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] 2

Author Topic: Any replacement for the Plato HouseLink or Smart controller system?  (Read 1542 times)

James G

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 43

I set up my large home decades ago. I still use my Plato controller box that is programmed by Windows. I just had to buy a serial to USB converter cord and a used Dell laptop with Windows 7 32 bit (with a small SSD) as the program will not run on my Windows 10 64 bit OS. I still love the simple yet powerful GUI. I just hope it does not fail. I still have the original floppy disks but have converted them to 3 separate folders in case anyone needs them.

I control most of my lights and many appliances including my water heater. I have the electronic barking dog.

Unfortunately, my wired external motion sensor with floodlights failed. I wish I could find a new one to send out X-10 codes but I cannot find one. I wish X-10 would build it again but with an improved motion sensor.

Is there a similar X-10 controller available with the simple yet powerful GUI?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 03:10:19 PM by Tuicemen »
Logged

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 266
  • Posts: 9543
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato contoller system?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2019, 09:03:45 AM »

There are a few different x10 controllers out there.
Probably the most versatile is the CM15A which came with ActiveHomePro (AHP) a Windows Program to allow programing timers and simple macros directly to the unit so it could be run independently.

Many users still use the CM15A but with other software and even different OS enviroments. However only AHP can program the CM15A.
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

James G

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 43
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato contoller system?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2019, 10:36:02 AM »

Hi Tuicemen! Roger at X-10 tech support suggested that I contact you. This is an excellent article on the Plato with excellent screenshots of the computer interface:

https://www.hometoys.com/article/1997/10/plato-houselinc/217/

What would you recommend replacing it with? The ActiveHomePro and CM15A? Where do I purchase them?

Thank you!
Logged

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 266
  • Posts: 9543
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato contoller system?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2019, 10:51:38 AM »

The CM15A can still be purchased from Authinx (x10.com) https://www.x10.com/catalogsearch/result/?cat=0&q=cm15a
The (free) AHP software can also be downloaded from them.
Unfortunately AHP is no longer being maintained and band aid workarounds are required for it to work with newer 64 bit Windows.
 There are several third party software options that will work with the CM15 and provide more automation possibilities then AHP ever could.

My recommendation should you decide to move away from what your using would be to go the Pi route with HomeGenie. The Pi is a mini computer that (depending on model) is smaller then the CM15A. These can be placed in an out of the way place and accessed by any internet capable device for configuring and maintaining.
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 266
  • Posts: 9543
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato contoller system?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2019, 10:58:56 AM »

I don't know a Roger at X10 but glad to see X10 support is directing users to the forum.
Though I'm unsure why they would suggest me specifically to get in touch with.
you can get more info on HomeGenie here http://homegenie.it
>!
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

brobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 92
  • Posts: 553
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato contoller system?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2019, 11:39:15 AM »

I looked at that link & it brought back memories as I considered the Plato but went with the very similar JDS Time Commander at the time and later upgraded to the JDS Stargate which I still use today.  I too keep a 32 bit Win7 laptop connected as the programming is done the same way.  If you're happy with the Plato box and it does what you want there's really no reason to change it and go through a new learning curve. Using TeamViewer from my 64 bit Win10 PC I can work with Stargate right from my desk - or anywhere. If you want to add voice control with Alexa you can do that economically with Tuicemen's Pi Alexa Hub image using a Raspberry Pi ($10), a CM19A ($18) and any X10 Transceiver (~$30).  That's exactly what I've done and it's working great. Just my 2.
Logged

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 266
  • Posts: 9543
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato controller system?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2019, 11:57:31 AM »

@James G, do you realy need to replace the old Plato controller?
Or just do you just wish to expand its capabilities?
If your just looking to expand the capabilities there are a number of options depending on what your looking to do.
The option brobin provided for Alexa control is just one example of what can be done.
I do believe no matter what your looking to do, a Pi board is the route to move forward with.
 >!
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

James G

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 43
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato controller system?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2019, 12:06:52 PM »

Hi brobin! Thanks so much for the tips!

I am very happy with the Plato. I am concerned that at some point it will fail because of its age. I do not want to go through a new learning curve. There is only so much time. The Alexa control would be nice. Your setup sounds ideal to me. Sometimes things become unavailable. Perhaps I should purchase it all as a backup now.

Would it be too much trouble to send me a list of everything and where to purchase each item?

