UPB problems that won’t go away - repeater not working

Mr Spock

Active Member
I’ve had a small UPB network at my new construction house for about 2 years.  I’ve not expanded it because of never ending noise problems.  I’ve tried to trace it down with a laptop and PIM but can’t find the source.  Its very intermittent and varying in intensity.  I’m guessing its coming from outside the house, but not sure.

First I tried to improve the situation with a passive inverting phase coupler in my breaker box.  It improved the signal strength on opposite phases enough to work under most conditions.  However its not good enough when this intermittent noise problem is occurring.

Next, I removed the phase coupler and tried a repeater (SPR-1) in the breaker box.  That leads me to my current problem…

This  SPR-1 does not seem to be working right.  The status LED never stops flashing magenta.  The instructions I have say it should only momentarily flash magenta when it receives a valid UPB signal to repeat.  When I put it in program mode Upstart can’t find it.  Even putting the PIM within 10 feet of the breaker box with no noise problems (at that time) it still can’t find it.  Its LED is flashing the red color in program mode, but Upstarts not finding it.

I tried the 5/10/2 button tap sequence to reset the device.  It appeared it did reset.  But it still acts the same.  Meanwhile it is definitely not repeating the UPB signals as I have virtually no cross phase signal strength.

My local vendor has offered to exchange it, which I will be doing shortly.

Any comments or advice from the UPB experts?
 

pete_c

Guru
This  SPR-1 does not seem to be working right.  The status LED never stops flashing magenta.  The instructions I have say it should only momentarily flash magenta when it receives a valid UPB signal to repeat.  When I put it in program mode Upstart can’t find it.  Even putting the PIM within 10 feet of the breaker box with no noise problems (at that time) it still can’t find it.  Its LED is flashing the red color in program mode, but Upstarts not finding it.

I tried the 5/10/2 button tap sequence to reset the device.  It appeared it did reset.  But it still acts the same.  Meanwhile it is definitely not repeating the UPB signals as I have virtually no cross phase signal strength.

My local vendor has offered to exchange it, which I will be doing shortly.

 
First thing that Upstart see's here is my HAI repeater.  It has worked fine now for a few years.
 
I have my HAI OPII UPB PIM connected to one circuit on one breaker adjacent to the fuse panel.  My HAI repeater is almost next to it also on it's own breakers.
 
I have another UPB Pim on a Quatech serial server on the other side of the house on the second floor which is on the opposite side of the home.  Just tested signals and getting 100% on one phase and 91% on second phase.
 
That said I think you have a hardware issue with yours.  I would replace it.
 

ano

Senior Member
Have you considered that a bad SPR-1 might be causing the noise?  So with a coupler and no repeater do things generally work OK except for lower signals?  Still have noise?  Its also possible that noise is triggering the repeater. 
 
I'd remove the repeater for now, then monitor the situation. Also, if you don't have a whole-house surge protector, I would add one. Surges can kill a repeater.
 

Mr Spock

Active Member
I originally did not have the repeater or phase coupler installed, so they are not the originator of the noise or signal problems.  Without any of these things installed I have a very weak cross phase signal.  With the passive coupler I have better (but still low) cross phase signal strength, but can't communicate when the occasional intermittent noise is occurring. 
 
I just realized I bought the repeater from someone on Amazon, not my local /dependable retailer.  Guess I'm going to find out how supportive they are.
 
Does anyone have experience with the LED patterns?  Constantly flashing magenta does not appear to be valid from what I can tell.  It should only momentarily flash magenta when a valid UPB signal is received.  I have an SPR manual I found on the internet from Pulseworx, version 1.2 from 2007/10/24.
 

pete_c

Guru
I have never paid attention to the LED patterns on the SPR-1 repeater. 
 
That said if you don't see the repeater with Upstart then it is most likely defective and I wouldn't bother with it anymore.
 

ano

Senior Member
Mr Spock said:
I originally did not have the repeater or phase coupler installed, so they are not the originator of the noise or signal problems.  Without any of these things installed I have a very weak cross phase signal.  With the passive coupler I have better (but still low) cross phase signal strength, but can't communicate when the occasional intermittent noise is occurring. 
 
I just realized I bought the repeater from someone on Amazon, not my local /dependable retailer.  Guess I'm going to find out how supportive they are.
 
Does anyone have experience with the LED patterns?  Constantly flashing magenta does not appear to be valid from what I can tell.  It should only momentarily flash magenta when a valid UPB signal is received.  I have an SPR manual I found on the internet from Pulseworx, version 1.2 from 2007/10/24.
It should not flash constantly UNLESS you have a switch malfunctioning that repeats constantly. I have seen that happen. 
 
So if without a repeater, you only have occasional noise, and your PIM is not flashing constantly as well, it sounds like a bad repeater.
 
Do this, WITHOUT a repeater, put your ear near a UPB switch. It will faintly buzz with EVERY signal.  Do you just hear occasional buzzes or repeated buzzes?  I'd hate for you to replace a repeater that is good, and just reacting to another problem. But sounds like the repeater is bad.
 

Mr Spock

Active Member
Thanks guys.  No continuous buzzing from my UPB switches, so yeah it sounds like the repeater bad.
 
The vendor has asked me to contact Pulseworx before exchanging, so I'll see what they say first.
 

pete_c

Guru
Pulseworx has the longest waranty period versus HAI and SA.
 
Powerline Control Systems, Inc. (PCS) warrants to the Purchaser that products manufactured by PCS under the brand names, SimpleWorx, PulseWorx and GreenWorx, (“Product”) sold in the USA will be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of 5 years from the date of purchase. This limited warranty is extended to the original or first end user purchaser only and is conditional based upon proper storage, installation and use in accordance with Product specifications and instructions.
 
PCS’ obligation under this Limited Warranty is limited to the repair or replacement, at PCS’s option, of Product that fails due to defect in material or workmanship. PCS reserves the right to replace Product under this Limited Warranty with new or remanufactured product. PCS will not be responsible for labor costs of removal or reinstallation of Product. Warranty repairs or replacement can only be obtained by contacting PCS for a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number and delivering or shipping the Product freight prepaid to: Powerline Control Systems, 19201 Parthenia St., Suite J, Northridge, CA 91324.
 
PCS will only be responsible for shipping costs of returning repaired or replacement Product to customer’s facility.
 
This warranty is not applicable to, and PCS makes no warranty whatsoever with respect to, any Product not installed and operated in accordance with the National Electric Code (NEC), the Standards for Safety of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), Standards for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or, in Canada, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Nor is this warranty applicable to any Product which has not been installed and operated in accordance with PCS' specifications and connection diagrams or Product which has been subjected to abnormal operating conditions as specified in PCS published literature.
 
The conditions for any tests performed on PCS’ Product which are claimed to have not performed in accordance with the terms of the warranty, shall be mutually agreed upon in writing and PCS may be represented at any such tests.
The repaired or replaced Product is then warranted under the terms of this Limited Warranty for the remainder of the Limited Warranty time period or ninety (90) days, whichever is longer.
 
My original Pulseworx phase coupler (before I installed repeater) failed and Pulseworx customer service was excellent.
 
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