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EZFlora (alias EZRain) by SimpleHomeNet

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  • EZFlora (alias EZRain) by SimpleHomeNet

    I'm not having much luck finding help with this Insteon device. I have the device controlling 7 zones in my irrigation system but not thru Homeseer. I have programs and timers defined in EZFlora and it's running on its own in standalone mode. I'd like to set up Homeseer so that I have an on/off control for each of the zones. Then I could control the EZFlora either manually from Homeseer or write my own HS scripts. It would also be nice if Homeseer could report the status of EZFlora, ie, what zones are on or timers running.

    Is there any help out there?

  • #2
    I know there is more than one user of mcsSprinklers that uses the EZFlora/EZRain. I see a discussion thread by mwaite on that forum as one example http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=136718 I do not have any first hand experience myself with Insteon.

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    • #3
      I'll check it out. However, I wasn't necessarily looking for a plug-in.

      I'm using the Insteon plug-in for HomeSeer and since EZFlora is an Insteon device I was hoping that the zones could be controlled directly with HS thru the Insteon plug-in. EZFlora comes with a software utility for controlling and programming it directly. Using this utility you can program Insteon device links into it's Insteon database. I thought this would be the way to link the individual zones to HS but I'm not experienced in how you'd do this, given that it might be the correct way to do it. Unfortunately SimpleHomeNet doesn't provide any help as they say it's an issue with HS to deal with so I'm stuck. I need some expert advice with Insteon and how HS implements it with their plug-in.

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      • #4
        I believe the Insteon plugin only does lighting. To use other Insteon devices you need to do it via scripting. Again, I'm not a user, but just things I picked up along the way.

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        • #5
          Michael is correct. Some scripting skills are needed to get it to work. The manufacturer's site indicates it works with homeseer... technically, yes it does and works well, but the adventure factor in setting it up is a little high.

          The IO functions in the EZxxx suite of products is one layer deeper than standard Insteon on / off. In the ideal world, each sprinkler zone or io port should advertise its own insteon address inside of one physical device, much like similar X10 products (WGL Sprinklers). Then life would be easy with the plugin. Probably licensing problems or costs with multiple addresses, not sure.

          The thread below has some scripting examples.
          http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=148662
          Paul

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          • #6
            Some time has passed. I ended up adding the ISY 99i Insteon controller to my system and the Homeseer ISY plugin. I found it easy to control the EZFlora zones thru programming the ISY so all my automated irrigation control is done at the ISY. I'm just using Homeseer for lighting control.

            I also got a little better at understanding the Insteon platform and more proficient at using the utility software from SimpleHomeNet. I was able to manually link the EZX10RF to the EZFlora. I can control the EZFlora zones and internal programs with my RF remote from anywhere on my property as well as with the ISY and Homeseer if needed.

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            • #7
              Nice. I figured you would have a different solution and wanted to provide more info to the thread. It would be good for SHN to say that ISY is the needed to support it. Its good to know ISY supports the simplehomenet products.

              That simplehome net utility makes up in functionality what it lacks in sophistication. Since its very rarely used, probably not a biggy.

              I gave the ezfloras one house code that an x10 palm pad can initiate. I know having that is a little thing, but a number of heads need to get fixed and I think 1/3 - 1/2 of my time in the past was spent traipsing to the basement and back, resetting my previous rainbird controller. Now its just click, fix, click

              Question, I ordered the breakout terminals for the rain and water meter sensor break terminals. Have you used either of these senors? If so does ISY treat it like a regular device, turning on when the sensor activates?
              Paul

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              • #8
                I haven't used the rain and water meter sensors. I have my own water well and there's no meter on it. Although, it probably won't be long before the county will force well owners to monitor there usage. I have a Davis Instruments Weather Station that gives me rain amounts but we only get about 6 inches a year so I don't bother with it.

                I was having problems not getting enough range with standard X10 RF receivers talking to the EZFlora in X10 mode. The EZX10RF can receive the X10 RF signal and then communicate to the EZFlora over the Insteon network. It is much more reliable and the EZX10RF has much better X10 RF range.

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                • #9
                  Thank you. I am going to try it and see what happens. I can see messages flowing back from the ez flora after its commanded, I have to assume there will be unprompted messages from the ezflora from the sensors to trap and take action on. More hacking...

                  Yeh, I am using a palmpad through wgl800 and acrf. The house and unit codes of the ezflora insteon zones match the x10 palm pad (F1-F16). (I don't use x10 mode on the ezflora). I have a few spots where reception is weak, but I'm too cheap to spend more on it. Mostly I use the rf for motion sensors, light sensors sometimes and a handful of keychain remotes for WAF.
                  Paul

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