The x10 service kills my com port


I'm now working on a Windows PC (I'm a Mac user) and have a slight problem. The computer I'm using did not ship with a serial port. It's a Dell, so I ordered the part from them directly - it consists of a ribbon cable where one end plugs into the mother board and the other end has the serial port. I installed it - no problems. The bios sees the serial port as does Windows. Device manager reports that it is enabled and working properly.

But I couldn't get my weather station nor my GPS to work on it. One device said "com port busy" and the other said com port unavailable".

I called Dell support and hung up after an hour on the phone and getting transferred twice (sure not like the TV commericals).

Anyway, to make a long story short it turns out that the Windows service named "X10 Device Network" takes over the com port I added. When I disable that service everything works. Re-enable it and the serial port stops working. It's repeatable and happens 100% of the time so I know this is the problem.

What is strange is that a com port added with a USB/serial adapter works fine.

This is a real drag because I need that service running to receive signals from 2 of my camera.

Is this a known issue and if so is there any workaround?

Thanks !
Did you load the Active Home software? If so it's probably taking over your com port. The firecracker kit will do the same thing.
When I first started playing with the firecracker kit, I ran into the same problem. Your motherboard already has 1 com port (pretty much each board does), so when you use an USB adapter, you add another port. The X10 software usually uses COM1, which would explain why you had no problems with the USB adapter. If you don't use the X10 software, uninstall it.
tbradnc said:
This is a real drag because I need that service running to receive signals from 2 of my camera.
The only solution I can think of is to try to change the comm-port that the X10 service is using. Hopefully to something non-existent. It may be worth calling X10 tech-support to see if there is a way to disable its use of a comm-port, assuming the cameras don't need it.
Well... I changed the X10 service from startup to manual, rebooted and the com port was available. Both of my X10 receivers still work so I guess not having that service isn't critical.

The only way the service could be on the machine is if x10drivers.exe automatically installs it - I haven't had it long enough to screw it up yet. ;)