Issue with Input Expander

RAL

Senior Member
Based on the tests you've done, I agree that the M1XIN likely is the cause of the problem.  The only other thing you could do is to try swapping in a different one, if you have one.  Elk has a 2 year warranty on their products, so if you're still in the warranty period, you could ask for a replacement.  They usually make you go through the distributor you purchased from, though. 
 
I agree that the terminal blocks are a bit tricky to use with Cat5/6 wires.  But they are rated by the manufacturer (Pheonix) for wires as small as 24 AWG and up to two wires per terminal.
 

kcorbin

New Member
@hagak - Have you had any luck sorting this out yet? I'm running into the same issue with a new input expander I just added and can't seem to get it resolved. I get about 4 or 5 system restarts specifying the new M1XIN each day at random times, though it doesn't seem to impact the associated zones or arm status.

I just recently added coverage to my new detached garage on an Elk that's been running without issues for 5 years. I used the second allowable home run of the bus and ran 23awg cat 6 about 150ft to the new building. The remote building has an M1DBH with an M1XIN, M1XOVR, and a keypad and the latter two devices don't seem to have any (reported/noticeable) issues. I have an aux altronix supply out there and tied the negative back to the power supplies in the house. Power to the remote modules is good at 13.6V. Bus resistance measures at 65 ohms. I do get a fair amount of bus retry errors, though I always have on the first branch of the bus.. maybe 100 per day randomly across any/all of the other bus devices. The second branch doesn't seem to have added a meaningful increase in retries, though I have seen the new modules report such on occasion. The original/first branch of the bus has 4 keypads, 2 M1XINs, 1 M1XOVR, and an M1XRFTW. No issues with system restarts on the other M1XINs, though neither of these are powered from aux supplies either.

I did notice what you mentioned earlier in this thread as well--in RP, when observing the zone statuses in Area 2 (the garage), the voltage changes quickly and the state seems to lag behind a bit--maybe a minute. This doesn't seem to be an observable issue in the field though; for example, the door chime on the garage happens nearly instantly when the door is opened.

I've replaced and re-terminated all of the associated cables on the second branch of the bus with no effect. Hoping you may have figured something out in the last 6 months, or possibly replaced the board and resolved this. Let me know. Thanks!
 

kcorbin

New Member
@hagak - Have you had any luck sorting this out yet? I'm running into the same issue with a new input expander I just added and can't seem to get it resolved. I get about 4 or 5 system restarts specifying the new M1XIN each day at random times, though it doesn't seem to impact the associated zones or arm status.

I just recently added coverage to my new detached garage on an Elk that's been running without issues for 5 years. I used the second allowable home run of the bus and ran 23awg cat 6 about 150ft to the new building. The remote building has an M1DBH with an M1XIN, M1XOVR, and a keypad and the latter two devices don't seem to have any (reported/noticeable) issues. I have an aux altronix supply out there and tied the negative back to the power supplies in the house. Power to the remote modules is good at 13.6V. Bus resistance measures at 65 ohms. I do get a fair amount of bus retry errors, though I always have on the first branch of the bus.. maybe 100 per day randomly across any/all of the other bus devices. The second branch doesn't seem to have added a meaningful increase in retries, though I have seen the new modules report such on occasion. The original/first branch of the bus has 4 keypads, 2 M1XINs, 1 M1XOVR, and an M1XRFTW. No issues with system restarts on the other M1XINs, though neither of these are powered from aux supplies either.

I did notice what you mentioned earlier in this thread as well--in RP, when observing the zone statuses in Area 2 (the garage), the voltage changes quickly and the state seems to lag behind a bit--maybe a minute. This doesn't seem to be an observable issue in the field though; for example, the door chime on the garage happens nearly instantly when the door is opened.

I've replaced and re-terminated all of the associated cables on the second branch of the bus with no effect. Hoping you may have figured something out in the last 6 months, or possibly replaced the board and resolved this. Let me know. Thanks!

