Anybody remember this device?

BSR X-10 System (1977 vintage).... Stand alone or could be controlled by a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I. Communicated over the house wiring to the end modules to turn on/off/dim lights. I had the whole setup....

unnamed-2

9 Likes

Plug Nā€™ Power rules!

That was where it all began.... I remember how fascinated everybody was that it could turn lights on and off.. Magic stuff. The controller (pictured above) had a 4 wire unshielded cable and a 4 pin DIN serial connector that connected it to the TRS-80... In those days CB Radio was popular and when the neighbor would key up the CB the cable would pick up the signal and lights would randomly come on and off LOL

2 Likes

Leviton white-labeled the X-10 system in the late 70s and my company was a Leviton wholesaler in those years. They worked pretty well, but were hell to program using their button input. I have a crate full of modules, 2 or 3 desktop consoles, and a couple of wall-mounted controllers that I should carry to the county electronics recycling station.

1 Like

I used to pick up X-10 modules in the DAK catalog when they had them on sale. I retired the last of my X-10 stuff about 5 years ago. I think I was 8 years old when I saw the first demo of the X-10 products at Sears store and it was branded as a Sears device.

1 Like

I miss those days, when we had simple push buttons. The battery-powered X-10 controller was one of the handiest devices of all time. I use Alexa all over our house, but I don't find it much handier than that old push button controller in most situations.

1 Like

Dam, the Dak Catalog was legendary. Whatever happened to that guy?

2 Likes

Bankruptcy in early 90s, he is retired but his business associate has a site that continues some of the approaches that was used wit DAK:

Here is a link to one of the original catalogs:

1 Like

I miss X10. I miss how the whole house shook when those relays would switch. Neighbors called the police because they thought there was an explosion. I miss X10.

3 Likes

I miss how my PowerHorn siren would go off randomly when the electric dryer ran.

5 Likes

I had forgotten about the DAK catalog.... brings back memories....

1 Like

I still have mine; now just sitting in a box unused. I got these around 1980 from a friend whom I met at a TRS-80 user group on LI. He worked at Leviton and these were returns that he repaired.

2 Likes

Cool, looks identical to the BSR X10 branded units....

Remember?! I still have 2 apple boxes overfilled with the stuff! Then again, I also still have an Apple //e, 3 floppy drives, hard drive w/tape backup, Epson printer, 2 monitors (1 is a //c), Z80 board, lots of floppies, several interface cards including a 16 channel AtoD converter that I made from scratch, and probable several things I've forgotten all about.

1 Like

Never saw that device, but I have the TRS-80 model one in storage. All 4k plus the expansion kit to take it to 48k and a pair of single sided, upgraded to double density floppy drives. Oh and that awesome CRT, Green text and 64 characters per line. Perfect for writing letters and printing on my dot matrix that printed 80 characters per line.

I kinda miss those days, they sucked compared to today but everything was so much simpler.

3 Likes

My dog destroyed the cassette that I used to store my TRS-80 data. I was so made at her. She had no clue how long it to to save things to a tape player.

2 Likes

I kept my tape recorder. I wrote a short basic program to start it playing as an alarm clock. Used to wake up to Twisted Sister, I wanna Rock.

1 Like

I miss the time when my bedroom light would go on randomly while we were sleeping... (and of course, my wife comments on this stupid automation).

4 Likes

After X10, I went to Insteon and an ISY99. It had a bug that could allow every device to turn on simultaneously. Happened one night at 2:00 AM. That nearly ended my home automation adventures. Talk about some sweet talking - I had to do some with the boss after that!

I was fully in on the X-10 ecosystem as well. Eagle-eye/Hawkeye sensors outdoors (birds kept pecking out the IR lenses), CP-290 controller with serial interface to PC, later the USB CM15A (they were prone to locking up so I used two in a fault tolerant configuration, shoulder tapping each other every two hours) hacked to add cable TV amplifier and antenna in the attic to reach the outdoor motion sensors, dryer-outlet phase coupler... I got everything mostly working just in time to abandon it all in 2016 when I moved to SmartThings.

Recently purged my stock but I keep finding a few items that survived:

1 Like

Download the Hubitat app