DIY X10 Automated multi-timer. Cool Stuff!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-27-2005, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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DIY X10 Automated multi-timer. Cool Stuff!!

This is gonna be a DIY thread on How to make a multitask timer using X10 appliance modules and an X10 timer of your choice.

The appliance modules are available in several configurations.

There's the Supersocket Receptacle which get wired directly into an electrical box.
Appliance Module (3-pin) Grounded which simply plug into any electrical outlet in your home.

The modules are controlled using one of the timers below. The controller sends it's control signals thru your homes electrical wiring, so you can plug the controller in one room and the modules can be anywhere in your home.

For purposes of this thread I'll be using 4 of The Supersocket Receptacles wired into a 4 gang electrical box with an extension cord which you can plug into any regular wall socket. This configuration will allow you to control 4 seperate timed events. An event is one or more items timed to turn on or off at any given time. You can use one event for lights, one for your UV, one for a dosing pump, and one for moon lights.

The timer I'll be using to control these events is this Mini-Timer This timer will only allow you to control 4 events.

If you really wanna get tricked out, you can use one of theseTo control everything from your PC !!! This module connected to your PC will allow you to control 256 events with as many modules.

You can use these controllers to control all kinds of things thru-out your home, not just your fish tank. The PC module even allows you to use remote X10 cameras for live video surveillance monitorable thru your PC. But thats another article.

I'll be posting How To pictures in the next couple of days so keep watching this thread.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-15-2005, 11:13 PM
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I was just wondering if you made any progress on this. I'm looking into doing this myself.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 02:39 AM
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FWIW, I use x10 stuff for lot of applications. It can be a real big pain sometimes, but when it all works, and you get your signals correct...yes, I turn on my lights and dim things from my pronto (Touchscreen remote).
Opena and close blinds, all sorts of gadgets...
but for reliabiliy, a trusty dial based timer seems to work best.

I wouldn't say it is DIY thought...but one nifty feature of the pc/usb/x10 link is having lights come on and off, or start to brighten/start to dim with the real sunrise and sunset times which get sync'd with the national observatory....

Just gadgets...

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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I got it all together and working.

Heres a picture of the 4-gang box with 2 X10 receptacles,cord, and receptacle plate. waiting to be fiited with 2 more x10 receptacles.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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I was having a problem with the receptacles not recieving signals from the timer because of line noise from a nearby air conditioner. I plugged the X10 mini timer directly into the same receptacle a sthe 4-gang box and the problem went away. Line noise seems to be achilles heal of X10 technology.

They sell filters to install on "noisy" appliances to quiet the line noise but it seems that you would need a filter for any noisy appliance, this seems to include anything with an electric motor. Hair dryer, air conditioners, refrigerators, maybe even an electric fan. The closer the timer is to the X10 module the less likely that line noise will affect it.

I also had a small problem with The Mini-Timer itself when I had it sitting on top of the light canopy. The timer would run fast.....way fast. It could be ahead by as much as 2 hrs in a 24hr period. It turns out that the EMF emmissions from the flourescent lights were making the clock circuit run fast.
I moved the timer under the stand and the problem went away.

It does work extremely well now that I worked the bugs out of it.
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