Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The Buster PiX10Hub is here! Created by the Community, for the Community.:)% #:)

Author Topic: Any suggestions?  (Read 6139 times)

solberg123

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 9
Any suggestions?
« on: April 28, 2009, 09:46:23 PM »

I've been reading the forum for a few days and I'm learning a lot, but you guys sound more like electrical engineers than X10 enthusiasts. Some of the information I'm reading is a little intimidating. I'm good with a screwdriver and I'm very capable with a computer, however I am not an electrician or a programmer.

I'm looking to set up a system to control my lights from my computer so I can use timers and such. I live in a new condominium building that was built 4 years ago. I have a small unit, 800 square feet or so. In my unit I have 3 CFL lamps. My overhead lights are 50w halogen floods. I also have two ceiling fans that use standard 40w ceiling fan light bulbs. My computer runs Windows XP.

Can I just buy the CFL lamp modules, AM466, a bunch of wall switch modules, WS467, and an AHP Computer Interface, CM15A, and set it up? I feel like this must be more complicated. I read about very complex problems people have with this product and it has me a little confused. Does it work? Is there something that's better? Obviously the pricing of this particular brand has my interest.

I like the idea of this product, and I thought it might work in my condo because of it's small size, but I just want to make the right decision. Any advice is appreciated greatly.

Also, does it matter how many light bulbs are on a light switch? In my bathroom for example, I have a standard overhead 60w bulb on the same switch as three 50w Edison halogen bulbs. Many of my overhead light switches also have multiple halogen bulbs on them. And is there a switch that could give me control of the ceiling fans themselves and not just the light bulbs on them?

Thanks again for your assistance.
Logged

TomG

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Helpful Post Rating: 10
  • Posts: 21
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 01:08:17 AM »

The lights in my house are mostly CFL. The x10 switches and modules I have turned out to work better then I thought with CFLs. But in my setup I did notice that dimming modules like WS467 need to have at least one incandescent bulb in paralell with the other CFLs. On the other end the appliance module can have only CFLs on it. So you might need to leave here and there one incandescent bulb to be able to use the standard switches. For more $$ switches the work with flourescent lights are available (I use ToggleLinc) and you can have only CFL on them, but they cost 4x the normal WS467.
BTW, ActiveHomePro works best on WinXP. It can be made to work on Vista with some tweaks.

TomG
Logged

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 291
  • Posts: 12834
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 07:01:54 AM »

If you want to look at the installation sheets for X10 models you are looking at.
Many are here to download: http://www.x10.com/support/support_manuals.htm

The two wire wall switches as mentioned. Use the load to steal the needed power for it. That is why CFLs with out a regular bulb will not work.
Logged

solberg123

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 9
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 11:12:36 AM »

The CFL's I have in my apartment are in lamps, and unfortunately each lamp is on it's own receptacle throughout my apartment. None of the lamps are on a switch, they get turned on at the lamp itself. I was considering the use of individual CFL modules, (or appliance modules?) on these lamps to avoid potential complications mixing CFL's with non-CFL modules. It is my understanding that you forfeit dimming capability with CFL modules, which is alright with me. I've read stories of peoples non-CFL modules overheating when being used with CFL's and that makes me nervous. My neighbors will be very upset if I burn the building down.

And I saw on eBay actual X10 receptacles for sale. I didn't see any of these on X10.com and was curious about them. Any thoughts? I like the idea of using these with my lamps for a cleaner install, but the CFL issue may complicate things. It would also be nice to be able to put the outlet in my bathroom on a timer so I don't have to worry about my girlfriend leaving her "hair appliances" on after we've left the apartment, haha. And come to think of it, putting the coffee pot in the kitchen on an X10 receptacle would be beneficial for me too. All input is greatly appreciated.
Logged

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 291
  • Posts: 12834
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2009, 04:26:04 PM »

Yes Appliance Modules don't dim and most CFLs don't either. The CFL bulbs that do are touchy and dim poorly.

http://www.x10.com/automation/x10_sr227.htm
Logged

solberg123

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 9
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 06:27:22 PM »

I noticed that these receptacles don't respond to the ALL ON/OFF command, I'm assuming that's a function of all appliance modules? That makes sense.
Logged

Dan Lawrence

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 68
  • Posts: 3991
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 07:24:13 PM »

I noticed that these receptacles don't respond to the ALL ON/OFF command, I'm assuming that's a function of all appliance modules? That makes sense.


