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Author Topic: Beginner Looking for Pointers  (Read 7546 times)

hlubovac

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Beginner Looking for Pointers
« on: August 07, 2006, 07:06:53 PM »

Hello, Everyone,

I program in .Net. This is completely new to me. I am trying to understand the technology. What I understood so far is that x10-compliant devices are able to send/receive x10 signals though power lines, is that correct? I am also under the impression that a non-x10 device can be turned into one by using another device (x10 transformer of some sort) and plug it into the power through that device - in which case the device is probably able to just control the power on and off, I guess).

In other words, let's say I have the PC, house and basic programming skills. I know about the SDK, although I haven't looked at it yet. What else do I need to buy in order to hook up with electrical devices in my home? Of course, I have lights for now, and literally nothing else besides the fridge and the microwave.

I can find talks about transmitters, transceivers, etc, but it's all confusing, and I don't want to buy something that I won't want to or be able to use it.

If anyone can tell me this, I'd be grateful. Thanks.
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Brian H

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Re: Beginner Looking for Pointers
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2006, 08:17:34 PM »

http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=7990.0
Is one of the many threads on X10 and how it works.
X10 devices like a lamp module; wall switch; appliance module; to name a few receive X10 powerline signals and if the address is correct follow the commands like A10 AOn will turn on anything on A10.
Transceivers are used to receive a RF signal from a remote and translate it to an X10 powerline signal
Caontrollers are powerline only senders. They can send powerline signals to devices to control them. Like an SC503 Max-Controller can control all 16 unit codes for one house code [A-P]
Since this is in the SDK area of ActiveHomePro. You most likely would be using an X10 CM15A USB interface. It can transmit X10 powerline signals and receive them back from the powerline. It also has an RF receiver in it to translate RF commends and send them back on the powerline or trigger an event or macro to do something. It also has an RF transmitter in it that other may elaborate on as I have never used the RF transmit part myself.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2006, 08:22:00 PM by Brian H »
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: Beginner Looking for Pointers
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2006, 11:26:54 PM »

If you want to use the SDK, you WILL need at a minimum the CM15A computer interface and Active Home Pro (usually bundled together).

Of course some modules to control would be nice too.  Which modules depends on what you want to control.

(More info please)  :)
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hlubovac

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Re: Beginner Looking for Pointers
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2006, 12:14:09 PM »

Thank you, Brian. Thank you, Bill.

That X10 USB CM15A seems to be what I want/need, I guess - judging other articles I went through on the subject. So, correct me if I'm wrong: if I plug the PC to the CM15A, then if I plug that to the power, I can send and receive X10 signals that are travelling through powerlines (of course, provided that I have at least one X10 device plugged in somewhere in the house).

I'm assuming that I would, then, have to start buying those X10 devices (are these what you call "modules"?) to put between appliances and the powerline. So, in my mind, these would be physically different for light-bulbs than those that plug into outlets (?).

I'm also assuming that some of the appliances may be X10-capable already (?), and that I would have to watch for this when buying them, correct? For example, if I want to control a surveillance camera attached to the wall and plugged into an outlet, I would have to either buy a camera that can understand X10 signals or buy a module that is capable of controlling that camera - is that correct? I guess controlling lights should be simple: on, off and perhaps dimming - so, I'd need a module that can do this and put it before the bulb somewhere, correct?

Thanks a lot for taking time to read and to answer my questions.
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Brian H

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Re: Beginner Looking for Pointers
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2006, 04:37:12 PM »

Appliance Modules and wall switches with relays do not dim only on and off but can be used for lights and loads that can't be dimmed.
Lamp Modules and Wall Switches that dim can be used for standard light bulbs but should not not be used for CFLs or any type light with a transformer like low voltage lights.

Yes you can send and receive powerline X10 signals with the computer connected, but you could also setup times and events and download them to the CM15A and disconnect the computer if you cared to. The CM15A can also receive RF signal from remotes and motion sensors and process them if setup to do that.
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