you’re not sure how to do this, see above section on tools. “Hot” is usually the black wire.
“Neutral” is usually the white wire, the blue wire is probably the wire going from the receiver to the light, and the
green wire is earth ground.
3) Read and record the noise levels detected. Generally, anything over 25 millivolts can be considered a potential
high noise environment, but even if your noise levels are lower than that, it might still be a noise issue, as the
source of the noise may be intermittent. If you don’t see any noise, go around the house and turn on every
potential noise source that you can find (use the below list of “noisy” devices as a guide). Then repeat this step.
Note: Most of the time, the products on this list don’t interfere at all with DHC systems and products, but when you’re
troubleshooting, you might want to look at them
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a.
Potential sources of “noise” or signal loss.
i. “Wireless” intercoms that communicate over the power line
ii. Electric razors, hairdryers
iii. Food processors, blenders, mixers, grinders
iv. “Wireless” doorbells that communicate over the power line
v. Electronic ballasts
vi. Computers
vii. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)
viii. Laser printers
ix. Any type of battery charger, cell phone, camcorder, NiCad or LIon batteries, laptops, car battery
chargers etc. (DeWalt cordless tool chargers are a known noise source)
x. TV sets with instant-on picture tubes. These sets are always on a little bit to keep the picture
tube warm.
xi. Compact Florescent lamps and bulbs. Any light with electronic ballasts.
xii. Inexpensive triac light dimmers. All of Leviton's are OK.
xiii. Switching mode power supplies that provide low voltage to computers, A/V receivers, printers, fax
machines, etc.
xiv. Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) used in some air handling units.
4) Next, (leave the tester hooked up to the receiver) put your tester in “signal strength” mode. (If you don’t know how
to do this, please either refer to the owner’s manual, or in the case of the Monterey, you can refer to the final topic
“How to use the Monterey Instruments power line signal analyzer” and use it for detailed instruction during this
procedure.) Now go to the transmitter and push the button that normally controls (or is supposed to control) the
receiver that you’ve got the tester connected to.
5) Go back to the tester and see what it says. If it shows a signal strength of less than 100 millivolts, you have a
weak signal. If you see more that 2.0 volts, weak signal is definitely not a concern.
6) What you do next depends on the results you’ve gotten.
Too much noise. If your troubleshooting so far has led you to believe that the house has too much noise, this should help.
To understand the effect that noise has on DHC, picture a room full of machinery, all running and making noise. Let’s say
you are the transmitter (or “talker”) and you are standing on one side of the room. The person you are trying to talk to (the
receiver) is on the other side of the room. If you speak in a normal tone and at a normal volume, the “listener” simply isn’t
going to hear you.
What are your options?
1) You can shout or use a bullhorn (HCA02-10E). This helps, but the noise is still there, and the listener may not
hear every word (this would cause intermittent operation).
2) You can go around and unplug all of the machines so that the room becomes quiet enough for the listener to hear
you. Unfortunately, you can’t leave everything unplugged forever.
3) You can cover all of the machines with some sort of noise-deadening “filter” material. This will get rid of most of
the noise and the listener should be able to hear you pretty well.
Since the second option obviously can’t be a permanent fix, our best bet is to do both option 1 and option 3 together. This
will make your “voice” louder, while reducing the amount of noise that you have to shout over.
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What am I talking about? Amplifying and filtering!
Let’s break it down:
1) Amplify – install a repeater (HCA02-10E) in every breaker panel that has any DHC product connected to it. Make
sure that it’s installed properly, because if it’s installed wrong it can actually make things worse.
2) Filter – identify all of your noise sources and put filters on them. Easier said than done, you say? You’re right, but
if you’ve followed the procedures to get to this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what types of
equipment can cause interference. Good quality filters, both plug-in and in-line, are available from Leviton, as well
as other sources.
Now, you’re thinking “this is all well and good, but what do I actually do?” Read on!
Procedure to identify and isolate noise sources:
1) With your tester still connected, and all the potential noise sources turned on, read and record your noise level.
2) Start unplugging potential noise sources one at a time. You can’t just turn them off, you have to either unplug
them or kill power to them at the breaker. The reason for this is that much of this stuff contains power supplies
that will still be on, even though the equipment is turned off. If you are troubleshooting issue 1, as this particular
symptom never seems to occur until no one is around, you’ll need some patience. You may also want to install
some filters, such as the 6288 (5 Amp plug-in filter) as a precautionary measure.
