X10 Community Forum

💬General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Mosby2015 on November 16, 2018, 11:27:46 AM

Title: First time set up questions
Post by: Mosby2015 on November 16, 2018, 11:27:46 AM
I apologize in advance as I am sure this is the stupidest most basic of questions that has most likely been asked hundreds of times. I have searched but I am sure I am searching with the wrong search words so I can't find what I am looking for.

I am looking to set up a very basic system to control 1 light simply on and off. I want to be able to use an RF remote control to turn on or off an outside entrance light to a barn I own in a rural area. So no wifi. Ideally I would still like to be able to turn it on or off with a light switch inside. Yet when I drive up at night be able to use a remote in my truck to turn on the light. I don't go there except on some weekends. So I don't want to leave it on all the time, and the doorway is around the corner from where you drive up by car so a motion sensor wouldn't work well, as well as the issue of animals tripping it all the time.

I was searching on line for something that would work off a garage door remote and came across the X10 system. But I can't figure out exactly what components I need to do this, or even if it's possible.

The switches all seem to be for dimming a light. Which I don't need. And I see people reporting issues using LED bulbs. I had planned on using a LED bulb that screws into a regular light socket on an over door light outside light fixture.

I am adding this light and the interior of the building isn't finished so I can do anything I need to with wiring to make this work.

Any suggestions or direction would be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: First time set up questions
Post by: bkenobi on November 16, 2018, 02:43:57 PM
If you go with X10, you have some options.  If you want local control, you would want to install a switch to the light (WS469 is a good choice that will work with LED bulbs).  This will replace a standard toggle switch and work identically even without any other X10 components.


Another option would be a fixture module (XPDF dimmable or XPFM relay).  These install inside the box at the fixture rather than at the switch.  If you don't need a switch, this is a good option.  If you have a standard toggle switch, it must be left in the "ON" position for the fixture module to function.


Now for remote control, you have some options.  If you want motion sensor control, you could look at something like the MS16A.  I personally would avoid it if you can't keep it out of the weather.  Although it is rated for getting wet, I have had many of mine fail after less than a year when exposed to the south (where my rain and sun comes from).  If it's covered, it should be fine.  I have a large house and the RF range has been an issue for me, but if the motion sensor is close to the RF receiver you should be fine.  You said you didn't think motion sensing would be useful, so this is optional.

If you want to turn the light on from a remote in your truck, you will need a remote!  You can get either a palm pad (PHR03) or something more compact (PHR04 or KR22A).  If you only need 1 light controlled, you probably would be happy with the PR004 as it's small and could be put on your key chain.


X10 works via PLC (power line control), so you need to get the RF signals onto the power line.  You need either the TM751 or RR501.  For your needs, either will work.


There are some other details that might come into play when deciding if X10 is the best fit but this is already a long post.  So long as you don't have a ton of noisy electronics in your barn you should be ok though.
Title: Re: First time set up questions
Post by: HA Dave on November 16, 2018, 11:07:11 PM
I like your detailed setup! You did a great job... I like your setup.

However I might suggest a fast and easy trial setup.

Go with the TM751 Wireless Transceiver Module ( https://www.x10.com/tm751.html (https://www.x10.com/tm751.html) )

And I like the PHR04 Wireless RF Key Chain Remote Control ( https://www.x10.com/phr04.html (https://www.x10.com/phr04.html) ) It's easy to carry around (actually does fit on a key chain).

The plug located on the bottom of the TM751 Wireless Transceiver Module (https://www.x10.com/tm751.html) will be active (by RF control) on the Unit Code #1 (that's built into that unit) and the house code determined by the letter pointed at on the house code wheel. Notice that the wheel in the picture we've linked to has the House Code set as "A". A is the default for X10.

The PHR04 Wireless RF Key Chain Remote (https://www.x10.com/phr04.html) should also arrive set at the House Code as "A"..... and with the first and second button as Unit codes... 1 & 2.

So.... the OP/user could merely plug in a lamp or trouble light on a cord with an LED light into the TM751 module.... remove the plastic protective strip from the remote.... and be up and running. (the top On/Off button would control the light.)

I just went downstairs and tested a TM751 with a LED bulb (I did use a palmpad remote.... instead of a keychain remote... as a don't have a handy keychain remote). and it worked fine.
Title: Re: First time set up questions
Post by: brobin on November 17, 2018, 12:20:49 AM
If by chance you have a LiftMaster/Chamberlain/Sears based garage door opener w/+2.0 security (there may be other brands) they have modules, including one that is also a light wall switch to control one light from the garage door opener - $40 cheap and easy!  For what you might spend in time and money on a more sophisticated solution it may even be worthwhile to replace an old garage door opener for as little as $130.

If you need something more sophisticated, peruse the Smarthome.com catalog for some ideas.  Lot's of options there.
Title: Re: First time set up questions
Post by: Mosby2015 on November 29, 2018, 02:09:46 PM
Thank you both for helping me out. Sorry for the long time responding. I actually thought I responded the next day, but I guess I didn't click submit or something. I came back today to report on my system..

I bought the stuff recommended by BKenobi. The cost of this stuff is relatively inexpensive so I was ok with getting the extra part he suggested so if it worked it would be done all at the same time. I don't need it to work on a motion sensor. So I skipped that part.

So I got the 3 pieces, the toggle switch, the 751, and the key chain remote. I installed it this week, and it works great. So easy to set up.

Thank you both for your help.
Title: Re: First time set up questions
Post by: bkenobi on November 29, 2018, 05:53:56 PM
Great, glad to hear!
Title: Re: First time set up questions
Post by: HA Dave on November 29, 2018, 09:13:14 PM
Thanks so much for reporting back. Always nice to hear/read how things went.