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Author Topic: My Aussie X10 Home  (Read 45902 times)

djd

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My Aussie X10 Home
« on: June 13, 2009, 07:04:34 AM »

Hi all,

Totally new to the forum but I though I would add in my new setup which I am due to put the finishing touches to it in the morning.

Here goes:

Master Bedroom: 1x Lamp module controlling both lamps.
                       2x Bedside controllers.
                       1x USB Computer controller.

Family Room:      1x Lamp module controlling entry lamp.
                       1x 3 button wall modules controlling porch lights/all lamps on and off and garden lights.

Study:              1x RF controller controlling two lamps on desk.

Kitchen:            1x Appliance module turning the radio on and off when the other half gets up at 2am for work.
                       1x Lamp module for the Kitchen Lamp.
                       1x 8 button 16 slot keypad controlling just about all devices in the home.

Lounge:            2x Lamp modules dimming lamps in the lounge.
                       1x RF controller for the third lamp. (there is a electrical socket that wont respond to anything but a RF controller)
                       1x Bench Top controller
                       1x Milti X10 remote for x10/cable/tv/dvd/stb
                       1x Chime module

Laundry             1x Laundry screw in module controlled by motion sensor 24/7 (dark area)
                       1x Motion sensor detecting movement in the hallway triggering laundry and hallway lights
                       1x 3 button with dimming switch controlling guest bedroom/bathroom/laundry lights.

Bathroom          1x screw in light module

Guest Bedroom  1x screw in light module
                      1x 2 way transceiver
                      1x all code transceiver

Outside            1x appliance module controlling garden lights
                      1x motion detector monitoring entry/exit at main gate triggering remote chime in lounge.
                      1x screw in light module outdoor light

Wireless           3x wireless keyring remotes
                      
To install tomorrow:
                       3x RF controllers
                       2x motion detectors
                       1x plug in light socket
                       1x lamp module

Well its time for bed but will write more tomorrow on the deeper parts of the setup. Still a few weak areas in the setup so will post about these in the morning

Any advice would be great.

Cheers,

Dave
                  

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Knightrider

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2009, 09:27:57 AM »

Dave,

Your Aussie home sounds Awesome.  Keep up informed of your progress.

Your poll asks if there is anything with more or better features than x10.  Here in the States, the answer is yes and no.

Insteon has a dual (rf and plc) transmission method and more possible addresses, but is way more expensive.
A couple of other companies (z-wave and UBP) don't have quite the module assortment as x10, but propagate signals better, and again, are more expensive.

X10 still remains the best bang for your buck, and with a little patience can be made extremely reliable.


PS. Is there a Dave code that requires anyone with that name to be a HA fanatic?  We certainly have a lot of Daves here.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2009, 09:50:08 AM by Knightrider »
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HA Dave

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2009, 09:57:46 AM »

........ I am due to put the finishing touches to it in the morning.

Good luck with those "finishing touches". I've found that my setup... just continues to grow.
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JMac

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2009, 01:15:37 PM »

Just don't dim any CFL bulbs.  Not only does it not work very well, it could be a fire hazard.  In my setup I have had no problems with using CFL with the "socket rockets" (screw in light modules).
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djd

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2009, 02:38:05 AM »

Sorry for the delay in posting back.

Its been a busy few days but I have installed a few more components.

I installed a second lamp module for the bedroom to operates the other half's and my lights independently as it was starting to cause night time arguments with all lights out.

Its getting really cold down here on the North Coast of Aussie at the moment so I plugged a 1200 watt heater to put beside the other half's bed which turns on a hour before usual bed and then an hour and a half before we get up.

I still have two motion sensors that I need to push into operation but the front gate already has one and so does the hallway,any ideas anyone?

X10 products are so expensive down here in Australia, I look at the x10.com site and just about cry in comparison to what we have here.
An example is you can pay USD $4.99 plus postage for the X10 Palm Pad Remote Control HR12A where as in Australia the same item is $55.00 plus postage.

I would love to upgrade to Active Home Plus but the CM15 is $220 Aud.

I am using Home Control Assistant at the moment but trying to work the Macros in it seems really difficult, so may go back to Active Home Plus shortly.

