X-10 SmartRemote


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I’m not even sure why I built this at all. I guess I did always have a childhood fascination with making things that seemed professional in some way. A simulacrum of some expensive piece of A/V equipment, or simple computer games that came in a shoe box with construction-paper cover art.

This is another ancient project I dug up during my recent move to San Francisco: A rather gigantic “smart” remote control for X-10 home automation devices.

I’m only posting this because it seems cute in some ways… like finding one of your childhood finger-paintings. But it was really an awful project in pretty much every way. It was over-engineered, terrible at the job it was designed to do, and of course the battery life was pretty bad.

The extremely clunky user interface is based on a numeric keypad recycled from a very old television set, and a 16×2 alphanumeric LCD. The X-10 codes are transmitted via a reverse-engineered “Firecracker” board. A Basic Stamp 2 controls it all. This is one of my earlier microcontroller projects, from way back in 1999.

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