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Author Topic: Advice me please about X10  (Read 16914 times)

xelanoimis

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Advice me please about X10
« on: August 23, 2006, 11:21:44 AM »

Hello,

I want to buy and integrate some X10 automatition into my house, but I'm very new to this.
I live in Romania and after I've looked arround our shops, here's what I've found available:
http://www.jct.ro/x10products.html

My purpose is to create a software in C/C++ (I'm a programmer) that will be able to communicate with the X10Interface module ( PC interface CM11 in this case )
and give commands to turn on / off the lights or dim / bright. Later I will go into voice commands and other ideas.
I don't want to use, if possible, other full software that probably come on the CD.
So,
1. Can anyone tell me if it is possible to access this X10 interface module form a personal software?
2. Is there a library or a DLL that I can use? Maybe some source code ?
3. Is this interface module ok to buy and use, or is it obsolete? Only this one I've found in our stores.

Thanks
Alex
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2006, 11:25:18 AM »

Sorry, but X10USA sells only to the United States and Canada.  For Europe, you have to buy from X10 Europe, but it seems their website (www.x10europe.com) is down at the moment.  This BBS deals only with US/Canada users.
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dave w

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2006, 12:32:47 PM »

 xelanoimis

The CM11A has been a popular X10 controller for programmers to write software for.
The X10 web site has protocols for the CM11A.
 
http://www.x10.com/support/support_manuals.htm#Home%20Automation

You should also be able to find answers on the web if you search for CM11a or Activehome.

The CM11A is a dying product. X10 in the US is dumping them for $10. So it will be obsolete soon, however if you do your own programming, so what if it is obsolete? Maybe buy a second CM11A to keep as backup.
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2006, 02:00:20 PM »

Dave,

US/Canadian electric equipment (which includes all X10 equipement sold in both countires) does not work on European systems without converters, whch ential addional expense.

The originmal poster is in Romania.
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2006, 02:45:50 PM »

I want to buy and integrate some X10 automatition into my house, but I'm very new to this.
I live in Romania and after I've looked arround our shops, here's what I've found available:
http://www.jct.ro/x10products.html

"Interesting-Looking" modules! :) Different from what we use over here - but X10 Protocol should be X10 Protocol, regardless... ;)

My purpose is to create a software in C/C++ (I'm a programmer) that will be able to communicate with the X10Interface module ( PC interface CM11 in this case ) and give commands to turn on / off the lights or dim / bright. Later I will go into voice commands and other ideas. I don't want to use, if possible, other full software that probably come on the CD.

1. Can anyone tell me if it is possible to access this X10 interface module form a personal software?

Totally possible - many folks have created packages for the CM11_ (freeware, shareware, retail).

3. Is this interface module ok to buy and use, or is it obsolete? Only this one I've found in our stores.

Many folks still use the CM11A - yeah, it's "old", but, IMO, "obsolete" is in the eye of the beholder! ;)

I *finally* broke down and bought a CM15A in June and got a a couple of nights ago to install it and copy over all of my CM11A Macros & Timers. After all this time, you'd think it would be BUG-FREE! Nope!!! :o

I picked up a "spare" RCA/X10 CM11A via the deal that dave_w mentioned, but, unfortunately, it does you no good. Depending on your local price for your CM11, you may want to pick up 2 - if you're going to invest a great deal of time developing software, you don't want to lose it all if your one-and-only INTERFACE dies.

2. Is there a library or a DLL that I can use? Maybe some source code ?

I'd begin "getting your feet wet" by:

  • Reading *ALL* the LINKs in my SIG LINK
    .
  • Then, I'd spend several hours reading the archives on NEWSGROUP: comp.home.automation
    .
  • Then, when you have some of the "terminology" under your belt, and probably a LOT more ideas and questions, I'd PM Charles Sullivan - he's a major "component" of Heyu - a Linux-based CM11_ software program. He will most certainly be able to guide you to other resources pertinent to your goals.

Best of Luck to you - sounds like you'll be having LOTS of fun!!! :)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2006, 04:57:12 PM by TakeTheActive »
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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2006, 02:49:08 PM »

This BBS deals only with US/Canada users.

BUNK!  :o

I'd gladly try to help out ANYONE with an X10 problem!  ;D
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2006, 02:51:16 PM »

xelanoimis:
There are a number of open source projects which support the CM11.   Run a Google search with keywords "OPEN SOURCE CM11A".
Many are written for Linux/Unix but the C code can be used as a guide for other operating systems.  E.g., take a look at Project Wish
(http://wish.sourceforge.net) and Heyu (http://www.heyu.org).