I do hope someone knows, if I purchased a battery operated keypad or motion sensors from the USA, would they work with the Australian X10 system?

I guess all RF signals are the same?

Tonight I have to find a more suitable place for the all code transceiver as its not picking up remote signals from the back of the house.
Thanks for the fantastic comments everyone, I am really excited with all of your wonderful layouts, they are beyond anything I could implement here in Australia.

Cheers, Dave

« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 02:54:54 AM by djd »
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djd

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2009, 06:04:35 AM »

Today I installed a Motion Sensor right at the front door.
The aim is to activate as the person approach is on the middle step or to activate the minute someone walks out the door.
I have finally worked out how to make macros, yahh and this has added greatly to the reliability of the system. For the last two night we have been having lights go on and off randomly. I can only put this down to the fact that 10 or 12 lamps were due to start in a two minute period so by hopefully running a macro with a 20 second pause between each light starting will assist with the issue.

We decided to economize and run only one car as I spend the majority of time at home and the other half heads to work at 3am and gets home about 2pm.  This in itself required a complete set of wake up and turn on macros in the early hours. Each Tuesday  I drive the other half to work at 3am and come home about four, wash, polish and clean the car ready for another week.

I also spent a hour this morning relocating the all code transceiver to Level 3 in the house.
 I am now able to push the wake-up button on the remote about 2 lots down the street and by the time I get home everything has woken or is in the last stage of wakeup. Such a wonderful extended range but I put some of this down to the face its open flat country around the section with the house up on the hill and the new location of the aerial on level 3.

The dog decided to jump the fence today (first time in 3 years) while I was on a conference call so out I went running up the street, cordless in one hand after her.
There is one particular low part in the fence (that needs to be fixed soon) so tomorrow I will install a puppy high motion detector and use the trigger to put a warning over the house stereo system via the computer controller.  I can no see why people have so many motion detectors around their houses.

While talking about monitoring, I have a CMOS camera connected to the television which needs me to manually change to AV2 before it comes alive, I am looking at an option to override this or alternatively use a digital picture frame to put next to my desk to monitor the yard and her antics 24/7.

Well time for dinner here in OZ so will update soon on the camera situation and more goody's.

Ive decided to purchase 3 motion sensors from the USA and hopefully they integrate smoothly into the system.

Have a great one.

Dave
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 06:07:35 AM by djd »
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djd

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2009, 03:53:42 PM »

Good early morning everyone, its a chilly 0 degrees here and were supposed to be in the Tropics, ha.
Anyway thanks to Knightrider I found that the USA RF frequency is different to what we use down here so I spent most of the night tossing and turning on how to solve the problem.

Finally this morning I though of a way around this without having to go into the modules and tamper with them.

Home Control Assistant lets you have multiple interfaces so I can plug a US CMA15A into the other USB port and away we go. The CMA15A would not be used to send signals to the house because of the need for a voltage step-down transformer that blocks the X10 signals so its only use would be to activate macros and triggers on the Australian/European side of the setup. This really limits me to RF devices but this is a huge saving.

What I really would like would be 10-20 motion detectors around the property and I believe this setup would let me accomplish this.
To purchase 10 motion detectors in Australia I would have to pay upwards of $550 where as the USA detectors are more advanced and also totally weatherproof.

This morning I have two hours to set up the doggy detector on the fence and install my last lamp module then its to the USA to purchase more.

Have a great one,

Dave
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Knightrider

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2009, 07:15:05 PM »

Glad you found a work-around!
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djd

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2009, 10:54:48 PM »

Its Sunday and I have spent most of the weekend so far in adding a few new devices.
I went to the local Bunnings Warehouse, kinda like Home Depot and found that they had a complete range of X10 Winplus items reduced all to $10 each, WOW!

So I purchased as much as I could carry including 2 appliance modules, another CM11A, 3 lamp modules, 2 motion detectors, 2 bedside controllers and a 3 piece lighting starter kit all for the fantastic price of $110 AUD!

