Author Topic: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?  (Read 5474 times)

dnadeau

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Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« on: October 21, 2007, 02:40:27 am »
Okay,
I'm baffled. I've been working on my linuxmce setup for a solid week now, and I cannot successfully get X10 working. I'm so happy with my setup, but I NEED to start getting my CM11a to work. Here's a little info on my system:
CORE - recommended hardware from the video page (http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Video#Equipment_used_in_the_demo
Generic PC as MD - working fine as a diskless MD
GC100 - to control the TV and receiver
DVD Jukebox - for my video library
Fiire Chief remote


I currently have a CM11a plugged via a USB->serial device to my Core.
*Note: I have installed heyu http://heyu.tanj.com/ and I'm able to control X10 <so I know the CM11a is functioning properly>

The CM11a is a child of the core and it's port is set to pci:0000....(the port that appeared when I plugged in the USB->serial adapter
When I add lights as children of the CM11a, they always show as NOT registered. (even after I have reloaded DCErouter)
My test light has A3 in the Port/Channel Number field

The CM11a seems unresponsive to any commands I fire it's way, and I have checked the log for the CM11a.

I am thinking that the problem has to do with linuxmce getting screwed up with X10 RF commands (that are sent from motion sensors or palmpad remotes) See http://smart-home-blog.com/archives/726#comments
That site has a good workaround, but I have no idea how to implement his suggestion. Regardless, even when I make sure no RF signals are sent, the CM11a won't control my lights.


For reference, here are the links that I have been using to try and figure this out and their status:

I hope those links are helpful to someone.

My ultimate goal is to have the CM11a reliably sending commands to my X10 devices, and not getting screwed up when I use RF remotes to control the lights (the wife uses our light remotes all the time)

Looking to the future, I think linuxmce could utilize all of the work that's been done with the heyu application to really implement some sweet X10 support.
heyu supports the following (all of which I think linuxmce should support)
W800RF32 listening - This allows X10 security window/door sensors to trigger events
X10 receiving AND sending - so complex scenarios can be triggered based on motion can function.


So, let's get this X10 support working guys! :)  I'd be more than willing to contribute cash if that's what it takes. LinuxMCE has blown me away when it comes to distributing media, and I think strong X10 support could really increase the projects visibility.


chrisbirkinshaw

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007, 12:20:03 pm »
The port needs to be /dev/ttyUSB0 or similar.


chrisbirkinshaw

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2007, 12:21:29 pm »
And by the way, I tried to get X10 working but the delay in linuxmce was so long that it became ridiculous - lights turning on 30 secs after you issue the command etc. I am now using misterhouse on a separate PC.

Chris

dnadeau

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2007, 04:00:33 pm »
Hmm. I've checked the port. The only ports I have available are
/dev/ttyS0
/dev/ttyS1
(both of those don't physically exist, because this motherboard needs an add-on)
/dev/ttyS_72_0  (I'm pretty sure this is the gc100's serial port, because it wasn't showing up in the menu until I added it)
pci0000:00/0000:00:0b.0+3 (I'm pretty sure this is the USB-> serial adapter, because it goes away when I unplug mine.)

So, any suggestions on how to specify /dev/ttyUSB0 since the COM port is a drop down field (not text entry)

Zaerc

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2007, 04:34:56 pm »
Hmm. I've checked the port. The only ports I have available are
/dev/ttyS0
/dev/ttyS1
(both of those don't physically exist, because this motherboard needs an add-on)
/dev/ttyS_72_0  (I'm pretty sure this is the gc100's serial port, because it wasn't showing up in the menu until I added it)
pci0000:00/0000:00:0b.0+3 (I'm pretty sure this is the USB-> serial adapter, because it goes away when I unplug mine.)

So, any suggestions on how to specify /dev/ttyUSB0 since the COM port is a drop down field (not text entry)

Just select pci0000:00/0000:00:0b.0+3 that worked for me when I used it with a USB-serial adapter.  I have no experience with the X10 RF stuff.  You may need to go through the setup wizard again to set things up finally.  At least for some reason I had to the last time I set it up.

