Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Migrating from an ISY99-4i

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Migrating from an ISY99-4i

    I am considering migrating from the ISY99-4i world to HomeSeer and have a few questions/concerns, perhaps somebody has the time to respond. I have searched for these answers and came up empty, but I have also researched other questions and found those answers, and, frankly, the wife has "opened the checkbook" for this, so I want to strike while the iron is hot.

    1) HS seems to be Z-Wave centric, all of my devices are Insteon. I see there are at least two Insteon plugins, do they provide "complete" support for the Insteon product line? I realize that is somewhat subjective...

    2) My ISY system can handle geo-fences from my iPhone - does JS have that capability? Meaning - The ISY has a variable for each geo-fence that is updated by the iPhone when the boundary is crossed, that variable is a trigger.

    3) I see that I can buy HS pre-installed on a device or download the software and run it on my own computer, either Mac, Linux, or Windows. Is there any advantage to using the HS-provided hardware v. using my own computer? Is there any advantage for using the Linux v. Windows version?

    4) If you are an ISY user (past or present), what are your opinions of ISY v. HS?

    5) Can I get a short synopsis of the ISY plugin? (Doesn't hurt to ask, and I will be reading up on it, but a one-liner might convince not to bother, although I have two ISY's.)

    Like I said, the checkbook is open, I appreciate all help!

    Thanks
    Last edited by iamjim; September 29th, 2016, 12:05 PM.

  • #2
    Curious why, if you have such an investment in ISY, you wouldn't just use the HomeSeer ISY plugin? I'm especially impressed with the excellent direct integration between ISY and Echo and wonder why you would give that up if you didn't have to?

    Comment


    • #3
      ISY Issues

      Note - I'm trained to give complete answers, so this might get a "TL;DR" - sorry.

      I do have an investment in the ISY, even more so in Insteon. However, the HomeSeer product, on the surface at least, seemed to support Insteon, as well as anything product line for which a plugin could be written. The ISY does support Zwave, also.

      I have some issues with the ISY, and some of those might exist with the HS line:
      First of all, minor programming errors can cause the ISY to lock up and become unresponsive, requiring a reboot of the system.

      The programming model is similar between the ISY and HS, though the latter seems to have addressed the common (for me) issue of triggers v. conditions. I am testing the HS to see if it handles those situations better than the ISY.

      Also, the ISY does not support some critical date specifications that I need. The ISY (unless there is an update in the past week) does not let you specify something like "Every December 25th" or "The fourth Thursday of November" (I'd also like "the day after the fourth Thursday of November"). I use a couple dates to indicate when it is sort-of summer v. winter. With the ISY, I have an event that runs daily during the first two weeks of the year, sending me an email - "Time to update the dates, including this one" - reminding me to edit every event in my Calendar folder (HS - a "group", I suppose) and update all the dates.

      As for the ISY Plugin, I'm still looking over the various plugins - to my disappointment, the documentation is frequently out-of-date. For example, the "good" Insteon plugin ($60) that I installed yesterday - its documentation is 3-4 years old and does not match what I see when I run it. Also, its first step is to install the PLM and get it working by visiting a link - that link takes me to a page to buy the Insteon plugin and its documentation reference takes me back to the page that brought me there! I know tool well how difficult and tedious it is to maintain documentation, but I'm still out in the cold trying to get a working system running that I can thoroughly test before I lay down what will probably be close to $1,000.

      Comment


      • #4
        I use the ISY with Homeseer using the aforementioned plugin.

        I do use the ISY for "some" logic and scenes. This is because in Homeseer, if I tell it to turn on/off lights in an event, it does them one device at a time, where as in the ISY I can set up a scene to have them set all at once.

        For instance, in my living room I have 6 recessed lights put on 3 dimmers (3 sets of 2 lights). I have multiple scenes set up an I just call those scenes from Homeseer. That way all 3 sets adjust at the same time instead of 1 at a time. The same goes for my guest bathroom which is 100% insteon (I have a lot of z-wave devices as well).

        I think you can also accomplish most of this with Mark's Insteon plugin as well, but i'm not sure. You would need a PLM though (which you should already have). The reason I stuck with the ISY is because I didn't have to remove/add devices and I do like the ISY for some bare bones logic (keeping keypads in sync). I do want to try Mark's Insteon plugin as well, but want to wait until I have a spare PLM to use.

        That said, as it is now, unless you have other issues with Insteon, I would stick with it and for "testing" purposes, you can definitely get started using the ISY plugin to interface with Homeseer.
        MeiAutomtion Home

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks

          Thanks for your response. So you are using your ISY as a sophisticated controller, more so than just a PLM? It seems like the ISY is more advanced at device management, all I have seen so far in HS is having to add devices manually v. a linking mode, but I am a novice with HS.

