Let’s start with the basics…

The origin
Two scientists developed X10 around 40 years ago. It was actually their 10th experiment, thus the term X10. Their experiment started by the desire to send communication over the power line.

How it works
X10 technology is a fairly simple one. X-10 transmits a small packet of the entire code, at the zero-volt crossing of the electrical sine wave. It takes about 3/4ths of a second to transmit the entire X-10 command over the power line. The strength of the signal is a maximum of 5 volts and transmits using a frequency of 121 kHz.

Sending and receiving a signal
A transmitter may be a button, a security/home automation system, or a variety of hand held devices that simply send out a transmission to instruct a particular device to turn on.
Receivers are typically a light switch, or a device that would control electricity to another product. These devices receive all transmissions but only respond to those coded with its address. The code can be set in a number of ways. Typically, less expensive products use wheels or dipswitches, and higher-end products do this dynamically.

Doesn’t X10 have a lot of problems?
The technology itself works… and it works 100 percent of the time. However, there are external issues that prevent the signal from traveling from the transmitter to the receiver.

For help troubleshooting, read “Common X10 Problems” on our website.