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Author Topic: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on  (Read 49717 times)

madbrain

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Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« on: November 13, 2010, 03:15:36 AM »

I'm interested in having remote access for the purpose of turning off devices when I'm not using them to conserve power. Unfortunately, it looks like X10's solution, AHP, involves a USB device hooked up to a PC, that needs to stay on for remote access. Keeping the PC on would negate any power savings I could ever achieve. At 40c/kWH (peak PG&E summer tier - now you can see why I want to save power) the cost of keeping the PC 24/7 would be prohibitive.
I'm also concerned about the fact that AHP uses a USB device that requires a driver, which may not work long-term on future versions of Windows. As well as the fact that it requires an x10 service.
I'm looking for a device with low power consumption and usable through a web browser, that I can open a port for on my firewall - something that doesn't require a PC to be on, and thus doesn't require a driver. Does x10 make such a device ? If not, what other suitable devices are you using ?
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Brandt

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010, 04:51:25 AM »

Smarthome sells a powerlinc that hooks up to your router
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HA Dave

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2010, 08:28:44 AM »

I'm interested in having remote access ............... to conserve power.
The best way to conserve power is to just turn things off. Automation has many advanages... including being able to conserve energy but with limits.
At 40c/kWH (peak PG&E summer tier - now you can see why I want to save power)
Most of that cost is TAX. Home Automation products do nothing to reduce taxes. Are you wanting to save power... or money?
the cost of keeping the PC 24/7 would be prohibitive.
Many low power PC's are available.
I'm looking for a device with low power consumption and usable through a web browser, that I can open a port for on my firewall - something that doesn't require a PC to be on, and thus doesn't require a driver. Does x10 make such a device ? If not, what other suitable devices are you using ?
You may want to research Elk [alarm and automation] products.

Please note: Energy costs to the consumer have very little to do with the actual cost of energy. The percentage of the cost as profit to energy suppliers is also very low (as a percentage of investment) as that is also regulated. The outrageous cost of energy today is caused by government regulation. The purpose of the regulation is to inflate energy costs out of reach of most users.

In a environment this hostile to the consumer... there is no actionable resolution.. as far as energy usage.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 08:58:58 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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Oldtimer

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2010, 11:23:04 AM »

Smarthome sells a powerlinc that hooks up to your router

Would you please give us a link.  All I foiund was for USB or RS-232.  Thanks.
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anthonylavado

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2010, 11:38:49 AM »

I believe Brandt was talking about the SmartLinc as seen here: http://www.smarthome.com/2412N/SmartLinc-INSTEON-Central-Controller/p.aspx

It has it's advantages and disadvantages. It'll get the basic work done though. Make sure you read up extensively on the subject. During my month long investigation before I got started with home automation, I spent a good week looking at the SmartLinc, then decided it wasn't for me.

It still may do the trick for you.
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HA Dave

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2010, 02:28:06 PM »

If your looking for basic "remote" control for turning lights off the TouchTone Controller can handle that. Although it may take a bit of looking and searching to still find one.
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Brandt

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2010, 03:17:09 PM »

Good one Dave I didn't think of that because I don't have a land line  -:)

I saw one at Fry's the other day...
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2010, 06:02:26 PM »

Hi,

I'm interested in having remote access ............... to conserve power.
The best way to conserve power is to just turn things off. Automation has many advanages... including being able to conserve energy but with limits.

Yes, the goal is to turn things ofF. x10 allows turning things off conveniently with the use of appliance modules.
It's much easier to send an x10 command to turn on/off the 5-10 transformers in each room, than plug them/unplug them one at a time every time I want to use or stop using them. Timers can help, but I am not on a fixed schedule so I want the ability to remote control.

Quote
At 40c/kWH (peak PG&E summer tier - now you can see why I want to save power)
Most of that cost is TAX. Home Automation products do nothing to reduce taxes. Are you wanting to save power... or money?

Actually, that is the cost per kWH before taxes. Taxes are additional. And it doesn't matter since they are proportional to the power usage. If I save power, I save money. So the answer is, I want to save both.

Quote
the cost of keeping the PC 24/7 would be prohibitive.
Many low power PC's are available.

