Introduction: X10 Remote in a New Shell

This is an X-10 keychain remote I got from RadioShack years ago. This butt ugly thing has been sitting in a drawer since I got it.
I'm not going to get deep into how X-10 works. Do a Google search for the details if you don't know.

This particular keychain will turn lights on and off using the RF codes to an X-10 module that transmits digital signals to light switches I have though out the house. It's a bit old and stupid looking but works.

It is capable of turning two different lights on or off. It also has a unit code selector in the back to change it from units 1&2 or 5&6 as well as the typical X-10 hose code wheel.

Step 1: Remote Parts

With a little prying and a thumb nail, It easily snaps apart.

Step 2: Gutted Remote

Here are the innards of the remote. This also needed 2 AAA style batteries making it an easy swap to the easy button shell.

Step 3: Wire It Up

In case you didn't notice, I cut up a Cat5 cable for the wire.

This keychain had a selector switch for unit coded 1&2 or 5&6 as well as the normal a-k house code wheel.

I removed the wheel and eyeballed which contacts to solder up for house code A.

I solderd leads to the original switch pads for unit code 5 off and on. The blue pair is off, orange is on. I got one of them a little to hot (the blue wire) and it lifted the pad from the circuit. Although it was a little tough to solder this small, I traced it back to the chip and solderd it there instead.

Remove the battery terminals on the bottom and add leads for power. That's the brown pair sticking out. They are labeled + and - on the circuit board.

Step 4: Easy Button Innards

And here is the easy button. I assume you can find the 4 screws under the feet and remove the top without pictures.

This thing is actually a bit tight inside. It's all about the feel of the button. The metal spring gives that nice tight snap feeling best described as "oil can effect". The switch is all I care about so I cut the traces on the circuit for it. I also removed the white and black wires for the battery, removed all the screws and made it all the way to the little speaker. The cavity for the speaker is about the only space available to stick anything inside without messing with the "feel" of the switch.

Step 5: Surgery

I had to cut out a small portion of the battery compartment to make it fit. I also had to cut a small square chunk out of the "clicker support" to relieve a little room for the chip. You can also see that I solderd the brown pair to the battery terminals. They are labeled + and -.

The metal round things glued on the sides are weights. Again to give a better feel and a little heft.

Step 6: Screw It Up

Stuff it all back together and put the screws back.

Step 7: Screw It Some More

A few more screws, replace the spring and original circuit board. Here you can see where I cut the traces on the circuit and solderd the switch wires.

Step 8: Back Door

Just a snapshot of the bottom so you can see how I made a little extra room for the circuit board in the battery compartment. It was just as wide as the original plastic in the bottom of the battery tray so after squeezing it all inside, the battery fits just fine.

Although I didn't get pictures of the process, I added a second switch on the bottom to the orange pair you see in step 3. I used black hot melt glue to put it in place so it doesn't photograph well. This allows me to turn the bedroom light back on.

Step 9: Turn It On

And another snapshot of the bottom. You can see the "on switch" I added.

Step 10: That Was Easy!

OK... OK I just gotta say it!

That was easy!

It looks normal and sits on my desk right next to my bed where I can turn the bedroom light off after climbing in.

Comments