"Myth: X-10 can't transmit analog data. / Reality: X-10 currently has systems installed (which X-10 developed for Honeywell) employing PLC transmission of both temperature and light levels transmitted using X-10 protocols after A to D conversion."

X-10 Myths & Realities

Dave Rye

X-10 Myths & Realities
by Dave Rye

"Myth: X-10 can't transmit analog data. / Reality: X-10 currently has systems installed (which X-10 developed for Honeywell) employing PLC transmission of both temperature and light levels transmitted using X-10 protocols after A to D conversion."


Myth: X-10 can't do 2-way.

Reality: X-10 introduced the RR501 two-way module in 1985. Sold as part of the RC5000 wireless remote control system, this module has been in high volume production for 12 years, yet nobody (except for a handful of enthusiasts) has taken advantage of its ability to be polled.


Myth: The RR501 can be polled but X-10 doesn't have "true" two-way modules.

Reality: X-10 has developed a two-way Lamp Module and two-way Appliance Modules [Models LM14A, AM14A (2 pin), and AM15A (3 pin)] that automatically return their status when turned on or off (now shipping). These work with X-10's new Two-Way Computer Interface (Model CM11A).


Myth: X-10 can only control 256 codes.

Reality: X-10's code set includes an "extended code" format allowing unlimited codes to be transmitted. i.e. adding 4 bits to the extended code gives 65,000 codes. This protocol is currently used in a load shedding/meter reading system developed by X-10 for a large utility company in Brazil (CEMIG).


Myth: X-10 can't transmit analog data.

Reality: X-10 currently has systems installed (which X-10 developed for Honeywell) employing PLC transmission of both temperature and light levels transmitted using X-10 protocols after A to D conversion.


Myth: X-10 can't be used for networking PCs to remote printers.

Reality: To network computers and peripherals in the home you would also want to have remote monitors. This means high speed video transmission. X-10 has developed 2.4 Ghz products for these types of applications, and is now shipping them.


Myth: X-10 technology is old.

Reality: X-10's protocol is constantly evolving.


Myth: Other protocols (rather than Powerline carrier) are more reliable for security applications.

Reality: X-10 is the largest producer of wireless self-installed home security systems in the world. X-10 uses supervised RF transmissions at 310 Mhz for these applications (not P.L.C.).


Myth: Other protocols include the IR bus standard and X-10 can't control InfraRed (IR) products.

Reality: IR "standards" don't exist in the A/V world (hence the need for universal remote controls). X-10 is the largest manufacturer of universal IR remotes in the world. X-10's IR code library is extensive and together with X-10's ability to convert IR codes to RF codes and back, allows X-10 to control ANY brand of IR product from anywhere in the home.


Additional benefits from the X-10 protocol:

X-10 has a low cost 200A whole-house filter which totally isolates X-10 signals from entering or leaving the home (for use in apartment and condo complexes for example). Other protocols such as Spread-Spectrum technology CANNOT be filtered!

Regulatory approvals in Europe have a strictly enforced cut-off at 150 Khz. This makes it impossible to get approval for a spread-spectrum based system. Therefore products based on this protocol can NEVER be approved in Europe. X-10 is approved!

X-10 has over 100 Million modules installed! This gives any O.E.M. developer access to a huge installed base.

The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of HomeToys

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