@hagak @RAL - Over the holidays I decided to try some troubleshooting on this. I ended up powering the M1XIN from the panel via SAUX, since I had a SAUX run out to the garage to trigger a relay for my remote power supply for the garage smoke detectors. In powering the M1XIN from SAUX, the spurious System Startups for the input expander disappeared. This was rather unexpected. Voltage at the M1XIN from SAUX is 13.71V and previously from the AL300UL, 13.45V; The other conductor of the SAUX 18/2 run to the garage is used as the common negative between the two supplies. There is a little bit of a voltage difference between the two supplies and I suppose I could crank up the AL300UL a bit, but I can't imagine this would make a difference. I've had the system armed in the garage for days at a time now with all of the other sensors (motions, smokes, CO, etc) powered from the Altronix supply and no false triggers, so I can't imagine the supply is behaving erratically.

Any thoughts on what might be going on here? Is it possible to power an M1XIN with a remote supply without random issues? I've seen at least 3 different accounts of this same issue on this forum with remotely installed and remotely powered input expanders.
 

RAL

Senior Member
When you were powering the devices in the garage from the AL300, what cable/conductor were you using to connect the M1 NEG and AL300 DC- terminals together? One of the 18/2 conductors? Or a wire from the CATx cable?

When you connected up the data bus from the M1 to the garage devices (all through the M1DBH?) did you leave the +12V wire from the M1 CAT6 cable unconnected at the M1DBH and power the M1DBH from the AL300 instead? Connecting the M1 +12V and the AL300 +12V terminals together could cause problems because the two power supplies will fight each to maintain their set voltages.

If you have a good NEG/DC- connection between the M1 and AL300, it should work well. The data bus uses differential signalling that doesn't directly depend on the 12V levels from the different power supplies that might have somewhat different voltages. The common ground wire between them is to provide a common reference for the differential signals.
 
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kcorbin

New Member
When you were powering the devices in the garage from the AL300, what cable/conductor were you using to connect the M1 NEG and AL300 DC- terminals together? One of the 18/2 conductors? Or a wire from the CATx cable?

When you connected up the data bus from the M1 to the garage devices (all through the M1DBH?) did you leave the +12V wire from the M1 CAT6 cable unconnected at the M1DBH and power the M1DBH from the AL300 instead? Connecting the M1 +12V and the AL300 +12V terminals together could cause problems because the two power supplies will fight each to maintain their set voltages.

If you have a good NEG/DC- connection between the M1 and AL300, it should work well. The data bus uses differential signalling that doesn't directly depend on the 12V levels from the different power supplies that might have somewhat different voltages. The common ground wire between them is to provide a common reference for the differential signals.
@RAL Sorry for the long delay in response. I had (and still have) the negative from the M1 in the house and the AL300 supply in the garage tied together with one of the 18 gauge conductors.

The bus run from the house uses exterior rated CAT6, but I only connected one pair from the M1 to the M1DBH for the two data lines. The other pairs are just unused. No connection between house/M1 +12V and +12V garage supply.

I still have my M1XIN powered from SAUX, with several weeks of run time now and I had a couple restarts that occurred directly on the hour of the M1 battery test. I replaced my battery since it was over 3 years old and those infrequent restarts stopped. Everything seems stable with the M1XIN powered from SAUX. If i switch back to the AL300, the completely random (relative to time) restarts return. Maybe something strange going on with the Altronix supply? I haven't experience any unexpected behavior from any of the other devices powered from the supply, including those that are devices with monitored inputs tied to the M1XIN.
 

RAL

Senior Member
All of your tests tend to point to a problem with the AL300. I can't think of a reason having that having the M1XIN on a different power supply from the M1 would cause this trouble, other than the AL300 isn't regulating voltage properly. One more test you could try is to remove the AC input to the AL300 and let it just run on battery. If it shows no problem that way, that would make me think there is a problem with the power supply circuitry. The question is, will the battery give you enough run time for the problem to occur?

If you do run it on the battery, be careful not to discharge the battery too deeply. You want to shut it down when it reaches 10.5V. If you have an Altronix Low Power Disconnect (LPD) on the battery, that will do it automatically.

How old is the battery in the AL300?
 
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