A Happy Story


Senior Member
I have been trying to get away from X-10 "Hawkeye" type motion detectors because they end up generating so much traffic on the powerline that they degrade the reliability of the whole system. I wanted to go to all hard-wired motion detectors and have my Stargate be the only thing putting X-10 signals on the powerline but some places are just too hard to wire.

I was hoping I could somehow use a W800 to solve this but I couldn't find a way to use it with my Stargate without a PC involved. While I was looking into the W800 I noticed that the Rain8WLM product also reponds directly to X-10 wireless signals. I figured why not use the same digital inputs that I was planning to use for hard-wired sensors and hook them to the sprinkler outputs of the Rain8WLM? I ran the idea past Warren Lohoff at WGL and he didn't know of any reason why it wouldn't work so I ordered one.

Long story short, it works perfectly! I can use 8 hawkeye motion detectors (expandable to 256) and also use palm pads and other wireless X-10 devices to turn on lights, trigger macros, etc etc, WITHOUT powerline trash. I can even convert to UPB switches without affecting the wireless motion sensor setup.

The Rain8WLM is designed for sprinklers so the output is 24VAC but I used some spare relays to convert the outputs to "dry contact" so I can interface it with anything I want. I'm using it with a Stargate but you could do this with an Elk M1, Homevision Pro, Ocelot, or any other controller with digital inputs.
Wow, what a cool idea!

So, just to get the details of your idea straight, you purchased THIS Rain8WLM (M is for master as it is the first and only one in your system) and set it's zones 1 through 8 so each zone gets "triggered" or turned on by a motion detector (which is set for the same house and unit code as that zone).

When the motion detector sees motion and "trips", it wirelessly sends that house and unit code to the Rain8WLM unit, which then turns on 24VAC output for that zone. This 24VAC output is then connected to a digital input of your Stargate which can then run a set program in its memory (thus the program is triggered by the motion detector). Some programs can include turning on specific lights that are controlled by the Stargate's power line interface (or UPB as you mentioned). Thus the Stargate is the only item generating X-10 powerline signals.

Any details here I have incorrect?


That's it in a nutshell. In my Stargate program I only respond to the relay turning on and then handle the module off timing within the Stargate program. The Rain8WGL zones are set to turn off after 1 minute (in case they miss the off signal from the Hawkeye). Also when a second zone is triggered the first one turns off (a feature required for sprinklers) so just looking for ON signals works best for triggering and resetting the delay timer. This is basically the same logic I use with hard-wired motion sensors anyway so I didn't have to change much from a programming perspective.
What kind of RF range does the Rain8WLM have?

Same as the other WGL products. It has the same external antenna so you can usually get much better range than with stock X-10 stuff. My house is full of massive stone chimneys that block the signal but maybe somebody with a W800 in a more conventional structure could throw out some range figures?
Oh wow, same antenna setup as the W800 eh?? You may want to glance at THIS [How-To] then! :huh:

One cool thing about using the Rain8WLM is its internal timer feature. You can set this feature to basically shut off after it receives an "ON" command. The timers are set per zone in the setup menu.

This is nice as usm noted in the fact that if the "OFF" signal is not sent, the zone will automatically turn off after the set "timer" minutes. I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that one minute is the shortest interval. This can also act as a "do not trigger within" feature, thus not flooding the Stargate with many motion sensor commands (almost like an occupancy sensor).

BTW, just for your info, I will be posting a review I did on WGL Design's Relay-8 product shortly! :D