Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The Buster PiX10Hub is here! Created by the Community, for the Community.:)% #:)

Author Topic: X10 Alternative  (Read 604 times)

patrick

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 9
X10 Alternative
« on: December 15, 2019, 02:11:49 PM »

I have had X10 for 20 years.  I am looking for a reliable alternative.  Lutron seems good because I have heard that Insteon's future is in doubt and there are hub issues.  What is everyone using when they move away from X10?
Logged

brobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 136
  • Posts: 722
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2019, 02:53:33 PM »

If I were going to start fresh I'd probably focus on Z-Wave or ZigBee based products.  My reasoning is that both protocols are widely supported by a number of manufacturers so the failure of any one company wouldn't tank product availability.  Lutron is good for lighting but not much else and they don't really want to support the homeowner directly. 

Even after 35 years I find X10 to be surprisingly resilient - at least enough so not to scrap it and start over.  The addition of Alexa control of X10 devices has kept it relevant to what we wanted to do.
Logged

patrick

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 9
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2019, 03:55:22 PM »

My x10 system has some sort of interference and nothing works and I looked over the whole house for anything that might be interfering.  How can I find what is causing the issue?
Logged

dave w

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 137
  • Posts: 6089
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2019, 04:23:47 PM »

Being entrenched with X10 since 1980, I would agree with brobin in the Z-wave suggestion. It is probably the most popular in that, there are multiple manufacturers who market in all the big box stores. Next you need to decide what system/software that you want to drive Z-wave with. I also agree with brobin, in that you can make the X10 system very reliable (mainly by using a high tier X10 signal repeater). I would have scrapped my 127 module X10 system had it not been for the performance of my XTBIIR repeater from JVDE. 

As far as finding a problem in your current system, when you say "nothing works" do you mean NOTHING WORKS all the time? If so, what powerline interface are you using (CM15A, CM11, etc). Look there first if "nothing works any more". If you just have specific modules that suddenly will not respond, then you may have a noise problem. There are X10 noise meters which can help you find the source but there is also very effective trouble shooting information from JVDE. Information on troubleshooting, meters, and the repeater is available here. http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm
Logged
"This aftershave makes me look fat"

brobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 136
  • Posts: 722
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2019, 04:30:10 PM »

I'd start by reading the troubleshooting articles at http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm which will give you a thorough understanding of what to look for and what might be going on.  On that same site have a look at the XTB-IIR product. http://jvde.us/xtb-iir.htm
Buying that device saved me from scrapping X10 years ago.  It solves most X10 problems beautifully.  I still have a few filters plugged in but the XTB-IIR is a lifesaver!  Jeff will assemble it for you or sell it as a kit if you're handy with a soldering iron.  A useful tool for troubleshooting is an X10 tester of which there are several brands.  Jeff offers his XTBM on his site and will even rent one to you.
Logged

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 291
  • Posts: 12828
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2019, 06:19:21 PM »

Both the XTBM and XTBM-Pro both kits and assembled.  Are out of stock. Marked no Longer available. Contact them to see if any rentals are still available.
Logged

HA Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 174
  • Posts: 7043
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2019, 07:06:49 PM »

........ What is everyone using when they move away from X10?

I am using a little bit of everything... including my existing X10 setup.

Although my entire setup once depended on a Windows PC (of some sort) running 24/7, while connected to a CM15A. I no longer run a PC for HA. AHP isn't fully supported by X10 now-a-days... but I keep the ability to run AHP on a windows machine and a CM15A handy... just in case.

My CM15A (one of them) is now connected to a Homeseer S2 module, and is merely a device for X10 sending/receiving Power Line Commands. But... Homeseer doesn't fully support X10 now-a-days. So.... since I am NOT willing to place all my eggs one basket AGAIN.... I use a mix of brands/flavors, and protocols.

Homeseer DOES have a Alexa skill so I will JOYFULLY continue to use Homeseer with my X10 for as long as it continues to work. I think ALL the other brands/flavors/and protocols of automation products... with the exception of X10.... have skills that allow them to communicate with each other or at least work together. 

So I added a "smart" garage door opener which Has it's own hub and works with my Wink Hub. The Wink Hub also controls ihome products and other protocols. I also have a Echo PLUS (PLUS is a built-in Zig Bee radio)... so that Echo is also a Hub. I also use some Amazon modules (they only work with Alexa) But other WiFi modules usually work with either Alexa and/or Google. This allows the voice control software to become a device integrator. I use other and lesser brand name WiFi modules... all working through Alexa.

Not every product or method will survive this new golden age of Home Automation. So... I plan to stay diverse. But I plan to keep using everything I have as long as I can make it work (within reasonable limits... of course).

Today's Home Automation is so MUCH more than turning lights on and off.... this is a perfect time to expand and grow a setup to incorporate all the new benefits afforded with internet connected devices.   

