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Author Topic: X10 Compatibility Questions  (Read 15903 times)

reuven26

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X10 Compatibility Questions
« on: August 03, 2006, 10:22:40 AM »

I have a lot of questions about x10 before I decide to purchase. I have researched the system pretty well, so my questions are all technical issues.

  • 1.) According to Wikipedia, x10 is a home standard. So, how come the x10 system is 2.45 GHz (at least that's what the technical support agent from x10.com said on the phone), and others are 310 MHz?

  • 2.) Does anyone have experience with signal transmission through brick and concrete (B&C) walls? I don't want to transmit long distances, but my house is B&C? Especially with the 310 MHz system?

  • 3.) Does the console have a built-in clock to determine the time, or does it get it from the wall voltage?

  • 4.) The auto-dialer says it can dial any 7-digit number. Can it dial a 9-digit or 10-digit number?

  • 5.) I see other sites selling x10 smoke and glass break detectors. How can I be sure that the system will work if the frequencies are not listed and not standard (see Q. 1)?

  • 6.) Again related to Q. 1, I have seen an identical system (even with Protector Plus name) on e-bay for a 30-pc. system for $189, but the frequency is listed as 310 MHz. Is this a scam?

  • 7.) Does the 2.4 GHz interfere with phone systems at that frequency?

  • 8.) Any way to go beyond the 16 sensor limit?

  • 9.) Range extenders help weak spots. If you add more than one is there a problem?

  • 10.) What is the speaker on the console for? How sensitive is it?

  • 11.) One strange design flaw, unless I'm missing something, is that the there is no two-way keypad available. Usually, professional home security systems place the console in a hidden location (e.g. closet). Then, a keypad is located inside the dwelling, near the entrance. When the owner enters, he/she disables the alarm by entering a code. I mentioned this to the support agent, and she said that you can use the remote units. But, they only have a one-button disable. So, you wouldn't want to mount that near the door, or leave it in plain site so that an intruder could disable it. Comments?

My situation, for those interested, is that I want to use this in a 220V B&C house. Since only the console, horns, cameras, and lamp modules need AC power, I can simply use a transformer on the console and horns, and socket rockets for lights. I know, I can't automate other devices. But, my main purpose is security. The motivation to do this is $$. 220V systems cost much, much more. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


[TTA Edit: DELETE duplicate posts; MERGE duplicate threads; FORMAT OP's list for improved readability.]
« Last Edit: July 18, 2007, 12:58:12 PM by TakeTheActive »
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Brian H

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Re: X10 Compatibility Questions
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2006, 04:48:57 PM »

2.4 Ghz is X10s frequency for wireless cameras and video audio senders and receivers.
310 MHz is X10s frequency for their remote controls that are received by things like the TM715 and RR501 Transceivers to send X10 signals over the power lines.
120KHz is the X10 frequency for the signal bursts sent over the power lines.
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Brian H

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Re: X10 Compatibility Questions
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 07:06:56 AM »

#1 2.4Ghz is the wireless camera and video sender and receiver frequency and not related to the security stuff that you seem to be asking about. 310Mhz is for motion sensors; RF remotes and security sensors. 120Khz is the powerline frequency for controlling modules cameras etc.
#5 A smoke or glass break sensor could be wired into the security door/window sensor and work ok as long as it opens the connection on detecting the problem.

If you are using a 240 to 120 volt transformer. Use care as turning modules sirens and cameras on and off require the x10 powerline signals to pass through the transformers.
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steven r

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Re: X10 Compatibility Questions
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 09:16:38 AM »

I have a lot of questions about x10 before I decide to purchase...

Is today Groundhog Day???

I have a lot of questions about x10 before I decide to purchase. I have researched the system pretty well, so my questions are all technical issues.


I thought I was having déjà vu when I read his post also.
It took me a minute to make the Groundhog Day connection. Love that movie.
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Brian H

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Re: X10 Compatibility Questions
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 04:44:26 PM »

I knew I had seen this and responded. Maybe the got me. ??? ::)
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gil shultz

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Re: X10 Compatibility Questions
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2007, 11:49:16 PM »

Good Evening,

X10 is a pseudo standard and is defined to operate on the power line at 120 Khz.  The other items interface into the x10 system.  The interfaces are nicely done and for all intent purposes appear as part of the x10 but are actually a separate system even though some are sold by x10 and contain there logo. 

