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Thread: X10 CM11A Plugin Development

  1. #1

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    I've been messing with X10 a fair ammount recently and have run across quite a bit of code for the CM11A PC interface module that comes with the IBM Home Director starter kit and the Active Home Starter kit. The CM11A has 2 way communication vs output only on the CM17A Firecracker. It also has memory space to store routines that it can execute even when the PC is off. I'm controlling my X10 stuff through girder by having it trigger commands on IBM Home Director, but I think it would be even nicer to have direct control through girder.
    The other cool thing would be to set up girder input of X10 commands through the CM11A. That way an X10 motion sensor could send an X10 command to Girder through the CM11A and girder could respond by triggering other X10 commands, and or launching apps or whatever. The problem I have is that while I've found some code, most of it is in VB and I don;t have a VB compiler and I'm very rusty at coding. Anyway if anyone is interested in developing something like this, I'd be glad to post the code or reference pages that I've run across.
    Anyone interested in messing with this, its only about $30 to get an IBM Home Director Starter kit from http://www.Smarthome.com or http://www.x10.com. Even RadioShack.com carries the ActiveHome kit which uses the same controller, for around $50. These kits come with one CM11A computer interface module, a kinda cheesy 6 in 1 Universal IR remote with RF X10 capabilities, a RF reciever base, which doubles as an appliance module and a single dimmable lamp module. The active home kit also has an RF X10 keychain remote.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    I don't have the CM11A but I am getting a 2 way X-10 transceiver from SmartHome.com in the next 2 weeks for which I will build a Girder plug-in. This will be a 2-way (send/receive) plug-in, much as you describe so Girder can act as the X-10 controller software. When I get this working for the module I bought, I'll see if I can retro-fit the code to do the CM11A protocol, too.

    Looking at the CM11A programming manual, it doesn't look too hard. My biggest CM11A concern is the stuff in the memory space. Looks a bit complicated.

    This is a long term project so don't expect something next week but I'd like to have this finished before May. :-)

  3. #3

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    That's great! Which Tranciever are you going with? As far as the memory stuff on the CM11A, as I understand it, it can generally be ignored when using it strictly as a tranciever. I have a bunch of visual basic code that looks fairly strait forward if you want any of it.

  4. #4
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    I ordered the PowerLinc (http://www.smarthome.com/1132.html). I also ordered the 1132S, serial connector. I will probably end up getting a CM11A also but I don't like the AAA battery requirement. (Hello! It's contained in a WALL PLUG! ) I already have the CM17A (Firecracker) but, as you noted, it is only one way and the programming interface isn't published. Ah, boys and their toys.

    When I do the CM11A plug-in, leaving the memory part out could be an option in the first few versions (to iron out the TX/RX bugs) but would eventually be required. I'm a user too. I know the drill.

    Thanks for the source code offer. I'd like to not base this on someone else's code, if I can, as copyrights are VERY important to me. (That is, not infringing someone else's!) However, if I get stuck, I'll keep the offer in mind.

    On a tangent, I'm thoroughly convinced that VisualBasic is the language used in programmer's hell. I dislike it *intensely* and avoid it as much as I can. There, I've admitted it!

    I'll let you know how things go.

  5. #5

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    Ha, yeah I understand the reluctance to use Visual Basic code, I don't have VB compiler to play with but it was the only code I ran across. All code I've run across is open source, and not copywritten. I have found code for the firecracker too, but I don't remember what kind of code it was, I can post links to sites if you're interested.

  6. #6

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    hmmm interesteing, that last post showed up as being from caffiend rather than from me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Update: I still haven't received my transceiver (should ship tomorrow) BUT I found the FireCracker protocol documented on the www.x10.com site so I can try that out as a first pass.

    Glad to here the batteries are only for the memory option on the CM11A. It would be really stupid to require them for normal operation.

    I'll let you know how things progress.

  8. #8

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    Its great to see you developing this plugin for Girder. I wish I had a Firecracker to test this for you. Maybe I'll have to pick one up. Are you planning to write a CM11A version too?

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    I've heard that the slink-e plugin might be of some help,...... I know someone reported that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Burlington, MA, USA
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    ...Is anybody using Girder with the CM11A device for X10 control?
    Yes, using Girder with the Slink-e. IR RX/TX and X10 TX work very well with this setup. I've managed to "teach" Girder incoming X10 events but there are some problems that need to be addressed before this can be declared fully functional. Sending X10 signals is not an issue however.

    --Steve

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