I found another appliance module last night and connected this to a small fan heater in the lounge, it saves running the massive wall heater all night, this comes on at 6pm and stops at 10pm and is quite effective in keeping the lounge warm.

I installed another appliance module into the Television that is activated, deactivated by the X10 universal remote that currently runs the two DVD players, 1 DVD recorder, Set Top Box, Security camera and satellite. I included a new macro on the upstairs cm11a that goes through the house at midnight Monday to Friday making sure all the lights and appliances have been turned off.

I decided add the second cm11a into the system to reduce the load from the upstairs unit.  In comparison to other members setups there is not that much running but I was experiencing numerous crashes and issues with macros going off. The new cm11a now runs the daily on and off features of the house for lights, heaters and appliances with the upstairs cm11a running all the household macros.  Since its been running I have not had one crash so a sign of relief here as the other half wanted to throw everything in the bin with all the crashes in the past.

My main bedroom is of the loft type with a steep staircase from the family room and the previous owners decided to install the light switches right at the other end. I forget how many times I have tripped over the dog or my briefcase in the evenings. I installed a new motion detector on the staircase to turn the bedside lights run from a macro on the upstairs computer and to have it running only between sunset and 10pm. My biggest problem is finding a location to place the detector away from the animals so their numerous trips into the room would not trip the lights every 2 minutes.

The other half's parents came to stay last night and moaned and groaned this morning about the lights in their bedroom and the face they could not work out how to control them (even after a half hour learning session with them)  so it looks as though I will have to revert everything back to normal just for their room. This will free up two bedside controllers, two lamp modules, a socket module and a wall module.

I have a transceiver module and lamp module that are both not working and they are due to be shipped off tomorrow to Sydney to be fixed or replaced.

 Its flooding here on the North Coast at the moment and at 2am this morning I had to get a shovel from the basement and dig a drain in the backyard. There was about a food of water in the lower corner of the basement and I only wish I could work out how to get a flood alert system in there. Research time. 

Well time to keep at it and and update to follow.

Cheers,

Dave   >!

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djd

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 07:54:14 AM »

Back again, you must all be getting sick of this journal of the Australian X10.

Well I decided to spend two hours today on migrating the software over from Home Control Assistant to HomeSeer and what a huge difference.

I finished installing the last RF wall switch and created Macros that actually work within one to two seconds rather than the 10 or so seconds the Home Control Assistant was providing.

The system has also run all day with the heavy loading and changing of functions without crashing, hurray!

I installed a Panic Alarm in the hallway, strange as it may seem I could see that this could be quite useful.  Often one of us are here all alone with the other 30+ miles away in town so I have designed a macro that when the unlabeled RF wall switch button is hit all the appliances in the home shutdown, then every light in the house comes on and a a speech recording comes over the system speakers in the house indicating that the panic alarm has been activated.  The Garden Lights Turn on and remain on just in case the event happens at night.

One of the deck lights flashes on and off continually via on and off commands repeated with 3 second wait periods while the other holds steady.

Then a .wav alarm sounds on the internal and two external speakers for 3 minutes. While this is happening a email is sent to special addresses I have set up on all the families Blackberry's that triggers an emergency ring tone on receipt of the email with details of the phone number to call. It also sends emails to work email addresses. Because I have three panic buttons in the house, the Macro sends the room that the panic button was pushed as well as a time stamp. The speakers then announce that the emails have been successful sent

 I installed a VOIP soft-phone connected via the server to the three in ceiling microphones with auto pickup active so when anyone calls the designated number the phone automatically picks up and you can converse with the person in the house via speaker and microphones.

The software then announces time calls at 5min, 10min, 15min and 20min intervals until the disarm stand-down button/s have been pushed.

Took a little time to get right but it works like a charm now. One thing that scares me constantly is the fact that we are so far away from the nearest hospital and in summer there are some pretty nasty snakes around the outer parts of the section. Touch wood we have never been bitten but should the event occur the last thing they tell you to do is get the heart rate up and move more than necessary, joys of being in Australia!

Well time for bed,

Have a great one.

Dave




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HA Dave

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2009, 08:36:57 AM »

......... you must all be getting sick of this journal of the Australian X10.

