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Thread: Which plug-in modules should I use?

  1. #1
    Automated Home Guru MichaelD's Avatar
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    Default Which plug-in modules should I use?

    I used X10 successfully for years, but gradually it became more and more unreliable, which seems to be a familiar story as we all pile more stuff onto our home's electrical system.

    I've gone for Clipsal C-Bus2 for all the lighting, which involved rewiring all the lighting circuits and putting in new Cat-5 connected switches. Almost finished that, and its proving to be very reliable.

    For the mains sockets, C-Bus2 only allows 10A, not 13A, which worries me a little, and rewiring every socket back to a central point would be hugely disruptive, so I'm thinking about plug-in modules as most of the ones I'd want to automate are out of sight. The X10 AD10 type ones seem to break quite often, and miss signals too often in my house, so what would people recommend, Z-wave, or one of the newer systems?

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Why not use the X10 micro modules from either Xanura or marmitek. These could probably fit behind a UK mains socket. Or if you use one of our special din rail adapters for the micro modules you can fit them in the fuse cabinet.
    PLCbus is worth a look at as this can be used in conjunction with an existing X10 setup as well. http://x10-hk.com/store/index.php?cP...8e02a617376641
    Its still a powerline system, but its faster and more reliable. It takes less than 0.1 seconds to transmit a command and a module to switch on. And you can have more modules. It uses a house code and unit code like X10 but has another user code on top of this so its even possible to have 2 modules set on A10 but with different user codes. The entire code combined code range gives you a maximum number of modules as 64000.
    There is a PC interface and I think there is a plugin for Homeseer as well now.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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    Automated Home Guru MichaelD's Avatar
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    Thanks Toscal, are the micromodules much more reliable than the older X10 modules? I'm aiming for somewhere around 99.5% reliability, which is probably where X10 used to be when I first bought it, but now its below 50% for many of the units

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    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Yes. They have some basic noise filtering as well which helps.
    They seem to cope better with voltage surges. One sniff of a voltage surge and the AD10s roll over and die. Mind you I have 4 LD11s in my office and they have survived everything. But I do have a whole house surge protector fitted which helps.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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    Automated Home Guru MichaelD's Avatar
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    Thats true, the X10 plug-in modules seem very fragile, I must have almost a dozen of them that have stopped working, usually when a bulb has blown, but sometimes its for no obvious reason at all.

    There must be a potential industry fixing these things!

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    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelD View Post
    Thats true, the X10 plug-in modules seem very fragile, I must have almost a dozen of them that have stopped working, usually when a bulb has blown, but sometimes its for no obvious reason at all.

    There must be a potential industry fixing these things!
    My plug-in lighting modules always blow a fuse when a bulb blows, which is really annoying. But I do have a box of fuses ready as when one bulb blows I know the others will be going within two weeks.
    I did look at the inside of one of the blown modules I have but gave up as I don't think it would be cost effective to repair them. And I couldn't see anything obviously wrong. No blackened components or ones that smelt funny.
    People laugh at me when I use the good old sniff test to find the damaged component. And are then amazed when it works. Ahh the good old days.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu

  7. #7
    Automated Home Guru MichaelD's Avatar
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    Default Are HomeEasy modules any good?

    HomeEasy plug-in modules seem to be very cheap (post elsewhere on this board says the price is now 5 with switch). Are they any good? I don't want to invest in the infrastructure to find I've bought a new-generation X10 problem. Do they have 2-way communications?

    The PLCBus stuff looks very good, but there are never any in stock, which looks like a worrying indicator of a business (or product) that isn't going to be around much longer. Maybe they just sell as soon as they get some stock, but it doesn't feel like a comfortable long-term solution
    Last edited by MichaelD; 17th February 2009 at 06:53 PM.

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