Motion Sensor Light for Front Entrance

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Thanks for the detailed explanation. It's actually quite suprising how much I've learned about the X-10 transmission process just following this group.
-- Bobby G.
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I'll see your top-posting and raise you one. It's amazing how the net was really like Camelot. For a little while it really did represent an amalgam of viewpoints and information from across the world, a real roundtable of ideas. Then came the commercial corruption. And netcopping and lots of other "badness." IMHO, top posting is a very logical and "page down palsy" free way of reading a thread. Obviously not everyone agrees. I guess that's human nature.
Between the explanations both you and Jeff have offered, I understand better what some of the issues are and why it's difficult to read the power consumption of X-10 modules with garden variety meters.
I agree the hand method is clearly the best sanity check. IIRC, I was trying to determine the amount of heat generated by a lamp module in the dimmed state, where they do tend to heat up quite a bit more than an appliance module because of heat generated by the triac. When I went to look up the phrase "Why do triacs get so hot" one of the first 10 Google hits confirms my contention that the old WWW ain't what she used to be:
How Can I Become Hot? - GirlsAskGuys.com I wanna be hot because then I will feel good about myself and get more attention. The question is: what should I do? I was kind of a tomboy growing up so I ... www.girlsaskguys.com > Style Questions - Cached - Similar
<sigh> How does something like that come back in a search that includes theword triac?
I assume there's some resistance in the triac and some of the current passing through it is dissipated as heat, and the more current the more heat. I am only curious because the lamp module I melted by running 1000W through it still works. It just looks like it's part of that Dali painting with the distorted clock faces. I assume the issue is that while the circuit can handle the wattage, the case design can't dump the heat fast enough to keep it from melting.
-- Bobby G.

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Not to further the off-topic but...
I totally agree with the reference material as an attachment (below)
The advancement to threading newsreaders has obsoleted the need to bottom post and / or even attach reference materials, at all, except when the previous post being responded to contains multiple ideas that could confuse the isolated response idea.
Threaded response posting is even worse and can only survive a few generations. It usually indicates "too much to say".
Top posting keeps the ID headers with the text they belong to. Note the bottom posting confusion here at the bottom. Multiple colours and other special reader techniques have been implemented in order to keep the bottom posting confusion from happening over the years. Why bother?

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I find it pretty annoying to page down 10 times in a message to find someone added only the words "I agree" to the thread. (-: Better to be able to see that's all that's been added with a single glance.
-- Bobby G.

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On Mon, 04 Oct 2010 17:38:10 -0400, Robert Green wrote:

I normally go to another message if there's no original content on the first screenful.
BTW, If you do top-post, be sure your sig seperator (use the correct one, it's hyphen-hyphen-space on a line by itself) and sig are at the bottom. This is important for newsreaders that leave it out of quoting.
Also, snip most of that stuff.

[snip]
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Many of the bottom posting advocate /trolls state you can jump to the bottom with one keystroke however...
I find it even more annoying to page down 10 times only to have to page back two and half pages to find the beginning (top) of the latest posting text. How stupid is that?
I find it pretty annoying to page down 10 times in a message to find someone added only the words "I agree" to the thread. (-: Better to be able to see that's all that's been added with a single glance.
-- Bobby G.
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What I find much more annoying is people that don't trim anything and quote the entire message to add their very measley .00002 cents. You can tell those posts pretty easily because they are usually "cat fights" where the insults (and the nested >'s) just go on forever:

I hardly ever bother reading any post where the >>>>'s are greater than two or three deep. The thread's almost always drifted away from the question at hand by then and has usually degenerated into some microscopic dick swinging contest. Though I hate Google as a newsreader, I have to give them some credit for collapsing multiply repeated blocks of text and adding a button to "show quoted text" if for some reason you need to refer to the original comments.
-- Bobby G.
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Not to further the off-topic but (I will)...
I totally agree with the reference material as an attachment (below)
The advancement to threading newsreaders has obsoleted the need to bottom post and / or even attach reference materials, at all, except when the previous post being responded to contains multiple ideas that could confuse the isolated response idea.
Threaded response posting is even worse and can only survive a few generations. It usually indicates "too much to say".
Top posting keeps the ID headers with the text they belong to. Note the bottom posting confusion here at the bottom. Multiple colours and other special reader techniques have been implemented in order to keep the bottom posting confusion from happening over the years. Why bother?

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I measured one LM485 lamp module with the 100W incandescent load fully dimmed using the Kill-A-Watt in kWh mode. The total power used was about 2.5W. Again, not enough to generate much heat.
Appliance modules with locking mechanical relays dissipate only slightly less power when idle than idle lamp modules - 0.4W vs 0.5W. I think that's an indication that it's the power supplies that account for most of the idle power. I cited this as well as the fully dimmed load on the web page I mentioned earlier in the thread.
I don't recall the details but Charles Sullivan and I both measured the RMS output of a lamp module at various dim levels. I used both the Kill-A-Watt and a true RMS meter. I don't recall the details (these days I have trouble recalling what I had for breakfast or even whether I had anything) but the readings were the basis of the data given in this link...
http://davehouston.org/micro-dim.htm
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On 9/27/2010 10:33 AM, Robert Green wrote:

instantaneous reading on the Kill-A-Watt ... I didn't even know there was a long term read .... engineers never read the manuals ... I'm not even sure where it is. As to "heat in the wires", what do you mean? And, how did you measure the 400 watts? 400 watts is just under 4 amps and that's a lot. My guess would be that you have something connected and using power that is "hidden".
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It's the last button on the right that reads kWh.

