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Some HAI UPB switches and keypads slowly stop working - over the years

swb_mct

Member
I have 15 HAI switches and three 6 button keypads. All UPB programmed control worked well for a few years and then a few became intermittent or quit accepting commands. I also have about twenty X10 devices and they have always worked from day 1.
I believe someone suggested some type of repeater to boost the UPB signal to noise.


Things tried:
 
replaced UPB power interface module
added HAI phase coupler
Tested for locally generated noise by turning all circuit breakers off except to test a single light circuit. That UPB switch was still inconsistent.
 
I want get everything working again . . is there a repeater or similar to boost the UPB signal ? This time I am going to do it.
If someone is an expert, you can remote into my dedicated HAI computer and will pay a reasonable fee. Maybe you could find Upstart useful . . I have never been able to figure it out and all my original installation was with manual setting up UPB devices.
 
Remember Web-Link includes email alert setup below. To access it I have an Oracle Virtual-Box running windows XP and the necessary ancient version of IE.
web-link.jpg
 

swb_mct

Member
pete_c said:
pete_c, on 24 Nov 2021 - 12:00, said:
PM me and I will help you get going...
I received a message that "you cant receive additional messages"

This is what I said . . but couldn't send.

I am Steve. Our HAI system is in Deerwood Minnesota. My only issue is a few HAI switches and the 6 button keypads that quit working. The last time I checked, on one of the switches the system could turn it OFF but not ON. Others don't go on or off by command. I have 450 lines program lines that all do the right thing, but my program structure may not be what an HAI pro would do.

Its been so long I don't remember if a serial port is needed for Upstart. I have the permanent Laptop on a docking station but I haven't checked to see if it has a serial port. I recently changed to a later model Lenovo and the docking stations may no longer have serial ports.

I have a Windows RDP address for remote access to the permanent computer running PC Access and Web link if you want to do some "hands on" with the system.

How can you help ?? The HAI system is is so essential, we want to keep it going as long as possible. We did a major remodel with new wiring so many of our lighting circuits do not have a local interface so it would be very difficult to fall-back to conventional home switching. I have a spare Controller and just bought a spare Thermostat and Security KeyPad console today, as insurance against a single point of failure.
 

pete_c

Guru
Be glad to help.
 
A second PIM with serial / USB interface would help with Upstart checking
 
Deleted some messages...you should be able to PM me...
 

ano

Senior Member
swb_mct said:
I have 15 HAI switches and three 6 button keypads. All UPB programmed control worked well for a few years and then a few became intermittent or quit accepting commands. I also have about twenty X10 devices and they have always worked from day 1.
I believe someone suggested some type of repeater to boost the UPB signal to noise.


Things tried:
 
replaced UPB power interface module
added HAI phase coupler
Tested for locally generated noise by turning all circuit breakers off except to test a single light circuit. That UPB switch was still inconsistent.
 
I want get everything working again . . is there a repeater or similar to boost the UPB signal ? This time I am going to do it.
If someone is an expert, you can remote into my dedicated HAI computer and will pay a reasonable fee. Maybe you could find Upstart useful . . I have never been able to figure it out and all my original installation was with manual setting up UPB devices.
 
Remember Web-Link includes email alert setup below. To access it I have an Oracle Virtual-Box running windows XP and the necessary ancient version of IE.
web-link.jpg
You didn't mention who made your switches, but I used to have Simply Automated switches, and their contacts would wear out and stop working.  Other brands seem more reliable.
 
The second problem is caused by other electrical items plugged into power. They might either create noise, which makes it had for UPB to communicate, or they may filter down the UPB signal, reducing its strength.  When your home is new, you don't have problems, but over time, you add more and more so problems increase.
 
So you can track down these problem devices, sometimes plasma tvs, some microwaves, some kinds of lights, etc.  or you can add a repeater to amplify the signal across 120v legs.  They are easy to install, but DON'T work with Simply Automated switches. They do work with HAI, PCS, and Web Mountain switches.  HAI and PCS make repeaters, which are both the same with different branding.  In either case, they work great as long as you DON'T have SA switches.  
 
If you have UPStart running, all the switches will have a "S" or a "O" near them.  Its Same or Other.  If the switches that fail are "O" then a repeater will definitely help. It probably WON'T help with the "S" switches. 
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
I was thinking line noise also...but the OP stated his X-10 devices are still working (at least that is how I interpreted the thread).  Is UPB susceptible to different noise issues than X-10 devices?
 

pete_c

Guru
I've contacted OP and taking this offline.  Will post results here on the forum to help others.
 
Configuring an Upstart connection to an autonomous UPB PIM to do some diagnostics (remote house) as you cannot do any diagnostics with PCA and or HAI Weblink.
 

ano

Senior Member
BraveSirRobbin said:
I was thinking line noise also...but the OP stated his X-10 devices are still working (at least that is how I interpreted the thread).  Is UPB susceptible to different noise issues than X-10 devices?
Quite different. X10 superimposes two tones on the powerline. One for 1 one for 0.  A low-pass filter will easily filter out X10 because it looks like "noise" to some devices.  UPB uses very strong pulses with the timing between them indicating 1 or 0.  Because the pulses are so strong, it's hard for noise to drown them out, but possible. 
 
Thinking back to electrical engineering, a very steep sharp pulse creates harmonics that extend into the high frequencies making them harder to filter out.  That is why you can hear lightning on any AM radio, no matter what the frequency is.  So UPB is much more robust than X10 and resistant to noise and filters.  Not perfect, but much better than X10.
 

pete_c

Guru
Posting a follow up to @swb_mct issues 
 
1 - installed Upstart and a second UPB PIM to a laptop at location
2 - RDP'd to laptop and tested his new UPB pim.  Worked fine.
3 - put one switch and one keypad in to programming mode
4 - Upstart did not see switches in programming mode.  Repeated this a few times.
 
There are two 200 AMP panels in his home and a 3rd panel for the generator.
 
The X10 and UPB to HAI panel PIMs are connected to panel #1 (below panel).  HAI OmniPro panel electric is on panel #1.  There is a UPB phase coupler in fuse panel #1.  Tested the UPB switch on and off functions with PC Access to work fine.  
 
Suggestions for next testing....
 
1 - remove phase coupler
2 - install UPB repeater
3 - install Upstart on a laptop and test connectivity to UPB switches in various rooms (circuits) around the house while I connect to the laptop via Teamviewer.
 
Purpose is to document UPB network and do diagnostics with Upstart.
 
Suggesting to switch over to using old Snaplink (USB stick) versus using HAI Weblink.
 
Any suggestions or comments?
 
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