Newbie to Home Automation, Newbie Question on X10, Please Help

So I looked through the last four pages or so and didn't see a post related to my question so here it goes, hopefully I don't get too much flac for asking this.

I want to start implementing x10 devices through out my home. I have a server that is being used as a personal web server but can definitely handle more, so I was planning on running the automation software off of that (probably something like MisterHouse or something else that also offers a web interface). I understand (atleast I think I do) that the X10 devices send and recieve their signals through the power lines, but heres my real question how do I "link" them with my computer so that my software can control them. Also I'm probably assuming this is way to simple but here is my assumption of how x10 works I hardwire the device or plug and play depending such as a new light fixture or electrical outlet, I then hardwire some device into the power lines, I'm assuming this device would have a USB interface (or serial but I don't have any serial ports). Please help me clear this all up and also tell me what this device is called so that I can use my computer to control the devices, or point me in a better direction (cheaper) than X10.

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Here is one of the possible interfaces

and here is the one I have been using for years

There are, no doubt others as well.

Reply to
David White

Assuming you are in North America:

  1. There is nothing cheaper than X10.
  2. The cheapest USB interface is the X10, CM15 which comes with software. The interface with software is US. The only other USB X10 interface is by and it (with software )is about 0 US.
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The newsgroups are dying now that many Internet providers have dropped them.

A huge amount of information on X10 automation is available on the X10 forum:

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Active Home Pro (CM15A) is certainly the best bang for the buck. The CM11A is an obsolete product that has a serial interface. Many have had trouble running that on a XP system (including me).


Reply to
Jeff Volp

X10 is the cheapest, but alas, it is far from reliable. In the past few years some of the companies that were making X10 type switches and other devices have developed other schemes for sending signals - some over the power line and some by radio. I have been using X10 for 10 years and am not current with the newer techologies.

I have an attic and a crawl space and if I were to do it again, I would use a hard wired system. I would be happy to trade less automation for greater reliability. Most people, especially those living with you, will expect lights to work first time every time - not at all unreasonable.

Be prepared to add a coupler and repeater and probably filters to devices that put noise on the power line. Also, the X10 Brand devices are usually of not very high quality.

This News Group was once very active, but that is no longer the case. You ight want to check the forums at

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more and better info.

Cheers, Jim.

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