X10 Community Forum

X10 Zone => Article Discussion => Topic started by: X10 Repair Depot on March 01, 2012, 03:11:54 PM

Title: The Future of X10
Post by: X10 Repair Depot on March 01, 2012, 03:11:54 PM
The purpose of this post is to address some of the speculation that has been on this forum over the last few months, and to provide some insight into where X10 is heading.

X10 in the US previously purchased all products ranging from home automation, security, and cameras from a single factory. Early last year, that factory ceased production and shut down. Since we relied on that single factory, it created a serious problem for us.

Since that time, we have been working hard to obtain products that will provide the best value to our customers. In some cases, we found an alternate factory to produce the existing items, some products will be replaced with superior items (such as our IP cameras), and we will bring on new items (such as tablet PCs, wireless intercoms, and the video door ID). 

We will be continuing to produce the following groups of items:

1)   Home Automation: We intend to continue to supply the core components that we always have. We currently have many of these items in stock and many of the remaining items are in production. Our product line of HA products is limited for now, but the core items will remain available. Over the past 6 months, we have invested a significant amount of money to have the existing modules produced again. We fully intend to continue supporting the X10 protocol. 
2)   CM15A: This item is an important item in our automation product line, however, at this time we are not able to produce it at a cost that consumers will be willing to pay. Rather than producing an item that will not sell, we will be putting our resources into developing a new and better product to replace the CM15A, we hope to release the new item during the 2nd half of 2012.  For now, the CM19A will be the replacement for the CM15A.
3)   Security systems: The SC1200 and accessories are being produced and are now available for immediate shipment.

We have had a difficult time over the last year, and we would like to thank all of the customers and forum members that have remained with us during this time.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on March 01, 2012, 04:55:46 PM
........... we will be putting our resources into developing a new and better product to replace the CM15A, we hope to release the new item during the 2nd half of 2012. 

YES!!!!  

The best news I've seen in a long time! Now what you need to do is start a thread for ideas on what might make a better (yet value orientated product).
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Dan Lawrence on March 01, 2012, 05:49:20 PM
That sounds great.   My CM15A is the one I got six years ago when I upgraded to Windows XP, my old PC played havoc with serial ports under XP which rendered my CM11A (and Active Home) pretty well useless, so I upgraded to AHP and the CM15A.  I picked up a spare CM15A recently from Automatic Electric as insurance if my original CM15 died.   My wife loves X10, we never come home to a dark house.   
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: B.A. on March 01, 2012, 05:56:25 PM
Thank you X10RD! Glad someone finally cleared the air! #:)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Tuicemen on March 01, 2012, 06:03:15 PM
All though a thread for Ideas is good.
There are already wish list threads that have been started to suggest improvements.
Even a thread created by a former X10 staff member for improving AHP.

I just hope a beta test group is created before this new replacement is thrown out there.
I also hope it has users in it who will actually have some input and that will be listened to.
I know from running a few beta test groups myself, input is hard to get from some testers.
 >!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: beelocks on March 01, 2012, 07:57:37 PM

2)   CM15A: This item is an important item in our automation product line, however, at this time we are not able to produce it at a cost that consumers will be willing to pay. Rather than producing an item that will not sell, we will be putting our resources into developing a new and better product to replace the CM15A, we hope to release the new item during the 2nd half of 2012.  For now, the CM19A will be the replacement for the CM15A.


I wonder where X10 got the information that production costs + profit margin > consumer willingness to pay.
This, of course, raises more speculation about where X10 does their consumer research.

The CM19A is not really a replacement for a CM15A. A replacement should have AT LEAST the same processing power. This is akin to X10 discontinuing the Airpad range and selling an abacus as a replacement - yes, I know it's a stretch, but I love extreme comparisons :)

I applaud the direction that X10 is headed with this new information re a new and improved 'CM15A' (new part number please), but with the  months of non-information I have to wonder if this announcement is officially sanctioned, or if we should just throw it under the 'unfounded rumour' category.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on March 01, 2012, 08:00:03 PM
Depot:

Please tell Dave Rye that we are all cheering.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on March 01, 2012, 08:16:04 PM
...... The CM19A is not really a replacement for a CM15A. A replacement should have AT LEAST the same processing power.

The CM19A could have some real usefulness... if X10 they would supply the needed drivers and software for it that would allow androd tablets and ipads to operate it. At least then... we could get excited about having an affordable touchpad that would control X10.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: X10 Repair Depot on March 02, 2012, 09:29:22 AM


I wonder where X10 got the information that production costs + profit margin > consumer willingness to pay.
This, of course, raises more speculation about where X10 does their consumer research.

The CM19A is not really a replacement for a CM15A. A replacement should have AT LEAST the same processing power. This is akin to X10 discontinuing the Airpad range and selling an abacus as a replacement - yes, I know it's a stretch, but I love extreme comparisons :)

I applaud the direction that X10 is headed with this new information re a new and improved 'CM15A' (new part number please), but with the  months of non-information I have to wonder if this announcement is officially sanctioned, or if we should just throw it under the 'unfounded rumour' category.

I am a long time manager at X10 and I do have the knowledge and authority to report the information that I post. I will not intentionally post information that I do not believe to be correct.

That being said, I will not provide information that will harm X10 (i.e. specific information on newly developed and unreleased items). There is also no way that I am going post information regarding how we made particular business decision.

 
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: cmtbiz on March 02, 2012, 09:34:06 AM
I am so glad to see this announcement. Thank you for giving us light to the future of X10.  Like I have been saying, I love all the X10 products and especially with the CM15A.  We will all hope that we will see the new and hopefully improved versions of CM15A soon.   >!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pseeker on March 02, 2012, 10:31:53 AM
Kudos for disclosing information about recent events and future directions.  I'm more likely to make X10 product purchases instead of sitting on fence speculating what is going on with the product lines.  Usually these types of setbacks make for stronger and more focused companies at end of the day.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on March 02, 2012, 04:02:32 PM
... I'm more likely to make X10 product purchases instead of sitting on fence speculating what is going on with the product lines.  

I think many of us are thinking the same thing. Well said!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Tuicemen on March 03, 2012, 09:14:33 AM
Funny how a positive bit of news from a X10 staff member calms all the Doomsdayers (http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread535527/pg1).
Not that I'm complaining as I was getting tired of all the doom and gloom posts.
Maybe now some of these Doomsdayers will start posting some uplifting HA stories like they use to.
If only X10 had done this from the start! ::) :'
Hopefully X10 continues to keep us informed!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Dan Lawrence on March 03, 2012, 11:23:40 AM
Since X10 Repair Depot is a X10 long time employee, it's nice to get proper news. He's not going to promise specific news, but he is here  and will "Tell the Truth".
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on March 03, 2012, 03:59:57 PM
   I too, like others here, REALLY felt like I had lost a long time friend when X10 stopped selling the CM15A (NOT the kit), as well as the newer lamp modules and wall switches, and the prices doubled and tripled!
   I guess from this latest news, that there is a ray of hope, and my opinion of X10 has been raised once again!
   I really hope that this news is NOT a come-on or a hoax (X10 has done this in the past soooo many times, that I am kind of gun shy with any news of improvement).
   I also HOPE that X10 marketing gets their act together, and creates an effort to improve their response times to us purchasers of products.  That has been a BIG complaint as well (just look at others that have posted their horror stories!).
   More effort has to be put towards the software as well, and X10 needs to make changes to their business to keep the programmers, rather than frustrate them to the point that they leave X10 in a short period of time.
   Lets hope that X10 gets their act together and with a little effort and expense, creates a company that is responsive to their customers wishes.
   I cannot believe that all of us that have been using X10 for YEARS (35+ years myself, started with the brown lamp/appliance module "starter kit" for PJTruman), would NOT be willing to pay a little more for an improved product!!!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Noam on March 04, 2012, 10:05:10 AM
The CM19A is not really a replacement for a CM15A. A replacement should have AT LEAST the same processing power. This is akin to X10 discontinuing the Airpad range and selling an abacus as a replacement - yes, I know it's a stretch, but I love extreme comparisons :)
I don't agree with the comparison. Perhaps replacing the Airpad with an Etch-A-Sketch. ;)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on March 04, 2012, 02:37:58 PM
The CM19A is not really a replacement for a CM15A. A replacement should have AT LEAST the same processing power. This is akin to X10 discontinuing the Airpad range and selling an abacus as a replacement - yes, I know it's a stretch, but I love extreme comparisons :)
I don't agree with the comparison. Perhaps replacing the Airpad with an Etch-A-Sketch. ;)
Yeah, that is closer... BUT what do we do with the knobs????  I don't remember an E-A-S being touch screen? rofl rofl rofl
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on March 04, 2012, 04:43:58 PM
Funny how a positive bit of news from a X10 staff member calms all the Doomsdayers (http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread535527/pg1).
uh...what else would you expect to happen?
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: William8 on March 05, 2012, 06:16:10 PM
uh...what else would you expect to happen?

Disbelief? Doubt? I don't know, I was already calm, since I have all the spares I need.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Tuicemen on March 06, 2012, 08:11:53 AM
Funny how a positive bit of news from a X10 staff member calms all the Doomsdayers (http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread535527/pg1).
uh...what else would you expect to happen?
what William said:
Disbelief? Doubt?
Certainly not the complete stopping of the preaching (not that I'm complaining)  ;)
It is also funny some expect X10 to reveal their direction but they don't expect this from others. ::) :'
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pseeker on March 06, 2012, 10:44:08 AM
What X10 Repair Depot has done in first post is establish confidence that some one is in charge of this ship. Second he verified a company altering event has occurred and they are taking steps to correct it.   

Prior to this official disclosure you can infer from the buzz on facebook, forums, and resellers/ebay sellers that something bad has happened  (avoiding details on purpose)   Rumors/speculation fill the information void (entropy)    X10 appeared to be drifting without a captain in charge.

There are no promises being made as there is no guarantees life.   However the first post indicates a strong will to survive and evolve as a company.   
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on March 06, 2012, 01:52:24 PM
Well, as far as I am concerned, let's hope that we aren't being lied to again!
Hopefully, IF they have in fact, done a little restructuring, X10 has worked over their customer support as well as the product quality and availability.
From what I have read in these forums, their cust. support REALLY sucks and is very disconnected (right hand doesn't know what left hand is doing), and that alone will bring a company down real fast!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on March 06, 2012, 04:38:21 PM
Well, as far as I am concerned, let's hope that we aren't being lied to again!
.......... From what I have read in these forums, their cust. support REALLY sucks

I can't recall X10 ever actually lying. Although their advertisements do often stretch the limits of optimism past what most people might concider their own limits. I feel we can believe what X10 says.

