- Mar 3, 2002
I'm slowly getting more and more into the X10 format and am thus running into more problems and questions. Does a good forum exist out there where people discuss X10 issues? Thanks!
I literally installed a few minutes ago a cheap $80 gizmo
Let me guess:
I also have one of these. Here's a tip to quiet it down: Don't tighten it down. What I mean by that is, when you mount it on the wall, you loop the cord through it and then you push it down on that little rail until your draw cord is nice and tight. Then you push the plastic thing on the top and it locks into place. Well, you probably made it too tight. I did, too, the first time I used it, and after a few months of use the drive axle broke off and I had to get a new one. The little wheel in there that actually pulls the cord works VERY WELL even if the cord is loose. Try moving your motor up a couple of notches. It should still pull the drapes open just fine, only it will be faster, quieter, and it won't break on you in a few months.
Of course, this motor is still going to be a little noisy. It's a cheap unit and that's what you get for $80 :frowning:. You can buy more expensive controllers similar to this only costing $250+, and I'm told they're dead silent.
Brian: I actually use JDS Timecommander equipment. The Stargate wasn't available when I bought my equipment. I, however, am moving away from X-10. I now own an AMX color touchscreen:
I'm using an Axcent3 controller (inexpensive, good for starting out) and also have a few other boxes with it (DTMF box for controlling my phone system/caller ID and a TV manager box for sensing the status of my equipment).
After using AMX equipment I will never, repeat never, buy another piece of X-10 gear. I have invested thousands into X-10 and the entire investment was thrown out the window when I purchased compact fluorescent bulbs. I spent a few hundred dollars on some PCS switches to control them, and then bought a bunch of in-line filters to filter their noise off of the powerline. It still doesn't work worth a darn and every vendor I've talked to has had the same answer: "Go buy different light bulbs." Right. I've got $300 worth of CF bulbs and you want me to throw them away and try a different brand. Excuse me if I find that answer to be unacceptable...
I am simply amazed that nobody in the X-10 industry has an effective answer to those of us who are trying to use CF bulbs.
I'm looking into the Lutron RadioRA system to integrate with my AMX equipment. Either that, or I'll end up buying into the AMX Phast line. Or, perhaps a big bank of relays and relay-controlled switches. Still not sure which way to go here.
Anyway, X-10 is great for fun hobbist stuff, but if you want serious home control, there are serious alternatives.
Let us know if you have any questions. I'm sure Brian and I can tackle just about anything X-10.
Also, what are some of the best/inexpensive places to buy both X10 and more professional stuff online?
There aren't any. You can buy X-10 stuff at places like x10.com worthdist.com and smarthome.com. Smarthome and Worthington both sell middle priced stuff, but if you want professional automation equipment you have to buy from dealers for the respective equipment. Crestron, AMX and Lutron are three brands. There are many more. Check out Link Removed The vast majority of their advertisements are for professional grade equipment.
It's not cheap. But if I could go back and do things over again, I'd rather spend the $100 per light switch and do things right the first time around, than spend $30 per switch and then replace them all with the $100 product a few years later.