          I've not heard anything about geo-fence support in HS, either. Is the ISY Plugin capable of reacting to triggers from the ISY, such as a geo-fence updating a state variable?

          One thing that I have not figured out yet is how to address a PLM from Mark's plugin - I'm using UNIX (Mac, Linux) and the instructions that I have found reference COM: ports.

          Do you have any recommendations about what to run HS on? The options are one of the HS standalone devices, and a bring-your-own-hardware, which boils to down to either a UNIX machine or Windows.

          Thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            There's a great free plugin for HS for location tracking and geofencing called PHLocation: http://board.homeseer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1488. My preference is to run HS on my own Windows system as there are many more plugins and utilities available for Windows.

            Cheers
            Al
            HS 3.0.0.548: 1990 Devices 1172 Events
            Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 126 Nodes on one Z-Net

            Comment


            • #7
              Here's my feedback coming from using both systems (well ISY994i with Z-Wave):

              1) HS seems to be Z-Wave centric, all of my devices are Insteon. I see there are at least two Insteon plugins, do they provide "complete" support for the Insteon product line? I realize that is somewhat subjective...
              - It's a bit more Z-Wave centric but Insteon works just as well. The built in Insteon plugin is VERY limited, to the point that I feel it's misleading they say it supports it. Yes you can add almost all devices, but you can't really do much else with them. If all you have are light switches and want basic control, then no problem. The built in plugin however does not support things like Fast ON/Fast OFF, Insteon Scenes, changing ramp rate etc, so it's REALLY basic. I used the ISY plugin and it works awesome, literally supports everything and provides redundancy. I ended up buying the $60 plugin though and just using that to have everything on the same system. That plugin is fully featured, supports Insteon scenes and everything. I find it almost better than the ISY994 as it actually shows signal level, like reliability helping you identify devices with poor coverage.

              2) My ISY system can handle geo-fences from my iPhone - does JS have that capability? Meaning - The ISY has a variable for each geo-fence that is updated by the iPhone when the boundary is crossed, that variable is a trigger.

              - Pretty sure it does but much better, there's lots of plugins for geofencing and other options, but unlike the ISY where you're doing it sort of as a hack, updating a variable etc, any HS plugins actually work properly and create devices that actually make sense. So for example instead of "If variable = 1 then Bob is home, if 0 Bob is not home" it would make a device called Bob Status, and have options like "Home" "Away" etc.

              3) I see that I can buy HS pre-installed on a device or download the software and run it on my own computer, either Mac, Linux, or Windows. Is there any advantage to using the HS-provided hardware v. using my own computer? Is there any advantage for using the Linux v. Windows version?

              - Only advantage I can see is having supported hardware but it's not required. I run it on my Windows PC which runs my Blue Iris security cameras but I've also put it on the Raspberry Pi. Linux has less plugins, but not by many, almost all seem to work on both. It just seems to be designed for Windows so I kept it there to be easier.

              4) If you are an ISY user (past or present), what are your opinions of ISY v. HS?

              - The ISY is awesome but way too limited for me. There's no plugins at all and everything 3rd party feels like a hack. For example, using Philips Hue lights with them is done via the network resource and JSON REST commands, so to turn the Hue lights on, the ISY issues a HTTP post to the Hue bridge. It works, but it's one way so you have no idea if the light is even on. With HomeSeer the plugins actually work properly, so my DSC Alarm, Hue Lights, Lutron Caseta, etc all work exactly as you'd expect, I can even change the colours on the lights from HS. The main reason I switched though was logging. With the ISY the logging is pretty bad, you need to log into the Java based admin console and download an Excel log. Totally useless if you're out of town on your phone and want to quickly see if someone opened your front door recently. HomeSeer actually spells it all out super easily to read, like "The Front Door opened at 12:10pm", "Event: Turn on Front Porch lights if the Front Door opens, has just triggered", "Front Porch Lights have just turned on" etc. The only limitation I find is HS isn't as good at events as the ISY is.

              For example, time based events don't work easily and require more programming on HS3. So on the ISY you can write a program easily like "If the time is between sunset and 1am next day, and the time is not between 1am and sunset, then turn on the living room lamp, else turn off the living room lamp." That's one program to turn the lamp on between sunset and 1am, and turn it off between 1am and sunset. With HS3 you can't do "If the time is between this time" without virtual devices or plugins. So instead you'd need multiple programs, like "If the time is sunset, turn on the lamp" then another program "If the time is 1am, turn off the lamp" and so on.

