Even though both of these technologies use the AC power line to
transmit their information, they are completely
incompatible with each other. However, they can
co-exist on the same powerline. In fact,
transmissions from both technologies can occur
simultaneously on the powerline, and they will not
interfere with each other.
X10 uses 1msec pulses at a
fixed frequency of 120kHz. These pulses are timed
to begin at the zero crossing of the AC sine wave.
If there is any noise on the powerline at or around
120kHz, the X10 signals could be corrupted.
Information is transmitted at a speed of 120 bits per
second. A typical full X10 command will take a
little under 1 second to complete. (783.33msec)
UPB uses a large single spike on the powerline, each
half cycle. The position of the spike on the
AC sine wave determines
its value. (Pulse Position Modulation) Information is transmitted faster than
X10, at a speed of 240 bits per second. Even
though a typical UPB command contains more information
than an X10 command, it is still transmitted faster.
Approximately 300 msec for a typical command.
Advantages of UPB over other technologies.
The most important advantage of UPB over other
control technologies, is that you can use your computer
to set up all the parameters of each device in a system.
You don't have to run around from switch to switch,
setting levels, and locking them in. You can make
all adjustments from your keyboard. And after
you're done, you have a complete record of every setting
in every device. If a device fails, and needs to
be replaced, it's a simple matter of reprogramming the
new device from your database.
You don't have to use the computer to set up scenes
and lighting groups. It can still be done manually
from the devices if you want. But when you're
done, all your changes can be uploaded from the devices.
You can then use this to update your database with the
With other technologies, you're forced to set
lighting levels to "about that level", then lock it in.
Well, it's kind of hard to record a value of "about that
level" in your files. It's even harder to come
back 6 months later and try to reset the lighting level
to "about that level". With UPB, you know from
your database exactly what level a dimmer was set to,
and you can restore that value with a couple of clicks
of the mouse.
Another big advantage of UPB devices is that all the
information regarding the device parameters is stored
both in the device and in the database. This
includes the device location, name and address.
For example, "Bobby's Room, Ceiling Light, Device
Number 8" is all stored in the device, along with all
scenes that device is associated with and all the
brightness levels and fade rates for each scene.
At any time you can compare the information in the
device with what's in your database, and can force one
to match the other. This also allows you to
rebuild your database if it's lost or corrupted.
All you have to do is reconnect to the system, and
upload all the information from each device.
You'll get back the information about "Bobby's Room,
Ceiling Light, Device Number 8" as well as all the
brightness levels and fade rates for all the scenes.