One actively developed cross-platform program written in Perl is Misterhouse (http://w3.misterhouse.net:81)

Note: The international (230V, 50Hz) versions CM11x and CM12U are  software compatible with the US/Canada (120V, 60Hz) version CM11A.
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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

HEYU - X10 Automation for Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X     http://www.heyu.org

TakeTheActive

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2006, 02:56:24 PM »

The CM11A is a dying product. X10 in the US is dumping them for $10. So it will be obsolete soon, however if you do your own programming, so what if it is obsolete? Maybe buy a second CM11A to keep as backup.

dave w,

Take a look at the modules pictured in Alex's LINK: JCT Home Automation

Unfortunately, I don't think they participate in the BANDIT type of sales.  :(

P.S. When was the last time you checked your PMs???  ???
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Tuicemen

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2006, 04:30:34 PM »

This BBS deals only with US/Canada users.
Actually Dan there are many post on this board from South America , the UK , Europe, Australia as well as  more . If you look you'll find many and all have helpful advice to the thread starter! There are more users here than just TakeTheActive  willing to help ANYONE with a x10 issue my self included!
A better phrase may have been "This board Primarily deals with US/Canada users"
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2006, 06:47:31 PM »

This BBS deals only with US/Canada users.

BUNK!  :o

I'd gladly try to help out ANYONE with an X10 problem!  ;D

You need to realize that this BBS was set up by X10USA, Inc. for the users of the X10 technology as sold by X10USA, Inc. Not Europe. X10 USA does NOT support non-US/Canadian customers. It is not X10USA's fault that X10 Europe's website is not available
« Last Edit: August 23, 2006, 06:49:25 PM by Dan Lawrence »
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2006, 06:57:28 PM »

By the way, the X10 Europe site is back at http://www.X10Europe.com  as of 2 minutes ago.
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2006, 08:31:54 PM »

This BBS deals only with US/Canada users.

BUNK!  :o

I'd gladly try to help out ANYONE with an X10 problem!  ;D

You need to realize that this BBS was set up by X10USA, Inc. for the users of the X10 technology as sold by X10USA, Inc. Not Europe. X10 USA does NOT support non-US/Canadian customers. It is not X10USA's fault that X10 Europe's website is not available

HUH?  ??? ??? ???

Are you speaking on behalf of X10 Staff, or just expressing your own 'Personal Opinion '?

At the BOTTOM LINE, is there a difference between X10 USA and X10 EUROPE?

Are there:

  • Different patents?
  • Different Technology??
  • Different X10 Protocols???

AFAICT, the *MAJORITY* of the VOLUNTEER Members who respond to questions here are GLAD to help *ANYONE* with an X10-related-type-of-problem (IMO, we're *ALL* hobbyists, struggling through this together, but, at the same time, in our own ways. If I can share my knowledge and personal experiences with someone else, what do I care where he's from?):

This BBS deals only with US/Canada users.
Actually Dan there are many post on this board from South America , the UK , Europe, Australia as well as  more . If you look you'll find many and all have helpful advice to the thread starter! There are more users here than just TakeTheActive  willing to help ANYONE with a x10 issue my self included!
A better phrase may have been "This board
Primarily deals with US/Canada users"

Granted, I've only been here a VERY SHORT TIME, compared to yourself "Date Registered:  2005-11-26 @ 16:17:35" (and *MANY* others), but in that short time, it has been my observation that you are "too-quick-on-the-trigger" with a NEGATIVE response!  :o  ???

As a "Friendly 'Old-Fart ' ", IMHO ;), I'd like to suggest that you COOL YOUR HEELS for a bit and re-think your 'current strategy '. Maybe you could create your reply and then SAVE IT in NotePad instead of POSTing it right away. If you *STILL* feel that it's applicable a few hours later, then Cut-N-Paste it back in...
« Last Edit: August 27, 2006, 02:04:43 PM by TakeTheActive »
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xelanoimis

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2006, 03:49:22 AM »

Thanks for all your answers. The are helpfull.
( 10$ in US, wow! Those thiefs ask almost 100$ here! That's X10 proffits :) )

Just one more question for now:
Does the PC interface must stay on the power line exactly between the PC and the AC outlet? Or it can stay in any other wall soket - since it is connected with a separate cable to the serial port or whatever they might use ?
I ask this because I use an UPS and other surge protection between my PC and the outlet and I was wandering if they may disturb the connection.

Thanks, and I'll be back with more questions, when the time will come :)
In the meanwhile I'll study the forums and other links about X10
Alex
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2006, 04:22:35 AM »

( 10$ in US, wow! Those thiefs ask almost 100$ here! That's X10 proffits :) )

Maybe they're JCT AUTOMATION profits?  :o

...Just one more question for now:

Does the PC interface must stay on the power line exactly between the PC and the AC outlet? Or it can stay in any other wall soket - since it is connected with a separate cable to the serial port or whatever they might use ?
I ask this because I use an UPS and other surge protection between my PC and the outlet and I was wandering if they may disturb the connection.

If the CM11 is plugged into OUTLET #1 and the PC is plugged into UPS, which is in turn plugged into OUTLET #2, I foresee no problem. In fact, IMO, the further the CM11 is away from the UPS, the better it will perform! ;)
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dave w

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Re: Advice me please about X10
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2006, 12:28:21 PM »

Dave,

US/Canadian electric equipment (which includes all X10 equipement sold in both countires) does not work on European systems without converters, whch ential addional expense.

The originmal poster is in Romania.

Thanks Dan,
However I suggest you re-read xelanoimis original post. It is very clear in the post that he has access to european style X10 modules. In item #3  he states he has the the CM11 "...in our stores."

There is nothing in the original post that gives any indication he was looking to purchase a North American style product. Which is why I provided some help.
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