              I also prefer how the ISY handles IF statements and only runs the program while they are true. For example, close the bathroom door, have the fan come on, if the door opens wait 20 minutes and turn off the fan. With the ISY you'd just say "If the door closes, turn on the fan." Then another program "If the door opens, wait 20 minutes then turn off the fan." However if you close the door 10 minutes after leaving, that program is no longer true, meaning it stops running. When the door opens it starts again. With HS3 for the 2nd program, it creates a new temporary event with the time being 20 minutes in the future, and the action being turn off the fan. So now if you walk back in 10 minutes later, that 20 minute timer doesn't reset, you need to add a line to your program saying "If door closes, turn on the fan, AND cancel delayed actions for the fan". It's not a huge deal just a different way of doing things but I prefer how the ISY does it.

              5) Can I get a short synopsis of the ISY plugin? (Doesn't hurt to ask, and I will be reading up on it, but a one-liner might convince not to bother, although I have two ISY's.)

              - I've only used it with the ISY994 but it works great. It adds every device including Z-Wave (switches dimmers etc, I don't know about locks etc). All scenes are added and your programs. So you can easily have a HomeSeer event trigger an ISY program if you wanted to, or update an ISY variable and so on. Worked great when I used it, but my concern was it's beta and every few months it expires and has to be reset with a new version, so made me nervous not knowing if they will just stop working on it at some point.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by iamjim View Post
                Thanks for your response. So you are using your ISY as a sophisticated controller, more so than just a PLM? It seems like the ISY is more advanced at device management, all I have seen so far in HS is having to add devices manually v. a linking mode, but I am a novice with HS.

                I've not heard anything about geo-fence support in HS, either. Is the ISY Plugin capable of reacting to triggers from the ISY, such as a geo-fence updating a state variable?

                One thing that I have not figured out yet is how to address a PLM from Mark's plugin - I'm using UNIX (Mac, Linux) and the instructions that I have found reference COM: ports.

                Do you have any recommendations about what to run HS on? The options are one of the HS standalone devices, and a bring-your-own-hardware, which boils to down to either a UNIX machine or Windows.

                Thanks!
                If you don't know Linux then I'd stick to Windows. The COM ports are going to be the same as any other on a Linux system, usually /dev/ttyS0 if it's a serial port, otherwise /dev/ttyUSB0 sometimes for a USB to Serial adapter, or on my system my Z-Wave SmartStick+ is /dev/ttyACM0

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sirmeili View Post
                  I use the ISY with Homeseer using the aforementioned plugin.

                  I do use the ISY for "some" logic and scenes. This is because in Homeseer, if I tell it to turn on/off lights in an event, it does them one device at a time, where as in the ISY I can set up a scene to have them set all at once.

                  For instance, in my living room I have 6 recessed lights put on 3 dimmers (3 sets of 2 lights). I have multiple scenes set up an I just call those scenes from Homeseer. That way all 3 sets adjust at the same time instead of 1 at a time. The same goes for my guest bathroom which is 100% insteon (I have a lot of z-wave devices as well).

                  I think you can also accomplish most of this with Mark's Insteon plugin as well, but i'm not sure. You would need a PLM though (which you should already have). The reason I stuck with the ISY is because I didn't have to remove/add devices and I do like the ISY for some bare bones logic (keeping keypads in sync). I do want to try Mark's Insteon plugin as well, but want to wait until I have a spare PLM to use.

                  That said, as it is now, unless you have other issues with Insteon, I would stick with it and for "testing" purposes, you can definitely get started using the ISY plugin to interface with Homeseer.
                  Just to add, everything you're mentioning here a limitation of the included plugin. You can do pretty much the exact same things the ISY does but from Mark's plugin. The devices are all turning on at the same time because you're using an Insteon Scene vs a program to run them. Scenes are nice as the ISY can be turned off and they still work, where a program needs the ISY or HS to run them. Mark's plugin can do all of this though, and much faster than the ISY. I never understood why every time you change anything on the ISY or add a device to a scene it literally takes 2-3 minutes. Mark's plugin does it in maybe 10 seconds.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think it's important to note that there are 3 "Insteon" plugins:

                    1) Homeseer's plugin - I think this one is pretty basic
                    2) Mark Sandler's Insteon Plugin - I'm not sure, but I think this one is the one most choose when using a PLM directly with HS. I think it is more advanced than the Homeseer one.
                    3) the ISY plugin (Requires you have an ISY) - This is the only one I've used because I previously owned an ISY and it's currently "free".

                    Perhaps when @ryuvann said the insteon plugin was "basic", he was referring to #1? I'm not sure. I would be interested to hear if he/she thinks Mark Sandler's is basic as well.

                    I have considered moving to Mark Sandler's or at least trying it out because I would like to potentially remove the ISY as long as Mark's plugin can do what I use the ISY to do (sync keypads to device status and "scenes" mainly).