Even though I can't recall reading many good posts about X10 customer service (EVER)... I've had good experience with it myself. 
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on March 06, 2012, 05:21:28 PM
By lieing, I meant to reference their advertisements.
  We all know that there is alot to be desired about their ads...
  Also, as some people have experienced, their customer support says that they have items in stock, and when ordered, all of a sudden after waiting for weeks to receive the item, (according to another CSR), the item is on back order, or no longer is being offered! or another "equivalent" item is shipped, or a "refurbished" item is shipped and not a new item.
  These kind of practices are VERY bad, and with no notification about an item, this shows very poor support, and is deceptive!
  ANY supplier should at least notify a customer if an item is not available or is on backorder either BEFORE or very shortly AFTER an order is placed, and NOT leave it up to the customer to chase the supplier's problem.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: beelocks on March 06, 2012, 08:17:52 PM
Forgive my scepticism...

Someone posts on a forum that X10 is in dire straits. Forum members search for confirmation of that information and drop into depression that their favourite stuff is possibly being abandoned by the manufacturer. It's unheard of. It cannot possibly be true. etc.  :(

Someone posts on a forum that all is bright and shiny in the X10 camp. Forum members believe this without question and enter a state of mild euphoria  at the impending good times to come. It's fantastic. It's the best thing since unsliced bread. etc.  ;D


It's great that someone claiming to be from X10 is posting this latest round of rumours, but you'll all excuse me if I hold off the rejoicing until these rumours are confirmed by real official notifications and real official shipments of real official products that really (and officially) work.

Don't just tell me that things are fixed, old things will soon be in production and new things are being developed. Take the leap and show me that X10 is no longer taking orders for items that don't exist, show me that orders are being fulfilled instead of backordered/substituted.

BTW, did you know that the Ford Motor Company has decided to cease all production of all vehicles, as a moped will do almost exactly the same thing at much less cost to the consumer. I know this to be true because I just made it up.  rofl

Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on March 06, 2012, 08:22:30 PM
I cannot agree MORE!!!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on March 06, 2012, 08:25:19 PM
By lieing, I meant to reference their advertisements.
  We all know that there is alot to be desired about their ads...

I actively complained about the old near nude models used in the ads at in the old days! I was [and still am] just happy to see a grownup like Web Site. Most technology oriented Sites don't bother explaining the technology at the sales Site. X10 isn't any different in that respect.

  Also, as some people have experienced, ........... practices are VERY bad, and with no notification about an item, this shows very poor support, and is deceptive!

I've read that here myself. Hopefully if X10 hasn't already started to get a handle on that problem... they will soon.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on March 06, 2012, 08:34:05 PM
The purpose of this post is to address some of the speculation that has been on this forum over the last few months, and to provide some insight into where X10 is heading.

X10 in the US previously purchased all products ranging from home automation, security, and cameras from a single factory. Early last year, that factory ceased production and shut down. Since we relied on that single factory, it created a serious problem for us.

Since that time, we have been working hard to obtain products that will provide the best value to our customers. In some cases, we found an alternate factory to produce the existing items, some products will be replaced with superior items (such as our IP cameras), and we will bring on new items (such as tablet PCs, wireless intercoms, and the video door ID). 

We will be continuing to produce the following groups of items:

1)   Home Automation: We intend to continue to supply the core components that we always have. We currently have many of these items in stock and many of the remaining items are in production. Our product line of HA products is limited for now, but the core items will remain available. Over the past 6 months, we have invested a significant amount of money to have the existing modules produced again. We fully intend to continue supporting the X10 protocol. 
2)   CM15A: This item is an important item in our automation product line, however, at this time we are not able to produce it at a cost that consumers will be willing to pay. Rather than producing an item that will not sell, we will be putting our resources into developing a new and better product to replace the CM15A, we hope to release the new item during the 2nd half of 2012.  For now, the CM19A will be the replacement for the CM15A.
3)   Security systems: The SC1200 and accessories are being produced and are now available for immediate shipment.

We have had a difficult time over the last year, and we would like to thank all of the customers and forum members that have remained with us during this time.


This thread is/was getting a little off topic... I thought I'd help redirect it back to it's beginning.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: thejackal on March 18, 2012, 10:39:44 AM
Man I've been out of the loop too long. I replaced all my x10 cameras with ip cameras (not x10 ones I got 2 for the price of one of them) and decided to sell them on ebay.
That's when I seen the price of CM15A on there. So off to the forums I go to get caught up on the state of x10, now it's time to sit back and hope for the best.

Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Tom G. on March 25, 2012, 03:37:50 PM
I don't know what price X10 considers too high for people to buy the CM15a. We already know that some people are willing to pay more than $100 for them. I think if they made some improvements to the software and better integrated tablets and smartphone, X10 could easily charge $100-$150 for a CM15a. Maybe more.

Tom G.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: beelocks on March 25, 2012, 07:08:14 PM
I don't know what price X10 considers too high for people to buy the CM15a.

My point exactly
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: csnet on April 08, 2012, 01:58:53 AM
I have been out of the loop too long too.  After replacing the CM15A antenna with a Radio Shack 270-1405 back in 2009  (http://forums.x10.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=81oukq1naeooagqg9a5m7ffa41&topic=16184.45), I became too complacent because the CM15A has been working like a dream to control irrigation (http://forums.x10.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=81oukq1naeooagqg9a5m7ffa41&topic=14214.0), lighting, and appliances both from RF signals and from its internal memory and clock when the computer is shut down.

Last night, all RF failed in our CM15A.  I immediately sought to order a replacement CM15A, because even if somehow I could get RF working in this one again, it would be good to have a spare. In searching for a replacement, I first became aware of product availabily issues with several mission critical X10 products.  The only CM15A I could find was a used one on eBay, with the disclaimer along the lines of "a friend asked me to sell this for them and I have no idea if it works or not" yet it was receiving strong bids.  In complete panic, I ordered 2 TW523 Power Line Interfaces and 1 TM751A RF Transceiver from X10.com and a WGL V572 RF Whole House Transceiver. Never mind that today, after a good nights's sleep, I found this CM15A RF Mod thread (http://forums.x10.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=csk1m4048dv4dn8m6jt1enjf21&topic=21000.0) and ordered the RM1SG board for a whopping $6.00 including shipping.

I had no idea about the unfortunate shut down of the Chinese factory that produced the CM15A and other X10 products until reading this topic posted by X10 Repair Depot.  While I understand that X10 may have built their business in the past by providing high value products at extremely low cost, the decision makers at X10 should be aware that their customers, while thoroughly enjoying good bargains, are also willing to pay up to get the products they need. 

And they should make no mistake, a product like the CM15A, that can store all timers and macros from a PC running ActiveHomePro, and generate X10 signals on the power line using its built in clock, is a hands down winner that so totally frustrates the competition that they resort to desperate attacks along the lines of "it does too many things and none of them well".  Well pardon me, but the CM15A and ActiveHomePro have done very many things extremely well for us since 2007.

EDIT 4/8/12: Today the RF of the CM15A is now working fine.  There was no RF activity recorded in the ActiveHomePro activity log all the time when it was not working.  Maybe some kind of interference was overloading the CM15A receiver preventing it from processing signals from all of our remotes?  Full moon? Solar storms? :)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: collinsej on April 29, 2012, 08:41:19 AM
The CM15A had a range of functions which are not available on other interfaces (such as send and receive PLC, as well as receiving RF).  Furthermore my software is coded around the CM15A.



I have a workable system based on the CM15A, X10 Dispatcher software, and my own C++ code.  For example, it brings up the display of my IP camera when a motion detector detects a car or person in the driveway.  Currently my CM15A is working OK, but it won't last forever.  The lack of commitment to have a compatible replacement has had me rethink the whole X10 thing for home automation.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on April 29, 2012, 08:04:45 PM
.... Currently my CM15A is working OK, but it won't last forever.  The lack of commitment to have a compatible replacement has had me rethink the whole X10 thing for home automation.

All that is true. But don't assume the other flavors of Home Automation devices are stable or have static product lines ether. This is a global problem... not an X10 only problem. The very electronic parts used to create the devices used for HA are in greater demand than supply... and so are the Assembly workers that put them together.

Just when the technology arrives at the point where Jetson's style automation is nearly possible. The economic systems that our governments regulate fail us. If it isn't one thing.... it will surely always be the other. Imagine trying to buy Chinese made electronics with a 1/8 pie shaped piece of a old silver dollar.

If you don't have a spare CM15A... pick up a fallback device (like a tabletop remote, CM19A, or a CM11A) and look for other directions to expand your setup (like audio-video or tablet integration).  
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: mike on May 06, 2012, 08:54:43 PM
It may be x10 sees the writing on the wall;  zigbee's RF4CE is stating to show up.  as the cable company, sat tv folks, and others who make STB (set top boxes) begin incorporating this for HA, X10 won't be able to compete anymore.  THEY won't be able to get away with any products that only work some of the time and are finicky. no more screwing with power line sigs.  they plan to increase their business offering not just tv but HA next.   I think it will finally take home automation, security, and climate control into the common home.  I expect to start seeing remotes for tvs, cable etc, out within months, and they probably will begin offering light control, and other HA control soon after or at the same time.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on May 07, 2012, 01:07:18 AM
It may be x10 sees the writing on the wall;  zigbee's RF4CE is stating to show up.

I [myself] haven't read anywhere that the other flavors of Home Automation devices... are significantly better than X10 as far as reliability. What I have read is that professionally installed setups are more dependable than setups installed without proper planning, tools, and testing.

as the cable company, sat tv folks, and others who make STB (set top boxes) begin incorporating this for HA, X10 won't be able to compete anymore.

Most manufacturers would prefer their products be leasted, rented, or made useful as part of a month fee.... and I don't blame them for that. And that is what the cable and security companies are selling(?)... via a monthly fee (AKA the forever payment plan). But I think there will always be a market for a DIY owner operated "valued priced" home automation product line. That is where X10 has always been.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: ps653 on July 12, 2012, 08:30:54 AM
It would be nice to hear an update from X10 Repair Depot now that we are in the second half of 2012 to see if the things he discussed int he first post are still on track.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Alan V on July 12, 2012, 11:51:19 AM
It would be nice to hear an update from X10 Repair Depot now that we are in the second half of 2012 to see if the things he discussed int he first post are still on track.

