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Author Topic: New x10 Wi-Fi unit  (Read 149375 times)

dhouston

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #75 on: October 07, 2014, 02:19:21 PM »

I finally received the TIP10RF and I don't think it's practical for the average DIYer to convert to 310MHz. While the power conversion is simply getting a 12V 2A power supply with a 2.1mm connector, the electronics employ extremely miniaturized surface mount components that are likely beyond the typical soldering skill-set. Changing the SAW resonator (and perhaps a capacitor) will convert the frequency, assuming I can find a 310MHz SAW resonator in the same package.  :-\
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HA Dave

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #76 on: October 08, 2014, 01:28:16 AM »

I finally received the TIP10RF and I don't think it's practical for the average DIYer to convert to 310MHz.

Bummer. Even if it doesn't work-out for the rest of us... I hope you can make it work for yourself.

I was in Best Buy today and noticed that they a pretty big selection of HA products. Most of witch are phone controlled or alert to the phone via email or maybe text. I think many devices work great with tablets as well.
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dhouston

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #77 on: October 08, 2014, 06:33:57 AM »

Bummer. Even if it doesn't work-out for the rest of us... I hope you can make it work for yourself. 
I'll probably just build a quick and dirty 433.92MHz to 310MHz repeater rather than try to find a SAW that fits. It's so small that I cannot read the lasered identifying marks on it, even under magnification.

I will suggest to Haibrain that a 310MHz version would have a market in N. America if they can price it a bit lower than the European price. This one cost me $106 although I would have saved about $25 had I waited a few days as the dollar surged against the euro a day or so after I ordered.

The design/build quality is very impressive when compared with X10 devices.

Being home-bound I really have no need of a smartphone but I'm looking at a cheapie with Android & WiFi that I could carry in my pocket. Tablets are too big for that.

If the new X10 is serious about going forward with the product line, they'll design an ethernet or WiFi enabled version of the CM15A as well as opening up the software/firmware so others can create Android/iOS/Windows apps for it. The TIP10RF uses a Microchip microcontroller which has most of the ethernet funtionality built-in, making it fairly elementary to design such a device.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 09:34:20 AM by dhouston »
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dhouston

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #78 on: October 09, 2014, 09:28:34 AM »

A fairly simple DIY solution just dawned on me.

Rather than change the TIP10RF, converting one of the newer TM751s to 433MHz is a simple matter of replacing the RF receiver module with a 433MHz RF receiver module. In effect, it's a quick and dirty cleaner 433MHz to PLC solution rather than the 433MHz to 310MHz repeater I had initially considered and this is a very simple through-hole soldering job that doesn't require the same skill-set as trying to replace the SAW resonator in the TIP10RF. I'll try to find an appropriate RF receiver module. I have a handful of E-MadeinCHN RM1SG in 433MHz. I'll try to install one in a TM751A (pass-through outlet) and post some pix.

In the meantime, see the TM751, SH Receiver pix here...
EDIT: I had forgotten that I had designed and prototyped a teeny (~1/2in. sq.) single-chip ceramic resonator controlled wide-band RF receiver. I think all it will need is a different resonator but I'll have to locate my records and documentation to be sure. (Yep, I did design a 434MHz version.) If there is any interest I may be able to make them available. I'll post a picture in a day or two of one installed in a TM751A. It's a much simpler conversion route.
 
Same for the CM15A but it makes more sense to just add a modified TM751 leaving everything else compatible with RF remotes, etc.

And, I just noticed this...
I might order one to see whether it also now uses the RF receiver module common to the CM15A and newer TM751. If so, it's the best choice since it's polite. Authinx says it is the old design so it's not a candidate.

Also, Haibrain has an API for the TIP10RF. I'll suggest they publish it. It's super simple.

My pending surgery may limit how much time I can spend on this but DIYers should be able to run with it. I'll try to create a Windows app for it but that's likely to be a few months down the road.

