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Double switch won't work with a mechanical switch when installed far from it ?


tzimber
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Hi Everyone,

so I'm having this issue that is driving me CRAZY !

I'm building a new home, and i just bought HC3 and lots of switches.

 

I built my system in a way that the switches will be installed in power boxes, instead of inside the switch box, as I found it very crowded to fit in.

 

So,

I was installing one of the units today, I have one light, connected to 3 switches ( so I can turn this light from any of this switches)

when connected without the Fibaro switch, I can turn the light On and Off, from any of the switches.

 

when I connect the fibaro module, the switches doesn't seem to have any effect. if I turn the light On and Off from the up it works fine, but the switches dose noting.

 

so to figure out what's going on, I took the switch, and just built the same setup on the table, and everything was working fine.

 

So, what can cause this issue?

if without the fibaro switch, all of the mechanical switches turn the light on and off, why dose the switch fails to receive the on/off signal ?

also, if i take another mechanical switch, and connect it directly to the module, inside that main power box it dose work ! even though that this mechanical switch is connected to the same mechanical switch that is like 4 meters away inside the wall.

but the one inside the wall has no effect, and the one next to it dose work !

 

i have added a diagram of how I connected everything.

 

Thanks !

 

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Looks to me that you have long cables running from the physical switches to the fibaro module.  Measure the cables without the switches connected at the end as you most likely have some inductive current in those cables.  

 

 

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Strange issue. All I can say is your wiring looks definitely ok to me. Maybe the switch is a bit sensitive to the long wires to S1, perhaps try another Fibaro unit, or even a slightly different model like the double switch instead of single switch. 

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Can you tell us what type of switch your switch is.

And if I understand correctly, does the circuit work if you short-circuit S1 and Q1? I don't believe in excess lengths or inductive currents, rather it is contact problems. You should simply measure everything with a multimeter.

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Hotel switch wit 7 m cable and no problem (dubble switch)

//Sjakie

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  • Hi Everyone, 

    thanks you for replying.

    so,

    1. I'm using the Fibaro double switch ( tested with 3 brand new modules, all of them act the same.)

    2. my mechanical switches are 

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     and 

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    3. yes, if I take the same mechanical switch, connect it directly to the double module (the same cable that comes from the switches in the wall) it works.

    and while the local switch is working, the other switches in the wall still has no effect.

    4. when i say long cables its around 6-10 meters i think. i don't see why it should cause an issue...

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    Very mysterious.

    In such cases I always try to use push buttons. The circuit with several buttons is much easier.

    You only have to change one parameter in the Double Switch. Or you just call your trusted electrician.

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    It doesn't matter whether it is a dimmer or a double switch 2

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    This is a perplexing problem. Others have reported similar issues. There should be a prize for solving this one.

     

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    Without tools (multimeter, possibly also need an oscilloscope, maybe something can be learned from connecting a simple neon light indicator) and the skills... this problem might be a tough one to diagnose. Long wires and capacitive coupling (but hey, "inductive coupling" is not impossible and close enough as far as terminology goes) between S and O or S and L (or even different phases, who knows what's running along those wires/cables?) are a plausible explanation. For Dimmer 2 I have personally investigated and confirmed that the first versions of this device had issues with >= 15 m of cable (3 wires), but never with < 5 m. I cannot say anything about the relays, but I did notice Fibaro did not post specs in the past, but with the FGS-214 that has changed:

     

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    Maximum length of wires: 3 meters

     

    I guess that is a conservative number, and like @sjakie I can confirm 7 m are not a problem, in my house, and my old cabling from 1958.

     

    But there is a limit to the length of the wire going to S1... Length is a plausible explanation.

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  • So,

    I have a little update from the tests I did today, but it only confused me even more.

     

    It seems like this controller is doing voodo on me.

    I tried locating the module in the break box, in the switch and even on the lamp itelself.

     

    At a certain point, the mechanical switch was working, from each and every one of the 3 switches connected together.

    Then, I turned on another mechanical switch ( different mechanical switch but in the same box) and than, the switch that was working stop responding.

    I turn that switch off, and.... Magic ! It's working again.

    But that other mechanical switch has nothing to do with the one I was working on.

    The only relation between them is that the phase is bridged between them.

     

    How can it have any effect ? 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Your test results indicate that one cable is inducing a current in the other. This can happen on longer runs when the cables are parallel and close - perhaps touching.

     

    Longer runs are typical where multiple switches are involved, as you have here.

     

    Even though the induced current will be very small, the Fibaro device must think that that the switch circuit is on, even though it is off. So flicking the switch has no effect.  Some better device coding should be able to differentiate this condition (not holding my breath for a fix).

     

    Would be interested to know what sort of load you have on the other circuit that blocks the Fibato device from working - I'd expect it to be a higher current load?

     

     

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    20 hours ago, jwi said:

    I don't believe in excess lengths or inductive currents

    Hehe believe it, i have seen it on Double/Single switches.  But this is easy to check with a multimeter.

     

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    13 hours ago, tzimber said:

    How can it have any effect ? 

    The inputs are filtered, but still sensitive because they only need "tens of micro amperes" while most LED lights require "milli amperes" (*). So even when an LED turns on and off "firmly and decisively" the Fibaro switch input might not see much a clean and clear on a and off. For example, if some of your switches have LED or NEON indicators, they have to be removed, they pass too much current...

