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'[PIC]: Sending data over power wiring'
2001\10\28@161405 by Max Toole

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Does anyone know of a device for sending ASCII data (non X-10) over power
wiring?  I want to use PICs to communicate with each other for transferring
data through the power wiring.  I purchased 4 PowerLinc modules from
Smarthome.com.  They looked as though they would do exactly what I need, even
supply 12 volts at 300 ma, but I cannot get them to communicate over the
power wiring.  I called the Smarthome.com tech support and they don't have a
clue.  I lost the tech when I mentioned "hexidecimal".

Thanks for any help,
Max

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2001\10\28@162410 by Ned Konz

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On Sunday 28 October 2001 01:11 pm, Max Toole wrote:
> Does anyone know of a device for sending ASCII data (non X-10) over power
> wiring?  I want to use PICs to communicate with each other for transferring
> data through the power wiring.  I purchased 4 PowerLinc modules from
> Smarthome.com.  They looked as though they would do exactly what I need,
> even supply 12 volts at 300 ma, but I cannot get them to communicate over
> the power wiring.  I called the Smarthome.com tech support and they don't
> have a clue.  I lost the tech when I mentioned "hexidecimal".

Sometimes you can have a problem where one device is on one side of the 220V
line and the other device is on the other side. So you don't have direct
continuity between the devices.

Have you tried other outlets?

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2001\10\28@165513 by Max Toole

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In a message dated 10/28/2001 4:24:55 PM Eastern Standard Time,
.....nedKILLspamspam.....BIKE-NOMAD.COM writes:

<<  Does anyone know of a device for sending ASCII data (non X-10) over power
> wiring?  I want to use PICs to communicate with each other for transferring
> data through the power wiring.  I purchased 4 PowerLinc modules from
> Smarthome.com.  They looked as though they would do exactly what I need,
> even supply 12 volts at 300 ma, but I cannot get them to communicate over
> the power wiring.  I called the Smarthome.com tech support and they don't
> have a clue.  I lost the tech when I mentioned "hexidecimal".

Sometimes you can have a problem where one device is on one side of the 220V
line and the other device is on the other side. So you don't have direct
continuity between the devices.

Have you tried other outlets?

--
Ned Konz >>
Thanks for your reply, Ned.  I have all 4 of them plugged into the same
10-outlet ac spreader.
Max

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2001\10\28@165526 by David Huisman

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If you are not interested in high Baud rates, I had good success with
Philips NE5050 Power
Line Modem IC. I am not sure if this is still available but they have
another that is (TDA5051).

The NE5050 worked well at 1200 Baud and provided bi-directional
communications.
The system was interfaced to the phone line and you could ring home and
switch the heaters on etc.

Link for data on TDA5051 http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/pip/tda5051_2

Best Regards

David Huisman

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2001\10\28@193214 by Max Toole

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Thanks for the info, David.  I will take a look and evaluate the Philips unit.

Max

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2001\10\28@222356 by Gaston Gagnon

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Max Toole wrote:

>  Sometimes you can have a problem where one device is on one side of the 220V
>  line and the other device is on the other side. So you don't have direct
>  continuity between the devices.
>
>  Have you tried other outlets?
>
>  --
>  Ned Konz >>
> Thanks for your reply, Ned.  I have all 4 of them plugged into the same
> 10-outlet ac spreader.
> Max

Have you tried to plug your devices directly in wall outlets? Maybe the ac
spreader includes protection devices that could filter out the signals.

Gaston

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2001\10\29@102519 by Lawrence Lile

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Sending data over power wiring is a very unreliable business.  I've
evaluated several power line communication kits from several manufacturers,
and the short answer is, some work sometimes, others work other times, none
work all the time.

Your house wiring has surge supressors which attenuate PLC signals, touch
sensitive lamps which attenuate these signals, cheap appliances with
capacitor input power supplies which attenuate PLC signals (If you catch the
guy who designs these cheap appliances, take away his soldering iron!), and
two legs of the power grid, where sometimes signal will not get between one
leg and the other, plus plenty of noise from switching, motors, and the
neighbor's aluminum smelter.

In my home, X-10 stuff works every time, Next door, X-10 hardly works at
all.  Down the street, X-10 won't work between the first and second floor.
If youy keep fiddling around with it, you can eventually get it to work.
You'll  have the same spotty luck with any other powerline protocol.

House wiring is just a poor communication medium.

--Lawrence

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2001\10\29@102528 by Max Toole

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In a message dated 10/28/2001 10:24:37 PM Eastern Standard Time,
RemoveMEgaston.gagnonTakeThisOuTspamVIDEOTRON.CA writes:

<< Have you tried to plug your devices directly in wall outlets? Maybe the ac
spreader includes protection devices that could filter out the signals.

