X10 have never been known for their aesthetic designs. Indeed it’s has been pretty obvious to any X10 user that the company haven’t exactly been employing famous Italian design houses to make their products more appealing to the eye. However, if the latest releases from X10 are anything to go buy that may well be changing!
km19_front.jpg (43696 bytes)The new Key Chain Remote (or KR19E to give it it’s official designation) is the sort of device that gadget heads will love. It looks sexy. The key chain remote is approximately 35mm wide by 55mm long by 12mm deep (about the size of a car alarm keyfob). It’s CE approved and is used in conjunction with the TM12 Transceiver module.
The unit comes complete with a battery. I have no idea what the life expectance of the battery is (I will add this information to the review once mine runs out) but when the time comes the back is easily popped off with a flat blade screw driver to reveal the lithium cell (CR2025 3Volt).
The unit has six buttons. Two ONs and two OFFs plus DIM and BRIGHT. By default it’s set for addresses A1 and A2 but both the house code and unit code can easily be changed. The only stipulation is that the two buttons will always control consecutive addresses (eg B8 and B9 or G15 and G16).
The range of the remote obviously depends on where the receiver is placed and the sort of obstacles between it and the transmitter. If you want to use it as you approach your front door then plug in the TM12 in your hall or another room as near to the front of the house as possible. Reports from other users suggest 30 feet as the upper limit of range.
I rate this as another WFD (wife friendly device). In conjunction with the CM12U, HomeVision, Comfort etc you can trigger macros with a single press of a button. For example you could turn on outside lights, hall lights etc etc as your wife turns into the driveway. Like wise she may feel safer exiting the house with the lights all on then turning them off remotely once inside her car. The applications are limited only by your imagination (and, as ever, your budget).
The unit operates on the newer 433Mhz frequency. This seems to be the frequency that will be used in wireless modules for the foreseeable future. If you only have a few 418Mhz modules now might be the time to leave them and move on to the new supported frequency. On the other hand if you have a fair investment in 418Mhz then you might want to buy up some more items before stocks run out.
All in all this is much more like the kind of product UK users want. It’s small, has a modern look and is practical. Well done X10!
Approximate Price – Â£35.25