Quantum Electronic Systems
1700 Varsity Estates Drive N.W.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T3B 2W9
Phone: 403.247.9176
Fax: 403.286.1407


The differences between X10 and UPB

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 new settings.

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.



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The differences between X10 and UPB and the advantages of UPB over other technologies