I had the same thought.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: X10 Repair Depot on July 12, 2012, 02:17:44 PM
It would be nice to hear an update from X10 Repair Depot now that we are in the second half of 2012 to see if the things he discussed int he first post are still on track.

The new CM15A is still in development and it is scheduled to be released around December. There are still issues, primarily regarding cost, that we are working through.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 12, 2012, 02:58:00 PM
$0.02
If X10 can make a significant improvement in RF receive range, and general CM15A/AHP reliability/depndability I think people will be willing to pay more.
49 bucks for the original CM15A with AHP was a fantastic deal, until it became appearent that the CM15A had some serious RF receive problems and wouldn't reliably pick up a Palm Pad or Active Eye even in 20 foot direct line of sight transmission.  Look at how many "antenna mods" and "remove battery reset" comments there are on this forum all the way back to the beginning. Customers were re-engineering and fixing the products shortfalls. IMHO both of those faults were caused by trying to save a penny. "Build it right, and they will come" or something like that.  ;D 
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Noam on July 12, 2012, 03:03:22 PM
$0.02
If X10 can make a significant improvement in RF receive range, and general CM15A/AHP reliability/depndability I think people will be willing to pay more.
49 bucks for the original CM15A with AHP was a fantastic deal, until it became appearent that the CM15A had some serious RF receive problems and wouldn't reliably pick up a Palm Pad or Active Eye even in 20 foot direct line of sight transmission.  Look at how many "antenna mods" and "remove battery reset" comments there are on this forum all the way back to the beginning. Customers were re-engineering and fixing the products shortfalls. IMHO both of those faults were caused by trying to save a penny. "Build it right, and they will come" or something like that.  ;D 

Any while you're at it, PLEASE CHANGE THE MODEL NUMBER. ;)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Dan Lawrence on July 12, 2012, 05:13:56 PM
$0.02
If X10 can make a significant improvement in RF receive range, and general CM15A/AHP reliability/depndability I think people will be willing to pay more.
49 bucks for the original CM15A with AHP was a fantastic deal, until it became appearent that the CM15A had some serious RF receive problems and wouldn't reliably pick up a Palm Pad or Active Eye even in 20 foot direct line of sight transmission.  Look at how many "antenna mods" and "remove battery reset" comments there are on this forum all the way back to the beginning. Customers were re-engineering and fixing the products shortfalls. IMHO both of those faults were caused by trying to save a penny. "Build it right, and they will come" or something like that.  ;D 

Any while you're at it, PLEASE CHANGE THE MODEL NUMBER. ;)

ABSOLUTELY!!!!!   If Microsoft can change the number on every Windows release, then X10 should use a a new model number for the next interface.  They did when Active Home and the CM11A was replaced by AHP and the CM15A.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 12, 2012, 08:03:39 PM
49 bucks for the original CM15A with AHP was a fantastic deal, until it became appearent that the CM15A had some serious RF receive problems and wouldn't reliably pick up a Palm Pad or Active Eye even in 20 foot direct line of sight transmission.  Look at how many "antenna mods" and "remove battery reset" comments there are on this forum all the way back to the beginning. Customers were re-engineering and fixing the products shortfalls. IMHO both of those faults were caused by trying to save a penny. "Build it right, and they will come" or something like that.  ;D  
Actually, the RF problems were external to the CM15A. X10 used a quality superheterodyne receiver. But, whoever decided on that overlooked the fact that most of their transmitters were poorly tuned (LC frequency control) and they did not play well with the very narrow bandwidth of the superhet receiver module. Had they used a cheaper wideband superregenerative receiver there would have been few reception issues as verified by those who have replaced the superhet with the RM1SG. It was just poor design, not penny pinching.

That said, I can design (actually have designed) a transceiver that outperforms the CM15A for RF in, RF out, PLC in & PLC out, has more memory and a batterybacked RTC. Using off-the-shelf retail components it costs $25-30 to build. Since I cannot afford UL and FCC testing, it's likely to remain for my use only.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 13, 2012, 05:00:21 PM
Actually, the RF problems were external to the CM15A. X10 used a quality superheterodyne receiver. But, whoever decided on that overlooked the fact that most of their transmitters were poorly tuned (LC frequency control) and they did not play well with the very narrow bandwidth of the superhet receiver module. Had they used a cheaper wideband superregenerative receiver there would have been few reception issues as verified by those who have replaced the superhet with the RM1SG. It was just poor design, not penny pinching.

I understand what you are saying but it does not hold up well. Everyone who added the "F" connector rework, with a better antenna (even a a crude 1/2 wave as I did), or any type of antenna improvement such as your egg beater,  saw significant range increase.

IF the poor receive problems were all caused by excessively tight receiver band pass in conjunction with transmitter slot, a better antenna would not have produced the  performance increase evidenced even by users who wrapped a ball of aluminumi foil around the CM15 antenna. But what you state makes my point. If X10 would have spent 20 seconds more to better tune (all) the module receivers and transmitters 10 years ago, the product would be a lot more successful than it is today. X10 shot themselves in the foot too many times by saving a penny here, a penny there, at the detriment of product performance. Greed or simply trying to stay aloat? I don't know.
I think the original design was good. Just too many "cost reductions" crapped it up.

Actually I think we are saying the same thing.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 14, 2012, 11:54:27 AM
I understand what you are saying but it does not hold up well. Everyone who added the "F" connector rework, with a better antenna (even a a crude 1/2 wave as I did), or any type of antenna improvement such as your egg beater,  saw significant range increase.

IF the poor receive problems were all caused by excessively tight receiver band pass in conjunction with transmitter slot, a better antenna would not have produced the  performance increase evidenced even by users who wrapped a ball of aluminumi foil around the CM15 antenna. But what you state makes my point. If X10 would have spent 20 seconds more to better tune (all) the module receivers and transmitters 10 years ago, the product would be a lot more successful than it is today. X10 shot themselves in the foot too many times by saving a penny here, a penny there, at the detriment of product performance. Greed or simply trying to stay aloat? I don't know.
I think the original design was good. Just too many "cost reductions" crapped it up.

Actually I think we are saying the same thing.
No, I still disagree (although not emphatically).

The antenna increases the signal strength seen by the receiver significantly. But the bandwidth of the receiver does not have sharp cut-off points (it's usually based on -3bB) so increasing the signal strength of a marginal signal slightly out-of-band would still give better reception.
 
And while it's hard to judge the skills of the antenna builders (and I disagree with the F-connector plus groundplane antenna approach), there have been those who said the antenna mod did not help but changing to the RM1SG did. Those were probably people with transmitters a little more out-of-band than those whom the antenna alone helped.

Better initial tuning of the LC controlled RF remotes probably would not have helped (and I suspect they left the factory in tune) as the frequency will shift from temperature changes and from component aging. They could have used relatively inexpensive SAW resonators (and did so for Europe) so I will agree with you that cost-cutting in the design on remotes made for N. America was at the root of the problem but not that they took a similar approach with the CM15A (which is frequency stable).

As far as CM15A cost cutting, they went outside for both the receiver and transmitter which probably cost more than reusing there oft-reused LC designs.

I suspect they went that way in order to meet European regulations which are much tighter for frequency (but allow far more power - about 10x). At the time it was designed, FCC regulations required the same testing and FCC ID whether using superhet or superregenerative so that would not have been a cost consideration. About 4-5 years ago the FCC changed its rules allowing self-testing and a Tested to comply with FCC requirements label so there is a difference in cost now. But given X10's volume, even a few K for FCC tests might not be all that significant.

As far as I'm concerned, X10's biggest problem with the CM15A (and probably with its successor) is their absolutely atrocious software (their entire approach is idiotic) and failure to publish the communications protocol.

But, with no more RR501, no more TW523/PSC05 they have pretty well destroyed their market and I doubt a new model of the CM15A will make any difference.

A lot of people, myself included, had been using Smarthome modules/switches because they did a better job with X10 and offered a simple way to gradually shift to Insteon. I'm disappointed to see them discontinue the X10 feaures and, initially, thought it made no sense but now I suspect SH realized their products' support for the X10 protocol were helping keep X10 afloat and pulling X10 support would hasten X10's demise.

My views are colored by the fact that I had an FCC radiotelephone license in 1962 and many years later managed a multimillion dollar international operation (although we made/sold capital equipment, not inexpensive mass market consumer items).
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 14, 2012, 12:14:12 PM

As far as I'm concerned, X10's biggest problem with the CM15A (and probably with its successor) is their absolutely atrocious software (their entire approach is idiotic) and failure to publish the communications protocol.

But, with no more RR501, no more TW523/PSC05 they have pretty well destroyed their market and I doubt a new model of the CM15A will make any difference.

My views are colored by the fact that I had an FCC radiotelephone license in 1962 and many years later managed a multimillion dollar international operation (although we made/sold capital equipment, not inexpensive mass market consumer items).
Good points all.

2nd class with 28 yrs at mother Motorola who has succeeded in shooting themselves in the foot almost as well as X10....sigh.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on July 14, 2012, 02:33:38 PM

The new CM15A is still in development and it is scheduled to be released around December. There are still issues, primarily regarding cost, that we are working through.

Even a problematic CM15A type device would be a welcome access.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on July 14, 2012, 02:37:09 PM
But, with no more RR501, no more TW523/PSC05 they have pretty well destroyed their market and I doubt a new model of the CM15A will make any difference.

As you know, there is an alternative RF transceiver available that has significantly better performance than the RR501.

The XTB-IIR has supported the TW523/PSC05 protocol from the beginning, and I recently introduced the XTB-523 as a high-power plug-in alternative to the TW523/PSC05 that also includes a repeater capability.  So the market is still being supported.

One device that seems to be a problem now is the Universal Module.  The supply has dried up, and there does not appear to be a viable alternative.  I hope that is one that X10 will begin manufacturing again.

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 14, 2012, 05:22:33 PM
Even a problematic CM15A type device would be a welcome access.
If my health were not so bad (7 hospitalizations and counting in the past 3 months) I would release an equivalent device using the same approach as Jeff Volp, requiring a user-waiver for the lack of UL. There's no similar FCC user-waiver possible for an RF transmitter but it could incorporate a wideband superheterodyne (ceramic resonator controlled) receiver that would qualify for self testing (and pass FCC requirements if needed).
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: mike on July 14, 2012, 05:37:56 PM
I understand what you are saying but it does not hold up well.....
IF the poor receive problems were all caused by excessively tight receiver band pass in conjunction with transmitter slot, a better antenna would not have produced the  performance increase evidenced even by users who wrapped a ball of aluminumi foil around the CM15 antenna......
Actually I think we are saying the same thing.

