X-10 Mods - AM486 Appliance Module

Here we explain how to modify a USA 115V AM486 Appliance module to operate at 230V.


These instructions are based on Hans Attersj√∂'s Home page with some enhancements by myself.  I have not attempted this modification, and I accept no responsibility for the effects of anyone making these modifications.   You follow these instructions at your own risk.

The information on how to use a resistor to drop the voltage for the coil comes from Leonard Simms in New Zealand (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) so if your house catches fire because of a modified appliance module, ask him why!

The other modifications seem to be quite safe. Please don't try to sue him. I don't think it will work! Anyway, he said that the coil modification works, and the other modifications also correspond to the general modification principles.

Modification Steps

  1. Change C1 from 0.68uF/250V to 0.33uF/400V.
  2. Change R1 from 100 Ohm/0.5W to 220 Ohm/1W.
  3. Change R2 from 330K/0.25W to 330k/0.5W.
  4. Change R5 from 330k/0.25W to 330k/0.5W.
  5. Change also C11 from 10nF/250V to 10nF/400V. This is the capacitor connected in parallel with a 2.2k resistor
  6. Change the 130V MOV to a 250V MOV. If you u01-Jan-2009 1:12 PM01-Jan-2009 1:12 PM
  7. Fix this resistor firmly and be sure is does not touch anything, it can become very hot.
  8. Use adapters for the connectors on the input and on the output or just change plugs on your appliance to US (grounded) style.

Component number comes from my (Hans) drawings.

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

Comments from Hans:

I think that anybody who tries this should read my general modification principles and also print out the drawing to understand this better. Also, don't start up a 10 minute X10 signal test from e.g. a TimeCommander on an address used by a module modified in this way. The TimeCommander (Plus) will send an "on" every other second and an "off" every other.

Believe it or not, you can almost kill an original 220V module (110V?) in this way! At least they start to work badly and they smell bad after 5-10 minutes! And as a reference on how the components are marked and what colour they have, look at the other modification files. For component numbers, print out my drawings. They seem to always use the same big, blue, capacitors and randomly use 1/4W and 1/2W for the 330k resistors. On 220V, use only 1/2W 330k resistor for the ones that go to the 230V.

Comments received at Redoak

Mun Wai from Malaysia has confirmed these modifications work.

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