View Full Version : X-10 RF & AquaJR

09/14/2005, 12:52 AM
I am interested in buying a AquaJR AquaController to control various things in my reef setup, but after doing some research on the X-10 protocol, I am slightly concerned with the X-10 operation.

I am currently working on building a new lighting fixture for my reef tank, which is going to be suspended from the ceiling, and all power for the ballast's & fans would be above the tank, making the AquaJR with X-10 (or any x-10 controller) really the only option. I was actually totally un-aware of the x-10 technology up until now, so I did some research on the potential problems associated with it, and came across this particular quote from a DIY/home website:

"Another common problem with X10 devices is not reading the documentation that comes with them. People still insist on trying to use dimmer switches or lamp modules on electric fans or fluorescent lights (symptom can be fire), or trying to control low wattage lamps (symptom may be unreliable operation for less than 50W for some modules). "

Specifically the part about fluorescent lights, is this really an issue, or fire hazard as they claim? Does anyone have such a setup running that you could possibly share some thoughts on this?!??!



09/14/2005, 11:02 AM

09/14/2005, 02:32 PM
I own a ACII and use X10 modules on all my equipment. The issue here is the use of lamp / dimmer modules. X10 modules I have seen have different functions and uses. For all my equipment I use the "appliance" X10 module. These are used and designed for HD appliances and not low wattage lamps tec....

09/14/2005, 02:46 PM
So what exactly does that mean?!??!? I am confussed. Are you saying that it is not a good choice to use any lamp/dimmer module's with flouresent lighting?

Neptune lists these control modules:

Lamp Control Module (CM465)
The lamp control module is used to simulate the moon cycle with an incandescent bulb. This control module responds to both on, off and intensity commands sent from the AquaController. This module can only be used with incandescent lamps of 300 watts or less.

Can this be used to dim flouresnt VHO lighting over a set time period? Can this module also be used on LED's for moon light simulation?

3 Terminal Control Module (CM466)
The 3 terminal control module is general purpose control module which includes the ground pin. It can be used for switching resistive as well as inductive loads. Uses include heaters, chillers, lighting systems, pumps, and powerheads. This control module responds to only the on and off commands sent from the AquaController. Its max specifications are 500W incandescent lamp, 1/3 HP motor load, or 15A resistive load. The physical dimensions of the module are 2.3" x 2.9" x 1.4".

I am assuming this would be the module needed for my halides?

09/14/2005, 05:29 PM
Yes, only use the lamp module with an incandescent bulb. You can't dim a flourescent ballast be varying its input voltage. If you use the lamp module with a flourescent ballast you will damage the ballast and/or the control module. Use the standard CM466 control module ballasts, pumps, etc.
For new installations we recommend that X10 control not be used. Instead use the direct connect boxes (DC4, DC4HD, and DC8) to control your equipment. The DC boxes offer the highest reliability and very cost competitive with X10 control.


09/14/2005, 05:37 PM
Ok, but the problem I have with using the DC boxes is that the lighting/ballasts are going to draw current/get power from above the tank, from a samll overhanging ceiling (lights are going to be suspened/hung from from ceiling) while the rest of the power is underneath, in the cabinet, thus the reason I was looking into the X-10 stuff! :)


09/14/2005, 05:38 PM
So there is no way to vary the intenzity or dim flouresents using the Aquacontroller?


09/14/2005, 06:04 PM
The AquaController does not dim fluorescents. Some have used icecap ballasts with a solar 500 dimmer in conjunction with the AquaController. I heard many comments that you can't dim below 75% before the lights flcker or go off completely - it's just a characteristic of the way flourescent bulbs work.