I agree we all are saying the same basic thing, but please know (as I am sure you do) that this statement is extreme and not so true.....

You know that more rf sig will make the 3db point of the selectivity look wider, so a better antenna of course does improve the poor too tight selectivity tuning of the original receiver.

Since both Dave's are backing their comments with commercial radio licenses, guess I should too :)  my 1rst class license is still proudly on my office wall - used to pay my way thru college from 1971 on repairing motorola HT220's for City of Dayton repairs :)  I turned down Motorola job offer in 1975 to work on the new fangled "cell" phone project.  but more to the point, extra class ham from 1965.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Brian H on July 14, 2012, 06:21:27 PM
I thought the 1st class Commercial Radiotelephone License was done away with many years ago.
Last time I renewed mine it was changed to a General Radiotelephone and good for life. No more five year renewals.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: mike on July 14, 2012, 06:40:05 PM
it was of course, but that doesn't stop those of us who passed the 1rst & 2nd class tests from pounding our chests yet today :)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Brian H on July 14, 2012, 07:03:23 PM
I still have my First Class with Ship Radar Endorsement safely packed away.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: the other steve on July 14, 2012, 07:06:32 PM
But of course!  Mine would be 50 years old if they were still around.

My first transmitter was 1,552,000 watts ERP at 669.24 MHz.

 -:)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: mike on July 14, 2012, 07:42:21 PM
dang!  got me beat!  my first transmitter was 75 watts on 40 meters with a crystal controlled Eico 720 CW transmitter :)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 14, 2012, 08:07:11 PM
I thought the 1st class Commercial Radiotelephone License was done away with many years ago.
Last time I renewed mine it was changed to a General Radiotelephone and good for life. No more five year renewals.

I never used nor renewed mine.  I just wanted to see if I learned anything in my Air Force electronics school. I was in airborne radar on the long defunct F101 (had the highest grade in the history of the school - since mine was the last such class, a record that will stand forever).  :' Those who went through the communications school received a ticket automatically.

And I only dredge it up now and then to buttress an argument by establishing that once upon a time, long away and far ago, I knew a little bit about the topic. ;)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on July 14, 2012, 09:32:14 PM
dang!  got me beat!  my first transmitter was 75 watts on 40 meters with a crystal controlled Eico 720 CW transmitter :)

About the same for me back in the 60's with a Knight Kit.  Then built my own 120W 2-meter rig.

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on July 15, 2012, 12:10:48 AM
WOW, all this brings back memories!!!
Eico
Heathkit
Knight Kit
even radio shack had kits!
  I built a few of all of them..... whatever happened to the kit builder?????
Even the speaker kits that had high end drivers in them!
Really a lost art!  I miss them!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 15, 2012, 05:28:56 PM
used to pay my way thru college from 1971 on repairing motorola HT220's for City of Dayton repairs :)  
Yeah Mike I know a stronger signal will bring in more signals in the filters roll off. BTWthe first Motorola product I taught in the old Motorola National Service organization was the HT220. wow what memories.

Anywho the point I was trying to make was born in this statement from X10 Repair Depot:
" The new CM15A is still in development and it is scheduled to be released around December. There are still issues, primarily regarding cost, that we are working through. "

I believe X10's constant cost cutting has done them harm in the past, and the Depots statement make me think they have not learned that. A new automation controller with solid software could provide a major boost to the company and start Lamp and Appliance modules selling in large numbers as they once did. But if they "cost reduce" it to the point of compromising stability as they have done in the past...well, they will be history as far as home automation. I hope they can make it selling third party tablets and IP cameras.
$0.02
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 15, 2012, 07:22:51 PM
Anywho the point I was trying to make was born in this statement from X10 Repair Depot:
" The new CM15A is still in development and it is scheduled to be released around December. There are still issues, primarily regarding cost, that we are working through. "

I believe X10's constant cost cutting has done them harm in the past, and the Depots statement make me think they have not learned that. A new automation controller with solid software could provide a major boost to the company and start Lamp and Appliance modules selling in large numbers as they once did. But if they "cost reduce" it to the point of compromising stability as they have done in the past...well, they will be history as far as home automation. I hope they can make it selling third party tablets and IP cameras.
$0.02
When you put it that way, I couldn't agree more - it was just the application of that sentiment to the original CM15A that I disageed with
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Brian H on July 16, 2012, 06:04:58 AM
I agree with the cost cutting hurting things.
All you have to do is look at the X10 schematics in the FCC Database. Any part with a * next to it means. It was not installed.  :P

I personally think most users would pay more for a stable and reliable CM15A replacement interface.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 16, 2012, 08:13:53 AM
I agree with the cost cutting hurting things.
All you have to do is look at the X10 schematics in the FCC Database. Any part with a * next to it means. It was not installed.  :P

I personally think most users would pay more for a stable and reliable CM15A replacement interface.

One of the problems I believe X10 made repeatedly was: when hand building a prototype in the lab, all components are low to the PC board, antenna wire is properly laced, everything is just right.  So the product works well even though it has a deleted bypass cap, or a soda straw antenna. The problem manifests when the assemblers (I suspect most of the module assembly is still by hand since most of the components are leaded.) have to insert parts in a moving assembly line at a rapid pace. Hence parts do not get pushed down to the PC board, antenna wire gets rolled into little balls, and hand solder points end up cold. On the assembly line if a mistake can be made, it will be, unless product design (i.e. "designed for assembly") can compensate.

With a new design forth coming, I hope it is "clean sheet of paper" using SMD components and "pick-and-place" robotics which would reduce a lot of the inconsistent performance we saw in the early CM15A. I think X10 protocol has life left in it, although these new smartmeters from the power companies may deal yet another blow to the PLC protocol.

It may not sound like it, but I am rooting for X10!

 
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: X10 Repair Depot on July 16, 2012, 08:54:52 AM


Anywho the point I was trying to make was born in this statement from X10 Repair Depot:
" The new CM15A is still in development and it is scheduled to be released around December. There are still issues, primarily regarding cost, that we are working through. "

I believe X10's constant cost cutting has done them harm in the past, and the Depots statement make me think they have not learned that. A new automation controller with solid software could provide a major boost to the company and start Lamp and Appliance modules selling in large numbers as they once did. But if they "cost reduce" it to the point of compromising stability as they have done in the past...well, they will be history as far as home automation. I hope they can make it selling third party tablets and IP cameras.
$0.02

The problem that we are running into is that the cost to bring back the CM15A (either the existing unit or a replacement) will be more than the typical customer will be willing to pay. Secondly, due to the relatively high complexity of the unit we are being faced with very high minimum order quantities for the unit and some internal custom ICs that are prohibitive. If we need to order a large quantity, then we will need to plan on selling a large quantity, which we are certain will not happen at the price point that we are looking at. It would not make sense to release a unit that will not sell.

I am not going to go into the details, but we are working to get around this problem.


Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Noam on July 16, 2012, 09:58:29 AM


Anywho the point I was trying to make was born in this statement from X10 Repair Depot:
" The new CM15A is still in development and it is scheduled to be released around December. There are still issues, primarily regarding cost, that we are working through. "

I believe X10's constant cost cutting has done them harm in the past, and the Depots statement make me think they have not learned that. A new automation controller with solid software could provide a major boost to the company and start Lamp and Appliance modules selling in large numbers as they once did. But if they "cost reduce" it to the point of compromising stability as they have done in the past...well, they will be history as far as home automation. I hope they can make it selling third party tablets and IP cameras.
$0.02
The problem that we are running into is that the cost to bring back the CM15A (either the existing unit or a replacement) will be more than the typical customer will be willing to pay. Secondly, due to the relatively high complexity of the unit we are being faced with very high minimum order quantities for the unit and some internal custom ICs that are prohibitive. If we need to order a large quantity, then we will need to plan on selling a large quantity, which we are certain will not happen at the price point that we are looking at. It would not make sense to release a unit that will not sell.

I am not going to go into the details, but we are working to get around this problem.
Can you PLEASE emphasize to the powers-that-be that if they do change the design of the unit *in ANY way*, that they change the model number? Even adding a letter to it (ex: CM15A-B) is better than nothing. The trouble we continue to have because they didn't do that with the redesigned lamp modules is so easy to avoid.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 16, 2012, 11:47:32 AM
It would not make sense to release a unit that will not sell.

I am not going to go into the details, but we are working to get around this problem.
I understand. Although with Smarthome.com backing away from X10, X10 may be the only supplier of a "mass marketed" USB contoller, which will help your market a little.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 16, 2012, 12:38:40 PM
...some internal custom ICs that are prohibitive.
D'uh - custom ICs are the root of the cost issue.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: stoney on July 22, 2012, 04:06:18 PM
The COMPLEXITY of the unit? How long has the CM15a been around? How much did it sell for when times were better? $30.00?, $25.00? , LESS?

Basically once a program is in the computer, a person or company uses a burner (hardware device) and the operating software that one wishes to burn. At that point it's a matter is inserting a blank chip, pressing a button and "burning" the instructional software onto the chip. One chip, Ten chips or Ten Thousand chips...all the additional cost would be in the blank chips themselves.

SO...even assuming things are soo much different these days, how much more in the way of instructions is needed for these "NEW" chips to be able to allow these NEW CM15a's to operate properly? Compared to the CM15a's that I and lots of other people have, how are the proposed ones different? How is such a steep cost justified (unless we have to make them here in the USA instead of outsourcing them!). Sorry about the touch of sarcasm. <rant over> :'

Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Brian H on July 22, 2012, 04:35:12 PM
$49.99 was the price I always saw.
Early sales where only the CM15A with emailed registration number download link. You had to buy any added plugins separately.
In recent years. The price was still $49.99 but some packages included many of the plug ins or plug ins and a few modules.
My oldest one has a Date Code of 04J41. 41st week of 2004.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: X10 Repair Depot on July 23, 2012, 09:30:38 AM
The COMPLEXITY of the unit? How long has the CM15a been around? How much did it sell for when times were better? $30.00?, $25.00? , LESS?

