Chattering Super Sockets

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Bought a few used and new SR227 X-10 wall outlet modules.  Tested them
separately before installing by hookup to a line cord.  All was well.  Wired
them into a duplex outlet box at the end of a run, pigtailed together and
they (I think it's only one, actually) started chattering.

I've read X-10 appliance/wall socket module chattering is almost always
considered a mechanical issue, but why would they test cleanly one by one
and then chatter when in place?  This is without a load plugged in.  I
tested with a floor lamp, although perhaps not without a load in place.

One other difference is that they are installed face down in the basement
ceiling but I can't see orientation having much to do with it.  They are
also set to the same housecode, but that shouldn't matter much.  Happens
with both an XTB boosted and unboosted mini-controller.  Hit ON and you get
four rapid clicks from the wallbox.

Any thoughts?  I am going to have to unwire them (what a BITCH!!!!!) unless
putting a load on the units or some other easier fix makes the chatter
vanish on its on.

--
Bobby G.




Re: Chattering Super Sockets
The chattering probably means that little plastic piece has broken.  Maybe
it had just enough life left in it to get past your initial testing.  I had
one fail rather quickly here, but another is still working fine after 4
almost years.

Jeff

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Re: Chattering Super Sockets
"almost 4 years"  Sorry for the typo.

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Re: Chattering Super Sockets
I'm going to first plug in loads to both outlets, then switch the units
codes and then yank the units.  Throughout the years I've seen chattering
come and go in various modules so I am more than a little curious as to
whether this is just a cam issue or some interaction problem.  What torques
me the most is that I *could* have easily tested them in tandem before I
installed them.  It will be interesting to see if it indeed was on its last
legs and just happened to break *after* I climbed the ladder and screwed
them in tight.

--
Bobby G.


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had
and
one
basement



Re: Chattering Super Sockets

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Could this be mechanical stress on the modules that was absent when you
tested in "free air"?

Re: Chattering Super Sockets
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torques
last

That would seem to be the answer but it's difficult to see exactly how.  I'm
going to go into it further in the next few days.  I know PC's (especially
laptops!) seem to run differently when the cover's on or off, but I wouldn't
expect a wall outlet to.  I'm wonder if gravity and the orientation of the
module has an effect.  If I test it with the outlet facing down, the way it
first chattered, and it chatters again, even with the cover off, it may very
well be gravity that's the culprit.  That doesn't give me a warm, fuzzy
feeling!

--
Bobby G.




Re: Chattering Super Sockets
Unwired the duplex outlet box and tested each super socket separately.
There was only one unit that chattered and it was the used one that has a
cracked case, which I assume meant at least a tight fit in a past life if
not downright abuse.  The new one still had the pre-stripped insulation on
the ends and had all the hardware and no scratch marks, so I assume it
really is new.

Unscrewed the white cover from the back of the bad super socket so I could
inspect the cams and when I tested it again, to observe the chattering
behavior close up so I could photograph it, I pressed B4 ON/OFF and it
clicked on and off without chattering, repeatedly.  WTF!?  Now what?

--
Bobby G.


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had
and
one
basement



Re: Chattering Super Sockets
ROBERT_GREEN1963@YAH00.COM (Robert Green) writes:

| Bought a few used and new SR227 X-10 wall outlet modules.  Tested them
| separately before installing by hookup to a line cord.  All was well.  Wired
| them into a duplex outlet box at the end of a run, pigtailed together and
| they (I think it's only one, actually) started chattering.
|
| I've read X-10 appliance/wall socket module chattering is almost always
| considered a mechanical issue, but why would they test cleanly one by one
| and then chatter when in place?

With some of the relay wall switches (which use a very similar cam mechanism)
I've found that the stress of mounting (or even just pulling on the wires
as you arrange them in a box) can change the operation from marginally fine
to chattering.  Mounting them too tightly is usually a mistake; it can
distort the frame just enough...

                Dan Lanciani
                ddl@danlan.*com

Re: Chattering Super Sockets
ROBERT_GREEN1963@YAH00.COM (Robert Green) writes:
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Wired
and
one
mechanism)
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fine

Crimminy.  That's not what I call confidence inspiring!  This unit's case is
cracked in two places so I think you and Dave are correct.  It's a stress
problem.  I chose a very deep box just to have room for the wire nuts and
stuff but it's still a tight fit since those "stupor" sockets are fairly
large.  X-10 is still full of surprises.  This unit's gotten me twice - it
chattered when I didn't expect it and didn't chatter when I did!  Still, I
paid less than $3 for it so it's not going to break my heart.  Thanks for
the input.

--
Bobby G.





Re: Chattering Super Sockets
ROBERT_GREEN1963@YAH00.COM (Robert Green) writes:

| Unscrewed the white cover from the back of the bad super socket so I could
| inspect the cams and when I tested it again, to observe the chattering
| behavior close up so I could photograph it, I pressed B4 ON/OFF and it
| clicked on and off without chattering, repeatedly.  WTF!?  Now what?

Yes, the relay wall switches do that too.  You've again slightly changed
the shape of the frame.

                Dan Lanciani
                ddl@danlan.*com

Re: Chattering Super Sockets
ROBERT_GREEN1963@YAH00.COM (Robert Green) writes:
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could

Now that I have it completely apart I can see the case didn't crack from
being jammed into a small space.  It cracked right where the brass relay arm
pivots inside the plastic shell.  Apparently heat and mechanical wear make
the plastic quite weak and brittle and it breaks.  The only upside is that I
can recover a good (for who knows how long?) cam from the unit and possibly
repair one that has broken that way (which I believe is the typical failure
mode) instead of at the pivot point.  In the meantime, it goes into a baggie
that goes into the ever-deepening box of Dead X-10 Junk.

I don't think I'll use the super sockets for anything that will be switched
on and off more than once a day and that might even be pushing it.  At least
I've personally confirmed all the bad reports about the super sockets.  I
can also see that just a slight change in chemical formulation of the
plastic could have a significant affect in one batch of switches being a lot
more prone to failure than others.

--
Bobby G.






Re: Chattering Super Sockets
Welcome to the world of X-10 quality.


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Wired
get
unless



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