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PixController RF
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X10 Wireless PIR Sensor Overview

Introduction Specs X10 PIR How it works Connecting Cameras Building Systems Antennas

X10 wireless PIR transmitter

2.5" X 2.5"
PIR Motion Detection
PIR Range:
~20' Detection
RF Transmission Range:

Sensor Overview

The X10 Wireless PIR Sensor is a small 2.5" X 2.5" motion sensor made by X10 Corp., The sensor sends out a RF wireless X10 protocol at 310MHz consisting of a House Code and Unit Code which you setup at each PIR sensor. For information on setting the House and Unit codes please see the link above How it works. The X10 PIR sensors is powered by 2 small AAA batteries and will last for about 1 year. There are 3 models of this sensor made by X10, which are the HawkEye, EagleEye, and ActiveEye (see chart below). We recommend the EagleEye sensor because of it's outdoor use and price. The cheapest place to purchase the sensor is on eBay where you can buy them for about $10 each, and sometimes cheaper when buying 3 or more at a time.



Model: MS13A

Model: MS14A

Model: MA16A


Indoor White

Shadow Gray

Shadow Gray

Primary Use




Popular Customer Choice for

ActiveHome Upgrades
Camera System Upgrades
ActiveHome Upgrades

Special Feature

White Color for indoor camouflage

Locking Screw Protects Batteries

Improved Programming Features, Analog setting-variable delay set by knob on top of unit (1-60 minutes)

Setting up the PIR Sensor

The X10 PIR sensor can be setup in a mode to work at day only, night only, or 24 hours. Set the sensor in 24 hour mode. Also, it can be setup with a PIR delay, but do not set this since the PixController RF board will take care of the day/night mode, and PIR delays. In short keep the X10 sensor in all default modes. Every sensor will default to A1 House/Unit code every time you change the batteries. This is the "A" sensor or trigger sensor. You can change it to a "B" sensor of power up sensor if needed for your setup.

Mounting the PIR sensor

Mounting the X10 PIR sensor in the field is fairly simple. Just remove the battery cover and batteries as shown in the photo to the right. You will see 2 small mounting holes which will take small flat head wood screws. You can either screw this into a tree or make a small mounting plate that you can mount the PIR sensor to, and bungee the plate to a tree or pole. Remember to mount the sensor at about 5' to 6' high since the sensor area is directed down about out. The sensor area is also a wider area than most PIR sensors.


Testing the PIR sensor

To test the X10 sensor in the field boot up your PixController RF board with switches 4 and 5 "UP". This will put the board into walk test mode. If you open the battery case on your X10 sensor and press the "House Button" as shown in the photo to the right it will send out the X10 RF code for this unit. If setup as a "A" House Code sensor the PixController RF board will "beep once", and if setup as a "B" House Code sensor the PixController RF board will "beep twice".  Make sure the case is open on the PixController RF unit so you can hear the beeps from a distance. See button locations in photo to the right.

Modify the PIR Sensor to prevent false triggers

When we started using the X10 PIR sensor we noticed a fair amount of "false triggers". We found a web site,, which talked about this in depth. They suggest replacing the C12 Capacitor from a 1.0 uF electrolytic  to 0.1 uF ceramic disc capacitor, which can be purchased at your local Radio Shack. We did this and it helped tremendously. See photo to the right for the location of the C12 CAP.

Masking the Red LED and PIR lens

Every time the PIR sensor is triggered the red LED will blink. In most cases this is not desirable. The easiest way to prevent this it to remove the red LED or mask the red LED with some black electrical tape. To do this remove the batteries and turn the PIR sensor over. Remove the 4 screws on the back of the case and remove the case. This will expose the PIR circuit board. Locate the red LED as shown in the photo to the right.

Since the X10 PIR has such a wide PIR sensing area you may want to reduce it. To do so place about 1/4" strips of electrics tape on the inside of the PIR sensor lens on both outside edges (see photo to the right). This will cover up the outside of the sensing area and make it a narrower detection area. This may be needed for digital camera setups, however, in most cases this is not needed for a video camcorder setup.


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PixController, Inc. products are designed, engineered, and manufactured in the USA

Copyright , PixController, All Rights Reserved.

Remote Outdoor Surveillance & Wildlife Camera Systems
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