Basically once a program is in the computer, a person or company uses a burner (hardware device) and the operating software that one wishes to burn. At that point it's a matter is inserting a blank chip, pressing a button and "burning" the instructional software onto the chip. One chip, Ten chips or Ten Thousand chips...all the additional cost would be in the blank chips themselves.

SO...even assuming things are soo much different these days, how much more in the way of instructions is needed for these "NEW" chips to be able to allow these NEW CM15a's to operate properly? Compared to the CM15a's that I and lots of other people have, how are the proposed ones different? How is such a steep cost justified (unless we have to make them here in the USA instead of outsourcing them!). Sorry about the touch of sarcasm. <rant over> :'



You are describing the procedure to burn a ROM - I am not talking about burning standard ICs. The CM15A has at least two ICs (not ROMs) that are no longer being produced. We can have them made on a custom basis, but the minimum order quantity to have a custom IC created is huge and the cost is high.

Here's a lesson about producing electronics...

As I stated in the first post, the factory that produced the CM15A is no longer in business. Although we still have the schematics and diagrams of all components, we need to find factories to produce custom ICs, produce the plastics, produce the circuit boards, and one to assemble everything. This is exactly the same for all other items that we have had produced since the factory closed. However, everything about the CM15A is much more complicated then every other item that we sell. The housing is more complex, as is the circuit board, there are non-standard electronic components, and even the packaging. The complexity of each step of the process determines both the cost and the minimum order quantity. In addition, since we are using a new factory, all new jigs, forms, and fixtures will need to be built, and more complex the item is, the higher the tooling cost is.

It does not matter how long the item has been around, all of this will need to be recreated.

As I stated earlier in the thread, the selling price would be so high that we feel that we will be unable to sell this item.

We do have a plan to bring a replacement unit out, but I will not go into the details at this time.
 
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on July 23, 2012, 09:57:19 AM
I agree with everything Repair Depot said.  Discontinued components are a continual problem.  It is a very serious issue for military avionic hardware which, like most X10 products, have very long operating lives.

To put cost into perspective, the lowest price X10 controller available from a competitor is the ADI Ocleot, which costs almost $200 without a powerline interface or RF capability.  Adding those costs another $100.  The JDS HomeRunner costs about $500.

It should be clear to everyone the bargains that we have received from X10 over the years.  It costs me almost as much for an empty plastic case as X10 was selling lamp and appliance modules for last year.  At one point I considered buying X10 XPPF filter modules just for the plastic cases.

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 23, 2012, 12:02:10 PM
The CM15A has at least two ICs (not ROMs) that are no longer being produced.
No wonder I was unhappy with the two CM15As I bought. They each have exactly one IC (Cypress CY7C63723) and it's not custom although it may have since been discontinued. If you are referring to the third party RF receiver (uses HiMark RX3310A IC) and RF transmitter (no IC), both were poor choices to begin with - using a narrowband superhet receiver when all of the existing remotes, etc. use poorly tuned LC transmitters was foolish - and Wen Shing (Taiwan) has better off-the-shelf receivers and transmitters. It was also foolish to use the Cypress IC - it would have been both simpler and cheaper to stick with a PIC or AVR and use a USB-Serial adapter (either internal using Silicon Labs, Prolific or FTDI ICs) or external using any of a myriad of adapters (based on the same Silicon Labs, Prolific or FTDI ICs). For example...

The only non-standard feature of the other components is that most designers stopped using them 15 years ago. Let's hope your new design uses SMD.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on July 23, 2012, 01:27:44 PM
No wonder I was unhappy with the two CM15As I bought. They each have exactly one IC (Cypress CY7C63723) and it's not custom although it may have since been discontinued.

Gee Dave, mine has 3 ICs, not including the ones in the transmitter and receiver.

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 23, 2012, 01:44:14 PM
Gee Dave, mine has 3 ICs, not including the ones in the transmitter and receiver.
Well, yeah - but neither the 4N35 nor 24C64 are discontinued nor in short supply. ::)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on July 23, 2012, 02:16:06 PM
Gee Dave, mine has 3 ICs, not including the ones in the transmitter and receiver.
Well, yeah - but neither the 4N35 nor 24C64 are discontinued nor in short supply. ::)
Yeah... 4n35=opto coupler  24c64=EEPROM   VERY standard/cross referencable items!  The Cypress is also xreferencable, probably even pin compatable so the pc board doesn't need to change.
The rf receiver could be the rsc1 (I think that is the one I bought and replaced in my Ninjas and CM15A).
The rf xmitter could be sub'd out as well (cheaper probably).
Vreg.... standard 5v fixed 7805... pennies in quantity.
2n9014/9015.... simple npn/pnp amplifier xsistors.
1n4001.... pennies in quntity
other diodes/resistors.... use SMT's  cheap!

  Ever thought of offering as a kit?
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on July 23, 2012, 02:32:45 PM


Anywho the point I was trying to make was born in this statement from X10 Repair Depot:
" The new CM15A is still in development and it is scheduled to be released around December. There are still issues, primarily regarding cost, that we are working through. "

I believe X10's constant cost cutting has done them harm in the past, and the Depots statement make me think they have not learned that. A new automation controller with solid software could provide a major boost to the company and start Lamp and Appliance modules selling in large numbers as they once did. But if they "cost reduce" it to the point of compromising stability as they have done in the past...well, they will be history as far as home automation. I hope they can make it selling third party tablets and IP cameras.
$0.02

The problem that we are running into is that the cost to bring back the CM15A (either the existing unit or a replacement) will be more than the typical customer will be willing to pay.

How do you know what the customer is willing to pay?  Have you done any polls/research?  Just trying to get a handle on the expected cost, if that info is available.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: beelocks on July 23, 2012, 08:26:06 PM
How do you know what the customer is willing to pay?  Have you done any polls/research?  Just trying to get a handle on the expected cost, if that info is available.

Damn fine question. Did I hear that somewhere before?  ;)
I (recently) paid three figures for an Insteon controller that works as well as, or perhaps better than, my CM15A. The main problem is that the Houselinc software sucks mouldy swamp water - yes, even when compared AHP.

Would I pay $100 for a decent X10 controller? Absolutely.
Would I pay $150? Umm, maybe.
Would I pay $200? With good software, compatibility, support and a proper manual; probably, just don't tell Mrs. Beelocks
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on July 23, 2012, 08:58:23 PM
Thank you Beelocks!

I agree with your listing vs. willing to pay figures as well....

I was using the smarthome 1132cup interface, and liked the device, BUT the software was a real nighmare and user hostile, and support for that interface (X10 only, not insteon) quit within a few MONTHS after I bought it!

Some things didn't work, like programming scenes, which I was really looking forward to using, and they don't support the X10 softstart modules.... so when the cm15a came along, with the smart macros, I KNEW that it was probably buggy, but I liked the macros, and support of the softstarts, so my father and I both bought one (read... 2 packages), and have over come MOST of the bugs/workarounds, and am very happy with what we can do!

I even bought the signal analyzer that JeffV has, and it REALLY came in handy!!!  Solved ALOT of problems!

I just hope that X10 gets over the idea that if the new cm15a is 2x or 3x the price, that no one will buy them.... THAT is WRONG!!!!
Just make it compatible with the existing AHP pro software, or an inexpensive upgrade, would be great!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on July 23, 2012, 09:51:20 PM

I had been using a beta CM14A (never released) when we moved here.  The CM15A was not on the market yet, so I opted for the Ocelot at almost $200.  If the CM15A were available at that time for even $100, I would have gone with it because of my experience with the CM11A and CM14A.  Since then I have picked up a couple of CM15As as a backup should the Ocelot ever go down.

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 23, 2012, 09:52:07 PM
 >*< I just realized that even though the RX3310A (which appears to be still available from www.princeton.com.tw) is narrowband superhet, they use external LC tuning.  rofl
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 24, 2012, 07:41:42 AM

I had been using a beta CM14A (never released) when we moved here.  The CM15A was not on the market yet, so I opted for the Ocelot at almost $200.  If the CM15A were available at that time for even $100, I would have gone with it because of my experience with the CM11A and CM14A.  Since then I have picked up a couple of CM15As as a backup should the Ocelot ever go down.
FWIW I don't think 100 bucks would be a bad price for the new CM15A IF it works better than the original (RF range in both directions (R/T), unexplained lockups, general reliability, etc. etc. etc.).  Yeah, I'm guessing I will get flamed on this comment.

If it isn't "rock solid" I fear it might be the death of X10 protocol. It will just shrivel since there is no one else making a X10 controller anymore.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: X10 Repair Depot on July 24, 2012, 08:43:28 AM
All,

We are in business to sell, among other things, home automation electronics. If it was feasible to have the CM15A built at a price that we could sell a sufficient quantity, it would already have been done.

If we could produce a CM15A and sell it for 2X, 3X, or 10X the original price, we would sell some. However, selling some will not recoup the very high costs associated with the recreation of this item. We need to sell a lot, and of course we know what we can sell them for.

I am not going to discuss business decisions that we make. I cannot add any more to the CM15A replacement at this time, and it is not productive for me to comment further in this thread. Once I can discuss the replacement further, I will provide additional information.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Noam on July 24, 2012, 11:08:34 AM
Gee Dave, mine has 3 ICs, not including the ones in the transmitter and receiver.
Well, yeah - but neither the 4N35 nor 24C64 are discontinued nor in short supply. ::)
Yeah... 4n35=opto coupler  24c64=EEPROM   VERY standard/cross referencable items!  The Cypress is also xreferencable, probably even pin compatable so the pc board doesn't need to change.
The rf receiver could be the rsc1 (I think that is the one I bought and replaced in my Ninjas and CM15A).
The rf xmitter could be sub'd out as well (cheaper probably).
Vreg.... standard 5v fixed 7805... pennies in quantity.
2n9014/9015.... simple npn/pnp amplifier xsistors.
1n4001.... pennies in quntity
other diodes/resistors.... use SMT's  cheap!

  Ever thought of offering as a kit?

I think that's a great idea. With all of the knowledge stored in the heads of the users on this forum, I'm sure we can "crowd-source" a great replacement, and make it a DIY kit (and perhaps Jeff will offer to assemble them in his basement for an additional fee ;) ).

