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Thread: Converting a pull-chord switch to X10 = need advice please!!

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member wywywywy's Avatar
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    Question Converting a pull-chord switch to X10 = need advice please!!

    Hi all,

    Basically my bathroom still has the old style pull cord switch for the light, and the rest of my flat is entirely controlled by X10, so a logical step would obviously be converting the pull cord to an X10 switch.

    So, I went and bought these:

    - SS13E Sitck-a-Switch
    - X10-2 2-wire Appliance MicroModule from Kevin Lo

    The MicroModule is an Appliance one because it also needs to control the extractor fan, which comes on with the light.

    Okay, so I tried to fit the MicroModule inside the pull-cord switch housing... Doh! It is too big and won't fit in!

    The base of the pull-cord switch is screwed onto the batten above, so I can't just tuck the MircoModule up in the attic either.

    Instead of chiselling a hole in the batten to put the MicroModule in, can anyone advice where else can I put it please?

    Is there any "pull-cord switch housing extender" or something that can make the housing bigger? Or is there any big empty box that can replace the either pull cord switch?

    I am a bit stuck... (strangely, its not about electrical/electronical though) Please advice!

    Thanks.
    Last edited by wywywywy; 22nd January 2007 at 01:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Could you use a KR22 instead?

    Few suggestions:

    1 )You could move the switch perhaps to a bit of plasterboard ceiling?, it might be possible to make a big hole in the ceiling, fit the module up there and cabling, then pollyfilla a new bit of plasterboard into the hole and re-mount the switch - unless you're swinging from it, the switch should be okay in plasterboard with some decent fixings - like those expanding T shaped ones that expand in the cavity behind?

    2) B&Q in the UK have several flavours of pull-cord switch, including a huge one which is double-isolating designed for showers etc- your module might fit in there? - or mount the pull-cord on a surface mount socket box with a blanking cover (bit naff, but plenty of space then!)


    3) maybe you can hide the micromodule in the light fitting? - does that help? if you cant get into your 'loft' it's difficult of course - I could put deep thought above my bathroom in the loft and no-one would notice!

    4) What about murdering a KR22 keyfob remote - if you did this, perhaps it would fit in the housing for the pull-cord switch. If you took out the latch from the pull cord you'd make it 'momentary', then you might be able rig something up ?

    http://www.letsautomate.com/10615.cf...4-7e057a08438b

    Issue might be that you need to send 'on' and 'off' signals, and you're likely to only be able to send 'one' of them - if you have an 'intelligent' controller you can probably macro that so you can store the 'toggle' part in the controller and just flip between on and off each time an 'on' signal is recieved?


    Mart.

  3. #3
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default

    What about a surface mount single patress box and cover. This will easily fit a micro module. I think Maplin sells them and probably most DIY outlets. Maplin code YB15R or YB14Q
    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Automated Home Sr Member wywywywy's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for the replies.

    The ceiling unfortunately is made of stupid artex (built in 1980!), so I cannot just polyfilla it up

    I did have a look at the "electric shower" pull cord switches, in fact I have one already next to the light switch as I have an electric shower. There are two (possible) problems though. One, they are usually fused at 30 or 45amp, instead of the normal 5amp - so would it be okay if I just replace the fuse in there? Two, from what I can see (B&Q, Homebase, Screwfix, TLC Direct) they all have neon lights on them, which look pretty naff for a light switch - has anyone seen one without neon?

    Putting the micromodule in the light housing unfortunately won't help Because the light switch also triggers the relay of the extractor fan, and there are also two terminals on the micromodule for connecting to a switch, so that the switch is still functional. I.e. the micromodule needs to be physically next to or inside the switch.

    As for mounting a normal pull cord switch onto a blanking plate onto a normal surface box... I did think about that too actually, but I am not so sure about how "secure" would it be, as the force of pulling the pull cord plus gravity together might just break something...

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wywywywy View Post
    Putting the micromodule in the light housing unfortunately won't help Because the light switch also triggers the relay of the extractor fan, and there are also two terminals on the micromodule for connecting to a switch, so that the switch is still functional. I.e. the micromodule needs to be physically next to or inside the switch.
    Not really I have a switch about 5m away from a micromodule. All you need to be able to do is be able to run cable to and from the switch to the micromodule if you can do this then it can be anywhere you can put the cable. What you need to do is draw up a diagram on how everything is connected. Doesn't have to be technically correct just as long as you understand it. Then see where the micromodule should go. Then see if its possible to actually do this.
    One last thing. Though I guess you have already tried this. Is it possible to access the ceiling from above. ie Loft space or pull up a few floorboards in the room above. This may give you a better view on things.
    Oh which micromodule do you have as some can transmit their status, so you could use another module for the fan set to the same house and unit code. So when you switch on the light it would transmit an on command to the module in the fan.
    Good luck

  6. #6
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Artex Ceilings

    It would be prudent to be extremely careful with Artex type finishes. They may contain asbestos.

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