Category Archives: X10

Give life to your home lighting

It is known that X10 is the “Grandfather” of home automation but being the first one always creates compatibility issues in an fast changing world. X10 has a large base of different gadgets to control nearly anything. Today there are so many X10 users that would love to see their smart homes updated but are afraid to touch their working systems. They would love to control and manage their X10 smart devices with the newer smart home gadgets and smartphones.

If you are one of many that jumped into home automation game early with X10 devices and love open source projects and tools you probably know and use Mochad (if not maybe its the time to do so!). Mochad is an application that allows you to control your X10 smart devices over the Web.

So you have your home server setup and use Mochad for the past years with no problems to switch lights, plugs and devices on and off from a linux terminal.

But what about real automation? How do you set the garden lights off on daybreak? Linux has some great tools but you either have to code them or find something similar created by someone else and adapt it. And what about controlling everything from your smartphone?

There is no reason to start from scratch! Sensorflare comes to save the day with its new “mochad-python” daemon that runs in the background and brings your old X10 devices back to life. Even if you are afraid of touching your Mochad server you do not need to. Just install “mochad-python” to the same machine and leave Sensorflare do the rest.

So…

What you have?

You probably already have a server running with Mochad and a CM15A or CM19 attached to it via usb.

What you need to do?

  • Just grab a copy of the script via github and add it to your server.
  • Log in to Sensorflare and visit the resources page. Click the “+ Add” button and set a password to secure the communication with Sensorflare.
  • Copy the “properties.py.template” file to properties.py and change its contents to match the ones that you setup in the previous step.
  • Finall run “python mochad_python.py” and visit the Remote Mochad Terminal and enjoy your new home!

What is more?

Save all your devices using the “+” button, add them to Dashboards, schedule their operation or add Intelligence based on your location and combine them with other devices like Smartthings or Insteon.

Interested in understanding how this works? Check out the following image and see what actually happens every time you click “On” on your Smartphone to turn your “X10 Supersocket” on and give power to your awesome smart-fan!

Click on the picture to enlarge.

How to control your X10 SuperSocket using Sensorflare

More detailed instructions are available here. Learn how to install mochad from scratch? Interested in adding this to a Raspberry Pi? Use it on Windows? Stay tuned for more updates…

If you have any questions about how to connect your X10 Mochad to Sensorflare, just leave us a note in the comments section, or contact our team.

How to control and automate your X10 lights with Sensorflare

We live in a smart and connected world! With more than a thousand compatible devices the possibilities are nearly endless. From lights and locks to thermostats and motion sensors, smart appliances and home security apps the connected home represents a network connecting objects, platforms, and systems with the name the “Internet of Things”, all able to coexist together and offer new opportunities in the field of smart home.

Ready to start building out your smart home? There is a wide misconception that smart homes need special wiring. You can certainly avoid it. In fact, you can install Internet-connected devices step by step, rather than all at once with almost no installation effort. And when it comes to turning on smart lighting, from switches to plugs and bulbs, there are many ways to leave the middle ages and step into an era of intelligent solutions. Imagine locking the doors, turning off the lights, activating the alarm system, and changing the thermostat for bedtime all with one touch.

This connected home – the intelligent home – is an amazing concept. Sensorflare is designed to make you aware of what’s happening with your home and your family, with minimal effort from you.

A smart home is more than just lights and heating. It is all about people. There is a need for a smart home that can adapt itself in order to make the people’s life comfortable. A truly smart home will know who you are, where you are and what you want, all without telling it anything- it can actually think for us.

Whether you are already using Sensorflare or thinking about jumping in, one of the easiest ways you can get started is by controlling and managing your lights!

Do you have a X10 light bulb? Here is how you can have an Intelligent Home by combining it with your Sensorflare account:

  • Control – your light bulb can be controlled remotely via the Sensorflare Android app (iOS coming soon) on smartphone and tablet. Remote control is useful while away but also when you are inside the house meaning you can close the lights while on the bus or check out their status from anywhere with a tap of a button, like this.

Screen

  • Smart Combinations – Do you really need to switch on and off the lights each and every time you approach home or you go away? Why not just explain to your house what to do? Sensorflare can do this for you. You can set up your lights to automatically turn off when you leave the house. You can also set them to automatically turn on when you approach. Your are just one step away from having an Intelligent Home!

Intelligence-Sensorflare

Go ahead – take that first step toward building an intelligent home and see how it changes your life. See what problems it can solve for you. It really is as easy as screwing in a light bulb. So get out of the dark ages, and start controlling your home from anywhere.