Thank you!
Logged

James G

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 43
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato controller system?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2019, 12:48:41 PM »

Hello again Tuicemen! I am really looking for a backup. The Plato is old and may fail. I had a severe hit to the system last fall when the hurricane that went through the panhandle also went through SC close to me. It knocked out my wired exterior motion sensor with the floodlights. I could not find a new one anywhere. (The motion sensor was not that great anyway.) I ordered X-10's wireless motion sensor and I think I threw it out. I ended up going with the Ring system. It has internal chimes that can be programmed for the sound one wants. It also works with my Echo Dot and Alexa. Alexa tells me which camera detected the motion and the motion sensors are far superior. I had to buy a Google mesh wireless system for the Wi-Fi to reach the camera on the garage which shows the front of the house.

I am not really trying to expand the system much such as remote access. Alexa control would be nice.

Thank you for the tips! I am always open to new ideas.
Logged

brobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 92
  • Posts: 553
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato controller system?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2019, 01:37:50 PM »

I assume you're asking for the Alexa stuff so here goes.

The image and installation instructions are on Tuicemen's site: http://forums.tuicemen.net/index.php?topic=1332.0

You can order the X10 CM19A transmitter and an X10 transceiver (RR501 or PAT03) directly from X10.com or Amazon.
https://amzn.to/2ESImKh and https://amzn.to/2VCRWXa or https://amzn.to/2XDNLMN

If you live near a MicroCenter store you can get the Raspberry Pi Zero W for just $5 otherwise I recommend buying this kit on amazon for $27 that includes the PiZW, a case, power supply and a USB adapter (OTG) plus a few other items you won't need for this project.
https://amzn.to/2ESLGFq

The only other thing you'll need a 4GB or larger micro SD card. Bigger isn't better as backups will take longer. It's hard to find 4GB cards anymore so here's a link to an 8GB 3 pack with a card reader (you'll want the extras for backups): https://amzn.to/2TxaKJZ

Once you have everything in hand, if you follow the installation instructions step-by-step, you'll be up and running in under an hour.

In addition to using Alexa to control individual X10 devices you can use it to trigger macros in your Plato using an otherwise unused X10 address.

Regarding my comment about using Teamviewer to remotely access the laptop connected to your Plato, you can install the free version of Teamviewer on both PC's from teamviewer.com and follow the setup instructions.

Regarding the potential failure of the Plato, it might pay to monitor ebay or any Plato user groups to try and buy a spare unit.  I have two spare Stargates that I've picked up over the years from ebay that I bought for a song.
Logged

James G

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 1
  • Posts: 43
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato controller system?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2019, 01:54:19 PM »

brobin, from what I have read thus far, this looks like the direction I want to go. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to do this! The Plato controller is no longer available so I will have to replace it as well.  :)
Logged

Tuicemen

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 266
  • Posts: 9543
  • I don't work for X10, I use it successfuly!
    • Tuicemen Software
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato controller system?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2019, 02:14:36 PM »

@ James G if you go the Pi route (which I recommend) for Alexa control you'd be better off with the PiX10Hub image instead of the Alexa Hub image.
It has Home Genie in it so you could slowly migrate your system over to it in case the Plato controller ever does fail, serving as a back up system.
You can also try your HA setup with other things besides Alexa control it will also allow you to bridge other protocols with X10.
The nice thig with a Pi board is there are many addon expansion boards to increase there usability.
 >!
Logged
Please Read Topic:
General Forum Etiquette
Before you post!

Find extra info @ My forum

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 19
  • Posts: 1762
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato controller system?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2019, 04:57:07 PM »

IMO, unless you are trying to out the RPI in a space limited location, I would recommend the RPI3 over the RPiZW.  The 3 is faster, has more memory, and has more connections. It is still very compact and uses close to no power. The Zero W is slightly smaller but lacks extra USB ports and computing power that IMO you will miss eventually.

racerfern

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 5
  • Posts: 259
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato controller system?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 05:38:01 PM »

IMO, unless you are trying to out the RPI in a space limited location, I would recommend the RPI3 over the RPiZW.  The 3 is faster, has more memory, and has more connections. It is still very compact and uses close to no power. The Zero W is slightly smaller but lacks extra USB ports and computing power that IMO you will miss eventually.

Agreed! I have HG on a Pi 3B+. With four USB ports, RJ45 connector, etc. it is a much better bet for any HA project. I even have a https://www.amazon.com/RaspBee-premium-ZigBee-Raspberry-Firmware/dp/B00E6300DO for zigbee access although it's not talking to HG yet and I also have an Aeotec z-stick plugged into a USB port which does talk to HG.

There's lots of potential with a 3B+.
Logged

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 19
  • Posts: 1762
Re: Is there any replacement for the old Plato controller system?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2019, 05:47:10 PM »

I don't think zigbee will work on HG as last I checked there was no interface programmed in. If it's been added, pretty much anything will work!
Pages: [1] 2
 

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