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Suggested X10 Products (Modules) Print E-mail

Here is a collection of what I believe are the most useful X10 modules to holiday decorators.  Since your situation may be different than mine, you may want to research if there are other modules available to do what you want.  If you are completely unsure of what you'll need, take a look at the 'Basic X10 Examples' and 'Advanced X10 Examples' articles.  

A note about prices: 

Please do some searching on-line to find the cheapest price for any of these products.  For some reason, prices on X10 items vary wildly.  To make pricing matters even more confusing,  the X-10 website itself charges many different prices for the same items depending on how you find them. 

Case in point:  When I purchased 9 SR227 Super Sockets, I found multiple different prices on the X-10 site.  By going directly to the X-10 site and following the direct links, the price was $15 each.  By using the 'Froogle' search engine (http://www.google.com/products) which had links to the X-10 site, I found a 5 pack for $40, making the price $8 each.  This 5 pack was a 'red SKU' item, which generated a $10 'instant cash' X-10 discount on any 'Black SKU' item.  Using a normal Google (not Froogle) search, I found a link to the X-10 site for a 'buy 2, get 2 free' offer for $32 - again, $8 each.  HOWEVER this was a 'Black SKU' item which meant it qualified for the X-10 instant cash discount.  The discount further reduced the price to less than $7 each for all 9.  Since my order was for over $50, it shipped for free. 

The only way to get these prices and discounts were to get to the products on the X-10 site via these other searches.  They were NOT available directly on the X-10 site.   Compare this with the cheapest I found them on eBay:  $20 for a 3 pack -- making a grand total of $60 for 9.  This is cheaper than the X-10 price by $2, HOWEVER the shipping charge was $26(!) making the total $86! 

A few minutes of searching will save you a lot of cash.

Repeaters and Filters:

Image XPPF Plug-in noise Filter - Use one of these on every piece of electronics or power strip that has electronics plugged into it.  Typically you'll need 4 or 5 of these for a normal house.
XPCR Hard Wired Coupler/Repeater - Significantly cheaper than the dryer outlet variety at approximately $10 (plus shipping), these require installation in your home's load center (breaker box).  You should plan on purchasing one of these, or one of the dryer-plug versions below (you only need one or the other) if you decide to use X10.   Image


SmartHome 4826A or 4826B Coupler/Repeater - If you do not want to hard wire a coupler/repeater to your load center, use one of these instead (again, you only need 1 coupler/repeater for your whole house).  Be sure to look at your dryer outlet BEFORE ordering one of these.  Some dryer outlets are 4 wire (4826A), some are 3 wire (4826B).


TM751 Transceiver - Use this transceiver for hand-held remote controls and motion sensors.  It is the cheapest transceiver, but it has it's share of problems.  Instead, I would recommend an RR501 if you need one at all.   Image
Image  RR501 Transceiver - An updated version of the TM751, and again used for remote controls and motion sensors.  The additional price is well worth the added stability over the TM751.
CM11A Computer Interface/Transmitter - A very versatile inexpensive interface.  By using the included software, you can program the interface like a timer and then disconnect your computer from it.  The interface uses batteries to keep the internal clock running so you can program, disconnect it from the computer, and then move it to another part of your house if desired.  For advanced users, this will work with hardware from Animated Lighting and Light-O-Rama.  The RCA HCA60RX is IDENTICAL to a CM11A (except the name painted on the front) and can typically be found for MUCH cheaper than a 'X-10 branded' CM11A.   Image
Image  XPMT1 Timer Transmitter - If you don't want to hook up a CM11A to your computer, you can use one of these timers.  Much like a digital alarm clock, you set the time and then program it to turn on/off your receivers at the times you like.  Beware that timers such as these can only control unit codes from 1-8.  


FWLROD Outdoor receiver - This is an outdoor receiver that works great for holiday lighting.  It has 3 drawbacks however:  1 - This module is currently very expensive; $20 (in the past it was around $8).  2 - You must have a 'Black & Decker Freewire' starter kit to program the modules.  3 - The module can only control 500 watts (about 12 strings of 100 count mini-lights, 70 C7 bulbs or 50 C9 bulbs).  Image 
 Image SR227 'Super Socket' - This is an actual electrical outlet that can be controlled by X10.  The top outlet is X10, the bottom is (like a regular outlet) always on.  This is the cheapest way to control your outdoor lights since the modules are typically only $8 each, and can handle a FULL 15 amps of lighting (1800 Watts or about 45 strings of 100 count mini-lights, 210 C7 bulbs, or 150 C9 bulbs).  The downside to this receiver is that it must be wired into your homes electrical system.  See my 'Tips on Installing Super Sockets' DIY article for more information.
AM486 Appliance Module (500 Watt) - While designed to be used indoors, this module can be used outdoors as long as it is kept in a water-proof enclosure.   



LM465 Lamp Module (300 Watt) - Not very useful for outdoor lighting since it's an 'indoor only' module, and can only handle a limited number of watts.  They do work well for indoor decorating, just be sure to stay under the 300 watt limit.

Miscellaneous modules

MS14A EagleEye Motion Sensor - Coupled with a nearby TM751 or an RR501, this sensor can add additional security to your display.  The motion sensor sends a wireless ON signal (which is received by the TM751 or the RR501) whenever it detects motion.  It also has dusk/dawn capabilities. Image
Image MS16A ActiveEye Motion Sensor - This module is nearly identical to the MS14A, but has a few more options.   

SC546A Remote Chime - This is a very handy module that makes a pleasant 'ding-dong' noise when it hears an X10 ON command.  I use one to let me know when my lights are coming on and going off for the night.  It also rings when someone comes into the yard (with the addition of some motion sensors and a transceiver).

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