OEM chips for X-10 available?

Hello.
I'm new on X10 and home automation, but have been on electronics for several years.
I'm looking for some OEM module or "all-in-one" chip containing all
the circuitry for signal_processing->mo/dem->decoder for building my own X-10 appliances. I can use several microcontrollers I have experience on, and I just need some kind of asic IC or so to make all the stuff regarding the X-10 protocol and interface with power line.
Any help would be appreciated, because I have not found anything yet for this.
Many thanks in advance.
Eduardo Gimeno. Spain
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Eduardo Gimeno wrote:

PicBasic Pro has macro functions to send/receive X10 commands with a PIC. The X10 chip does the decoding but you're gonna need an oscillator and line isolation components. Unless you need a LOT of 'em, it's hard to imagine building one cheaper than you can buy a module. If you're using a computer for the transmit end, a firecracker module is the easiest way to go. There's a ton of info on the web. Google is your friend. mike
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Well, let's take another view.
I started talking about X-10 because it seems popular, and it made me think I would find lots of info about it. But let's assume I have no preference.
I only need to send/receive commands over the power line (in my case es 220V 50Hz, Spain), and I need it with the simplest solution, in terms of price and circuit simplicity.
I would like to know there is some IC which I can feed with the power line signal (after some treatment), connect 8 dip switches to 8 pins to fill the code, and receive a digital signal 0/1 on some other pin (for a receiver, reverse for a transceiver).
Any other protocol available for this?
By the way, what is a firecracker???
Regards., Eduardo Gimeno

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Hello Eduardo,

It depends on how reliable it has to be. Personally I would not control anything critical with X10. Other than that it works for us.

Several, such as Lonworks. But then it gets expensive.

A device that plugs into your PC. It sends X10 RF commands to the wireless transceiver instead of using a powerline modem like we do.
Whatever you do, make sure it is geared towards 50Hz. The X10 modules we are using in the US are set for 60Hz. For a reasonable signal to noise ratio you need to have the 120kHz bursts of X10 happen at the zero crossing. Or at least near those.
Saludos, Joerg
http://www.analogconsultants.com
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I've converted a few of the MC460 mini controllers to work from 240V just by changing the dropping and coupling capacitors (and mains lead), and they work fine on 50Hz without any other mods.
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Hello Andrew,

It's been too long ago that I looked at the protocol. But I remember it detected the zero crossing and placed the burst there, plus on subsequently calculated three-phase crossings. So while it may work on single phase it might not be that reliable when another module runs off another phase, even when there is a bridge.
Thing is, in the US homes don't generally have three-phase power.
Regards, Joerg
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On Wed, 09 Feb 2005 21:17:25 GMT, Joerg

69th Place between Oak and Thomas in old-town Scottsdale, AZ, has three-phase power. Makes for very efficient A/C. I lived there from 1964 thru 1969.
...Jim Thompson
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Hello Jim,

Lucky you. We live in a house with 200 amp two-phase. Out here they are all two-phase. When I turn on a big analyzer some of the lights dim and others brighten for a split second. Sometimes I have to ask my wife not to turn on the vacuum cleaner just yet, or plug it in somewhere else.
We had three phases in our house in Germany. 380V/63A, plus another for the heat pump. Boy, did I get spoiled by that. Just imagine, 230V and 16-25 amps per circuit (and 7 cents per kilowatthour...). Now I have to account for all the printers, copiers and so on to make sure I don't exceed about 2000 watts per circuit. Else I'll be scurrying for the flashlight after clicking the print button.
Regards, Joerg
http://www.analogconsultants.com
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Are you sure that house doesn't have "split phase"? Split phase is single phase 240 volt service split into two 120v circuits. Look at the label in your power meter. The 240 volts is available for clothes dryers and ovens or burner top ranges.
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for X-10 available?', on Wed, 9 Feb 2005:

The arguments over whether 120-0-120 is 'two phase' or 'split phase' is interminable and futile. It's both, depending on how you define it. I think we can rule out 'neither', but I'm not 100% sure.(;-)
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Hello John,

True. But Jack has a point. We do have three phase at the 10KV level. The individual transformers are hooked up to two wires each, in a round robin fashion along the HV line to even out the load.
Regards, Joerg
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John Woodgate wrote:

