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Author Topic: Some basic direction needed for a simple project  (Read 2887 times)


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Some basic direction needed for a simple project
« on: January 21, 2008, 11:19:44 PM »

As I've read in some other posts, getting started with home automation is a confusing effort.  I want to do something very basic and I don't have any plans to expand much beyond that.  Can someone help me understand what my options are?

I've used an X-10 controller and plug in modules to turn on and off my Christmas tree and other indoor Christmas decorations.  I know that an appliance module has an audible click when it's turned on or off.

Now, I want to turn on and off (no speed control needed) a bedroom ceiling fan and turn on and off the light attached to that fan.  Dimming the light up and down would be an added bonus, but not something I must have.  The ceiling fan and light are operated by two 2-way switches in a double box.  I have a neutral wire in the box.  I have a Logitech Harmony 550 IR remote that's capable of controlling an IR543.  I'm looking for the right kind of switches for this project.  I'd prefer something that resembles a standard toggle switch in operation (push up for on, push down for off) but most affordable X-10 switches are of the Decora style.  As best I can tell, these require pushing once on the bottom to turn the switch on and pushing the same end of the switch again to turn it off.  That doesn't seem very intuitive, but may be my only choice.  I'd also like to avoid a loud audible click.  I found an XPS3-IW for the fan and an XPDI3-IW for the light.  A couple of things I do not understand:

If I use the IR543 to turn off or dim the light, then use the wall switch to turn it back on, does it automatically come back on at full brightness?

Where does the dimming up and down get controlled?  Can I send a single signal to the IR543 to turn up the lights to certain level or does each increment require a separate command?

How to the dimmers work?  Press and hold?  Does that imply that they come on full bright then increment down or do they start at the lowest increment and gradually brighten up?

I'm sorry for so many questions.  I've read a lot of information, but nothing really tells me what to expect in terms of operation and I don't want to buy a dozen different switches for this simple project.  I think I can do this for about $50.  Given the IR543 as a controller, what are the best switches I can use for this?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

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