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Author Topic: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...  (Read 82025 times)

HRHKEE

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I purchased a comprehensive system including All X10 AHP related software, some cameras (low light camera – HAH), some Pro Modules and a Security System (fully Loaded /w 18 door sensors and 6 motion sensors (THANKS X10 SALES) – Oh and best of all (THE WRONG Switches) MOST OF MY switches require 3 way switches and WORSE NO single light switch has a GROUND CONNECTOR – OH JOY!!!!! Ever heard of BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS ANYONE @ X10?????

The rest of the system KINDA WORK but my AHP Software and Add-ons – OH! What a headache.....

Hardware Integration Issue with AHP:
•   Cameras - Poor video reception and picture control,
•   PRO modules... hmmmm.... PRO! Yeah Right...
•   Who thought up the antennae on the Ninja's? What should I do? Rotate the house and the receiver around with it too to maintain perfect alignment with the camera?
•   4 corners to house… three ninja’s outside upside down under soffit, Can anyone think I may have hmmm a reception headache? Hmm? Hmm?

Most of the calls I have made to X10 Support is regarding programming my hardware but it seems the AHP software is at the heart of all the major problems I have had.

Here are a few issues.
1.   I found a major bug in the software. Whenever I restrict modules from MyHouse.X10.Com, and I connect online, the local default ahp file (the one I spent hours building) gets corrupted and those devices I blocked or restricted disappear once the system recovers from a crashes that happens EVERYTIME I connect via the net.

2.   Most damaging, I found a way to identify clients to the x10 gateways and probe those people (if they are not hardened) - finding the usernames and passwords for MyHouse.X10.com is not too hard.

3.   Macros - HAH... the only great thing about AHP Macros is that with the SDK I can use VB or other languages... but the documentation is lacking and the logic weak.  WHAT MACRO LIBRARY – I cannot click the Create button as it says in the documentation and it sends me to a link that tries to SELL ME MORE X10 Stuff. I learn more from the forums than I could ever learn from the docs or technical support.

4.   MY GREATEST HEADACHE... whenever I call support... EVERYONE THERE TELLS ME ABOUT WHAT I DID NOT BUY. ALL X10 PERSONNEL DO IS SELL! SELL! SELL! Come on X10... Some of us are already sold on your stuff..... PLEASE SUPPORT IT!!!! Also I cannot tell you how many times I have called the support line just to be disconnected and NO ONE THERE CAN TELL WHY!!!! It’s like there is a timer on the call - if they put you on hold - FORGETABOUT IT! It must be me and my frustrated attitude but some of your tech support people really stink. Some of them – the last two women I spoke to were really nice but they hung up on me anyway – and never called back like they said they would. And I know – I DID NOT BUY THE WARRANTY….. ON PURPOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why would I warranty something I don’t know if I will keep?

5. AHP Crashes like clockwork…with no use or interaction from me. I get this regularly…. ACTIVE HOME PROFESSIONAL HAS ENCOUNTERED A PROBLEM AND NEEDS TO CLOSE. WE ARE SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE… On debug…it all disappears.

6.   The Ninja:
  • Rotation upside down is sluggish....
    Reception is poor most of the time....
    User cannot control which camera is selected in AHP as it constantly decides which it wants to show. I have adjusted the preferences till I am blue in the face.
    Macros cannot shut off camera. I cannot even keep them off with the remote controller.
    Ninja Control pad messing with other X10 devices/macros/triggers....
    HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally - My advice to X0 users is to be careful and
a.   Leave it disconnected when not in use.
b.   Don’t restrict anything you wish to keep when connecting
c.   NEVER SEND THE SECURITY EMAIL VIA AHP.
d.   Create a restore point before configuring and connecting X10 MyHouse Online and restore before you did when done. (Too many Antx files, registry entries and XML … stuf f to cleanup)

My plea to X10 - harden your systems and software. I have not looked at anyone's system or even or will try but I could hack my own and that is enough to tell me – Quality of Security and Program Stability is very WEAK!

NEXT VERSION ANYONE???

JM $700+ already spent and it seems I need to spend another $700 buying the right high end cameras, 3 way switches and more sensors to achieve what I asked sales to help me with 6 months ago...

