View Full Version : X-10s for almost free

05-17-1999, 03:51 PM
Potential X-10 users might want to check out the 'free' ($6 administration charge) X10 package at:
Looks good to me, but I'm still struggling with software and not up to this yet.

05-17-1999, 11:39 PM
I seem to remember a year or two ago Shopbot mentioned they were planning to somehow add an X-10 interface to the controller/software. True/False/still planned?

Ted Hall, ShopBot
05-18-1999, 12:05 AM
Hi Robin,

Yes, it's there in that beta version you're using. The outboard controller software also needs to be updated to match (about a 20 sec procedure) ... but we're less than delighted with the performance of the X10 switching at this point. Because of the way the signal is transmitted, there is actually a delay of up to a couple of seconds before the x10 unit box turns on and the units are relatively limited in the current they handle. At this point, I'm inclined to think that just using the switch outputs on a relay is a lot more direct, fast, and reliable.

To use the x10 requires attaching a transmitter box to the outlet in the back of the ShopBot Control box (I don't have the price handy ... maybe $20-25), then having an x10 unit for each 'appliance' you want to control. The ShopBot software would allow you to use x10's on switch 3 and 4 as the system is currently set up.

We'd be happy for a little input on this ... but I'm beginning to think we should drop the x10 control and instead just develop a little self-contained 110v relay box that could be hooked to the ShopBot output lines and would handle switching on and off of accessories. For those who like to putter, this can easily be done at the moment (and I will post a circuit diagram) with just a few parts from Radio Shack. It is hard for us to do it inexpensively because of approval and code issues that arise as soon as we get out of low-voltage DC.

05-18-1999, 09:21 AM

I doubt I will use the X-10 interface on the ShopBot though I did order the Firecracker deal mentioned by RouterClouter (Mad Max fan?) for use at home.

I did use your Radio Shack circuit diagram and some surplus 30Amp relays ($2) and have had absolutely no problems with them. One suggestion for those starting to use the controller i/o options: I built a small terminal board which sits outside the controller and connected all the i/o switches, machine ground, +5, and +12 volt lines. This makes updates/troubleshooting and connecting your relay switch circuits a breeze.

Ted Hall, ShopBot
05-23-1999, 12:04 PM
Hi Robin,

The outboard terminal board is an good idea. We put one on all our tools here. It makes it very easy to hook up switches and Gordon frequently uses it to plug in probes of one sort or another.