Gaston >>
Haven't tried that but I will.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Max

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2001\10\29@105206 by Anand Dhuru

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Have you made sure that the data that you are transmitting is synchronised
with the mains zero crossing? The PowerLinc modules would be transmitting
the data ONLY when they see a zero crossing; also, the erecivers would take
a reading only during a zero crossing. This is a requirement of X10, and is
designed to minimise the affect of transients and noise on the mains, on
your data.

Regards,

Anand Dhuru

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2001\10\29@110745 by Alan Gorham

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>In my home, X-10 stuff works every time, Next door, X-10 hardly works at
>all.  Down the street, X-10 won't work between the first and second floor.
>If youy keep fiddling around with it, you can eventually get it to work.
>You'll  have the same spotty luck with any other powerline protocol.

>House wiring is just a poor communication medium.

Is there a sensible way of inspecting the X-10 signal at any given wall socket?
This would give the potential user of X-10 an idea of the area of coverage they may get in their
house...
I'd be really interested to know this :-)

Alan

Embedded Systems Engineer
Microtima Ltd
Ouseburn Mews
3-7 Stepney Bank
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 2PW

Tel: 0191 2304411
Fax: 0191 2304422

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2001\10\29@111758 by Charles Craft

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Not sure how it works but they do exist:

http://www.smarthome.com/4813.html

This economic X10 Signal Meter is half the price of most test tools on the market, yet is 90% as useful. It can determine if the signal is too low, if there is a signal present, and if there is noise interference.


pic microcontroller discussion list <spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:
> >In my home, X-10 stuff works every time, Next door, X-10 hardly works at
>all.  Down the street, X-10 won't work between the first and second floor.
>If youy keep fiddling around with it, you can eventually get it to work.
>You'll  have the same spotty luck with any other powerline protocol.

>House wiring is just a poor communication medium.

Is there a sensible way of inspecting the X-10 signal at any given wall socket?
This would give the potential user of X-10 an idea of the area of coverage they may get in their
house...
I'd be really interested to know this :-)

Alan

Embedded Systems Engineer
Microtima Ltd
Ouseburn Mews
3-7 Stepney Bank
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 2PW

Tel: 0191 2304411
Fax: 0191 2304422

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2001\10\29@120550 by Ned Konz
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On Monday 29 October 2001 08:11 am, Charles Craft wrote:

> Is there a sensible way of inspecting the X-10 signal at any given wall
> socket? This would give the potential user of X-10 an idea of the area of
> coverage they may get in their house...
> I'd be really interested to know this :-)

Sure: build the same isolation circuit that is found in an X10 module (caps
and transformer at least) and use it with an oscilloscope.

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2001\10\29@142451 by Tsvetan Usunov

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>Your house wiring has surge supressors which attenuate PLC signals, touch
>sensitive lamps which attenuate these signals, cheap appliances with
>capacitor input power supplies which attenuate PLC signals (If you catch
the
>guy who designs these cheap appliances, take away his soldering iron!)

It's common requirement to have X2 capacitor on the power input line if
your appliance have motor inside.
The design will not pass UL or CE test if doesn't have such capacitor.

Best regards
Tsvetan
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2001\10\29@164929 by Harold M Hallikainen

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On Mon, 29 Oct 2001 09:19:38 -0600 Lawrence Lile <RemoveMEllilespamTakeThisOuTTOASTMASTER.COM>
writes:
> House wiring is just a poor communication medium.
>

       I've always thought so, but remember that company that was going to give
us broadband internet over AC wiring since the infrastructure was already
in place? What ever happened to them?

Harold



FCC Rules Online at http://hallikainen.com/FccRules
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2001\10\29@181803 by Linux HA

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Alan Gorham wrote:

>>In my home, X-10 stuff works every time, Next door, X-10 hardly works at
>>all.  Down the street, X-10 won't work between the first and second floor.
>>If youy keep fiddling around with it, you can eventually get it to work.
>>You'll  have the same spotty luck with any other powerline protocol.
>>
>
>>House wiring is just a poor communication medium.
>>
>
> Is there a sensible way of inspecting the X-10 signal at any given wall socket?
> This would give the potential user of X-10 an idea of the area of coverage they may get in their
> house...

2 different tools the first is a good one (<$60 US) it called the
ELK ESM1 Signal meter (http://www.worthdist.com/elk/esm1.htm).  The
second is a modified tw523 I've created:

http://members.home.net/ncherry/mTW523/index.html

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2001\10\29@195553 by Dale Botkin

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On Mon, 29 Oct 2001, Harold M Hallikainen wrote:

> On Mon, 29 Oct 2001 09:19:38 -0600 Lawrence Lile <EraseMEllilespamTOASTMASTER.COM>
> writes:
> > House wiring is just a poor communication medium.
> >
>
>         I've always thought so, but remember that company that was going to give
> us broadband internet over AC wiring since the infrastructure was already
> in place? What ever happened to them?

