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Author Topic: Help controlling simple light switches  (Read 17045 times)

nabril15

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Help controlling simple light switches
« on: March 28, 2011, 11:30:55 AM »

Hello
New to X10, so be kind...

I want to control 4 single pole light switches in my home that control 4 different outdoor lamps that have CFL bulbs. Two of these have an in-wall digital timer to control them, but I would like to switch to one central control for all 4. While the on/off times will be similar (probably equal), I would like to have the option of programming different on/off times; I would also like the option of turning these 4 lights on/off manually by pressing a button somewhere.
 
What product(s) do you recommend that are wallet friendly?
The MT136  and 4 WS467 switches? Is there a DEcora style switch that I can use?
 
Is there a "smarter"/cheaper way? Z-wave?
Thanks
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Brian H

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 01:13:15 PM »

WS467 or the decorator WS12A are both two wire dimmers and can not be used with CFLs or any non-incandescent type bulbs.
The decorator WS13A can be used as it does not dim and used a separate Neutral wire. So the switch box will have to have Line Load and Neutral.

Compared to X10. ZWave, Insteon and UPB are all much more costly.
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nabril15

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2011, 01:56:10 PM »

thanks Brian.

If I use the WS13A (decora style) can I manually turn the light on/off from the decora switch itself AND at the mini controller as well?
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Brian H

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2011, 02:06:27 PM »

Yes but double check for a neutral power wire where the switch is being connected.
You may find some dealers have the X10Pro XPS3. It is the same as the WS13A.
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nabril15

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 12:30:35 PM »

learning a lot..thank you all.

If I have 4 XPS3 switches installed, how do I specify say 3 different on/off programs? With 3 different house codes on the switch?
I want 2 lights with 1 on/off program, and 2 others with 2 different ones. So 2 switches get code A, 1 gets code B, and 1 gets code C, etc ,etc?

Thanks
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Brian H

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2011, 12:38:00 PM »

I don't recognize a MT136. Is it an X10 product and maybe a MT13A MiniTimer?
Most X10 controllers can only do one house code.
So you may have to pick the same house code for all the switches and use different unit codes between the groups you want to control together.

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nabril15

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 01:17:42 PM »

brian. i meant MT13A mini timer.

Can you elaborate on your last sentence please?

I am looking for the manual to understand it better.
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Brian H

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2011, 02:33:39 PM »

The MT13A can only do one House Code. A-P
So all the modules have to use the same House Code as the MT13A is set to.
You should be able to use different Unit Codes to separate the switches from each other.
If you want two of them to respond to the same address. You can set more than one to the same address.
Like if you have A1 in two of the switches. They will both follow On Off and Dim commands sent to A1.
Manuals and extra information here.
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Mini_Timer
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nabril15

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2011, 02:34:58 PM »

thanks Brian
I read through the manual before your post and understood it a lot better.
One house code, many unit codes.

Sweet.
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Brian H

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2011, 02:37:17 PM »

You still may find added tips in the wiki.

The X10 protocol uses Unit Codes 1-16.
The MT13A can only do 1-8. So you will have eight Unit Code choices.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 02:46:20 PM by Brian H »
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nabril15

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2011, 01:32:05 PM »

Ok, still working on this. I want an automated controller AND the option of using a remote such as the KR22. My controller will be the MT13A, but can I add the KR22 and 1 receiver like the TM751. In my scenario I will have a house code of A, and a separete unit code for the 4 lights and lamp plug-in module. I plan to use the TM751 to control the lamp.

1) I plan to control 5 things, so I guess the Tm751 isnt for me since it only controls 4. But let's continue for learning's sake.
2) I read the instructions for the TM751 and I am confused about something. It states to set the code on the receiver to match the code of the remote I will use it with. So, how do I control the lamp that is plugged into it?  What code does it use?
3) The remote will have up to 4 codes programmed to it to control 4 lights. So how does it match the code I mentioned in the instructions in my line 2.

I want to do my research, but the more I dig, the more variables that I discover.
I want to control 4 light switches and a plug-in lamp with XPS3's and MT13A. Fine
How do I add remote control capability to that equation so that I can program them to come on at X time, off at Y time, and turn them on/off with a remote whenever I want?

Thanks again
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dave w

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 02:18:31 PM »

The TM751 is a transceiver. It is what provides wireless RF contol. It receives the RF signal from RF remote controls like a Palm Pad and puts the signal on the homes powerlines to control Appliance Modules, Lamp Modules, and Wall Switches. The same House Code is set on the TM751 and the Palm Pad or outher remote. There are 16 Unit Codes available in a House code. So, though the TM751 you can control up to 16 devices/lights. The TM751 also has an outlet which responds to Unit Code 1.

The Mini Timer can cotrol the four outside lights. As Brian siad you need neutral wires in the wall boxes where you plan putting the WS13s. If you do not have neutral, you might be able to use Socket Rockets in the fixtures themselves to control the CFLs.

You might also consider full home automation rather than simple timer control. The Cm15A with the AHP software would take the place of the Mini Timer for more sophisticated control.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 03:13:15 PM by dave w »
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Brian H

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2011, 02:36:44 PM »

As Dave pointed out. The TM751 can do all sixteen Unit Codes for one House Code.
Your four limitation is not the TM751 but the KR22A having four addresses. One house code and four unit codes. The unit code can be set for the first button set. The other three are the next unit up. Like if you set the top to A1 {the default} the next three are A2 A3 and A4.

The MT13A can do the preset times and the KR22A with TM751 can do four addresses. The HR12A Palm Pad can do all sixteen as Dave said.

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nabril15

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2011, 02:47:12 PM »

thank you Dave and again Brian.
I work in IT, and I assure you I am not dense, just new to house and unit codes. When you look at most x10 product pages, they all say they can do miracles and wonders. Then you get the item at home, and you discover otherwise.

Can I control the lamp that will be plugged into the Tm751 with the mini timer?
That one will have code A1, by default, so the other 4 lights will have A2-A5, right?

Thankfully, I have neutral wires, so I will be ok.
So, I will get a palm pad to allow for future expansion. Can I get the sleek-looking, black Scan pad instead?
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Brian H

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Re: Help controlling simple light switches
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2011, 03:19:48 PM »

No the MT13A can not control a TM751. The TM751 has no power line receiver in it.
Its big brother the RR501 has a power line receiver in it and can be controlled by an RF remote or the MT13A. It has a choice of unit one or nine. In its address.

You rarely see the RR501 on sale by X10 but many of the EBay X10 dealers have them at good prices. Most also through in free shipping. I got a later revision RR501 myself this week.

I read the CR12As users sheet and it appears it can control all 16 unit codes for the House Code it is set to. It also has a scan feature that cycles the cameras that are in one of the groups of four. 1-4,5-8,9-12 and 13-16. I don't know how that would effect normal light controls.

http://www.x10.com/instructions/cr12a_inst.htm
http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/CR12A
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 03:35:43 PM by Brian H »
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