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Wrong Socket

Move a switch/socket pair somewhere else.
  [vote for,

I recently rearranged my bedroom furniture. I used to have a lamp by the bed that was controlled by the switch on the wall near the bedroom door. (wow that's a lot of prepositions).

Now that the lamp is plugged into another (closer) socket, it won't work on the switch anymore. Running a long extention cord is the only solution to restoring my setup.

I know there are X-10 devices and the like that will let me replace the wall switch with a controller to activate any device I want. All I want is a pair of widgets; one plugs into the old wall socket, and the other sits between the lamp and the new socket. Applying power to widget 1 tells widget 2 to turn on. That's all.

Maybe this can just be a new X10 module, but I think there's an audience that is afraid of X10 and would just like a simple solution they can install in 30 seconds.

koz, Aug 20 2000

X-10 (or, as of late, X10) http://www.x10.com/...coretechn_press.htm
Signaling protocol, low-voltage, modulated on top of 110 V US household current [jutta, Aug 20 2000]


       See link.   

       As koz already suspects, this would seem to be mostly a way of marketing entry-level X-10 (and from the looks of www.x10.com, they could use some help.)   

       They do have a wall switch and both a bulb socket and a wall socket based solution.
jutta, Aug 20 2000, last modified Aug 21 2000

       Well, the new wall switch requires you to remove and rewire the existing switch (with breakers off, mind you!). They sell some lame stick-on-the-wall control thingy as well. Yes, the x10 site could use some work. BTW, this protocol has been around for ages.
koz, Aug 20 2000

       Exactly! (forgot about the passthru part, that's a plus too)
koz, Aug 21 2000

       And if anybody's interested, there's always lots of X-10 stuff on Ebay. <I do a search for 'lamps' fairly often, as I like the oddball ones that show up there, and it helps to kill or at least badly wound boring days at work, and x-10 stuff shows up a lot>. Seems fairly cheap, too...
StarChaser, Aug 22 2000

       //Now, if someone would just make a single X-10 module that plugged into the switched outlet (top and bottom) and sent a signal whenever the power to the switched half was turned on or off...//   

       Of course, it would have to send the signal by some means other than X10 when it's switched off... on the other hand, the old X10 wall switches had a nice feature: if you cut a hole in the back you could stick them on top of an existing wall switch. Given that in my old apartment the only outlet anywhere near the computer was switched, covering up the old switch was a positive rather than a negative.   

       Still, what I'd really like to see someone come up with would be some devices which were X-10 compatible but could also use a faster communications scheme (X-10 only runs at 60 baud) and a bit more sophistication. If I had modules that responded to set-brightness commands, I'd redesign the firmware in the RF interface (uses a PIC microcontroller BTW) so that the left eight buttons on the transmitter would select a device and the right eight buttons would set its brightness (0-7).   

       BTW, I'd also design the RF interface so that when used with something like the HawkEye IR sensor it would look for the sensor to send periodic "keep alive" messages and shut off the lamp after awhile if it didn't. This would allow for two HawkEye's to usefully control a single lamp.
supercat, Oct 21 2000

       If you have trouble fitting both the Powerflash interface and the 9VAC wall wart into the same outlet, you can always run an extension cord back from the non switched outlet to provide power for the 9VAC transformer. That way you can wow guests with your technical prowess.
addicted, Nov 29 2000

       Ummmm....wouldn't a clapper be less complicated? :)
mike100, Jan 29 2002


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