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Old 2004-08-19, 10:21 PM   #1
dogbolter
 
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Default Remote Control Lighting Suggestions

I need some suggestions for a bank of 4 switches which control the lighting in my HT. Currently I am using 4 manual dimmers. Would like to be able to use my Harmony H688 to control.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 2004-08-20, 01:06 AM   #2
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Here's one thread.. I searched using "remote + light*"

http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/for...emote+light%2A
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Old 2004-08-22, 10:58 AM   #3
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I use x10 products for my house. They are in California, but for some unknow reason, they sent it out via canada post, and never charged me any gst & pst. The designer dimmer swithces are much cheaper than buying from hardware stores here, and are remote controlled. However, the dimming operation is hard to use (very sensitive). I only have a failed out of 6 I bought, and had no problem for a numer of years now. I also have the smart home package with motion sensers to turn light on and off. I have a remote video cam for my front door as well, and it sends the signal to my tv over the air. It is a great and cheap product, but sometimes have interferance from other unkown sources, but nevertheless gives a good video of my front door with sound as well.
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Old 2004-08-22, 11:42 AM   #4
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If I recall correctly, X10, or one of the others, have "warehouse/outlets" near Toronto. Don't quote me on it, but if you search for X10 on this site, you may be able to find the thread that discusses this. That's probably why it was sent Canada Post. Here, I found the thread.

http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/for...;highlight=x10
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Old 2004-08-22, 12:11 PM   #5
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If they sent it from the US with the US Postal Service (USPS), then it would be delivered by Canada Post. If it was shipped from Canada, then they certainly should be charging you GST at the very least.
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Old 2004-08-22, 07:11 PM   #6
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I ordered a looong time ago from X10. It was shipped from Mississauga which avoided customs but I don't remember what taxes I was charged. I paid in US funds.

...but to get back to the topic...after a frustrating afternoon in Rona and Home Depot I at least found out that no one there has a clue how to set this up.

I looked at some Lutron products in HD but no one could tell me which switches could be controlled by the remote...salesperson left and said he would be right back...never saw him again.

This product looks like it would do the trick but don't know where to get it in Canada (or if it is reasonably priced) Site sez it is available through HD or RONA. But special orders are non-returnable.

http://www.lutron.com/grafikeye/grx2000.asp?s=&t=



@ e268 - got any product suggestions from X10?...I find they tend to package products together so that you have lots of different functions but not enough to do one project. i.e. their packages are enough to get you hooked but you have to go back and buy individual products to complete the project. I would be interested if you have feedback on the Firecracker controller or know what I need to compete my project. I assume I would need the receiver module to plug into the wall and 4 dimmer switches.

Kinda would like something that can do scenes.
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Old 2004-08-22, 10:45 PM   #7
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I did pay US dellars, but itwas delivered by CanadaPost, and no taxes, no custom.

Dogbolter: I am not familiar with the firecracker control. I think it is an interphase that you can use to control the various modules, but once you disconnect or turn off the computer, it cannot do any controlling on its own. The package does include a handheld palm controller and a receiver unit which can double as an appliance unit, and there is a lamp module which is quite useful as well. But, for $10 more, you can get the Activehome package which has a better computer control module (you can program all the lights and lamp or applliance module, and unplug the computer and it will do the control, and it has battery backup in case of power failure). In any case, you will have to buy 4 decorator style dimmer switches (1 for $20, and 6 for $60). Sometimes these dimmer switches go on sale (I bought 3 for $20). BTW, the Activehome package has a handheld control (6 in 1), but it is not a learning control. If your Harmony can control x10, then you are all set either with the Activehome or the Firecarcker package.
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Old 2004-08-23, 12:44 PM   #8
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First chink in the armour for x10...the remote works on RF not IR so it cannot be controlled by my Harmony. Still looking...
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Old 2004-08-23, 12:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbolter
First chink in the armour for x10...the remote works on RF
Actually, it's using your house electrical wiring to send commands to modules in your house. But you can get an RF bridge to accept commands from RF transmitters (I have a switch like that to control lights - it's just glue on the wall). I wouldn't be surprised if there was an IR equivalent as well.

All my sconce lights in my basement are controlled by X10 (and so does my projector) using a switch by my sofa or by the basement entrance. Radio-Shack resells a lot of X10 equipement relabeled.
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Old 2004-08-23, 10:47 PM   #10
rwalker
 
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The gizmo below will take I.R. and convert it to x10. You could program your remote to control your lights. If it is a macro capable remote, you can program it to set up "scenes".

http://www.smarthome.com/4040.HTML

X-10 can be a good retro fit choice for the do it yourselfer. You might want to look at x-10 compatible stuff from higher quality suppliers such as leviton or smartlinc. They cost more but have a better feel and in some cases better features.

The leviton units have a soft dim feature. This means you can dim to off or turn it off and then dim up to a desired level. The less expensive x-10 will go full bright before dimming down. Kinda jarring. You can beat this by dimming to 1% rather than off, but it's a fuss. Leviton also has circuits that are purported to be better at picking up the signals if there is noise on the line.

Smartlinc swithces come in many more options including 2 way x-10. This means when you change the switch locally it puts the change back on the line so a controller can keep track. The standard x-10 doesn't do this so if your controller (firecracker or other) sets the levels, then someone changes them at the switch, the controller doesn't know.

The CM-11a controller is a fun toy. I like it better than the firecracker. You program it in a simple visual "macro" language using your computer. THen you can un-plug the computer or turn it off and the controller will run the program. IT's cool for programming 1 button touch macro's to setup your various scenes such as movie watching scene, pause for pizza dude scene, movie over scene, etc.

If you want to have more fun, look at the homevision controller. It controls x-10, low voltage via relays for drapery, doorbells etc., can output and accept I.R. so it can control your AV gear, RS232 so it can control projectors ect. It's real neat. There are others including house linc from the smartlinc folks mentioned above.

THere are a bunch of other x-10 tricks if like to play. I have a x-10 r.f. receiver in my house. My car has a home-works system in it that is usually used for garage door openers. However I don't have a garage door to open so I taught it the x-10 commands to turn my outside light on and off.

X-10 can be great. It also can be a pain in the butt. If you don't mind tinkering, you can get a real trick setup. There are also good user groups that can help teach you tricks. Or ask and I'll try to help.
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Old 2004-08-24, 05:15 PM   #11
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I have to agree that the x-10 decorator dimmer switch is very sensitive to the touch. But, at the time when I bought it, it was real cheap compared to levitron.
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Old 2004-08-25, 09:39 AM   #12
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How about 'ClapOn ClapOff' .
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Old 2004-08-25, 10:15 AM   #13
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That's certainly a choice! Puts a lot of pressure on the control system!
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Old 2004-08-25, 10:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filper
How about 'ClapOn ClapOff' .
Do they sell a dimming version based on the volume of your clap?
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Old 2004-08-25, 10:47 AM   #15
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There is a Morse code edition of the 'ClapOn ClapOff' to control the light intensity, but by the time you get the hang of it, it breaks .

I wonder why the never used the slogan 'Get the Clap' ?
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