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RohitNz

Fibaro Swipe beeping randomly

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The swipe mounted behind a plaster wall is beeping randomly,   We think that the fridge (Samsung Family Hub) is affecting it.  If we knew what the vehicle is, we could try and fix it.  Is it RF, wifi, or something else ?

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Hi @RohitNz,

 

Do you have our Fibaro Swipe connected to a charger or it is battery powered? 

 

The issue may be also caused by the fluctuations of a weak charger (maybe it was a good charger but got damaged and does not provide a stable current).

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  • Hi Srodka,  that's a good suggestion.  What we have found is that moving the fridge away stops it from beeping.  Also its actually managing to fire off swipe-left, swipe-down by itself.  So the conclusion is that somehow the fridge is causing the swipe to recognise gestures.  The fridge is behind the swipe.

     

    Question - what does the swipe use to recognise gestures - ultra-sound, infra-red ???

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    Capacitance.

     

    It emits a (changing ?) electric field and measures the distortion (capacitance). On the base PCB you can observe different parts that act as plates of a capacitor.

     

    Long shot: I think the start/stop of the motor of the fridge can cause a burst of noise that triggers a false detection.

     

    It would be interesting to know if it does not detect false gestures  if it is running on batteries. I speculate that the adapter can transmit noise and the wire can act as an antenna. It is not a solution, but we might learn something...

    Edited by petergebruers

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    according to Fibaro support, the power supply should be more than 1.2A, but I dont get that why the power supply has anything to do with the false triggering of swiping left and right.

    Anyone else that face this problem able to solve it by changing power adapter?

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    Hi @jamietang,

     

    Low quality power supply can introduce electromagnetic interference, and as it was stated above, our Swipe works on the basis of capacitance mechanisms.

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    4 hours ago, I.Srodka said:

    Hi @jamietang,

     

    Low quality power supply can introduce electromagnetic interference, and as it was stated above, our Swipe works on the basis of capacitance mechanisms.

    Thanks for replying =) it is good to have Fibaro representative to interact with users here.

    I found this article online which seems to be explaining the reason behind but I dont really understand. Anyone who's interested to know more may read it and possible give us a summary? =)

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    • Like 1

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  • Thanks @jamietang ,

     

    The article explains it all.  Basically almost anything will interfere with it.  The highest probability culprits are 50Hz and wifi.   I had already asked the installer to try a partial faraday cage, he should be trying it today.  I will find out when I get home.

     

    One issue is that we dont want to move the fridge too often as it marks the timber floor every time.

     

    @Sjekke , Its a good suggestion, but I couldnt find a way to disable the touch screen.

     

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    8 hours ago, RohitNz said:

    Thanks @jamietang ,

     

    The article explains it all.  Basically almost anything will interfere with it.  The highest probability culprits are 50Hz and wifi.   I had already asked the installer to try a partial faraday cage, he should be trying it today.  I will find out when I get home.

     

    One issue is that we dont want to move the fridge too often as it marks the timber floor every time.

     

    @Sjekke , Its a good suggestion, but I couldnt find a way to disable the touch screen.

     

     

    I am not sure if I agree with everything you say, but maybe that is just my interpretation of your post... I am sorry if I misunderstood...

     

    I agree with your analysis of the article, in general, if you add "transients" to the lists of things that can cause issues. If you are suggesting the Swipe is sensitive to everything, I disagree.

    • You say your fridge causes issues and I immediately thought: "very likely!"... So please do not think I am in any way defending the Swipe, or that I am downplaying the issue... Some users report beeping from certain power supplies (no fridge involved...) and it is very hard to predict if your supply is OK. If it is "old and crappy" it might work better than your otherwise excellent iPhone charger!
    • Both the Swipe and the other device should meet regulations, I am not equipped to measure that. But of course we can do some real world testing and see if we like it or not!
    • If one device malfunctions because of another, we are quick to blame the device that does not perform well. But of course the device causing it might be the one that does not meet certain standards...
    • I tested the Swipe with a 50 Hz Live Wire (130 V with respect to ground) on the back side and it is OK. So 50 Hz does not seem to be an issue. I speculate that 60 HZ is not a problem either, because it is possible to integrate over a multiple of periods of both frequencies, cancelling out most of the interference (thermocouple thermometers and bench multimeters can do that). I am not saying it is a good idea, because transients will radiate from the wire. But that is not 50 Hz.
    • I held my phone close to the device and it is pretty immune to that too. So no real issue with wifi and mobile phone either.