They proved the point??

-Dale

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2001\10\29@212030 by Josh Koffman

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The main problem is they can't get the data to jump the transformers
without expensive additions...at every transformer. There's an article
in Wired magazine this month about another company that promised it, and
is now in trouble. Interesting reading, but nothing about the technical
side really, just vague theories.

Josh Koffman

Harold M Hallikainen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\10\29@213943 by miked

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Also see HTH's PLM modules;
http://www.hth.com/plm-24/plm-24.htm
:
>
> Does anyone know of a device for sending ASCII data (non X-10) over power
> wiring?  I want to use PICs to communicate with each other for transferring
> data through the power wiring.  I purchased 4 PowerLinc modules from
> Smarthome.com. They looked as though they would do exactly what I need, even
> supply 12 volts at 300 ma, but I cannot get them to communicate over the power
> wiring.  I called the Smarthome.com tech support and they don't have a clue.  I
> lost the tech when I mentioned "hexidecimal".
>
> Thanks for any help,
> Max
>

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2001\10\30@095734 by t F. Touchton

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If you are referring to Elcom, they went belly up.  My wife was a design
engineer there for a few years, and I have their products in my home.  In
all, they work pretty good.  I have the stereo system, video system,
phone/modem system and the data I/O system.

Frequencies of operation were from 2 to 25Mhz.  Higher frequencies are
nicer since it can operate as a single ended RF transmission, though
passing FCC is tougher (I did a consulting gig their).

Someone asked earlier about viewing X10 signals and the like.  I
traditionally use a spectrum analyzer capacitively coupled to the power
line (choose you caps so that your powered delivered at 60hz is within the
capability of the analyzer).  This allows you to easily see the frequency
of interest and all the noise generators.  You can also use a scope if you
bandpass filter... there is so much junk on the powerline that you will
have great difficulty trying to observe the 120khz signals.

The largest problems I have had with powerline signal transmission comes
from low impedance loads and the fact that they vary (power line impedance
can vary from below 5 ohms to over 100ohms).  As mentioned earlier in the
thread, these are usually caps directly across the power line.  Not as much
of a problem at high frequencies since you can operate beyond their
resonance.  However in the 10khz to 2mhz range they are murder.  I get
around them by using a Panamax surge suppressor that has a PI filter on the
input.  I remove the cap on the AC side, leaving the inductors, load side
cap and varistors.  The inductors have enough reactance to look high enough
in impedance at the frequency of operation.  This works great if the
offending device plugs in.  If it is hardwired in, I try to add 100uh
inductance in series with the hot leg.

A slick method to overcome the varying impedance is to monitor the received
signal, and adjust the transmission power to obtain a satisfactory CNR
automatically.  The power will just be high enough to allow reliable
communication.This can allow excessive transmission power, but when these
systems are tested at an FCC lab, they are on a filtered circuit so the
transmission powers will be very low.  (i.e. CHEATING)

A slightly different method employs analyzing the reflected power, and
automatically biasing the output driver to obtain satisfactory match.  This
method will not overcome noise generators.

Scott F. Touchton




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       I've always thought so, but remember that company that was going to
give
us broadband internet over AC wiring since the infrastructure was already
in place? What ever happened to them?

Harold



FCC Rules Online at http://hallikainen.com/FccRules
Lighting control for theatre and television at http://www.dovesystems.com

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2001\10\31@125400 by Bond, Peter

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> From: Dale Botkin
> On Mon, 29 Oct 2001, Harold M Hallikainen wrote:
> > On Mon, 29 Oct 2001 09:19:38 -0600 Lawrence Lile
> > writes:
> > > House wiring is just a poor communication medium.
> >
> >         I've always thought so, but remember that company
> that was going to give
> > us broadband internet over AC wiring since the
> infrastructure was already
> > in place? What ever happened to them?
>
> They proved the point??

NorWEB (North Western Electricity Board) in the UK went to some trouble to
trial net access through their distribution system; it fell flat on its
face.

One of the problems ISTR was that the streetlights dumped so much noise into
the system that bandwidth was severely reduced.

Peter
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2001\10\31@125724 by Chris Carr

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> On Mon, 29 Oct 2001, Harold M Hallikainen wrote:
>
> > On Mon, 29 Oct 2001 09:19:38 -0600 Lawrence Lile <EraseMEllilespamspamspamBeGoneTOASTMASTER.COM>
> > writes:
> > > House wiring is just a poor communication medium.
> > >
> >
> >         I've always thought so, but remember that company that was going
to give
> > us broadband internet over AC wiring since the infrastructure was
already
> > in place? What ever happened to them?
>
Dale Botkin replied

> They proved the point??
>
No they didn't, data transmission over the electricity distribution system
is entirely different to that over the internal system within a house. Also
the word "Broadband" is subjective and made meaningless by marketing
departments.

Chris Carr

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