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Poll Device State, Spud UPB plugin

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  • tenholde
    replied
    Is there a way to poll a device for its actual status? There are times when UPBspud is not accurately reflecting the status of an actual device. For instance, if you manually dim a light from a wall switch that does not have the capability of reporting its device's load after a manual change (PCS KPLD7), then UPBspud plugin has no way of knowing how dim the light is, so it reflects the HS device as OFF, even though it is on (dim).

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  • tenholde
    replied
    Yes, the plugin will see the local changes.

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  • Guest
    Guest replied
    OK, found this in UpStart: Edit Device -> Rocker Switch -> Report light level after rocker switch is pressed.
    -- Does this work in everyday use, to keep the real device state and HS3 device states in sync?

    None of my existing UPB devices have this parameter set.
    -- Would this explain why local device states are not captured by the plugin in spite of having configured the PI to "Poll UPB devices for their current state at startup"?

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  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by tenholde View Post
    In UpStart, do you have the devices defined so that they report any local changes?
    I don't see a way to set up devices to report local changes in UpStart V.8.1 Build 79. How do you do this?

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  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by tenholde View Post
    I recommend never changing a device in HS. Make all changes in UpStart. If you change a name in UpStart, delete the device from HS before restarting the plugin. The plugin will find the new device and recreate the HS device.


    Originally posted by 1dB View Post
    Similar to Uncle Michael, I also use an active repeater (a.k.a. 'split phase repeater) at my breaker panel. Mine is from HAI (now Leviton).

    And tenholde's point is huge: It is so easy to edit parameters of UPB devices and see immeidate functional results in HomeSeer -- therefore it is TEMPTING to make UPB device config changes that one should not make in HS3. It is a trap for the unwary. The Upstart config model is the gold standard. Now I see my current 'heavily-edited' UPB config in HS3 as a practice run, a beta test of my UPB network. I have saved the details and am using the spreadsheet as a reminder as I update my UPB devices in Upstart. I will delete all of my existing UPB devices from HS3 before importing the next version of the UPB network config (export) file from Upstart.
    Keep in mind that when you delete/replace a HS device, you will need to edit all events that contain a reference to that device. That's not a big deal as you are starting out, but once you have been working with UPB for a while it can become a serious challenge to track down every instance.

    I would recommend that you approach your UPB setup assuming that HS does not exist. Make it work as well as possible by itself, using UPB links to implement scenes. Once the UPB network is working efficiently, import the devices into HS and add functionality that is not possible with UPB alone. Limit as much as possible direct control of individual devices by HS. Instead, use HS to activate links. That way, you can modify the link action if necessary without impacting HS events. That will give you at least three benefits. You will have a system that works well even if HS is not running. You will minimize the work that HS has to do to "fill in the gaps". The need to make changes after you import your devices to HS will be minimized, because the UPB network will be thoroughly debugged before new devices are incorporated into HS events.

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  • tenholde
    replied
    For Alexa control, use JON Alexa helper script and you can specify any request text to do whatever to any HS device. Best way to create abstraction level.

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  • Guest
    Guest replied
    I use MS Remote Desktop to control the HS computer from a Macbook, so the original Win7 Upstart laptop is redundant now, and the PIM can always keep a physical connection to the HS computer serial port.

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  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Similar to Uncle Michael, I also use an active repeater (a.k.a. 'split phase repeater) at my breaker panel. Mine is from HAI (now Leviton).

    And tenholde's point is huge: It is so easy to edit parameters of UPB devices and see immeidate functional results in HomeSeer -- therefore it is TEMPTING to make UPB device config changes that one should not make in HS3. It is a trap for the unwary. The Upstart config model is the gold standard. Now I see my current 'heavily-edited' UPB config in HS3 as a practice run, a beta test of my UPB network. I have saved the details and am using the spreadsheet as a reminder as I update my UPB devices in Upstart. I will delete all of my existing UPB devices from HS3 before importing the next version of the UPB network config (export) file from Upstart.

