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Author Topic: Another Alexa/X-10 Question  (Read 704 times)

gkamieneski

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Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« on: January 01, 2018, 11:00:11 PM »

Recently got an Amazon Echo Dot and because I have been running X-10 HA and security for many years I immediately started reading the associated threads here and elsewhere.

My question is, has anyone been able to interface Alexa with X-10 without requiring a PC to always be active? I have the CM15a's EEPROM handling my home now and I also still have a CM11a with the serial interface, but I believe I see most solutions using the Phillips bridge with the X-10 Firecracker?

I guess because the X-10 interfaces recognize RF or PLC and not WiFi that there's no way to address the macros stored in the X-10 devices EEPROM?
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Tuicemen

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 11:10:50 PM »

All current X10 interfaces require a PC to turn a Wi-Fi signal into a PLC signal the X10 WIFI (WM100) due out in a few weeks has Wi-Fi to PLC however there is no published protocol for it yet and it has no RF capabilites.

There are several methods for getting wi-fi to X10 many use Pi devices. Homeseer has a HUB I'm old will do X10 I beileve HA Dave has one. the RM Broadlink will send RF from wi-fi but you still need an android sever setup on your phone.
I've created a few PC options that allow Alexa or Google home control of your X10 devices.

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HA Dave

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 05:40:11 AM »

...... Homeseer has a HUB I'm told will do X10 I beileve HA Dave has one. the RM Broadlink will send RF from wi-fi but you still need an android sever setup on your phone.

Yep. I have both the Homeseer hometroller (which is a raspberry pi device). It works with (USB connected to) an interface (a CM15A) to send X10 PLC's. It might be able to send RF... I am not sure... I've never thought to try that. BTW... I run TWO (2) CM15A's with one connected to the Hometroller... and the other connected to a laptop running 24/7. As some of my macros require a running PC (so does my PC based voice for announcements).

I really like my (new for Christmas) Broadlink RM pro!

Although I haven't had a chance to try this yet..... I can't see why using a IR-543 X10 Command Console (with an proper old X10 remote for programing) wouldn't allow some limited amount of voice control of X10 devices.... without a running PC. But... I have NOT tried that YET... so I can't swear to it.

But I have used an old Logitech-Harmony remote with a IR-543 X10 Command Console (to control lights and trigger macros) in my Home Theater for over a decade now.... and the it works flawlessly.

........ I guess because the X-10 interfaces recognize RF or PLC and not WiFi that there's no way to address the macros stored in the X-10 devices EEPROM?

The macros in my original CM15A.... still trigger and work fine. The CM15A I have connect to the Hometroller is set to not transceive and therefore doesn't interfear with the original CM15A.

It isn't all easy-peasy.... but I am deliberately running a mish-mosh of all sorts of different flavors of Home Automation products including a bunch of great X10 stuff with and voice controlled by Alexa.... and I understand Tuicemen is doing pretty much the same and has even included a Google voice device. There are solutions.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 06:05:37 AM by HA Dave »
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gkamieneski

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 03:44:46 PM »

Thanks, folks.

Guess I am looking for a WiFi device that will take WiFi commands from Alexa and put them on PL for the CM15a to pick up and re-transmit. Not there yet and probably won't make it.

I have seen some of the great work being done with the HA Bridge, etc. and I have plenty of old laptops I could employ, but I hate leaving computers on full time just to gain voice control of my X10 devices.
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HA Dave

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 06:17:57 PM »

...... I have plenty of old laptops I could employ, but I hate leaving computers on full time just to gain voice control of my X10 devices.

It's worth it! I feel the same way about leaving a computer on 24/7. But the power use/drain really isn't that much as the processor isn't working much. I have mine in a fire safe environment and run it with the batteries removed.... and with a coolpad underneath (USB powered fans). There is a lot you can do with the power of a PC for both automation and safety. If you have spares.... most of what you need invest is a little time. It should be FUN.
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
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gkamieneski

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 07:46:19 PM »

I am hearing of using a Raspberyy Pi device, an USB/Serial Port adapter and the CM11a. I know its cheaper to just use an old laptop but i find the small footprint of the Raspberry Pi appealing.