Please tell me what problems you have had with support or AHP software?
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dave w

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2007, 12:41:45 PM »

MOST OF MY switches require 3 way switches and WORSE NO single light switch has a GROUND CONNECTOR – OH JOY!!!!! Ever heard of BUILDING CODE VIOLATIONS ANYONE @ X10?????




Please tell me what problems you have had with support or AHP software?

Switches do not always come with ground lugs. If you are mounting the switches in metal boxes, they will be grounded by viture of the phsycal contact with the metal box. If mounting in plastic box, you can wrap the ground wire under one of the switches mounting ears.

I'm confused, if most of your switches require 3-way switches, why did you order the standard two way switch from X10?
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HRHKEE

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2007, 03:43:25 PM »


Please tell me what problems you have had with support or AHP software?
Quote

I'm confused, if most of your switches require 3-way switches, why did you order the standard two way switch from X10?
Quote

Dave:

I will not tag X10 Sales 100% for this one because at the time I ordered my system - the house was being built and the question of "type of switch" never came up. Me ordering the wrong switch is a result of X10 Sales not suggesting the right solution or asking the right questions given the floor plans, goals and objectives, project plans and powerpoint presentations/documentation I sent them prior to taking on this task. Three people gave me three different solutions and a supervisor had to straighten it out even after that.

My switch boxes are all plastic and really neatly packed with wires as most of them are multiple switch boxes. As for wrapping the ground wire around the switch base.... Not neat when face plate goes back on.

JM
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dave w

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2007, 12:21:51 PM »

I see. Well X10's return policy is pretty liberal.

RE: the ground wire. If you put it under the switch ear it will not bulge the face plate.
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tom j

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2008, 10:43:41 PM »

Two years after AHP came out people were still complaining about simple timers that wouldn't work due to programing errors TRUE story if you go back to the last few threads under AHP you're see what I mean! After all these years I actually thought most of the bugs at least the major ones in the AHP had been fixed now as for the add on's well maybe in a a few years those might even be fixed.

Tom j.
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javawizard2539

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2008, 12:18:18 AM »

I would like to add my rants to this forum post, as it came up top for a search on "video disconnected", which brings me to my problem...

Whenever I connect using MyHouse Online, I get this stupid "video disconnected" thing printed out in the myhouse status window, and the video doesn't work. Wasted money big-time.

Another rant. I was over at a friend's house, who uses X10 and 2.4GHz cordless phones. Guess what? His cameras have static and lines through them! Perhaps X10 should consider adding some channels out of the 2.4GHz band.
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tom j

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2008, 11:01:50 PM »

partial quote. 

Who thought up the antennae on the Ninja's? What should I do? Rotate the house and the receiver around to maintain perfect alignment with the camera?

That's funny! and I agree.  rofl


Tom j
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devedsmith

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 03:34:47 AM »

BRILLIANT, HRHKEE!!!!!! I have had all of the same problems. Bravo. Yea, so much for "pro" when your electrician won't install it nor will your inspector approve it. I have spent hundreds of dollars on this junk only to find out that it's not code, it's not reliable, and it's not programmable the way they claim.
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devedsmith

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009, 03:50:40 AM »

Ok, first thought: NEVER, and I mean NEVER use x10 for security. That's just dumb given their YEARS of reliability problems and lack of product/support updates.

Second, they are nothing more than a marketing engine. Having met with them in person they know nothing about their product except how to sell it. Really!

Third, there are much better products on the market for the same price. smarthome.com will tell you that - and they know their product.

Fourth, I have dozens (yes DOZENS) of x10 modules. Only the oldest (Radio Shack, circa 1985) modules work the best. ALL of the newer products have problems or have mind-boggling differences too many to count.

Fifth, the shear volume of product variations make x10 a nightmare to plan, purchase, and configure.

Sixth, they haven't made any significant updates to the ActiveHome Pro application in years. Knowing them, they just aren't interested. And yet, it's an entirely custom application. Every control, button, slider, window, menu, and checkbox has been custom programmed. Talk about a bloated waist of budget on no-talent programmers.

Seventh, their current software doesn't even include all of their product in the interface. Ever tried to add a camera? Suprise!

