Modifying the X-10 Mega32 Repeater/Base Unit

Introduction

These instructions are based on Hans Attersjö's Home page.  I have not attempted all of them and accept no responsibility for the effects of anyone making these modifications.   You follow these instructions at your own risk.

Modification Steps

Open the X-10 box by removing the four screws and remove the board by removing the four screws holding it. This board has silk screen printing of the component numbers making it easy to identify the components.

  • Change C1 from 2.2uF 250V to 1uF 400V and fix it with silicon or epoxy glue.
  • Change C27 from 0.68uF 400V to 0.33uF 400V.
  • Change C25 from 0.22uF 250V to 0.1uF 400V.
  • Change R18 from 330k 0.5W to 470k 0.5W.
  • Change R1 from 22 Ohm 0.5W to 47 Ohm 1W.
  • Change VDR, from a 130V MOV to a 250V type. 230V and 240V users should use a 275V.

I removed the incoming power pins by heating them up with a soldering iron and pulled them through. I made a hole in the box and connected a power cable with an external connector and attached the cable to the box with a strain relief. Keep the cable inside the box short, so it does not come into the RF part of the pcb, where it could upset the tuning completely.

This unit has a switch to change between repeater mode and remote base unit mode 01-Jan-2009 1:12 PM01-Jan-2009 1:12 PM>can not be used as a repeater on a three phase system.

Note that this unit, internally on the radio link, uses different codes than Power house or Stanley remote controls. Pressing a three-on will, e.g., send an all-light-on command and a one-off sends a bright 1 command if received on a Powerhouse or Stanley receiver. When using MEGA32 remotes with a MEGA32 base unit works normal. You should therefore not use a MEGA32 on the same house code(s) as a Power House or Stanley remote base unit.

I use a couple of wall mounted MEGA32 remotes to send commands to a MEGA32 base on another house code than my PowerHouse handheld, remotes. The commands on these two house codes (32=2*16 gives 2 house codes) are used to execute macros in my JDS TimeCommander+.

In my opinion, the remote controls are a little bit fragile to use as hand held units but are OK to wall mount with the frame mount unit.

Another detail is that it has two banks of 16 channels. If you use the first bank (1-16), the last five buttons are reserved for Nutone music system, or something similar and cannot be used for X10. I only use 16 channels in the second bank (17-32).

I also use it as a repeater for my X10 based irrigation system due to the large distances. There is also a hardwired security for my irrigation system going straight to a relay output on my JDS TC+. I might later on, add a pure hardware monitoring on the JDS and the irrigation system. X10 is not 100% secure and even computers can sometimes do strange things.

If you attempt these modifications, please let me know your results, and read the warning on the X-10 and 115V & 230V  page.

Comments received at Redoak

None so far.


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