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Author Topic: [HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10  (Read 5366 times)

jaxbri

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[HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10
« on: June 21, 2007, 02:00:17 PM »

Hi All,
My husband and I are building a new home, and are interested in the "smart home" technology. I came across X-10's website, and it seems to be quite a bit less expensive than other automation products. Can anyone give me feedback as to what they have experienced, and maybe recommendations to starter systems??

Thank you for your time!  :)
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steven r

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Re: [HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 04:36:14 PM »

If you're building, you have an opportunity to hardwire for a lot of options. I suggest phone jacks, cat 5, and any other such wiring anywhere you might even remotely think you might need it.

Now for X10...
X10 is an inexpensive (with respect to everything else out there) automation system. The low cost comes with the fact that it is a DIY install. Most every pit fall has been addressed at least once here. If not there, there are lots of us here that love new challenges. Make a list of how you would like to have your house automated. There are folks here with alarm experience, solar technology, voice automation (check out Bill's program) and many of us that have been using X10 products for years.

X10 applications include everything from controlling lights to detecting moles.

Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 05:01:00 PM by steven r »
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KDR

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Re: [HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 05:27:12 PM »

Welcome to the boards and the world of automation...

jaxbri you have a great advantage over most, your working with new construction. As steven r indicated now is the time to add all that extra cable. Some of the things you need to think about is phase coupling your power coming into the house, if you want to add cameras at some point wired cams produce better results over wireless so you could run cat 5 or cat 6 cables to accommodate them (6 conductor phone cable will work for cams as well). If you plan on using wall mount X10 switches and receptacles make sure your work boxes have neutral conductors passing through them and that you use the bigger cubic inch capacity boxes as you can for the application. If you do add cameras and plan on using the robotic Pan-n-Tilt (Ninja) plan your camera locations and an electrical outlet close by to plug its power pack into.

When running cables avoid running cat5 or phone type cable parallel with power cables. Cat6 cable has a shield in it but I have not run any along side power cables to know if its a problem.

Come here often, search for answers to any of your questions and if you don't find the answer ask and someone will provide some input.

----------------KDR
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HA Dave

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Re: [HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2007, 07:14:31 PM »


If you're building, you have an opportunity to hardwire for a lot of options. I suggest phone jacks, cat 5, and any other such wiring anywhere you might even remotely think you might need it.



jaxbri you have a great advantage over most, your working with new construction. As steven r indicated now is the time to add all that extra cable.


Just in case you need to here it again..... more wiring. Besides the above mentioned.... coax (cable and satelite TV cable) and speaker wire (sound systems are now 7.1). Think ahead on your outdoor lighting and security system too.

If I was building new I would try to centrally locate a control room that would allow easier (than normal) access to ALL the incoming wiring....  as well as other areas of the home. In the future... you may want to watch the Internet instead of TV, or listen to live music over a Hi-Fi phone connection.... while you video chat with the kids over your cable TV video phone. Having flexibility with your utility control could be helpful.

My older home had updated wiring when I purchased it. Still I've added hundreds of feet on new wiring (not even counting the CAT5, coax, speaker, or camera wire). Definitely check out the BVC thread here at the forum. BVC is the future of home automation.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2007, 10:13:56 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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TakeTheActive

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Re: [HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2007, 08:29:59 PM »


...When running cables avoid running cat5 or phone type cable parallel with power cables...

If one cannot avoid running " other " cables parallel with power cables, what is the MINIMUM recommended spacing to avoid (or at least MINIMIZE ::) ) interference? ???
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Puck

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Re: [HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2007, 10:10:02 PM »

If one cannot avoid running " other " cables parallel with power cables, what is the MINIMUM recommended spacing to avoid (or at least MINIMIZE ::) ) interference? ???

wires should always be run perpendictular, but the minimum distanse between wires depends on the power being transmitted. So in most houses, if you can't seperate, or isolate, then prepare to eliminate. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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jaxbri

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Re: [HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2007, 01:25:41 PM »

Thank you to all of you for your advice. I may have more questions as it comes closer to our project. :)
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steven r

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Re: [HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2007, 01:41:50 PM »

Thank you to all of you for your advice. I may have more questions as it comes closer to our project. :)
Keep searching and reading here. You'll soon be an expert too. Feel free to ask questions here also.
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BVC let's me tell my camera where to go!
:) Murphy is my beta testing pal. He helps me find problems whether I like it or not. :)

pllamonica

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Re: [HELP] New to Home Automation - Thinking of Buying X-10
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2007, 11:19:44 AM »

I have been buying x10 switches and modules for more than 10 years and find that there stuff is as good or better than others.  It is also easy to replace, they are usually fast in the shipping area (yes I have replaced a few wall switches over the years)  I hate the web site but have learned to live with it.

One down side you must be aware of.  X10 Wall switches are not compatible with most compact florescent lights.  Regular incandescent lights work just fine but non-dimmable lights do not.  I have been told that dimmable florescent lights may not work either but I have not tried it myself.  That means if you are planning to use those low power bulbs you will need to use more than an X10 wall switch.

All in all you are on safe ground with X10 based on my experience.
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