Link ? How many watts ? How much space does it need ? Keyboard, mouse, display, etc ?
Even so, I don't want to pay for a Windows license, and for a USB interface that may become obsolete over time when there are no drivers for Windows 8. I feel like a device with an Ethernet plug and web access has longer-term potential. I'm quite set on not using a general-purpose computer for this, I prefer an embedded system.

Quote
I'm looking for a device with low power consumption and usable through a web browser, that I can open a port for on my firewall - something that doesn't require a PC to be on, and thus doesn't require a driver. Does x10 make such a device ? If not, what other suitable devices are you using ?
You may want to research Elk [alarm and automation] products.

Thanks, I will.

Quote
Please note: Energy costs to the consumer have very little to do with the actual cost of energy. The percentage of the cost as profit to energy suppliers is also very low (as a percentage of investment) as that is also regulated. The outrageous cost of energy today is caused by government regulation. The purpose of the regulation is to inflate energy costs out of reach of most users.

In a environment this hostile to the consumer... there is no actionable resolution.. as far as energy usage.

I'm not looking for a political debate here. It's not in my power as an individual to control the cost of energy, but it is in my power to reduce usage - that is certainly actionable. And I'm looking to x10 to help with that.
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2010, 06:03:51 PM »

I believe Brandt was talking about the SmartLinc as seen here: http://www.smarthome.com/2412N/SmartLinc-INSTEON-Central-Controller/p.aspx

It has it's advantages and disadvantages. It'll get the basic work done though. Make sure you read up extensively on the subject. During my month long investigation before I got started with home automation, I spent a good week looking at the SmartLinc, then decided it wasn't for me.

It still may do the trick for you.

Thanks. I saw that one. But the reviews on Amazon indicate x10 support on it is tricky and somewhat of an after-thought. Is there any network appliance designed mainly with x10 in mind ?
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2010, 06:05:35 PM »

If your looking for basic "remote" control for turning lights off the TouchTone Controller can handle that. Although it may take a bit of looking and searching to still find one.

Thanks, but I'm looking for Internet access, not phone. I have a large house with 16.5 rooms. By the time I'm done with automation I will have lots of x10 codes. It would be very painful to enter through phone. I want web browser control.
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anthonylavado

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2010, 10:57:54 PM »

Is there any network appliance designed mainly with x10 in mind ?
No unfortunately. Even the (expensive) ISY interfaces require a serial controller to interface with.
If you really wanted to get into using an "embedded" device, something to look into would be a Sheevaplug with a CM11A like Brandt has been using.

I'm actually in the process of getting HEYU to run with PlugBox Linux on my PogoPlug v2 that I picked up for $49. Only uses about 5w compared to my 300w Pentium 4 :)
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2010, 11:05:33 PM »

Is there any network appliance designed mainly with x10 in mind ?
If you really wanted to get into using an "embedded" device, something to look into would be a Sheevaplug with a CM11A like Brandt has been using.

I'm actually in the process of getting HEYU to run with PlugBox Linux on my PogoPlug v2 that I picked up for $49. Only uses about 5w compared to my 300w Pentium 4 :)


Sounds interesting. I'm a software guy and I could probably do something like that too. But life is too short. And as I understand the CM11A is discontinued. I would rather buy something pre-built and made for x10. Even if it costs twice as much as the Smartlinc device. Too bad it doesn't seem to exist :-(

My google searches found the following : http://www.webio.us/ . This sounds like it might be suitable. Has anyone else tried it ?

I might have to give the Smartlinc a try and see just how bad it is.
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HA Dave

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2010, 12:19:35 AM »

I might have to give the Smartlinc a try and see just how bad it is.

Your heading..... in the wrong direction.
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2010, 12:26:44 AM »

I might have to give the Smartlinc a try and see just how bad it is.

Your heading..... in the wrong direction.

Thanks for the helpful reply.
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Brandt

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2010, 05:24:03 PM »

I am using the $99 Sheevaplug which is a little bigger than a wal-wart and uses 2-7watts depending on how active it is. If you want, I could walk you through my setup.

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