Controlling Your Connected Lamp via Your Computer
Now that you have your X10 equipment set up to be controlled via the PalmPad remote, let’s move on to controlling the lamp via the FireCracker serial computer interface, which fits into the serial port of your PC.
As mentioned earlier, the FireCracker serial interface "talks" to the transceiver module by sending RF signals. The transceiver module then sends signals to "listening" X10 receivers (such as the lamp module) by sending X10 signals over the electrical wiring in your home.
Installation of the software is pretty straightforward:
- Launch the installer and choose a location where you want the software to be installed.
- Launch the FireCracker application from the FireCracker group in your start
menu. You’ll get a pop-up software rendition of the PalmPad remote, as
shown in Figure 9. A FireCracker control icon also appears in the system tray.
If you minimize the PalmPad remote, the application will be hidden in the system
tray for easy future access.
Figure 9 The FireCracker application, running a software rendition of the PalmPad remote.
- The first time you launch the FireCracker application, you’ll be asked
to specify the COM port to which you connected the CM17A. Either choose the
appropriate COM port manually, or use the automatic detection feature of the
application, as shown in Figure
Figure 10 Associating the FireCracker software with your COM port.
- To test that your computer can command your transceiver module successfully, click the Send Test Command button. You should be able to turn your lamp on and off by using the Send Test Command button.
- After you’ve finished setting up the FireCracker software, click OK.
Now you can turn off, turn on, dim, and intensify the lamp you connected to the lamp module, just by clicking the corresponding buttons onscreen on the FireCracker software emulated remote (see Figure 11).
Figure 11 Using the software-emulated PalmPad remote to "press" buttons.