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Flickering UPB Lights - Aclara TWACS

UPB

Member
I have Aclara (TWACS Signal) metering system installed on the pole at my home. PCS, WS1DL-6 UPB dimmer switches were installed throughout (60-65 each). They were receiving interference from the meter while it was reading my usage. Sierra Electric (New Mexico) asked Aclara to have my readings reduced from hourly, to once each 24 hour period at 12:00 midnight. This really helped the EXTREME flickering each hour of the day.
I still have flickering issues with both LED and Incandescent light fixtures. Sometimes a quick bling; maybe 15-45 minutes later I could get another blink or a flicker.
I have installed LDS-120 stabilizers and IRL-1oK resistors in parallel with the load/neutral on each switch with no noticeable change. I've swapped incandescent lamps with LED and vice versa; no change.
What I've finally tested was installing four Simply-Automated US40-11 dimmer switches in place of four PCS, WS1DL-6 switches. The flickering and blink issues disappeared entirely. That was great to see after many months of playing with this mess. The problem now is that Simply-Automated appears to no longer be operating their business.
Can anyone tell me why the Simply Automated US11-40 dimmer will operate the lights without any flickering and the PCS UPB, WS1DL-6 dimmers allow blinking and flickering off and on daily?




LED/CFL Dimmer (WS1DL) - Powerline Lighting Systems - PCS
 
www.pcslighting.com







Simply Automated -- Universal Dimmer Controller Base -- Model: US2-40
Simply Automated Universal Dimmer Controller Base - US2-40 - with 13 faceplate options in 6 colors.
www.simply-automated.com



 
 

pete_c

Guru
Curious what your noise and signal levels going to the PCS and SA switches look like with Upstart?

Today connected to the OmniPro 2 panel use a HAI UPB PIM for automating the UPB lights on a schedule. I have connected PCS and SA PIMs to automation boxes. I have noticed differences between the PIMs signals out and sensitivity to signals in.
 
Many many years ago here neighbors installed an inground pool.  I started to get timely UPB noise and signal levels would drop when the neighbors pool pump went on.
 
The noise / signals would cause many of my UPB in wall switches not to work all of the time.  At the time had a mixture of PCS, HAI and SA switches.
 
Installed a PCS repeater and that solved my issues. Before the repeater tried a phase coupler and that did not work for me.   I did after a bit of time install all SA switches removing the HAI and PCS switches after installation of the repeater.  This was just due to an electrical mishap with my outside AC compressor getting struck by lighting and a voltage surge on the home powerline.  Replaced all of the switches one room at a time across months (2nd floor, main floor, basement et al).  Insurance paid but I did it myself.  I do recall the questions from the insurance agent as to why these switches were so expensive at the time.  
 
I still do utilize an X10 power line signal filter on the ingresss of power inside of my fuse panel.  Not sure if this works with UPB.
 
I am sure PCS can provide you with some sort of filter on your ingress inside of your fuse panel.  I recall mine was a bit of a pain to install as I had to disconnect the neutral lead from the fuse panel to put the clamp on.  Not sure that a filter would affect the Aclara (TWACS Signal) metering system.
 

UPB

Member
pete_c said:
Curious what your noise and signal levels going to the PCS and SA switches look like with Upstart?

Today connected to the OmniPro 2 panel use a HAI UPB PIM for automating the UPB lights on a schedule. I have connected PCS and SA PIMs to automation boxes. I have noticed differences between the PIMs signals out and sensitivity to signals in.
 
Many many years ago here neighbors installed an inground pool.  I started to get timely UPB noise and signal levels would drop when the neighbors pool pump went on.
 
The noise / signals would cause many of my UPB in wall switches not to work all of the time.  At the time had a mixture of PCS, HAI and SA switches.
 
Installed a PCS repeater and that solved my issues. Before the repeater tried a phase coupler and that did not work for me.   I did after a bit of time install all SA switches removing the HAI and PCS switches after installation of the repeater.  This was just due to an electrical mishap with my outside AC compressor getting struck by lighting and a voltage surge on the home powerline.  Replaced all of the switches one room at a time across months (2nd floor, main floor, basement et al).  Insurance paid but I did it myself.  I do recall the questions from the insurance agent as to why these switches were so expensive at the time.  
 
I still do utilize an X10 power line signal filter on the ingresss of power inside of my fuse panel.  Not sure if this works with UPB.
 
I am sure PCS can provide you with some sort of filter on your ingress inside of your fuse panel.  I recall mine was a bit of a pain to install as I had to disconnect the neutral lead from the fuse panel to put the clamp on.  Not sure that a filter would affect the Aclara (TWACS Signal) metering system.
 
pete_c said:
Curious what your noise and signal levels going to the PCS and SA switches look like with Upstart?

Today connected to the OmniPro 2 panel use a HAI UPB PIM for automating the UPB lights on a schedule. I have connected PCS and SA PIMs to automation boxes. I have noticed differences between the PIMs signals out and sensitivity to signals in.
 
Many many years ago here neighbors installed an inground pool.  I started to get timely UPB noise and signal levels would drop when the neighbors pool pump went on.
 
The noise / signals would cause many of my UPB in wall switches not to work all of the time.  At the time had a mixture of PCS, HAI and SA switches.
 
Installed a PCS repeater and that solved my issues. Before the repeater tried a phase coupler and that did not work for me.   I did after a bit of time install all SA switches removing the HAI and PCS switches after installation of the repeater.  This was just due to an electrical mishap with my outside AC compressor getting struck by lighting and a voltage surge on the home powerline.  Replaced all of the switches one room at a time across months (2nd floor, main floor, basement et al).  Insurance paid but I did it myself.  I do recall the questions from the insurance agent as to why these switches were so expensive at the time.  
 
I still do utilize an X10 power line signal filter on the ingresss of power inside of my fuse panel.  Not sure if this works with UPB.
 
I am sure PCS can provide you with some sort of filter on your ingress inside of your fuse panel.  I recall mine was a bit of a pain to install as I had to disconnect the neutral lead from the fuse panel to put the clamp on.  Not sure that a filter would affect the Aclara (TWACS Signal) metering system.
I have tried the PCS 10K resistors, PCS Stabilizers, and 240VAC Repeater. 
Marshall did not seem to think that the PCS,  HLF-20 filter would help.
Simply-Automated dimmers would resolve my issue, but they are not available anymore. I did locate enough components to use 8 more SA dimmers.
I also had my power company upgrade my 14.4K-240v transformer from a 10k to a 15k pot and that helped some.
 

pete_c

Guru
Personally have no idea why the SA UPB switch would work better than the PCS UPB switch.
 
Occasionally seeing batches of SA used switches on Ebay.
 
Are you managing the UPB switches with automation software (firmware)?
 
Maybe switching technologies would be less resource  intensive.  Like using Zigbee or ZWave would work for you. Lutron is popular.
 
Been tinkering here with modded firmware WiFi switches.  These can function independently or in groups with their little ESP based OS.
 
Only thing is that these are not ready for Prime time yet...and that with the off the shelf WiFi switches you become dependent on the cloud for their function.
 
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