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Author Topic: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.  (Read 49312 times)

hallcs

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X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« on: April 26, 2010, 05:31:08 PM »

I have had fairly good experience with X10 switches in the past, I have several lights on a timer now. I was looking for a controller that would notify me by email when events happened like motion sensors and door switches. The Activehome Pro looked like the ticket,I could control my X10 switches and get the email notification too. I purchased the unit from "The Home Automation Store" along with a couple of motion sensors and door sensors. FIRST disappointing moment was when I opened the Activehome Pro CM15A Box and found no software CD. The software is download only, once you download it and install it you have to enter registration code that are validated through X10.com So if your PC craps and you have to reload the software you better hope your codes still work with X10's registration scheme or the unit is no longer usable. Plus if you sell it later in life, whats the next user going to do? I went ahead, loaded the software and attached the unit. It did work as they said but not very reliable and has more than a few bugs. For one thing you have to run email notification through their servers not yours, hence their servers down you get no email notifications. Can not say anything good about the quality of the components. Within 24 hrs I called " The Home Automation Store" for an RMA, they did give me an RMA quickly but they also tack on a 15% restocking fee so buyer beware. It cost me about 50.00 to find out this stuff is the bottom of the barrel. It seems impossible to find a device to send email notifications for home events like garage door opening and motion sensors. The Motorola Homesight gateway looked great but I'm not paying a fee when I'm not using the cameras. Who came up with that anyway, how many people are going to want to pay 10.00 a month for that.
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dave w

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 08:55:52 PM »

The Motorola Homesight gateway looked great but I'm not paying a fee when I'm not using the cameras. Who came up with that anyway, how many people are going to want to pay 10.00 a month for that.
(Stepping up on soap box)
Motorola used to be a great company...one of the best for quality/reliability and one of the best to work for. However over the past decade it has been corkscrewed into the groung by a bunch of California CEOs who's sole interest is to give themselves incredible golden parachutes and bail out. Even if they did not charge $10 per month that you may be privelidged to get your video through them, I would not buy their cameras. It isn't a Motorola product, only a small company they bought and will soon dump.
(Off of soapbox)
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HA Dave

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 10:05:45 PM »

... FIRST disappointing moment was when I opened the Activehome Pro CM15A Box and found no software CD. ............ It did work as they said ..... For one thing you have to run email notification through their servers not yours, hence their servers down you get no email notifications. ......... It cost me about 50.00 to find out this stuff is the bottom of the barrel. It seems impossible to find a device to send email notifications for home events like garage door opening and motion sensors.

Actually downloaded software.... is pretty much the standard nowadays. And in that download is the email server software... hence the emails are generated from your PC.

The software is for a niche device/app... and is a bit buggy.

But the CM15A is top of the line. Less than a day of testing and learning... shorted YOU out of a fun and rewarding experience. Sorry to hear you didn't ask for help and advice here first.

The Motorola Homesight gateway looked great but I'm not paying a fee when I'm not using the cameras. Who came up with that anyway.....

You just can't get a break... can you.
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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.

hallcs

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 11:10:07 PM »

Dear Dave I don't disagree with you in the aspect that this is some neat stuff for the price but I have no use for such an unreliable product. I have great respect for my X10 switches and the time based controller that I use, I can set my watch by that stuff. Cool as it may be the CM15A was just to buggy for me. I disagree with you about the software, yes much of the software today is a server download and yes they would like you to register your software but the CM15A will NOT function at all without those registration codes, period. It's not just a registration code but the fact the X10.com server has to agree that those codes are valid before the server will validate your software and allow it to function. I am looking into the vera z-wave, it seems more suited to what I'm actually looking for. I don't think the CM15A was really maximized for what I was wanting to do.
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hallcs

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 11:14:28 PM »

PS You may be generating emails through your PC but your using their mail servers....not your own.
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HA Dave

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 08:27:47 AM »

.... yes much of the software today is a server download and yes they would like you to register your software but the CM15A will NOT function at all without those registration codes, period. It's not just a registration code but the fact the X10.com server has to agree that those codes are valid before the server will validate your software and allow it to function.

So.... in English.. does that mean you think X10 software is too hard to steal and resell?

I don't get your point. I have tried Home Automation products... for sometime [years] longer than 24 hours. A lot of what you've posted here... just isn't factually correct. I don't care if you choose to try something else. I don't work for X10. AND, It's OK to post a rant and vent your frustration here. Home Automation is new to almost everyone at one time or another. We all understand the frustration.

However... (and forgive me if I am jaded)... but when I read posts full of well written mis-truths I have come to suspect deception. This thread is really starting to sound like one of those: "How dare X10 attempt to make PROFIT, software should be free, Bill Gates is a criminal, I use Linux threads".

I hope I am wrong.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 08:36:47 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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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.

Tuicemen

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2010, 09:15:27 AM »

the CM15A will NOT function at all without those registration codes, period.
I have no problem using my CM15A and AHP unregistered from my note book)  ::)
The CM15A doesn't need AHP to work either but you need some software to talk to it.
Yhe only thing you need AHP for is to download to the CM15A and to be able to use X10 security devices with it.
Many third party softwares will send out x10  e-mail notifications using your server.
X10dispatcher
iHouse
PCCompanion, just to name a few.
Like Dave Stated
Quote
Sorry to hear you didn't ask for help and advice here first.
>!
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dave w

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2010, 11:52:36 AM »

I am looking into the vera z-wave, it seems more suited to what I'm actually looking for. I don't think the CM15A was really maximized for what I was wanting to do.
hallcs
Howdy, This is a FWIW.
A couple of weeks ago on the Cocoontech forum there was a posting regarding Z-Wave system speed. In a phone conversation between the poster and Leviton, it seems a Leviton Z-Wave engineer let the cat out of the bag by stating 35 nodes is about the optimum for Z-Wave system size. As the system grows larger past the nominal 35, the system begins to slow. Since it sounds like you have many X10 now, you may want to consider the Z-Wave limitation if planning to upgrade.
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MichaelHlubb

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 03:48:12 PM »

PS You may be generating emails through your PC but your using their mail servers....not your own.