    Also: BiffMonday, since you are creating your UPB/HS3 'namespace' de novo: In subsequent steps as you build-out your network, whenever 'user friendly' names are needed for Alexa (or similar interfaces), if your fully-descriptive and unambiguous Upstart UPB device names don't work well for your family and guests, you can create virtual devices in HS3 with friendly names, and control the UPB devices through that abstract layer of 'name translators' with as many virtual devices and/or events as needed. Those, you can edit in HS3 whenever you want to change them, or need to change them or add-to them to work with some other network/interface abstraction layer (such as Alexa, etc).

    It takes some work to wrangle the lower-level details, but being able to unify the entire system under a single set of high-level abstractions is the best part of using a 'neutral' third-party integration interface like HomeSeer.

    Dean

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  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by tenholde View Post
    I only run UpStart on HS computer. Stop the plug-in, run UpStart, restart plug-in. I do this by remoting in to HS computer via VNC
    I do the same. I use RealVNC, which is free and works very well. It allows me to use a small laptop to view the display and control the HS computer from anywhere in the house.

    Leave a comment:


  • tenholde
    replied
    I only run UpStart on HS computer. Stop the plug-in, run UpStart, restart plug-in. I do this by remoting in to HS computer via VNC

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Uncle Michael

    Prior to export of the UPB config file, all of them passed the Upstart communications test. I must not have configured them correctly for status reporting.

    When we turn on lights with HAI UPB wall switches some (all?) of them do not update to 'ON' status in HS3. I confirmed my office light just now. When I activate the light remotely through myHS the light status properly converts to 'ON' in the HS3 device list. When I turn the light 'OFF' manually from the wall switch, the HS3 status indication remains 'ON'.

    When I initially configured UPB, I had zero experience with both UPB and HS. I did not realize the significance of configuring devices to report local changes. Now am digging in to set things up correctly. I have a bit of desktop workspace excavation to do.... and when I reach the layer of the Upstart laptop and PIM, I will see what's in there .

    Perhaps I should run Upstart on the HS machine instead. Do you recommend this? When I first created my UPB network, I thought it would be useful to run the upstart config on a portable machine, but with the PIM tied to a power outlet, it was not really a practical strategy. It took two people to enroll upb devices from all parts of the house.

    Dean

    Leave a comment:


  • tenholde
    replied
    I recommend never changing a device in HS. Make all changes in UpStart. If you change a name in UpStart, delete the device from HS before restarting the plugin. The plugin will find the new device and recreate the HS device.

    Leave a comment:


  • Uncle Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by 1dB View Post
    -. . .please suggest any other parameters that you find useful, or share other lessons you may have learned 'the hard way' while trying to get the most use from UPB through HS3?
    I found that I needed to install an active repeater at my breaker panel to get reliable communication on both legs of my electrical system.
    http://www.pcslighting.com/pulseworx/products/tools/spr

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest
    Guest replied
    - tenholde:

    I will be sure to enable the 'report local changes' parameter when I update my Upstart config file. (and, Biff: This is another feature to add in the beginning.)



    - tenholde and Uncle Michael (and others):

    Since we're talking about how to optimize the Upstart config file, would you please suggest any other parameters that you find useful, or share other lessons you may have learned 'the hard way' while trying to get the most use from UPB through HS3?

    Thanks,

    Dean

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Hi Biff,

    You are on the right track: UPB works well with HomeSeer. Others on this forum are more qualified than I, but with the help of Spud's user manual and Upstart and no particular rocket science, I can control my UPB device network on HomeSeer. I have learned that my UPB devices can do more than I knew when I installed them during renovation of our house. I have also learned that you need to configure each and every button of every device in Upstart with a robust (complete and unambiguous) naming convention. Save your configuration naming 'model' in a spreadsheet (a google sheet works great for this). You can later edit device names in HS3 and do lots of interesting things with your UPB devices. But, you can't export your updated UPB configuration back to upstart. You lose your changes. You have to start over. Your "real" configuration benchmark is the Upstart export file. You can change names and do lots of stuff in HS3, but when you need to update your "real" configuration, you will have to type in the changes manually into upstart.

