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Thread: Is x10 right for me

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    1

    Default Is x10 right for me

    Hello all

    I have been thinking about home automation for a while, I love technology and my house is fairly teched up (tv distribution over cat5, 8tb movie server etc etc).

    I have been researching x10 recently and have a few concerns, initially it looks like a great idea but what I ultimately want to end up with is a fully x10 house so all light switches are x10 and all sockets are as well and ip cameras etc, I want to be able to log on to my iPhone/computer and see exactly what sockets and lights are on set up macros and control the house from the Internet.

    Although this technology exits from what I can tell most modules do not allow status querying so you can't tell if they are on or off, I under stand that this might seem a bit trivial but it seems like a fairly fundemenal requirement for a fully wired house. Also it looks like converting every socket and light switch would cost an absolute fortune.


    Am I expecting to much from x10 - is my dream attainable

    Cheers
    Toby

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Near Alicante Spain
    Posts
    2,010

    Default

    X10 modules with status do exist. Many of the micro modules especially the Xanura ones have status and the X10-2 modules also. The Xanura ones will broadcast their status automatically when they are operated manually (i.e. via a local switch rather than an X10 command). But the x10-2 modules require you to send an X10 command to request a status update.
    While X10 is a capable system it can provide a lot of headaches.
    Another system similar to X10 is PLCBus. It has a similar addressing scheme to X10 but is not X10 compatible. There are PLCBus to X10 gateways available and you can run the 2 systems side by side.
    There are also some cool LCD touch screens available for the PLCBus that are reasonable in price.
    As for software control Homeseer has a PLCBus plugin. And there is some software called Homeplanner, though with the new version it seems to have changed its name to Habeetat planner 4. Also Homevision can be used with PLCBus, there is a free script available. You might be able to pick up a Homevision unit on ebay as they are now no longer being made, or shops may sell off their existing stock cheap.
    More PLCBus links
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PLCBUS
    http://www.plcbus.com/

    Another system to consider would be an Idratek system. they have their own forum on here.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    20

    Default

    I've been using X10 as I'm a beginner and it's probably the simplest and cheapest system to start fooling around with. However, it definitely does have its shortcomings and PLCBus seems a lot more attractive when you start getting into slightly more complex systems.

    PLCBus units are a bit more expensive, but it's probably worth the extra if you can afford it and if you plan to do anything more than the most simple automation.

    Having just wired my new flat for X10, I might have to look into these X10/PLCBus gateways.

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