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Author Topic: Strange question but are members here still using X10  (Read 1258 times)

petera

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Strange question but are members here still using X10
« on: November 04, 2019, 09:44:46 AM »

It probably sounds like a strange question but are members here still using X10. Iíve noticed that recent posts have had very little to do with the subject of X10 so I was curious to know if members have moved on to alternative technologies.

I understand that with the demise of ActiveHome Pro members have struggled to find a software alternative to control their X10 devices. Thankfully there are credible alternatives out there that will allow you to continue and enhance your home automation system using X10.

What is even better news is the opportunities to acquire some very useful X10 equipment at a fraction of its original selling price on the likes of eBay. Iíve acquired some really good bargains recently and these bargains coupled with a Raspberry Pi or equivalent have allowed me to automate friends and families homes combing an old technology like X10 with some of the latest and greatest technologies which would not have been possible with ActiveHome Pro.
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Brian H

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2019, 10:34:14 AM »

My main protocol is Insteon and an ISY994i that can do X10 and Insteon.
Insteon Modules are old enough to also accept an optional X10 address.

I still have some X10 devices in use. Like a HR12A Palm Pad as there is no 16 address Insteon remote. Chime modules, V572 All address transceiver into the TW523 emulation port on a XTB-IIR, 1/3 of an ELK door bell sensor to a PF248 Powerflash.

Not any of the more recent things. Like Wi-Fi,  Alexa or even a Smartphone with Apps.
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bkenobi

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2019, 10:35:37 AM »

I'm 90%+ X10.  I've recently been moving to LED security lighting with built-in motion sensors that no longer require X10 for some locations.  The biggest installation for me has always been exterior lights and motion sensors X10 offer are generally terrible.  With LED's using so little electricity and the motion sensors being pretty good compared to past variants I've tried, I don't have as much need for my traditional installations.  IMO, X10 would be a better option if they had usable, truly weatherproof motion sensors with decent range instead of the garbage MS16A and equivalent.

petera

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2019, 12:05:34 PM »

Is the MS16a range that poor. Would it be possible to weatherproof them yourself. I've used the MS13 for indoor myself but with signal collision when using the CM15/Mochad combo I abandoned them in favour of the sensors that my security panel uses in Home Assistant. Of course with MQTT you can use virtually any combination of sensors in any of the available technologies.

I try to keep my posts as X10 centric as possible but it's always tempting to point out what is possible with X10 in combination with other more modern technologies. I do promise though that if my roof springs a leak I won't be posting here looking for solutions.  rofl
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bkenobi

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2019, 04:56:46 PM »

Stock MS16 (any of them really) are pretty bad with range on a stock CM15A.  After adding an antenna mod to my CM15A and a large antenna, I can use MS16a's in some places as is, but they are generally spotty.  I added 18" passive antennas to each sensor and they work ok.  As for weatherproof, the one I have in my woodshed has survived for several years (outside of the battery corrosion issues).  The ones on the south side of my house are exposed to weather (UV/rain/etc).  They last all summer without issue, but they never survive a winter.  Even when weatherized (open, add silicone, close, add more silicone, add more silicone) they don't last long.  The screen fails (could be freezing, could be UV, don't know).  The internals do NOT like water, so once they crack, they've already been compromised.

I intended to replace them with either WiFi sensors or other protocol over the last few years.  That hadn't happened.  I even bought a number of MS16A's on the cheap (~$5/ea) so I could just replace them annually when they failed.  That worked, but was annoying.  I just replaced the fixtures on that side of the house with LED units with light sensors.  I am going to keep that light on all the time (8W bulbs at night only won't cost much).  I replaced the flood light with a motion sensor type that has worked great on my shop for over a year.  The wood shed just had a IP67 shop light with integrated motion sensor installed and I expect it to work well on its own.  The only other location I wanted to update was by my garage man door.  However, there is no motion sensor that I think will work out there because the heat pump is right next to it.  When it goes into defrost mode, it creates a hot plume that will trigger most motion sensors.  I think I give up on that one...

SkipWX10

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2019, 05:21:59 PM »

Still using ActiveHome Pro on W10 laptop and a CM15a. My setup is very simple, just lighting on one housecode and several motions set up for detected lighting on two others. I use PalmPads daily and have also added the Willie 100 for phone remote capabilities. I have been using X10 'technology' since Radio Shack came out with 'Plug n' Power' in the 70's, still have some of the original modules.

I have found it so reliable for what I need that I have hardly thought about what I would use as a replacement. I can always get a new ActiveHome Pro controller and download AHP 3.xx, so I can't see a reason to worry too much....
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petera

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2019, 06:25:25 PM »

Still using ActiveHome Pro on W10 laptop and a CM15a. My setup is very simple, just lighting on one housecode and several motions set up for detected lighting on two others. I use PalmPads daily and have also added the Willie 100 for phone remote capabilities. I have been using X10 'technology' since Radio Shack came out with 'Plug n' Power' in the 70's, still have some of the original modules.

I have found it so reliable for what I need that I have hardly thought about what I would use as a replacement. I can always get a new ActiveHome Pro controller and download AHP 3.xx, so I can't see a reason to worry too much....

