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Better way to program X10 scenes?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've been using one of these to program scenes for my home theater ==> http://www.smarthome.com/4071.html

The switches I'm using are actually Insteon, but I control them via IR to X10 with one of these ==> http://www.smarthome.com/4040.html.
So I think I'm stuck in X10 land for the time being since there does not seem to be an IR to Insteon converter yet -- at least I'm not aware of one.

Having said that, everything works just fine, but it is fairly tedious to program scenes this way and I have to think that there's a better way. Is there not some software out there that will let you setup the scenes the way you want them, save your settings, and then program the dimmers with a click or two?
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson_sb View Post

... Is there not some software out there that will let you setup the scenes the way you want them, save your settings, and then program the dimmers with a click or two?

Yes, but you need to be using PCS X10 switches.
post #3 of 12
Is PCS a brand name? I cant seem to find any information on this product brand?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichTJ99 View Post

Is PCS a brand name? I cant seem to find any information on this product brand?

http://www.pcslighting.com/
post #5 of 12
What about using ActiveHome Pro
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulD233 View Post

What about using ActiveHome Pro

Simple explanation...
The "scene" is stored in the switch with PCS switches including final level and ramp rate. You activate the scene with a single X-10 command. You can use a single X-10 command to make different switches do different things. You are not flooding the powerline with x-10 commands to get your different lighting exactly the way you want them, increasing your reliability.

While talking about X-10 reliability, I have had NO problems since installing the unit linked below at my main power distribution panel about 6 months ago. This thing really works!!!! I got rid of my active signal repeater and now just use a passive phase coupler.

http://jeffvolp.home.att.net/x10_info/x10_xtb.htm

No relationship, etc., just a VERY happy user!

I should add that the use of the XTB does not completely remove the need for X-10 filters on problematic equipment. It, along with getting rid of the active repeater, just completely eliminated all my oddball problems. My X-10 is now rock solid reliable.
post #7 of 12
So you plug this device into the wall & then plug the PC portion into that unit?
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichTJ99 View Post

So you plug this device into the wall & then plug the PC portion into that unit?

Yes, for the XTB. The newer XTBII is a "wired in" unit. I have the XTB.

If you decide to build the XTB yourself, be aware that there is one SMC on the board, a pain to place and solder if you don't have any experience with SMCs.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddogmc View Post

Simple explanation...
The "scene" is stored in the switch with PCS switches including final level and ramp rate. You activate the scene with a single X-10 command. You can use a single X-10 command to make different switches do different things. You are not flooding the powerline with x-10 commands to get your different lighting exactly the way you want them, increasing your reliability.

The same is true of the scene capable switches from Smarthome. The scenes are programmed into the switches using an external controller, but once the switches have learned what they are to do for each scene they work just as you describe for the PCS switches. One command goes out, all of the switches do their thing. That part is great!

What I'm looking for is some software that will send out all of the scene programming commands for me. The process of doing that with an X10 controller, one X10 command at a time, is pretty tedious. I envision something where I tell it what switches I have, setup the scenes I want, drag and drop switches into the scenes, and adjust sliders to set ramp rates and on levels. Then I click a button and the scenes get reprogrammed into the switches automatically. And all of this gets saved somewhere so I can tweak and reprogram later on.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson_sb View Post

What I'm looking for is some software that will send out all of the scene programming commands for me. The process of doing that with an X10 controller, one X10 command at a time, is pretty tedious. I envision something where I tell it what switches I have, setup the scenes I want, drag and drop switches into the scenes, and adjust sliders to set ramp rates and on levels. Then I click a button and the scenes get reprogrammed into the switches automatically. And all of this gets saved somewhere so I can tweak and reprogram later on.

Maybe I'm not understanding your problem but your description sounds exactly (well, maybe not exactly but close ) like the PCS software functionality. You can download it free and look at the switch setup without purchasing any hardware. Just fill out the form and download the SW here:

http://www.pcslighting.com/downloads.html
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes, that is very much what I'm looking for. But it appears to only know how to program PCS switches. All of my switches are Smarthome/Insteon and the command sequences for programming them are all different. Is there something just like that for programming Smarthome switches?
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson_sb View Post

Yes, that is very much what I'm looking for. But it appears to only know how to program PCS switches. All of my switches are Smarthome/Insteon and the command sequences for programming them are all different. Is there something just like that for programming Smarthome switches?

Sorry, I didn't realize you already owned the switches for the application in question. I guess you are SOL for now. Maybe Smarthome will develop something similar to the PCS SW.

Good luck with finding something that fits your need.
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