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Making things happen from the bedside or couch !

(Please be advised that this is NOT for CP290 systems.)

So now you have this nice morning wakeup script, and it works great. But sometimes you wake up early and want the coffee and lights now rather than wait for the timer.

There are some simple devices from X-10 which plug in to a wall socket and sit neatly on your bedside table :

You may find these in various colors and brand names.

bedside X-10

Pressing one of the buttons on these, sends an X-10 command !

This X-10 command can directly turn some unit on or off, and you can even issue DIM commands. Thus one of these buttons could directly control our "Bed Lamp".

You have to set the "House Code" dial on the front to the same house code as the lamp. And you have to set the "Unit Number" on the Lamp to the same number as one of the buttons on the controller you choose.

So, if our "Bed Lamp" is set to A5,
we need to set the controller "House Code" to "A",
and one of the buttons on the controller must represent unit "5".

Uh, there's only 4 buttons ...!?

Not to worry, even the little 4-button models can be switched between two groups of 4 unit numbers. The 4 white buttons can represent units 1 thru 4, or units 5 thru 8.
( there is a very small slide switch which you can change at will...)

On the smaller models in the picture above, the two brown (dark) buttons can be used to DIM or Brighten any of 4 units, and to issue "All Lights On" and "All Units Off" for the House Code.

The brown controller on the left above is sometimes called the "Maxi Controller", and it has buttons for all 16 units on the same house code.

Now, even without the help of the Macintosh and XTension, whenever you push the button on the controller to "turn on A5", our "Bed Lamp" will turn ON. Likewise the OFF.
Even without XTension ?

Yes, but if we do have maybe a CM11a or LynX-10 connected to the Macintosh, then XTension will 'see' the same X-10 command that the "Bed Lamp" module sees.

So, whenever you turn on the "Bed Lamp" from the bedside controller, XTension will record the event in the Log, and will reflect in the database the fact that
the "Bed Lamp" is now ON.

In addition, XTension will show the ON state of the "Bed Lamp" in any graphic View that includes the lamp.

Big Deal...

Perhaps so, but remember the "ON script" that we created for the "Coffee Pot" ?

Let's create a new unit, called "I'm Awake", and give it a X-10 address that is the same as one of those that we have on the little 4-button controller at the bedside :

Give the new unit a name: "I'm Awake"

and make its address A8

It's not necessary, but giving it a description will help you later.

Also notice that this "unit" is not dimmable, and we don't need to worry about its icon just now.
awake unit

Like the "Coffee Pot" example earlier, we're going to create a new script for the ON state of the new unit "I'm Awake". So that any time XTension sees the incoming command that turns ON "I'm Awake", it will execute this script. Here, we just assume that if we press this button, it means that we're ready for "Morning Things".

Punch the On script Edit button, and we'll create this association:


SAVE this,

and now whenever you press the #8 ON button on the bedside controller,
XTension will kick off the sequence that you have written into the
Global Script called "Morning Things".

It should be easy at this time to see that we might also attach an OFF script to "I'm Awake", and have XTension interpret this is as "I'm going to sleep",
OR even "I'm sleeping-in"...?

Now guess what ?
That's all you need to know about Macros and Scripting !

Macros are simply scripts which are 'executed' either from a scheduled event, or from some explicit command that you initiate from a remote controller.

Indeed, there are things that you will want to do which are more complex, and certainly you will want to use 'conditionals' like " if .. then .. else ", but that is just a matter of semantics and syntax. You've just seen all that there is to creating :
Database Units,
Unit ON and OFF Scripts,
Global Scripts,
and Scheduled Events.

You only need to look at the dictionary * of verbs that XTension provides, and of course, you'll have to make up your own mind about just how you want your home to behave :-)

Ok, how do I turn on the pool area lights while I'm on a raft in the middle of the pool ?

* Please read the manual. Please?

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Last modified: July 1, 2007
Paul Ferguson, webmaster@shed.com