X10 Controllers

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In addition to Light-O-Rama controllers and various other types of controllers, Light-O-Rama can control your lights that are hooked up to CM11A X10 controllers.


Limitations of X10 Controllers


Not all of Light-O-Rama's lighting effects are supported on X10 controllers; to use effects other than "on" or "off" (such as twinkling, shimmering, fading, and brightness intensities other than "totally off" or "full brightness"), you must use Light-O-Rama controllers.


Additionally, X10 controllers do not react quickly to commands, so they are best used for portions of your display that are mostly static, changing infrequently.  For more dynamic displays, it is best to use Light-O-Rama controllers.


X10 is a very slow control mechanism.  Commands take, on average, a full second to complete.  When building a sequence that uses X10 controllers, you should not send commands to X10 devices more frequently than once a second.  Note that turning on one light and turning off another is two commands, not one.


Light-O-Rama will allow up to fifty commands to be queued up to X10 controllers at any time.  If that number is exceeded, then commands will be lost.


The X10 Port


All X10 controllers that you will use must be hooked up to your computer over a single COM port, known as the X10 Port.  You can select which COM port is the X10 port in the X10/Dasher tab of the Network Preferences program:



The Network Preferences dialog, with the X10 port set to COM7


Unit IDs


Each X10 controller has a unit ID, consisting of its X10 house code followed by its X10 unit code.  X10 house codes are letters ranging from A to P, while X10 unit codes are numbers ranging from 1 to 16; hence, the X10 unit ID ranges from "A-1" to "P-16".


Assigning Circuits to Channels


When a sequence is created using the Sequence Editor, each of its channels can be assigned a string of lights using the Channel Settings dialog or the Channel Configuration screen (the former may be more convenient for modifying a single channel, and the latter for modifying multiple channels at once).


For an X10 controller, these allow you to set the unit ID assigned to a channel.  Without this being set, controllers will not react to lighting effects that you have put into your sequence.


For example, the following shows the Channel Settings dialog for a channel assigned to X10 controller C-7:



The Channel Settings dialog for an X10 controller


The Channel Settings dialog can be accessed by left-clicking on the channel's button, or by selecting "Change Channel Settings" from the channel button's right-click popup menu.  The Channel Configuration screen can be accessed by selecting "Channel Configuration" from the Tools menu.