Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The X10Hub (PiX10Hub) is here! Created by the Community, for the Community.:)% #:)

Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 ... 10

Author Topic: The Future of X10  (Read 108246 times)

beelocks

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 9
  • Posts: 239
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #75 on: July 23, 2012, 08:26:06 PM »

How do you know what the customer is willing to pay?  Have you done any polls/research?  Just trying to get a handle on the expected cost, if that info is available.

Damn fine question. Did I hear that somewhere before?  ;)
I (recently) paid three figures for an Insteon controller that works as well as, or perhaps better than, my CM15A. The main problem is that the Houselinc software sucks mouldy swamp water - yes, even when compared AHP.

Would I pay $100 for a decent X10 controller? Absolutely.
Would I pay $150? Umm, maybe.
Would I pay $200? With good software, compatibility, support and a proper manual; probably, just don't tell Mrs. Beelocks
Logged
Although my explanations may not be exactly clear, I do hope for slightly less cloudy.

pomonabill221

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 13
  • Posts: 239
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #76 on: July 23, 2012, 08:58:23 PM »

Thank you Beelocks!

I agree with your listing vs. willing to pay figures as well....

I was using the smarthome 1132cup interface, and liked the device, BUT the software was a real nighmare and user hostile, and support for that interface (X10 only, not insteon) quit within a few MONTHS after I bought it!

Some things didn't work, like programming scenes, which I was really looking forward to using, and they don't support the X10 softstart modules.... so when the cm15a came along, with the smart macros, I KNEW that it was probably buggy, but I liked the macros, and support of the softstarts, so my father and I both bought one (read... 2 packages), and have over come MOST of the bugs/workarounds, and am very happy with what we can do!

I even bought the signal analyzer that JeffV has, and it REALLY came in handy!!!  Solved ALOT of problems!

I just hope that X10 gets over the idea that if the new cm15a is 2x or 3x the price, that no one will buy them.... THAT is WRONG!!!!
Just make it compatible with the existing AHP pro software, or an inexpensive upgrade, would be great!
Logged

JeffVolp

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 106
  • Posts: 2058
    • XTB Home Page
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #77 on: July 23, 2012, 09:51:20 PM »


I had been using a beta CM14A (never released) when we moved here.  The CM15A was not on the market yet, so I opted for the Ocelot at almost $200.  If the CM15A were available at that time for even $100, I would have gone with it because of my experience with the CM11A and CM14A.  Since then I have picked up a couple of CM15As as a backup should the Ocelot ever go down.

Jeff
Logged
X-10 automation since the BSR days

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2477
    • davehouston.org
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #78 on: July 23, 2012, 09:52:07 PM »

 >*< I just realized that even though the RX3310A (which appears to be still available from www.princeton.com.tw) is narrowband superhet, they use external LC tuning.  rofl
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 09:53:51 PM by dhouston »
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No trees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 136
  • Posts: 5952
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #79 on: July 24, 2012, 07:41:42 AM »


I had been using a beta CM14A (never released) when we moved here.  The CM15A was not on the market yet, so I opted for the Ocelot at almost $200.  If the CM15A were available at that time for even $100, I would have gone with it because of my experience with the CM11A and CM14A.  Since then I have picked up a couple of CM15As as a backup should the Ocelot ever go down.
FWIW I don't think 100 bucks would be a bad price for the new CM15A IF it works better than the original (RF range in both directions (R/T), unexplained lockups, general reliability, etc. etc. etc.).  Yeah, I'm guessing I will get flamed on this comment.

If it isn't "rock solid" I fear it might be the death of X10 protocol. It will just shrivel since there is no one else making a X10 controller anymore.
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

X10 Repair Depot

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 20
  • Posts: 311
  • I am here to help
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #80 on: July 24, 2012, 08:43:28 AM »

All,

We are in business to sell, among other things, home automation electronics. If it was feasible to have the CM15A built at a price that we could sell a sufficient quantity, it would already have been done.

