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    HAI and 2-way Leviton powerline...

    I have learned from HAI today that their OmniPro II can NOT read the activity of Leviton 2-way powerline switches when the switch is activated directly? They indicate that Leviton uses some propriatary signaling and they do not plan to make it work with theirs (they admit Homeseer and most of the others can read it but their interface only works with 'standard powerline protocol' or some BS like that).

    I have just had installed 8 OmniPro wall consoles, full alarm system, 8 thermostats, 8 humidity sensors, etc. I have over 100 Leviton 2-way light switches (recently had many replaced that were older because I wanted to know the true state on the consoles/panels) and the HAI can control the switches directly but it does NOT know the condition of the switches (on/off) when they are turned on and off manually. Is there anything I can do?

    Is there a way to put the CM11a inlines so this system can know what is going on? What a waste! As you can tell I am p'd off.

    I have learned alot of what the HAI can not do (no logging of events that take place -- well it doesn't exist unless you specifically program it individually to log it they say)...but since they do not know what the Leviton switches are doing the programming in my case would be a waste.

    I love the Homeseer stuff but thought that this HAI would allow some cool additional features...what a dud...

    Any thoughts?

    #2
    Breath deep Kevin... HAI is not entirely to blame - in fact, most of the blame goes to X-10 and Leviton.

    Here is the story.

    HAI and MANY other manufacturers of X-10 equipment were forced by X-10, who owned a patent at the time for transmitting on the powerline, to use their interface to the powerline - the TW523 (or PSC05). Now these small interfaces are partly to blame because there is a part of the X-10 protocol that is undefined. That is, data can be sent over the powerline, and instead of everything being hard coded, the data can be anything you want. When this data comes IN to the PSC05/TW523, it cannot derive the message because of the simple hardware that makes up the interface.

    Now enter Leviton.

    When looking for a way to do dimming such that one X-10 signal could operate many devices at once, they did not choose to use Preset Dim or some other features of the protocol - they chose to use Extended Data as their format.

    Now you have the whole story. The TW523/PSC05 came first, then HAI, then Leviton's choice for an X-10 based lighting protocol.

    What does this mean?

    1. If you have one-way Leviton scene switches, then transmitting a scene command from a 16450 area controller will not be understood by the HAI system, but if you have HomeSeer with any X-10 interface that does NOT use the TW523 or PSC05, then you can receive these commands.
    2. If you have two-way Leviton scene switches, then there too when the switch sends its status using extended data, HomeSeer can hear this providing it uses an X-10 interface that does not have the extended data limitation.

    Now the last issue is that while HomeSeer can hear this and you can write scripts or plug-ins to actually interpret it, there are no Leviton scene plug-ins available currently such that knowledge of the Leviton scene commands is built in and ready to go. This means HomeSeer may not always keep an accurate indication of the device's status. When the device sends its status as a regular extended data command, then HomeSeer understands those. If it gets set to a particular scene, then HomeSeer will not know what that data means and will not change the status.

    So as Paul Harvey would say, now you have "the rest of the story."
    Regards,

    Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

    Comment


      #3
      Man...that just s*&ks!

      If I have all the switches removed and have the installer install another brand what brand is the most reliable (I have ALWAYS used Leviton switches in conjunction with Homeseer and never have had any issues).

      Comment


        #4
        Depends on how much you're willing to pay for "most reliable". If installed with the firewall, the Lightolier Compose system is absolutely rock solid. It's slightly more expensive, but you get great value for the dollar.

        I've heard good things about the new PCS UPB stuff, but it's new and hasn't developed a track record yet. The Z-wave stuff also looks like a future winner, but the product line needs to be fleshed out a little before I'd put it into an entire house.
        My system is described in my profile.

        Comment


          #5
          Well no secrets on where my opinion goes on this...

          While I honestly think Marshall Lester is a good guy and builds fantastic products, I do NOT think that anything built to run over the powerline will ever be truly reliable. There are just too many variables, and the powerline is a brutal environment.

          Thus, until we see something out of the ZigBee camp, it's all Z-Wave as far as I am concerned. I have a good total 30-40 Leviton X-10 switches that I have now replaced 10 (or so) of with Z-Wave. Leviton and X-10 have been very, very good to me, but I want the two-way communication and much faster protocol.
          Regards,

          Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

          Comment


            #6
            However, keep in mind that HAI provides NO support for ZWave... So if the HAI knowing the status of lights itself is important, you'll want to skip that (unless you want to have HomeSeer update a "flag" in the HAI for each light, but that involves scripting, and the HAI still won't know its a light).

            The two things the HAI does support out of the box are the Lightolier Compose (including scenes) and the hard-wired ALC from OnQ (you'll need CAT5 run to each switch for ALC, as well as to purchase the ALC board from HAI). But HomeSeer doesn't support ALC (to my knowledge).

            Thus, I'd say the best solution is to use Lightolier Compose. I'll also say that the SwitchLincs from SmartHome work well too, though they do scenes a bit differently than Compose.

            Comment


              #7
              A) Word on the street is that HAI will add z-wave support in the future. No ETA though.

              B) The HAI plugin does support ALC.

              C) What makes the Compose system special is the firewalls. The switches are great (long warranty, fantastic features, good feel), but the firewalls are what make the system so reliable. Without the firewalls, Compose is just another x-10 system. (Okay, it's still better than most of the PLC systems even without the firewalls)
              My system is described in my profile.

              Comment


                #8
                My understanding (which may be incorrect, I don't have ALC) is that the HAI plugin's support for ALC is through the API interface. Thus, I can't configure a normal HomeSeer device and easily control it from the menu without writing code. Is this correct?

                Forgive me if I have this wrong... :-)

                Comment


                  #9
                  You are forgiven as you are wrong.

                  There is a built-in web page which shows all of the HAI/OnQ Units as that is where they put X-10 units, ALC units, counters, flags, outputs, etc.

                  On this page, if it is an X-10 or ALC unit, there is an On/Off/SetLevel button. Enter a value and press the SetLevel button to set it to a specific level.

                  Devices were not created with this plug-in because a fully loaded Omni Pro II or HMS1100 could use as many as 500 devices. The whole HomeSeer plug-in API V2 came about for this very reason! We can have triggers, actions, and conditions in plug-ins WITHOUT having to have a device.

                  If, however, you still want control through a device, then yes, you can create devices and have a script create events that cause changes in an HAI/OnQ system in response to device changes.

                  To re-cap though, the Security, Units, and HVAC built-in web pages give you control of every aspect of the system interactively.
                  Regards,

                  Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

                  Comment

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