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So are you a power user?

Most definately! If trying to get the most out of X10 makes me a power user then YES
- 20 (87%)
No I only use a few device & I never want to do any more.
- 1 (4.3%)
No simple lights control is all I want or need
- 2 (8.7%)

Total Members Voted: 23


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Author Topic: X10 user unite!  (Read 791 times)

Tuicemen

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X10 user unite!
« on: October 18, 2018, 03:52:57 PM »

My inquiries to Authinx always get the "we can't develop for the power user. there just isn't the demand to make any money"
My original thought was anyone that has X10 still in operation was an average user and wanting more from it didn't make you a power user but I guess I'm wrong.
I'm being grouped as a X10 Power user.

I asked about a Cm15 Upgrade since most of the X10 line has got a update with more powerful PLC quiet, relays..... but the CM15 has not seen anything in line of an improvement.
True this relies on software to get the most out of it and the AHP software is not going anywhere but an Updated CM15 may get someone interested in reverse enginering it.

Thankfully there are other softwares to utilize this module but it needs upgrading supplying more power for todays modern world. I don't believe anything like WI-FI needs to be added though that would be nice.

As long as Authinx sees their customer base as not including Power Users, X10 is dead.

Tell Authinx you demand more and You are a power user!

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dhouston

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 04:48:08 PM »

...an Updated CM15 may get someone interested in reverse enginering it.
The current design has converted most of the logic (i.e. MCU) and RF components to SMD which makes reverse engineering problematic. The MCU requires an expensive (if even still available) package for programming it. I had designed a replacement for the older thru-hole MCU but shelved it when they went SMD. In addition, I think more PLC oomph is needed.

Methinks the best approach is an ESP8266 module (e.g. WeMos D1 Mini) with add-ons (i.e. shields) for RTC, RF RX/TX, etc. that can interface with the serial port of a CM11A or XTB-232 (best). It can act as a web-server, allowing any browser to interact with it, eliminating the need for Apps, etc.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 04:51:18 PM by dhouston »
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 05:03:00 PM »

The CM11 is discontinued so it would have to be a modified XTB-232 or something simular.
Besides I'd want something with PLC punch!
The problem is getting it produced, average users aren't looking for a DIY project, and very few power users are willing to do it either. Authinx may produce it, if we could show them there are more power users then they currently think.
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dhouston

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 05:36:33 PM »

The CM11 is discontinued...
It's still available here...
https://thex10shop.com/products/x10-genuine-cm11a-activehome-serial-computer-interface-pre-cm15a

I don't recall how many he told me he has but, IIRC, it was in the hundreds. 
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 06:00:47 PM »

Yes, I realize you can still find them but this is old tech! You might find half a dozen users willing to buy one then do the DIY project to upgrade it and still have a low powered PLC signal but that's probably a high figure.

I know the factory Authinx uses no loger has the tooling for that module. So if a factory has to retool for a module it might as well be something new that has PLC Punch.
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 06:11:45 PM »

We know the WM100 motherboard has "punch", but it is presently limited to just a small subset of the X10 command set.  If we could obtain the schematic, we could modify the motherboard to support the full X10 command set.  Then a modified daughter board that includes a real time clock should provided all that is needed for a high-end controller.

Jeff
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 06:20:57 PM »

We know the WM100 motherboard has "punch", but it is presently limited to just a small subset of the X10 command set.  If we could obtain the schematic, we could modify the motherboard to support the full X10 command set.  Then a modified daughter board that includes a real time clock should provided all that is needed for a high-end controller.

Jeff
Exactly as can the factory if they'd get off their butts!
But then the WM100 would be obsolete who'd buy a module that only controls 3 house codes when you could have one that does all 16? Oh wait I know, it's anyone other then a power user. rofl
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2018, 12:22:59 AM »

IMO, the prospect of a WiFi adapter 4 years ago was very interesting.  In the mean time, tech advanced and that sole use became less interesting to the point where I wouldn't pay much for it.  If the WM100 had been a CM15A + network interface, I'd expect to pay around $100 (the same as the CM15A cost me several years ago when it was much less dated).  The fact that a simple WiFi adapter with basically no added capability costs $100 is a no-go for me when other options are available (read, custom RPi options).

That said, if X10 were to produce a new controller that was essentially a network enabled CM15A with a better RF range and open enough to use any software I wanted...WOW, that would be exciting.  This is basically the same thing that dhouston has been suggesting for a couple years now though, so it's not even a new concept.  He had a design that would have incorporated an ESP into a CM15A back then but not enough interest for whatever reason.

Then again, the best product pair available for X10 users is discontinued due to apparent lack of interest (XTB-IIR + XTBM).  With these 2 products, Jeff made X10 easy to use for anyone no matter how bad your initial signal might be.

