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X10 Genuine CM11A ActiveHome Serial Computer Interface Pre CM15A
ProductTitle ProductTitle ProductTitle ProductTitle ProductTitle

X10 Genuine CM11A ActiveHome Serial Computer Interface Pre CM15A


Average 5 from 5 reviews)
Availability: 1408 available

ActiveHome CM11A Serial Computer Interface

  • X10 brand model number CM11A ActiveHome Serial Computer Interface.
  • The original software works with Windows 3.x, 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, Vista, XP, and Windows 7 (16 and 32 bit operating systems).
  • A new and FREE third party software (named ActiveHome Vista) allows you to use the CM11A with Windows Vista, XP, Windows 7 (32 OR 64) bit operating systems. I am not sure, but it may work on Windows 8. I can personally testify that it does work on Windows XP (32 bit) and Windows 7 (64 bit) operating systems. My guess would be that it would work on Windows 8. If someone has been able to verify this by using it on their own W8 PC, just let me know and I will gladly update this info for everyone.
  • The CM11A can also be used with the CM15A ActiveHome PRO software SW31A (version 3.318 or higher) that you may already have installed on your PC. The newest compatible version of the SW31A PRO software that works with a CM11A is version 3.318 (or higher). NOTE: As of 7-29-2013, X10's software servers went offline and it remains unclear as to when or if the SW31A PRO software will ever be available again for purchase or download. In place of the PRO software, try the new ActiveHome Vista software.
  • The CM11A is virtually future proof with the option of using the standard software for older Windows PC's or a newer software title for the most current up to date Windows PC's.
  • Third Party Software Solutions are also available to use the CM11A with OS/2, Linux, Amiga, and Mac. I can't speak to these as I have no experience with them--you would need to search Google for this type of software.
  • Control any X10 module in your home from your computer.
  • Simple plug-in installation. The CM11A ActiveHome Serial Computer Interface can be moved to any outlet you choose after programming. Can even be moved to another house or building.
  • Create schedules to run the lights and appliances 24 hours a day.
  • Setup security schedules to make your home look "lived-in" while you're away.
  • Define macros that control groups of X10 modules based on inputs received from remote controls, sensors, etc.
  • The CM11A ActiveHome Serial Computer Interface is fully 2-way, both capable of transmitting onto and receiving X-10 commands from the AC power line.
  • Capable of managing up to 256 devices, so you'll have no problem with expandability.
  • Connects to your computer for programming via a 9 pin serial port. RS-232 serial cable is included.
  • The CM11A ActiveHome Serial Computer Interface has a built-in pass-thru outlet rated at 15 Amps so it doesn't tie up one of your outlets. I would recommend not plugging anything into the interface's outlet just to avoid any signal interference or noise problems.
  • Once programmed, a computer is no longer needed for the CM11A ActiveHome Serial Computer to function. The CM11A can work on its own to carry out timers and macros-whatever you set it up to do.
  • Battery backup (2 AAA) saves programming in the event of a power failure for up to a week.
  • UL listed. 120 Volts AC 60 Hz. 6 Watts power consumption.
  • The interface measurement in inches is: (L W D) 4 x 2.5 x 1.5
  • Color is white.
  • You can view the entire owners manual for the X10 CK11A ActiveHome Kit (which includes the CM11A) by clicking here.
  • You can also view a shorter version of the instructions for the CM11A interface itself by clicking here.

This is the Genuine Original model number CM11A ActiveHome Serial Computer Interface. These were a limited production run manufactured in the fall of 2010 just for us. They are as brand new as you can possibly find anywhere. Originally a deal was worked out with another seller that had backed out for whatever reason. Our X10 rep knew we wanted these if they ever came across any so he made the offer to us and we took over the deal that had already been set up. This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity to get any more of these.

Original ActiveHome Interface Screenshot
(Original Software)

Rather than having your lights go on and off at the same time each day, you can use the Dawn and Dusk feature. Simply choose the nearest major city from the Geographic Location menu, and the ActiveHome interface will calculate dawn and dusk times for your location each day. No matter what time of year, lights of your choice can be turned on or off at dawn or dusk.

Hardware Requirements:

  • IBM compatible computer with a 386DX processor or better.
  • Windows 3.x, 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, Vista, XP, and Windows 7 (32 bit operating system).
  • Using the free ActivHome Vista, you can use the CM11A with 32 or 64 bit XP, Vista, and Windows 7 operating systems.
  • A minimum of 8 MB RAM and 5 MB of available hard drive space or 15 to 20 MB for ActiveHome Vista
  • A 9-pin serial port. You can also use a USB to serial port adapter if you don't have a serial port on your PC. Click here for more info on a serial to USB adapter.

Parts Included are as Follows:

  • CM11A ActiveHome Serial Computer Interface.
  • 9-pin serial cable.
  • FREE software download.

