Single Board Computer Recommendations

Kevin Crandell kevin.crandell at
Tue Mar 16 11:00:37 MDT 2010

  Dave Smith wrote:
> Levi Pearson wrote:
>> That doesn't look wireless to me.
> I'm pretty sure it's wireless. Besides the fact that X10 devices are 
> (all?) wireless, the users manual[1] seems to hint that it's wireless. I 
> imagine that's how you "control your sprinklers from your couch". :)
X10's claim to fame is using the house wiring to send/recv signals, and 
occasionally using wireless devices, like the battery operated motion 
sensors and stuff.  I think this device is controlled over the power 
line, but I didn't read the manual. :)
> I guess that means I would also need a transmitter -- more cost.
If you're going to do the full home automation solution then you'll need 
the CM11A to plug into your computer's COM port (or the USB version).  
If you want to use the remote control then you'll need the Transceiver 
module to convert the RF to the house wiring, as well as the remote control.
> I think this would be super fun. What would you recommend I buy to get 
> started? I'm an electronics noob. All I've done is solder R/C stuff 
> together to wire up motors, speed controllers, servos, and the like, but 
> that stuff was all pretty much plug-and-play. I'm thinking I'd need a 
> board to wire it all up, some reference material to prevent magic smoke 
> escaping, and some software tools to write the code.
To go the x10 route you'd have to spend more than the $85 for the 
sprinkler module, but once you have the computer controller you can add 
more modules little by little, pretty cheap.  I hate looking at's an eye sore.  I prefer, which will 
give you a lot more cool stuff.

You can also check out the WiSH project at 
to control the devices from Linux, as easy as:

$ echo on > /dev/x10/a1


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