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PICList Thread
'X10 stuff and PICs'
1999\08\10@150330 by Lawrence Lile

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I used to work with X-10 in larger buildings.  It would usually propagate to
the next transformaer, and they had modules that could bridge around
transformers as needed.  I imagine you might have problems with hi amperage
(1000 amp) power buses, because of low impedance, I am not really sure.



{Original Message removed}

1999\08\11@161340 by Adam Bryant

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Rob,
On the X10 web site it does say that neighboring houses can be affected
by your X10 signals if they also have X10 using the same channel (house
code).

A friend here in my office and I recently purchased the new FireCracker
kit and have been having fun randomly turning each others lights/fans
on/off.

Incidently, the Firecracker kit includes a RF transmitter module that
plugs into a PC serial port and operates in passthrough mode somehow (you
can hook a modem or whatever into the back of the module and the modem
doesn't know the X10 module is there).  Imagine my surprise when I pried
this transmitter module open to find a surface mount 12C509 on the tiny
breadboard for this unit.  The whole unit is basically a breadboard with
the PIC, a few other surface mount components (resistors and caps and
whatnot), and a couple of small loops of wire (antenna?).  Would I ever
like to get a look at the code for that!  However, I am sure that it is
code protected and I WILL NEVER crack or otherwise copy someone elses
hard work without their permission.

Maybe one of the RF gurus on this list can give us a high-level
explanation of how you can make a transmitter out of a PIC and a loop of
wire.

Adam

On Tue, 10 Aug 1999 22:51:04 +1200 Rob Bakker
<spam_OUTRobTakeThisOuTspamMAILSERV.WAIKATO.AC.NZ> writes:
{Quote hidden}

Adam Bryant (age 0x23)
abryantspamKILLspampeaktech.com (work)
.....adamdbKILLspamspam.....juno.com (home)
Parker, CO, USA
Robotics, RC Airplanes, anything using a PIC

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1999\08\11@162336 by Adam Davis

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Yes, it is quite a spiffy little device.  There are details on the 'net about
the protocol for communicating with the pic and the transmission protocol, as
well as the frequency (I think 300MHz??).

I would be interested in a circuit design for such a transmitter.  I imagine
it's a simple oscillator being fed into a pcb track(or jumper) antenna.  The PIC
can turn the osc on or off with a pin or two...

Anyone have some radio experience and time?  I'm willing to post the schematic
if I could get some help identifying the parts and/or critical values.  (I
imagine the pcb design becomes an issue at this frequency?)

-Adam

Adam Bryant wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\08\11@165212 by Brent Crosby

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Do any of you that are familiar with X10 have a
spec of the signals?

How about a circuit that would let a PIC or other
micro pick signals off the AC line. Safely.

Links would be great too.

                               Sincerely,
                               Brent A. Crosby

| Brent A. Crosby
| Crystalfontz America, Incorporated
| 15611 East Washington Road
| Valleyford, WA 99036
| voice (509) 291-3514 facsimile (509) 291-3345
| http://www.crystalfontz.com RemoveMEbrentTakeThisOuTspamcrystalfontz.com

1999\08\11@192637 by Mike Keitz

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On Wed, 11 Aug 1999 09:14:13 -0500 Adam Bryant <spamBeGoneadamdbspamBeGonespamJUNO.COM> writes:

>Maybe one of the RF gurus on this list can give us a high-level
>explanation of how you can make a transmitter out of a PIC and a loop
>of wire.

The transmitter is formed from the loop of wire and the transistor near
it, along with a few capacitors.  The PIC doesn't generate the radio
signal, it just outputs data as a pulse code that turns the transmitter
on and off.  A similar transmitter is built into the PalmPad controller
which is also part of the Firecracker kit.

The little loop of wire near the female DB-9 appears to be used to tune
transmitter on frequency.  A lot cheaper than a variable capacitor I
would imagine.



