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Author Topic: Hows this for a starter kit?  (Read 12667 times)

gder

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Hows this for a starter kit?
« on: December 06, 2006, 06:31:17 PM »

I'm looking at home automation options and after a couple of weeks of research have decided to start putting something together.  I'm going to start small with some light switches and motion sensors plus a copy of AHP and see where it goes.  Here's what I was thinking of ordering and wanted to get opinions:

The software suite: http://www.x10.com/promotions/cm15a_complete_sw39a_0927.html
(This seems like a good deal, what caught my eye was the AHP and Smart Macro's, the rest is really just gravy)

Modules:
3 Eagle Eye motion sensors: http://www.x10wirelesshome.com/sensors/x10_eagle_eye_motion_sensor_ms14a.html
(I'm thinking master bedroom, master bath, kitchen)

5 wall switch modules: http://www.x10.com/automation/x10_ws467.htm
(These were the best deal and most of the rooms I'm starting with have multiple fixtures)

4 3-way wall switch modules: http://www.x10.com/automation/x10_ws4777.htm
(Some of the lights are 3 way...self explanatory)

---

I think this will get me started but I'm looking for opinions from people with more experience.  I've trolled the forums quite a bit but if someone sees anything that I'm missing please let me know.

Regards

Gene da newbie
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Hows this for a starter kit?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2006, 06:50:22 PM »


More info to follow... 8)  Wanted to try to catch you before you logged off.


UPDATE:

Oh well - too bad you didn't log back on again tonight. :(

[I had to *FORCE* myself NOT to reply-in-full earlier because (don't tell anyone :o ) I'm an " Internet Junkie "! Once I start replying to posts, GOOGLING for information, etc..., time just FLIES out the door and *NOTHING* else gets done. So, here's my suggested additional purchases. 8) ]

As an X10 NEWBIE, please consider these " Additional Initial Purchases ", listed in somewhat priority order:

  • 1.) Wired Controller: As a NEWBIE just starting out, when something doesn't work (and TRUST ME, IT WON'T!), how can you tell if it's due to a defective module, programming error or 'defective' User? ;)  It's nice to have a Wired Controller that you can pick up and carry to an outlet on the "Circuit-in-Question", set to the appropriate HouseCode and TEST.

    Tonight, THE BANDIT is claiming Maxi-Controllers will be *ON SALE* @ 2 for $15. Can't beat that with a stick! Get them!
    .
  • 2.) Universal Module and/or Remote Chime: Hearing a SOUND certainly beats running back-and-forth to see if "something worked". Plug one of these modules into the"Circuit-in-Question", set to the appropriate HouseCode and TEST.
    .
  • 3.) X10 Filters: Be sure to read JeffVolp's excellent articles on locating SIGNAL SUCKERS. Then, head on over to eBay and SEARCH for the guy with the "3-for-$$$" deal. IIRC, best price I've seen...
    .
  • 4.) ELK ESM1: If you're SERIOUS about X10, you really should buy this X10 Signal Strength Meter ASAP. It will save you TONs of grief (and preserve whatever hair you currently have ::) )! :)
    .
  • 5.) RR501 Transceiver: Why wait to find out that the CM15A RF reception stinks? Get a RR501 now and be confident that your Motion Sensors are being heard.
    .
  • 6.) *ANY* RF Transmitter: Unless you want to CARRY one of your EagleEyes around the house, testing for RF RANGE problems, get yourself another RF Transmitter. I'd suggest a PalmPad, but there's also a couple of Keychain Remotes (2 and 4 device) available, usually with a "3-for-1" or "4-for-1" *SALE*.
    .
  • 7.) RCA-Branded CM11A for $10: Nothing beats having another *INDEPENDENT* device logging X10 events. You can't beat this price, so, if you have a spare / second computer with a Serial Port available, grab one of these before they're eventually SOLD OUT.
    I've used the CM11A for "YEARS" and even though I recently " downgraded " to the CM15A, I also run AH v1.32 on an old Toshiba laptop that runs 24x7. Besides giving me a continuous LOG of X10 events, it also allows me to visually check ON/OFF Status and control *ANY* module in the house.