Let's see...  (I'm checking which email server I'm using with my AHP setup)  I seem to be using my own email server as per my settings. and not the default via 'their' server.  Seems this newbie must have read some setup info to do that. (yes, I normal do that... RTFM, check the related FAQs, read/search the related forum(s), heck even a google search if needed. Ok, so I'm not the common newbie! )

Fact: the hardware, CM-15A is solid.
Fact: the current AHP software, version 3.236 is known to be buggy.

Blaming what's likely a software problem on the hardware ? (Newbie reasoning?)
 Posting about your bad experience without first asking those who might just know a bit more about that software/hardware. (Frustration response?)


Sigh......  B:(
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hallcs

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2010, 07:52:31 PM »

To all that have posted constructive criticism, thank you for the information. I did not know that there was "other" software applications that would work with the AHP. I still believe that for the direction I am trying to go there are other manufactures of control units that would better suite my applications.

To Dave, get a life man....You have to resort to accusing someone of wanting to steal that crapware because someone was dissatisfied with your favorite toy? So sad..... rofl
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HA Dave

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 08:46:59 PM »

To Dave, get a life man....You have to resort to accusing someone of wanting to steal that crapware because someone was dissatisfied with your favorite toy? So sad..... rofl

Sorry didn't mean to make an accusation. But apparently my post... hit a nerve. I just don't understand what your problem is/was. let me re-post this question.

.... yes much of the software today is a server download and yes they would like you to register your software but the CM15A will NOT function at all without those registration codes, period. It's not just a registration code but the fact the X10.com server has to agree that those codes are valid before the server will validate your software and allow it to function.

So.... what does that mean? What is your concern? With over 80,000 posts.. in over 12,000 threads I can't remember anyone expressing that concern before you.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 08:55:41 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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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.

hallcs

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2010, 06:47:08 AM »

Dave, when I received my AHP unit from the vendor I noticed there was no software cd included as the picture showed. I called the vendor and they sent me an email link and registration codes for the AHP software. After I downloaded and installed the software it asked me for registration codes for the main program and each of the plug-ins. Each code was verified by X10.com, some of the codes did not work. I thought I'd just register later after I had a chance to play with the software some but that was not the case, the software was disabled until I gave the correct registration code and it was verified by the server. I called the vendor and he told me sometimes you have to call X10 support to get new codes but he gave me a new set and they worked ok. Maybe this is a new thing I don't know but what would happen if X10 went out of business, it's happens sometimes or what if several years from now I had to reload that software and they did not support it anymore? I just did not like that. This maybe something new that they are doing to keep people honest, I don't know.
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hallcs

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2010, 06:53:55 AM »

PS when you put in the registration codes it's not like most software, usually you just put the code in and that number will work if you have to reload your software. When I installed this software a box popped up asking for the codes, after you enter the code you hit a verify button and it checks a server over the internet. If it does not like the code it says invalid and that part of the software does not work. Like I said maybe this is something new?
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HA Dave

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2010, 11:23:03 AM »

..... I don't know but what would happen if X10 went out of business, it's happens sometimes or what if several years from now I had to reload that software and they did not support it anymore? I just did not like that. This maybe something new that they are doing to keep people honest, I don't know.

A reasonable consideration.

I am not sure about just closing the doors and walking away. But most company's (or corps) that go out of business do so through the bankruptcy courts nowadays. It would be the courts responsibly to oversee digital propriety... the same as brick and mortar or inventory. Since many company's now retain "computer files" (with can include credit card information) that has been a consideration for a few years now. What any court will do... is of course anyones guess. But I would LIKE to think that some provision for software downloads would be made for some period of time.

I own a Saturn VUE which GM closed down but promised to support. Of course the Government owns 61 percent of GM... and is promising not to invest another penney... and draw its investment back. I guess I could worry... but I don't.

I think.. the earliest software that X10 sold.. is still made available and supported. They have a good track record with that. Further more even though it has some bugs (and it does) much of X10's new stuff seems to work on even MOST "MS 7" PCs [I am not sure of all 64 bit PC's].

I myself... have been running my home on an old P3 I saved from the trash. I understand your concerns. I am totally dependent on this system. But I didn't just BUY this setup... I built it. X10 is the number one, oldest, most widely used, best known, and cross-platform supported... Home Automation protocol and devices. I feel confident that whatever happens... I will be able to remain automated using X10. Some other brands however... seem to have come and gone.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 11:36:42 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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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.

ITguy

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Re: X10 Activehome Pro CM15A Experiance left me feeling sour.
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2010, 04:03:48 PM »

hallcs,

You might want to consider getting a CM15A off eBay (around $40) and using it with iHouse Home Automation.  http://www.ihousehomeautomation.com

iHouse is FREE and will do most of the things you want (including both X10 and z-wave support).  It uses the CM15A, but no X10.com software or registration codes are needed!

One restriction - iHouse requires a PC that's running 24/7.  It does not download timers or macros to the CM15A.  That said, it's pretty lightweight in it's requirements, so if you have a PC that's always on, you can run iHouse and still use the PC for other things.

ITguy
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