If we could produce a CM15A and sell it for 2X, 3X, or 10X the original price, we would sell some. However, selling some will not recoup the very high costs associated with the recreation of this item. We need to sell a lot, and of course we know what we can sell them for.

I am not going to discuss business decisions that we make. I cannot add any more to the CM15A replacement at this time, and it is not productive for me to comment further in this thread. Once I can discuss the replacement further, I will provide additional information.
Logged

Noam

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 49
  • Posts: 2800
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #81 on: July 24, 2012, 11:08:34 AM »

Gee Dave, mine has 3 ICs, not including the ones in the transmitter and receiver.
Well, yeah - but neither the 4N35 nor 24C64 are discontinued nor in short supply. ::)
Yeah... 4n35=opto coupler  24c64=EEPROM   VERY standard/cross referencable items!  The Cypress is also xreferencable, probably even pin compatable so the pc board doesn't need to change.
The rf receiver could be the rsc1 (I think that is the one I bought and replaced in my Ninjas and CM15A).
The rf xmitter could be sub'd out as well (cheaper probably).
Vreg.... standard 5v fixed 7805... pennies in quantity.
2n9014/9015.... simple npn/pnp amplifier xsistors.
1n4001.... pennies in quntity
other diodes/resistors.... use SMT's  cheap!

  Ever thought of offering as a kit?

I think that's a great idea. With all of the knowledge stored in the heads of the users on this forum, I'm sure we can "crowd-source" a great replacement, and make it a DIY kit (and perhaps Jeff will offer to assemble them in his basement for an additional fee ;) ).

Here are some of my "somewhat random" thoughts about it:

I'm imagining something like an Arduino shield (or maybe a purpose-built Arduino clone, like one of Dave Houston's offerings), that would interface with the TW523 (or the XTB-IIR's emulation of it).
Add in an RF transceiver (all 256 codes would be cool!), and the Ethernet and/or WiFi shield(s) for connectivity to a network.
If there is non-volatile storage (like the SD card on the Ethernet shield), and a real-time-clock with a long-life battery, the unit could survive power outages and pick up right where it left off when power returns (reading the configuration off the storage card at startup).

Unfortunately, my imagination is the only skill I have when it comes to designing and building something like this. I don't have the electronics background to make any of this happen (I was able to interface an Arduino with the XTB-IIR a few months back, but I couldn't get past some of the examples I found). My soldering abilities are slowly improving, and I'm more than willing to help test out any ideas people come up with.

I've found a number of Arduino-based X10 projects out there, but nothing that comes close to replacing what we have in the CM15A (yet).
I've also seen at lest one project (I think there is a link on these forums somewhere) for Google Calendar-based X10 control (the software reads the calendar to look for timer events). That would be a neat way to program it (from anywhere).

Of course, the picture in my head is of a prototype DIY project. I'm imagining a "Frankenstein" pile of microcontrollers, breadboards, wires, and other components on my desk at home (because I'm not skilled enough to design and etch my own boards yet). And LEDs. It has to have some blinking LEDs - they make any project look cooler.

Every time I think about this, I get a mental picture of that Simpsons episode where Homer designed the perfect car.

--Noam
Logged

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 136
  • Posts: 5952
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #82 on: July 24, 2012, 12:08:56 PM »


  And LEDs. It has to have some blinking LEDs - they make any project look cooler.


O-o-o-o-h-h-h..... (eyes roll back with lids fluttering).... yes! Must have many blinking lights.
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2477
    • davehouston.org
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #83 on: July 24, 2012, 12:09:59 PM »

I'm imagining something like an Arduino shield (or maybe a purpose-built Arduino clone, like one of Dave Houston's offerings), that would interface with the TW523 (or the XTB-IIR's emulation of it).
...
Add in an RF transceiver (all 256 codes would be cool!), and the Ethernet and/or WiFi shield(s) for connectivity to a network.
...
If there is non-volatile storage (like the SD card on the Ethernet shield), and a real-time-clock with a long-life battery, the unit could survive power outages and pick up right where it left off when power returns (reading the configuration off the storage card at startup).
...

