In another section, a user lamented that a few years ago there was a commercially available ZigBee or xbee interface for the x-10 wireline and Insteon wireline/wireless systems of which there must be millions in circulation at this point.
I’m actually looking at a few potential solutions right now for a specific customer requirement. In short, its an adaptation of how Vera integrates x-10 using an Insteon bridge. The interface is rs232/serial so the issue becomes interfacing z-wave to rs232 and being ale to pass z-wave commands/state changes bi-directionally through the interface. The latter will likely be easy through coding in a smart app although most of the x-10 stuff isnt bi-directional (wont report status). The hardware is somewhat iffy – a recent on-site visit by an associate to some of the factories in China revealed a ton of product that claim to “seamlessly” act as protocol converters but only a handfuls that “possibly” would work in the real world. I have some sample units in route to me from China for testing. There are several published ways to execute x-10 protocol command using an Arduino and the ZigBee shield would provide the wireless component. A fully compliant z-wave shield would likely provide the best and most reliable/flexible way to accomplish the interface. (Im still not clear on how to interface zigbee with smarthub but i just started this adventure). While your mileage may vary, my personal preference would be for a commercial product as opposed to something I would have to build although that may be a viable option, especially with something like like an atmega or mini-arduinosomething so the sketches would be easy. The china option afford some flexibility but would require engineering time and the typical Chinese supplier/supply chain management issues (been there-done that) but its doable. A bigger issue is economics, it looks like we would need to run a minimum of 1K units or the numbers don’t make sense. Anyway, there’s millions of x-10 and Insteon devices out there and by extension, millions of rf, ir, cameras and just about everything you can think of x-10 compatable devices out there and companies like Smarthome and others that might be interested. Obviously I need to get past the hardware engineering part first to determine viability. I’m sure the smart folks here would solve any software issues. Anyway, I’ll report progress as it develops. BTW – I have 1 Radio Shack branded x-10 plug in switch (brown case and all) that has been in continuous operation since 1979 that simply refuses to die. It’s also worth noting that the x-10 motion sensors (outdoor/weatherproof) are insanely cheap and extremely robust. I have bunches of them all over my property hooked up to a simple x-10 module that has a relay closure that’s hacked into a z-wave magnet/door contact and a few lines of code in my vera to chime and flash some lights if it detects motion. Just sayin…. It’s a 10 buck solution to a 60 dollar problem but obviously a homebrewed hack with the corresponding limitations. Still, it would cost a small fortune to replace all those cheap sensors with aeon’s so maybe protocol conversion wouldn’t be a bad idea. I’d appreciate any feedback from users of legacy x-10 and/or Insteon systems to gauge interest. Thanks.