Anyone seen any good homelink compatible products? I was looking at their website and saw that the homelink dead bolts for your door were discontinued.. Anyone know if there's anywhere to still get it?
I was under the impression that Homelink was the developer of an open standard RF learning remote system. I have the Homelink transmitter in the Prius and the only thing it does is learn the frequency and type of transmission it must make to operate an RF wireless device. It doesn't care what brand the other device is, so long as the remote you use for it broadcasts an RF signal and that the Homelink system in the car can sample the signal long enough to learn it and replicate it.
Besides the RF signal, it also has to be able to generate the right code(s) on that RF signal. If it is a rolling code, then both the receiver and the transmitter have to agree on the algorithm. That's where the standards come in. If each manufacturer had their own algorithm and refused to publish it, then a universal homelink would not be possible for that manufacturer's remote sytem.
In the case of rolling code, instead of the homelink replicating exactly the codes off the sampled remote, it simply determines the algorithm used, and becomes its own transmitter with its own sequence. Then the receiver has to be trained to accept (learn) it as if you bought an extra remote for that manufacturer's remote system.
I've only used X-10 stuff, which works OK when they feel like responding.
One appliance unit I plugged into my bedroom to control a fan worked for several days, then decided it didn't want to work in any outlet in my bedroom anymore but was happy plugged into the bathroom. I'm going to try to research what circuit issue makes one whole room fail, but beyond that X-10 stuff has been fine.
When I get home after dark, the light in my front room comes on from the car...
I can tell you that: it's a matter of which phase each outlet is on. There's a device you can buy for about $50 that bridges the phases to mostly fix that problem. For my part, I left X-10 behind and am doing all Z-Wave wireless, no more power line propogation problems.
I actually like x-10. It has survived time and technology nicely. A lot of x-10 reliability has to do with how your residence was originally wired. I lived in an apartment where I could only get x-10 to work when the dryer was on. That meant that the dryer was connecting the phases in the place. So, basically the place wasn't wired up correctly. On the other hand. My current residence is a little over 30 years old and I have nearly perfect x-10 throughout. The only time it doesn't work is with address A2 when a TV in my kitchen is on. Very strange, but true.
http://www.smarthome.com/4815.html sounds like one thing to fix the 'bridge' problem, but I'm confused why the bedroom went sour when nothing X-10-related was moved, apparently from one phase to another. One night it worked, next day it didn't. The front room HAS had a track record of not working, but has been OK lately. I sure hope this isn't a sign of a bigger wiring problem: the place is less than a year old.
Could be: I moved the fan back to the bedroom outlet and tried the does-it-work-while-the-dryer-is-on test I found on X-10 sites, and while that worked it also worked when the dryer was off, which fits your A/C scenario, so I'm looking into a bridge/amplifier.
Unfortunately, my dryer's plug is near the floor and the dryer is kinda hard to move out of the spot in the master bedroom's closet (seemed like an efficient design at the time) so I might not be able to use a plug-in bridge/amplifier like I'd prefer. It may not actually fit once I plug it in and try to put the dryer back, so a hard-wired unit and some electrician time may be needed...
Nobody mentioned the stove, just the dryer. I'll have to see if that plug matches the ones available in bridges. Hopefully it's not an oddball that the builder planned ahead for. One of my friends gave me a dryer plug that didn't match what was on the wall, so I needed to buy one...
Found a cheap if not wonderful way to solve the bridge problem.
I had bought a couple of X-10 Firecracker packages on sale when I bought a overhead lightswitch/controller for my bedroom, and they included remotes I needed and some extra master and slave plugin controllers. Didn't have much use for the masters until I realized that another master plugged into the other side of the bridge and set to the same house code might work as well as building the bridge. And it did, so far. The bedroom fan responds 100% now.
Not sure an amplifier would help since one light is still hit-and-miss, but I can work on that later...
That works fine when your remote is only in the range of one but not the other. But once you're in both, that'll cause odd problems. The reason is, X-10 has virtually no collision avoidance. The smaller transcievers that came with Firecrackers have none at all. So if both transceivers see that signal and send it at the same time, and your phases aren't completely separated, what'll happen is you'll get two X-10 signals overlapping and changing into some garbled signal that could do almost anything -- except what it's supposed to do.
Now, you might never run into that, if you've only got two transcievers, they're on separate phases, and your bridging is completely severed, or if you are never in range of both at once. But if you do run into it, it'll just look like inexplicable signals turning off unrelated devices or signals just being outright ignored, both of which might lead you to the wrong conclusion if you don't know about this effect. So keep it in mind in case it comes back to bite you someday.
Issues noted. The amplifier I mentioned would be to correct the 'outright ignored' I've already got: standing in the room containing master and controller, both on same phase (given that they seem to work with A/C, stove, and dryer off), yet the light sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. This was before the other-master trick.
Now that I'll need the light to work from the Prius soon due to DST ending, I'll be keeping an eye on the need for a better fix...