COMMUNITY FORUM

EvergreenDave

01:23PM | 11/11/02
Member Since: 11/10/02
2 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Renovating an old house, pulled all the old wire out and drywall. Installed a new 200 amp panel. Plan to COMPLETELY home automate. I'm hearing that X10 is actually older technology and somewhat unreliable. What's the new technology to look for. I would prefer to not hard-wire lighting control, but use the X10 like technology. What's out there?

jserrano

10:19AM | 11/20/02
Member Since: 11/19/02
1 lifetime posts

programmergeek

09:55AM | 01/03/03
leviton is better, but unless your running new wires just for automation x-10 protocall is what is most used. You should put in a pahse coupler at you pannel though. Look on remotecentral.com or remotecontrolcentral.com they have a good home automation board.

IF302

01:17PM | 01/15/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
6 lifetime posts
While X10 is the common protocol used for home automation, go with the Leviton products. I believe they used the X10 protocol too. The difference is in the component construction. X-10 themselves build really cheap units that are electronically unreliable. That's why they're so inexpensive. You get what you pay for.

MrChuck

06:06AM | 04/02/03
Member Since: 03/31/03
7 lifetime posts
I've had some X10 devices since 1984 or so.

X10 is a protocol - a language - to speak to the various bits.
It runs over the AC wire when the AC wire is at 0 volts (120 times a second it spits out little bits of instruction). BIC came up with it (the turntable folks) if I recall. Many manufacturers make things that speak this protocol. Stanley, X10 Inc, leviton, etc, etc.

The cheap ones (radio shack) died because the triac (the "electricity valve" were rated for just what they needed to be - 200V. When they died, I put a 400VAC replacement triac in and those ones still work after 12 years.

A problem is traffic - a motion sensor I aimed at the driveway
would just spew signal on windy days keeping any other signal
from getting through. I replaced it with a hardwired one and a little tiny computer I use can see it, but nothing else can.

Neat hack for the 70's.


  • Really nice when you don't want to/can't open up walls.
  • Cheap ($12 to $30 for dimmer modules, depending on
    look at kwality).
  • Fast to put in (I found them when I ran light shows and
    occasionally needed 2 or 3 little 200watt lights where it was a pain to find a 300' cable to run there.

You never run X10 on critical systems. E.g. if you turn on the
heater with it, make sure you have a failsafe - like a thermostat
that will never let it fall below 40 degrees. Presume it will fail and you'll be safe.

I've lived in places where a neighbor got X10 - my lights go on and off - or sporadic signals messed things up. I moved codes around until it wsan't a problem.

A friend, before entering my house, will turn off lights from my driveway. He's amused, it's usually not annoying.


----

I'm starting to see switches that will "talk" to each other for scenes (hit a switch and, say, 4 lights come up to pre-set levels). They require one extra wire running from outlet to outlet. This looks sensible.

My hope would be to find reasonably priced switches (e.g. not $80 or $150 light the leviton RF things) that could take a wire.
A phone wire (2 conductors is all I really would need) into the switch for out of band signalling. Hell, serial at 300 baud is
fast enough (x10 ends up being around 300 "characters"/second tops and sends all signals twice.)

The stuff I've seen that I liked was stupidly expensive. Annoying.
Home automation remains in the realm of those with excess money as long as leviton charges $600 for stuff to start, then $150-$250 per controlled device.

So how might I wire for the future?


  • Make SURE you wire neutal to every outlet. This might be code,
    but it's not common in older houses. X10 wants this (ground, neutral, hot and switch).
  • Toss in another dead wire. Just for kicks.
  • Perhaps phone cable or 24/2 security wire without an end home run to the electric wiring closet.
  • Use deep boxes. A little more expensive, easier to stuff a slightly larger switch/outlet into.

If you can find home-auto boards ([url]news:comp.home.automation[url]home automation) and talk to the geeky electricians you might know. It's my fervent hope that reasonably priced, non proprietary stuff might come along. I've worked with computers the size of light switches. X10 is LARGE compared. Lose the AC signalling and most of the problems go away.

Have fun.

Click_to_reply_button
Inspiration_banner

INSPIRATION GALLERY



Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply_choose_button

captcha
type the code from the image

Anonymous

Post_new_button or Login_button
Register

Deep blue grays like the shade shown in this example "have a nautical, serene feeling," says Amy Hendel, designer for Hend... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... Few projects are more fun than upcycling a vintage piece in a surprising way. Outfitted with a sink and a delicately tiled... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
Follow_banner_a
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon
 
webapp1