    You can download the ORIGINAL ActiveHome software (3.45 MB) by clicking here.

    You can download the new ActiveHome Vista software as a compressed zip file (2.03 MB) by clicking here.

    You can also download the same ActiveHome Vista software as an uncompressed file (12.3 MB) by clicking here.

    You can view the release notes from the creator of the new ActiveHome Vista software by clicking here.

    NOTE: If you can't install the original ActiveHome software on your PC, then you most likely have a 64 bit operating system and would need either the ActiveHome Vista or the SW31A PRO software.

In the interest of full disclosure, you can also download the ActiveHome Vista software directly from the site where I received it by clicking here. The download links above are for the exact same software, just hosted on my own site.

The beauty of the CM11A with the options of the original, ActiveHome Vista, or PRO software is that the CM11A can be used on virtually any Windows PC ever made, in current production, or that will be made in the future. You can use the CM11A and it's original software with older (even pre USB) PC's and the most current up to date Windows 7 machines in either 32 or 64 bit just by using the appropriate software.

Compatible with all manufacturer's X10 home automation products including those from but not limited to GE, IBM, HomeLink, Leviton, Magnavox, RCA, Radio Shack, Safety First, Smarthome, Stanley, X10, and X-10 PRO.

Tips, Suggestions, and FYI

If you are using a serial port and you can't get any communication with the CM11A, uninstall your serial port. To do this, go into Device Manager, then Ports (COM and LPT), then right click Communications Port (COM1) and select Uninstall. It should then give you a warning--select OK or apply. Then restart your PC. When it restarts, the serial port will reinstall itself. You may see a pop up like "found new hardware" or something to that effect. Let your PC automatically finish installing it. Now try the CM11A and see if the serial port works. I can't speak to other operating system, but this seems to be the norm for Windows XP. I also had a fellow tell me this fix worked for his Windows 95 machine. Apparently this is a very common problem with a serial port. The only way I discovered this fix is because I have a digital camera that uses a serial port to connect to my old Windows XP machine. The serial port would always seem not to want to work when I wanted to upload photos. Uninstalling and letting the system reinstall the serial port would always get it back to working.

The same applies if you are using a serail to USB port adapter. If you can't get it to work, uninstall it from device manager and then restart your PC. Then plug in the adapter and let Windows search for and install the correct driver. Don't bother with using any software that came with the adapter as it may be incorrect or outdated. Letting Windows find and install the correct driver for your particular PC is going to be the best option.

The new ActiveHome Vista software also appears to work fine when using a USB to serial adapter.

I have tested using a USB to serial port adapter and the CM11A will work on a 64 bit PC operating system (Windows 7). Be sure that the USB adapter you choose is compatible with your particular PC's operating system. Not all of them are compatible with all systems. X10's SW31A Pro software appears to work fine with the CM11A. When you open the software, you select TOOLS which allows you to set up the port to use with the CM11A. You can view a screenshot of this by Clicking here.

If you are using a USB to serial adapter and you cannot load schedules and timers to the CM11A, try uninstalling the adapter software. To do this, first unplug the adapter and then uninstall the adapter software. Then restart your PC. After restart, be sure you are connected to the internet. Then plug in the USB adapter. A pop up saying that windows found new hardware (or something to that effect) should come up. With the adapter still connected to your PC, run Windows update and let it find and install the correct software for your USB adapter. Most times when you can’t download to the CM11A, it’s the software that came with the USB adapter that is the problem. Be sure the USB adapter you choose is compatible with your particular PC's operating system. Not all of them are compatible with all systems.

The CM11A’s free standard software will not install on PC’s with a 64 bit operating system. The easiest way to test this is to try to download the free CM11A software. If you get an error or pop up saying that it can’t be downloaded or is incompatible with your operating system (or something to that effect), then you can’t use the standard original software. You would need to use the ActiveHome Vista (see link above) or SW31A Pro software (currently unavailable).

If you already have a copy of the SW31A Pro software version 3.318 or higher installed on your PC, then you should be able to use it with the CM11A. When you open the Pro software, click on TOOLS and you should see CM11 configuration. This allows you to select the port to use with the CM11A. Most times one will already be selected by default. Typically it’s port 1, but it may be a different number especially if you have others in use.

You should set up a new program for your schedules and timers instead of using an old one or one transferred from a CM15A or vice versa. You are supposed to be able to use an existing CM11A timer and schedules program for your CM15A and vice versa. But don’t count on it. It’s best just to create from scratch a brand new set of schedules and timers for the CM11A.

