X-10

X-10 is a home automation standard that developed in the 1980-90s, however it remains a cheap and simple system than can be used today.  Some of our X-10 equipment is over 20 years old and it works as well now as it did when installed.

The following pages explain the:

  • Types of X-10 modules available
  • Photos of X-10 modules
  • Uses of X-10 modules

A separate main menu link provides technical details on how I have modified 115V USA X-10 modules to operate at the UK's 230V.

Here the different types of device that have been used are explained: these are:

  • Transceiver units that both transmit and receive X-10 control signals.
  • Computer interfaces that allow a computer to control and monitor your X-10 System.
  • Mini and maxi controllers to control devices manually.
  • Appliance modules that just switch on and off.
  • Lamp modules that allow dimming.
  • Various sensors.

When our property was built, we had a Southern Electric Electratech system installed which used impulse relays in the consumer unit.  However, this system was hopelessly unreliable and South Electric paid to replace it with X-10 modules, passing future responsibility onto us, which we accepted.

Here I show photographs of our X-10 system as currently installed including:

  • The fuse box with DIN appliance and Powerflash modules.
  • The Study where the computer interfaces are.
  • Transceiver units, located in a central area.
  • Appliance modules controlling irrigation
  • Stanley motion detector
  • A talking motion detector

The USA has a cheaper and richer source of modules than the UK has.  A mix of USA and UK modules that are used in our installation are explained and the specific uses are described:

  • Transceiver Units
  • Computer Interfaces
  • The Maxi-Controller
  • Storage Heater Control
  • Convector Heater
  • Lighting
  • Misc Uses

X-10 protocol has been compared to lighting with built in electronics controlled by Amazon Alexa and Google Play devices; we have had two failures on over 30 devices in 20 years; I'll be surprised if the expensive modern devices last as long.