Finally, given that the TIP10RF uses a Microchip microcontroller with their proprietary ethernet stack, I doubt it introduces any new security issues to the home LAN.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 05:36:06 PM by dhouston »
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dhouston

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #79 on: October 13, 2014, 07:37:00 AM »

Since nobody appears to be interested, I'll wrap things up.  >*<

I probably was in too much of a hurry and could have saved a bit of money on mine. Do a web search using TIP10RF and you will find several dealers. You should not have to pay VAT. Ask whether they will ship to the US. I'd suggest dealing only with those who accept PayPal.

You'll need to replace the European power supply with a 12VDC 500mA supply with a 2.1mm connector. And you'll need to modify a newer TM751 for 433.92MHz by replacing its RF receiver module with a RM1SG.

The RM1SG is no longer listed on EBay but can be purchased on Amazon. See...
You do not need the transmitter but the price for both is the best I found

For installation in the newer TM751, you need to remove the 4-pin connector. The easiest method is to clip the pins with a small set of diagonal pliers near the plastic divider and then cut the plastic between the pins. Then you can desolder the pin stubs individually. Use solid bus wire to make the connections, follwing this CM15A thread.

CAUTION: Solder the antenna connections before soldering the module to the main board.

Android and iOS apps are available.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 09:27:38 AM by dhouston »
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toasterking

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #80 on: October 13, 2014, 05:58:12 PM »

Dave Houston,

I expect that many people didn't respond because one of these categories applies to them:
  • They are holding out for the advanced capabilities of the mysterious Authinx device.
  • Despite your detailed instructions, it appears to be too much work/too challenging/not worth the hassle to justify the outcome for them.
  • They have no need for such a device/solution.

I am in the latter camp.  However, I have been following your posts.  I was interested to see what challenges you would discover and what kind of solution you would come up with, and despite the proprietary design with SMT package components, you did find a solution!  You've also contributed something even more valuable.  Even though I have no need for a device that allows Wi-Fi control, I now know how to modify a TM751 receiver to receive European RF transmissions and repeat them to a North American power line.  I'm sure that will come in handy.

So, even though I didn't speak up before, thank you!  :)%
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Brian H

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #81 on: October 13, 2014, 06:02:53 PM »

I would also suspect. Most of the X10 users may not have the electronic skill to do the modifications.

Thanks for the detailed information.
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dhouston

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #82 on: October 13, 2014, 08:02:15 PM »

Despite your detailed instructions, it appears to be too much work/too challenging/not worth the hassle to justify the outcome for them.

You've also contributed something even more valuable.  Even though I have no need for a device that allows Wi-Fi control, I now know how to modify a TM751 receiver to receive European RF transmissions and repeat them to a North American power line.

Most of the X10 users may not have the electronic skill to do the modifications.

The low cost of the RM1SG from Amazon and the fact that there are only 3 (+2 antenna) leads to be soldered may encourage more to give it a try.

I doubt the new X10 WiFi device will ever make it to market. If it does, it may (probably?) have Shellshock related security issues. And, I really question the need for it to be WiFi - it's far simpler to do as Marmitek did and just give it wired ethernet capabilities. As I noted earler, I expect the Microchip ethernet stack to be more secure than any open sores system. I suspect most of us have a WiFi router which will make the TIP10RF easily accessible via WiFi.

I've ordered an Android 4.2.2 miniPC w/AirMouse and will install it on my Vizio Smart TV. Then I'll install the Android app for the  TIP10RF to it. That will allow me to test the operation.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 03:42:58 PM by dhouston »
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toasterking

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #83 on: October 13, 2014, 08:44:09 PM »

For you and me, it certainly doesn't need WiFi, but I think we need to consider how this new device could push X10 forward rather than how it will solve our own problems.  It's not that the TIP10RF isn't a feasible solution; it appears to be a very good solution for us diehards who already see the value of X10 and want more ways to control it.  I think the main thing is that adding complexity to the setup increases the barrier to entry.  Other automation firms are offering a device that is nearly plug-and-play -- plug a box into an outlet, install an app, pair them, and you're ready to control your modules.  If the "new" X10 device requires a separate WiFi router, cable to be run to the device, and a separate X10 RF-PLC transceiver, then it's already lost the battle.  We may scoff at how petty this seems and how it barely matters to those of us with the experience and familiarity, but if X10 is really going to compete with the newer systems, it needs to appear to be as streamlined, advanced, and user-friendly as the alternatives.  That may help stop the bleeding and afford less separation between the diehards and the newcomers.  Ethernet does offer more versatility, so in the long term I'd love to see the device come with both options, even if they're in separate models.

