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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,


Got a quick question for you. I have an Ideal-Lume by CinemaTech Inc. bias light for behind my direct view and my DLP RPTV. These are basically just flourescent lights that plug into a wall outlet. I have a little bit of knowledge when it comes to X10 stuff, but was wondering if there is a cheap way to just get a module that responds to IR commands to turn the outlet on and off. I want to be able to have a button on my Pronto remote that turns the bias light off and on so that I can program a macro to turn it on when I power up or turn it off when I power down. Is X10 the only way to go? Assuming X10 is the way, what's the cheapest path to get a SINGLE outlet that reads the IR from the Pronto, converts it to X10 and then switches the light on or off?


Thanks for any help,

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by PamW
Have you studied www.smarthome.com yet? They have some different ideas.


Pam
Yep... been over there. Seems like they have alot of stuff for doing the INDIRECT thing of IR to X10 conversion to X10 control box to X10 switch for light. Seems like a long way around the issue. I have to believe that they have IR controlled outlets by themselves without going through the X10 middle man. Plus, Smarthome's site S-U-C-K-S when it comes to navigation. Yuck. :(


Thanks though,

Jeff
 

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As far as I know there is no such animal you're looking for. I have a Pronto as well and am controlling my lighting with it. Basically you need two things; this: SmartHome 4040 controller and a lamp module that is compatible with flourescent lights - like this one: SmartHome lamp module . Or you can use an X10 outlet like one of these X10 outlets .


This two unit setup works great for me and allows for future expansion if you decide to control more than one light. It'll probably run you about $50 +/- to do it.


Hope this helps.

Andy
 

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How 'bout a 'thinkin' outside the box' idea?

Your AV receiver probably has a switched outlet on the back of it.

Plug the IdeaLume into that outlet.

Then, anytime you power up the receiver (which will presumably be anytime you watch your TV) the light will come on.

Whatdya think?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by BlipBlip
How 'bout a 'thinkin' outside the box' idea?

Your AV receiver probably has a switched outlet on the back of it.

Plug the IdeaLume into that outlet.

Then, anytime you power up the receiver (which will presumably be anytime you watch your TV) the light will come on.

Whatdya think?

Mike
Perfect idea. Had it two months ago when I was deciding which receiver I want. Still haven't bought the receiver, but looked at it's back panel the other day.... no switched outlet. :(


Back to the drawing board.


Later,

Jeff
 

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If you are dead set against X10, you could look at one of these . I don't know how reliable it would be however - seems to be an updated "Clapper". Now there's an idea.... You could burn a CD that only had one track - a hand clap. You would keep this in your changer at all time. Then your Pronto macro would turn on the receiver, select the CD input, crank up the volume, turn on the CD changer, select that disc and play it and voila - let there be light. Could be a problem though if you listen to any live performances with applause......

Seriously, the X10 isn't that bad - its only two components: IR to X10 console and the outlet . Total cost is $43.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by msteelefl
If you are dead set against X10, you could look at one of these . I don't know how reliable it would be however - seems to be an updated "Clapper". Now there's an idea.... You could burn a CD that only had one track - a hand clap. You would keep this in your changer at all time. Then your Pronto macro would turn on the receiver, select the CD input, crank up the volume, turn on the CD changer, select that disc and play it and voila - let there be light. Could be a problem though if you listen to any live performances with applause......

Seriously, the X10 isn't that bad - its only two components: IR to X10 console and the outlet . Total cost is $43.


Mark
Thanks for the input, Mark. It seems like the X10 solution provides the more elegant solution. Thanks again.


Regards,

Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Iceblade
Thanks for the input, Mark. It seems like the X10 solution provides the more elegant solution. Thanks again.


Regards,

Jeff
Jeff....I think you'll be happy with that solution.

Especially if you want to install some other X10 devices in the future...you'll be ready to go because the control console handles 16 devices.


I use my Pronto to control three different sets of recessed lights in the home theater. It works perfectly. I even set up a macro so that when I press "Play" on the dvd panel, the lights dim, then turn off.

And when I press "Pause," the lights come up about halfway.
 

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Hey mitch,


Regarding your "paus" macro on your Pronto - How are you going about bringing up your lighting up from off to have brightness? Can you attach a .ccf file I can use? I'm dimming my lights ok but I didn't know you could dim them up from an off state.


Thanks,

Andy
 

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Andy,

From my experience, there are a couple of ways to accomplish this depending on what X10 modules and IR-X10 controller you are using. The basic lamp module will only increase in brightness if it was previously dimmed. You can 'fool' it by issuing repeated dim commands until the lamp is off. When you want to bring up the brightness, send it several bright commands. As long as you don't send the 'on' or 'off' commands, you can obtain the desired effect. However this is not a very robust solution. The second alternative is to use an advanced module or wall switch . These modules have an adjustable dim level and fade off/on speed. The resume-dim will allow the module to return to the previous brightness level from the off position. For the most flexibilty and control, you will need the IR543AH IR-X10 controller. In addition to allowing control of all 256 house and unit codes, it will transmit extended X10 codes which includes preset-dim levels. The downside is the cost - around $95. You can get it here . You should use Codegen software to generate the X10 codes when programming your Pronto which you can download here .