3) After you unplug each item, go back to the tester and see if the noise level has changed. If it has gone down,
you’ll want to install a filter on that piece of equipment.
4) After you have filtered everything that appears to be causing interference, go back and re-check your symptoms.
In most cases, the noise issue will be resolved, but the key here is patience, especially if you are troubleshooting
issue (1). You may now start plugging things back in, checking your analyzer for noise level and signal strength,
while watching for a return of the symptoms. If the symptoms return after a particular load or device is plugged
back in, a filter or noise block should be installed.
Not enough signal
In theory, any signal larger than 25 millivolts (mv) (at the receiver) should be big enough, and I’ve seen Leviton receivers
operate properly down to about 5 mv, but in most cases you should have at least 100 mv to avoid “weak signal”
symptoms.
I’m going to assume that you’ve already installed HCA02-10E repeater couplers in any panels that have DHC products
connected to them, OK?
Let’s talk about the importance of signal strength and how it applies. If you went out and grabbed a garden hose to wash
you car, and the hose had a bunch of holes in it, you wouldn’t have enough pressure at the end to be able to wash your
car. If there were enough holes, you might not even get any water to come out of the end of the hose.
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DHC signal works the same way. If there are too many “leaks”, you won’t have a strong enough signal getting to the
receiver to tell it to do anything. If the leaks are bad enough, you may not get anything at all at the end of the line.
Now, what causes leaks? Any piece of equipment tied into the power line that has a low impedance (you can call it
resistance) at 120kHz. That’s a fancy way of saying that it provides a leakage path to ground for the DHC signal.
Guess what? This “leakage” concept is how our couplers and signal bridges work, except that in those cases we want the
signal to “leak” because this “leakage” is how the signal gets from one phase in a house over to the transmitters and
receivers on the other phase.
What we need to do is to identify the equipment in a house that is “leaking” (coupling or bridging) the signal when we don’t
want it to.
The below list contains some of the most common equipment that causes “leakage”. Again, most of the time, the products
on this list don’t interfere at all with DHC systems and products, but when you’re troubleshooting, you might want to look
at them.
- Electronic ballasts
- Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)
- Surge suppressors (Some types of surge suppressors will strip all of the signal off of the line because they see it as a
surge. To avoid this, use Leviton 51110 or 51120 series whole house surge protection, as they are specifically designed
to work with DHC)
- Computers
- Laser printers
- Any type of battery charger (for your cell phone, camcorder, NiCad or LIon batteries, cordless phone, cordless drill,
laptops, car battery chargers etc.)
- TV sets with instant-on picture tubes. These sets are always on a little bit to keep the picture tube warm.
- Compact Florescent lamps and bulbs, and any light with electronic ballasts.
- Switching mode power supplies that provide low voltage to computers, A/V receivers, printers, fax machines, etc.
- Any equipment with a variable speed or "soft start" motor controller such as the newer "Neptune" type washers, SubZero refrigerator-freezers, powered exercise equipment, some HVAC fans, some well pumps etc
You might have noticed that this list is also basically a list of equipment that can cause “noise” issues. That makes sense,
because anything that can leak signal out can also leak noise in.
What can you do about it?
Procedure to identify and isolate “leakage” sources:
1) With your tester still connected, and all the potential leakage sources turned on, read and record your signal level.
2) Start unplugging potential leakage sources one at a time. You can’t just turn them off, you have to either unplug
them or kill power to them at the breaker (in the case of CF ‘compact fluorescent’ bulbs, you may be able to
simply remove or unscrew them). The reason for this is that much of this stuff contains power supplies that will still
be on, even though the equipment is turned off.
3) After you unplug each item, go back to the tester and see if the signal level has changed. If it has come up, you’ll
want to install a filter on that piece of equipment.
4) After you have filtered everything that appears to be causing “leakage”, go back and re-check your symptoms. In
most cases, the leakage issue will be solved.
Note: Another solution can be a coupler/repeater that is using a dedicated wire as a “signal carrying conductor”.
