Below is a list of nominal baseline measurements for a variety of X-10 transmitters measured at the transmitter. Readings were made with a pre-ELK version of the ESM1 and with a 'scope through an ACT Scope-Test2. Voltages measured using the Scope-Test2 are about equal to the voltages measured using a 0.1µF capacitor and 100 ohm resistor; the Scope-Test2 does not appear to have any gain.
Transmitter Volts CM11A 5Vpp¹ CM15A 6Vpp 30001 5Vpp Stanley HomeLink Transceiver HCPRF 6Vpp Leviton All Housecode Transceiver RR501 10Vpp TM751-SR 10Vpp Has FCC ID on label TM751-SH 5Vpp Has "Tested To Comply With FCC Standards" on label PL513/PSC04 10Vpp TW523/PSC05 10Vpp CP290 10Vpp MT522 10Vpp IR543 10Vpp PowerLinc 10Vpp Smarthome 1132The ACT TI103 specifications indicate its output is 6Vpp. I have not measured it.
Based on published specifications, European interfaces (XM10E, CM11E, CM15Pro, MT10E), which must comply with Cenelec limits, all output 2.5Vpp.
Additional data can be found in a couple of usenet threads:
Thread 1 Thread 2
Note that all of the X-10 measurement devices currently available max out at 5Vpp or less so they give an incomplete (and inaccurate) picture.
¹ The CM11A output tends to start at about 5Vpp but taper off to 3-3.5Vpp over the 1ms burst. Changing R12 as recommended by John Galvin in Thread 2 results in a steady 5Vpp output.
Although most of it dates to 2001 or earlier, there is a wealth of data on using the powerline as a communications medium at Power Line Communication Bibliography.
The effects of other transmitters on signal strength can be seen by plugging a TW523 into the same powerstrip as a TM751. The TM751 output drops from 10Vpp to 8Vpp, a 20% decrease.
NOTE: The tests were carried out circa 2003. With the exception of a TM751 and RR501 made in 2011, I have not tested newer models so do not know if there are any changes.
The following screenshots were taken using an ACT Scope-Test2 adapter. All of the 120V, 60Hz signals use a x10 probe.
We used the Kill-A-Watt meter, shown above, in cumulative kWh mode to measure the power used by various X-10 modules when idle. To increase accuracy, measurements were made over ~100 hour periods. The accuracy of the Kill-A-Watt meter was then confirmed using 1% resistors as the load and by measuring multiple X-10 modules connected to a powerstrip that was plugged into the Kill-A-Watt. Four LM465 modules plus one LM14A draw between 2 and 3 total watts with a Power Factor of 0.13-0.14.) The ProDigit datasheet (they make the Kill-A-Watt) indicates 30ppm accuracy in kWh mode.
X-10 Module OFF ----------------------- AM486 0.4W LM465 0.5W TM751 1.2W RR501 1.4W CM11A 1.3W CM15A 0.93W 1132B 1.2W 2412S 0.9W 2414S 0.9WWe also measured the LM465 with a 100W incandescent dimmed to 0% (as opposed to OFF). The total power used was about 2.5W. While I did not use the lengthy kWh method, the readings I got using VA for an LM465 with a dimmable CFL are 15VA at full brightness and 1VA at full dim.
I also used the Kill-A-Watt to measure the power wasted (when idle) by an X-10 & Insteon friendly +5V switched-mode power supply from Circuit Specialists. It uses 0.2W when idle.
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