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Author Topic: Support for other types of 2-way devices  (Read 11372 times)

dbemowsk

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Support for other types of 2-way devices
« on: June 21, 2011, 10:19:36 PM »

The only devices (modules, sensors, controllers) that AHP supports are X10 made devices.  It would be nice if there was support for some other devices such as 2 way thermostats and temp sensors can return a varied value and be able to use those values in macros.  For example, if the temp in your basement falls below a certain temp, turn on an appliance module that activates a heat tape wrapped on your pipes to keep them from freezing.  Or simply allowing user configurable custom devices so a user could  select "custom module" and then tell it that it is a module that can be dimmed, and that it is dimmed by a percentage of brightness, and can return it's status.  Basically, opening up Active Home Pro to more of the abilities that the X10 protocol has available to it.
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Dan Bemowski
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dave w

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Re: Support for other types of 2-way devices
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 08:32:30 AM »

FWIW
Homeseer has modules from Leviton, PCS, ACT, in the database, but also allows you make custom modules. They have plug-ins for X10 protocol thermostats, and can use inputs from USB thermostats, humidity sensors, etc. But is considerably more expensive than AHP.
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Noam

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Re: Support for other types of 2-way devices
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2011, 09:48:46 AM »

I think the difference is that Homeseer doesn't make and sell their own equipment. X10.com wants you to buy their modules, and they have no incentive to add in modules from other manufacturers.

As a user community, there is nothing stopping us from creating a "compatibility chart," which would help users who have purchased modules from other manufacturers figure out how best to configure them (for example, I have found that my Insteon ToggleLinc relays work best when defined using the "Florescent Decorator Style Wall Switch" module in AHP.
However, I don't think X10.com is going to invest the time to research that and give us that information. It isn't worth it for them.

It would be nice if they allowed us to add in custom-defined modules, but there is still a cost involved with writing that into the software, and they are less likely to spend the money on it, since they won't see a return on that investment. They are better off using the development resources to write more plugins, which they sell for profit.
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Noam

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Re: Support for other types of 2-way devices
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2011, 10:07:29 AM »

As for your basement temperature example, I can think of another way to accomplish what you are trying to do.
You can take a cheap thermostat, and wire it up to a PowerFlash. Set the thermostat for the temperature you want to activate the heating tape, and it will trigger the PowerFlash to send the appropriate X10 signal to kick off your macro.

It is pretty easy to adjust the set-points, and doesn't involve any modification to the AHP code base.
Another advantage is that you can have it directly control the heating tape, without having to go through a macro to do it.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Support for other types of 2-way devices
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2011, 12:45:39 PM »

You could also wire a door window sensor to a thermostat.
You'd need On Alert to see the sensor but you could trigger from it.
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dbemowsk

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Re: Support for other types of 2-way devices
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2011, 11:55:47 PM »

I do understand that there are workarounds to do many of these things, but that's what they are, workarounds.  As in the basement temperature example, the workaround you suggest of taking a cheap thermostat and wiring it to a powerflash most certainly would work.  With that though, you are stuck with one temp setting.  If you want to change the set point, you have to go to the unit and set it which in my mind somewhat defeats the idea of automation. 

X10 designed the protocol that some of these other manufacturers are using for things like thermostats, temp sensors and other 2 way devices, yet they don't make these devices that use the protocol that they designed.  I think that making some of these other devices that work on their protocol, and adding the support for them in their software would probably make their products more appealing and increase sales.  I'm not saying that they have to go so far as to add support for other protocols such as Insteon or Z-wave, just add support for things that use their protocol.
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Dan Bemowski
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luke03

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Re: Support for other types of 2-way devices
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 03:50:49 PM »

I thought X10 protocol is one way, not two ways.
If X10 having two way protocol, I like to know where to find its specs.
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Brian H

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Re: Support for other types of 2-way devices
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 04:16:52 PM »

Some of the discontinued modules. Like the LM14A Lamp Module and the AM14A Appliance Modules where two way.
You could send them an X10 Status request to their address and they would respond with its present state.
The RR501 also can be sent a Status request for its state.

I know the Insteon and Icon modules are two way and can have an X10 address added to them. When locally actuated that send an X10 signal over the power lines and will respond to a Status Request. With one difference. Dimmers use a &dim command and response using that protocol. X10 chose to use a different protocol and may not see the proper response from them.

I believe that Leviton may still produce some X10 compatible two way devices.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 04:48:20 PM by Brian H »
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