A Future with the Sensorflare

According of what happened at CES 2015 the smart home – along with the Internet of Things – was for the first time the biggest theme. The reality is that the rapid advances in electronics integration, miniaturisation and processing power have brought about a marked increase in computing and electronic devices that now surround us in our daily lives. The ever-increasing number of devices also inevitably brings new kinds of functionality, user interfaces, functions and increased complexity, which is something we have to cope with. For some of us this increase in smart home devices raises certain issues: how will these devices work together or how will work properly with the old ones, how can they all be interconnected to enable more intuitive control of the future home and what possibilities would such a home offer its occupants.

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Photo Credit Amir Zmora (Flickr)

The truth is that the smart home is a concept that promises improved ways to control functions in the home, flexible networks that can connect to any device, adaptive control facilities and peace of mind for its users. Right? This is the goal, but how can it be achieved using the present technology along with our old smart devices? What do we do with our old smart gadgets? I have an answer for you!

Keep your old smart devices – regardless the vendor or communication protocol –  in the game adding new features and capabilities with the help of Sensorflare!

Sensorflare as a promised player in the battle of the smart home platforms is what you need in order to control and manage your smart home devices easily adding new kinds of features in your existing devices and systems! It is a cloud app that allows users to control all their smart devices via a single point. Sensorflare is the place you can go and add all your new and old smart devices, set up notifications to know when important things happen, trigger actions to take place automatically, and discover new ways to live smart.

I will give you an example using one smart home category. Let’s say that we live in a smart home with X10 devices. Ok? I think of X10 as the father of home automation. Certainly not a dead technology! There are so many X10 users that love to see their homes go to the next level. Some of them are already use the Mochad – a Linux TCP gateway for the X10 –  in order to control and manage them. Sounds hard, no? Sensorflare goes a step ahead extending Mochad adding support for cloud control of X10 devices. The result? New features and capabilities for your smart devices.

Using Sensorflare you can profit from command autocomplete/history using the online mochad terminal. Via the history of Sensorflare you can communicate with your home and tell it what you want it to do for you automatically without the need of create a new command. Also you can have the status reporting and historical information for X10 devices. Sensorflare give us a lot of interesting ways to control, manage and secure our homes. Instead of replacing your old smart home devices with a newer I will suggest you to give a try with Sensorflare.

Do you use any smart home devices? Share your thoughts below!

Sensorflare supports X10 devices!

I thought I might write up a little primer on home automation using X10 technology. Why? Because when you look around at many of the smart home systems coming to market you see a variety of wireless technologies – Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and Insteon are the most popular – but X10 none. What does that mean for users who have X10 smart devices? Is X10 an obsolete technology? Absolutely not!

Let me remind you a few things about X10

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Photo Credit Khalid Albaih (Flickr)

X10 is an industry standard technology for home automation. The technology behind X10 has been developed over several decades and remains popular today despite competition from other standards. X10 utilizes either wired power line or wireless radio communication methods. A X10 home automation environment utilizes sensors and control devices that communicate with each other and manage various household appliances. These devices most commonly interface with lights, thermostats, security cameras and others.

Today for smart home owners, putting together a smart home remains mostly a do-it-yourself project. Right? You choose your components, connect them to your home network and start living your connected life. But now, some newer smart home products are coming to market that enable you to use what you have by transforming a dumb device to one that’s smart. So, what suppose to mean for users that already live in a smart home having established a smart ecosystem?

My personal view is that the average consumer is not going to change their X10 light switches, for example in order to replace them with the ‘new tech’ light switches that pushed into the market the last month! Why? Because they still work fine! There are people who uses old X10 controllers to manage their pool heaters, landscape lights, sprinklers and others. Some are from the 80’s and still work fine. There are so many X10 users that have a huge inventory of no longer supported X10 devices which they would love to see supported! These users are trying to figure out how they bringing together their “old” smart devices with the newer smart home products in order to live in a connected home.

We all love getting new gadgets, but what to do with the old ones?

The answer is simple! We don’t have to throw them out! Who has the money to trash everything and buy all new devices? And if you do have, why would you do that? It’s a bit wasteful. And let me tell you why… Because Sensorflare is here and supports X10 devices. If you are one of many thousand of people that jumped into home automation game early with X10 devices you could use Sensorflare. With Sensorflare you can keep adding new technology in your smart home system that already have without the hassle of managing your old and new smart devices simultaneously. You can have all your smart devices in one place, Sensorflare is what you need for your future automation expansions.

How it works? Sensorflare uses the Mochad in order to control and manage the X10 devices. Mochad is a very good and simple project that works perfectly with Sensorflare. In order to connect Mochad to Sensorflare you need to follow these simple steps. After that Sensorflare Mochad Terminal provides you with suggestions for the most common x10 commands. Just start typing your command and Sensorflare will show you the most recent commands you have used. Add your devices and services to platform, let Sensorflare to see your supported devices, products or services and then you can just focus on the real world experiences. Sensorflare not only help you to control and manage your smart devices but also suggest you intelligence solutions for your daily life.

If you have not tried Sensorflare yet, now is the time!