Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

  1. What is a macro?
  2. What is a quick macro?
  3. What is a trigger?
  4. What is a time trigger?
  5. What is a sensor trigger?
  6. What is a group trigger?
  7. What is an action?
  8. How do I set the program up for video?

What is a macro?

A macro defines a series of actions that happen when an event occurs. The event triggers the marco to run.  For example, you can create a macro which is triggered by motion reported by a motion sensor.  The trigger is the motion sensor.  The action(s) could be to turn on a light, 2 minutes later turn on another light, and then after 5 minutes of trigger inactivity (no motion), shut off both lights.  The actions do not necessarily have to be switching (on/off) actions.  For instance, you could make the computer beep or play a sound, or send an email.

A macro can have one or more triggers.  If it has more than one trigger, it can be set to trigger only when all of the events/triggers occur an active state, or when any of the triggers are in an active state by setting the Trigger When field.

A macro can be set to only work during the day (between dawn and dusk), only at night (between dusk and dawn), or at any time by setting the Day/Night field.  If it is set to work only at night, then all triggers are ignored until it is at night.  See "How are the dawn and dusk times determined?" to see how day and night is determined.

The macro can have an unlimited list of actions.  Each action in the list will finish completely before it goes on to the next action in the list.  When there are no more actions to process, then the macro returns to a monitoring state, where it watches for an event(s)/trigger(s) to see if it is time to start again.

An unlimited number of macros can be programmed.  The program monitors all macros simultaneously, so it's possible that several macros can be running at the same time.

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What is a quick macro?

A quick macro is a standard macro but with a simpler setup screen.  With it, you can quickly set up macros that will monitor a sensor and turn on a switch when the sensor trips.  You can optionally turn off the switch after a user specified time with no sensor activity.  

Quick Macros can easily be created when using sensors and switches.  Just highlight the switch you want to control, and click the Quick Macro button.

You can easily switch to the advanced macro screen when you need to have full access to all the macro capabilities.

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What is a trigger?

A trigger is an event that causes a macro to start.  A trigger can be a

  • time trigger,
  • sensor trigger, or
  • group trigger
  • .

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    What is a time trigger ?

    A time trigger will cause a macro to start at a particular time.  A trigger can start and end at a certain time, at dawn, or at dusk.  

    The time trigger can be set to trigger once during that duration, for when it's used alone to trigger a macro, or it can be set to trigger for the entire duration, which is useful when used in conjunction with other triggers.  For instance, if you want a motion sensor to trigger a macro, but you only want it to trigger during the day, you would create a time trigger that is set to always trigger between dawn and dusk, and then you would add a sensor trigger that will trigger once.  When both triggers are set, which will only be during the day, then the macro will start.

    Time triggers can be set to recur on a regular basis, starting at the start date.  They can recur hourly, daily, weekly on specified days, monthly on a particular day of the month, on the ?th day on a particular day, or at the end of the month, or on a particular day of the year, or a certain occurrence of a specified day on a specified month.  This lets you set up macros to run on any holiday, or on any day or days of the week you like.

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    What is a sensor trigger ?

    A sensor trigger will cause a macro to start when a sensor sends a signal.  The sensor trigger can be activated when the sensor turns on or off.  The sensor can be any X10 house and unit code combination, or an IO sensor if you purchased the IO Add-On feature.  If the sensor contains data, such as when an X10 dim or bright command is sent, it can also trigger based on whether this data is greater than, less than, or equal to a specified value.

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    What is a group trigger ?

    A group trigger is a set/collection of other triggers.  This is used in case you need all of a set of triggers to be active to start a macro, but you may have one group of triggers which you want to be active if any of those triggers are active.  For instance, if you have a time during the day where you want a macro to occur, and you want it to happen when any of several motion sensor are tripped, then you would need to set up a time macro and a group macro, which must all be active for the macro to trigger, and the group trigger would consist of several sensor triggers, and the group trigger would be active when any of those sensors is active.

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    How is the dawn and dusk time determined?

    When you set up a macro, you can set it to trigger only during the day, or only at night, or both.  If you add a time trigger, you have the option of triggering at dawn or at dusk as well.  As you know, dawn and dusk don't stay the same all year unless you happen to live at the equator.

    So how does it know when dawn and dusk are?  Well, there's two ways that it can be done, and you set up how it is done under Setup and then Day / Night.  Here you can set whether dawn and dusk are calculated, or if a sensor is to be used.  X10 motion sensors have the ability to send an on code on the next unit code when it gets dark, and an off code when it gets light.  For instance, if your motion sensor is set up for A1, then it will send an on signal for code A2 when it gets dark out, and when it gets light again, it will send the off signal for A2. 

    If you choose to let Home Domination calculate the dawn and dusk time for you, you will need to enter your approximate latitude, longitude, and time zone.  This is more reliable than the sensor method, however it won't adjust for cloudy days.  If you use a sensor to determine dawn and dusk, then you need to choose the function that indicates night (on for X10 motion sensors).  You can use other types of sensors however.  The sensor method can be less reliable since X10 codes are sometimes lost when multiple X10 modules transmit at the same time, however it will handle cloudy days better by setting the dusk time earlier.

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    What is an action?

    An action is something that happens when a macro is triggered.  An action can:

  • control a switch (either an X10 or an IO switch),
  • make the computer beep or play a sound,
  • send an email,
  • begin buffering (creating) an email to send later,
  • send a completed buffered email,
  • start or terminate another macro,
  • reboot the PC
  • set a mode,
  • take a video snapshot,
  • or alert a specific network client.
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    How do I set up the program for video?

    The video add-on feature is required for video, although it is also available for a limited time as a demo.  Make sure you install your video device first.  This will likely install any DirectX files you need to access this device.  If not, go to Microsoft's web site to download and install the latest version of DirectX for your computer.

    Then you'll need to go into the Home Domination main control program, click Setup, click Video, and then click Add.  This will display a list of video sources that are available to you.  If the list is empty or you don't see your video source in the list, then check to make sure your device was installed correctly and that DirectX is properly installed on your machine.  Click on the video device you want to use, select a short name that indicates which video device you are using, and a longer description if you like.  If the video source is an X10 device which is turned on and off using an X10 code, then add the appropriate switch and select it.  

    Click OK until you are back to the main screen.  Now a tab should be created on the bottom of the screen with the name of the video source tab you just created.  If you click on that tab, you should see a live preview from that device unless the preview check box is not checked.

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