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Author Topic: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support  (Read 2197 times)

bkenobi

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2020, 10:51:03 AM »

My Arris modem/router can only handle 30 wireless clients. That would be a good reason to limit all the WiFi trinkets.

That would be a good reason to avoid wifi (or replace an outdated router)…. but why attempt to use an appliance module. Socket rockets are fine with LED's (and they don't cost much). I've even (posted) used them with plug/adapters so they work in-line with the lamp  cord.

Unless you are buying commercial grade network components, 30 clients is actually pretty good.  I've read a few reviews during my recent search for a replacement router that many (maybe most) routers start to choke after 15 clients are added to the table.  They don't even have to be connected simultaneously for other devices to start having connectivity issues.  Since home grade routers can cost up to $3-500.

As for the smart bulbs, I suppose it might be worth considering that a smart bulb is a device that allows control at a single light location.  A smart switch controls all bulbs on the string.  A basic LED bulb costs <$2 whereas the smart variant can cost $15-50 depending on technology.  Seems to me a $25 X10 switch would make more sense financially than going broke on all those bulbs.   :'

HA Dave

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2020, 05:49:05 PM »

A basic LED bulb costs <$2 whereas the smart variant can cost $15-50 depending on technology.  Seems to me a $25 X10 switch would make more sense financially than going broke on all those bulbs.   :'

Light "switches'.... particularly for a group of lights... aren't a bad idea at all. But "smart bulbs" (only 8-10 bucks) are a much better deal for a single fixture instead of the "MODULE" (which this thread is about).
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dave w

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2020, 06:05:20 PM »

My Arris modem/router can only handle 30 wireless clients. That would be a good reason to limit all the WiFi trinkets.

That would be a good reason to avoid wifi (or replace an outdated router)….
Yeah, well the "out dated router" is the only one with phone that works om my cable system. Believe me, if I could replace my out dated router I would have. 
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HA Dave

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2020, 06:54:03 PM »

...the "out dated router" is the only one with phone that works om my cable system.

Yeah.... the cable modem-router (provided via my cable company) was... what I had to use to connect the phone service provided by the (same aforementioned) cable company. But even then.... I still used my own faster better (actually the same old) router for other wifi devices. Now... I use a wifi provided phone service too (it saves money... and I am cheap).

OK... my own router wasn't exactly free. But the Cable Company charged for there wifi access (which has/had other bennies as well). But I decided I'd get better and more secure service if I controlled it myself.

I also hard-wired service to my man-cave/office/nerd-nasium where I use a 10 port switcher... to minimize wifi traffic.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 06:57:13 PM by HA Dave »
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brobin

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2020, 08:35:53 PM »


Yeah, well the "out dated router" is the only one with phone that works om my cable system. Believe me, if I could replace my out dated router I would have.
I have one of those old Arris modems with the phone jack at my other place but I use my own router off it for better flexibility.  That thing's been there for 12 years!  Fortunately I bought it for under $100 back then rather than paying over $1400 in rental fees.  I cancelled the phone line a number of years ago as I got too many robocalls and use an Obihai device with a free Google voice number as the landline.
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HA Dave

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2020, 11:40:12 PM »

…. I use my own router...……….. Fortunately I bought it for under $100 back then rather than paying over $1400 in rental fees.  I cancelled the phone line a number of years ago….. and use an Obihai device with a free Google voice number as the landline.

Everyone loves a deal that saves them money! And exploiting some of these technologies can certainly do that. Home automation tech... has a potential to save a dollar or two as well. But as much as I like saving a buck.... I really think the added safety, security, convenience, and time... is at least equally as important. 

That said... I only have 4 non-LED bulbs left in the house.

Unfortunately... these 4... are problematic. My home (built in 1943) has some non-neutral switch wiring. So... I have limited choices in some places.... hence the 4 incandescent bulbs (and WS467 Wall Switches). One of these days.... maybe I'll commit to a long weekend spent in the attic... and rewire the last remaining switches. Or maybe... not every light in my home needs to be automated.

For me... automation has taken a slightly unexpected turn. My automation is now much more about media, data, schedules, reminders, suggestions, (even companionship).... at home and elsewhere, even when while mobile (like when cycling). I think I am getting more of my Automation ideas from Halo than the automation forums now-a-days.
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toasterking

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2020, 05:10:17 PM »

Socket rockets are fine with LED's (and they don't cost much).
But "smart bulbs" (only 8-10 bucks) are a much better deal for a single fixture instead of the "MODULE" (which this thread is about).

Not picking on you, Dave; you just happened to say it.  I couldn't help but jump in here as I just finished accidentally ranting about this in another thread.  I have issues with using WiFi for every little one of my HA doodads for the scalability reason that others have stated and because it introduces a single point of failure.  X10 switches are peer-to-peer, as are some other tech, but 2-wire, single-pole dimmers aren't always a good option either.  But Socket Rockets are often not a good solution!  My fiancée would not take kindly to one of those goofy things being on every bulb in a chandelier, and I wouldn't put them inside an enclosed fixture because I've seen the reports of them exploding under thermal stress.  I really think X10 needs to make their own "smart" LED bulbs that conform to the X10 PLC protocol.  (After all, Insteon and Z-Wave are already doing it.  ::))

The concept isn't hard:  Put an LED module, rectifier, and a Socket Rocket into one A19 enclosure with an E26 screw base.  (The engineering, I'm aware, is a bit more precarious.)  For bonus points, add dimming (since everyone else is already doing that too ::)).
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brobin

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2020, 05:17:36 PM »

...For bonus points, add dimming (since everyone else is already doing that too ::)).