"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
-- Anonymous


martrw

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2007, 09:22:38 pm »
Have experienced the same issues.  Tried all your referenced resources.  Could not get X10 working reliably.  Punted and went back to Misterhouse.

dnadeau

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2007, 05:37:11 am »
Zaerc, I tried your suggestion.
1. Deleted all relevant devices
2. Went back through the install steps.

Still not working at all. Funny that linuxmce's core is plutohome which pitches itself as home automation software, yet that's the stuff I'm having the most problems with.

Let's get this fixed. Please let me know what I can do.

PeteK

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2007, 05:13:02 pm »
As an alternative to the CM11a, I've been working with the Insteon PLC, which supports X10 messaging.  I haven't delved into sending X10 commands, yet, but I expect to do so once I get the Insteon functionality set.  Right now, I've got pretty solid unidirectional Insteon communication, and I can control lights from LMCE.  I'm kind of holding right now waiting for the SVN server and sqlcvs (or another way to capture database changes), but once that's in place, I'd like to do some testing with people that have more Insteon devices than my small number of modules.

So while the current home automation portion of LMCE needs some work (as do most parts), it is being worked.

tschak909

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2007, 05:18:53 pm »
PeteK, are you going to implement bi-directional communication? This is one of the many things that irritates me slightly about the current ZWave implementation...that, and there is no intelligent queuing of commands...basically, if I tell a room's lights to all change (i.e. from a scenario, or from my gyromote... it should tell the computer interface to group those commands together to do them all at once instead of sending each individual command one at a time... the whole ripple effect is VERY noticeable....)

-Thom

PeteK

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2007, 05:35:58 pm »
My main irritation with the Zwave implementation is that there is no feedback from the lights themselves into Pluto, so If I change a light at the switch or with another remote, LMCE doesn't have the correct light level.  This definitely requires bi-directional communications.  It looks like the hooks were put into the Zwave code for this, but it wasn't fully implemented.

Insteon supports the concept of "groups," which does exactly what you want.  Once devices are linked together to a controller, a single group command can be sent from the controller, and all devices in that group will respond simultaneously.  This will require some changes to the Pluto lighting modules, so my next step will be trying to figure out how to put that in.

1audio

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2007, 05:55:20 pm »
The two way communications in ZWave is constrained by a patent held by Lutron. Even though the system can monitor and display status of the lights the patent prevent implementation. Leviton came up with a work-around and got sued by Lutron withing days of shipping. Thise are big players ($1B+) and can afford the lawyers to play the game. Pluto and the small players in this market would just be crushed to step into those problems. The Leviton implementation could be rolled into LMCE but not without complicated NDA's and restricted software. Perhaps this will change (there are some new enhancements ZWave stack) but they won't happen real fast.

tschak909

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2007, 05:56:41 pm »
my z-wave controller ALSO has the concept of groups, and when i toggle groups on the master controller, they go on and off smoothly.... we need to find a way to get this into pluto intelligently...

-Thom

tschak909

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2007, 05:58:25 pm »
of course, now this basically just makes me want to work with a handful of engineers to come up with a wifi enabled home automation buss. who's with me?

-Thom

PeteK

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2007, 06:02:40 pm »
Well, Zigbee is sort of the big competitor to Zwave, though I think its residential penetration is lower.  It's an actual IEEE standard, which means I have options for developers kits that cost hundreds of dollars, as opposed to the multi-thousand dollar ($5K?) Zensys dev. kit.

1audio

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Re: Is anyone really using X10 successfully?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2007, 06:11:56 pm »
WiFi uses too much power and overhead for home automation. And the networking issues talking to light switches would drive most homeowners bonkers.
ZigBee hasn't made much headway into the residential market. It was too scattered and the products really don't inter-operate yet. They even chose to support both 900 MHz and 2.4 GHz to ensure product incompatibility. And IEEE standard can mean never finished (is that what the n in 802.11n stands for?).

The best system architecture is Lonworks. It runs on wired networks and powerline. Has sufficient reliability to work for helicopters and the chips are cheap. Its also an open standard. But no wireless solution yet. There are proprietary links people have done using Bluetooth but none that are really good. You can find out more here: www.echelon.com  There are others to look at but most are limited and specialized.

Success in this doesn't come from best technology, but from best marketing. Zensys marketed like crazy to all of the big players.