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July 07, 2005

X10 and Automation

I finally got my home automation system configured. The primary backbone is X10 and expanded with features from X10 Inc. I have 3 basic device classes under control. Lamps via X10 lamp modules, lights via SmartHome Togglelinc Switches and equipment via X10 appliances modules. The biggest problem was the 2 phase electrical system in my apartment which impedes X10 signals. The typical solutions weren't appropriate for my apartment so I invented one. I took a CM11A serial X10 interface put it on phase A and plugged it into my computer. This picks up all the signals on phase A. I created a list of alias and macro X10 devices on phase A, which the computer then relays to the appropriate devices on phase B via the CM17A (Firecracker) serial RF interface. On both phases there is a TM751 RF X10 transmitter. The computer uses Dan Lanciani's X10D, HomeDaemon and BottleRocket software to accomplish this. I also have 5 classes of human interfaces. For the lights, there is direct control at the switch. I also have an IR543 infrared interface so that my universal remote can control the lights, several different X10 RF remotes, a fixed/wired X10 controller and finally the Homelink system in my car. I can also add a web interface via the HomeDaemon software. I got some of the more generic and inexpensive parts from X10 Inc., the switches from SmartHome and other parts from Automated Outlet.

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