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1999\08\11@193722 by Rob Bakker

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Thanks for the excellent info guys!

whats the frequency of the firecracker kit ?
can you point me to an URL, so i can get some background info?

Cheers

TakeThisOuTRobEraseMEspamspam_OUTwaikato.ac.nz

1999\08\11@222609 by Bill Kichman

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FWIW, X-10 is really neat, but it's a shame for all the crap coming out of
China with X-10 functionality.  I installed 10 X-10 wall dimmer switches and
within 3 months they all failed.  Good old Radio Shack (via China) junk.
Does anybody know of any sources of good and dependable wall X-10 dimmer
switches?  Seems a shame to trash all the other X-10 parts just because none
of my lights will cooperate...

Bill K
Cornwall, PA USA

{Original Message removed}

1999\08\12@011057 by Brent Crosby

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Didn't Stanley make some X-10 stuff that worked with their garage
door openers?

It seems like Levition made some good stuff too.

Someone has some "industrial" X-10 stuff too, I think that was Levition also.

I have one wall switch/dimmer that I have packed from home to home
for the last 10 years. Seems like I paid $20 or $30 for it though.

At 07:22 PM 8/11/99 , you wrote:
>FWIW, X-10 is really neat, but it's a shame for all the crap coming out of
>China with X-10 functionality.  I installed 10 X-10 wall dimmer switches and
>within 3 months they all failed.  Good old Radio Shack (via China) junk.
>Does anybody know of any sources of good and dependable wall X-10 dimmer
>switches?  Seems a shame to trash all the other X-10 parts just because none
>of my lights will cooperate...


                               Sincerely,
                               Brent A. Crosby

| Brent A. Crosby
| Crystalfontz America, Incorporated
| 15611 East Washington Road
| Valleyford, WA 99036
| voice (509) 291-3514 facsimile (509) 291-3345
| http://www.crystalfontz.com RemoveMEbrentspamTakeThisOuTcrystalfontz.com

1999\08\12@110303 by Adam Bryant

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Tell me more.  Is it the same protocol used to talk to the X10 CM11A
computer interface module?  Any links to additional information would be
greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Adam

On Wed, 11 Aug 1999 16:23:27 -0400 Adam Davis <adavisEraseMEspam.....BALADYNE.COM>
writes:
{Quote hidden}

Adam Bryant (age 0x23)
EraseMEabryantspamspamspamBeGonepeaktech.com (work)
RemoveMEadamdbKILLspamspamjuno.com (home)
Parker, CO, USA
Robotics, RC Airplanes, anything using a PIC

___________________________________________________________________
Get the Internet just the way you want it.
Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
Try Juno Web: dl.http://www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

1999\08\12@111704 by Adam Davis

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I use
eagle.cc.ukans.edu/~mturvey/firecracker.html
as a starting off point for the firecracker interface.  It is not similar to the
CM11A interface:

Consists of a PIC12c5xx, a transister, 5 or so resisters, 3 caps, two 1n4148
diodes, and a 5v1 zener.  Three wires go to the serial port, RTS, DTR and GND.
Signalling is accomplished by bringing both RTS and DTR high, and switching
either one off according to whether one wants to send a 1 or a 0 to the pic.
Quite a cool idea, IMHO.

I've 'decoded' the 16 data bits mentioned in the protocol specification:
http://www.x10.com/manuals/cm17a_proto.txt
and will be posting it to my web site later today.

-Adam
http://www.ubasics.com/adam/

Adam Bryant wrote:
{Quote hidden}

<snip></snip>
> > -Adam

1999\08\12@125722 by Adam Davis

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The RF protocol can be found at
http://members.home.net/ncherry/common/x10.rf.txt

I've posted a bit of info on a web page at:
http://www.ubasics.com/adam/electronics/cm17.shtml

-Adam Davis

Adam Davis wrote:
>
> I use
> eagle.cc.ukans.edu/~mturvey/firecracker.html
> as a starting off point for the firecracker interface.  It is not similar to t
he
{Quote hidden}

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