At present there are no 2 or 3 gang replacement X10 wall switches on the market so the only way to convert a room that has one of these it to use this switch and go the wireless route. However this still leaves the often difficult problem of converting the circuits in the room to DIN Rail modules. Also, it would be nice to have singles and double switch versions available. All in all though another great new product from X10.
This unit allows the retro-fit convenience that you know and love from X10 to be extended to places that don't have mains wiring. For example, place an eternal PIR at your gate and have a chime module sound inside when someone is entering your property. The TM12 opens up a whole new world of possibilities!
If you limit yourself to purchasing 220v X-10 modules, you can easily expect to spend three to four times as much on your system components alone. Worst, the most popular receivers are priced close to 5 times as much. With such a huge difference, you may be thinking that the 220v modules are superior in technology and features. Flatly, they are absolutely not. The only difference between the two types of modules is the value of a very few components inside the modules.
Digital I/O is useful in implementing many external sensors. Such things as magnetic door switches, water level switch, motion sensors, panic buttons, and macro select switches, all make good digital inputs. A digital output can control a roof vent fan, illuminate LED indicators, control the furnace (HVAC), disconnect the telephone ringer, or any other on/off type of application you can think of.
Installation was a snap. Run the install software ... plug in the device when asked ... test and see that it worked ... which in my case it did. The remote itself is very small (fits into a shirt pocket) and it's buttons are pretty straight forward.
X-10 is by its nature modular and incremental. However, changing a controller is usually more involved than simply adding more modules to the system. Often, the software must be replaced, and the controlling commands rewritten or revised for the new features. There's usually a different interface with new idiosyncrasies and learning curve. Therefore, for 'general-purpose' home automation, my suggestion is to avoid the under-achievers. Looking at what seems basic today for home-automation, a controller must be able to do two-way X-10.
Adding temperature sensors to your home automation system is fun and the first step toward automating and taking control of your HVAC system. The techniques presented here can also be used with good effect for virtually any analog input. It is very unusual for a sensor to produce an optimal output without any conditioning at all.
Marantz's RC5000 has a very different look than other remotes ... it's gold for one thing and looks more like a palm pad than a remote. It's not designed for 1 hand operation but fits nicely in the palm of one hand while the other navigates and pushes the buttons. The touchscreen is very responsive and clear (with easy contrast adjustment and backlighting).
X10 has changed a lot over the years and I've grown with it. I was 23 years old when I joined Pico and that was 25 years ago. I've spent more than ½ my life with X10! It's been a fun 25 years and I'm looking forward to what the future brings.
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.
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.
All in all ... this is an awesome remote control unit unlike anything I've played with to date. I found it easy to learn and use. Perhaps the handiest feature is the roller that can switch channels at the speed of light. My eyes ain't what they used to be and being able to just reach over and roll is a pleasure. My biggest dilemma is that I'm going to have to part with this unit when someone wins it in the April Tips and Tricks Contest . Oh well, maybe I'll get one for Father's Day :-) mind you it's a bit expensive ($349) for the kids (unless of course Mom can be convinced to participate).
The SL9000 is a great unit for button freaks. It will control every device including X10 home automation and surround sound home theater systems. It has a backlight so you can see the buttons at night. At a price of $139 this unit may be all you ever need to control your entertainment system and the lighting therein.
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.
"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."
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