All the above will soon be available - if my health cooperates.

ZBasic recently began offering a generic license which allows compiling ZBasic code and installing it to generic Atmel AVR ICs. That changed the whole ballgame, lowering costs tremendously, and I had to redesign everything I was working on. I'll try to update my ZarduinoTM webpages in between trips to the hospital. I have some boards already in hand and most others are on order.

Long range, the costs will depend on whether the distributor (who has a Chinese partner) can find an assembler who can build them in small quantities for a reasonable cost, but even buying components retail from Digi-Key and assembling them myself (not practical beyond the prototyping stage), the costs are excellent. This is patterned after the Arduino Mega designs (but with more rational IO and power schemes - more below) and includes options for ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and other connection methods. There are up to 6 serial ports for interfacing with existing (future?) X10, Insteon, UPB, ZWave, RS485, etc. devices. It has tons (64KB EEPROM, 32KB FRAM) of onboard memory, plus a MicroSD slot, and a battery-backed RTC (although my preferred WiFi & ethernet interfaces will automatically get the time if there's internet access). It can also interface with TW523/PSC05 as well as legacy controllers designed for the TW523/PSC05. I've kept it as dumb as possible, giving it smarts only where required by an interface (e.g. CM11A handshaking) so it is mostly a matter of responding to a bitstream from a specific port with the bitstream/port response programmed by the user. It should be able to deal with future devices as long as they do not need handshaking. All sourcecode (and gerber files) will be released so it will be possible for others to update it for new devices, if needed. I still plan Windows, Linux, OSX and Android interfaces but the protocol will be released so others can create other interfaces as desired.

I have also designed a two-way powerline modem (easily adapted to 120V or 240V) with a wideband superhet RF receiver. (Both the PLM and RF Receiver are frequency stable using crystals or ceramic resonators.) It uses a serial interface with optional external $3 USB-Serial adapter for those without a serial port. It does not require an FCC ID, qualifying for self-testing. It should also comply with CE requirements. If sold, it would likely require a customer waiver similar to what Jeff uses. It's unlikely to include an RF transmitter as that does require an FCC ID with attendant high costs. It may include an option for an external IR transmitter that knowledgeable folk might figure out can be used for other purposes.  ;) I'll write ZBasic app notes detailing how to handle most everything (except Insteon where I'm constrained by a developer's gag order).

MORE BELOW: I really do not like the Arduino power scheme which provides no protection to the processor and only limited protection for shields - it is designed to protect the USB host. So, I redesigned to use external 3V3 or 5V SMPS with separate fuses for the processor and shields. As a fallback, should the costs prove too high to have my main board made in small quantities, the Arduino Mega 1280 (http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=9) can be modified by merely changing the processor crystal. It only has half as much program memory so will not be ideal but it should suffice in the interim or it might be possible to have that board assembled with the ATMega 2560 IC.

Stay tuned.

@Noam: Sorry - only one LED and it's buried beneath Mega sized shields.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 12:44:18 PM by dhouston »
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No trees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

pomonabill221

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 13
  • Posts: 239
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #84 on: July 24, 2012, 01:33:32 PM »


  And LEDs. It has to have some blinking LEDs - they make any project look cooler.


O-o-o-o-h-h-h..... (eyes roll back with lids fluttering).... yes! Must have many blinking lights.
oooooooooooooo, ahahahaha, druel druel druel, heart rate increase, deep breathing.... random blinking and/or sequential chase patterns..... oooo ahhh  rofl rofl rofl rofl
Logged

pomonabill221

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 13
  • Posts: 239
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #85 on: July 24, 2012, 01:45:15 PM »

Noam...
Your ideas and thoughts are VERY doable! and are good!
Your soldering skills will improve with practice.  There are alot of tutorials on soldering, and the only way to "get good" is to practice!
I have been soldering for 40 years, and have a few tricks that I have found make great solder joints, but these come with experience and practice.
Just remember.... we were ALL lousy when we first started! ;D

