Example of ultra low-cost X10 setup

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by User:Perspectoff

Adding Other Devices

  • Go to the LinuxMCE Admin Website.
  • The left panel menus allow you to choose your basic settings or add devices, scenarios, and event handlers.


(Here's an example for setting up an ultra low-cost smart home setup based on X10. The equipment we mention will cost under $1,000, although the procedure is exactly the same with a $100,000 high-end based on Lutron, Vantage, EIB, etc.)

You have 2 GC100's (giving you Infrared control of your AV equipment), extra serial ports, ttl inputs and relays. You have some TVs and stereos to control, and a CM11A module to control X10 devices (some X10 lights and thermostats). You also have an alarm panel with a serial interface, some squeeze box audio players, and some network cameras.

  • Plug the CM11A into one of the rs232 serial ports on the GC100.
  • Specify Basic Info on the first couple wizard pages, like family members and rooms.
  • Go to Interfaces.
Here you add all the devices that are used to interface with, or control other devices.
  • The GC100 is an interface device. The TVs and stereos it controls are on the AV page, however.
  • The CM11A, Vantage, Lutron, etc. are also interfaces. The lights, blinds, drapes, etc., that they control are on the lighting page.
  • The alarm panel is an interface. The motion, glass break, and smoke alarm devices it controls are on the Security page.
Some home automation devices do not require an interface, some do.
  • An IP-based camera does not require an interface device; add it directly to Surveillance Cameras.
  • Analog cameras do need some sort of interface device, like a camera capture board, which you must first add to the interfaces page.
  • Add the interface devices first on the interface page, and then the devices they control on the respective page. If you want to add EIB lights (on the lights page), you won't be allowed to do that until you first add the EIB interface on the interfaces page, because an EIB light cannot be used with an interface. If you add interfaces for both an EIB Lighting system, and an X10 lighting system, then on the lighting page you will be able to add both types of lights, and the 'Controlled Via' field will show you what interface is being used.</p>
  • Plug one of your GC100's into the network, and click the 'add gc100' button on the interface page. GC100's are treated special because they are IP-based, but their network configuration is a bit different and does not allow them to be plug-and-play. Once you got the message that it was found and configured, click on the Interfaces page again--now you'll see it there. Maybe give it a descriptive name so you can remember which is which. Now plug in the 2nd gc100, and repeat.
  • 'Add Devices' and add the CM11A. Like all RS232 devices, it is not plug and play, you must add it manually. Repeat for the alarm panel. In both cases, the Controlled Via devices is the Core, since that's where the software drivers will be run. But, when you go to choose the port, it only shows the Core's internal serial ports, and you want to plug it into one of the ports on the GC100. So, click 'Wizard', 'Restart' and 'quick reload router'. That causes the DCE Router to reload the list of devices in the house so it sees the new GC100's you added, and adds the ports. Refresh the Interfaces page, and now you can choose the GC100 ports for the CM11A and alarm panel.
  • Add your TVs and stereos on the AV Devices and indicate how they are connected (which AV inputs). If your model is not in the database you will need to add it. If the I/R codes for your device aren't listed or don't work, you will click the A/V properties button and either learn them using the GC100's learner (plug it into serial port 1 and click 'learn'), or copy+paste the I/R codes in pronto format from a source like www.remotecentral.com. Your devices and I/R codes will automatically be sent to LinuxMCE and added to the master database for other users unless you uncheck the box. In the 'controlled via' chose whichever one of the GC100's has the infrared emitter attached for that device. Turn your Squeeze Boxes on, set the network to DHCP, and plug them in. LinuxMCE will automatically recognize them and configure them. You will see a confirmation message and be asked to pick the room they're in. Refresh the A/V page to see the Squeeze Boxes and indicate how you connect them to your stereo system.</p>
  • On the Lights and Climate pages, add all your X10 lights/thermostats. The 'Controlled Via' is the CM11A device.
  • On the security page, add all your motion detectors, smoke alarms, etc. The 'Controlled Via' is the alarm panel.
  • On the Floorplans, drag and drop your devices on the maps you upload. You'll need to do a 'regen orbiter' followed by a 'quick reload router' before you can use the floorplans.
  • Test the devices. Do another quick reload router so DCERouter sees these new devices. Go back to a device, like a light, click 'ADV' to go to the advanced page, or go there manually by choosing Devices from the menu. Click 'Send command to device', and choose a command. If it doesn't respond, go to 'Advanced', 'Logs' and check the logs for the interface, the CM11A in this case.