It's not really a lot consider I have about 6 PCs and a whole 16 camera CCTV setup with active monitors in many of the rooms in the house going along with all the X-10 gear and at least 10 UPS's protecting various gear as well as an alarm system.
I measured it by shutting off the fridge, the lights and any other large loads and watching the meter outside go round and round. I don't know about your house, but with all the wall warts I have plugged in, along with all the AV gear that never really shuts off (so they can be IR controlled) a 400W standby load is embarrassingly quite possible.
Since the house is over 70 years old with the original cloth insulated wiring, I am sure at least some of those watts are "wire heat" ones but I am not curious enough to unplug everything in the house to determine that. Simply shutting off the breakers won't give a true read of the loss caused by the old wiring. If I remember when I move, I'll try to check the meter once the house is empty. That should give me a read on the wiring loss.
After reviewing Dave's data, it's clear it's not the X-10 gear that's drawing all those amps, but in looking around, I realized that there was more than enough "always on" equipment to account for a large standby power consumption level.
Sadly a lot of electronic gear can't be turned off completely without having to reprogram, reset it or otherwise fuss with it. That's why so I have so many UPSs scattered around the house (each sucking watts). The biggest savings I achieved recently was in retiring all the desktop PC's and replacing them with used laptops that draw a maximum of 17 watts each, compared to the old units that ranged from 50 watts to over 200. The power company quickly raised my rates to compensate. (-:
-- Bobby G.
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On Sep 7, 10:11am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I just got the iphone app for x10, now I have to get a control unit. x10s site is tacky and hard to navigate.
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On 9/7/2010 10:50 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

It has to do with how many zones are formed by the optics in the sensor. Better ones have more zones and will be more sensitive to someone walking directly towards the sensor.

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re: "You could use an emitter / detector across the path"
Did you miss the part where I said:
"...mounting a separate sensor someplace else and running wires back to the fixture would be a pain. I'd really prefer something built into the fixture..."
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

to the side of the light and ran the wires between the joists. Since I was going to have to add a waterproof box I decided to add a outlet as well for the Xmas lights.
It works as intended, lights come on as soon as you step out of the door or approach the entrance from the driveway.
The sensor is similar to the floodlight type with over 180 deg coverage.
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re: "Seriously though, no respectable landscape designer would put in an arrow-straight 40' path to the front door these days."
I guess it all depends on the layout of the lot and dwelling, doesn't it?
Take a look at the L shape shown here:
http://gamecore3d.com/docs/sites/default/files/Tetris%20Shapes.jpg
It's a bit out of scale, but the lower 2 (horizontal) squares are the back apartment and top 2 (vertical) squares are the front apartment. My Mom and Dad live in the back, my sister lives in front.
The area in blue to the right of the front apartment is the lawn, driveway and walkway to front door of Dad's apartment.
re: "Take the opportunity to move the beginning of the path over 10-15' feet"
As per the picture, there's really only one way to move it and that would be into the middle of the driveway.
Now, you may ask "Well, doesn't the light come on when you pull in the driveway?" Yes, it does, but here's some more info:
Dad also owns the house next door to his, basically where the J shape is in the picture. That house has a garage, so he parks there most nights, especially in the winter. Therefore, he approaches his house by walking down the sidewalk, across the front apartment, and turns right onto his walkway, which leads him straight towards the front door. I guess he could keep walking past his driveway and then cut back across it to approach the front door at an angle, but that's just a tad inconvenient, don't you think?
re: "You also mentioned cars triggering the light"
I only mentioned that to bolster the fact that the sensor works as described in the literature and that the problem is the "straight on" approach. I already lowered the sensitivity to shorten the range so it doesn't reach the street, but that doesn't solve the problem of the light not turning on until you are at the stoop.
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I'd need a long shovel. Dad lives >300 miles from me.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Throw it out and buy a good one.
--
LSMFT

I look outside this morning and everything was in 3D!
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I would install a solar light and have it on at night.
the constant offs and ons and lack of sensitivity, and change of sensitivity in freezing weather can drive everyone nuts including the neighbors.
or rig up a sensor down near the start of the walk tripping light on for a fixed ttime.
or just bite the bullet and add a pole light, mine has a dusk to dawn sensor on pole with timer indoors.
its enabled on from 6am till midnite. rarely have any activity between midnite and 6am. early morning provides a little light for neighbor kids on way to school. at my other house now sold I had the pole light and some accent lights for dark areas... front door was on side and no pole light spot did everything. I was actually pretty proud of that set up and it worked great with timer and light sensor that turned on accent lights too.
looking back i shouldnt of sold that home:(
I tried the motion sensors a bunch of them and was never satisfied.
currently my pole light has a CFL when LED lamps improve i will go with that
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