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Guide: Overview of Wireless X10 Products by ASIHome Staff

Sometimes, you just want to cut the cord. Luckily, there are products that let you do just that.

X10 wireless technology products allow you to control devices around your home using a variety of wireless remote controls, effectively cutting the cord while maintaining full control. These remotes include handheld 8-button remotes capable of controlling up to 16 devices, universal infrared remote controls that also feature X10 RF control capability, keyfob remotes, and wall-mounted wireless switches.

All of these remotes work with plug-in transceivers that receive the RF signal from the remote and convert it to X10 signals on your powerlines.

The transceivers are capable of sending signals to all 16 unitcodes on one house code. For example, an 8-button remote features a slide switch that selects between codes 1-8 or 9-16. The transceiver can send X10 commands to all 16 codes.

One not to keep in mind: More than one transceiver in a home can be a recipe for trouble. The RF signals are identical. The only thing that differentiates the X10 commands is the house code. If two transceivers are too close to each other, both may receive the same signal, and try to send X10 commands simultaneously. This results in signal collisions and unreliable operation. If you need to extend the range of these remotes (normally 25-50 ft.) you can use a special RF repeater, which extends the range of the RF signal, without causing signal collisions.

The transceivers also feature another handy function - a built-in appliance module. This feature acts as a remote-controlled 110VAC relay, giving you an additional control point.

Wireless X10 remote give you the ability to really add sophisticated functionality to your home automation system, particularly when used in conjunction with a whole house controller. The remotes can send individual X10 commands, which are then received by the controller, triggering an entire series of commands. For example, one press of a button can trigger the lights to dim for movie watching, while turning on lights in the hallway so fokls can find their way around. Or the press of a button on a keyfob can trigger the lights to come on in the garage or porch, making evening and nighttime arrivals safer.

This article was published on Monday 10 January, 2005.

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