    If you make changes to UPB device names, etc, in HS3 you need to track them. One way is to copy the device list from HS3 and paste it into a spreadsheet. You will need to reconcile that with your original Upstart configuration spreadsheet. This is messy. I am in the middle of this now, having fallen into the trap of "premature optimization" myself.

    So my advice, once you get things running is: Configure your devices in upstart, [and once your porting to HS3 is working] copy your original config into a spreadsheet as soon as you port it to HS3 and before you make any changes. Then test things, see if you got them all, check this carefully, go back to upstart if you need to pick up any missing devices, and then, port again to HS3, make a new spreadsheet of your devices, and then start developing from there.

    BECAUSE, when you add Alexa to the mix, you are going to hit another "naming convention" wall -- which will require you to consider "names, floors and rooms" again from the perspective of the non-technical person who just wants to use a particular device. HomeSeer UPB (and and Z-Wave, etc) device grouping takes on a whole new 'spin' when you have more than one Alexa device looking into your network through the lens of the Alexa namespace, technical features and operating conventions.

    Now: back to the problem of getting UPB into HS3:

    Instead of asking you 20 questions up front, let's make sure we're on the same page -- starting with the first page of Spud's UPB user manual (see below). What PIM are you using? Have you followed the procedure that Spud recommended? Think through this page step by step and see if you can spot the problem. If something seems unclear, name it and let's see if someone here can help.

    P.S., I am using an HAI UPB PIM with a serial interface. I run Upstart on a win7 laptop. When I am running upstart, the serial plug from the PIM is in the laptop serial port. When I am ready to control UPB from homeseer, I copy the upstart export file to my HomeSeer win7 machine and plug the serial connector of the PIM into a serial port on my HomeSeer machine. I manage the serial ports by trial and error mostly. Put the plug where it works. I don't know exactly what the serial port assignment procedure would be if you were using the same machine to run Upstart and HS3. I understand from reading upstart and spudUPB manuals that the PIM has to be attached exclusively to either one or the other (upstart or HS3).

    Take this a step at a time. Don't assume anything. And if you get stuck you're not done, others are willing to help.

    Dean


    Here is the setup procedure verbatim from Spud's manual: UPB Plug-in - User Guide

    November 27th, 2013, 03:22 PM



    INSTALLATION / CONFIGURATION

    System Requirements:
    This plugin allows HS to communicate and control UPB (Universal Powerline Bus) devices through a serial interface called a PIM (Powerline Interface Module) or the PulseWorx Gateway PGW which is an Ethernet based interface. Here are the only supported interfaces:
    If you need an USB interface go with the PIM-U from PulseWorx. The UMC-DB9 from SA with an additional Serial to USB adapter won't work.

    This plugin is for HS3 or HS3PRO. Both Windows and Linux version are supported. It also can run as a remote plugin, i.e. on a different machine than the one on which HS is running.

    UPB System Configuration:
    Before using this plugin, your UPB system must be configured using the UPStart program that you can download from http://www.simply-automated.com/prod...t_download.php
    The UPStart application will allow you to program and test your UPB devices. When you have completed programming your devices you will need to export your UPB system description so that the plugin can access information about your system. To export your system description use the File/Export command within the UPStart application, and save the file as a .upe file somewhere on your disk, for example in your HS Config folder.

    Plugin Installation:
    Download and install the plugin called UPBSpud from the updater, or download the package from the Beta Testing thread and follow instructions to install.

    Plugin Configuration
    First, make sure you have closed the UPStart program, otherwise the plugin won't be able to communicate with your UPB network.
    Start the plugin from the "PLUG-INS > Manage" page and go to the config page "PLUG-INS > UPBSpud > Config".
    Choose the interface type you have, i.e. "Serial/USB PIM" or "PulseWorx Gateway", then enter the name of the COM Port for the PIM or the IP address of the PGW.
    Click Edit and select your .upe file, then click on the Import button. If everything is ok, it will import your UPB configuration, create HS devices, and synchronize them with the current status of your actual devices.

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