Powerflash Manual

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Features

You can use anything that gives a contact closure or low voltage (6-18V AC, DC, or audio) to activate the Powerflash Interface.

For example, you can connect the Powerflash Interface to the output of an existing burglar alarm system and, when the alarm trips, the Powerflash Interface sends signals to X10 modules to flash all lights connected to Lamp Modules and Wall Switch Modules, or to turn on a stereo or other noise maker connected to an Appliance Module. You can connect magnetic window switches to the input of the interface to create you own alarm system. You can connect a moisture sensor to the interface to turn on a sprinkler system (connected to an Appliance Module) when it is not raining. You can connect a photocell (which gives a contact closure) to the interface to turn on lights at dusk. You can trigger the interface from a contact closure from a motion detector to turn on lights when someone enters a room. You can trigger the interface from a pressure sensitive switch placed under a rug by a bedside, to turn on a bathroom light when a child gets out of bed and steps on the rug.

Uses for the interface are limited only by your imagination. Anything that provides a contact closure or low voltage can trigger the interface and you can set the interface to turn on all lights, flash lights, or turn on and off a selected module (Lamp, Appliance, Wall Switch, Receptacle Module, and so on).

Installation | X10 controllers, such as the PowerFlash Interface, send high frequency signals through your household wiring. The X10 modules (not included) receive the controller's signals and turn the connected lights and appliances on and off. Be sure to carefully read your manual and the instructions that come with the modules. They are designed to help you get the most from your X10 system.

Setting Codes

Two different type of codes - house codes and unit codes - allow you to control many different modules or groups of modules within your home. It is important that you understand how these codes are used before you set up your system.

House Codes

The house code is a master code for an X10 system. You must set the Powerflash Interface and all the modules it controls to the same house code. There are 16 codes to choose from (A through P). You can operate two or more independent X10 systems in your home by using a different house code for each system. Of course, each system must have it's own Powerflash Interface (or other X10 controller) and modules. You can control the same modules from two or more controllers (including the Powerflash Interface) by setting all the modules and controllers to the same house code. The different house codes also help to avoid interference between your X10 system and other systems in your neighborhood.

Unit Codes

Each Powerflash Interface can operate up to 16 different modules or groups of modules. Every module has a unit-code dial with settings from 1 through 16. You can set the Powerflash Interface to control any module or group of modules set to the same unit code. You can also set the interface to turn on or flash, all Lamp Modules and Wall Switch Modules set the same house code as the interface regardless of what unit codes the modules are set to.

Note 1:

If set to flash your lights, the interface also turns off any Appliance Modules set to the same house code as the interface. It does this because it flashes your lights by repeatedly transmitting the all lights on code followed by the all units off code. The all units off command will turn off all modules (including Appliance Modules) set to the same house code as the interface but the all lights on command does not affect Appliance Modules. Because the Powerflash Interface controls the modules through your existing house wiring, setup of the interface is a snap. You simply plug the interface into a convenient AC outlet close to the alarm system, sensor, or anything you wish to trigger the interface. Then, connect the interface to the trigger source using any low-voltage wiring between the trigger source and the input terminals on the interface.

Note 2:

DO NOT CONNECT 120 VAC DIRECTLY TO THE INPUT OF THE INTERFACE. Set the input Select switch to 1 if you wish to trigger the interface from a low voltage input (6-18V AC, DC or audio). Observe polarity (+ and -) if you are triggering the interface from a low- voltage DC source. Set the Input Select switch to 2 if you wish to trigger the interface using a simple on/off switch that does not supply any power.

Operation

  1. Set the input switch on the Powerflash Interface for the desired type of input: 1 (A) for low voltage (6-18V AC, DC or audio) or 2 (B) for dry contact closure (from a magnetic switch for example). NOTE: On some models the INPUT switch may be marked as "A" for # 1 and "B" for # 2 (above).
  2. Set the MODE switch on the Powerflash Interface for the desired mode of operation as follows:

Mode 1

When a low voltage or contact closure is applied to the Powerflash Interface it transmits all lights on followed by unit code on. The unit code transmitted is the unit code set on the Powerflash Interface's unit-code dial. When the low voltage or contact closure is removed from the input of the Powerflash Interface it transmits unit code off. The unit code transmitted is the unit code set on the Powerflash Interface's unit code dial. Any lights connected to Lamp Modules and Wall Switch Modules are turned on (regardless of their unit code setting) and stay on after the low voltage or contact closure has been removed from the input of the Powerflash Interface (unless they are set to the same unit code as the interface).

