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October 02, 2006 [Discuss This Article]


X10C: How long have you been using X10 products?

Roger1818: Since sometime in the mid to late 90's (about 10 years).

X10C: What is the first X10 product you can recall purchasing?

Roger1818: Well I received an old Appliance Module, an old style Mini Controller (MC260) that would send separate address and command messages similar to the Maxi Controller, and an old Timer which would control 8 modules from my wife's grandfather as he wasnít using them anymore. The first thing I actually bought was the FireCracker kit.

X10C: What intrigues you most about using X10 products?

Roger1818: I like the coolness factor of being able to control lights all over the house with the touch of a button. I also like the security factor of being able to put lights on timers while still being able to easily override them manually without effecting the timer operation.

X10C: What is your favorite X10 product out on the market?

Roger1818: Well, it isn't made by X10, but I would have to say the KeypadLinc. Each button is fully customizable and can be easily labled. This really ties the system together and makes it so that I am not the only person in the house who knows how to turn the lights on and off without adding another remote to clutter up the coffee table. Even visitors can easily be shown how to turn the lights on and off.

Roger1818: If I had to pick a product made by X10, it would have to be ActiveHome Pro with SmartMacros. It allows me to set up timers and macros that will work intelligently to control lights while I am away without inconveniencing me when I am home. And the real beauty of it is once it is set up the way I want, I donít need to touch it again until I want to add another feature.

X10C: If you could develop your own X10 product, what would it be and what would it do?

Roger1818: Only one product? I have so many ideas it is hard to chose but I think a ceiling fan controller would be top on my list. This would be an in-line module which would control the light and fan separately. In a perfect world it would have a 3-speed fan controller that doesn't cause it to hum and either a dimmer (for incandescent lights) or a switch (for CFLs). It could then be combined with a 2-button controller (such as the XP2) to replace the existing wall switch. I know this can be done with separate modules, but there usually isn't room for 2 in-line modules in one electrical box.

Roger1818: Another idea would be to have a wired in version of the SocketRocket, which would replace the light socket in a table or floor lamp. Optimally this would have either a button for local on-off control or touch lamp control. A tri-light version of this module would also be nice.

X10C: Tell us about a time you were creative with your X10 products and how did it turn out?

Roger1818: We have an old TV in our bedroom that doesn't have a remote control (or a timer) so not only did I use an Appliance Module to turn it on and off, I created a series of macros with SmartMacros which would allow us to turn the TV off in 30, 60 or 120 minutes (push the Macro once for 30 minutes, twice for 60 minutes, three times for 120 minutes and a fourth time to cancel the timer). I have the macro flash the light in the closet (where the TV is) to tell me that the macro has been triggered.

X10C: In your own opinion, how would you describe your abilities in using X10 products?

Roger1818: Well I would consider very knowledgeable about the X10 protocol and using AHP with SmartMacros and have some experience using the SDK. I also have some knowledge troubleshooting problems with X10.

X10C: For those on the X10 Community forums who are fairly new to X10, what advice would you have to offer?

Roger1818: My number one piece of advice is if you want to use X10 throughout the house you should invest in some type of Phase Coupler. You will also need a few Noise Filters as well.

X10C: Is there anything you would care to add?

Roger1818: Welcome to the world of home automation! Have Fun!

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