First Experience of X10

I've finally got around to plugging in the X10 home automation kit that arrived in the post last week, courtesy of the lemon.

I ordered the basics:

  • CM12U – Serial X10 Computer Interface
  • LW10U – X10 Wall Dimmer
  • LM12U – X10 Lamp Module

So far I've plugged the computer interface into a PC, plugged a 20W desk lamp into the lamp module and tried controlling the lamp using bundled Windows software. There was a horrible buzzing sound coming from the lamp module, the lamp only just managed to light up very dimly and playing with the “dim” feature resulted in a precarious display of flashing which I thought was going to blow the bulb! I wonder if these problems would be solved by using a different lamp rated higher than 20W, but I'm not really sure what's causing them.

The equipment completely failed successfully transmit a signal from upstairs to downstairs, possibly struggling to cross between different rings on the house mains.

So far I'm very unimpressed, but I need to learn more about the X10 kit and the way houses are wired in the UK before I make my mind up.

I'm interested to know how much power is wasted by an X10 receiver or transceiver when on standby.

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