Mode 2

When a low voltage or contact closure is applied to the Powerflash Interface it transmits all lights on followed by all units off. It does this continuously for as long as the low voltage or contact "closure" is present. This has the effect of flashing all lights connected to Lamp Modules and Wall Switch Modules (set to the same house code as the Powerflash Interface). When the low voltage or contact closure is removed from the input of the Powerflash Interface, it transmits all lights on. Therefore, all lights that were flashing are left on (to let you know there has been an alarm). Any Appliance Modules set to the same house code as the Powerflash Interface are turned off by the first all units off command transmitted and stay off after the low voltage or contact closure is removed.

Mode 3

When a low voltage or contact closure is applied to the Powerflash Interface it transmits unit code on. The unit code transmitted is the unit code set on the unit-code dial on the Powerflash Interface. When the low voltage or contact closure is removed from the input of the Powerflash Interface it transmits unit code off. The unit code transmitted is the unit code set on the unit code dial on the Powerflash Interface. Press the TEST button on the Powerflash Interface to simulate the applica- tion of the desired input. Be sure that the desired mode of operation is obtained. Hold down the TEST button to check for flashing lights if you select mode 2. Remove your finger from the TEST button to simulate the removal of the desired input and check for the selected mode of operation. Press the all units off button on the Powerflash Interface to turn off all modules set to the same house code as the Powerflash Interface.

Safety Precautions

  • Do no attempt to control lights or appliances that exceed the ratings of the modules.
  • Use extreme care when controlling a potentially dangerous product, such as a heating appliance, as part of your X10 system. Use a separate unit code exclusively for such devices.
  • If you want to control fluorescent, mercury vapor, sodium vapor, or low-voltage lights, ask your X10 salesperson for assistance.
  • Do not use lamp dimmer modules to control light fixtures that have built-in dimmers.
  • Do not use Wall Switch or 3-Way Switch modules to replace switches that control wall outlets or non-lighting devices.
  • The wall switch and outlet modules require direct connection to your house wiring. If you are not familiar with typical house wiring installations, we suggest that you have these types of modules professionally installed. In any case, be sure that the electricity is turned off at the circuit breaker or fuse panel while you are installing one of these modules.
  • Low-voltage electricity flows through the circuit controlled by a wall switch module even when the switch is off. This is necessary for proper operation of the switch module. You can completely turn off the electricity by setting the switch's disable switch to off (left).

Troubleshooting

If a particular modules doesn't respond to the Powerflash Interface:

Be sure the module and Powerflash Interface are set to the same house code. If the interface is set for mode 3 operation, be sure the unit code on the module you wish to control is set to the same unit code as the interface. Be sure the power switch for the light or appliance is turned on. Try plugging the module into a different AC outlet that you know is "live". If the module works, move the module to a different outlet.

If none of your modules respond to the Powerflash Interface:

Try operating the interface from its TEST button. If it controls the modules, check the connections between the interface and the trigger source. Check the polarity if you are triggering the interface from a low voltage DC source. Be sure the interface is plugged into an AC outlet and the outlet is "live". Be sure the interface is set to the same house code as the modules. Try plugging the interface into a different AC outlet.

If lights and appliances turn on and off by themselves, try setting all your modules and the interface to a different house code.

Intercoms

Some intercoms also send signals through the house wiring. If you have this type of system, it is likely that it will interfere with the operation of your X10 system. However it will interfere only when both systems are in use at the same time (if you leave an intercom in a child's room in the transmit mode for example). If this is a problem use an intercom that has it's own separate wiring system.

Power Interruptions

When power is restored after a power failure, Lamp Dimmer Modules and both types of Wall Switch Modules default to the off mode. Appliance Modules remain in the same state they were in before the power failure.