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Author Topic: Future of X10  (Read 172012 times)

Noam

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #150 on: November 03, 2011, 08:59:16 AM »

I have a few of the Insteon ToggleLinc relay switches (using them in X10 mode only), and they work great!
I also have a few older ToggleLinc X10-only switches, which I think are the predecessor to the ones you listed.
I was actually looking at them last night, but I think if I'm going to spend the money, I'm going to get the Insteon ones, and just use them in X10 mode. They have a 2-year warranty (as opposed to a 90-day one on the cheaper switches), and I've had to get a few of the older design switches replaced under warranty (one was blowing bulbs, the other was clicking really loudly, even when it wasn't being turned on or off). Since the older ones were no longer being made, they replaced them with the newer Insteon models.
Also, If I ever do dump X10 for Insteon, I won't have the replace that switch.
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dave w

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #151 on: November 03, 2011, 09:06:38 AM »

So has anyone tried one of these?

http://www.smarthome.com/X10WS467I/Smarthome-X10-Toggle-Wall-Switch-Module-Ivory/p.aspx

I look at it and see the perfect switch.  It can handle the new stupid bulbs (CFL and LED).  It does not have the dumb soft start feature.  It looks and feels like a standard toggle light switch.  It even tells the software what has happened locally.  The only down side I see is that it costs more than a standard X10 switch.  If it works as advertised, I'm totally in!  I'm tired of messing with some of the issues related to WS467's (as mentioned above).
There is one down side to the Smarthome 2-way switches. Since they receive AND transmit, they will attenuate the X10 powerline signal more than a one-way switch. The outcome is; you  *might* require a high output repeater if you get many of the switches.
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dhouston

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #152 on: November 03, 2011, 10:23:57 AM »

There is one down side to the Smarthome 2-way switches. Since they receive AND transmit, they will attenuate the X10 powerline signal more than a one-way switch. The outcome is; you  *might* require a high output repeater if you get many of the switches.

I thought the same thing and even said so when I reviewed Insteon right after it was introduced.
But I've heard from people with very large installations of Insteon with a few remaining X-10 devices who say it's not a problem.

In a previous location, I had 3 ToggleLincs plus 3-4 of their dimmer modules, all configured with X-10 addresses,  and saw no ill effects on other X-10 made modules.
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Noam

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #153 on: November 03, 2011, 12:29:11 PM »

I have a mixed system, but I'm not using any of the Insteon features yet.

I have 6 Insteon relay switches, along with three pre-Insteon SmartHome switches (at least one of which DOES broadcast its status when you turn it on). I also have two X10 lamp modules (soft start), a handful of X10 appliance modules, and one Black and Decker outdoor X10 module.

Before I installed my XTB-IIR, I did have occasional problems with one of the Insteon switches not getting a good signal, but it was at the end of a long circuit, on the opposite phase from the CM15A (which it self was at the end of a long circuit), and had a bunch of A/V equipment on the same line.

However, once I installed the XTB-IIR next to the breaker box, and moved the CM15A over there, I haven't had any issues like that.

It is interesting to note that when I had the problem with my neighbor's noisy CFL bulb (which started before I installed the XTB-IIR, and continued after I had it in place), I was ONLY having problems controlling the Insteon modules. The "true" X10 ones worked just fine.
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bkenobi

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #154 on: November 03, 2011, 12:45:24 PM »

Yeah, I saw it said relay, so I was a bit perplexed as to why the manual in the description mentioned the procedure to dim.  I guess it must just be a common manual for both types.

In any case, it sounds like it's worth buying one to play with.  I was already given a thumbs up as to the WAF last night.  It was actually quite resounding too, so I think she must be getting a bit tired of the motion sensor nonsense that I've been working through.  I believe there is already a neutral in the box, so I should be okay in that regard, but of course I'll have to check first.