When setting up a program for the CM11A using the Pro software, you may need to select soft start or non-soft start in the software for the modules you want to control. Modules may not respond otherwise especially when trying to dim. Not only do you need to set the house and unit code of the module you want to control, but you may need to tell the software what the module is, LM465, WS467, WS13A, etc. If you have an X10 compatible module that you cannot control no matter what module you set it as in the software (model number, soft start or not), then try using one of the Leviton model numbers. These seem to be a default if nothing else will work. This also allows you to use non-X10 brand modules as long as they are compatible with X10 signals. For example, we were able to control a Smarthome brand wall switch module by selecting the Leviton designation.

The new ActiveHome Vista software does not appear to be as specific as to what the designation of the module needs to be. You can set the house and unit code for any module and that appears to be all that is needed. In his release notes, ActiveHome Vista was created by someone who needed the ActiveHome CM11A to work with his PC which was Windows Vista--hence the name ActiveHome Vista. It's not that it is designed only for Vista, but rather that is the name he decided to call his creation. In short: The ActiveHome Vista software appears to work as you'd expect the original should do--only better. For whatever reason, X10's software designers never seemed to be able to grasp this simple but elegant point.

Class of X10 home automation device:

Product Reviews

Showing reviews 1 - 5 of 5

  1. Works great with Plug Computers.

    Posted by OddballHero 6 years ago

    Awesome backup for my PSC05! Works well with Plug Computers. Just need a pl2303 compatible serial to usb dongle. Also kernel modules for pl2303 and usbserial, easy to build and no need to replace kernel. Shows up as /dev/ttyUSBX where X is the port number. Works well with heyu like previous review which is available in most distributions or easy to build from source. Even though X10 recommends against it, can provide real time clock (RTC) function for computers without hardware clock (better than nothing). Easy to set and get date. Command are simple to use like: heyu info heyu date heyu on A5 heyu off A5 Pretty self explanatory. Available for free from Get a cm17a ( along with this and you can connect it to the same dongle (the cm17a has a pass through function which heyu supports) and you can send out cm17a RF specific commands (along with the standard cm11a commands) such as: heyu fon A5 heyu foff A5 By the way, tried this without cm11a and still works. Anyway, great device for home automation. Easy to schedule with cron or use your own daemon. Would advice to buy cm11a/cm17a combo for both powerline and rf control.

  2. theX10shop delivers, the device works (will see how long)

    Posted by anonymous 6 years ago

    I received a new cm11a in the box in a timely manner. So 5 stars to theX10shop. In my experience, the cm11a, in general, seems to have some kind of design flaw where they will eventually start to fail. This is my 3rd cm11a. I've been using these devices (from different stores) for many years with the linux program "heyu". They work perfectly when new. After some years (~5?) of continuous use they start to fail. The failure they exhibit is that they will intermittently just lock up and not respond to the computer. If you unplug them from the wall for an hour or so they will revive themselves, but the lockups will just get more and more frequent. The one I just bought from theX10shop looks identical to my previous models. It's working great now -- let's hope that it continues. I just bought a 4th one for backup, just in case.

  3. It Works!

    Posted by Dinsy 6 years ago

    I have the CM11A being controlled by the ActiveHome Pro software on a Windows 7 computer. Works flawlessly. I just installed the software (no special settings, was in ADMIN mode), selected the CM11A interface, and there you go. All done! I also have an RR501 Transceiver, wall switches, lamp modules, and appliance modules set up. Everything works great. Oh, did I mention that the price here is very good compared to several other sites I visited, including eBay. Thanks guys!!

  4. Good as Gold

    Posted by JB 7 years ago

    Got the product in a new box and even has that new product smell to it. I would highly recommend anyone who owns a CM11A to buy one as a backup for that rainy day

  5. Works Perfectly with Win 7 Pro 32bit

    Posted by anonymous 7 years ago

    This little gem is a steal! No need to go to that other *vendor* with the awful website. Download ActiveHome and install it from an account with administrator privileges. BEFORE you fire up ActiveHome for the first time, right-click on the shortcut and under "Properties" set its Compatibility Mode to "Windows 95". At the same time be sure to set the compatibility mode for "X10 Communications Link" to "Windows 95", To get the Start Menu ActiveHome entries to show up for all users, copy the ActiveHome folder from: C:\Users\"administrator account"\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs to: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs The first time you fire up Active Home go under "File" and "Save as" your *.x10 file(s) to a new directory not in C:\Program Files\Home Control because Win 7 doesn't like unsigned applications making changes on C:\Program Files. Download and run "Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu" which will enable Win 7 to handle ActiveHome's *.hlp files. If you have a new computer, you are unlikely to have a serial port but you will almost certainly have a serial port header on your motherboard. All you need is a computer chassis bracket with the DB9 plug on it and the standard cable that goes to the mobo. Mine was "donated" from a junk computer. I have so much wireless *stuff* that I preferred to use the hardwired like to the CM11. Have fun!

Showing reviews 1 - 5 of 5