X10 PC Interface (CM12U) – Review


The long awaited CM12U finally reaches the UK.  On receiving the unit you open the box to find a CD with the “Activehome” software (Windows 3.1 or higher), The CM12U itself and a 9 pin serial lead to connect it to your PC.

The most important thing to note about this controller is the fact that it is 2-way. This means it can transmit and receive X-10 signals. This opens up the world of macros! So now a simple “A1 ON” could be received by the unit and in response a whole series of instructions carried out. The unit can operate with your PC turned on and permanently connect or on its own.

There are important implications depending on which way you choose to run the unit. Here’s a quote from the Help file…”Fast Macros are stored in the Interface, (unlike Standard Macro which are stored on your Computer’s hard disk). A Fast Macro therefore is executed much faster. There is a limit however to the number of Fast Macros that can be stored in the Interface. The Interface immediately executes the Fast Macro when it receives the X-10 command to initiate it.”

There are a few little idiosyncrasies with this unit. One of them is the internal clock. Another quote from the Help file…”The area between 0 and 1 minute is shown in red to indicate that this period may not necessarily be one minute. The actual time depends on the state of the system clock at the time of initiation (i.e. if there are only 10 seconds left in the current minute, then the delay will only be 10 seconds).” Hmmmmmmmm?

At the end of the day though this is a great “entry-level” 2 way X-10 controller for scheduled events and macros (that don’t require logic). At the price nothing comes close.

Approximate Price £61.10. Available From Lets Automate

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