If these 2 people offered great concepts and products with no significant traction, I'm not sure what Authentix can do...  Sounds pessimistic, but that's what I see.
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brobin

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2018, 12:47:06 AM »

Perhaps X10 shouldn't even be in the controller business and concentrate on building modules that not only incorporate X10 signals but other standards as well, such as an RF mesh network or WiFi to improve signal integrity. They don't have to cling to ONLY offering their 40 year old technology without enhancements. It's like an airline saying "we started out flying prop planes so we'll always fly prop planes."  That may be OK but if they don't add some jets to the fleet they can't compete.  Building modules has always been X10's strength - not writing software.  X10 must recognize that they are an automation company first and not remain stuck using only one type of technology.

While many have fallen by the wayside, there are still companies offering integrated controllers that include support for X10.  HAI Omni, Vera, HomeSeer, and Universal Devices ISY models come to mind.  Granted, they cost a bit more but they do a lot more, are well supported and users don't have to become involved with building and programming devices. A new, more powerful TW523 would be a valuable addition to provide greater reliability to controller suppliers. Most of the other module suppliers don't offer sophisticated controllers either, preferring to only support their own technology in a basic way to keep customer service costs low. 

 The most successful controllers will be the ones that can integrate with a vast number of devices & protocols.  For example, in addition to my Stargate that controls X10, I have more bridges than Manhattan to access other devices & systems from Lutron, Honeywell, Kohler, Liftmaster, Aqualink, Hunter-Douglas, B-Hyve, Caddyx, and Cielo as well as my Pi Hub plus various entertainment devices for music & video.  Each one of those bridges has their own app or software and, for the most part, none of them can talk to the others. All those apps take a full homescreen page on my phone. Build a controller that interacts with all of these and then we'll have a hot product! Maybe the HA industry needs to develop an interoperability protocol to enable their devices to interact.

Ironically, there IS one product that can talk to most of these already and that's Amazon's Alexa. Today it's not much more than voice activated remote control but there's no reason they couldn't offer a cloud based HA controller to integrate everything. They could even d/l the basic schedule to an Echo device to provide local control as a backup.  Given that Alexa is making its way onto our phones and into our cars it could make decisions based on which family member is where along with weather and traffic data and what you had for dinner last night. 
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2018, 01:51:11 AM »

Then again, the best product pair available for X10 users is discontinued due to apparent lack of interest (XTB-IIR + XTBM).  With these 2 products, Jeff made X10 easy to use for anyone no matter how bad your initial signal might be.

They are not discontinued yet, but will be as the current stock of several hundred PCBs is used up.  Most products should remain available well into 2019.  And they are not being discontinued due to lack of interest.  After assembling over 4000 units by myself, I'm just getting tired of soldering.  If someone wants to step up and take over production, I'd be happy to support it.

Jeff
 
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dhouston

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2018, 06:10:43 AM »

We know the WM100 motherboard has "punch", but it is presently limited to just a small subset of the X10 command set.  If we could obtain the schematic, we could modify the motherboard to support the full X10 command set.  Then a modified daughter board that includes a real time clock should provided all that is needed for a high-end controller.
It might be simpler to look at adding a daughterboard to the revised PAT03.
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2018, 08:28:02 AM »

It might be simpler to look at adding a daughterboard to the revised PAT03.

That's probably where the factory started with the WM100.  The X10 transceiver only supports the subset of X10 codes sent by the PalmPad.  Some of us need extended codes, so the PAT03 motherboard would have to be revised too.

Jeff
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2018, 10:22:00 AM »

It might be simpler to look at adding a daughterboard to the revised PAT03.

That's probably where the factory started with the WM100.  The X10 transceiver only supports the subset of X10 codes sent by the PalmPad.  Some of us need extended codes, so the PAT03 motherboard would have to be revised too.

Jeff
That is basically what the factory started with for the WM100.
Interestingly I received some returned WM100s to play with as I had requested one to see if I could revive my city bricked unit.
 I managed to get one returned unit working at my off grid place and entered in a few modules from my off grid place during testing then pulled the daughter board.

I pulled my bricked daughter board and replaced it with the one setup from my off grid place and fired up the WM100.This WM100 had never been to my off grid place.
It fired right up and connected to my wi-fi without any input from me.
I opened my devices and my off grid setup was there so the daughter board holds the setup and configuration.
There is no reference to my city place setup.
Daughter boards are swappable as all daughter boards from the defective units work.
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bkenobi

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 11:34:08 AM »

They are not discontinued yet, but will be as the current stock of several hundred PCBs is used up.  Most products should remain available well into 2019.  And they are not being discontinued due to lack of interest.  After assembling over 4000 units by myself, I'm just getting tired of soldering.  If someone wants to step up and take over production, I'd be happy to support it.

Jeff
 

Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest not available.  What I meant was that you tried to get production continued through another company (Authentix etc) and they weren't interested so you are not continuing to produce new components.  Yes, I am aware that you are still selling your excellent products until the supply is depleted.  Thanks for pointing that out.
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dhouston

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Re: X10 user unite!
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2018, 11:53:39 AM »

The X10 transceiver only supports the subset of X10 codes sent by the PalmPad.  Some of us need extended codes, so the PAT03 motherboard would have to be revised too.
Then I think a revised XTB-232 is still the best bet.
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