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Author Topic: DO X10 MODULES WEAR OUT OVER TIME?  (Read 322 times)


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« on: November 27, 2017, 11:28:12 AM »

Should I buy new X 10 modules or is there an alternative home automation platform that is more reliable and up to date?

Around 20 years ago, I had a flurry of activity with X 10 products. I probably spent several hundred dollars on the home security system and various bundles with the result that I have around 50 or so various X 10 products. Occasionally I try to use these with the home automation project and sometimes it works but it always seems to be a struggle. Other times I strike out.

I've done a couple of things recently that worked but a couple of things absolutely refuse even though they should work. So now I wonder if maybe some of my modules are worn out or if the reliability of products that were sold 20 years ago just wasn't very good.

  • I have a hallway  with overhead lights controlled by two three-way switches at either end. My purpose was to  update with X 10 three-way switch and companion and then trigger the switches  with motion sensors (MS 13 a). Before even implementing the motion sensors, the three-way switches would flicker terribly and would not close the circuit down in the off position.(When I probed these X10 three ways with my multi tester I found that I had induced voltage in the dead leg of the three-way circuit I wonder if this might be an explanation for the  strange performance of the three-way switches?) So I dropped back to the standard three-way switches and took the power feed into a duplex outlet where I put the transceiver in one outlet and  a lamp module in the other.  I could turn things on and off sometimes with the HR12a switch but not reliably. Installing motion sensors would work sometimes but not reliably and I had to give up on the concept.
  • I have two outside lights  on ceiling fans that I can turn on and off reliably. They are in "socket rockets" and reside on house code B1 and B2. Began to notice B1  would be turned on when I had not turned it on. Turns out that when I sent a cold through my HR 12 a keypad  set to house code see, the signal would leak over to house code be.Incidentally, it's on the other end of the house and not on the same transceiver. The transceiver is set to house code B but manages to intercept signals from house code C

I have reached my frustration limit so to reiterate my main question, "would new X 10 equipment be more reliable and less susceptible to noise or whatever is causing these issues?" Or is the X 10 platform just always subject to these kinds of anomalies and should I look into another home automation platform? I really want to do these kinds of jobs.


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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 11:36:25 AM »

I've been happy with X10, but there are a lot of others here who are proponents of moving on to WiFi based solutions.  IMO, if you can control the noise on the system, you should be ok.  If you can't control it, then you might want to do something different.  Now, when it comes to RF, I've been generally unhappy.  I do have some RF motion sensors and some wireless remotes.  These usually work ok, but there are times that they don't work at all.  It seems when the conditions are rainy and cold (I live in Seattle, so...) the RF range shrinks.  I've modified my installation to increase PLC and RF reliability and range and under ideal conditions everything works 99%.  When I'm under less than ideal conditions, my reliability is closer to 75% for RF and 95% for PLC.

You may need to consider investing in increasing reliability.  It will not be cheap, but will cost less than starting over.  But, if you don't want to continue to have X10 issues (read, you'd rather try something not X10), there are threads here that might guide you in what other options are.  Sonoff seems to be a very popular solution and not too expensive.

Brian H

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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 01:00:55 PM »

Where the lights an LED type?
They do not work correctly with X10 wall switch dimmers. As they steal power through the load.
X10 now makes a WS469 that has a relay in it. On/Off no dim and does not steal power through the load..
Does require a Neutral Power connection in the electrical box. Along with the Line and Load.

You may have to do some troubleshooting. As over the years more electronics in the home. Can cause issues.
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