Page 25 of 30
Date - 04/30/08
Leviton Integrated Networks
A business unit of Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
59-25 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck NY 11362-2591
Customer Service 800-824-3005
www.leviton.com
Building A Connected World
Issue 5: I can always turn my lights on, but sometimes I have trouble getting them to turn off.
Since this symptom only occurs when the light is on, logically the light must be the source of the issue.
Actually, this issue is usually caused by the fixture itself, due to one of the following reasons:
1) Any discharge-type light uses an arc or spark to fire the lamp. An arc, by its very nature, spits out noise all over
the place, and the noise can feed back down the wire to the receiver.
2) A fixture with a built-in ballast or transformer can be electrically “noisy”. The noise is produced by the operation of
the ballast or transformer, so the symptom only occurs when the fixture is on. This can cause some confusing
symptoms, as the brighter they get, the more noise they can produce. This may result in a situation where the
transmitter or remote can dim the light up and down just fine, as long as you don’t turn the light up past 20% or
30%. If you turn the light up brighter than that, the receiver can’t “hear” any outside commands or instructions due
to the noise from the fixture. The light is shouting in the listener’s ear, in a manner of speaking.
3) The lamp or bulb in the light may not be tight, or may not fit properly due to damage. This can cause arcing,
resulting in noise. Again, the brighter it gets, the noisier it gets.
4) The socket in the fixture may be loose, or it may have some sort of foreign material, such as corrosion, drywall
dust, dirt, etc. that is interfering with the clean coupling of power to the lamp or bulb. More arcing, more noise.
5) The fixture may not be properly grounded.
6) There might be a damaged wire or loose connection in the actual wiring between the receiver and the fixture.
To resolve this issue, you’ll probably want to contact an electrician to install an in-line filter between the receiver and the
light, as well as to inspect and repair the wiring or damage issues, if you suspect any of those areas.
Let’s talk about filters
Let’s say that you have decided that you need some filtering, but you’re not sure which kind to use.
Leviton currently markets two filters that you can use. The only practical difference between the two is that one is a plug-in
unit (Cat # 6288) and one is a “hard-wired” unit (Cat # 6287). Both Leviton devices have a 5 Amp maximum load limit, so
don’t use them if the load is more than 5 Amps (or about 600 Watts).
If you need a filter that can handle more, a company named A.C.T. has a couple of filters that will handle up to 15 Amps
(or about 1800 Watts). These are also available in the plug-in and in-line styles.
Note: In some very special cases, performing all of the above steps won’t be enough. If you are still having difficulty, you
can contact tech support at (800) 824-3005 (be advised, if you contact them about these issues, the first thing they’ll do is
refer you to this document).
Page 26 of 30
Date - 04/30/08
Leviton Integrated Networks
A business unit of Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
59-25 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck NY 11362-2591
Customer Service 800-824-3005
www.leviton.com
Building A Connected World
Topic 6: How to use the Monterey Instruments Power Line Signal Analyzer
OK, that’s a bit of a mouthful, so from here on, I’ll refer to it as the PLSA or Monterey tester.
This document is intended for those people who would like to use the Monterey tester, but don’t know how. I’m not going
to cover everything in the user’s guide because the majority of you won’t usually need all of the features.
This is a very useful tool if you know how to use it, but it can be a little intimidating to new users.
Safety note: Some of the procedures in this guide will include steps that will have you working directly with 120 Volts AC.
If you are not sure how to work with high voltage, to avoid endangering yourself or others, please contact a qualified
electrician and make arrangements for them to do the actual work.
Note: Since the tester has a regular male 2-prong plug on the end of it, you’ll probably want to make up a way to actually
connect to bare wires at some point. I use a home-made break-out device with a female plug on one end and two alligator
clips on the other end. If you decide to make one, make sure your leads are at least a foot long (this type of adapter is
sometimes referred to as a Widow-Maker, so if you don’t know how to work with high voltage, PLEASE contact a qualified
electrician).
Now, we are going to break this down into easy-to-use segments so that more people will be comfortable and confident in
their ability to use it successfully.
First, what does it do for you?
• It tells you what command signals are on the line.
• It tells you how strong the commands signals are.
• It tells you how much noise in on the line.
• It tells you what errors it sees on the line.
• It gives you the ability to look at the actual digital signal.
• It can record up to 190 consecutive signals to help in diagnosis.
