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The Crazy Train Has Left The Depot

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  • The Crazy Train Has Left The Depot

    After researching this for about a month now I pulled the trigger on an X-10 Pro XDPI3 dimmer (for 3 10-watt (100-watt equivalent)
    MaxLite LED G25 dimmable "bathroom bulbs", which is what my fixture holds) but it was pretty much a bust. It would not work at all with the LED bulbs (they stayed on constantly at a low level) but the 60-watt incandescent bulbs worked pretty much "as advertised" except that the RFI noise was so bad that I could no longer listen to my "bathroom radio" (a fairly expensive ghetto blaster type unit, not some cheap-o AM thing) so that was a non-starter. So then I broke down and ordered (for 50 bucks) an Insteon 2477D (on the recommendation of a bunch of posters on other forums who said that this was about the only thing that would work for my particular setup). Well it finally arrived and I hooked it up exactly as the documentation indicated (not like it would work any other way - and yes, I have a "neutral" wire available) but it quickly went downhill from there. I started out with the incandescent bulbs (since they were a known-good quantity) but when I applied the power the switch would ramp-up to total brightness and then immediately go back down again. I could turn it off with the switch but every time I turned it back on it would only cycle up & down over and over again. I double-checked the wiring and even re-installed the X-10 switch (which worked perfectly except for the unbearable RFI noise) and then re-installed the Insteon switch. I am using this switch as a "stand-alone" device and I have no other Insteon equipment in the house, let-alone the Insteon app. I don't own a Smartphone so that's out of the question to begin with. I just want to use it as a stand-alone switch which will dim my bathroom lights (hopefully the LEDs but it's got to work for the incandescent bulbs first and foremost). Any guesses as to why this thing won't function correctly with the incandescent bulbs, not to mention the LEDs (which I admit I have not tried out yet). I feel as if I have to make it work with the incandescent bulbs first before I move on to the LED ones...
    Last edited by Travasaurus; 07-05-2018, 11:33 PM.

  • #2
    If you didn't download the full manual here is the link also found on the sales page.
    http://cache-m2.smarthome.com/manual...03-26-2015.pdf

    Try a Factory Reset on it.

    If you power it up with no load on it. Does the LED bar graph on the side ramp up to full and then back down to off in the cycle or stay at full?

    You could remove it from the installation and then power it with a temporary power cord plugged into a wall socket. The load wire can be taped if you don't have a convenient way to connect a load. Then see if it acts strange there.
    If it acts strange on a temporary power cord and a factory reset didn't change things. Let us know.
    If memory serves me. You had to have the neutral added to the wall box?

    RFI interference is not that uncommon with many dimmers. Is it on the AM or FM band. AM is usually the most effected. I have seen some brand LED bulbs generate noise also.
    Last edited by BLH; 07-06-2018, 07:00 AM.

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    • #3
      Stu gave us a great tip on testing modules. That may help.
      Get an Extension Cord.
      Cut it in half and strip it's outer covering back a few inches on both sides.
      Strip the wires insulation maybe 1/2" to 3/4".
      Using electrical twist on caps.
      Connect the Black from the plug end to the modules Black wire.
      Connect the Black from the outlet end to the modules Red wire.
      Connect the Whites from both ends along with the White from the module to together.
      The Green wires from both ends can be connected together. You could add the module ground if you care to. Ground is not needed for them to work. It is for safety.
      Put a load lamp in the outlet end and test the module operation.
      Last edited by BLH; 07-06-2018, 01:07 PM.

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      • #4
        It just gets more bizarre as time goes on! I utilized the extension cord testing methodology described above with a simple table lamp and it worked perfectly, even with my LED bulb! Now let's go back about an hour or so, so I can bring things up-to-date. I hooked up the Insteon (again, verifying that all wires were correctly connected) and it had the same problem. I did a Factory Reset not once but twice and it continued to have the same problem; I could turn it off and it would stay off but whenever I turned it on it cycled up & down exactly as I described in my first post with the lights going from brightest to dimmest to off and back on over and over again. This was with the same 3 incandescent bulbs that I've had from the get-go. Then when I put the X-10 XPDI3 switch back on again it went back to working the way it has been, about 1/2 a**ed as before with the incandescent bulbs and not at all with the LEDs. I even went so far as to pull my 3-socket lighting fixture off and check the wiring but all was okay there, too. So now I'm beside myself as to why the Insteon 2477D switch will work great in the "test mode" but not with my bathroom lighting fixture that seems to be functioning perfectly, as it always has. Suggestions, please!

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        • #5
          Did I remember in one of the forums. You had to have a electrician add a Neutral wire to the switch box?
          I wounder if a Neutral from another circuit was used. Although all the Neutrals are connected at the same buss in the electrical box. It is the return path for all the current in the circuit it is connected to. There could be small voltage drops from the other circuit effecting it. Why a XPDI3 works and the 2477D is flaky I would have to think more on the subject.

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          • #6
            Since the 2477D works correctly with an LED bulb when wired via the extension cord test method, then there must be a problem with either the switch box-to-fixture wiring or a problem with how the 2477D is connected at the switch box. Can you post photos of how you wired the 2477D at the switch box, showing all the wires and wire-nut connections? Do you have access to a voltage tester or a volt-ohm-meter to do simple testing of the wiring?

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