X10 Thermostat

January, 2010

As I mentioned in earlier blogs, I’ve dabbled with X10 for many years.  Now that I was starting to integrate X10 functionality into Watchdog, I decided to take it a step further and make the leap to adopt an X10 Thermostat.  I invested in the RCS Model TXB16 thermostat.

I’ve done several thermostat installations, but this one was unlike any of the others.  It required me to do quite a bit of re-wiring using the in-wall 7-wire cable, and mount a module onto my furnace.  I also had to buy another PSC05 module so I could communicate with it over the wire-line.  Overall, the install only took a few hours and it was up and running.  While the features boasted a 2-way interface, I was only ever able to get it to work 1-way (aka “fire and forget”).

I set the thermostat on an isolated house code from the light switches I already had, so I could have the full range of functions for the API.  I quickly integrated basic “temp up” and “temp down” features into the various modules of Watchdog:

  • I added features for SARAH so I could speak commands that changed the thermostat.
  • I added features for Watchdog to automatically adjust temperature settings at different times of the day

As discussed earlier, X10 signals reception was only about 80 – 90% in my house.  For an on/off control of a lamp, this can be overcome by sending multiple commands rapidly – On, On, On.  There’s a good chance at least one of them will reach the destination and the lamp will turn on.  However, that’s not a good approach with an X10 thermostat because if multiple signals are received, it will continue to adjust the temperature without a 2-way interface.  Most of the time, the thermostat was quite reliable and met our needs.  However, there were a few instances when we woke up to a freezing cold house because the thermostat just went haywire.

Pictures:

X10 Thermostat

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