Well, it's coming upon midnight here in NJ, so I'm going to post what I have here so far and get ready to "retire for the evening". ;)

Best of luck to you!  :)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2006, 12:13:47 AM by TakeTheActive »
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HA Dave

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Re: Hows this for a starter kit?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2006, 07:19:51 PM »

Jump in and join the fun! But don't forget a remote control or two.... nice item to have.
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Don N

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Re: Hows this for a starter kit?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2006, 08:22:32 PM »

gder -- You might consider looking at this web site.  www.automatedoutlet.com   They sell some of the same X10 products you are interested in, plus they are much cheaper.  Just a thought.  Several forum members, including myself, have been completely satisfied with their service.   
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Hows this for a starter kit?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2006, 08:45:10 PM »

Agreed.

I bought 2 WS467's from Automated Outlet recently since one I had went bad and my local dealer was out of them.   They have them for less than X10 USA sells them for and less than my local dealer had them for when he had them in stock.
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gder

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Re: Hows this for a starter kit?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2006, 12:25:57 PM »

TTA and everyone else thank you for your input.  The signal tester and filters are probably a good idea and I'll look into them.  I've had some car problems and have a sick animal, to top it off I've been informed by the wife that I'm not allowed to buy myself Christmass presents during the month of December :).  I'm going to have to push this back until January probably but that will just give me a few more weeks to plan and put everything together.

Quote
8.) What is your "Electrical Expertise"?

 - Can you install a new outlet? [Bust open sheetrock, run wire, tie into existing / install new circuit breaker.]?
 - Do you own (and know how to use) a VOM/DVM?
 - Do you own (and know how to use) an oscilloscope?

I can manage house wiring for the most part.  I've run some wire and installed a couple of breakers in the past; I would prefer to avoid pulling wire in the finished upstairs if at all possible.  I did check several of the switch boxes and they all appear to contain hot, neutral, and ground wires so I don't think it will be a problem.

I'm assuming that VOM/DVM stands for Volt Meter/Digital Volt Meter.  I own an old model HP 6 decimal precision multimeter (bulky but workable) and have access to a handheld Fluke if I should need it.  I also own an 18k analog scope, aside from connecting it to some headphones to show the kids what sound looks like it doesn't get much use.  I do have access to a digital scope as well should it be necessary.


So I'm going to put this on the back burner for now but will plan on making an order the first half of January. 

Thanks again

Gene
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Hows this for a starter kit?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2006, 01:02:58 AM »


...I've had some car problems and have a sick animal, to top it off I've been informed by the wife that I'm not allowed to buy myself Christmass presents during the month of December :).  I'm going to have to push this back until January...

...So I'm going to put this on the back burner for now but will plan on making an order the first half of January.

That's certainly unfortunate!  :(

It has been my experience that X10 Corp puts up some *GOOD* Deals at the END OF THE QUARTER.  And, with this, the 4th quarter, also being the END OF THE YEAR, you may be missing out on some " Not-too-soon-to-be-repeated " bargains. :-\

Reconsider your options. ;)
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glt

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Re: Hows this for a starter kit?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2006, 08:22:22 AM »

TTA is absolutely correct, X10's best deals are usually @ EOQ or better EOY.

Haven't decided what I'm going to buy MYSELF for Christmas, but I will buy something because I've spent WAY too many years HOPING for a great gift, never to have it happen.

If I buy it, it will be GREAT! Yeah!

(and only a little bit of guilt)

Merry Christmas!

GLT

EDIT: BTW I have RARELY seen X10's deals expire - so if you have the link to the page of the good deal, it will probably still work in January!
« Last Edit: December 08, 2006, 08:31:48 AM by glt »
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