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Re: CM-11A Versus CM-15A

On Sun, 22 Nov 2009 10:41:20 -0800, David White wrote:

> Hello. I have owned and been mostly happy, for my limited automation
> needs, with my old CM-11A serial controller and Active Home 1.42
> software. I only have a couple fast macros and I run the unit
> stand-alone.
> I note that there is now a USB CM-15A and Active Home Pro software. So I
> wonder about if it improves/fixes the following known issues with the
> old stuff:
> (a) New Year's - the old stuff seems to get confused at the turn of the
> New Year. I generally have to re-program the unit every year at that
> time to keep things straight. Not sure why this is.

The calendar in the CM11A is just a 366 day counter.  For non-leap years
the ActiveHome software programs only 365 days, so on the 366th day (Jan
1st), nothing works.  The counter will roll over to 0 the next day and
things will start working again on Jan 2nd, although a day off. The day
of the week, an independent 7 day counter, will continue to operate
correctly. So if you are doing the same things on the same days of the
week every week, you probably won't notice much amiss until the date when
Daylight Time starts.

> (b) Daylight savings - the old unit adapts to daylight savings in terms
> of correcting by an hour, when macros run if they are driven by
> dawn/dusk (which two of mine are). But it seems that items tied directly
> to a fixed clock time (say 8am or 11pm) get confused when daylight
> savings changes. I am not sure I fully understand the pattern but it
> seems like the internal clock keeps running at standard or daylight time
> (whatever was correct when it was last set from the computer) and so
> when the time change occurs, macros supposed to run at 11pm run instead
> later or earlier.

The CM11A clock is always internally set to run on Standard Time, else
you wouldn't be able to run it disconnected from the computer all year.
There are no one-hour "jumps" in the times of Dawn/Dusk when measured on
Standard Time.  The ActiveHome software adjusts the programmed fixed
timers by an hour during periods of Daylight Time.  However since the US
Congress changed the dates of Daylight time in 2007, it's not clear that
ActiveHome can correctly use the new dates even when manually entered.

> Other than these two items, I am happy enough with my old gear. But the
> prices on the newer stuff have dropped to a level where I would consider
> changing if the above two issues are resolved. Anyone know if they have?
> Thanks for your input.

A lot of people are happy with the newer CM15A and ActiveHome Pro
software, but I found the firmware and/or software had more bugs than
fleas on a hound dog, and the more X-10 fiddled with it, the worse it
seemed to get.  I gave it up as a lost cause a year or two ago, but
that's just me.

If you run Linux, Unix, or Max OS X, you can use the free Heyu software
(http://www.heyu.org) with your CM11A.  It solves both problems you
mentioned above.

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