Getting started with X10

Posted by Steve on Thu, 08/24/2006 - 10:32am

By now you should have a basic working knowledge of how X10 works. To summarize: a receiver (slave) is an X10 device which controls a light or appliance. A transmitter (master) is an X10 device which remotely controls an X10 receiver (slave). A transmitter tells the slave to turn on, turn off or in some cases to dim/brighten a light (but not a household appliance or fluorescent light, for obvious reasons!)

The X10 world is a lot larger than just wall switches and ceiling lights though and, fortunately, most of them are a lot easier to install than a wall switch. Let's get into some of those devices. I'll be using a lot of links to Smarthome's web site because they're my primary source for X10 equipment. They have a large inventory, are quick with shipping and their prices are competitive. But a Google search will show that there are a lot of retailers in the game.

Installing X10

Posted by Steve on Wed, 08/23/2006 - 8:49pm

The previous article was an introduction to X10 home automation. Now I'll talk about how it works and how to install it.

X10 isn't a product but a communications protocol for sending data over your existing household wiring. As you'll see, that's both really convenient and a bit of a headache at times. X10-compatible devices are marketed by a few companies, including Leviton, Radio Shack and SwitchLinc.

Home automation with X10

Posted by Steve on Wed, 08/23/2006 - 8:48pm

X10 is a powerline protocol which lets X10-enabled devices communicate with each other over your household wiring.

An X10 device could be as simple as a remote control for an existing entry way light switch or it could be a complex network of X10 devices remotely controlled by a PC which automatically sets lighting schemas, waters the lawn, sends a text message, feeds the cats, whatever, based on the time of day or some other external event.

Graphic courtesy of X10-store.com home automation.


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