True 2-phase power is rare nowadays, When it's supplied at all, it's supplied as two 220V split-phase circuits in quadrature. There are still some 20phase motors around, but they are run from Scott T transformers. In New York City, the power company must supply three-phase power on request. When my cousins built adjacent houses in Staten Island and insisted on 3-phase power, it was provided from a Scott T that tied into a nearby two-phase feeder. Later, that feed was changed over to three-phase ans the transformer bank eliminated.
For systems with line-to-neutral voltages of 120, split phase is 240 line-to-line, 2 phase is 170, and 2 drops from three phases on the pole -- a common residential service in three-phase areas -- is 208. (208 volt single-phase home appliances are available.)
Jerry
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available?', on Thu, 10 Feb 2005:

'2 phase' in itself doesn't demand that the interphase angle is 90 degrees. I SAID that argument was pointless.
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John Woodgate wrote:

Would you accept a six-phase rectifier bank that had all phases in the same quadrant? The language problem arises because there are two uses of "two phase", both legitimate.
Whenever two separate wires, not in phase, carry power, the system has two phases and is loosely called 2-phase. (The common phase differences are 180. 120, and 90 degrees. If 135 degrees were supplied, that would also be two phases.)
The technical use implies 90 degrees. See what a 2-phase motor needs for power. Look up the connections and turns ratios needed for a transformer bank that converts between 2-phase and 3-phase (Scott T) and see what angles are involved.
Both the loose and the technical usages have their places. Arguing about which is "right" is not so much pointless as beside the point.
Jerry
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available?', on Thu, 10 Feb 2005:

What's the difference? (;-)
But I agree.
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Hello Jack,

Yes, sorry for not being specific, it is split phase. The utility guys still called it two-phase. We do have 240V for large appliances.
Regards, Joerg
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Eduardo Gimeno wrote:

If you're building a zillion, that may be the right question to ask. If you're building one, you're probably better off buying a solution. Messing with the power line when you don't know what you're doing is an invitation for a fire truck.

And that "treatment" is the problem. Safety issues, reliability issues for hardware and data.
You can buy devices that can connect your modem over the power line. My experience was that the performance was horrible...when they worked at all.
connect 8 dip switches to 8 pins

google firecracker x10, you can't miss it. Sad that they're now $40. They used to give them away.

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On 8 Feb 2005 12:17:20 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Eduardo Gimeno) wrote:

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http://www.x10.com/automation/x10_tw523.htm

http://www.x10.com/automation/x10_pl513.htm
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

You want a Micromint PLIX chip. http://www.micromint.com/products/chips.htm
Power Line Interface for X-10 (PLIX)
PLIX Chip and TW523 Parallel PLIX is an 18-pin CMOS chip which provides an intelligent communication interface between a computer and X-10 AC power-line control modules. PLIX removes the burden of complex X-10 programming protocol from the designer by providing a simple parallel interface. It takes care of the complex zero-crossing timing for sending and receiving X-10 commands so you don't have to. An otherwise simple embedded controller can now also feature X-10 power-line control by simply adding a PLIX chip to the design. PLIX are available in both a Parallel and Serial version.
SERIAL PLIX is designed to interface with the Serial port of any embedded controller or computer. Using simple ASCII commands, the user now has a simple way to communicate with the X-10 powerline adapter module (TW523) to control electronic devices over the existing powerlines. With a little imagination and software support from the user, Serial PLIX also has the capability to transmit and receive data segments via the powerlines. The user can select the baud rate and other parameters to obtain the desired communications protocol.
$19 qty 1.
--Gene
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Let's retake the subject, because it resulted in a discussion about pahses and so on...:-)
The micromint PLIX chip seemed perfect for the task until I found out I also needed another module (TW523) whose size is huge (apart from the cost).
Once again, I don't want to shut the doors just to X-10. I need an easy to implement and unexpensive protocol to communicate over the PLC. Even I can lay a data cable for this matter, because I have a spare electrical tube between each pair of boxes I asked just for this purpose. When I heard about X-10 I thought I wouldn't need to use the spare tube, but now when I see the complexity, I do not discard using it.
Someone mentioned Lonworks. Does it make my problem easy to solve?
Another commands protocol for remote switching over the PLC, or over a dedicated data line which can be implemented mostly on one chip and unexpensively?
Thanks! Eduardo.

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