[rescue] Phaser ink - turning off phantom loads.

Curious George jorge234q at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 20 14:40:50 CDT 2008

--- On Wed, 8/20/08, Mike Hebel <nimitz at nimitzbrood.com> wrote:

> >> I'm really annoyed with all the devices that don't outright
> >> shut *off* (after a prolonged idle period).  Especially all
> >> these things with stupid wall warts/bricks...
> >>
> >> Unfotrunately, I can't arrange for the things that I use
> >> "seldom" to all be on the same power strip or I could just
> >> flip one switch to kill them all!
> >
> > get a few of these: http://www.smarthome.com/2040.html

[X10 controllers]

> I use a fair amount of X10 stuff in the house now to help keep my 
> electric bill low and there's a few things I've noticed that people 
> should be aware of when using them:
> 1) They sometimes need a signal booster from the transceiver/timer/etc 
> to where the module is actually located.  This is due to going across 
> circuit breakers, bad wiring, and any number of things.

It is especially problematic when you are trying to connect to
a load on "the other leg" of your electric service.

And, you can't run them through surge suppressors (which means
many of the newer "outlet strips")

> 2) Some of them have a "local on" feature that allows someone to turn 
> off the device locally then turn it back on and it will cause the
> module  to turn on.  Because this is done by IIRC monitoring voltage
> surges some 

Hmmm... I would have thought they would monitor load current to
sense when turned on locally, etc.  But, to be cheap, it would be
easier to watch for a sag in the line.

> things plugged into the X10 modules will TURN RIGHT BACK ON
> WHEN TURNED OFF!  *ahem*  Sorry - it's frustrating to have to open
> up and cut a wire in the X10 appliance modules to make them work
> right.  Plugging in a  night-light into the circuit is another
> work-around.

You probably also don't want to use things that have high inrush
currents -- like older printers, many scanners, PC's, etc. except,
perhaps, on an appliance module (wich is just a dry contact relay)
> 3) LAMP modules do not work with CF bulbs. Nor do any "dimmer"
> modules.   Appliance modules are the only ones that work.  I use
> nothing but grounded appliance modules.

And, lamp modules are not a good choice to use with other
electronic kit, either.  Appliance modules would be the way
to go.

> 4) If you're using a wireless remote you'll need to get more than one 
> receiver if you want to use more than one "house code".

That makes sense.

> 5) Don't pay for modules locally unless they come out to less than $5 
> each.  I mean it.  There are plenty of deals out there.  I bought 10 
> modules off E-Bay for about $30 shipped.
> 6) Don't use these for things like servers or TiVo boxes or things that 
> are hard-drive based unless you need to hard-kill them.  I have one on 
> my router because of AT&T's annoying ability to refuse to fix the local 
> router loop for my PPPoE static ADSL.  It goes down regularly so I have 
> a no-ping-reboot script in cron on one of my servers that cycles the 
> router power when it can't ping the border router,
> Google, and a DNS server.
> I really need to write up an instructable or how-to on this
> stuff.
> That said I have a few server scripts running the application 
> Bottlerocket to turn things on and off via a Firecracker module.  The 
> whole setup has cost me about $75 total so far. 

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