 

« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 07:09:28 PM by HA Dave »
Logged
Home Automation is an always changing technology

patrick

  • Newbie
  • Helpful Post Rating: 0
  • Posts: 9
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2019, 08:33:07 PM »

Using PHT03.  What do I replace it with?  I only have a two switches and 4 lamp modules that I use.  How do I get a hold of JVDE via phone?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 08:41:06 PM by patrick »
Logged

Brian H

  • Community Organizer
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Helpful Post Rating: 291
  • Posts: 12828
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2019, 06:33:13 AM »

I  tried a search and could not find the part number PHT03. Can you tell us what it is?

Jeff does not list any phone numbers on his site. Shows an email contact. jeff@jvde.us
Logged

bkenobi

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 20
  • Posts: 1865
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2019, 10:26:43 AM »

This is a pretty complete list of X10 modules and I don't see anything that looks close.

https://thex10shop.com/pages/x10-instruction-manuals

I was originally thinking it might be a mini-timer, but then I realized that google just helped me by changing the part number to something completely different.   rofl

HA Dave

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 174
  • Posts: 7043
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2019, 10:32:05 AM »

I have had X10 for 20 years......... What is everyone using when they move away from X10?

I am not sure anyone (I know) is moving away from X10. Although many (like myself) continue to grow and expand their automation to include additional capabilities (like media) and new technologies. Or tech that X10 no-longer supports.   

Using PHT03.  What do I replace it with?  I only have a two switches and 4 lamp modules that I use. 

Apparently you were using an older control device of some sort.... no longer available. And you think it has failed? What are you trying to do? We all use automation similarly.... and often quite differently as well. 

Are you just trying to have lights on a timer? Do you want world-wide control via your smart phone? Occupancy sensing, voice control? 

How do I get a hold of JVDE via phone?

I don't think Jeff is interested in being a one-man tech support for all X10 users world-wide. But if you fire him an email he might direct you to an on-line post, thread, trouble-shooting guide, etc..

The great thing about Home Automation.... is the automation itself... and the comfort, convenience, and safety it provides. The bad thing... is you also become your own "systems engineer". This can mean a bit of reading, planning, testing and learning about these systems. No matter which system you use/choose... problems are part of life and the solutions (although more and more becoming a purchasable technology) is currently the owners/users responsibility.

So..... what's your plans and desires for your "two switches and 4 lamp modules"?
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 10:43:12 AM by HA Dave »
Logged
Home Automation is an always changing technology

brobin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Helpful Post Rating: 136
  • Posts: 722
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2019, 10:49:28 AM »

Using PHT03.  What do I replace it with?  I only have a two switches and 4 lamp modules that I use.  How do I get a hold of JVDE via phone?

Since you only have six X10 devices and a basic controller it's pretty easy to just abandon them and switch to something else rather than start troubleshooting and installing expensive stuff to improve the X10 signal.

For $100 you can buy a Vera Plus controller (getvera.com) that supports both Z-Wave and ZigBee devices and more.   Both of those protocols are wireless so powerline interference isn't an issue (although RF interference is a possibility).  Of course if you're only interested in controlling 6 lights you can buy some devices like the TP-Link Kasa plugs, switches and bulbs which are programmed and controlled by a smartphone app and/or Alexa - no controller needed. Check Amazon for "tplink smart plug."

The TP-Link stuff as well as others like it are controlled by WiFi and won't work if your internet is down.  Z-Wave and ZigBee don't require an internet connection to operate.  I gave my 14 year old grandson a few KASA devices and a Dot and he had his bedroom "automated" in under 30 minutes - he particularly liked the color changing bulb!
Logged

petera

  • PI Expert
  • Hero Member
  • ******
  • Helpful Post Rating: 20
  • Posts: 1525
Re: X10 Alternative
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2019, 07:24:47 PM »

Using PHT03.  What do I replace it with?  I only have a two switches and 4 lamp modules that I use.  How do I get a hold of JVDE via phone?

Since you only have six X10 devices and a basic controller it's pretty easy to just abandon them and switch to something else rather than start troubleshooting and installing expensive stuff to improve the X10 signal.

For $100 you can buy a Vera Plus controller (getvera.com) that supports both Z-Wave and ZigBee devices and more.   Both of those protocols are wireless so powerline interference isn't an issue (although RF interference is a possibility).  Of course if you're only interested in controlling 6 lights you can buy some devices like the TP-Link Kasa plugs, switches and bulbs which are programmed and controlled by a smartphone app and/or Alexa - no controller needed. Check Amazon for "tplink smart plug."

The TP-Link stuff as well as others like it are controlled by WiFi and won't work if your internet is down.  Z-Wave and ZigBee don't require an internet connection to operate.  I gave my 14 year old grandson a few KASA devices and a Dot and he had his bedroom "automated" in under 30 minutes - he particularly liked the color changing bulb!

And as an added bonus Vera also does X10. So many of the controllers out there do.
Logged
 

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