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Looking for X-10 products...
This thread has 37 replies. Displaying posts 31 through 38.
OP | Post 31 made on Friday July 9, 1999 at 00:19
Historic Forum Post
Thanks Robert. He did. He said it was quite straight forward, and he installed 3 circuit breakers for each phase.

I'll try and isolate the fridges to see if it's a noise problem, over the weekend.
OP | Post 32 made on Friday July 9, 1999 at 03:02
Jim Fouch
Historic Forum Post
If one has an electric oven, stove, dryer, etc, I think all these appliances use both legs of the circuit (220 volts in the U.S.) and should act as a bridge.

Another thing you might try to see if a coupler is working is to move a maxi or mini to different outlets to see if the device gets a signal.

You should be able to determine which outlets and switches are on the same leg by turning off some circuit breakers.

I think electricians in new construction should provide a wiring schematic but they often (usually/never) don't.

/* rant mode off */

OP | Post 33 made on Saturday July 10, 1999 at 05:13
Historic Forum Post
OK, I've spent most of the day plugging and pulling the controller in and out of powerpoints, and I now have a puzzle:

The scenario:

Let's say I have 10 powerpoints and 3 X-10 devices.
X-10/1 X-10/2 X-10/3
PP01 Y Y N
PP02 Y Y N
PP03 Y Y N
PP04 Y Y N
PP05 Y N N
PP06 Y N N
PP07 N N Y
PP08 N N Y
PP09 N N Y
PP10 N N Y

What this means is that I plugged the controller into PP01 through to PP10, and tried to control X-10/1 through to X-10/3.

I tried PP01-PP04, then PP07 to PP10. I was about to conclude that X-10/1 and X-10/2 is on the same phase while X-10/3 is on another, when I tried PP05 and PP06.

I need your help interpreting these results. The fact that X-10/1 works but X-10/2 doesn't, could mean that they are on different phases, but something plugged in near PP05 and PP06 (they are close by) must have caused some interference, such that it works on one phase but not the other.

Is this assumption correct?

Otherwise, I'm able to turn the devices on while a vacuum cleaner is on, and my controller is plugged into the same power strip as the vacuum cleaner. I have tried switching off the fridges, and it didn't make any difference.

At one point, I could have sworn that I had X-10/1 and X-10/3 both working from the controller, but then when I tried to confirm it, it doesn't work anymore...

Any suggestions is very much appreciated.

Thanks guys!

OP | Post 34 made on Saturday July 10, 1999 at 23:59
Historic Forum Post
Sorry, forgot that spaces don't show up properly in HTML...The info above is suppose to be a table, showing a matrix between PP01-PP10 and X-10/1-X-10/3. The 'Y' and 'N' are suppose to indicate whether a device was successfully controlled from PPxx.
OP | Post 35 made on Wednesday July 21, 1999 at 02:10
Jim Lazarenko
Historic Forum Post
The common trick is to turn on the stove as it will use both phases of the electrical system.

I am wondering about something myself. If you go to the X10 troubleshooting webpage, it says that using a 0.1 microfarad, 240V ac or 600V dC capacitor across your 220 volt line (hot to hot) will do the trick. If this is the case, why are people talking about spending big bucks for an amplifier?
OP | Post 36 made on Wednesday July 21, 1999 at 11:59
Robert (RCI Automation)
Historic Forum Post

I do not recommend the capacitor approach. I have seen the capacitor blow-up in an electrical panel and make a mess at the very least. If you are in front of it and it blows up, it would be even worse. The passive coupler does the same thing as the capacitor, but it does it safely. It is also "tuned" to only pass an X-10 signal from one phase to another.

The only difference between the passive coupler and the amplified coupler is that the amplified coupler amplifies the X-10 signal more than 50 times. This is a big difference however and that is what makes it worth the money. It can turn an unreliable X-10 system into a very reliable system.

RCI Automation

OP | Post 37 made on Monday August 2, 1999 at 12:11
Historic Forum Post
OK, with all this talk about phases and such, I'm wondering if there is an optimal way to wire a house during NEW construction knowing it's going to be an X-10 controlled house. I'll be buidling a new house within a year, and definitely want it smart controlled. Is X-10 the way to go, or are there better (cheaper or more functional) programmable, macroable home control strategies out there for new construction?
OP | Post 38 made on Monday August 2, 1999 at 15:12
Jim Fouch
Historic Forum Post
Hi David:

My house has a rather extensive array of X10 devices - every light is controlled by X10, I use motion detectors to turn on the bathroom lights and speakers when someone enters and to turn on the exhaust fan when someone goes in the shower.

I use a Stargate to turn on/off lights at different intensities depending on the time of day, sunrise/sunset, or whether someone is home.

And I plan to do a lot more, such as have a drip pan made to go under the hot water heater and use a moisture detector so the system can alert me the next time the hot water heater fails (it is in the house).

I am rather happy with the system, but if I were building a new house, I would sure investigate hard wired systems and/or CEBUS which also sends signals over the power line but is more advanced - it has collision avoidance plus other features.

I expect any of the systems that I suggest are more expensive than X10, but if you are going to do very much with X10 and use the better components (the ones not made by X10 Powerhouse), the investment can be sizable - at least by my standards.

You might find some interesting info at

Cheers, Jim.
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