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IS UPB dead ?

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  • IS UPB dead ?

    I have been using UPB for many years with very little issues, Now i am getting ready to automate a 2nd home and was wondering what the future of UPB is? I just ordered a few Z wave wall modules and man they are boring, you can do crap without a controller, no switch to switch direct communication. I love UPB links etc... Just wondering what other folks think about UPB?

    Thank you and merry christmas

  • #2
    HA stuff is always on the edge of extinction.

    I have invested extensively in UPB and think it is effective and a very useful component of my system. The most appealing aspect is that it functions pretty much independently of HS, so when it comes time to sell, the lighting system will continue to function almost as it does now (without the sophisticated automation HS provides), but scenes, remote access, and timed tasks (including sunrise/sunset dependent ones) will be unaffected.

    The question will be whether the customer base will justify ongoing support. That's one for the crystal ball I think.
    Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
    HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

    HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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    • #3
      I'm in the same boat. I've had a large UPB installation for years. I just had a major power surge hit the house and take out a large number of things, including a bunch of my UPB switches and interfaces.

      Instead of replacing the failed switches with new UPB units I have been looking at alternatives. Z-Wave plus and Zigbee technologies have come to the top of the pile. I have eliminated WiFi, Insteon, and a few others because of support, reliability, or technological issues.

      Z-Wave is best supported in HomeSeer but I have been disappointed in how basic the functionality is. The links/groups functionality in UPB makes so much sense to me. I logically group the switches so that HomeSeer can simply turn lights/rooms/areas/whatever on and off. I can link switches together without having massive HomeSeer actions.

      UPB also just worked for me, always. I just added a bridge to my breaker box and all circuits in my house worked no questions asked. Z-Wave kinda sorta mostly works with the promise it will likely get better if I just add more stuff, but maybe not.

      Simple things are missing too. My outlet dimmers all have pass-through outlets. I get one controlled and one uncontrolled while using only one outlet at the box. I can't find anything like that for Z-Wave plus.

      This is all very frustrating. You would think that my nearly 15 year old installation would have been far exceeded by some newer technology but I can't even find anything that matches it.

      The Gray One.

      PS: My house has a whole-house surge suppressor on the mains. The surge was from a short that sent 220 into a single leg. Surge suppressors are designed for higher voltage spikes like lightning.

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      • #4
        Although unsupported does this plugin work? I see that there is a paid plugin available but thought I would play around with this one based on the feedback I get here. I have about 7 UPB switches that I put in after X-10 and before going all in with z-wave. So far they have been very reliable for a long-time. Currently I am using the UPB plugin for Allonis MyServer to control them but I would like to get them back under the HS umbrella for ease of event management.

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        • #5
          Just wondering what other folks think about UPB?

          UPB is powerline on steroids. And everyone that I know is still using 120/240 power in their home (network is there).



          I am still using UPB today and it works fine for me. Over the years have purchased hot spares. That said I have not had one single failure to date of any UPB switches.

          Here also went to dual load multiple toggle UPB in wall switches reducing footprints.

          2nd house endeavor in the early 2000's used X10 and that worked just fine for me with the OmniPro 2 panel (#2).

          Concurrently have Zigbee and ZWave testing mode. Geez; now for many many years.

          Always have tinkered here so I have production automation networks and testing automation networks. Keeps me busy these days.

          Today firmware modifying my first WiFi switch module (SonOff) to test. Firmware is multifunctional and will be using MQTT for Homeseer.

          This testing will be leading to first in wall WiFi Dimmer switch (modded off iOT and in house with MQTT only).

          iOT WiFi is tomorrows in wall switch. The writing is on the wall of automation.
          - Pete

          Auto mator
          Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.8X
          Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.8X
          HS4 pro - 4.0.3.0 - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono 6.8X

          X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

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          • #6
            Originally posted by simonmason View Post
            Although unsupported does this plugin work? I see that there is a paid plugin available but thought I would play around with this one based on the feedback I get here.
            I have no experience with the abandoned HS plug-in, but Spud's plug-in works well and he provides excellent support. If there is any chance that you might expand your UPB environment, I'd highly recommend it.

            On the other hand, if you do not intend to add more UPB devices I don't see why you couldn't try out the free plug-in to see how it performs.

            Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
            HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

            HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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            • #7
              Where are you folks purchasing your UPB switches and modules from?

              Thank you

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              • #8
                I use Worthington Distribution.
                Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
                HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

                HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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                • #9
                  UPB isn't dead in my house. 35 devices plus 2 wired in phase coupliers. It's rock solid in my 3000 sq ft house and detached radio shack. I've been wondering about hs4 but after what I consider the hs2 to hs3 UPB support fiasco I'm going to wait until I see what plug in's are migrated.. BTW, I use Spuds plugin and it is excellent. All of my devices are SAI and came from Automated Outlet.

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                  • #10
                    I have been using UPB starting with the 2004 Beta test PSC dimmers and controllers. Those beta dimmers and controllers are STILL working and I have since added to now a total of 29 dimmers, 6 keypads, 2 I/O modules and 2 lamp modules by PSC, Simply Automated and HAI. I Installed another 35 HAI dimmers and 5 keypads in clients homes... some controlled by HS and some just by the in-dimmer/keypad-stored programming set up with the standard UPB UPStart software. To date I have had one HAI dimmer fail. Clearly, they are uber-reliable!

                    I agree with GrayBeard1: "You would think that my nearly 15 year old installation would have been far exceeded by some newer technology but I can't even find anything that matches it." The in-dimmer and in-keypad logic linking makes setup intuitive and obvious and makes HS programming of lighting much simpler by activating and deactivating links instead of events that have to name individual dimmers or HS groups. Also, when HS is down, all the UPB scenes and keypad buttons still do their thing! Just this year, a client downgrading his HA system to sell his house (can't sell with HS) was thrilled that all his scenes still worked independently.

                    I am using the "unsupported" UPB software from HS and have not run into a problem so far. No doubt Spud's plugin has more features.

                    I do wonder, however, how long UPB will continue to be available... it is relatively expensive (get what you pay for) and certainly doesn't have the installation volume of Zwave or Zigbee. May become available at only the even-higher PSC prices and used for commercial installations where reliability is critical.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all of the feedback. I echo everyone's comments about the reliability. I have not had one switch go bad. A long time ago I made the transition to Z-Wave - largely because of the waffling support in Homeseer for UPB and more variety in switch design. I have probably seen at least 6 z-wave switches go bad during this time while my UPB switches keep on truckin'

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jayhawk View Post
                        I do wonder, however, how long UPB will continue to be available... it is relatively expensive (get what you pay for) and certainly doesn't have the installation volume of Zwave or Zigbee. May become available at only the even-higher PSC prices and used for commercial installations where reliability is critical.
                        That's the same concern I've had when I saw the Simply Automated fiasco unfold in 2018 (closing up shop, canning my main man Millard, and moving it to what looks like, according to StreetView, a suburban meth house outside of Arizona). I have around 60 switches/plug relays/repeaters, so I'm tempted to buy up some more stock before it disappears.

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                        • #13
                          See this post from a recent thread at cocoontech on UPB's status:

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