Here are some of my "somewhat random" thoughts about it:

I'm imagining something like an Arduino shield (or maybe a purpose-built Arduino clone, like one of Dave Houston's offerings), that would interface with the TW523 (or the XTB-IIR's emulation of it).
Add in an RF transceiver (all 256 codes would be cool!), and the Ethernet and/or WiFi shield(s) for connectivity to a network.
If there is non-volatile storage (like the SD card on the Ethernet shield), and a real-time-clock with a long-life battery, the unit could survive power outages and pick up right where it left off when power returns (reading the configuration off the storage card at startup).

Unfortunately, my imagination is the only skill I have when it comes to designing and building something like this. I don't have the electronics background to make any of this happen (I was able to interface an Arduino with the XTB-IIR a few months back, but I couldn't get past some of the examples I found). My soldering abilities are slowly improving, and I'm more than willing to help test out any ideas people come up with.

I've found a number of Arduino-based X10 projects out there, but nothing that comes close to replacing what we have in the CM15A (yet).
I've also seen at lest one project (I think there is a link on these forums somewhere) for Google Calendar-based X10 control (the software reads the calendar to look for timer events). That would be a neat way to program it (from anywhere).

Of course, the picture in my head is of a prototype DIY project. I'm imagining a "Frankenstein" pile of microcontrollers, breadboards, wires, and other components on my desk at home (because I'm not skilled enough to design and etch my own boards yet). And LEDs. It has to have some blinking LEDs - they make any project look cooler.

Every time I think about this, I get a mental picture of that Simpsons episode where Homer designed the perfect car.

--Noam
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 24, 2012, 12:08:56 PM

  And LEDs. It has to have some blinking LEDs - they make any project look cooler.


O-o-o-o-h-h-h..... (eyes roll back with lids fluttering).... yes! Must have many blinking lights.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 24, 2012, 12:09:59 PM
I'm imagining something like an Arduino shield (or maybe a purpose-built Arduino clone, like one of Dave Houston's offerings), that would interface with the TW523 (or the XTB-IIR's emulation of it).
...
Add in an RF transceiver (all 256 codes would be cool!), and the Ethernet and/or WiFi shield(s) for connectivity to a network.
...
If there is non-volatile storage (like the SD card on the Ethernet shield), and a real-time-clock with a long-life battery, the unit could survive power outages and pick up right where it left off when power returns (reading the configuration off the storage card at startup).
...

All the above will soon be available - if my health cooperates.

ZBasic recently began offering a generic license which allows compiling ZBasic code and installing it to generic Atmel AVR ICs. That changed the whole ballgame, lowering costs tremendously, and I had to redesign everything I was working on. I'll try to update my ZarduinoTM webpages in between trips to the hospital. I have some boards already in hand and most others are on order.

Long range, the costs will depend on whether the distributor (who has a Chinese partner) can find an assembler who can build them in small quantities for a reasonable cost, but even buying components retail from Digi-Key and assembling them myself (not practical beyond the prototyping stage), the costs are excellent. This is patterned after the Arduino Mega designs (but with more rational IO and power schemes - more below) and includes options for ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and other connection methods. There are up to 6 serial ports for interfacing with existing (future?) X10, Insteon, UPB, ZWave, RS485, etc. devices. It has tons (64KB EEPROM, 32KB FRAM) of onboard memory, plus a MicroSD slot, and a battery-backed RTC (although my preferred WiFi & ethernet interfaces will automatically get the time if there's internet access). It can also interface with TW523/PSC05 as well as legacy controllers designed for the TW523/PSC05. I've kept it as dumb as possible, giving it smarts only where required by an interface (e.g. CM11A handshaking) so it is mostly a matter of responding to a bitstream from a specific port with the bitstream/port response programmed by the user. It should be able to deal with future devices as long as they do not need handshaking. All sourcecode (and gerber files) will be released so it will be possible for others to update it for new devices, if needed. I still plan Windows, Linux, OSX and Android interfaces but the protocol will be released so others can create other interfaces as desired.

I have also designed a two-way powerline modem (easily adapted to 120V or 240V) with a wideband superhet RF receiver. (Both the PLM and RF Receiver are frequency stable using crystals or ceramic resonators.) It uses a serial interface with optional external $3 USB-Serial adapter for those without a serial port. It does not require an FCC ID, qualifying for self-testing. It should also comply with CE requirements. If sold, it would likely require a customer waiver similar to what Jeff uses. It's unlikely to include an RF transmitter as that does require an FCC ID with attendant high costs. It may include an option for an external IR transmitter that knowledgeable folk might figure out can be used for other purposes.  ;) I'll write ZBasic app notes detailing how to handle most everything (except Insteon where I'm constrained by a developer's gag order).

MORE BELOW: I really do not like the Arduino power scheme which provides no protection to the processor and only limited protection for shields - it is designed to protect the USB host. So, I redesigned to use external 3V3 or 5V SMPS with separate fuses for the processor and shields. As a fallback, should the costs prove too high to have my main board made in small quantities, the Arduino Mega 1280 (http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=9) can be modified by merely changing the processor crystal. It only has half as much program memory so will not be ideal but it should suffice in the interim or it might be possible to have that board assembled with the ATMega 2560 IC.

Stay tuned.

@Noam: Sorry - only one LED and it's buried beneath Mega sized shields.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on July 24, 2012, 01:33:32 PM

  And LEDs. It has to have some blinking LEDs - they make any project look cooler.


O-o-o-o-h-h-h..... (eyes roll back with lids fluttering).... yes! Must have many blinking lights.
oooooooooooooo, ahahahaha, druel druel druel, heart rate increase, deep breathing.... random blinking and/or sequential chase patterns..... oooo ahhh  rofl rofl rofl rofl
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on July 24, 2012, 01:45:15 PM
Noam...
Your ideas and thoughts are VERY doable! and are good!
Your soldering skills will improve with practice.  There are alot of tutorials on soldering, and the only way to "get good" is to practice!
I have been soldering for 40 years, and have a few tricks that I have found make great solder joints, but these come with experience and practice.
Just remember.... we were ALL lousy when we first started! ;D

As far as price/purchase quantities for the "new" CM15a, I really think that X10 should do a poll and find out how many people would be willing to pay what price, even if it is on these forums as there are alot of members here, and they could compare the number of forum members to the price they would be willing to pay.
  I know this would be a rough idea, but it is a place to start, and might give them a little incentive to produce them again, and find a price to sell them at.
  Not to knock x10repairdepot for all the info that we have gotten from him, but I do hear excuses (my thoughts) as to why it is taking time for them.
  I don't expect him to reveal their inside info as that would compromise there business, but there are several VERY knowledgeable members here that sound like they could come up with an alternate cm15a, with more features (even a kit maybe), with disclaimers that should be signed and returned for those of use that would like to build the kits.  Just a protection for them.... perfectly understandable!
  I don't mean to upset x10repairdepot, or get pushy, I am just posting my thoughts and observations.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 24, 2012, 02:21:26 PM
FCC will not allow a kit. They require an FCC ID with associated testing in an approved lab for RF transmitter (and/or superregenerative receiver). Even supplying a schematic can sometimes trigger the FCC licensing requirement. See the Part 15 regulations.

And a corporation like X10 is unlikely to stick their neck in the noose represented by any UL disclaimer.

So an X10 kit is highly unlikely.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Noam on July 24, 2012, 03:49:49 PM
@Noam: Sorry - only one LED and it's buried beneath Mega sized shields.
It is always possible to add LEDs, it is just a matter of how hard one wants to work at it. ;)

Noam...
Your ideas and thoughts are VERY doable! and are good!
Your soldering skills will improve with practice.  There are alot of tutorials on soldering, and the only way to "get good" is to practice!
I have been soldering for 40 years, and have a few tricks that I have found make great solder joints, but these come with experience and practice.
Just remember.... we were ALL lousy when we first started! ;D

I've been soldering for at least 25 years. Just not very well. Mostly small projects (splicing wires, etc), but I always went to my dad for help with anything involving more precision.
I did get better at it when I built my HVAC monitoring system (I had to figure out how to get all the components onto an Arduino prototyping shield, AND solder them together properly, AND not short anything out. I think I'd be even better if I could clear out enough space on the workbench, AND find a stool that was the correct height to sit on.
My first version of the project came out fine, and I'm actually pretty happy with the soldering job I did on it.



Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Tuicemen on July 24, 2012, 03:52:29 PM
A poll wouldn't be very helpful  :(
Even with a count of 21821 total members less then 1/1000 of the members will respond and cast a vote.
There are polls I created over 6 years ago (still active) and have less then 90 votes.
If X10 were to do a poll and it recieved a mere 90 votes then the replacement cm15 would be abandonded.
However I'll start such a poll and see if we get 90 votes before years end. ::) :'
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 24, 2012, 04:09:30 PM
oooooooooooooo, ahahahaha, druel druel druel, heart rate increase, deep breathing.... random blinking and/or sequential chase patterns..... oooo ahhh  rofl rofl rofl rofl
Remember the Hollywood depiction of a computer in the 1960's (think "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", and "Lost In Space"). Always a huge wall of blinking square lights. Uh-oh, my heart rate just shot up....
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on July 24, 2012, 04:32:06 PM
oooooooooooooo, ahahahaha, druel druel druel, heart rate increase, deep breathing.... random blinking and/or sequential chase patterns..... oooo ahhh  rofl rofl rofl rofl
Remember the Hollywood depiction of a computer in the 1960's (think "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", and "Lost In Space"). Always a huge wall of blinking square lights. Uh-oh, my heart rate just shot up....
Yes I do remember "Voyage to the bottom of the sea"!  It was one of my favorites, and Lost in Space!
I remember on VttBotS.... the "reactor" lights (round port hole kind of things), looked like someone was sliding a mask behind the wall, with a light behind that because of the way the "shadows" moved.... and other older sci-fi flicks had all the blinking lights in a random pattern... makes ya laugh now!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Knightrider on July 24, 2012, 09:13:28 PM
forget "Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea".  I really like the "Fantasic Voyage" with Racquelle Welch.  That still gets my dander up.

Sorry to derail yet another topic, but X10 Repair Depot has spoken, and I thought I'd have a little fun.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on July 24, 2012, 10:07:19 PM
.... but X10 Repair Depot has spoken.....

Yes he has. With fewer and fewer X10 devices and no plans for an interface... the future of X10 Home Automation doesn't look all that bright. I am thankful to have been here for the golden years.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: beelocks on July 24, 2012, 11:05:55 PM
X10 has the design, the ability and the production tools for the CM15A - just because a factory closes that does not normally mean that tooling mysteriously disappears; if the tooling is AWOL then something much more sinister is going on.

