Paul Motz is a businessman and former newspaper publisher from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He has been using X-10 technology for over 15 years and is an avid Macintosh user. He currently uses a B&W G3 and a Powerbook 2400 with a G3 upgrade.
Typically, crimp-on connectors are for stranded cable, and one of the biggest mistakes people make is using the wrong crimp-on end. If you look very closely, you will see a row of 'teeth' on the underside of the exposed pins. These teeth pierce the insulation of the cable to make electrical contact with the copper wire. Using a crimp-on connector designed for a solid cable on a stranded cable can result in an unreliable connection (and vice-versa).
Part of a series on Complex Control with the Smart Housekeeper. Using the Smart Housekeeper and wireless technology to optimize the effectivity and adjust your sprinkler system.
TouchLinc from SmartLinc is one of the more affordable pads on the market for controlling a home automation system and I found it quite easy to set up. If your X-10 controller is capable of IR and Hardwired control etc. then the TouchLinc should be able to control A/V systems as well as most of the other equipment in your home.
In more complex installations, a capacitor across the two legs will both help and hurt.
Using WSH and the Slinkx control, I was able to map a single button on my X10 RF remote to gradually dim all the lights in my living room, turn off the aquarium pump (loud!), turn on the TV, receiver, and DVD player, and set the inputs on the TV and reciver, and finally open the DVD tray. Watching a DVD became as easy as slapping a disc in and hitting play.
MisterHouse is the name of the open source program I wrote to do Home Automation (HA) chores at our house. It runs on Windows 95,98, NT, or any POSIX enabled Unix, like Linux. It can interact with a variety of serial port devices, including the X10 CM11 interface.
For example, you can sit back in your chair and click one button on your remote to open your web browser. Now relax and navigate around using the remote to scroll etc. This unit would be good for remote operation while giving a presentation with PowerPoint as well.
Many who use X-10 for lighting control have been awaiting the "Two Way" switch for some time now. Why? The main reason is because while you may have a sophisticated controller that monitors the powerline for commands and keeps track of lighting status from that data ... there has not been a method of keeping track of light levels or status if someone actually uses the manual switch to change them. In other words ... the switches didn't send the X-10 code when someone pushed the button ... they just dimmed the light or turned it on or off.
The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a computer which can do timing functions. The timer instruction can be used to time events or create delays in residential applications. An example of a timer function is in the control of the garage light; on when the garage door is open and off 5 minutes after the door is closed.
Max sent me some photos to go along with the ongoing saga of this interesting project. I've added pics here so you can reread the letters (reprinted from last month) and see the photos. Max will be returning to China to complete the project in April and has promised to update us of the progress.
Recently, the growth in the number of home automation standards has made integrating products from different manufactures and network protocols difficult if not virtually impossible. Home API will provide a common layer of functionality above present and future network protocols, lessening integration problems.
Wiring outlets should not be placed in the same stud cavity as HVAC cold-air return ducts. Similarly, they should be at least one stud-cavity away from 120V/240V AC wiring. Ideally, all structured wiring should stay 12" from 120V wiring, and cross at right angles where necessary.
The variety of user interface components illustrated here is impressive. Yet, more creativity is needed for customers to feel comfortable with home automation products without fear of breaking them or causing mayhem. Any interface must convey the perception that the user is in control and the products are servants.
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