Insteon is much more expensive overall, but it provides similar functionality to X10.  From what yall have been saying, the two do not conflict.  In your opinion, is Insteon that much better as to demand the higher prices?  I've been less than totally satisfied with some of the X10 products, so it would be interesting to see something else that performs better even at a higher price point.  My only concern is that the Insteon stuff I've seen (ToggleLincs for example) are around 4x and up in price.  Of course, it's not that extreme if you buy X10 retail, but who does that.   rofl

Noam

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #155 on: November 03, 2011, 01:12:00 PM »

I can't really speak as to the difference in quality with the Insteon products. I've never had one go bad on me, but I never really had any X10 units go bad on me, either (well, I had some WS467's that would turn on by themselves, but I hear that was a common occurrence with certain types of line noise).
I had two older Switchlincs go bad on me, but they were pre-Insteon.

They are more expensive, but at the time, Smarthome didn't have any X10-only switches, and I wanted to replace the WS467's that were misbehaving. I also wanted relay type switches, so I could switch to CFLs for my outdoor lights.

Once other thing to note, however, is that the X10-only switches from Smarthome only have a 90-day warranty. The Insteon ones have a full 2 years. It looks like the X10-only ones are around $20, while the Insteon ones are around $46.
If one of the less expensive switches fails after 90 days, but within 2 years, you've just about paid the difference (if you count shipping costs). Not that I expect the switches to fail, but I kind of wonder why those only carry a 90-day warranty on them.
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dave w

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #156 on: November 03, 2011, 01:18:57 PM »

Insteon is much more expensive overall, but it provides similar functionality to X10.  From what yall have been saying, the two do not conflict.  In your opinion, is Insteon that much better as to demand the higher prices?  
$0.02
The feature set of the Smarthome/Insteon is considerably greater than X10. i.e. 2-way for true status feedback, programabily ramp rates, better sensitivity to the powerline signals, etc. So it is an apple and oranges comparison.
If you want/need the extra features then Insteon is worth it.

As far as a simple reliablity comparison, I think the X10 units are as reliable as the Insteon units. In fact Smarthome has had a rash of module failures, presumably because of some sub-standard parts.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 01:47:46 PM by dave w »
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bkenobi

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #157 on: November 03, 2011, 01:28:39 PM »

I'm mostly concerned with things like sending a command and having the switch respond.  These are 2-way, so I suppose if it doesn't respond as "ON", I would have a feedback to know to try again in software.

I can't tell if the Smarthome units do soft start or if they instantly go to the selected dim level?  If they go directly to the level and nothing controls the dim state down, why can't these be used with CFL or LED?  I'm thinking of using the relay and these will primarily control halogen, so it's less of an issue.  I have one location where I currently use incandescent bulbs that may have to go low current in the future (front entry lights).

Brian H

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #158 on: November 03, 2011, 01:38:46 PM »

Yes the early Insteon SwitchLinc's and Icon switches had a tact switch problem. Where you could press the paddle. Hear the small internal switch click but nothing happend.
Enough of them failed so they stopped saying it was an installation or user problem to extending the 2 year warranty to 7 years for the date codes in question.

Also I personally owned the hardware revision 1.2 ApplianceLincs. That some inductive loads shorted the capacitors across the relay contacts and would not turn Off. Sometimes the load current was enough to smoke the leaky capacitors.
Along with a 30 volt zener diode in both early ApplianceLincs and LampLincs. Getting warm and after years of use, failing with the PCB a nice black color under it. C2 {470uf/35VDC} also gets to about 115 degrees F from ripple current.  :'
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Brian H

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #159 on: November 03, 2011, 01:46:43 PM »

My Insteon switches do the following and I doubt the X10 only ones are much different.
When you send them an On or Off. They do not respond with an I turned On or Off. You could send them a status request and they should respond to their present state.
When you locally toggle them they do send a message back on the power line. Indicating what the local action was and controlling any other device with the same X10 address.

