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The Next Wave in Home Control Systems

Last response: in Tom's Guide
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December 13, 2006 6:11:31 PM

Chip-based Z-Wave technology from Zensys is aiming to conquer the digital home control systems business. We give this solution an overview to see what it's all about.

More about : wave home control systems

December 14, 2006 12:17:40 AM

I really enjoyed the article. I am interested in the details of the projected growth of z-wave by 2009.
December 15, 2006 12:40:06 PM

Smarthomeusa.com has had this tech for sale for a long time now. There have been some complaints about X10 interference with some devices (to be expected with bleed over), but overall it looks like rock solid technology.
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December 15, 2006 7:14:57 PM

There is no x10 interference. X10 uses the 0 and 360 degree angles of the 60Hz power line to send its signals. So in other words x10 uses your homes power lines to communicate with other x10 devices.

Z-Wave is a pure RF technology and does not use the powerlines to communicate.

The two technologies live in their own little worlds. Not to mention that z-wave uses digital signals with unique house codes in the protocol to prevent other z-wave remotes from interfering with your network. So there is no truth to the x10 cause issues for z-wave.
December 17, 2006 6:45:10 PM

Quote:
The two technologies live in their own little worlds. Not to mention that z-wave uses digital signals with unique house codes in the protocol to prevent other z-wave remotes from interfering with your network. So there is no truth to the x10 cause issues for z-wave.


Ideally yes, but do not underestimate the ability of other devices to cause interference directly, or indirectly from harmonics or power line issues etc. Even if the z-wave stuff adheres to spec, do you really believe that every cell phone, microwave etc does?
December 23, 2006 7:19:34 PM

I would second the comment that busto963 has posted. Let me give you an example, although extreme, that illustrates the point. Back in the 1920's and 30's radio transmission stations existed that were not under the control of the FCC like it is today. There were stations in Mexico that were set up so that the FCC could not intervene with them that transmitted very high-powered AM transmissions that could even be picked up in Alaska reliably. Some folks living close to the transmitters had lights in their home the glowed because of the power of the RF transmission. There were people who could hear radio coming from fences and even some who heard them in the filling in their teeth. The electronic reason for this phenomenon is that any physical junction, for example, the fence has a rusty connection to ground through the staple on the fence post, that acts like a diode and that diode junction can rectify the RF to so that you could hear the AM modulation of it.

The RF world is similar to a laser light show and fireworks display all at the same time. There can be unpredictable events when two signals, even of low strength can affect each other enough that a receiver no longer can detect it's intended signal.
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