Switches not always triggering an action, why?

Discussion in 'C-Bus Wired Hardware' started by P_R, May 11, 2018.

  1. P_R

    P_R

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    Hi,
    I have noticed recently that random buttons won't activate their assigned functions. If it is a two or four button unit, the buttons lights goes on, but the action is not triggered. Same goes with eDLTs. Press the button again and it will activate, although once it took two goes. To track it down I had a log running overnight and nothing appeared unusual, although I'm not really sure what to look out for.

    I will be checking the last item I've added to the network, a 5031RDTSL, and an eDLT which replaced a four button unit in case the wiring is possibly loose or damaged. The unit works though and polls the temp every 3 minutes. I used a standard cat5e cable instead of the pink Clipsal ones to make the connection for the 5031 (had to order a pink one in ~week) but those pink cables differ by being pink, wires are the same (afaik). They are near two pairs of cables which operate shutters though.

    What could be causing this? Packet loss? Not enough power to the network? Too much cabling? Interference due to being near other power?

    I've asked my installed what it could be but he's busy so I thought I would ask here. It happens regularly but unpredictably. Any general pointers would be appreciated.

    P.
     
    P_R, May 11, 2018
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  2. P_R

    P_R

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    Hello,
    So I disconnected the temp sensor and both the new eDLTs, these being the three things which changed before my switch triggering problem started. Possible success - the problem has not happened again, but I'll leave it for a week and see as it was previously random. I note that Toolkit says I need 276mA more power. It has said this ever since it was installed, so I've assumed it was a suggestion rather than a warning. So I wanted to now ask, do I simply to add more power until Toolkit says there's enough? That is, get a 5500PS (or two) connected up? I won't be doing this of course, I have no clue! I tried searching for what c-bus power requirements are without luck.
    P.
     
    P_R, May 13, 2018
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  3. P_R

    Ashley

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    The toolkit message is based on the number of power supplies in the system and the current draw of all the devices. The problem though is that output unit come both with and without power supplies and toolkit can't tell the difference, so if you have entered an incorrect device code the power calculation will be incorrect. Devices without a power supply have a P suffix to the name (I know, it's back to front, just accept it :)). If you are really 276ma short the system probably wouldn't work at all, so there is probably an incorrect device number that you need to correct. Check the actual voltage with a multimeter at any device, or run the diagnostic utility and it can tell you all unit voltages. Theoretically units should operate down to 15 volts but in my experience anything under 20 will start giving you comms errors.

    The first thing you need to do is correct the unit numbers to get an accurate power assessment. You will need to look at all the physical units and compare them with the toolkit database. Once you have done that you can then determine how much more power you need. Ideally you should have at least 200mA spare if you have no stand alone power supplies, or 320ma spare if you do. That way if one power supply dies you won't loose the whole system. Just remember you are limited to 2000mA total.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    Ashley, May 14, 2018
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  4. P_R

    P_R

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    Hello Ashley,
    Thank you for your response. I will check the codes and enter them in, if wrong. My installer may have missed one unit, maybe there's typo, or not factored new items. He's very good and I'll be getting him in again, but he's busy at the moment so this will help me track down the gremlin. Thank you!
    P.
     
    P_R, May 14, 2018
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  5. P_R

    NickD Moderator

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    With normal key units (not the eDLT), if the message resulting from a button press fails to transmit, the indicator on the button will flash rapidly. If you are not seeing this happen, it suggests that the communication is OK.

    Without knowing what has been set up (and how) it's hard to suggest what might have gone wrong.

    Can you tell us a bit more about what the buttons are meant to do? Are they just controlling lights directly or are they doing more complex functions (where there might be a logic controller or other conditions that need to be correct for something to happen)?

    Nick
     
    NickD, May 15, 2018
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  6. P_R

    P_R

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    Hello Nick,
    After Ashley's response I had a look at the voltages of the units and the lowest was 26.5v and highest was 30.5v, so they weren't starved of power. All the non-eDLT switches simply control lights or roller shutters and they did not flash when they did not work. What did happen: the little red light would go on, the light would not, then the little red light would go off. Try the same switch again and it would work as normal.
    This all started when I added in a temp sensor 5031RDTSL and replaced one C5034 and one C5032 unit with eDLTs. All three worked and I had programmed the eDLTs to do the same functions as the C5032/4 plus a few more bits. It was then that the occasional light would not work. Remove the items and so far things work again. Hence my thoughts that if the eDLTs used more power, maybe they tipped the network power usage over into the not-enough-juice-zone.
    If it helps, my setup has a three 12 channel dimming relays each with their own power, one non-dimming also with power. I have twenty shutter relays (four more going in at some stage), PAC (with external power), 0-10v analogue output unit and a CNI. Except for the three items I've mentioned, all the above were installed by my local friendly c-bus specialist and cabled by electricians who do c-bus regularly. I'll be using them again for more work, but this gremlin I was hoping to solve/fix myself as I wanted to learn more so I can make changes to the system without getting over for what are really small works, changing over to an eDLT for example.
    I hope this provides more information. If the system is stable and working, then I might do a HAL9000 and reconnect the item(s) and wait for them to 'fail'.
    Thank you Nick and Ashley.
    P.
     
    P_R, May 15, 2018
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  7. P_R

    P_R

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    Okay, so it does appear as though I have not enough power. When I entered all the units into the calculator (I've not used it before, but will now), it tripped into the red when I added the items I last added to the network. So I need a 5500ps.
    [BTW: My installer did everything right, his customer added things here and there to muck things up :) hence me trying to fix them.]

    Can I ask please, when I check the units with TK, they respond with information such as voltages, serial numbers, status and so on. Could they also reply back with their full model code in order to differentiate powered and non-powered versions? That way TK could collect these and do a power requirement check automatically.

    Lastly, my ignorance being prominent here, TK tells you, under network, what the power usage is and the power requirements, how does it know this, as I could not see where that was entered in?

    P.
     
    P_R, May 17, 2018
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  8. P_R

    Ashley

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    Unfortunately the model number is the same for both powered and un-powered units so there is no way for toolkit to know. Both devices are functionally the same apart from the two different plug in power supply boards, so the unit itself has no idea. Ideally the unit should have been able to tell which power supply module was installed, but it can't, so we are stuck with it. If you use the barcode reader to enter the devices it works fine as the barcode differentiates both unit types. When you enter a new device by scanning the network you have to adjust the model number accordingly for output units.

    Toolkit has a database that tells it how much power each device needs or supplies based on its model number.
     
    Ashley, May 17, 2018
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