Using X-10 AM486 Outdoors?

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I am using an AM486 appliance module to control my wife's holiday
lights. The outlet into which the lights are plugged is outdoors but
located in a well protected area on our covered porch.

My problem is that sometimes, the unit simply fails to respond to
commands (on or off). I have found that if I unplug the AM486, bring it
inside for a period of several hours, and return it to service, it seems
to begin working as expected once again.

I note now that the unit is marked  "for indoor use only". Is the cold
or moist air here in the Pacific Northwest causing the problem? If so,
any suggested "fixes"? Is there a similar unit (it need not have local
control) that is better for this outdoor installation?


PS - In addition to the holiday lights, I have also plugged-in a small
power brick as suggested elsewhere so that the unit will actually turn
off any LED lights that are being controlled. This works just fine, it
seems. But perhaps this is part of the problem? Cheers!

Re: Using X-10 AM486 Outdoors?
I have used modules outdoors in "protected areas" many times with no
problems.  Right now there is one controlling my post light which is
located at the street end of the driveway.  The module is plugged in
at the house and connected to an underground cable to the post
light.  Eventually, I will wire it to a module that is presently in
the basement that controls another post light.  But for now, this
temporary fix is working.  At Christmas, there were other lights
plugged into the outlet at the base of the post light.  I also have
had 2 other outdoors modules on porches for various Christmas lights
with no problems.  I am in western NC where the lowest temp might
get to 10 once or twice.  BTW, I have even covered a module with a
plastic bag where it would otherwise get wet.

Also, when I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, I had 3 outlet modules
with outside covers.  When it would get very cold, below zero, the
relay would sometimes pulse 3 times and not latch up when given an
on command.  I changed the module to a new one and it eliminated the
problem.  I found an article through Google that said you can clean
and lube the solenoid.  I did that to that module as it was doing
the same thing indoors.  It now works properly.

On 2/4/2011 1:07 PM, David White wrote:
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Re: Using X-10 AM486 Outdoors?
Thanks for the reply and suggestion, Art. I found this site
< ;topic=18964.0> that
described how to clean and relube the thing. Just finished and have it
back in service where it is now working again. However only time will
tell. Cheers!

Art Todesco wrote:
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