BMW Universal Transmitter and X10 question

xlucent

Member
My 2001 BMW has a "universal transmitter" that has 3 buttons programmable to replace hand-held tranmitters. Can this be used to send X10 signals?

I have all my driveway lights and lots of my house lights running off X10 switches. I can turn the driveway lights on from my car using a KR22A set to send O1 ON. If possible, though, I'd rather have the car's built in transmitter send the signal.

I tried programming the car transmitter as it directed by clicking and holding the car transmitter button while repeatedly clicking the KR22A button to send a bunch of O1 ON signals. It appeared to work (the BMW transmitter started flashing rapidly to show that it had been programmed) but it doesn't seem to actually send a signal that HomeSeer recognizes.

I'm using an W800RF32A receiver to receive the signal and the ACRF plug-in to connect it to HomeSeer 2.1. Do I need to do something to translate the signal from the car? Has anyone had any luck programming a car transmitter to work like this?
 

zack

Active Member
Where is the X10 receiver in relation to the car? The BMW universal transceiver range is dismal at best with reports of interference with steel garage doors. There's a mod you can do involving aluminum foil that can extend the range up to 300ft.

Here are the instructions on how to program their Homelink package:

Homelink = BMW's version of X-10. The key needs to be in accessory position.

First time programming


1. For first time training, press and hold the two outer HomeLink buttons, releasing only when the HomeLink indicator light begins to flash after 20 seconds. (Do not perform this step when training the additional HomeLink buttons.)
2. Position the hand-held transmitter 1-3 inches away from the HomeLink surface (located on your overhead), keeping the HomeLink indicator light in view.

3. Using both hands, simultaneously press and hold both the desired HomeLink button and hand held transmitter button. DO NOT release until the HomeLink indicator light flashes slowly and then rapidly. When the indicator light flashes rapidly, both buttons may be released. (The rapid flashing indicates successful training.)

Note: Some garage door openers may require you to replace step 3 with the “cycling†procedure noted in the “View Canadian Instructions†section.

4. Press and hold the trained HomeLink button and observe the indicator light.

If the indicator light is solid/continuous, training is complete and your device should activate when the HomeLink button is pressed and released.
If the indicator light blinks rapidly for 2 seconds and then turns a solid/continuous light, proceed with the following training instructions for a rolling code device. A second person may make the following steps quicker and easier. Please use a ladder or other device. Do not stand on your vehicle to perform the next steps.

5. At the garage door opener receiver (motorhead unit) in the garage, locate the “learn†or “smart†button (usually near where the hanging antenna wire is attached to the unit). If there is difficulty locating the training button, reference the garage door opener’s manual or contact us.
6. Press and release the “learn†or “smart†button (the name and color of the button may vary by manufacturer). NOTE: Once the button is pressed, there are 30 seconds in which to initiate the next step.
7. Return to the vehicle and firmly press and hold the trained HomeLink button for two seconds and release. Repeat the “press/hold/release†sequence up to 3 times to complete the training process.
 

kwilcox

Active Member
You'll need to purchase the homelink interface available on their website www.homelink.com. It talks BMW remote on one side and X10 on the other. I have one myself, however as zack indicated, range is dismal. It's not a problem with your BMW's homelink transmitter (mine controls the garage door from the end of the street) but rather the homelink receiver itself. I've not heard of the aluminium foil trick tho.... Maybe I'll google this hack and resurrect my device which I shelved after it wouldn't even work from halfway up the driveway (kind of defeats the purpose of illuminating the driveway lighting...). Now I have driveway lighting linked to my garage door position sensors, but it would be nice to program another of the two available buttons to do other things.
 

JeffCharger

Active Member
I don't have a BMW, but I did exactly what you are trying to do with my GM truck. It has 3 buttons, and I programmed one to an X10 command. The only thing I remember that was different in programming it, was that the X10 remote does not send a constant signal which was required by the car's "learning" cycle. I just repeatedly hit the send button. The car acknowledged the signal thru it's blinking. his has worked well.
 

xlucent

Member
Just to follow up: I used the excellent advice in the replies here and did get the transmitter working. I definitely see what you mean about the range not being so good though,

I have a W800RF32A wireless receiver that actually has a really good range but even with it I don't seem to be able to pick up the signal from my BMW homelink until I'm 1/3 of the way down the driveway already.

Thanks for your help. It was pushing the button on the wireless remote repeatedly while programming the car transmitter that did the trick. Turned out that the first time I tried to do it, somehow the remote itself got re-programmed from O1 to A1 instead of the car getting programmed from A1 to O1!

Bill
 
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