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Difference between the Firecracker & Computer Interface
This thread has 4 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Friday August 20, 1999 at 09:59
Roland S
Historic Forum Post
Regarding the Free offer, what's the difference between the Firecracker interface (X-10's Fig Newton, hehe!) and the Computer interface included in the Activehome 6 Piece Kit?

Is it just a new version of the original computer interface? What are it's benefits other than the size?

OP | Post 2 made on Friday August 20, 1999 at 13:56
Historic Forum Post
The Firecracker interface is a small module that connects to your PC serial port and send out RF signals to your transceiver module. The Activehome kits interface connect from the PC serial port to the PC module which is plugged into an electrical outlet and send X-10 signals through that line to any X-10 module, the PC module has memory for timed events that you download from activehome software to it then if you like you can disconnet the cable between the serial port and the PC module but if you want to operate X-10 module with your PC using Activehome kit the PC must be connected to the PC module through the serial port. I never use timed events so I myself prefer using the Firecracker software allowing me to use my serial for other connections like my pronto connections since firecrackers interface has a through port connection.
OP | Post 3 made on Friday August 20, 1999 at 14:13
Roland S
Historic Forum Post
Can you send command line requests (via dos prompt) to the Firecracker interface like you can with the ActiveHome's PC module and software?

C:\x10\X10Comm.exe a1 ON
at a dos prompt will turn on A1.

If so, you can technically have timed events by use of a third party windows software. But you wouldn't be able to turn off your puter and still have the timed events feature.
OP | Post 4 made on Friday August 20, 1999 at 14:58
Roland S
Historic Forum Post
Excuse me for being naive with the Firecracker kit, but if you don't need the computer for timed events, why do you need to have the computer interface? Unless you want to flick the lights on and off while sitting at the computer.

In my understanding, with my Activehome kit, if i have the RF transceiver module plugged into the wall and a lamp plugged into the lamp module, i can control the lamp with a PalmPad totally independent of the PC interface module.

The Transceiver module receives the PalmPad command and sends a signal thru the house wiring and turns my lamp on and off.
OP | Post 5 made on Friday August 20, 1999 at 18:41
Historic Forum Post
I'm a dummy with dos so I cant say if the command line works with firecracker software. Operating the modules while sitting at the computer is why the need for the interface.
(Since I'm paralized from neck down and keep a pc next to me all afternoon firecracker is quite handy)
Use of a third party sofware I cant say either. I can say they now offer software called Fuse that works with Firecracker that allows timed events (if this is what you mean by Third party software)and yes you would need to leave your PC on. They also now make a software addition for firecracker that allows creation of macros called MacroRecorder.
These 3 programs combined work like Activehome but without the need for the PC to be connect to an electrical outlet via the serial port cable(which connects to the PC module) and PC module(which plugs in the outlet).

As for the Activehome PC module interface, it has an internal timer but you must create the timed events on the PC then download those events to the PC interface then you may disconnect the PC from the interface.

Yes you can operate the modules with a palmpad totally independant of the PC as long as you have a RF transceiver. I hope this answered your questions. :)

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