CM-11A Versus CM-15A

Hello. I have owned and been mostly happy, for my limited automation needs, with my old CM-11A serial controller and Active Home 1.42 software. I only have a couple fast macros and I run the unit stand-alone.

I note that there is now a USB CM-15A and Active Home Pro software. So I wonder about if it improves/fixes the following known issues with the old stuff:

(a) New Year's - the old stuff seems to get confused at the turn of the New Year. I generally have to re-program the unit every year at that time to keep things straight. Not sure why this is.

(b) Daylight savings - the old unit adapts to daylight savings in terms of correcting by an hour, when macros run if they are driven by dawn/dusk (which two of mine are). But it seems that items tied directly to a fixed clock time (say 8am or 11pm) get confused when daylight savings changes. I am not sure I fully understand the pattern but it seems like the internal clock keeps running at standard or daylight time (whatever was correct when it was last set from the computer) and so when the time change occurs, macros supposed to run at 11pm run instead later or earlier.

Other than these two items, I am happy enough with my old gear. But the prices on the newer stuff have dropped to a level where I would consider changing if the above two issues are resolved. Anyone know if they have?

Thanks for your input.

Reply to
David White
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The calendar in the CM11A is just a 366 day counter. For non-leap years the ActiveHome software programs only 365 days, so on the 366th day (Jan

1st), nothing works. The counter will roll over to 0 the next day and things will start working again on Jan 2nd, although a day off. The day of the week, an independent 7 day counter, will continue to operate correctly. So if you are doing the same things on the same days of the week every week, you probably won't notice much amiss until the date when Daylight Time starts.

The CM11A clock is always internally set to run on Standard Time, else you wouldn't be able to run it disconnected from the computer all year. There are no one-hour "jumps" in the times of Dawn/Dusk when measured on Standard Time. The ActiveHome software adjusts the programmed fixed timers by an hour during periods of Daylight Time. However since the US Congress changed the dates of Daylight time in 2007, it's not clear that ActiveHome can correctly use the new dates even when manually entered.

A lot of people are happy with the newer CM15A and ActiveHome Pro software, but I found the firmware and/or software had more bugs than fleas on a hound dog, and the more X-10 fiddled with it, the worse it seemed to get. I gave it up as a lost cause a year or two ago, but that's just me.

If you run Linux, Unix, or Max OS X, you can use the free Heyu software

formatting link
with your CM11A. It solves both problems you mentioned above.

Reply to
Charles Sullivan

Interesting. I only noticed that stuff didn't work on the new year so I have gotten into the habit of re-setting the whole shebang on new year's day. I have never waited to see if things stated working again on the

2nd. Maybe I will this year just for grins.

Yes, the "jumps" I mean are not caused by the CM11A but by how it is programmed by ActiveHome. On the statistics dialog one can see the "jump" in the times used for dawn/dusk at daylight savings. I haven't checked in detail but it did seem like ActiveHome was doing about the right thing with the DST. I recall having to do changes to Windows and it seemed like ActiveHome "saw" those changes. I will have to double-check though. In my case "close" is ok.

That's what I was afraid of. I'd rather stick with the devil known than spend more and get something even worse.

As a Windows guy, I can't use this. But I did look at it and it seems interesting. Thanks for your comments and time.

Reply to
David White

The Dawn/Dusk curves displayed by ActiveHome use Civil Time, i.e., wall clock time, so Dawn and Dusk will show the jumps. The fixed times would appear "flat".

If displayed using Standard Time, the Dawn/Dusk curves would show only the stair-step approximations but no one-hour jumps at the Daylight Time transitions. The fixed times would have the jumps.

I haven't used ActiveHome in many years. Have you found that it uses the correct dates for the post-2007 Daylight Time transitions (either automatic or manually entered)? I'd be interested in knowing for sure whether or not it's salvageable in this regard.

Before you give it up, check out

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and see what others are doing. I'm more of a nitpicker than most, but many people are happy with the CM15A and ActiveHome Pro. A potential problem in sticking with the CM11A is that it's now out of production and may be difficult to replace if yours goes bad.

Regards, Charles Sullivan

Reply to
Charles Sullivan

Thanks again for the response. I will have to investigate your query.

However, there are tons of CM11A on EBay right now. I already have a spare. So I think they will be viable in that regard for a while now.


Reply to
David White Forums website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.