FireworX-10 - A Software Controller for the Firecracker X-10 Device (CM17A)

Platform: Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP

FireworX-10 was included in the February/March 2004 issue of Home Automation Magazine in a featured article called Cheap Control on low or no cost programs for home automation.



Version 1.3.0 of FireworX-10 contains the following features to facilitate X-10 control using the CM17A:

  • Manually control X-10 devices. Send ON and OFF commands
  • Provide and store a name for each controlled device and track its current status (ON or OFF)
  • Schedule events for controlled devices
    • Provide a date range that an event will have effect
    • Throughout the date range pick specific days of the week when an event will have effect
    • Choose the time of day that an event will have effect
  • Optionally keep a history of commands issued to X-10 devices both manually and through automated events
  • View all events that will be effective on a certain date
  • View all events that are in effect on the current date at the current time
  • Since the CM17A is not capable of storing a program, your computer must remain on with the FireworX-10 controller running in order for scheduled events to take place

The FireworX-10 main screen appears as follows:

Release History

1.3.0 (02/03/2001)

  • Ability to start the application in it's minimized state.
  • Ability to resize the main application window.
  • Added categorization of events such that events can be grouped and then enabled/disabled as a group.
  • Changed defaults for new events to be active on every day. This should prevent confusion from scheduled events seemingly not working when newly created.
  • Modified "all on" and "all off" commands to use the 'real' X10 commands instead of iterating through each device and sending individual commands. This now works more reliably.
  • Slightly modified algorithm by which scheduled events are run. Previously events that were put into effect during each iteration of the scheduler were those that were, for each unit, the last chronological event prior to the current time. This resulted in the following problem: when Fireworx was started in the middle of the day, the last event for every unit was run often resulting in unwanted results. This will no longer occur as events are only executed on their scheduled run time.
  • The "In Force Events" view was eliminated due to algorithm change outlines above. Events are now run only when their scheduled time arrives so the concept of 'in force' is removed.
  • Added mechanism to remember your favorite House Code which is used for defaulting that value in places where you need to specify House Code.

See the readme file for more information.

1.2.0 (02/02/2000)

  • Copy an existing event when creating a new one.
  • Selectively display Devices on the Device listing for a single House Code.
  • Click on column headers in the Event lists to sort Events by values in that column.
  • Application minimizes to System Tray instead of Task Bar.
  • Days Events and In-Force Events views now display device descriptions in place of Start Date, End Date, Su, Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr and Sa values which had little relevance in that context.

1.1.0 (12/30/1999)

  • Added ability to send a single command to all units assigned to a house code
  • Added DIM and BRIGHT actions.
  • Corrected problems with display of 'Days Events' and 'In Force Events' that occured when latest event updates were not reflected.
  • Refined timing when sending codes to the CM17A.
  • Revised clear history processing to be much faster.

1.0.0 (12/16/1999)
Initial release


Click to download FireworX-10. The download contains everything you need to run FireworX-10 (even the visual basic runtime libraries).

Future Releases

The next release is planned for March 1, 2016. It will include:

  • Several bug fixes
  • Activation of the File menu which will provide the ability to have multiple databases with different sets of events (This is somewhat tricky and may mean the 3/1 release will be some sort of beta).

Recommendations on features are welcome. Below is a set of features that easily come to mind and may make it into future releases:

  • Include sunrise and sunset in the timing of events
  • Add 'randomizing' ability to events
  • Combine individual devices into groups or 'scenes' that can be sent actions in bulk. For example, create group of lights that will all come on at 5:00 PM and send then the ON command with a single event

Future releases will be posted here.