Marmitek MicroModules are extremely small (46x46mm and only 16mm deep) and are designed to fit in the rear of European junction boxes, behind any installed switch or AC outlet. At the time of publication, three types were available: the AWM2 appliance module (ON/OFF) and two transmitter modules TMA4 (transmitting ON and OFF for up to four X-10 addresses when connected to normal maintained switches) and TMD4 (transmitting ON/OFF and DIM/BRIGHT commands for up to four X-10 addresses when connected to momentary switches). A version with a built in dimmer will be available early 2003. And yes, this dimmer module will also be as small as the other MicroModules.
Installation of the modules is as simple as taking your existing wall switch out, connect the existing wiring to the terminals of the MicroModule, and hook up your switch to the thin wires of the MicroModule. Because a MicroModule gets its power from mains, you need a neutral as well. We know you will not always be able to run this neutral wire to the wall box, so here is the trick ….
Because of the small size of the MicroModules you are able to fit the module in the ceiling junction box (or even the lamp fixture itself). In the junction box neutral, phase, load and switch wires are available, and that’s all you need to hook up a MicroModule. Connect Phase, Neutral and Load wires to the terminals of the MicroModule. The thin wires are connected to the original wires which run to the wall switch. Now your ceiling lamp is X-10 controlled while you are still able to control it by the original switch.
We visited a house built in 1935 which just has been renovated. This house is stuffed with X10 technology, but when entering the living, you don’t see a single X-10 module around. The only difference to a normal installation is the row of switches next to the entrance door. The owner explains: “we chose for Marmitek X-10 because we were only able to replace parts of the electrical installation. On top of that the costs of Marmitek X-10 are relatively low compared to other wire bus based home automation systems requiring extra wiring. Because X-10 signals travel through the power line, we were still able to automate the house the way we planned it.”
He continues about the functionality: “The switches you see here are regular momentary switches which are part of the range of wall sockets and normal switches which are installed in the house. Each of the four corners of the switch controls an X-10 address. A total of three TMD4 modules installed behind these switches give us the opportunity to control twelve X-10 devices throughout the house.
DIY Home Automation at SmartHomeUSA
“We are using eight of the switches for direct control of X-10 modules, hooked up to the stereo, TV set, living room lights and lights elsewhere in the house. The last four switches we use to execute macro’s in the Marmitek CM11 computer interface, e.g. all off, watch TV, goodnight and living room lights on at a preferred setting.
He demonstrates: “When I push and release this corner of the switch, the wall lamp over there turns on. Now I push the switch again to dim the lamp”.
“There are two things I like most about the new modules. First of all the modules always know the status of the lamp, because they use 2-way X-10. When I take my universal remote and I turn the lamp off, the switch knows this by reading the X-10 command from the powerline. Because the switch knows that the lamp is off, the next time I use the switch it will transmit an “on” command. On top of that the status on the computer is always reliable”.
“The second advantage is that the AWM2 modules are very silent. Regular X10 modules I used in my previous house make quite a lot of noise when they switch. The relay in the MicroModule is very silent. I think adding the Marmitek MicroModules to your X-10 installation makes it far more professional”.
Fore more information and distribution of micromodules: email@example.com