     

    I have been thinking, possibly you have a 3 phase mains system. So you have L1 and L2 and L3 (and possibly the corresponding N1, N2, N3 going to the circuit breaker). I've never actually tested that but if you mix eg L1 and L2 or even N1 and N2 then that might give odd effects.

     

    3 hours ago, Momos said:

    But this is easy to check with a multimeter.

    I understand what you're saying but I see a problem here: we do not know what exactly se should measure. Clearly, if you measure *no* current or *no voltage* when the switches are in the off position, then it should work, and we can eliminate leakage. We still cannot eliminate transient effects (need scope for that). The problem is, there is always a certain degree of leakage and coupling. So what is a permissible value? We do not know.

     

    By the way, as an electrician, I would not use a multimeter to check if a circuit has "voltage" or "leakage". The proper tool is a voltage tester, like this:

     

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    "The BT-71EU only has an indication LED that indicates what is being measured. The BT-73EU and BT-75EU have a display showing numerically the measured voltage, resistance or capacitance. The meters are automatically switched off to extend battery life. The BT-73EU and BT-75EU also have more features than the BT-71EU. For example, they can detect three-phase rotation and bar chart feedback of electrical field strengths. They can also be used as an RCD due to a built-in leakage resistance."

     

    They do battery-less checks, meaning they draw a small amount of current to light LEDs and are insensitive to the "typical" leakage you find in circuits. I do think we could learn something from using such a device in the house of @tzimber - but it would not help us if the length of the wire has anything to do with leakage, induction or bad wiring. An electrician should own one of these. An "amateur" not so much because you only need it... Errrrm... Never? It depends on the country (and your laws).

     

    (*) Purely anecdotal but many LED lights now are based on a design which can show some faint lighting at 1 to 100 micro ampere. I have one on the garden shed, connected to a 10 m cable. It never fully turns of because of leakege (or capacitive coupling, in my case probably both).

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    Posted (edited)

    Hi @tzimber,

     

    Try to add 1x 100 kOhm resistors. Connect it terminals S1 and N. We saw long cables issue in the past and this was the sollution that worked.

    Edited by jakub.jezek
    My bad. Did not see staircase connection.
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  • 3 hours ago, jakub.jezek said:

    Hi @tzimber,

     

    Try to add 1x 100 kOhm resistors. Connect it terminals S1 and N. We saw long cables issue in the past and this was the sollution that worked.

    Hi,

    What is the staircase connection.

    I was thinking on adding resistor.

    So what you wrote will not work ?

     

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    @tzimber, connection of switches you posten in 1st post we (czechs at least) refer as staircase connection. 1 switchat the start of staircase, 1 switch at the end of staircase and some number of switches between those two.

     

    I think 100k Ohm resistor could work in your case.

     

    Before I corrected myself (hence edit part), I wrote about both S1 and S2, but did not see you have only S1 connected :-D

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  • Posted (edited)
    5 minutes ago, jakub.jezek said:

    @tzimber, connection of switches you posten in 1st post we (czechs at least) refer as staircase connection. 1 switchat the start of staircase, 1 switch at the end of staircase and some number of switches between those two.

     

    I think 100k Ohm resistor could work in your case.

     

    Before I corrected myself (hence edit part), I wrote about both S1 and S2, but did not see you have only S1 connected :-D

     

    I see, so the resistor option is still valid right ?

    i would like eventually to use both S1 & S2, so I should add 2 100Ohm resistors ?

    Edited by tzimber
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    Just now, tzimber said:

    I see, so the resistor option is still valid right ?

    Yes.

     

    1 minute ago, tzimber said:

    i would like eventually to use both S1 & S2, so I should add 2 100Ohm resistors ?

    100K (100 000) Ohm, not 100 Ohm.

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  • 1 hour ago, jakub.jezek said:

    Yes.

     

    100K (100 000) Ohm, not 100 Ohm.

    thanks.

     

    Dose it matter how many Watts  the resistor should have ?

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    Posted (edited)
    5 hours ago, jakub.jezek said:

    My bad. Did not see staircase connection.

    It is worth trying... But be careful, indeed....

     

    6 minutes ago, tzimber said:

    Dose it matter how many Watts  the resistor should have ?

     

    Ohms law P = U*U / R

     

    So P = 230 *230 /100000 = 1/2 Watt

     

    And suitable for 230 V mains so do not use a tiny SMD component...

     

    If you used 100 ohm... Boom, fireworks... 500 Watt.

     

    EDIT... Unfortunately hit enter too soon 🙃

     

    You are supposed NOT to put 230 Volt on that resistor at all. But accidents happens and when you are working under pressure, you might make that mistake. So it makes sense to work with a safe value of the resistor and one that can withstand being connected in the wrong way!

    Edited by petergebruers
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  • On 6/7/2021 at 7:12 PM, petergebruers said:

    It is worth trying... But be careful, indeed....

     

     

    Ohms law P = U*U / R

     

    So P = 230 *230 /100000 = 1/2 Watt

     

    And suitable for 230 V mains so do not use a tiny SMD component...

     

    If you used 100 ohm... Boom, fireworks... 500 Watt.

     

    EDIT... Unfortunately hit enter too soon 🙃

     

    You are supposed NOT to put 230 Volt on that resistor at all. But accidents happens and when you are working under pressure, you might make that mistake. So it makes sense to work with a safe value of the resistor and one that can withstand being connected in the wrong way!

     

    HI @petergebruers

    Can you please explain the "You are supposed NOT to put 230 Volt on that resistor at all" ?

    if its connected, why wont it get 230V thru it ?

     

    thanks!

     

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