X-10 - Types

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.


Transceiver Units

Installed are a mixture of UK and USA RF transceiver units that can override the CM12U and CM15. The USA RF transceiver units are significantly cheaper than the UK units, but they operate at a different RF frequency. The USA units have been modified to operate at 230 volts. UK transmitters will only work with UK receivers. USA transmitters will only work with US receivers.

Computer Interfaces

CM12U Computer Interface

This is currently connected to a laptop that is left switched on 24 hours a day and running HomeSeer which has very sophisticated macro, speech and e-mail capabilities. One of the benefits of computer control is that the water and space heating may be programmed to go off when the property is vacant and to come back on again the evening before return from holiday.

CM15 Computer Interface

This is an additional computer interface that is controlled by Activehome software. This unit was acquired from the USA and transformer modifications designed and performed by myself enable this to operate at 230V in the UK.

Earlier on, X-10 Europe lent me a pre-production prototype, though this is now no longer used.

Cristian from Chile has advised that the clock on his CM15 is linked to the mains frequency; mine is not. If anyone is using a CM15/CM15A at 50Hz mains voltage, please let me know if it keeps good time or not.

Motion Detectors

I have modified imported Stanley external motion detectors to work from 230V instead of 115V. These have been installed outside the bungalow to provide all-round cover. These are robustly built units that have the significant advantage of neither requiring batteries nor an adjacent USA transceiver unit. These units have sophisticated X-10 signal generation options and communicate with the CM12U.

Maxi Controller

The appliances within Redoak are primarily programmed within the laptop and downloaded into the CM12U.  Installed are the UK and USA RF transceiver units and to supplement these are four USA X-10 Maxi Controllers that I have successfully modified for 230-volt operation.  This unit can turn on and off or dim all appliances on the 16 unit codes for each of the 16 allowable house codes.  These are useful supplementary controllers and as they are mains operated, four are placed in convenient rooms.

Related Articles