Untrue.   My breakfast room (where we eat, the kitchen is where we cook) has both a swag light and a ceiling florescent light, both use an appliance module (the swag light has a CFL in it and an appliance module to control it and the florescent light has an XPFM module, a specialized appliance module for wired-in applications. Both promptly turn off to the All Units Off command in AHP and a macro command that turns off certain Modules at the press of A5 OFF. 
Logged
I don't SELL this stuff... BUT I sure do ENJOY using it!!!

solberg123

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 9
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 07:32:50 PM »

Oh, so is it the ALL UNITS ON command that isn't received by the appliance modules?
Logged

Knightrider

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 62
  • Posts: 1743
  • I love my WM100!
    • This Automated House
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 07:45:30 PM »

Look again.  The commands are "All LIGHTS On" and "All UNITS Off".  There is also a mysterious "All LIGHTS Off" command which I have only heard rumors of it's existence.
Logged
Remote control is cool,

but automation rules!

TomG

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Helpful Post Rating: 10
  • Posts: 21
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2009, 11:53:32 PM »

One issue to be aware of with appliance modules. I noticed at least 3 different types:

(i) Some that have really loud relay in them. I can't stand those and they startle the cat too, you can hear the noise across the house when they go on or off.
(ii) Some have nice soft click with for the relay (see ApplianceLinc). The best IMO but $$$
(iii) Some use a triac or similar, make no noise at all, but have some limitations. Some brands of CFL do not turn OFF "completly" on those meaning in the dark you can see a split second fliker here and there on the CFL. The same CFL put on a relay appliance module works.

The receptacles I had at some point had very noisy relays in them. They worked with CFL but were too loud.

Before you buy, and specifically if you plan to get a lot of them, do try them out first to see if you like the combination of noise + they like your CFLs. Also buy from a place you can send them back and try a different brand.

Tom
Logged

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 291
  • Posts: 12834
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 06:57:50 AM »

I don't believe there is an 'All Units On'.

There is an 'All Lights On' as mentioned. X10 says for added protection. Appliance Modules do not respond to that command. In theory you could turn on the Lights and also a Appliance Module with a unsafe load [empty coffee pot is the example I have seen].

They do respond to the 'All Units Off' command.

Yes there is a valid 'All Lights Off' command. Though I have only seen it used a few times. One I have seen is with a Simplehomenet EZX10RF module. Supposed to tranceive X10 signals and also preset X10 codes translate to Insteon Addresses. My older one translates an All Units Off from my Palmpad to an All Lights Off.   ???

Lins signals monitored by a Smarthome 1132CU Interface with their software.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 07:01:08 AM by Brian H »
Logged

solberg123

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 9
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2009, 10:18:28 AM »

Right, ALL UNITS ON/ALL LIGHTS ON, I see the distinction. I'm still adjusting to the new vocabulary, sorry for my ignorance. Obviously not having an ALL UNITS ON makes sense, no melting the coffee pot that way.

So is the noise from appliance modules only a factor when using CFL's, or is it just a way of life for the appliance modules themselves? Truthfully, I only have 3 CFL bulbs in my apartment, the rest is halogen. The simplest solution might be to just abandon the CFL bulbs in favor of standard incandescent ones, assuming the noise is a consequence of the CFL/appliance module combination. Unfortunately, that doesn't make my project very environmentally friendly. I'll take a look at ApplianceLinc in the meantime.

Again, thanks for the insight.
Logged

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 291
  • Posts: 12834
Re: Any suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2009, 04:23:44 PM »

The standard X10 Appliance Module and Wall Receptacle Module have a mechanically toggled ratchet switch in them. They do tend to clunk when changing states.

The ApplianceLinc is an Insteon enabled module; but the relay in it is very quiet. They can have a X10 Primary Address programmed into them. Also can be in an X10 Scene or Insteon Scene. To add an X10 Scene you need a way of sending a string of House Code Only signals on the power line. The primary scene just start the linking mode and send the X10 on or off signal three times.

I have never seen an Appliance rated triac controlled module. Only dimming ones. Not to say they don't exists.
Logged
 

X10.com | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
© Copyright 2014-2016 X10.com All rights reserved.