The topic of increasing X10 reliability comes up often on
comp.home.automation. In my new house, I have tried to keep X10 as
robust as possible, and have had pretty good results so far. (Most of
the remaining problems are due to "jamming" from motion detectors.)
I put a Leviton LEV6284 "Multi-phase blocking coupler" at the breaker
panel to bridge the two phases and block out the neighbors. This
works better than the dime-store alternative: capacitor in the dryer
Then, for certain power strips, I plug them into a LEV6288 "plug-in
noise filter". These are $17.45 from Worthington Distribution, and
work very well. They act like total X-10 blocks, keeping signals and
noise from going either way. Nothing gets through them but AC power.
I plug one power strip into one of these, and plug *all* my computer
stuff into there, except for the CM11 that plugs straight into the
wall. No more noise from the computers!
Likewise for all the TV/home-audio gear, isolating it from the X10
This has greatly reduced the X10 noise, and the lesser-understood "X10
loading" that seems to happen with computers and TVs. Those power
supplies add a lot of capacitance on the AC lines and can really
reduce the strength of X10 signals all over. It's less blatant than
noise, but you can see it as weak signal strength over short
And if you're really going to go X10, get one of the $50 X10 signal
meters to get an idea of how strong the signals are at various
outlets. It helps localize the problem sources and "distant" places
to help with locating your transciever and such.
All in all, I'm still not impressed with X10. It's biggest features
are that it's cheap, and it's inexpensive. :)
I'd still like to follow up on the direct RF->PC idea, since RF
senders are now the bulk of my X10 traffic. More on that in another
Get latest updates about Open Source Projects, Conferences and News.