X10 Community Forum

🔌General Home Automation => Automating Your House => Topic started by: Daedlus4 on July 06, 2010, 02:40:12 AM

Title: Taking X10 outside
Post by: Daedlus4 on July 06, 2010, 02:40:12 AM
Hey guys,

    I'd like to take my X10 setup a little further and automate some things outside my home;  Water fountains, lights, Halloween props, Xmas decorations, etc.  I only have 2 electrical outlets outside and each is within a weatherproof housing box that is too small to fit an X10 appliance or lamp module with a cord plugged in. 

    I'd like to know what you are using to control lamp/appliance type requirements outside?  Obviously battery powered devices like motion and door/window sensors are not a problem but is there an easy solution to bringing wired X10 components outside?  Pictures and/or setup examples would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

- Chad
Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: Dan Lawrence on July 06, 2010, 07:02:14 AM
What I do for X10 outside is to plug the controlling modules into a inside outlet and an extension cord into each.  The devices are plugged into the cord.
Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: JeffVolp on July 06, 2010, 09:05:05 AM

I used a GFI circuit breaker at the panel, and squeezed a Leviton 6375 in-line module into the transformer case for my landscape lights.  I had planned to use a X10 switched receptacle (also fed from the GFI circuit breaker) for a water feature.

Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: Charles Sullivan on July 06, 2010, 09:14:54 AM

I can tell you what I did at a previous residence which I think you may be able to adapt to your situation if you are handy with a hacksaw and file.

Lowe's sells a die cast weatherproof cover for a two-socket receptacle with cords plugged in.  The brand name is Tay-Mor or Tay-Mac as I recall.  It's big enough to hold a standard X10 Appliance or Lamp module in the upper socket, but of course there's not enough room for a plug into the module.

The advantage to this particular brand of cover is that the catch is off to the side, so you can hacksaw and file a slot in the center of the bottom to clear a plug without screwing up the catch.  (I actually used a Dremel tool with a cutoff wheel.)   A 3-prong plug will protrude a little through the slot but the contacts are protected from rain.

Now Lowe's also sells a matching die cast surface mount box which will hold the receptacle, so the plan is this:  You wire a plug cord to the receptacle though the bottom hole of the surface mount box (use a cable clamp), which will be plugged into your existing outside outlet.  Attach the modified cover, and hang the whole thing on the wall near the existing outside outlet.

If you need more modules at a particular location than there are sockets in your existing outside outlet, get a wire-on plug and connect two or more cables to it - the cables which you will wire into the surface mount boxes.  For safety, use 2-wire + Ground cables.

(I don't know if there's a 2 gang box and cover, but it wouldn't be wide enough to have two modules plugged in side by side.)

Note: The "Codekeeper" brand of cover sold by Home Depot has its catch at the center, so won't work.

Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: dave w on July 06, 2010, 11:00:15 AM
Also you could make or purchase a moisture proof box large enough to hold the modules. Use a three wire outdoor extension to the box.
Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: nybuck on July 06, 2010, 11:30:22 AM
Black and Decker makes an outdoor extension cord with an X10 receiver in it just made for these circumstances.  It's pretty reasonably priced on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-FWLROD-Freewire-Receiver/dp/B0001VO36K/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1278430090&sr=8-2-fkmr2 (http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-FWLROD-Freewire-Receiver/dp/B0001VO36K/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1278430090&sr=8-2-fkmr2)

It's called the FWLROD - Freewire Outdoor Lamp Receiver
Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: Mel99 on July 06, 2010, 12:03:16 PM
For many years before I became aware of X10, I used plastic boxes with secure lids large enough to house a mechanical timer, a cord in and a cord out.  I cut small, just big enough for a cord, notches in each end of the box such the when the lid was on, the cords have just enough clearance.  The lid was then duct-taped on and it was secure for the winter.  There would have to be more than 2" of standing water to flood the box.  Which has not happened yet.

This winter I plan on putting X10 modules in the boxes to control the outside Christmas decorations.

All but one of my outside outlets are covered by building overhangs except one.  I put a CodeKeeper, from Home Depot, on that outlet.  This model has the hinge at the top, but is looks too small to put a module inside, just enough room for two plugs.

Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: JeffVolp on July 06, 2010, 12:49:21 PM
For a temporary installation like Christmas lights at the last house, I plugged an appliance module between two extension cords, and wrapped it with several layers of plastic wrap.  Then I secured around both cords with a tie wrap.  It worked fine even buried under a foot of snow.

Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: Charles Sullivan on July 06, 2010, 07:08:15 PM

Another approach for relatively permanent fixtures like fountains and lights is to use any old weatherproof box big enough to hold one or more wire-in modules like the X10Pro XPFM.

Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: Daedlus4 on July 08, 2010, 05:29:28 PM
Thanks for all of the replies and great suggestions.  NYBUCK, thanks for the heads up on the FWLRODs.  I think those will be the answer to what I am looking for.  It would be nice if X10 made an outdoor power box that had 8 or so unique X10 outlets built in but I guess that is too much to ask for.  I'm also still waiting on a keypad for the x10 security system.   B:(     Oh well, I'm still having fun with the equipment that I have and if they happen to make enhancements or continue to come out with new products it will just be bonus.

Cheers!   >!

- Chad
Title: Re: Taking X10 outside
Post by: Daedlus4 on December 20, 2010, 01:02:18 AM
Just a follow up reply to advise how this turned out.  After thinking about my options and the great suggestions above, I went with the Black and Decker FWLROD Outdoor Lamp Module.  This has worked out great so far.  It was super easy to setup and works like a charm.  I can now turn on/off my outside xmas lights while staying inside where it is nice and toasty warm and I don't even have to get off my couch.

I have the FWLROD plugged into a GFI outdoor receptacle with weather cover box on my front porch.  From the FWLROD, I have plugged in an outdoor power stake with 6 outlets.  Connected to the power stake I have 4 sets of icicle lights and 2 topiary light strings.  I have 2 ways to control the lights.  First I can operate them manually via my HR12A remote.  Alternatively, I have macros setup to automatically turn them on and off at a preset time each day with ActiveHome.  Onto the next project ...

- Chad