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Smart Home Automation and Networking

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Home Automation and Networking Introduction:
X10 home networks use the electrical wiring of the home for communication. American (110 volts 60Hz 2 phase) and European AC home circuits are supported. Devices communicating using the X10 protocol can then be controlled by your Linux system. This brings sprinklers and timers, thermostats, humitiy sensors, motion sensors, security gates, security cameras, nany cams, lighting (simulated home occupation), home theaters, ... under the control of your Linux computer. Plug-ins also exist to support the MP3 player XMMS to create an MP3 juke box controlled via a remote (RF or IR). Sixteen home codes each supporting 16 devices for a total of 256 devices on a single electrical network can be supported. X10 networks have limited range, are insecure (no encryption) and may be suceptible to electrical noise. The network is required to all be on the same 2 phases of a 3 phase input circuit which enters the house (typical).

Other device networking portocols such as CE Bus (Consumer Electronic Bus) and Echelon LonWorks are not covered here.


X10 devices can transmit (TX), receive (RX) or both (2 way). The X10 devices which receive signals generally turn devices on or off. Some may receive a level accociated with the "on" (dimmer). The two way devices can report their status (on/on level/off).

X10 Devices:

Device Capabilities X10 model number
Appliance module on/off AM486
Lamp module on/off/dimable LM14A
Motion sensor
Firecracker DB9 serial port transmitter CM17A
PC receiver Serial port device MR26A
Computer interface Two way controller TX/RX CM11A
Remote Infrared (IR) and Radio Frequency (RF)

Hardware Links:

Linux X10 Software:

  • HeyYu - Command line layer. - Two way communication. Can monitor system.
  • BottleRocket - Command line - One way communication.
  • xTend - Uses HeyYu
  • Blue Lava - CGI for web control
  • MisterHouse
  • wish - Linux /dev support for X10
  • Xmms plugins - Make the Xmms MP3 player a juke box controlled by IR or RF X10 remote.

X10 Links:

Related Links:

Book imageBooks:

"Smart Homes for Dummies"
by Danny Briere, Pat Hurley
ISBN # 0764525395, John Wiley & Sons

"Build Your Own Smart Home"
by Anthony Velte, Anthony Velte
ISBN # 0072230134, McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media

"Home Automation Handbook"
by Brian Feller
ISBN # 0071427368, McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics

"How To Automate Both New & Existing Homes"
by Robert N. Bucceri
ISBN # 0970005733, Silent Servant, Inc

"Latest Technology in Automated Home Control: System Design Manual"
by Robert N. Bucceri
ISBN # 0970005725, Silent Servant, Inc.

"Integrating The Smart Home & Its Owner: Books 1 And 2
by Andy Lynn Jackson
ISBN # 0974183105, Integratorpro

"Structured Wiring Design Manual"
by Robert N. Bucceri
ISBN # 0970005717, Silent Servant, Inc

"Home Automation and Wiring"
by James Gerhart
ISBN # 0070246742, McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics

"CEBus Demystified: The ANSI/EIA 600 User's Guide"
by Grayson Evans
ISBN # 0071370064, McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing (March 1, 2001)


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