    But here is a simple device that can remotely trigger the Swipe!

     

    When running the Swipe on batteries, I have to be close, 10 - 20 cm, and at the right angle, then sometimes by activating the zapper I can trigger the Swipe.

     

    When the swipe is connected to some random charger, I can get the same effect at about 30 - 40 cm. This is to be expected, My body, the ground and the coupling of the swipe to the ground all influence the currents that can flow. 

     

    Please login or register to see this attachment.

     

    Although I do not have the equipment to verify EMC, I can tell you this device does not meet standards... But because it is used only to kill bugs, I could not be bothered.

     

    That device mimics the opening of relay contacts, connected to an inductive load... Your fridge...

     

    Regarding the solution... You say you want to try a "Faraday Cage" but such a device has a very narrow definition. A Faraday Cage is a fully closed meshed cage, and the device inside has no connection to the outside. You put an object inside, and it becomes immune to electric fields from outside (up to a certain frequency). The classical example is people in a car, when lightning strikes. They will be unharmed, if they do not touch parts that *do* get a differential ( because a  car is not a perfect cage). But if you put your Swipe in such a cage, it has to run on batteries and ... you cannot operate it! Your hand cannot influence the field inside...

     

    Sorry for being  a purist... You are certainly not the first to use "Faraday Cage" in a broader sense but what you wanted to say is "I want to try some shielding". There is a huge difference! Your shield will probably have an open side, so you can operate your Swipe. And that does not make it a Faraday cage because it only has a partial effect on the electric field. What will be the ground reference? Earth? One side of the Swipe? Should you connect the shield to the negative side of the power supply? I do not know, I have to test...

     

    Also, connecting your power supply to the Swipe is an important factor. Your adapter acts like a low impedance circuit to high frequency (due to capacitive coupling, either intentional as a Y-capacitor or capacitive coupling through the transformer). So it effectively can carry current from and to ground, or from a live wire to your device. This it why I asked to try batteries instead of an adapter...

     

    One last thing: maybe the right thing to do is ... to add some interference suppression to your fridge. If you can keep it from radiating... @Sjekke hinted at this effect:

     

    17 hours ago, Sjekke said:

    Can you disable the Touchscreen of your fridge to see how you swipe reacts?

     

    If the interference is not coming from the motor, it might indeed be something else... You say it is beeping randomly, and if it is truly not related to turn on/off of the motor, then I suspect it is either the power adapter or HF. Please do not laugh... but can you try the oldest and crustiest adapter in your collection? I think they run at lower frequencies and sometimes do not have Y capacitors so contrary to what you think  they might work well...

     

    Also, it might make a difference if you can connect your Swipe and fridge to different outlets, on different circuit breakers, I have not tested this, but theoretically...

     

    If I find the time, I'll try to simulate the effect of switching an inductive load, and try to find out what works best.

     

    Please keep us informed! I bet we can learn a lot from your experiments and it will help quite a few other people, who report random beeping!

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  • Hi @petergebruers,

     

    I don't disagree with anything you say.  However the facts are

    1. If the fridge is moved away, the swipe behaves (power supply is not an issue, nor is anything else around it)
    2. When on battery it still misbehaves (again power supply is not an issue)
    3. Turning wifi off on fridge - still misbehaves
    4. Cant turn off screen on fridge (which may be an issue)
    5. Shielding had no effect
    6. The swipe appears to be more sensitive from the back than the front.  I am surprised that it has not misbehaved elsewhere.  I refer to body motion now.
    7. It is possible that our unit is faulty. 
    8. The fridge body has plastic over aluminum, so I can not confirm if the chassis is earthed, the surface is non-conductive.  When in position, the ice maker was closest to the swipe, but parts inside the fridge can't be moving this frequently.
    9. We cant keep removing the fridge for testing (it damages the floor or requires 3 people) , so I have removed the swipe.  This is a nuisance.
    10. We will try it elsewhere (in a non ideal location).  But any location in the kitchen is going to be noisy.  I am hoping that the fridge is noisier than others.  Waiting for the sparky to run a lead under the kitchen bench.

     

    Edited by RohitNz
    Entry was misbehaving, edit seems fine

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    @RohitNz Thank you for your elaborate report and testing. I understand it is a nuisance! I also see this removes a whole lot of possible causes, that is at least something.

     

    I hope you see my post was not meant as criticism, I really want to help, and I want to understand what is going on.