Mark
 

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Yeah, what Andy said. :)


Unfortunately, I should have researched more before buying my wall switches. I would have bought the ones that let you go directly to specific brightness levels.


However, here's what I do. When I hit "Play" on the DVD screen, the macro plays the DVD then sends several "dim" commands, spaced about .5 seconds apart. This gives the impression of gradual dimming. Then, at the end of the macro it issues the "Off" command. This way, it doesn't care where the light starts out....it just dims it until it's at its minimum, then turns it off.


When you hit "Pause" on the remote, the macro pauses the DVD, issues the light's "On" command, which brings it on at the brightness it was at when it was last turned off. Then it issues a few "bright" commands to bring the lights up partway.


It works great, and is a decent compromise for not having scene control.


I also figured out how to fake "pop-up" windows on the Pronto. So I have a single button that, when pressed, pops up a little control window for lights (On, Off, Bright, Dim). Press the button again and the window disappears.


Little by little my CCF improves.
 

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Thanks, Mark for your info. That Codegen app is very nice indeed. Since I'm remodeling the theater I was thinking I'd go with the PCS Scenemaster setup. But then I saw your info on the Switchlink switches and you can program them at the switch. I've got the H543 (mini controller) not the 543AH. I don't really want to get another controller... :)


Hey Mitch2b, how do you do the pop-up thing? That sounds neat. Care to share your .ccf? I'm doing the same thing you are for dimming the lights. But when I issue the "on" command they come up at full brightness - not where they were. I'll have to double check my macro...


Thanks guys. Now I've got more to think about! :D


Andy
 

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I use the standard IR543 from X10. (Same as the Smarthome 4040 if I'm not mistake) but it is only 22.95. :D There, saved ya $7. :D


It is really quite good, but it only responds to one house code. That why the Custom built 543AH is so much more. It responds to all house codes. Personally I only have about 6 switches in the house, so I set them all to A, and presto. Pronto controlled lighting.


You can get the X-10 Pronto codes from Remote Central in their code database.


I've used it for 3 years now and am very happy.


Good luck!


PS Don't use a standard dimming unit with the fluorescent light. Instead use an appliance module. They use a direct relay. *CLACK* Dimmers can cause a major headache for fluorescent lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by wolfman1138



PS Don't use a standard dimming unit with the fluorescent light. Instead use an appliance module. They use a direct relay. *CLACK* Dimmers can cause a major headache for fluorescent lights.
Neal,


Not sure if you were referring to my use of the flourescent or not... but I already ordered and received from Smarthome the command console:
http://www.smarthome.com/4040.html

and the outlet
http://www.smarthome.com/2040.html


Did I make a mistake? I don't plan on dimming on or off the flourescent. It's a bias light after all so it will be ON at all times while viewing the tv and off every other time we are in there. Good/bad/ugly? Am I ok?


They tried to deliver it today, but evidently needed a signature. So much for paying for 2 day shipping. :mad:


Not sure what Smarthome's return policy is if I made a boo boo.


Thanks,

Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy238


Hey Mitch2b, how do you do the pop-up thing? That sounds neat. Care to share your .ccf?
Of course. I'll upload it to my website today and post a link.

The basic idea is simple: You just make a copy of the panel, and add the popup to the second panel. So when you want a popup, you merely jump to the panel that has the added frame! And when you want to close the popup, you jump back to the original panel.


It opens up alot of possibilities for doing more with the limited screen real estate. I'll probably do a complete redesign this summer.


Plus, my CCF is a hodgepodge of graphics, and it lacks consitency from screen to screen.
 

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Thanks mitch, that would be great. Yeah, screen real estate is a problem at times. I just wish someone would make a pronto-like gadget but with a larger screen...


I snagged many of my graphics from remote central when I first got my Pronto. I was going to create my own graphics but never got around to it. That's another project down the road...


Iceblade,


I think you're ok with the 2040 outlet. It does say "appliances" in the description. So it may be an appliance module rather than just a "lamp module". I've never returned anything either so I can't comment on that part. good luck.


Andy
 

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Jeff,

The 2040 is just what you want since it does have a relay in it so there's no chance of you damaging your flourescent light. I use several of these in my game room for pinball machines, electronic dart board, slot machines, and a neon beer light.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by msteelefl
Jeff,

The 2040 is just what you want since it does have a relay in it so there's no chance of you damaging your flourescent light. I use several of these in my game room for pinball machines, electronic dart board, slot machines, and a neon beer light.


Mark
Cool. Thanks for the replies and easing my mind, Mark and Andy.


Should have the stuff at my doorstep tonight. Hopefully install this weekend.


Later,

Jeff
 
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