                    I also to happen run my install on windows because I already had a windows server for PLEX and shares (windows server 2012r2 Essentials)
                    MeiAutomtion Home

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ryuvann View Post
                      Just to add, everything you're mentioning here a limitation of the included plugin. You can do pretty much the exact same things the ISY does but from Mark's plugin. The devices are all turning on at the same time because you're using an Insteon Scene vs a program to run them. Scenes are nice as the ISY can be turned off and they still work, where a program needs the ISY or HS to run them. Mark's plugin can do all of this though, and much faster than the ISY. I never understood why every time you change anything on the ISY or add a device to a scene it literally takes 2-3 minutes. Mark's plugin does it in maybe 10 seconds.
                      I think you posted this while I was doing my last post.

                      I will say that for my ISY, changes take about 10 seconds to scenes. I've never seen it take 2-3 minutes in my install.

                      I'm glad to hear that Mark's plugin does everything the ISY does. I'm going to definitely make sure I get an extra PLM and start moving stuff over as a test (always good to have a spare PLM anyways!).
                      MeiAutomtion Home

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Been there, done that. My ISY is sitting in a box in my closet.
                        HS3 is much better, IMO.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sirmeili View Post
                          I think it's important to note that there are 3 "Insteon" plugins:

                          1) Homeseer's plugin - I think this one is pretty basic
                          2) Mark Sandler's Insteon Plugin - I'm not sure, but I think this one is the one most choose when using a PLM directly with HS. I think it is more advanced than the Homeseer one.
                          3) the ISY plugin (Requires you have an ISY) - This is the only one I've used because I previously owned an ISY and it's currently "free".

                          Perhaps when @ryuvann said the insteon plugin was "basic", he was referring to #1? I'm not sure. I would be interested to hear if he/she thinks Mark Sandler's is basic as well.

                          I have considered moving to Mark Sandler's or at least trying it out because I would like to potentially remove the ISY as long as Mark's plugin can do what I use the ISY to do (sync keypads to device status and "scenes" mainly).

                          I also to happen run my install on windows because I already had a windows server for PLEX and shares (windows server 2012r2 Essentials)
                          Yeah I was referring to the built in one as being basic. Mark's has a 30 day trial so doesn't hurt to try it out. It lets you do everything you can with the ISY if not more.

                          It doesn't always take 2-3 minutes to create scenes, just seems slow in general depending on what you're doing. Like if I create a new scene and add 3 devices to it, it's always been 1-3 minutes, I've never had it be less. It's always a progress bar going by "Writing hi-water byte" or something like that. Not a huge deal, but for me HS3 is way faster at making Insteon changes.

                          One other thing that's nice with Mark's plugin is it creates scenes for all keypad buttons automatically, meaning you can write an event and just by default include actions like "Turn ON keypad button C" where as with the ISY to do that you need to make a Scene that includes only button C as a responder. Mark's plugin works the same way, it just makes the scenes in the backend for you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ryuvann View Post
                            Yeah I was referring to the built in one as being basic. Mark's has a 30 day trial so doesn't hurt to try it out. It lets you do everything you can with the ISY if not more.

                            It doesn't always take 2-3 minutes to create scenes, just seems slow in general depending on what you're doing. Like if I create a new scene and add 3 devices to it, it's always been 1-3 minutes, I've never had it be less. It's always a progress bar going by "Writing hi-water byte" or something like that. Not a huge deal, but for me HS3 is way faster at making Insteon changes.

                            One other thing that's nice with Mark's plugin is it creates scenes for all keypad buttons automatically, meaning you can write an event and just by default include actions like "Turn ON keypad button C" where as with the ISY to do that you need to make a Scene that includes only button C as a responder. Mark's plugin works the same way, it just makes the scenes in the backend for you.
                            This right here is what I think would make it worth the money for the plugin. It is a PAIN to sync keypad buttons and in my experience on the ISY it is NEVER fool proof!
                            MeiAutomtion Home

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sirmeili View Post
                              This right here is what I think would make it worth the money for the plugin. It is a PAIN to sync keypad buttons and in my experience on the ISY it is NEVER fool proof!
                              There's another feature as well with Mark's plugin you can check off "Sync linked responder devices." So for example, say you have a Keypad scene where one button turns on a LampLinc, normally if you turn on the LampLinc using software or a timer, the Keypad doesn't update without a program saying "If lamp turns on, turn on the keypad button B" but when you have that option checked, turning on the lamp automatically updates the responder devices like the keypad similar to if you manually turned the lamp on by pressing the lamplinc on button. It doesn't work with my LED Insteon bulb but I think that's because they can't be a controller only a responder, but as long as the device is a controller, then it auto updates the responders saving even more time.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X