Plug 'n Power
Guide Index
What is Plug 'n Power?
Uses of Plug 'n Power
Control of Plug 'n Power
Plug 'n Power Address System
(Phase Crossover Problems)
Basic Lighting Setup (Installation/Code Setup)
Troubleshooting Plug 'n Power
Plug 'n Power FAQ
Plug 'n Power Glossary
Security and Home Automation Index
Automotive Security
Video Surveillance
Wired Security Systems
Wired Security Accessories
Wireless Security

 RadioShack's Guide to Plug 'n Power Technology

Plug 'n Power Address System

Plug 'n Power protocol consists of house codes and unit codes. A house code and a unit code together are called an address e.g. A1, D5, K13. Controllers only have house code dials which are red and modules have both house code dials (red) and unit code dials which are black. A controller will control any modules with the same house code by means of switches that correspond to modules unit codes.

There are sixteen house codes; A - P, and sixteen unit codes; 1 - 16. That is a total of 256 code combinations; A-1 through P-16. Any controller that is set to house code A will control all modules that are set to house code A, any controller that is set to house code B will control all modules that are set to house code B and so on.


980-0209 Maxi Controller pnp controller house code
610-2681 Appliance Module pnp module address

There are six basic commands that these addresses will carry out:

ON, OFF, Bright, Dim, All Lights ON and All lights OFF. Only lamp modules will respond to the Bright, Dim and All Lights ON command. Appliance modules do not respond to the All Lights ON for safety purposes.

The default setting for a controller when first purchased is A and A1 for a module. One controller with sixteen switches can control up to sixteen devices individually. This does not mean that a sixteen switch controller can only control sixteen devices as more than one module can have the same unit code. Instead of turning lights on individually, any devices that you want to turn on at the same time can be set to the same address and one single command can be sent to turn them on.

Usually one house code is enough for one household. But if you find that you need more addresses or more control over groups of devices then adding another house code is a good idea. For instance one house code could be used for outside devices and one house code could be used for indoor devices.

If you find that your devices are turning on and off intermittently "by themselves" this might mean that a neighbor is using the same house. Most houses close to each other share the same electric company's transformer, so address signals have the potential to crossover into other houses. Changing the house code will usually solve this problem.


Phase Crossover Problems

These days most houses are wired so that the 220(240) volts that are brought into the house are split into two 110 volt circuits (phases) at the breaker panel. Each phase contains about half of your lights and outlets. Signals used for the Plug 'n Power are not very strong and will not easily pass from one phase to the other, if at all. If you find that one or more of the devices you have plugged into a module does not work, it is likely that the controller and the module are on different phases. Looking at your electrical breaker box you should see a chart that shows which supply breaker each light and outlet is on. After rearranging your Plug 'n Power units so that they are located on the same phase they should work. If for some reason the units cannot be placed on the same phase, a phase coupler/signal bridge may need to be installed. This will allow the signals to transfer from one phase to the other. This should only be done by a qualified electrician.

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