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In article <42ecd464$0$12434@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, gilmer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx says...
> "George Pontis" <gpontis@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
> news:MPG.1d55f127bade4e6b9897ce@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > In article <42ec0f47$0$11911@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, gilmer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> says...
> ...
> > This is due to some leakage current slowly charging up the
> > ballast until it reaches the point where it can flash on for a fraction of
> a second ...
> That sounds about right except that it happens with CONVENTION flash tube
> "starters" also.

No kidding ? I don't have many of those around and never tried automating one so I
missed the experience. My image was the magnetic rapid start or instant start

> (A latching relay has TWO coils:  one operates the relay and the other
> "unlatches" the relay.    These are MUCH more complicated that a simple
> sequencing relay.   These "sequencing relays" used to be commonly used in
> toy electric trains and let the operator reverse the direction of AC powered
> toy trains.    DC operated trains reversed by just changing the polarity.)

I remember those two coil relays but haven't seen one in years. For amusement I
checked the IEEE dictionary to see what they call the appliance module relays. The
closest that I find is a "latch-in relay", defined as "a relay that maintains its
contacts in the last position assumed without need of maintaining coil

Your point about the module needing to sense the contact state was helpful. I
never had thought about their need to do that and the extra ways it can misfire as
a result. One has to give the original X10 people credit for figuring out how to
make these things so inexpensive. But it would be nice if someone like PCS made a
higher-end appliance module that we could buy when something more reliable is


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