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benseven's avatar

X10 Home Automation fun without a computer?

Asked by benseven (3179points) December 4th, 2008

So, having enjoyed a setup using Airport Express around the home with Apple’s remote app for the iPhone, I started wishing there was a way to switch on the 2.1 speaker systems connected to each Airport terminal in the same way I could fire up Remote and start playing my tunes from any room. No fun doing this and then realising I have to go and switch on speakers and in some case Airport express devices (I don’t like leaving these plugged in as it feels like a waste of power when not using them).

This sparked some hunting around for an X10 solution, but it seems like most of them use a PC as the server? Also, the X10 network seems to use the mains electrics rather than using our existing network which my iPhone would be comminicating with.

There’s an app for the iPhone called X10 Commander or something similar, but I’m not happy with thinking I need a computer running all the time just to indulge my nerdy lethargy. My ideal X10 setup looks like this:

1. Local web interface or iPhone App
2. iPhone connected by Wifi
3. Router to mains network adapter (or straight to X10 convertor?)
4. Device to be turned on + off.

Insteon make a device called a Powerlinc that touts an iPhone interface, but that has recently removed the ability to control X10 hardware (opting instead for controlling Insteon devices only to force you to upgrade).

Might be a long shot, but does anyone on fluther have any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

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4 Answers

bodyhead's avatar

Yea, this is a longshot. I’m guessing most people have never heard of X10.

All the X10 I’ve worked with used the PC as a server. You could always grab a crappy old pc at goodwill or something and hide it in a closet with wires that run to all the stuff that you control. I know that’s not as glamorous as you would have wanted but it’s a resonable solution. You don’t need a powerful computer to act as your server.

cooksalot's avatar

Ya sound like my friends husband. Talk about a house wired for sound or at least with X10. LOL!

benseven's avatar

@ Bodyhead – thanks – I might look into using one of the CM11a to Linksys NSLU2 (using MisterHouse) solutions, they’re a bit hacky though! The advantage of using the NSLU2 would be greatly reduced power consumption for an always-on (or at least ‘when-in-always-on’ solution).

Looking into alternatives to X10 too.

I’m glad at least someone had heard of it!

bodyhead's avatar

X10 is going to be your easiest plug and play solution. If you are wanting to build something and have a little electronics experience, your options open up a little.

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