Eighth, PLC is a novelty. It's that simple and nothing more.

Ninth, x10 is slow. The AcitiveHome Pro application just makes the problem worse with a slow scripting language behind the macros.

Tenth... I could go on and on....and on....

Any thoughts?
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HA Dave

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2009, 08:58:53 AM »

Tenth... I could go on and on....and on....

Any thoughts?

Yes.. I have some thoughts. Not only did I read your ten "points" in your post... I took the time to read "all ten of your posts". My thoughts are:  You may be an X10 basher. Maybe I am mistaken...  if I am I apologize. But in all ten of your posts I didn't see even once where you sought help with your system... or offered helpful information to anyone else.

Are your rants your way of asking for help? You say you "have dozens (yes DOZENS) of x10 modules" some since 1985. So you just seem to be having trouble with the newer stuff (like AHP?). Did you move or things change to cause your power lines to now have noise?

Maybe... if you post YOUR actual problem(s) someone can chime in and help you out.
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
The use of Home Automation is limited... only by our imaginations.

dave w

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2009, 02:36:48 PM »

Ok, first thought: NEVER, and I mean NEVER use x10 for security. That's just dumb given their YEARS of reliability problems and lack of product/support updates.

Second, they are nothing more than a marketing engine. Having met with them in person they know nothing about their product except how to sell it. Really!

Third, there are much better products on the market for the same price. smarthome.com will tell you that - and they know their product.

Fourth, I have dozens (yes DOZENS) of x10 modules. Only the oldest (Radio Shack, circa 1985) modules work the best. ALL of the newer products have problems or have mind-boggling differences too many to count.

Fifth, the shear volume of product variations make x10 a nightmare to plan, purchase, and configure.

Sixth, they haven't made any significant updates to the ActiveHome Pro application in years. Knowing them, they just aren't interested. And yet, it's an entirely custom application. Every control, button, slider, window, menu, and checkbox has been custom programmed. Talk about a bloated waist of budget on no-talent programmers.

Seventh, their current software doesn't even include all of their product in the interface. Ever tried to add a camera? Suprise!

Eighth, PLC is a novelty. It's that simple and nothing more.

Ninth, x10 is slow. The AcitiveHome Pro application just makes the problem worse with a slow scripting language behind the macros.

Tenth... I could go on and on....and on....

Any thoughts?

Yes, Dump the X10 and buy something else. Since you think PLC is a novelty, stay away from UPB and Insteon, and look at Z-Wave. In todays world the (almost) sole advantage to X10 is very low cost. Finally, remember, you can't buy a Cadillac at Yugo prices.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 02:54:53 PM by dave w »
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steven r

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2009, 03:59:12 PM »

...Who thought up the antennae on the Ninja's? What should I do? Rotate the house and the receiver around with it too to maintain perfect alignment with the camera?...
Add to that the receiving antenna is directional...  Not really the greatest -:)
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babybearjs

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 02:07:17 AM »

interesting thread... just a reminder.... electricians are stupid! they don't think about wiring thinks PROPERLY.... they just wire things the way they wire things... just like Microsoft... they are part of a poorly taught industry... there are too many variables... circuits can be wired too many ways and there seems to be no "Standard" way to wire anything... I'm lucky, I have a manufactured home, and the electrician wired all the switches with neutrals... so I can use the WS13A switches and not have any issues... my problem is the phase link... it sometimes works... I install a passive phase coupler, but its a ACT brand and not "TUNED" for a X10 signal, so I'm getting the right parts for the job... and from automated outlet.com... they're prices are slightly better the X10.com, plus they have everything in stock and offered online. If X10 want to sell stuff, they need to SHOW the ENTIRE Product Line!!! not just what they think will sell.
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dave w

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 09:43:32 AM »

Baby,

Your inputs are valuable, but ya know, you are responding to some VERY old threads. Just trying to save you from getting needless finger cramps.  :-*
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HA Dave

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Re: How Not to Automate your home with Active Home Pro and X10 devices...
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2013, 06:59:48 PM »

Baby,

.... you are responding to some VERY old threads.

But still watched and read by the same old people.
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
The use of Home Automation is limited... only by our imaginations.
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