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The Inconsistency of X-10 Controls

December 27, 2008

We have a plethora of Smarthome X-10 and Insteon devices in our house—mostly wall switches, a few outlets, some plugin devices and six thermostats. All of this is run with HomeSeer 2.0 software running on our Small Business Server 2003 box.

More than a quarter of the Switchlinc devices we installed with our remodeling about three years ago have failed. As they have failed I have replaced them with Insteon counterparts running in X-10 mode. This works for multi-way switch setups, but I have not yet figured out how to control multi-way Insteon switches using X-10 commands.

My aims in installing the system were modest: it would be nice to be able to reconfigure what items and lights are controlled by different switches in thr house as needs arise. I had no grand plan for home automation.

I am generally pleased with the ability to do what I want in terms of programming the system, but there are few nagging problems—like the inability of one of our SX-10 witchlinc switches to consistently control a lamp plugged into an Insteon plugin device. The desired net effect: when the breakfast area overhead light goes on so does the side lamp. This relationship has been programmed into Homeseer and works sometimes, just not consistently, despite the existence of a SignaLinc repeater in our house. In contrast, the same setup works almost flawlessly in our dining room.

Performance like this would leave me frustrated had I had a grander plan for home automation.


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