... and changing colors too!  I'm not enamored with the color changing bulbs as my disco days are long gone rofl but my 15 year old grandson seems to like them.
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toasterking

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2020, 06:47:27 PM »

... and changing colors too!  I'm not enamored with the color changing bulbs as my disco days are long gone rofl but my 15 year old grandson seems to like them.

I think colored light is appropriate for certain occasions and moods.  Even being able to select a particular hue of white (i.e. warm, cool, daylight) would be a nice touch.  But we at least need the basics!

X10 bulbs would actually have a technical advantage over WiFi ones:  Extra receiving "nodes" on the same unit code are free (as in they put no strain on the network nor its logical limits; not as in price).  A single unit code could be set to every bulb in the same fixture so that they respond simultaneously to the same commands, but unlike with WiFi, there is no burden of an additional managed connection to AP or router for each one added.  And having multiple X10 receivers doesn't attenuate the signal like having multiple transmitters does (so no 2-way support here!  :)).

Encoding colors into the X10 protocol might be tricky, though.  Hmmm... maybe a new ExtCode type could be created for that.
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brobin

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2020, 06:53:51 PM »

sadly, I hold little hope that X10 will do any of this since they won't even make an Alexa hub.
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HA Dave

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2020, 07:09:48 PM »

…... I have issues with using WiFi for every little one of my HA doodads for the scalability reason that others have stated and because it introduces a single point of failure. ……..
…... I really think X10 needs to make their own "smart" LED bulbs that conform to the X10 PLC protocol.  (After all, Insteon and Z-Wave are already doing it.

I am in total agreement with you toasterking. X10 needs lots more new products/ideas/and direction that moves the technology toward compatibility and integration with other home automation products and other new technologies.

But.... with that said (posted). I am fully aware of the difficulties incurred with growth and product development. So.... I do (painfully) forgive X10 it's slowness to adapt and stay relevant. I think... maybe... what appears to be mixed-feelings with rants.... is my feeling really are mixed.

I do NOT have any long term automation "plans". It isn't that my setup isn't growing. I am very happy with the rate of growth and development of my automation. This "home automation season" (currently winding up)... has been one of my best ever. However.... Somedays... I think I just need to update with all WiFi automation products... and re-wire (with neutral wires where needed). Other days... I think why would I abandon a wonderfully reliable X10 setup. My current mixed-bag of products works perfectly together. 

So sorry if my contributions have seem confused. But they do represent my feelings towards X10 today. Thanks for calling me on it. I will reconsider my opinions more. 
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toasterking

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2020, 07:51:20 PM »

sadly, I hold little hope that X10 will do any of this since they won't even make an Alexa hub.

Agreed.  I believe Authinx's intentions were good when they bought X10WTI's assets, and they may still be.  But if priority #1 has to be keeping the existing business alive today, it's harder to justify working on something that's not already bringing in money.  I'm not saying that's what's going on, but trying to give them the component of doubt that is potentially beneficial... or something like that.
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toasterking

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2020, 08:04:10 PM »

So sorry if my contributions have seem confused. But they do represent my feelings towards X10 today. Thanks for calling me on it. I will reconsider my opinions more.

Nothing confusing about what you have contributed and you make a lot of valid points.  I think you consider the possibilities on a broader scale than many of us do.  When that happens, there are bound to be conflicting ideas.

I've been partial to X10 for a long time due to its openness, simplicity, and legacy of inexpensive products and broad vendor support, and part of me has to respect the pioneering spirit of a brand and product that helped kickstart an industry.  And I think I made the right choice at the time when I outfitted my house with it.  But it's clear that there's not much innovation being had there today, and limiting oneself to that legacy alone would be silly.  X10 PLC still does what it does very well and I'll definitely have it in my next house, starting with Jeff's XTB-IIR.  But there's a lot more to HA than burying old switches and fixture modules in the wall.
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HA Dave

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2020, 10:53:31 PM »

……. part of me has to respect the pioneering spirit of a brand and product that helped kickstart an industry.  And I think I made the right choice at the time when I outfitted my house with it.

Again I am agreement with you. And I do believe that "pioneering spirit".... that DIY'ism is still strong here at the forums. Tuicemen and the Pi Experts, and other long-time forum contributors (like yourself and too many others to mention). Have kept X10 very functional.
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bkenobi

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Re: "New" X10 Modules and LED Support
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2020, 11:39:54 AM »

... I wouldn't put them inside an enclosed fixture because I've seen the reports of them exploding under thermal stress.

They are also rated for 150W IIRC.  For LED usage this is a non-issue.  But to say they are a universal solution is a bit problematic IMO.  I had a socket rocket used for a string of standard outdoor xmas lights that I miscalculated at under 150W.  When it stopped working, I found that the insides of the socket rocket were carbonized (burnt to a crisp including the board and potting).  I was very close to an open fire from what I saw.  When I checked the math on the box, it was wrong and I was running over 100W per strand on 4 strands in series (400W) despite the box claiming less than 150W for the 4.  I'm lucky that this was outside to provide extra cooling to probably save my house, but I would not recommend these be used in an enclosure of any kind knowing that the failure mode is not a simple filament failure but IMO a very likely fire.  I understand that I abused the module, but that should result in the module failing not a fire IMO.
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