Gradually replace X-10 with Z-wave devices


New Member
I currently have an Elk M1 gold system with an X-10 powerline module plugged into the main board. System is 10 or 15 years old and all modules have the latest software. I have an X-10 active bridge plugged into the 220v dryer outlet to connect the two phases.
I think I'm finally fed up with dealing with the X-10 devices, so I've decided to start slowly replacing X-10 devices with Z-wave. I plan on buying the following:
M1XSLZW interface
Some Z-wave dimmers and switches.
My questions are:
Can I have both X-10 and Z-Wave devices controlled by the M1 at the same time?
Can both the M1XSLZW and the X-10 powerline be connected at the same time? It seems so, as the M1XSLZW will plug into the M1DBH data bus hub and the X-10 plugs into the main board.
Can I control both from my M1 rules? I will need to edit the rules as I change from X-10 devices to Z-Wave devices.
I (think I) know that I will need to set up the Z-wave network with the Z-wave primary controller first, then import into the M1 - and I'll need to do this each time I replace an X-10 with a Z-wave. Correct?
I've never used my Elk with X10 devices, but I know with the Zwave setup the Zwave configuration via the VRUSB, the devices are automatically set to specific device addresses that map to the ElkRP lighting device addresses. There is no manual way with Leviton's RFIT to move the devices around to different addresses. I'd foresee that you may have a problem there with devices on conflicting address locations.
For example, with your X10 setup, do you have devices already defined in ElkRP Lighting with addresses 1-10? If so, how easy is it for you to move those around with the X10 setup?
I have about 25 X-10 devices now, assigned (somewhat randomly) IDs between A1 and O8. I can physically change the IDs, if I know that, for example, K1 and up will never be used by Z-Wave.
If I can do this one time when I add Z-Wave, I can handle that. But I wouldn't like to do that every time I replace an X-10 with a Z-wave....
One of the natural jumps from X10 for many of us is Insteon. The ISY994i HA box can control Insteon, Zwave and X10 and has a built in interface for Elk security systems that most are quite fond of and use both ways for MS as well as some control of things like GDOs where they want a wired security level. The ISY also supports many RPi project extensions.
Insteon devices can use most of passive phase X10 bridges as the carrier frequencies are close. Insteon is a dual band, simultaneous mesh, protocol with packet confirmations and bi-directional logic. Insteon devices report status updates immediately with push technology. No polling required like most Zwave brands.
Many of us ISY994i users still use X10 devices  mixed in where the security of operation is not a stringent. They still work, just not as far away from the HA controller.
After doing a bit more research, I've decided to go with the Insteon line. I've got a few of the Insteon/X-10 dimmers already installed and I'm hoping these work better using the Insteon control. I've ordered the ISY994i, the powerlinc modem, and a couple of Insteon modules. It LOOKS like I'll need to add the Elk Security Module to the ISY after I get it, correct?
Also, I'm looking at the the Amazon Echo and it seems to integrate nicely with the ISY...
The ISY modules are ordered from inside the ISY, via the admin console (java module). Takes about 5 minutes for your feature to be enabled.
Yes you will need the Elk module.
To add X10 devices to the ISY device tree you will also need the X10 module. Otherwise use will have to use A1 to O16 names.
I use the Network module to talk to Hue and MiLight bulbs and RGBW strips.
I don't use the Echo but it has been interfaced using various methods from all the chatter about it in the UDI forum
If you purchase an ISY994i with out Z-Wave. It also can be user added at a later time.
In that case you buy the Z-Wave PCB and install it in the ISY994i. Along with a $1.00 enable fee through the admin console purchase feature.
I received the ISY994i, two on/off modules, and a new dimmer switch. I had an old 2476DIV dimmer laying around. When I first installed the ISY, I couldn't connect the modules to it - I must have tried each about 10 times and only got one of the on/off modules to connect. Very discouraging!
The next morning, I tried each one more time and every one connected on the first try. Weird....
I exported from ISY to Elk, then did it again to assign the old X10 IDs instead of the default A1 and up, and the rules in the Elk X10 control worked as always, using the old X10 IDs. Very encouraging!
I've ordered some more Insteon dimmers to replace a 4-way X-10 dimmer (that never has works as well as I want). I was a little dismayed to find I needed a full-blown dimmer at each location instead of the 1 X-10 dimmer and two pushbutton switches. But if it works well, so be it.
I imagine I will slowly move the programming from the Elk to the ISY as I replace the X-10 modules, but it seems to be working fairly well so far...
I get the Echo today, so that s tonight's project!
Every Insteon device you add to ISY, make sure you do a factory reset before adding it to ISY.
These things can do weird things from the factory or may have lingering X10 addresses in them.
I am very impressed by the Elk/Isy interface. I have the Isy 994 with the Elk and X10 modules. As I replace the X10 switches and dimmers with the Insteon devices, I export from the Isy and import to Elk using the previous X10 device codes. The modules are controlled by the existing Elk code and work much more reliably than the X10 stuff ever did. They also work from the old X10 controllers I have, except the Insteon dimmers won't dim using the X10 dim/brighten control.
I never did buy a Powerlinc 2414S to connect to the Elk M1; apparently I don't need it!
I got the ISY Portal to interface my Echo with ISY.
I am just getting familiar with the Echo vocal interface and controlling programs in ISY with Echo.
I prefer to not control Insteon scenes as most of my lighting is combinations of Insteon, Hue, and MiLighting all molded into various lighting themes containing Insteon scenes.
I assume you didn't get the PLM with the ISY that you could control X10 devices with?
I have an X10 Powerhouse TW523 connected to the Elk alarm, and an Insteon 2413S connected to the ISY. The ISY CAN control the existing X10 modules I have added to the ISY.
You should have no problem dimming the X10 lights with the ISY/PLM then.
Your ISY will hear your TW523. :)
On another note: Many guys keep their GDO on the Elk, due to an All On Insteon problem that hasn't been fully fixed yet. If you participate in the UDI forum you may already know about this. It has never affected me.