1. How to use the controls.
The only controls are three buttons:
a.
Mode
b.
Back
c.
Next
Most of the time, you’ll be using the Mode button. Here’s how it works:
Each time you press the Mode button, it starts counting button presses so it can tell which mode you want. When it
decides that you are through pressing buttons, it will switch to the Mode you have specified. For example:
1) You plug the unit in and press the mode button once. Nothing will happen, because you’ve just told it to go to
Mode 1 (Signal Strength / ID), and it’s already at that display upon power-up.
2) You then decide that you need to look at the noise levels, so you press the Mode button twice in rapid succession.
There is a slight delay, then the display changes to Mode 2 (Noise Display).
3) After you’ve checked the noise levels, you need to look at the Mode 1 display again, so you press the Mode
button once and the display will return to mode 1.
Page 27 of 30
Date - 04/30/08
Leviton Integrated Networks
A business unit of Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
59-25 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck NY 11362-2591
Customer Service 800-824-3005
www.leviton.com
Building A Connected World
Keep in mind that you need to press the Mode button the number of times that matches your desired display number. If
this sounds confusing, try it and you’ll see what I mean.
Once you have recorded a series of signals, the Back and Next buttons can be used to display the signals seen on the
line since the recording started.
2. How do you interpret what you see on the various displays?
Let’s discuss what the information and codes you see in the various displays really means.
Mode 1 (Signal Strength / ID) display
1) The top row displays the address (if you need help understanding addresses, please go back and see topic 1
“How to use and program DHC”) that the command is being sent to. It will also show special codes that may
apply, such as error codes or extended command codes (we’ll discuss those more later).
2) The bottom row shows the strength of the signal in volts or millivolts. Keep in mind that a millivolt is 0.001 volts.
The maximum voltage that our controllers will transmit is about 5 volts, but this tester shows anything above 4
volts as “4+”. If the signal strength is below about 100 millivolts, you should consider this to be a “weak” signal
and start thinking about ways to either boost the signal or identify and isolate the sources of signal loss or “signal
suck”.
Note: It is important to remember that the signal strength shown on the tester refers to the point at which the tester is
plugged in. This won’t be the actual signal strength where your receiver or transmitter is connected, unless you have
connected the tester directly to the leads of the specific transmitter or receiver that you are troubleshooting.
Depending on what signal you are trying to send, the display can show a number of different codes.
The simplest is a basic DHC or X10 command to turn a dimmer or switch ON or OFF. Due to the way the protocol
(language) is structured, a single ON or OFF command will show up as two separate codes. Basically, you’ll see one
command that identifies the target (for example C2), and a second command that tells the target what to do (for example,
CON (C2 on) or COF (C2 off)). At the bottom of page 3 of the PLSA manual, you’ll find a good explanation of why it looks
this way. For now, just keep in mind that for each command, you’ll see two codes.
DHC commands are basically broken up into three parts (this is a gross over-simplification, but if you think of it this way,
you’ll usually be pretty close):
1) Start code – This is when a transmitter says “OK, I’m going to talk now”.
2) Address codes – This is when the transmitter says who the signal is going to.
3) Function code – This is when the transmitter tell the receiver what it is actually supposed to do.
Normal (good) codes you may see are (for simplicity, assume house code A):
ALN – ALL ON command for all lights on house code A.
AUF – ALL OFF command for all units of house code A.
ABT – BRIGHT command to the last dimmer changed on house code A.
ADM – DIM command to the last dimmer changed on house code A.
AEC – Extended Code command to house code A detected. This is a fancy way of saying that the tester saw a
DHC scene command.
Page 28 of 30
Date - 04/30/08
Leviton Integrated Networks
A business unit of Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
59-25 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck NY 11362-2591
Customer Service 800-824-3005
www.leviton.com
Building A Connected World
Error (bad) Codes: When the command signal gets messed up, or the tester is detecting noise spikes, you may see one
of four different error codes:
1) BSC (Bad Start Code) - usually caused by noise spike at zero-cross (zero cross refers to the point where the AC
sine wave is neither a positive voltage nor a negative voltage, but exactly zero volts. This zero-cross point is when
DHC transmitters send their signals). If a spike trashes the start code, you’ll get this error.
2) BBK (Bad Block) – If a good start code is seen, but following information has been messed up. This is also usually
a strong sign of excessive noise.