Not at all. I enojoy reading it... Thank-You!
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djd

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2009, 06:24:32 AM »

Well just a quick update but its been a horror three days here in the Aussie X10 home.

2 CM11A's for no reason just started to fail and no matter what I did they just both ended up dead.

I dug my old CM19A out of the stack and found macro software that it works with so the house is still operating even though some of the nice features of the CM11A's software are no longer there.

Posted the first CM11A back to Winplus today, heartbreaking with the fact they both controllers are not even 2 weeks old.

Will update as news comes to hand.

Cheers,


Dave
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Brian H

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2009, 06:39:09 AM »

 :( Two weeks and dead. What a bummer.
Hope the replacements fair better.
Thanks for the update and we will be waiting for further data.
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djd

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home X10 Dog Kennel
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2009, 07:01:05 PM »

What a shocking week it has been here at the Aussie X10 home with both of my CM11A's packing up.

This virtually brought my home to a complete standstill but glad to report that everything is back online yah.

Initially the first CM11A went down and the morning lights failed to come on strange but no unusual so I plugged it back into the laptop, cleared the memory and it did not respond. I did everything the experts recommended and still with no results. After trying the controller with 3 other laptops I had given up, it was officially dead. I was already sending a lamp module and transceiver module back to Winplus so I included the failed CM11A into the package.

The next night none of the lights came on and none of the RF wall switches would respond, no it couldn't be. Sure enough the second CM11A had stopped working.  After a all niter trying to get it going I dug out the CM19 and began to look for software to program macros. All I can say is thank heavens for the Home Domination software, a true lifesaver.

The CM19 has been running the home now for the last four days without fault and without having to be unplugged.
A few modifications were needed so I pulled out every X10 appliance and began to rebuild the system from A1 over again. I originally ran from the premise that starting at A1 and working up to the full 16 codes before moving to B then C ect was the way to go but as I was now without a direct power line and only RF I had to divide the rooms up.

Level 1 became Code A, main bedroom Code B, second bedroom Code C, third bedroom Code D, fourth Bedroom Code E, outside Code F and axillary on Code G. This gave the bedside controllers x 6 and Bench top controllers x 4 direct access to the modules in each room rather than being hosted on another Code M I believe i used to link to the computer CM11A and run macros accordingly. This has narrowed what each controller can do but it will do for the time being.   

I changed the Outside Motion Sensors to Code A and installed two more on the boundary fences.
A second chime was installed in the house on the weekend as everyone seemed to be just ignoring the warnings, once the mailman forgot to lock the gate and the puppy went wandering so to combat this I installed the new chime behind the family room television. It has worked a treat and one of the crew soon gets up to check the camera and hit the disarm button as soon as the chimes go off.

The majority of the RF wall switches were not triggering the programed macros on the computer and after some searching I pinpointed this down to the all code RF transceiver bypassing the CM19 and sending the raw codes directly to the power line. As I needed the all code module to link into the power line and the lack of of transceiver modules (only 4) the solution was to make the CM19 the first port of call in the house.

When our puppy arrived, I built a fantastic dog kennel big enough for 5 dogs (the other half is likely to come home with another four) and even painted it the same colors as the house. The other half loved it but the puppy never liked it and refused to even go into it. I had an electrician install a power point in the thing with a standard plug in night light in the hope that puppy would use it if it had some form of illumination. Well all this to no avail and puppy now sleeps at the foot of our bed. The location of the kennel was just right for the CM19 to send the messages onwards but located just that little bit further so the RF devices in the house cant reach it. Problem Solved.

So with a X10 dog kennel, a fully RF home and the loss of important functions like my panic button and email alerts I can finally relax.

I am of two minds to either purchase a CM15A (approx $220 Australian) or to cut my losses and just start my USA campaign, purchase a US CM15A and start building the setup?

What do you think?

Have a great one,

Cheers,

Dave
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 07:27:02 PM by djd »
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: My Aussie X10 Home
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2009, 08:13:05 PM »

Dave,

Just for the record, a US CM15A probably won't work in Australia due to the voltage differences. It's built specifically for the 60HZ 120 volt standard. 
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