And I'm not saying your mod looks difficult.  It doesn't, at all, to me, and I would certainly try it.  But you tell some people that they'll be working around line voltage devices and voiding the safety certification on them and they'll say it's not worth the risk of getting electrocuted or burning their house down, no matter how extremely unlikely either of those is when they follow directions and practice common sense.

I'm still interested to hear your results with the Android app!
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dhouston

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #84 on: October 14, 2014, 08:11:27 AM »

I'm still interested to hear your results with the Android app!
While waiting delivery of the miniPC, I may try the TIP10RF app on a $50 Condroid 7" tablet. It's a PITA as it will not connect to a WiFi network unless the network SSID is broadcast. So, everytime I want to connect with it, I have to change my router settings.

I have an earlier MK808 Android miniPC which I did have connected to my TV.
Here's a thread where Tuicemen and I discuss these wee beasties.
It and/or the wireless KB had some issues which caused me to abandon it. It frequently froze, requiring a power cycle to clear. And, I found the KB touchpad madly frustrating. I now keep a laptop next to my recliner in case I want to access the web while watching TV.

Here's a link to the newly ordered miniPC...
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HA Dave

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #85 on: October 15, 2014, 12:13:15 AM »

...... Here's a link to the newly ordered miniPC...

I'd wonder if that couldn't be enough to operate/control/react with a CM19a (right out of the USB). With drivers and a decent app?!?!? I can't believe that the source code for X10 devices hasn't been spilled. Being able to have endless numbers of apps/programs/ and a means to control X10 could be a major help for the brand.
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dhouston

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #86 on: October 15, 2014, 05:22:36 AM »

I'd wonder if that couldn't be enough to operate/control/react with a CM19a (right out of the USB). With drivers and a decent app?!?!? I can't believe that the source code for X10 devices hasn't been spilled. Being able to have endless numbers of apps/programs/ and a means to control X10 could be a major help for the brand.
I've never used the CM19A so am unfamiliar with the X10 software for it. However, much of the CM15A communications protocol was reverse engineered by the Linux X10 community years ago. mochad supports the CM19A and it appears possible to port it to Android - source code is available.
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dhouston

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #87 on: October 19, 2014, 02:51:28 PM »

I added a picture to my website showing a TM751A with a 434MHz RM1SG superregenerative receiver replacing the superheterodyne receiver module.
However, I think there is one additional problem. The TM751A appears to have been a short-run model meant to dispose of some inventory that lacked relays. It's no longer listed. And I doubt there's any reliable way to determine whether a TM751 ordered today will have the superheterodyne receiver module or will have the old style superregenerative receiver.
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Brian H

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #88 on: October 20, 2014, 06:05:45 AM »

Yes. There was a new design electronics {superheterodyne} TM751A with no relay.
Sold by the old X10WTI for a short time. Maybe they ran out of relays and could not buy more.

They later again started selling them with the relay again. I believe they where still the new design electronics.
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dhouston

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Re: New x10 Wi-Fi unit
« Reply #89 on: October 20, 2014, 11:37:09 AM »

I just bought (via Amazon) what was listed as a TM751. The front of the enclosure has no identifying marks other than Transceiver Module while the label on the rear says PAT02. (The box indicated it was from Authinx.) It has both a relay and RF receiver built-in to the main (only) circuit board using the same HiMark superhet chip as the separate module used in the CM15A and some TM751s. As it's not replaceable with the RM1SG I cannot recommend any transceiver model for the mod given the unpredictability of current stocks.

A 434MHz to 310MHz RF repeater appears to be the only viable alternative for using the TIP10RF in N. America.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 11:55:04 AM by dhouston »
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