X-10 signal booster XTB-II in 220-240V / 50hz (Europe), the success story continues.
Received last Friday my XTB-II kit:
I followed the development of the XTB project for a while. X10 European users are encountering the same problems as in the US. New electrical devices like switching power supplies, TV, computer are a true nightware for X10 signals. The only difference is the fact that there are only one or two signal repeaters available at prohibitive price for 220V-240V / 50Hz. I was also very curious to discover the difference between a signal repeater like the CR-244 and a signal booster (like XTB-II).
Fast delivery, well wrapped box, no doubt about that, XTB-II is made for crossing the ocean.
To be honest, I was very surprised to discover the high quality level of the kit. No parts were missing, all the components were wrapped in a smart way avoinding confusion between diode and zener for example.
Didn’t encounter any problem during assembly phase. All the components required for the 220-240V 50Hz were provided and fit well. Just take care that you should solder a specific strap for operating the transformer in 220V (explained and printed on the board).
I will not say that you should do your first soldering steps with this kit, but if you have a basic understanding of electronic part labelling (resistor color, capacitor value, pin 1 of IC), you will not encounter any problems.
It took me 3 hours to assemble it. You could certainly go faster, but as an “oldtimer”, I like to take my time and enjoy step by step the assembly.
Unlike other electronical kits, this one contains ALL the required parts including the housing, diode cap, screw, heat sink.... This is really great especially the housing with the PCB fitting exactly at screw holes.
To plug the device, I split an extension cord in two and screwed the corresponding wires on the PCB. So, you will be able to use the plug dedicated to your country.
Ready for the fireworks??? OK, let’s plug for the first time the XTB-II with a maxi controller as emitter and the most noisy plug of my home (the computer one) as 220V powerline connection.
And.... IT WORKS at the first attempt. No trigger to tune, no jumper to put, the XTB-II is ready to use (if you want some customisation, you are able to do it through sending specific X10 sequences (not required in my case)).
The differences between “before” and “after” XTB-II are impressive.
The never reachable before “plug”, including with the already installed CR-244 repeater surrenders at the first X-10 command.
The fast “ON-OFF” switching sequences are reliable and fast.
All the rooms of my home are now reachable wherever they are located (close to TV or Game console etc...).
It looks like a dream.
For sure XTB-II is not “the all one” solution to X10 issues, but it provides for a reasonable price a true improvement without huge wiring modification or filters plug.
ESM-1 signal tester confirmed this very positive feeling. Wihout XTB-II, no signal were detected at “rebel” plug, only the X10 ON command being interpreted by the appliance module. With the XTB-II, 2 bars are ON and the green X10 signal is blinking at each command. No strength weakness, whatever will be the X10 sequence or an infinite repeating DIM/BRIGHT commands, the signal stay strong and reliable.
Thank you Jeff, thank you for bringing “a light” in the darkness of X10 issues.
For people encountering X10 issues and wanting to go deeper with XTB-II solution, take care:
Hope it helps