As far as price/purchase quantities for the "new" CM15a, I really think that X10 should do a poll and find out how many people would be willing to pay what price, even if it is on these forums as there are alot of members here, and they could compare the number of forum members to the price they would be willing to pay.
  I know this would be a rough idea, but it is a place to start, and might give them a little incentive to produce them again, and find a price to sell them at.
  Not to knock x10repairdepot for all the info that we have gotten from him, but I do hear excuses (my thoughts) as to why it is taking time for them.
  I don't expect him to reveal their inside info as that would compromise there business, but there are several VERY knowledgeable members here that sound like they could come up with an alternate cm15a, with more features (even a kit maybe), with disclaimers that should be signed and returned for those of use that would like to build the kits.  Just a protection for them.... perfectly understandable!
  I don't mean to upset x10repairdepot, or get pushy, I am just posting my thoughts and observations.
Logged

dhouston

  • Advanced Member
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 37
  • Posts: 2477
    • davehouston.org
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #86 on: July 24, 2012, 02:21:26 PM »

FCC will not allow a kit. They require an FCC ID with associated testing in an approved lab for RF transmitter (and/or superregenerative receiver). Even supplying a schematic can sometimes trigger the FCC licensing requirement. See the Part 15 regulations.

And a corporation like X10 is unlikely to stick their neck in the noose represented by any UL disclaimer.

So an X10 kit is highly unlikely.
Logged
This message was composed entirely from recycled letters of the alphabet using only renewable, caffeinated energy sources.
No trees, wabbits, chimps or whales died in the process.
https://www.laser.com/dhouston

Noam

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 49
  • Posts: 2800
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #87 on: July 24, 2012, 03:49:49 PM »

@Noam: Sorry - only one LED and it's buried beneath Mega sized shields.
It is always possible to add LEDs, it is just a matter of how hard one wants to work at it. ;)

Noam...
Your ideas and thoughts are VERY doable! and are good!
Your soldering skills will improve with practice.  There are alot of tutorials on soldering, and the only way to "get good" is to practice!
I have been soldering for 40 years, and have a few tricks that I have found make great solder joints, but these come with experience and practice.
Just remember.... we were ALL lousy when we first started! ;D

I've been soldering for at least 25 years. Just not very well. Mostly small projects (splicing wires, etc), but I always went to my dad for help with anything involving more precision.
I did get better at it when I built my HVAC monitoring system (I had to figure out how to get all the components onto an Arduino prototyping shield, AND solder them together properly, AND not short anything out. I think I'd be even better if I could clear out enough space on the workbench, AND find a stool that was the correct height to sit on.
My first version of the project came out fine, and I'm actually pretty happy with the soldering job I did on it.



Logged

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 264
  • Posts: 9406
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #88 on: July 24, 2012, 03:52:29 PM »

A poll wouldn't be very helpful  :(
Even with a count of 21821 total members less then 1/1000 of the members will respond and cast a vote.
There are polls I created over 6 years ago (still active) and have less then 90 votes.
If X10 were to do a poll and it recieved a mere 90 votes then the replacement cm15 would be abandonded.
However I'll start such a poll and see if we get 90 votes before years end. ::) :'
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 136
  • Posts: 5952
Re: The Future of X10
« Reply #89 on: July 24, 2012, 04:09:30 PM »

oooooooooooooo, ahahahaha, druel druel druel, heart rate increase, deep breathing.... random blinking and/or sequential chase patterns..... oooo ahhh  rofl rofl rofl rofl
Remember the Hollywood depiction of a computer in the 1960's (think "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", and "Lost In Space"). Always a huge wall of blinking square lights. Uh-oh, my heart rate just shot up....
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"
Pages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 ... 10
 

X10.com | About X10 | X10 Security Systems | Cameras| Package Deals
© Copyright 2014-2016 X10.com All rights reserved.