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Wireless Speakers: RCA Speakers Only Work when on Same Electrical Outlet as Transmitter / What is Pr

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Lin, Apr 19, 2007.

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  1. Lin

    Lin Guest

    I have wireless speakers (RCA Model RC-070 with Power Line
    Transmitter) that ONLY work when the POWER CORD FOR THE SPEAKERS is
    plugged into the SAME electrical outlet as the POWER CORD FOR THE

    If the speakers are plugged into an outlet that is different from the
    outlet for the transmitter, the speakers do not work. If I plug the
    speakers into a power strip that is on the same outlet as the
    transmitter, the speakers work. I have tried a variety of electrical
    outlets (same outlets for both and different outlets for each) and I
    get the same result. I have concluded that, for some reason, the
    speakers and transmitter must be plugged into the same electrical
    source(outlet). This problem defeats the purpose of the wireless
    speakers that I want to put in a different room from the transmitter.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to the problem and how I can
    correct it?


  2. Look at the X-10 line of modules. There is a module to connect
    across the two 120 VAC lines to couple the RF to the other line.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  3. Lin

    Lin Guest


    Thank you for the quick reply.

    I know that it is difficult to put a technical solution in lay
    person's terms but it would help me if I understood the terminology.
    If you have time, is it possible for you to explain why these speakers/
    transmitter have this problem and how your solution will solve the
    problem. I am not familiar with electronics so I do not know what is
    an "X-10 line of modules" and I do not understand the "120 VAC lines
    to couple the RF to the other line."

    Again, I appreciate the information.

  4. Try the top and the bottom outlets in each case. Does the result differ?
  5. Don Bowey

    Don Bowey Guest

    Assuming you are in the US, the power co. delivers three wires to your
    house. One of them is a "neutral" aka "ground" wire. Each of the other two
    (hot wires) are nominally 117 Volts with reference to the neutral wire, and
    the voltage between the two is nominally 234 Volts. About half of the
    outlets in your house are wired to one of the hot wires, and half to the
    other hot wire.

    If you plug the transmitter into an outlet served by hot wire #1, then the
    receiver should also be plugged into an outlet served by hot wire #1.

    If you plug the transmitter into a #1 outlet, and the receiver into a #2
    outlet, the signal must travel all the way out to the power company's
    transformer and back. And their transformer may not efficiently couple the
    signal between hot wires 1 and 2. This problem is avoided by putting both
    units on the same hot line.

  6. Lin

    Lin Guest

    I tried many, many different combinations, as Homer suggested. After
    I tried those combinations, I saw Don's response. Based on all the
    combinations, I finally concluded that the "Power Line Transmitter"
    AND the speakers must be plugged DIRECTLY INTO ELECTRICAL WALL

    If I plugged the "Power Line Transmitter" into a POWER STRIP (SURGE
    PROTECTOR) and the speaker into a DIFFERENT electrical wall outlet
    (not the same wall outlet as the surge protector), the speakers did
    NOT work. If the speaker was plugged into the wall outlet that
    contained the power strip with transmitter, the speakers worked.

    I think I have discovered how to make it work properly, thanks to all
    your suggestions. My other wireless speaker system works fine but this
    one was problematic. I do have a couple questions that are more out
    of curiosity:

    1) Was the surge protector related to the problem?
    2) Does the "power line transmitter" work differently than other
    wireless speaker transmitters? (does one type of transmitter send
    radio waves and the other type send the signal through the power

    Thanks to all of you for your assistance. I am a heavy electronics
    user but I lack technical knowledge of electronics.


  7. Some of the outlet strips have line noise filters to reduce harmonics
    on the AC power fed to the outlets on the strip. It also removes any RF
    from entering the power line.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  8. Possibly but it's unusual. This would imply that you have filtering in the
    surge protector which is pretty fancy - most don't.
  9. Sure. If there is filtering, the device is then called a line
    conditioner and the price is higher.

  10. Gary Tait

    Gary Tait Guest

    Simply put, those speakers are sending the audio on the electric wires
    in your home, over an RF carrier. X10 controls do the same thing. X10 is
    basically light and appliance control system that sensd signals from a
    keypad or other controller, over the powerlines, to receiver modules
    that control lamps or appliances.

    Typical North American homes have their electronic service coming in on
    two 120V lines from opposite sides of the utility trasnformer (which
    don't carry over the powerline RF, typically), sharing a common neutral.

    What could be happening, is the other outlet is on the other 120V supply
    leg coming in, than the outlet the transmitter is. A passive X10 bridge
    (which is essentially a capacitor that couples the on line RF signals
    from one leg to the other) may work. It could also be one outlet is too
    far from the other, electically, or there is a filter somewhere blocking
    the signal.
  11. Tim

    Tim Guest

    You can solve that issue by putting a .1 uf cap across the mains at some
    point. If you do not like the idea of working on the 220 live lines, you
    can also bridge any 220 volt appliance too. The onlt problem there is
    that if the breakers (or fuses) pop, the bridge is out of action. I put
    on across my electric stove outlet for instance. It solved the issues I
    had with the X-10 system. Make sure you use a 400v or beter cap tho.....

    - Tim -
  12. Tim

    Tim Guest

    And additionally, check to see if you are using a filtered power bar or
    UPS, as they will squash the RF signal quite nicely.

    - Tim -
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