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x10 RF Repeaters -- psx01 and sr731 -- and coathanger wire

I wanted to use my wireless remotes from the garage, but no luck.  
The signal gets received by the transciever 'only rarely'. 

I tried Dave Houston's recommendation of 
putting an 18.5 inch piece of coat hanger wire behind 
the transmitters and it really boosted the signal.  
Unfortunately, I've only gone from the transciever receiving my
commands "only rarely" to (with the coathangers) "most of the time". 
It was a big improvement, but not quite enough.  
I think I'm going to need three RF repeaters.  

It seems like there are two models out there -- sr731 and psx01.

Is there any difference between these two models?   
The prices seem to be roughly the same.  

I remember a discussion a while back about 
a telltale sign of the new unit being separate LED drivers so 
the LEDs flashed independantly for xmit and recieve, 
instead of together.  And the top LED was moved 
down to the front 'window'.  
Is the sr731 the newer one? 
Is the performance better? 

thanks, there is a lot of knowledge in this group, 
Q

0
Quintonium
9/6/2003 3:00:52 AM
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In article <o8cilvgiid9a949gggdkhkee48fdlbmbti@4ax.com>, info@spammerssuck.com (Quintonium) writes:

| It seems like there are two models out there -- sr731 and psx01.
| 
| Is there any difference between these two models?   
| The prices seem to be roughly the same.  
| 
| I remember a discussion a while back about 
| a telltale sign of the new unit being separate LED drivers so 
| the LEDs flashed independantly for xmit and recieve, 
| instead of together.  And the top LED was moved 
| down to the front 'window'.  
| Is the sr731 the newer one? 

I've received both types under both model numbers, so there seems to be
no way to predict.  Moreover, I'm starting to wonder if one is really
"new" since you'd think they'd have run out of the "old" one by now.
Perhaps they refurbish the boards and put them in new cases.  I have one
where the case blocks the top LED.

| Is the performance better? 

The repeater tag protocol is completely different, but it isn't clear that
one is better than the other.  What you don't want is to mix the two types...

				Dan Lanciani
				ddl@danlan.*com
0
ddl
9/6/2003 5:32:19 AM
> | It seems like there are two models out there -- sr731 and psx01.
> |
> | Is there any difference between these two models?
> | The prices seem to be roughly the same.
> |
> | I remember a discussion a while back about
> | a telltale sign of the new unit being separate LED drivers so
> | the LEDs flashed independantly for xmit and recieve,
> | instead of together.  And the top LED was moved
> | down to the front 'window'.
> | Is the sr731 the newer one?
>
> I've received both types under both model numbers, so there seems to be
> no way to predict.  Moreover, I'm starting to wonder if one is really
> "new" since you'd think they'd have run out of the "old" one by now.
> Perhaps they refurbish the boards and put them in new cases.  I have one
> where the case blocks the top LED.
>
> | Is the performance better?
>
> The repeater tag protocol is completely different, but it isn't clear that
> one is better than the other.  What you don't want is to mix the two
types...
>
> Dan Lanciani

That's interesting what you say.  I called x-10.com and they said the
repeaters don't repeat each other, they don't repeat any signal that's been
repeated.  I called Smarthome and they said that a signal will 'hop' from
one repeater through the next repeater for even greater range, but you can
only use 4 of them in any location.  She didn't know why that was, only that
that is what the instructions say.  Dan, you sound like you might know the
answer to this.  Is it that one protocol doesn't do multi-repeating?  ... or
is it that the reps don't know the real answer?   I was thinking of getting
a couple but decided not to, after being unable to get a consistent answer.
If they only will repeat once and only extend the range once, they're not
going to work for me.  If they will daisy chain, they should work fine.

Nate


0
limenate
9/6/2003 8:11:25 AM
>>
>> I've received both types under both model numbers, so there seems to be
>> no way to predict.  Moreover, I'm starting to wonder if one is really
>> "new" since you'd think they'd have run out of the "old" one by now.
>> Perhaps they refurbish the boards and put them in new cases.  I have one
>> where the case blocks the top LED.
>>
>> | Is the performance better?
>>
>> The repeater tag protocol is completely different, but it isn't clear that
>> one is better than the other.  What you don't want is to mix the two
>types...
>>
>> Dan Lanciani
>
>That's interesting what you say.  I called x-10.com and they said the
>repeaters don't repeat each other, they don't repeat any signal that's been
>repeated.  I called Smarthome and they said that a signal will 'hop' from
>one repeater through the next repeater for even greater range, but you can
>only use 4 of them in any location.  She didn't know why that was, only that
>that is what the instructions say.  Dan, you sound like you might know the
>answer to this.  Is it that one protocol doesn't do multi-repeating?  ... or
>is it that the reps don't know the real answer?   I was thinking of getting
>a couple but decided not to, after being unable to get a consistent answer.
>If they only will repeat once and only extend the range once, they're not
>going to work for me.  If they will daisy chain, they should work fine.
>

I've wondered that too.  
I'm planning on multi-hops, or they won't work for me either.  