Then I wonder, why not skip the USB/Serial Port adapter and use USB into my CM15a. Does anyone know any more about this? thx.
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HA Dave

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 08:16:25 PM »

I am hearing of using a Raspberyy Pi device, an USB/Serial Port adapter and the CM11a. I know its cheaper to just use an old laptop but i find the small footprint of the Raspberry Pi appealing.

Then I wonder, why not skip the USB/Serial Port adapter and use USB into my CM15a. Does anyone know any more about this? thx.

From reply #3
.... Yep. I have both the Homeseer hometroller (which is a raspberry pi device). It works with (USB connected to) an interface (a CM15A) to send X10 PLC's. It might be able to send RF... I am not sure... I've never thought to try that...
 
 

There has also been talk (and some testing I believe) with using "stick" computers.

But hold on to hope! X10 may be mere weeks away from releasing a WiFi X10. 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 08:19:15 PM by HA Dave »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 09:21:32 PM »

I actually used an Android TV stick converted to Linux using a mini SD card with a CM15A I think I used Homegenie
However since HA-Bridge would run on Linux you could use it with the Linux X10 drivers to work with Alexa. It really depends on what all you wish to do.
Like Dave said the X10WIFI app and WM100 are (I hope) only weeks away. ;)
However an Alexa skill for it will be a while longer coming. :'(
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gkamieneski

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 09:28:45 PM »

Like many others have said, I have a lot of X10 equipment that has served me well for years and continues to do so with ActiveHome Pro. Christmas gift was an Echo Dot and a TP-Link HS100, so just now I am using both X10 PLC and RF, and Alexa. It would be great to consolidate and use ActiveHome for scheduling and Alexa for voice control.
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gkamieneski

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 01:10:30 PM »

o.k. X10WiFi and the WM100 are here. Seems to me this will eliminate my needs to run Activehome and the CM15a as home automation will be run through the WiFi hub. Also, once an Alexa skill is written for the WM100, I will be able to voice control all the X10 modules.

Is my understanding correct? thx.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 02:10:47 PM »

Currently the WM100 will not eliminate your need for the Cm15 and AHP unless your needs are simple control with maybe some timers.
The wm100 has limitations so if your setup is small, doesn't include macros and you don't need RF control you can get away with out the AHP and the cm15

As for Alexa skill your guess is as good as mine as to when it will be available.
It will also only control modules configured in the WM100
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gkamieneski

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 02:46:26 PM »

Thanks. I am reading about routines and scenes coming in the WM100 and, for me, that would probably be enough to replace my ActiveHome and the CM15a. However, I won't have the reason to take the plunge until there is an Alexa skill giving me voice control. Until then, I am just using my Activehome and some TP-Link WiFi products.
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IPS

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 03:35:29 PM »

I too have been playing with routines. I like the concept.Specially when Alexa has problem distinguishing device name.so a simple HI or BYE will get the job done.  It works fine as long as individual devices are being controlled by voice. It is not the way to control  a group of devices. If the group has 2 or 3 devices then you have to give the command that many times. It does not, at least not on my setup,  control dimmble  devices.
I set one routine:
Alexa, "Good Evening"
Alexa replies,"Good Evening"
& suppose to turn Three devices but turns on one and sometime two.
I have 3 echo dots and can setup different or same routines on each of them. All of them work. they must be on different house floors to avoid cross talk. It need lot of more work to do what I want. may be someone can share their experience as well.
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HA Dave

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Re: Another Alexa/X-10 Question
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 03:49:50 PM »

I too have been playing with routines...... It need lot of more work to do what I want. may be someone can share their experience as well.

I did a search.... I knew there were several Alexa threads at the forum. I just searched    Alexa

I named my morning routine "rise and shine". Alexa turns ON my TV and cable box (using the broadlink RM Pro, IR controller. Then turn ON my end table light and turns the power on to my electric recliner.... and repeats back to me.... "rise and shine" (it's in the phrase list).

....... I won't have the reason to take the plunge until there is an Alexa skill giving me voice control.

Many of the (older?) users are a little hesitent around cloud technology. The great thing is... this unit can make them feel safe.... and when the skill is introduced the rest of us can operate via voice. I hope the skill comes quickly.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 03:56:50 PM by HA Dave »
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Modern automation is much more than turning things on and off.
The use of Home Automation is limited... only by our imaginations.
 

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