About the X10 camera and receiver

There's little to no good technical information on the X10 cameras available on the web. If you're a non-technical person, give up. There's nothing here that can help you.

But for the rest of you who aren't going to go and try to do something dumb, and know which end of the soldering iron gets hot, here's some collected information and what I'm doing.


Unless you're a suitably-licensed amateur radio operator, and intend on using this for legal purposes and identifying properly, don't mess with the unit. You probably don't know what you're doing anyway.

Transmitter info

FCC database information
The FCC ID of the unit I have is: B4SXX10A. A search on the FCC website reveals the following documents.

Of note is the schematic.

Frequency range

The transmitter and receiver have a 4-position switch which determines the transmit or receive frequency. The frequency selected by those settings are:

  • A: 2413MHz
  • B: 2437.6MHz
  • C: 2455MHz
  • D: 2471MHz
The amateur allocation allocation of interest in the frequency range:
2402 - 2417 MHz     Primary
2417 - 2450 MHz     Co-secondary with government radiolocation (industrial,
                    scientific and medical are primary)
2450 - 2483.5 MHz   No amateur - Industrial, scientific and medical ***

So, if you modify, stick to channels A and B.

transmitter modifications

On my unit, I have constructed an amplifier using an RFMD2126. More details to come on that someday.

transmit antenna modifications

The stock X10 cam transmitter has a patch antenna. I opted for a 1/4 wave vertical on mine, as I need some sort of non-directionality for use on the plane.


receiver modifications

My receiver was a little deaf, or rather, I found the receiver had significantly better performance when I built and include a preamp. I built a Down East Microwave 13ULNAK, and am happy with the results.

It's also always nice to have an indication of relative signal strength. This guy has done the hard wwork of finding a good source of RSSI. What I've done is modify my receiver and use a LM3914 dot/bar display driver to provide a visual indication of signal strength. Schematic to come someday.

Of course, there are the Wavecom units. If you have a Wavecom, you may be interested in providing yourself with the ability to _really_ QSY. So I burned a PIC and added an LCD display to one of my units, works well! See making a video scanner for more information.

receive antenna modifications

Again, stock unit comes with patch antenna. I've discarded the patch antenna and connectorized using an SMA. The SMA goes via (short) coax to the 13ULNAK preamp, and then to a patch antenna that I've designed (and tuned) for use at this frequency. The patch antenna is mounted at the focus of a 18" DSS dish.

links of note

Access your RSSI

FCC ID information

Modifying a Wavecom unit

last modified Fri Jan 17 17:02:02 CST 2003 by timc!