     

    Interesting, you say it is sensitive from the back. I think it is the large metal surface of the fridge that causes the problem, it is one plate of a large capacitor. I never put my Swipe close to a large metal surface, so maybe that is why I never experienced this problem. I wonder if it would help, if we could get the metal parts at the same potential as the backplane of the Swipe. Give me some time. First, I have to find a reliable way to make my Swipe behave erratically in a similar way.  If I can do that, I'll solder a wire to the backplane of the Swipe and connect it to the metal surface...

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  • Just now, petergebruers said:

    @RohitNz Thank you for your elaborate report and testing. I understand it is a nuisance! I also see this removes a whole lot of possible causes, that is at least something.

     

    I hope you see my post was not meant as criticism, I really want to help, and I want to understand what is going on.

     

     

    I did not take it as criticism.  I was being loose with my terms.  And I have a thick skin :-)  Now that it is out of the hole, I might try a few more things in the next few days.  I need to finish off a whole lot of scenes first to keep the wife happy.

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    I was able to make my Swipe beep, like this:

    • Pick a random USB power supply.
    • Put it on a metal surface.
    • Put the metal surface on top of a non conductive material.
    • Connect a square wave generator between earth and the metal surface.
    • Set it to 300 Hz, 20 Vpp.
    • Cover the Swipe with a 5 mm stack of A4 paper sheets.

    Then, to stop the beeping, I soldered a wire to the backplane and connected that through a capacitor 2n2 to the metal surface which simulates your fridge. If your fridge has a good earth connection, simply connecting it to an earthed plug should be OK too. After that, the beeping stopped and the Swipe behaved as expected. With somewhat reduced range, but that is due to the stack of paper. Please pick another color for the wire, green-yellow would be nice, I do not know what I was thinking when I soldered it. I probably used it because it was already on my table... I hope it solves your fridge-problem.

     

    Please login or register to see this attachment.

     

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  • Thats worth a try.  I will give it a go in the next few days.

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    I've installed my Swipe last week. Yesterday evening it worked fine, this morning dead. I used an USB Power adapter and it's re-works perfectly.

    My battery staus is 100% in HC2. This evening I will re-install the Swipe.

     

    Do I miss something ... first the button is dead now after a week the swipe is behaving strange ... and no I don't life in a radition area ;)

     

    Suggestions?

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    15 minutes ago, Sjekke said:

    I've installed my Swipe last week. Yesterday evening it worked fine, this morning dead. I used an USB Power adapter and it's re-works perfectly.

    My battery staus is 100% in HC2. This evening I will re-install the Swipe.

     

    From the top of my head. The device is power hungry. There are 2 battery modes, set by a parameter. The first one uses a lot of power, but gives about the same "feel" as USB (but not quite the same range). The second one requires an extra step: hold your hand in front and wait for the beep = wake up, then perform the gesture. It uses less power. I think my rechargeable batteries (not recommended and also unlikely to fit...) last 6 weeks max, but I am not sure which mode it is in. Now it is on USB...

     

    There is no need to exclude/include when you change power source, the swipe is an exception to that rule...

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    2 hours ago, petergebruers said:

     

    From the top of my head. The device is power hungry. There are 2 battery modes, set by a parameter. The first one uses a lot of power, but gives about the same "feel" as USB (but not quite the same range). The second one requires an extra step: hold your hand in front and wait for the beep = wake up, then perform the gesture. It uses less power. I think my rechargeable batteries (not recommended and also unlikely to fit...) last 6 weeks max, but I am not sure which mode it is in. Now it is on USB...

     

    There is no need to exclude/include when you change power source, the swipe is an exception to that rule...

     

    thx @petergebruers

     

    My Swipe responds immediately, so I'm definitely not in that wakeup mode. That extra step is time loss and not appreciated by non-domotics gurus in my home :/.
    Rechargeable batteries could be a solution, as I do not have a power outlet near the Swipe. I'm going to test with my Powerbank tonight.

     

    Only 5 days on battery is not much and expensive. This should be mentioned in the manual > preferred usage = USB 

     

    Edited by Sjekke

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    @Sjekke I am not sure a powerbank would work. The base of the unit contains some electronics, it switches between USB and 4 AA cells. I can't remember how the unit sees the difference. I would have to check my notes, I can do that tomorrow. If you connect batteries to the USB it will probably detect USB mode and that would use even more power than the two dedicated battery modes.

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