All of that matters not a whit because X10 Depot has, indeed spoken, and thus he spake "We can make it, but you cannot afford it". He's saying the CM15A is too expensive to put into production, but an alternative is in the pipeline.

I understand that if all new tooling needs to be made then it's expensive.
I also understand that designing a new replacement, and making new tooling for that will be even more expensive - designers cost money, prototypes cost money, testing costs money, FCC licensing costs money and production costs is production costs.

I would not be at all surprised if the fabled CM15A replacement is a rebadged ( :' ) version of one of the older interfaces - printing a sticker and slapping it on a FireCracker should be dirt cheap as far as production costs go and should enable a retail price that X10 deem suitable to for marketing.

I'm not asking for information as to the ins and outs of X10's business model, but I would like to say that anyone who sincerely believes that designing and building a brand new product is less expensive than putting an existing design into production is fooling no-one but themselves.

Perhaps X10 Home Automation division will be taking a leaf from the books of their tablet and IP camera departments - could the new X10 controller actually be an Insteon or Zwave controller with a shiny new badge?  -:)

Just sayin'
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 25, 2012, 07:15:17 AM
just because a factory closes that does not normally mean that tooling mysteriously disappears; if the tooling is AWOL then something much more sinister is going on.
Yeah, but we are talking China here. They play by different rules. If the government says "close the factory", they shut the doors and walk away. It has happened before. We only know what we are being spoon fed through filters, but I agree the whole picture does not bode well for the X10 revitalization that we are hoping for.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Noam on July 25, 2012, 08:20:39 AM
Whatever happened to "If you build it, [they] will come?"  ;)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Sammer on July 25, 2012, 10:04:32 AM
Perhaps X10 Home Automation division will be taking a leaf from the books of their tablet and IP camera departments - could the new X10 controller actually be an Insteon or Zwave controller with a shiny new badge?  -:)

Just sayin'
Maybe X10 USA should have considered subcontracting Universal Devices. They seem almost able to perform miracles with their Insteon controller and would probably find an X10 controller to be much easier to develop.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on July 25, 2012, 11:26:42 AM
forget "Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea".  I really like the "Fantasic Voyage" with Racquelle Welch.  That still gets my dander up.
You just liked the part where they were ripping the anti-bodies off her wet suit. I remember that too, but I'm too old for it to get my dander up anymore.  ;)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on July 25, 2012, 11:34:13 AM
Maybe X10 USA should have considered subcontracting Universal Devices. They seem almost able to perform miracles with their Insteon controller and would probably find an X10 controller to be much easier to develop.
I think you'll find they use a Smarthome supplied Insteon IC to work their almost miracles. And, I believe they already handle both Insteon and X-10 but at prices that would make X10 Repair Depot blanch.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Noam on July 25, 2012, 11:48:15 AM
Well, I just took another look at what's out there for interfacing an Arduino with a TW523 (which my XTB-IIR emulates).
It seems there have been a number of updates, including updates to the libraries to work with the newer versions (since 1.0) of the Arduino IDE.
I think I'll have to play with this again at home, and see where it gets me.

EDIT:
I decided to split off my Arduino sub-thread.
Here is the new thread: http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=27283.0
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on July 25, 2012, 01:59:09 PM

There are also a lot of folks out there using PC (or Mac) automation programs, and interfacing through one of the serial-port X10 powerline interfaces.  That is a good application for an old laptop computer with a stable operating system because it doesn't use that much power.  Some of those programs are even free - like the X10-only version of Home Control Assistant.  And you can always use ActiveHome with the CM11A, which is still available for about $30 from that special production run a couple of years ago.

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: mike on July 25, 2012, 03:02:59 PM
forget "Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea".  I really like the "Fantasic Voyage" with Racquelle Welch.  That still gets my dander up.

i think you lie:  I bet it was not "Fantastic Voyage" but simply Rachel Welch!

Tuicemen, I am illiterate on how to find stuff like polls;  if you put a simple link to it, I promise to add 1 to the vote counter.....
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Brian H on July 25, 2012, 03:29:31 PM
It is a standard message where a poll was added as an option.
A search would probably find it.
Anyway it is a sticky post in the Active Home Pro General area.
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=27192.0
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Tuicemen on July 25, 2012, 06:41:33 PM
Mike,
As Brian stated a poll is at the start of a thread if created.
The link he posted is for what would you pay for a CM15 replacement.

Other Polls I created are not always stickies Unless I feel the threads content may be helpful to newbies or may need to be found quickly by others.
 >!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Knightrider on July 25, 2012, 07:00:37 PM

i think you lie:  I bet it was not "Fantastic Voyage" but simply Rachel Welch!

guilty as charged.  ;)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Noam on August 06, 2012, 09:36:59 AM
I decided to split off my Arduino sub-thread.
Here is the new thread: http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=27283.0
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: cmtbiz on August 30, 2012, 11:54:25 AM
If China doesn't want it, take it elsewhere... Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines, India etc...
Why would they let those big two headed monster dictate as to what should be produced?

just because a factory closes that does not normally mean that tooling mysteriously disappears; if the tooling is AWOL then something much more sinister is going on.
Yeah, but we are talking China here. They play by different rules. If the government says "close the factory", they shut the doors and walk away. It has happened before. We only know what we are being spoon fed through filters, but I agree the whole picture does not bode well for the X10 revitalization that we are hoping for.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on August 30, 2012, 12:10:52 PM
If China doesn't want it, take it elsewhere... Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines, India etc...
Why would they let those big two headed monster dictate as to what should be produced?
X10 has been in China since early 1980's (when they left Taiwan) ...essentially they went to China before everyone else. That advantage will be hard to give up. Besides everywhere else you mentioned is more expensive.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on August 30, 2012, 11:23:19 PM
Has any (every) one seen the Belkin stuff? http://www.smarthome.com/44507/Belkin-F7C027fcAPL-WeMo-Home-Automation-Switch/p.aspx (http://www.smarthome.com/44507/Belkin-F7C027fcAPL-WeMo-Home-Automation-Switch/p.aspx)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on August 31, 2012, 07:24:38 AM
Has any (every) one seen the Belkin stuff? http://www.smarthome.com/44507/Belkin-F7C027fcAPL-WeMo-Home-Automation-Switch/p.aspx (http://www.smarthome.com/44507/Belkin-F7C027fcAPL-WeMo-Home-Automation-Switch/p.aspx)
severe sticker shock
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on August 31, 2012, 07:37:42 AM
severe sticker shock

And that's before adding the WiFi booster you'll likely need.

Also, it's WiFi only with no PLC, it requires a PC and/or pricey Apple iWhatever mobile device, and is ON/OFF only with no dimmer.

Now, were someone to combine WiFi and HomePlug's Command/Control PLC with dimmers and appliance modules, it might be worth some sticker shock.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on August 31, 2012, 10:47:22 PM

And that's before adding the WiFi booster you'll likely need.

Also, it's WiFi only with no PLC, it requires a PC and/or pricey Apple iWhatever mobile device, and is ON/OFF only with no dimmer.

Now, were someone to combine WiFi and HomePlug's Command/Control PLC with dimmers and appliance modules, it might be worth some sticker shock.

Dimmers were a great feature in the 50's when many homes were converted to electric for gas lighting... and often only had one light hanging in the center of the room. And I even like the dim/bright feature in my Home Theater to bring up a few indirect lights after the end of a movie. But mostly... I don't use the dim feature anyway. And now with LED and CFL lights... a few lower light level lights generally replace the one big 150 watt bulb the old rheostats controlled.

I have computers.... I also have laptops but I call the laptops computers too. I have an Android tablet and my wife has and ipad.... and I'll be darned... but I think they are a lot like a computer as well. Actually... smartphones are even computers. And there isn't any reason why a smartphone can't control your home. Even if your phone in your shirt pocket while you drive a rental car in another state.

All we need is the right hardware and software..... and it sure looks like it is all coming together. Although I have always been disappointed with the slowness in which the future gets here.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: beelocks on September 01, 2012, 10:51:52 AM
I looked at the WeMo a couple of weeks ago and I think it's a great idea with a few minor wrinkles that need ironing out.

a) The ground prong is on the 'wrong' side - I could flip over every outlet and confuse the wife and everyone else, or install the plug-in modules upside-down.

2) Ipod only? Why not have the thing talk to android, PC and anything else that can talk to your network?

iii) variety - it looks like a choice of appliance module or appliance module plus plug-in motion sensor - They call it a 'family' of products, but it appears to be a single parent & only child family, with a distant cousin for the controller.


It's not all negative. WiFi integration is the way of to go. The web integration with the ability to use bits of the internet as triggers looks great without all the fiddling about with additional software. The design of the modules is modern when compared to clunky X10 and the smoother Insteon. Handles up to 1800 watts.

It's a mighty fine idea, but it needs polishing (or at least android or PC control) before I spend any money on trying it. I'd like to see a real MeMo integration device that could send/receive X10/Insteon commands; I'd buy one of those this afternoon and hide the credit card bill from the wife :)
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on September 01, 2012, 11:06:20 AM
I'd like to see a real MeMo integration device that could send/receive X10/Insteon commands; I'd buy one of those this afternoon and hide the credit card bill from the wife :)
If Belkin publishes the communications protocol (unlikely if Apple is involved), it would be simple to create an Android app as well as integrate it with the hardware I'm working on.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on September 01, 2012, 02:38:57 PM
My $0.02

Belkin is testing the water.
Belkin will find the water very cold.
Belkin will forget about home control, as quickly as Microsoft has.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on September 01, 2012, 07:17:35 PM
You guys are right. I saw it and got excited... but Belkin has a ways to go yet. Thanks for taking the time to look it over and respond.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: jerryjam on December 01, 2012, 05:59:24 AM
 :)%  I have been looking for a better mouse trap to replace my CM15A.  Has the new replacement for the CM15A arrived?  I know that I certainly would pay a higher price for improved (much) version.  I have had over 35 years experience repairing electronics.  So I thinking about the possibility of my attempting to repair my 2nd replaced CM15A (that is currently intermittent).  May even attempt to modify it to improve RF output.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Brian H on December 01, 2012, 06:08:41 AM
Yes a Extremely Limited Run of CM15As are on the sales web page.

http://www.x10.com/promotions/cm15a_complete_new_2012.html?EM
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: stoney on December 10, 2012, 03:09:27 PM
Yep...new coat of paint on an old car will make er sell! :'
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on March 28, 2013, 05:56:03 AM
Has any (every) one seen the Belkin stuff? http://www.smarthome.com/44507/Belkin-F7C027fcAPL-WeMo-Home-Automation-Switch/p.aspx (http://www.smarthome.com/44507/Belkin-F7C027fcAPL-WeMo-Home-Automation-Switch/p.aspx)

Belkin announced a wall switch and Android 4.0 compatibility at CES. The switch will be available this summer.
I did not see a price for the switch.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Tuicemen on March 28, 2013, 10:33:16 AM
There has been a few new Wi-Fi devices available for the HA setup.
I like the programmable Wi-Fi thermostats.
Most however require you to use their server to interact after the failure of X10s myhouse attempt at this I'm leery of using something like that.
Some say they'll offer a SDK but most likely after they suck everyone into getting their software/hardware combos.
However doing some research I found a free piece of software that will sniff out the packets these devices get and receive.
I've even found posted packets to send some led Wi-Fi lighting for ON/OFF and Bright/dims
The software? Wireshark (http://www.wireshark.org/)
Will X10 get into Wi-Fi HA?
I sure hope so!
After all, lots of this stuff is coming out of China. rofl
 >!
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on March 28, 2013, 10:50:42 AM
I've even found posted packets to send some led Wi-Fi lighting for ON/OFF and Bright/dims
The software? Wireshark (http://www.wireshark.org/)
Will X10 get into Wi-Fi HA?

