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Hardware Support: Powerline - System Names

Individual inputs (Sensors) and outputs (Turnouts and Lights) in JMRI are accessed via System Names.
For information on the general scheme, please see JMRI Naming in the Technical documentation.

Supported Hardware


X10 devices are addressed via a "House Code" of A through P, and a "Device Code" of 1 through 16.

Outputs (Lights or Turnouts) in each House Code are numbered with their Device Code, e.g.

If an output is called as a Turnout (name starts with PT-), you only get On and Off as output options.

An output that is used as a Light (name starts with PL-) will take variable intensities. However, some physical X10 devices may not support dimming.

Inputs (Sensors) are identified by the house code and device number that was reported by some other X10 device like a motion sensor or light control pad.
NOTE: Due to a large number of false codes experienced by X10 users, Sensors are not automatically generated. They must be manually entered in the Sensor Table by the user.

JMRI configures the adapter to use House Code "A" now. We'll eventually make that configurable, but for now that means that input messages will only be received from devices set to House Code A, so only sensors "PSA1" through "PSA16" will work.
(Early versions of JMRI X10 support used an all-numeric address like PT12, with no House Code letters; this is no longer available, because it caused way too much confusion)


Insteon Adapters are labeled with a three-part number that looks like "01.2A.B4". These are just random strings as far as the user and the program is concerned, and we don't make any effort to subdivide them. You should enter these exactly as they appear on the device you want to address. Do not delete or add leading zeros, etc.

For example, if the device is labeled "01.2A.B4", the corresponding JMRI Light System Name is "PL01.2A.B4".

Adding an item to the table

When you add an item to one of the tables, many times you only have to fill in the numbers to have JMRI construct the complete system name.
Here's a summary, split up for outputs (eg. Turnouts) and inputs (eg. Sensors):

In/Out Entry Meaning makes System Name Mask Minimum Maximum
i/o A3 House code A + num device code PTA3 caps letter + num house code: A; device: 1 house code: P; device: 16
i/o 01.2A.B4 Light (module) PL01.2A.B4 PL01.2A.B4 3 x 2 chars not documented


The DMX universe uses a array of 512 bytes for all the devices on that connection. Each device has an intensity of 0 to 255. In JMRI, this is expressed as a value of 0.0 to 1.0.

Only lights are supported from JMRI. Each lamp may have a ramp rate to control the rate of change. This works from the fast clock. If the clock is not running, the effects are immediate.

The USB interface device must support a serial port for connecting to the USB device. Most of these are FTDI driver devices. The Anyma DMX device uses a USB device driver that is not currently supported on Windows. That device will work for Linux and Mac systems.


Third Party info

More information on the X10 hardware can be found on the (admittedly obnoxious) website.

More information on Insteon hardware can be found on the website.


Back to the Powerline Help page.