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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks bentson, Pete, & Glimmie. You got me psyched to give X10 a go and it is way cool.

With a bit of experimentation I got the MX 700 remote (via macros) to turn the lights on when I hit pause and off when I hit play. Got applause from the crowd tonight at the start of Mars Attacks! when I first hit play and the lights auto dimmed to off.


I haven't gotten the programed scenes to work yet however, and will be calling PCS and/or smarthome techs for some advice this week. I'm using the PCS set up tool software. It worked setting primary addresses and I can set all 5 lights individually from my remote and from the virtual sorftware key pad, but my programmed scenes won't come up. I'm probably doing something wrong (and still hate Windows). Ah well, a bit of a learning curve is part of the fun. Of course I'll be back here for advice if I don't get it figured out.


-Noam
 

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Noam,

What components did you purchase for your X-10 setup? I would love to do the same thing, but just can't figure out what to buy to get started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The switches arew PCS brand SS1L/S-600 smarthome.com # 2367AW

the copmuter interface is Activehome CM11A smarthome.com # 1140

(but look at #1142 package also)

The IR interface is IR-543 smarthome.com #4040


I aslo got a phase bridge (signal coupler) 4816H smarthome.com # 4816H

(nec on 240 volt houses)


The remote is a Home Theater Master MX-700 that came with my B&K Ref50

I use their software to program macros and new lcd buttons. The IR code for the IR-543 was already in there.

If you have that remote and need more details on the macro tricks, let me know.

A pronto will work too, as will other programable remotes though I'm not sure which ones are preprogramed to work with the IR-543


a lot of people get a hardware keypad controler for programing though its not really nec. if you use the computer set up tool.


smarthome link http://www.smarthome.com/


The set up tool software is a free download at the PCS lighting site
http://www.pcslighting.com/SetupTool.htm


You might also look at this thread with some good advice from bentson and peteness
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=grafik+eye


There are other good alternatives as you will see, but getting into X10 opens a world of home automation, let alone lighting control, possabillities.


-Noam
 

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bonedog,


My remote/lighting system is identical to yours. I had a little trouble getting the PCS scenes to work. Check your setup with the PCS S/W. After setting up the scene and assigning the address you have to check the box to enable the channel. I made that mistake when I first set mine up.


I have macros set up to initialize my system and set up the lights. When I start the "Play Movie Macro" the house lights go down with a 1 minute ramp rate. I get as many comments on the lights as on the picture and sound!


Good Luck!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Scene enabling is on track. Ernesto from PCS walked me though it. There is a mode set operation to enable romote access programing I had been doing incorrectly (without pausing long enough between taps on the switch). After getting this enabled you don't have to go back to switch to accomplish further programing. I had thought I'd gotten it enabled before but duh, I was wrong. It's unfortunate that there is no manual for the set up tool software, pdf or hard copy, but the tech support more than made up for it.
 

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bonedog and all - I'm so glad I found this thread. I have a few questions about how to send out scene controls to the PCS switches over the IR543.


In short I've been doing a ton of research and have concluded that the PCS SS1L/S-600 switches are best suited for my needs.


In particular I want to automate the lighthing in 3 rooms. In one room I will need a SS1L/S-600 master and two of the slaves. Then I'll also need one a master in of the other two rooms. This brings my total devices (masters) to 3 with 2 slave switches.


Here's my questions if you have a chance


1) I read something about the IR543 only being capable of handing ten X10 "commands". What does this limitation mean exactly? Does it mean ten devices, or just 10 unique commands? This seems like it would be a BIG limitation so I must be misunderstanding something. Will I be able to control all 3 devices completely and issue up to 16 scene commands through the IR543 without hitting limitations of the IR543?


2) Likewise I read this: "The IR543 is capable of sending unit codes one through sixteen (1-16) as well as the following command codes: On, Bright, off, Dim, All On, All Off".


So I can understand that means I can control any one of 16 devices (I'll only have three) and send the commands I need to it.


HOWEVER, how do you go about sending out the necessary commands to choose different scenes? For example, how does it send out a Scene X to each device? Obviously that is not done with one particular device code (1-16) and an on/off/dim code.


This is where I am getting very confused. I installed and tried out the SceneMaster software which I followed and understood very well. That's quite intuitive. But where I'm getting confused is how the IR543 will know which command to send to engage a particular scene.


3) I have the MX700 remote as well. Where did you get your IR codes from? The IR database? I looked with the MXEditor and their db only seemed to contain a couple X10 codes, such as on/off, and dim/bright.


Where do you get the IR codes from that mean "Scene 1"?


4) How well would you say your overall implementation is working? Is there anything that's a bit annoying or that you find limiting with any of the components (switches, IR543, CM11A)? If you had to do it over would you do things any differently?


Thanks!!
 

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lovingdvd,


You had a number of questions above and I will try to address at least 2 of your concerns.


...how do you go about sending out the necessary commands to choose different scenes?


Each scene is assigned a specific X10 address. For example the basic address for 3 specific switches may be C1, C2 and C3.


A scene description might be something like: "Ramp light up (or down) to (or from) 50% brightness over a 1 minute interval."


You could add this scene to one or all of your switches and assign it a code, say C4. If you assigned this to C4 in all 3 switches, when you issues the SINGLE X10 command, C4 ON, all three switches would come on and ramp to 50% brightness over a 1 minute interval.


The beauty and power of this system is that you can assign DIFFERENT situations in each switch to a SINGLE X10 command. For example, you could have something like a "Theater Shutdown" command assigned to a SINGLE X10 command (ex, C5) that would turn off one circuit (Rope lighting) immediately, another circuit (Sconces) over a 1 minute interval and a third circuit (main overhead lights) over a 11 minute interval.


Sorry if this confuses more than it helps... I tried. When you actually get these in your hands and start playing with them it will all become clear.



FYIW... if the 16 X10 addresses (1 house code) that the IR543 responds to is going to pose problem, there is a modified model, IR543AH that allows control of all house codes/addresses.
 

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Thanks maddogmc - So basically each device has its own code, say A1, A2, and A3. And then you create a scene called, say B1. And B1 means A1 @ x%, A2 @ y% and A3 @ z%? Likewise B2 could mean A1 @ x%, A2 @ y% and nothing to A3 assuming you didn't add B2 to A3?


I'm still quite confused about how many "commands" this is taking up on the IR543. For example, is this considered 5 commands (A1, A2, A3, B1, B2) or 3 commands (just A1 A2 A3 and the scenes don't count)?


I think I'm just fine with only one house code on the IR543. I'll only have 3 master switches/devices I want to control. However depending on how "commands" are actually defined as far as the IR543 is considered, and on the IR543's max limit (whatever that may be) I'm concerned I'd run out of available commands.


I should add that in addition to scene control I also of course want to be able to control on/off/dim/bright individually on an ad-hoc basis via the remote. Not sure if this counts toward the "command" max total or not.


Maybe it would help if you guys using this same equipment gave some examples about the number of devices you are controlling and the number of difference scenes you have programmed.


Thoughts anyone? Thanks.
 
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