Home Automation

Brandon Beattie brandon+plug at beatties.us
Thu Feb 22 16:15:36 MST 2007

On Thu, Feb 22, 2007 at 12:40:19PM -0700, Andrew Jorgensen wrote:
> On 2/20/07, C. Ed Felt <ed at thefelts.net> wrote:
> >     * I would like to avoid X10, if possible, and stick to IP, or actual
> >       wired relay based solutions (if it's not too expensive).
> Why avoid X10?  It seems to be pretty well supported in Linux and
> power-line carrier really does seem the right way to go to control
> stuff that's already connected to power.

X10 is very unreliable.  Motors from vacuums, blow dryers and especially
power spikes cause them to turn on and off quite often.  X10 has no ACK
like protocal so they don't always get signals if a controller is far
away and it's possible to turn neighbors X10 devices on and off too
unless your coordinate to be on different channels, but at a moments
notice they can turn all your lights on and off if they want.  X10 works
off a set number of (I think) 128 addresses, and all you have to do is
send a signal "18:on" and any device who's switch is set to 18 will turn
on.  No security to keep people from even driving by (if you have an rf
X10 remote) and turning lights on or off.  

Insteon though takes it a few steps further and repeats and acknowledges
signals and you must program a switch to listen to a specific switch in
order for you to remotely turn it on or off.  Zigby is even more secure
than Insteon in that you're not allowed to "join" the automation group
unless you allow it to (this is what I remember but I can't promise it's


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