There is only ONE way and it's Two way

There is a time and a season for everything, and indeed, even in a two-way system there is a time to "speak" and a time to refrain from "speaking". So the focus of the issue before us is whether a system can support two-way communication and not when and how this capability is used.

Which One Should I Use - Part XIII

Digital X-10

APC SurgeStation

According to APC, the SurgeStation offers the Lowest IEEE 587 Category A Let-through and UL 1449 330V. IEEE tests simulate severe surge events common to the home and office environment. SurgeArrest provides the lowest let-through voltages for maximum protection. Moreover, SurgeArrest's 330V rating is UL's best available rating against devastating surges and spikes. All SurgeArrest products have received UL's 330V rating.

Casio PhoneMate IT-380

No, the unit doesn't get the body of the messages (it leaves those in your mailbox for retrieval with a PC). The IT-380 is designed to be an "E-mail advisory device" or Internet appliance, meaning that it informs you that you have new E-mail without providing the full message text; it is not designed for sending and receiving E-mail. My first impression of this limitation was negative but then when I thought about it, I realized that I really don't want a phone to get my email anyway. How would I type in a reply, organize and save messages etc. with a keypad. And what attachments ... where would they go ... lost in cyberspace forever?

HA in the UK

Ask 100 people on the streets of the UK what X-10 is and I reckon the two top answers would be: 1. It's a sci-fi movie. or 2. It's that cream for hemorrhoids isn't it? Up until very recently X-10 had only been available from a couple of mail order specialists. Then, about 12 months ago, products finally became available 'over the counter' in Maplin stores (something like your Radio Shack) across the country. Despite recent price cuts, modules are still very expensive. A lamp module, for example, is around 30.00 UK Pounds (the equivalent of just under $50!!). You can imagine how sick we feel when we see US units advertised at around $10. But at last X-10 is slowly starting to get exposure in the UK.

Home At The Office

All the talk of a home office is great, but not practical, because our bosses require us to be at the office during the work day, and just allow the home office for us to do more work for them while we're at home! That's okay for some, but I've got a better idea -- lets bring the home -- to the office; or anywhere we are! Cheap!!

PC Remote

I had the unit up an running in a few minutes and it learned commands from my remote in no time. This is the first device I've reviewed from the UK and I'm impressed with the functionality. Frankly, I think much of the equipment coming to market these days is unnecessarily complicated as manufacturers try to do too much with one device.

Voice Trek Version 1.0

"Controlling devices in the selected house code is easy but you must know the correct phrases to use. For example "Turn on Coach Lamp" commands the lamp on and "Shut off Coach Lamp" turns it off. "Set Coach Lamp to 75%" ... Brighten Coach Lamp by 10%" etc. Once you learn the key phrases you're all set and with proper training, the voice recognition is quite accurate."

Which One Should I Use - Part XII

More Noise, Filtering and Troubleshooting (and let's get this one done, already)

X-10 has made their Remote Controlled Screw-In Lamp Module more compact

The fact that the LM15A remembers the code even after the power is removed means that you can set up the code in any convenient indoor lamp and then move the module to its final location, which might be in an outside light fixture for example. This means you don't have to install it outside and then run in and out of the house while setting it up.

Leviton 6343 Universal Dimmer Switch

All in all, this is the nicest X-10 switch that I have seen or used so far (haven't tested PCS or Smartlinc yet though). The switch retails for about $75. I'm almost ready to swap out all of those old pushbuttons and this may be the switch that does it for me.

SmartOne Home Control System

"The system features Distributed Control rather than conventional Central Control. The difference here is that the SmartOne devices contain enough intelligence to store their own configuration and functions so that if a system controller fails, the devices will continue to operate as programmed. For example if the lighting control panel fails, the switches will continue to operate according to their individual groupings etc."

BACNet Standard

A revolution occurring in the Commercial/Industrial environmental control industry may soon find it's way into our networked homes. Both BacNet & LonTalk communication standards are being widely accepted by the Commercial building industry. The room control or individual unit control requirements in a Commercial buildings are not that different from the requirements in our homes. The low cost programmable controller can be easily reconfigured for any task. Some of this technology will come as part of Original Equipment Manufacture "OEM" products such as air conditioners and heating equipment. This article provides a quick overview of this BacNet standard developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE.

HAL2000 Version 1.2.2

Use the Internet configuration to set up your system so HAL can go and get traffic reports, stock quotations, TV listings etc. This feature sets HAL apart from the others and I'm sure we'll see more options in the future. Just ask for a weather report and HAL reads it back to you (in a clear voice) from data it retrieved from the internet ... WOW!

Home Cabling - Pt I

Home cabling systems are no different than commercial systems, they often contain a mix of broadband (coax) cables, and twisted pair cables carrying voice, data, and security signals. The components and connectors for these systems have been tried and proven in the commercial industry and there is no reason to reinvent them for the HCS industry.

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