X-10 to Insteon Translation


Senior Member
Since I found out that RoZetta isn't going to happen any time soon, I've resumed testing some of the other options for X-10 to Insteon translation. The question I'm trying to answer is whether there is a good way to control Insteon stuff from my Stargate.

The next best option would have been to use Homeseer since the Stargate plugin provides direct X-10 status from my Stargate and could easily send out Insteon commands based on X-10 triggers. Unfortunately the Stargate plugin only works with version 1.7 and the Insteon plugin only works with 2.x so I can't go that route.

I have used the Smarthome X-10 translator for simple X-10 to Insteon translation so I could continue to use my X-10 IR receiver with my universal remote for media room lighting. Unfortunately the process for setting up and tracking links is too cumbersome with this unit to make large scale translation practical. This is one product that really needs a software setup program to be useful.

That leaves PC translation via PowerHome or HouseLinc Desktop. I moved my media room translation over to PowerHome and and confirmed that everything still worked for casual IR control from my Universal remote. I then started sending commands to control those light via X-10 from Stargate and quickly discovered the limits of this type of translation. 1 or 2 commands worked just fine but if I sent several in a row, the delay between Insteon commands got longer between each one. I suspect that the process of sending receiving and translating a command is no big deal but when you add in the overhead of delaying X-10 transmissions till the line is clear, retrying when collisions are detected, and sharing cycles between X-10 and Insteon withing the PowerLinc connected to PowerHome, together add up to the conclusion that "on the powerline" translation is never going to be practical for traffic levels beyond 1 or 2 devices to a time. My test was not unreasonable; I turned on 4 devices at 1 second intervals and that was enough to clog things up.

The next step will be to send serial commands from Stargate to PowerHome which should theoretically work fine but will require a bunch of coding on the Stargate side in addition to the translation code in PowerHome. This will be a pain as far as maintaining the Stargate code but clearly no process that involves transmitting and detecting X-10 commands out on the powerline before translating them is going to be practical.

In the end, the optimum method of translation for hardware controllers is still a TW523 substitute such as RoZetta. I hope it eventually gets built and I hope other similiar products are introduced soon.