And another thing, 
the marketing copy says anything from 40 to 150 feet for the range.   
I'm just guessing the different companies 
balance "playing it safe" with "enticing a purchase" differently. 
...... I hope.   

It seems like, for products like these, they all come out of the same
mold anyway.   
But I did have an interesting conversation 
with an engineer from uniden one time though. 
He said that although the radio shack phones came out of their plant 
and looked identical to the Uniden phones, 
Radio Shack's contract specs were for 10 percent tolerances,  
whereas the Uniden specs for the exact same phone were 2 percent. 
The Radio-Shack-labelled phone was $20 less, and that was why. 

So I guess you never can be sure. 

Q
0
Quintonium
9/6/2003 8:29:13 AM
In article <NEg6b.1775$Kt1.332@fe3.columbus.rr.com>, limenateRemove@@excite.com (limenate) writes:

| I called x-10.com and they said the
| repeaters don't repeat each other, they don't repeat any signal that's been
| repeated.

That's not true.

| I called Smarthome and they said that a signal will 'hop' from
| one repeater through the next repeater for even greater range, but you can
| only use 4 of them in any location.

That's closer to the truth.

| She didn't know why that was, only that
| that is what the instructions say.

There is a 16-position dial on each repeater, but it has only 4 unique settings.

| Dan, you sound like you might know the
| answer to this.  Is it that one protocol doesn't do multi-repeating?  ... or
| is it that the reps don't know the real answer?   I was thinking of getting
| a couple but decided not to, after being unable to get a consistent answer.
| If they only will repeat once and only extend the range once, they're not
| going to work for me.  If they will daisy chain, they should work fine.

The short answer is that they will daisy-chain, but the total delay can become
formidable.  The long answer is that each repeater has an ID, and a repeater
will (in theory) repeat a signal as long as it has not been repeated by a
repeater with the same ID before.  This means that even though there are only
4 IDs available, you can conceive of situations where it would be useful to
have more than 4 repeaters as long as the path from any transmitter to any
receiver does not include more than one of each unique ID.

There are two protocols (which I have been calling old and new, but now I'm not
so sure) used to encode the IDs of repeaters that have already been visited.
The "old" protocol extends all 32-bit transmissions to the 41-bit format used
by a few security devices and adds some tag information in the 9 extra bits.  I
have no idea whether this conflicts with such security devices or whether they
were in fact meant to interact with the "old" repeaters in some way.  The "new"
protocol zero-fills the 32-bit code to the 41-bit format (if it is not already
41 bits) and adds yet another 8 bits after a short pause.  The 8 bits encode
the repeaters visited.  Although I do not understand the actual format of the
encoded repeaters I have used simple comparisons in my receiver code to detect
duplicates produced by multiple paths through the repeaters.  The unit ID of
the "new" units changes not only the codes but the timing with which each of
several copies of the repeated transmission is sent.  Two of the unit IDs seem
to produce identical codes but different timings.  Each unique unit ID produces
several different combinations of bits for the several transmission attempts.

As always, if anyone has more detailed documentation on how the repeater
protocol works, I'd love to see it...

				Dan Lanciani
				ddl@danlan.*com
0
ddl
9/6/2003 7:25:00 PM
thank you Dan!
0
Quintonium
9/7/2003 9:03:18 AM
>
> There are two protocols (which I have been calling old and new, but now
I'm not
> so sure) used to encode the IDs of repeaters that have already been
visited.
> The "old" protocol extends all 32-bit transmissions to the 41-bit format
used
> by a few security devices and adds some tag information in the 9 extra
bits.  I
> have no idea whether this conflicts with such security devices or whether
they
> were in fact meant to interact with the "old" repeaters in some way.  The
"new"
> protocol zero-fills the 32-bit code to the 41-bit format (if it is not
already
> 41 bits) and adds yet another 8 bits after a short pause.  The 8 bits
encode
> the repeaters visited.  Although I do not understand the actual format of
the
> encoded repeaters I have used simple comparisons in my receiver code to
detect
> duplicates produced by multiple paths through the repeaters.  The unit ID
of
> the "new" units changes not only the codes but the timing with which each
of
> several copies of the repeated transmission is sent.  Two of the unit IDs
seem
> to produce identical codes but different timings.  Each unique unit ID
produces
> several different combinations of bits for the several transmission
attempts.
>
Have you ever mixed the two protocols?  I wonder what would happen.  I
suppose they could ignore each other, or keep resetting the tag info and
going into infinite looping (i.e. unusable).  There might even be some
interesting hacking potential.  For instance, if you put them in a row, you
might be able to get four hops on one protocol then switch to the second
protocol for the next four, and keep alternating as far as you want.  It's
always interesting to try to exploit the subtle characteristics of things
when you get to the level of knowledge Dan has.

Nate


0
limenate
9/7/2003 7:06:44 PM
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