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    X10 home automation


    I'm interested in being able to control the lights and a fan in my room with my computer. Do I need to purchase an X10 wall switch module and a lamp module, or maybe an appliance module instead since the lamp can't be dimmed? Do I need a module for each thing I want controlled? How do you get your computer to communicate with the modules?

    Would it be better to make my own circuit board that connects to a wall outlet and a computer?

    I'm interested in hearing from people who've done this before.

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    • sizablegrin disagrees : Have you EVEN checked the literature? You are too dam' lazy.
    • Arty Ziff agrees
    • medialint agrees : medialint disagrees: medialint is indifferent
    • Skipt agrees
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    Devshed Loyal (3000 - 3499 posts)

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    I usually wake up late in the day, I love to sleep in. One time I set my alarm clock for "PM" and said danny, you are the laziest person alive.

    After reading this thread I feel differently.

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    • sizablegrin disagrees : I've been trying to slack back, but you make it virtually impossible.
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    Originally Posted by MasterChief
    Would it be better to make my own circuit board that connects to a wall outlet and a computer?
    If it would be better, you would know. Keep in mind you are making a circuit board with potential to kill you, and burn your house down.

    I did something like this on the cheap once. I used one of those wall thingies that turns a lamp on when it gets dark out. An LED controlled by my serial port was used for switching...though I'll leave the finer details up to the imagination.

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    • medialint agrees : yay an answer instead of trolling
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    This is why we should have a forum for embedded systems. This is pretty easily done I think.

    Also, your lamp doesn't dim? ... yes it does. I've yet to see a lamp that only has on and off and nothing in between. If you want to make your own circuit board one would think you would think to yourself, "Hmm, what if I send the lamp some energy, but not all of it? I wonder what such a device would be called, something that resists current but still lets some past."

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    • misterdanny disagrees
    • ctardi disagrees : You can't dim low voltage lighting off the shelf.
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    Originally Posted by MasterChief
    I'm interested in being able to control the lights and a fan in my room with my computer. Do I need to purchase an X10 wall switch module and a lamp module, or maybe an appliance module instead since the lamp can't be dimmed? Do I need a module for each thing I want controlled? How do you get your computer to communicate with the modules?
    X10 may work. You need at least one module for each thing you want. For incadescent lamps, you want a lamp module. Appliances are for motors.

    X10 has many problems. Some folks can get it to work. Some even like it. But its never plug and play.

    There are other "standards" that attempt to get to the same function, control lamps and motors from a computer.

    You do not "need" a X10 wall switch to do anything if you want to use a computer to control it.



    Originally Posted by MasterChief
    Would it be better to make my own circuit board that connects to a wall outlet and a computer?
    Unless you are a lot more experienced in embedded systems, RF, and control than your initial post indicates, no, you would not be better off.

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    • misterdanny agrees
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    I think what I need is:
    RCA X10 ActiveHome PC Interface (CM11A)
    1 lamp module (LM465)
    Heyu

    Off-topic: I'm actually interested in getting into making electronics as a hobby, but I don't know where to begin. I Googled around a bit, but didn't really find anything for absolute beginners.
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    Originally Posted by MasterChief
    I don't know where to begin. I Googled around a bit, but didn't really find anything for absolute beginners.
    Buy yourself an arduino, they are fairly cheap embedded computers that can drive LEDs, lights, motors, etc. and are easy to program.
    http://www.arduino.cc/
    There are forums (google for them) and "shields" which are prebuilt snap on modules that can do cool stuff.

    Its a lot of fun and you can learn a lot.

    In most major cities, there are clubs or "hacker spaces" were folks get together and learn to as a group, brainstorm, etc.

    For a longer example, check out my kid's Arduino project
    http://www.kellbot.com/2009/05/life-...atamari-lives/

    Comments on this post

    • gimp agrees : Well, most shields are actually sold as a kit, but soldering is easy and they're cheap. Also, arduino is amazing.
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    Originally Posted by fishtoprecords
    For a longer example, check out my kid's Arduino project
    http://www.kellbot.com/2009/05/life-...atamari-lives/
    That's a pretty neat thing..

    Though too bad she never looked at exploiting one of these instead


    .


    Or did she?

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    • ctardi agrees : Just 'cause you posted a pic of my fav mouse!
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    Does Kellbot hang out here at all? What's she studying now?
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    Originally Posted by Axweildr
    Does Kellbot hang out here at all? What's she studying now?
    She posts here occasionally, but I would not call it hanging out.
    She's out of school. Living in NYC. Doing art, geek stuff, webpages, Android hacking, embedded stuff and stuff that Dad probably doesn't really want to know about.

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    The great thing about Object Oriented code is that it can make small, simple problems look like large, complex ones


    09 F9 11 02
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    Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.
    -- Jamie Zawinski
    Detavil - the devil is in the detail, allegedly, and I use the term advisedly, allegedly ... oh, no, wait I did ...
    BIT COINS ANYONE

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