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Author Topic: Problem is not always fault of X-10  (Read 1040 times)

JoeHoll

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Problem is not always fault of X-10
« on: April 17, 2015, 02:19:44 PM »

I have not posted here in a long time but I wanted to share my experience of today with other X-10 users. I have an in wall switch controlling a light outside overlooking the driveway. It stopped working and a indicator lamp that is wired in with it was blinking rapidly. I thought the switch must have died. I wired in a new switch and attached the leads of the indicator light a bit better but the situation was unchanged. That is when I realized that the halogen spot light in the controlled fixture had burned out and only the CFL in the other side was left in the circuit. The CFL alone does not draw enough current to work properly with the x-10 switch. Once I put in a new halogen spotlight, everything returned to normal operation. My x-10 system is old, but it controls lights in, and outside of my house as well as turning on the coffee every morning. I use a simple timer to program the 4 circuits. I tried using a computer interface in the past, but it was very sketchy and only connects via a serial cable. The best thing I ever bought was the dryer plug bridge. That made the whole system much more reliable.
I believe most users follow a similar path to mine. Some early success prompts them to try and do more, which eventually leads to frustration when scenes don't work or some items don't work reliably.  I have bought lots of remote controls, the computer interface, etc which did not work well at all. Keep it simple and bridge between the two legs of the main panel and X-10 works great. If someone made a simple device that plugged into the router and retransmitted x-10 signals when accessed by smartphone, I would buy that. Not a home controller / alarm controller "system" for lots of money, just a basic device that could turn on or off 4 circuits via the web. Skip the dimming, forget the fancy scenes, just RF broadcast or power line broadcast channels 1-4 and do all lights on /all units off and sell it for $30.00. 

I hope my experience saves someone a lot of time and bother. Check the light bulbs first!

Cheers,
Joe

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Tuicemen

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Re: Problem is not always fault of X-10
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2015, 05:44:56 PM »

If someone made a simple device that plugged into the router and retransmitted x-10 signals when accessed by smartphone, I would buy that. Not a home controller / alarm controller "system" for lots of money, just a basic device that could turn on or off 4 circuits via the web. Skip the dimming, forget the fancy scenes, just RF broadcast or power line broadcast channels 1-4 and do all lights on /all units off and sell it for $30.00. 

Cheers,
Joe
There are such devices out there however the price point slips my mind right now, These are mostly for the European market however X10 does have a wi-fi module in development which they expect to release this fall if all goes well.
It will do what your looking for as well but again the price point is not available as yet.
Also there are several softwares which will talk with a smartphone and allow you to send a x10 command however a PC interface is required(cm19,cm15,cm11, cm17).
In fact I have developed a couple of softwares that will do this which are free.
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JeffVolp

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Re: Problem is not always fault of X-10
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 03:33:39 PM »

Skip the dimming, forget the fancy scenes, just RF broadcast or power line broadcast channels 1-4 and do all lights on /all units off and sell it for $30.00.

Clearly, you are looking for something manufactured in China.

Jeff
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