Thanks for the link. I saw some for hacking the Belkin API but they may be too esoteric.

AFAIK, Belkin doesn't require a dedicated hub but their offerings are limited - they lack dimmers. LIFX puts the WiFi receiver in their dimmable LED bulb but it then acts as a mesh network hub for additional bulbs. Hue requires a dedicated hub and is rather pricey. But, given all the activity, I suspect we'll start to see better offerings.

If X10 doesn't get into WiFi (or some other wireless protocol) they won't survive. PLC is doomed.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: bs2000 on May 09, 2013, 08:30:02 PM
Ok it has been a long time since x10 update its software and had any real innovative things happening. Is x10 dead? never saw the 2nd QT 2012 software date....
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on May 10, 2013, 01:17:40 PM
Ok it has been a long time since x10 update its software and had any real innovative things happening. Is x10 dead?
Not yet, but the life support machines are making funny noises.
I agree with dhouston that PLC is doomed, but I do not think X10 has the resources to do anything about it. $0.02.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on May 10, 2013, 07:49:41 PM
I agree with dhouston that PLC is doomed, but I do not think X10 has the resources to do anything about it. $0.02.

The fact that X10 has finally added AGC to its newer switches and modules may be the transplant needed to give some extra life.  The Leviton switches we have here incorporate AGC, and have worked extremely well since I installed them a decade ago.  Only that Lumoform 4W LED light that pumps out almost 2Vpp near 120KHz caused problems for the nearby Leviton X10 switch.

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on May 10, 2013, 10:29:44 PM
I agree with dhouston that PLC is doomed.....

Doomed.... can take a very long time. I'd guess for many of us regulars here at the forum.... we will have many modules that last longer than ourselves.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dave w on May 11, 2013, 10:57:46 AM
Doomed.... can take a very long time.  
Yes. Like I said I think X10 is on life support. The X10 problem I see is "newbie frustration" when they buy new CM15A and AHP, when they can get it, with (new) modules and things don't work. X10.com insinuates all one has to do is plug stuff in and instant automation abounds.
Really, this forum is the main way a newbie finds out why modules do not respond. Even the WiKi's do a lot of tip toeing and glossing over.
As Jeff points out, the AGC addition helps with noise problems, But hasn't been the silver bullet, based on forum requests for help. Also leaves phase coupling relativly unaddressed "Why does only one of my three new 'wireless doorbell' chimes work?".

My perception is X10 isn't getting many "new" customers in the automation field (no growth). Hence I think X10 PLC sales is mainly to existing users (the life support).

PLC is saveable, but I just don't see X10 having the development/design resources to pull it off. Besides they would likely have to step on Insteon patents.

Saying this a different way: If X10 were to do an IPO tomorrow, how many of us would be in line to buy stock? $0.02.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on May 11, 2013, 11:42:24 AM
As Jeff points out, the AGC addition helps with noise problems, But hasn't been the silver bullet, based on forum requests for help. Also leaves phase coupling relativly unaddressed "Why does only one of my three new 'wireless doorbell' chimes work?".

Most X10 problems are due to weak signal levels or powerline noise.  AGC should help with powerline noise, but it can  exacerbate the signal level problem.

I'd be happy to help X10 with the signal level problem if they care to contact me.

Phase coupling is indeed a problem, and X10 should offer some sort of simple plug-in phase coupler.  It could plug into a high-current 240V receptacle like the discontinued SmartHome units, or it could be a simple RF link between modules plugged into both phases.

Noise was the real killer with the proliferation of CFLs, LED lights, and modular power supplies.  At least that issue is being dealt with.

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: Brian H on May 11, 2013, 11:48:07 AM
As usual. No X10 model number changes or updated manuals.
End users again have to point out changes.  >*<
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: dhouston on May 11, 2013, 11:57:04 AM
I'd be happy to help X10 with the signal level problem if they care to contact me.
But how much cost would it add to their devices?

...or it could be a simple RF link between modules plugged into both phases.
That's easier outside of N. America. RF power allowed in Europe (433.92MHz) is about 10 times FCC limits while other areas (e.g. Australia) allow even more. Given the poor range exhibited by most X10 RF devices, I doubt they would spend the money to allow adequate range.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: mike on May 11, 2013, 12:39:48 PM
r there enough of us diehards left to support a Dhouston & JeffV replacement/improved pieces store?   I for one rely on my X10's at 3 locations across town to imform me if there is a security problem.  Would I spend $ 1000 on stuff in next year?  no, so maybe my question is just plain dumb if there are not enough of us $ 150/yr cheap folks left?    I do use ihouse at one of these locations also as a supplement.   the range & noise & consistency issues are always still there with most X10...  Security is 100% for me but only by bypassing the range & noise issues by almost hardwiring the various sensors to within 5 feet of the DS unit....  if these wre not issues I would add more buildings to the mix....

 just puttin' the though out there.....
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on May 11, 2013, 02:13:39 PM
I'd be happy to help X10 with the signal level problem if they care to contact me.
But how much cost would it add to their devices?

Not much in high volume - a beefier power supply, high-current MOSFET, and big inductors and capacitors in the output stage.

...or it could be a simple RF link between modules plugged into both phases.
That's easier outside of N. America. RF power allowed in Europe (433.92MHz) is about 10 times FCC limits while other areas (e.g. Australia) allow even more. Given the poor range exhibited by most X10 RF devices, I doubt they would spend the money to allow adequate range.

Not much range is needed to relay a command between two AC receptacles on different phases.  The typical range of a motion detector should be sufficient.  The receiving module would use the RF input to trigger a high-power PLC output on the opposite phase..

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on May 12, 2013, 12:28:44 AM
..... The X10 problem I see is "newbie frustration" when they buy new CM15A and AHP, when they can get it, with (new) modules and things don't work. X10.com insinuates all one has to do is plug stuff in and instant automation abounds.

That's it! But... even with the no-tools-required cable company home automation installs... people aren't interested. Or... better stated "enough people" aren't interested. The things that CAN be done with home automation are simply amazing. But selling the products to do those amazing things... in enough volume and at a high enough price to make a profit... ain't no easy accomplishment.

When people talk about time and effort saving automation today... they are talking about apps that run on their phones. I think todays average contemporary home owner is more comfortable with downloading a phone app... than rewiring a light switch. But... that doesn't explain why the cable company isn't finding any real success at selling home automation.

I installed motion sensor light switches from the local home improvement store in the garage and laundry room years ago. I could add a few more of those and some old-fashioned timers on a few lights... and get a lot of automation for nearly nothing (and almost NO effort). Maybe that's what people are doings.... and looking at apps for bells and whistles.
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: JeffVolp on May 12, 2013, 10:23:31 AM
When people talk about time and effort saving automation today... they are talking about apps that run on their phones. I think todays average contemporary home owner is more comfortable with downloading a phone app... than rewiring a light switch. But... that doesn't explain why the cable company isn't finding any real success at selling home automation.

Technology was a new thing to most people back in the 70s when home automation was introduced.  We were landing on the moon, and many people were interested in science.  There were no home computers, VCRs, or cell phones.  So automation was a way for the technologically inclined to dive into the new world.

Now pretty much every kid has a cellphone.  His quest for technology is satisfied by downloading another app or buying the next hot computer game.  While home automation can be useful, it takes some work.  How many kids today can even change a light switch?  If you watch the H&G channel, most couples buying homes don't even want to paint a room.

Jeff
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: pomonabill221 on May 12, 2013, 04:02:36 PM
I agree... it is SAD that kids today don't have a CLUE as to how to do simple repairs.
If they can't push a button, download an app, twist a knob, talk to a phone (or text), they are lost!
These primary and necessary skills have long gone from our education system... no more shop classes and if you have any kind of interest in learning, you have to pay a huge amount to go to a "vocational" school!
And repairing / troubleshooting skills???? Well NOW you are asking too much!

Sorry to get off topic, but I just had to add my .02!
Sad situation!  Wonder what the future holds?!?!?!?
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: HA Dave on May 12, 2013, 10:11:59 PM
..... Sad situation!  Wonder what the future holds?!?!?!?

Hard to say.... the future seems to keep changing. I can remember when we were all going to have flying cars. Then... no flying cars for anyone. Now I read that a flying car crashed (http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/05/10/flying-car-crashes-in-canada/).
Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: astrothug on May 13, 2013, 09:48:29 PM
last week I seen him testing it out on a tv show, he had problems with it then..LOL glad their  ok.. but I would never fly in something like that.. As for x10 to bad there was not more companies that had the same idea at a cheap price, our local source (was radio shack) here in Canada just started selling INSTEON products...

Title: Re: The Future of X10
Post by: beelocks on May 14, 2013, 05:37:59 AM
Now I read that a flying car crashed

That news reports states...
The pilot and passenger suffered injuries, but are both expected to recover according to the local police. No one was on the ground at the time of the accident.

Did someone turn the gravity off that day??
At that particular moment in time was the entire population of the globe travelling in flying cars??

I have doubts about the accuracy of this report  rofl