3)
BCY (Bad Cycle Gap) – There is supposed to be a “silent” gap of 3 cycles between 2 different DHC codes. If a
signal is detected before the end of the third cycle, you’ll see this error. This can be due to noise or to a defective
transmitter. There are other things that can cause this, but you shouldn’t see them very often.
4) Lower case house code letter – If only one good start code and one good block are detected, you may see the
house code in lower case. If you see the house code displayed as a lower case letter, you might have low signal
strength. Note: You’ll also see this is you are on the opposite electrical “leg” or phase from the original transmitter.
In this case, the lower case simply means that you are seeing a signal that has been “repeated”. This can be
useful if you ever have to troubleshoot a couple/repeater.
For more information of error codes, see page 5 in the PLSA instruction manual.
Procedure to measure signal strength.
When you first plug in your Monterey tester, you will see a display that looks like this:
X-10 CODE:
SIGNAL STRENGTH:
What this is telling you is that you are in the “signal strength” mode (mode 1). The tester’s display is a 2-line display.
In this mode, the top line is the code the tester is “hearing”, for example, C1 CON (which means a transmitter button has
been pressed and the transmitter has sent a command to address C1 telling it to turn on)
The second (bottom) line of the display shows the signal strength for each of the codes the tester “hears”.
So, if you go to a transmitter, let’s say an HCC4D and press the top “on” button once, you might see a display that looks
like:
10 CODE: C1
TRENGTH: 1.8
CON
1.9
(As more commands are “heard”, the older information is pushed off the left side of the display)
The above means that address code C1 was told to turn on and the 2 signals that it takes to make this happen had
strengths of 1.8 volts and 1.9 volts, respectively.
Page 29 of 30
Date - 04/30/08
Leviton Integrated Networks
A business unit of Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
59-25 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck NY 11362-2591
Customer Service 800-824-3005
www.leviton.com
Building A Connected World
Now, if you go back and turn the light off by pressing the top “off” button, you might see:
C1
1.8
CON
1.9
C1
1.9
COF
1.9
This is a normal (and good) indication.
Now, if you had performed the above steps and seen something like:
C1
45m
CON
52m
C1
COF
45m
45m
This would technically be a “good” signal, but for practical purposes, the signal strength is pretty low (about 45 millivolts),
and you should start thinking about ways to either boost it, or some way to reduce signal loss. Actually, if you find less
than about 100 mv at the receiver’s wiring connections, you should consider it “weak”.
Note: If your system has 2-way (-1TW) receivers, you might have also seen CSN and CSF codes. The first one is a
“status on” code and the second is a “status off” code. What this means is that the receiver is reporting back regarding
what it has done. If you happen to be looking at the Monterey tester when somebody manually turns the dimmer on or off,
you’ll also see status codes.
Note about scene controllers: The Monterey tester doesn’t read scene command signal strength properly, but it will give
you a 3-digit code like BEC. This means that it has detected an “extended code” command going to house code B.
Understanding the noise display
If you press the mode button twice, you’ll be in the noise display. It looks like:
NOISE: .5ms: 17m
.2 to .9ms: 19m
The only parts of this display (in the above example) that you care about are the 17m and the 19m. The rest of the display
won’t change. If you want to know more about that, go to the bottom of page 5 in the PLSA instruction manual.
The 17m and 19m are telling you than “noise” is about 17 millivolts.
From experience, I can tell you that this is a little high, but not really a big deal.
If the 17m and 19m both periodically flash to values above 1.0, someone is probably pressing buttons in the house. Make
them stop.
If you see a display that looks like:
NOISE: .5ms: 60m
.2 to .9ms: 60m
You definitely have excessive noise.
In fact, if you see values of about 25m or higher, you should consider the house “noisy”.
The Monterey tester can do quite a bit more than this, but this should be all you need to diagnose about 95% of the
symptoms you’ll see.
Note: If you are working by yourself, you can use the “test” mode of the Leviton coupler/repeater to send out a continuous
stream of “P1 ON” commands that you can run around and measure with the Monterey.
Page 30 of 30
Date - 04/30/08
Leviton Integrated Networks
A business unit of Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
59-25 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck NY 11362-2591
Customer Service 800-824-3005
www.leviton.com
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