Possibly not and if it's just basic macros and timers you use your CM15 loaded with both will probably suffice. Assuming that if you need to make any changes that your laptop with AHP will still function. MS Windows future versions will definitely at some stage stop working with AHP so maybe the old laptop working off line will fill your needs.

The ability to integrate X10 with more modern technologies was the challenge for me and I can safely say it works very well on many of the current range of single board computers. What are known as macros and timers are now events and automations on these platforms.
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petera

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2019, 06:30:23 PM »

Stock MS16 (any of them really) are pretty bad with range on a stock CM15A.  After adding an antenna mod to my CM15A and a large antenna, I can use MS16a's in some places as is, but they are generally spotty.  I added 18" passive antennas to each sensor and they work ok.  As for weatherproof, the one I have in my woodshed has survived for several years (outside of the battery corrosion issues).  The ones on the south side of my house are exposed to weather (UV/rain/etc).  They last all summer without issue, but they never survive a winter.  Even when weatherized (open, add silicone, close, add more silicone, add more silicone) they don't last long.  The screen fails (could be freezing, could be UV, don't know).  The internals do NOT like water, so once they crack, they've already been compromised.

I intended to replace them with either WiFi sensors or other protocol over the last few years.  That hadn't happened.  I even bought a number of MS16A's on the cheap (~$5/ea) so I could just replace them annually when they failed.  That worked, but was annoying.  I just replaced the fixtures on that side of the house with LED units with light sensors.  I am going to keep that light on all the time (8W bulbs at night only won't cost much).  I replaced the flood light with a motion sensor type that has worked great on my shop for over a year.  The wood shed just had a IP67 shop light with integrated motion sensor installed and I expect it to work well on its own.  The only other location I wanted to update was by my garage man door.  However, there is no motion sensor that I think will work out there because the heat pump is right next to it.  When it goes into defrost mode, it creates a hot plume that will trigger most motion sensors.  I think I give up on that one...

I suppose it's just a matter of what best fits and what's most cost effective. Partly from nostalgia and possibly from proven reliability I stuck with X10 and thankfully found a place for it in my new setup. Replacement parts of course are to be had used at a fraction of the original price and thankfully I have enough of them to last many years.  :)%
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racerfern

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2019, 08:39:52 PM »

Perhaps a poll would bring more responses and avoid talking about individual devices.

I personally have nothing X10 in use but I still keep coming back to see if anything new and interesting comes up.
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petera

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2019, 05:57:08 AM »

Perhaps a poll would bring more responses and avoid talking about individual devices.

I personally have nothing X10 in use but I still keep coming back to see if anything new and interesting comes up.

I made this post to encourage discussion on X10. I wanted to see who is still using it, how it fits in with today's requirements and who intends to continue using it. I find polls a little hollow and uninformative.
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soxfan1966

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2019, 07:29:26 AM »

I still have mostly x10 stuff for my lights, with few other things mixed in.  I did replace my x10 cameras, as they were not cutting it anymore.  The Pi Hub with HomeGenie has enabled the x10 stuff I do have to be more useful and reliable and the Alexa integration makes it more user friendly too.  I am happy with my current set up.
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petera

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2019, 08:45:13 AM »

I still have mostly x10 stuff for my lights, with few other things mixed in.  I did replace my x10 cameras, as they were not cutting it anymore.  The Pi Hub with HomeGenie has enabled the x10 stuff I do have to be more useful and reliable and the Alexa integration makes it more user friendly too.  I am happy with my current set up.

It's good to hear members are using X10 for more than Halloween and Christmas lights. As I mentioned before it stands it's own ground with any of the other more modern lighting and switching technologies.

Have you updated your HomeGenie installation from Raspbian Stretch to Raspbian Buster. Much more stable and responsive all round and for those just using X10 and IP webcams it's running very smoothly on a Raspberry Pi Zero W. No need for constant restarting that some seem to need to do.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2019, 08:50:31 AM »

Still 100% X10 here with almost 100% reliability.  Things got quirky a couple of months ago, but it turned out to be a failing electrolytic in my Ocelot that was causing it to run through the startup sequence multiple times a day.  With that replaced, I'm back to 100% reliability.

Jeff
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X-10 automation since the BSR days

petera

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2019, 09:11:50 AM »

Still 100% X10 here with almost 100% reliability.  Things got quirky a couple of months ago, but it turned out to be a failing electrolytic in my Ocelot that was causing it to run through the startup sequence multiple times a day.  With that replaced, I'm back to 100% reliability.

Jeff

That's exactly what I wanted to hear. 100% usage and 100% reliability. I don't understand the commercial software world's hurry to dump official X10 support in their product. I've tried many of the other alternatives out there and they are not without their problems either. In fact as far as I can see the likes of Z Wave is a minefield when it goes wrong.

I think the simplicity of X10 confounds developers. How many of today's technologies will integrate into products in 40 years time. Very few I doubt.
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bkenobi

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Re: Strange question but are members here still using X10
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2019, 10:11:22 AM »

How many of today's technologies will integrate into products in 40 years time. Very few I doubt.

Careful!  Some people don't want their systems to work forever since things can change.
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