You can check the sales pages and download all the users manuals. I believe the dimmer versions do allow setting the ramp rate and preset dim levels.
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dhouston

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #160 on: November 03, 2011, 01:48:01 PM »

I'm mostly concerned with things like sending a command and having the switch respond.  These are 2-way, so I suppose if it doesn't respond as "ON", I would have a feedback to know to try again in software.
Only when operated at the switch and only if the software you use supports it and X-10 software may not. The relays send OFF/ON which will be supported; the dimmers send OFF & preset dim levels (32 levels) which X-10 purged from their command set after Smarthome started using it. I believe the dimmers also have a programmable ramp rate so they can come on (and off) gradually.
Quote
I can't tell if the Smarthome units do soft start or if they instantly go to the selected dim level?  If they go directly to the level and nothing controls the dim state down, why can't these be used with CFL or LED?  I'm thinking of using the relay and these will primarily control halogen, so it's less of an issue.  I have one location where I currently use incandescent bulbs that may have to go low current in the future (front entry lights).
If you are talking dimmer switch, they can be dimmed to any desired level. It's just that they can be set to always come on at the last level (default, I think) or to always come on at the level you program. But, once on, set whatever level desired.

The relay version can be used with CFLs, fans, etc. It lists them in the online catalog listing I referenced much earlier in the thread.

As for reliability, I cannot speak to current products but they kept having teething problems for 2-3 years after introduction, finding problems they had not anticipated and resulting in multiple versions of not always compatible modules (controllers and RF units mostly but also some switches, modules, dimmers). Bruce Robin was an early adopter, replacing most of the X-10 in his large house in Hawaii. He was happy with the reliability but later said he would have stayed with X-10 (as he has done in two other residences) had Jeff Volp's booster units been available at the time.

I bought their developers license early on but grew skittish with all of the issues that arose. I'm still not eager to have to support 3-4 different controllers with different communication protocols.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 01:55:59 PM by dhouston »
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johnlaw45

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #161 on: November 16, 2011, 07:17:29 PM »

  Their tech support is non existant now. I have been waiting for a reply from them for over 3 weeks now on an ACTIVEPHONE problem. This news doesn't surprise me at all.
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bkenobi

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #162 on: November 16, 2011, 08:28:08 PM »

As for X10 itself:  I called them the other day after being disconnected from the web chat (I hate the new site by the way).  They were helpful...to an extent.  This is typical for my experience over the last year or so.  I can't say how this is different from the past, but I can't see any difference over the last year.

In regards to the Smarthome switches, I ended up ordering one to play with.  I have to say...I LOVE THESE THINGS!  They look pretty much exactly like a standard (non-decora) switch.  They have a light under them that is fairly bright (but they can apparently be dimmed) to indicate function and that's the only thing that makes them look different from a $0.50 unit.  I found that it works very well with AHP without changing any settings from the switch I'm currently using.  All in all, I'm definitely going to order these next time I need a new switch.  The only down side I see is that you can't find them anywhere but Smarthome.  So, as a result, I can't buy them off ebay for cheap like X10 units.

 >!

Brian H

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #163 on: November 16, 2011, 08:33:56 PM »

Did you buy the Smarthome X10 version of the switches or the Insteon/Icon switch and add an optional x10 address to it?
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pomonabill221

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Re: Future of X10
« Reply #164 on: November 16, 2011, 08:47:39 PM »


In regards to the Smarthome switches, I ended up ordering one to play with.  I have to say...I LOVE THESE THINGS!  They look pretty much exactly like a standard (non-decora) switch.  They have a light under them that is fairly bright (but they can apparently be dimmed) to indicate function and that's the only thing that makes them look different from a $0.50 unit.  I found that it works very well with AHP without changing any settings from the switch I'm currently using.  All in all, I'm definitely going to order these next time I need a new switch.  The only down side I see is that you can't find them anywhere but Smarthome.  So, as a result, I can't buy them off ebay for cheap like X10 units.

 >!

Are you saying that AHP can control the dimming?  Do they respond to extended dim commands or do you have to go to 100% then dim down to the level you want?  (sendind repeated dim dim dim commands like the old WS465's did).
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