The frequencies you mentioned are not part of the x10 but part of external interfaces.   

Transmissions through solid objects are possible but dependent on the solid object.  I could make a small room enclose it with a common metal window screen, ground it and the RF transmitter will not go 6 past the screen.  This is called a Faraday cage.  Concrete and or brick directly will not pose a problem although they will attenuate the signal.

The smoke and glass break detectors operate on there frequency entirely independent of the x10 system.  Typically the receiver is what interfaces into the x10 system.  The receiver could conceivably have the power line interface in it as well as the RF interface similar to the x10 transceivers. More then likely the RF is at a different frequencies and probably a different protocol but that is not relevant to the x10 portion of the system, just to there receiver.

Range extenders can be problems in themselves. They receive a signal and retransmit it.  If the frequencies are different this would be OK but if not multiple repeaters can cause all kinds of interesting things to happen.  Proper operation is very unlikely.  They will even mess themselves up if they receive there own signal unless there are special design considerations to prevent this from happening. If applied properly they can be one of the greatest assets to your system.  You will have several transmissions colliding confusing the receivers.

There is no problem going beyond the 16 sensor limit.  Each sensor cold be at a different codes.  We warned that many sensors have two codes in them.

Yes it probably interferes with your phone system but it was designed to tolerate this and just switches frequencies totally transparent to the user.

Since I value the contents of my home and know that the x10s reliability leaves a bit to be desired I would never totally trust the security of my home to it.  I use x10 as part of the security system such that an appliance module has the garage door opener plugged into it and is only operational at cretin times.  I am much more comfortable then a lot of the external keypads.  Simply short the wire and they will cycle the door. The theory is that if they break into the car and get the opener it will not work.  If they go beyond that, then you have problems and they most like will get in.

Using x10 on 220 is doable.  I expect you will attenuate your signal quite a bit going through a transformer.  There are several web sites showing how to modify the x10 modules for 220v.  Realize that modifying the module voids the warranty and puts you at risk for a fire or bad shock and possibly death.

Hopefully this helps some

Gil Shultz
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TakeTheActive

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Re: X10 Compatibility Questions
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2007, 01:11:52 PM »


...There is no problem going beyond the 16 sensor limit.  Each sensor cold be at a different codes.  We warned that many sensors have two codes in them...

Gil,

Although reuven26 is LONG GONE (another one of our "One Post Wonders" - a play on the term "One Hit Wonders" for musical groups), for the sake of the accuracy of the thread, I need to question your reply to #8 - QUOTED ABOVE.

I believe that you're confusing MOTION Sensors with SECURITY Sensors. AFAIK, the SECURITY Sensor limit is fixed at 16 - I've gotten "around it" by attaching multiple door/window reed switches to one transmitter (making one sensor into a ZONE / Room), but I know of no way to get the SECURITY Console to recognize over 16 SECURITY Sensors. ;)
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gil shultz

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Re: X10 Compatibility Questions
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2007, 11:38:36 PM »

Good Evening,

You are correct.

The post was not clear to me on what they were looking at. I know there is the x10 security system but I also know others have done security with the standard x10 home automation parts as well as the security devices.  There is also other manufacturers that make equipment that will interface as well. I use the x-10 home automation sensors (motion) as secondary sensors in my system.  I have about 20 of them active at the current time.  They mainly start the security recorders and switch the appropriate cameras into the recorder.  Please realize that a large portion of my system is custom (by me).  They all interface through a windows 95 system which then gives me access etc via the computer network.

Thanks
Gil Shultz

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redhorse

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Re: X10 Compatibility Questions
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 04:15:17 AM »

Would it be significantly more expensive to manufacture autovolt units to enable us 220V users to get rid of this major issue? x10Europe.com does not have the same range of products available on their site not to mention their COSTS! Thanks in advance to any replies.
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gil shultz

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Re: X10 Compatibility Questions
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2007, 10:59:28 PM »

Good Evening,

Looks like there might be a business across the pond for some enterprising person that likes to work with the hardware.  The mods are not hard to do if you have experience on the electronics side, if you don't then they are like my two neighbors Slim and None.  Most of the mods posted on the web do work but it might be smart to get a demo of PSPICE and run the line interface just to be sure it will survive worse case.

Personally I like the 220 systems better.

Have Fun
Gil
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