Introduction: Setting Up Basic X10 for Newbies

About: w00t

Turning on and off your lights with a non-ir remote is really easier and cheaper then it looks and sounds. This how-to shows how to configure an x10 remote for 2 lights. Also shows using a label-making machine to label the remote.

Step 1: What Is X10, and What Is This Project About?

x10 is the next step towards home automation. Can you imagine opening your garage with a remote when you come home from work, and also turning on your lights wiht a different remote? Sounds like it would cost alot of money and technical understanding. But the truth is, and the x10 wiz people don't want' you to know this, it's easy to do and pretty cheap. I picked up this remote and 1 reciver for $20 at Radioshark. I got the other reciver later. they can be REALLY cheap on ebay.

Step 2: What You Need

Here is the run down on what you need for this how- to.

(1) x10 remote
(2) x10 recivers
(2) lights that are plugged into the wall
(1) flat head scewdriver or other flat thing


(1) brother label maker

Step 3: What Lights Are You Going to Use, and More on X10

Pick two lights. Here is what i used

unit 1: ps2 neon sign
unit 2: some random lamp

Pick the light closet to the spot where you want the remote. This is where you will put the reciver with the antenna. The other one is transmitted over power lines, so it will not matter, unless you're afrid of some lag. Because of this, removing the antenna one will disable the system.

Step 4: Labeling the Remote

The first button is always the antenna, this cannot be changed. This will be my ps2 sign. The second one can be changed, but we will get more into that later.
1) Set your label maker to the smallest size and type in "ps2 sign" or "room lamp"
2) print and cut the label from the maker
3) compare the empty plastic "shell" to the label.
4) cut to size
5) stick it in the shell and put it on. You don't have to remove the paper on the back.
6) repeat for each light

Step 5: Setting the Corect HOUSE and UNIT

Like I said before, the main unit (with the antenna) is the first UNIT. It should be set to HOUSE A unless this is your second system.

The second light is more complex. Make sure it is set to the same HOUSE as above, the the UNIT can be 2 or 3. But why not 4? the remote has 4 buttons? IF you read on the bottom it says BRIGHT and DIM. these control the dimmer for UNIT 3. So, if you wanted to dim that light you could. I think it is more of a hassle, so I don't use the dim, and if you don't want to, you don't have to. So for this how-to the UNIT is set to 2.

Step 6: Plugging It All In

Time for the almost last step, and the first time you will see your system working.

1) Take the Ps2 sign plug and unplug it
2) Plug it into the main reciver
3) plug it back into the wall
4) do the same thing with other lamp

Then hit the first button to ON. If it works, try the second. If both of them don't work, check the HOUSE and UNIT is right, and make sure the main one is plugged in. IF one doesn't work, unplug the reciver and make sure it works by itself.

Step 7: Mounting the Remote and Closing Thoughts

Mountign the remote shoud be simple. Try to get it in a place that has form and function. Right next to the light switch with some double sided tape will work, if it doesn't exceed the range. I just put it next to my bed, on the nightstand.

this can go much further then two lights. Your whoule house maybe, even computer controlled. Take a look at to see what you can do with this great system.