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Insteon Plug-in (Mark Sandler) Discussions related to Mark Sandler's 3rd parth plug-in for controlling Insteon devices via Smarthome's PLM interfaces (the 2412 & 2413 series controllers)

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Old November 14th, 2011, 01:10 AM
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Question Keypadlinc - Example usage with the Insteon Plugin

Having tried for a number of years to get x10 4 button controllers to run my low voltage lighting in my kitchen and family room, I finally hit a low on the WAF scale. This thread will be a log of what I did to remedy that.

I have Kitchen / Dining / Familyroom area that we redecorated in 2005 and added a several hanging low voltage lighting systems. Along with that were existing recessed lights, a ceiling lamp over the kitchen table and lamps in the family room.

In 2005 I wanted to integrate that all into decora 4 button x10 wall switches and insteon inlinelincs up in the ceiling with the low voltage transformers. My homeseer server was old even then and I didn't want any direct dependence on operating the lights through the server. Insteon inlinelincs do x10 as well, so leviton button P1 turned on light P1, etc.

X10 interference came and went and more recently has been horrible. Boosterlincs, other tricks helped, but not fully. WAF was so low I had to stop my wifly project and do something more drastic than I had wanted to, but ended up with something that works better than I had hoped.

The picture below is the final implementation, and in future posts I will describe different techniques to implement it, what the tradeoffs are in choosing between them. My goal is to highlight the many things keypadlincs do. Also, for others that have experience with Keypadlincs, please add your techniques, alternatives, likes and dislikes to the the thread.
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Last edited by mnsandler; May 27th, 2012 at 02:59 PM.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 12:53 AM
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How do the different Keypad lincs operate?

The slide below shows what the different capabilities are of keypad lincs. Here is some narrative to help it out:

6 button and 8 button keypadlincs are the same device underneath. You can buy a $6 key change kit that converts a 6 to an 8 and vice versa. the plugin will allow you to make the 6/8 change when you edit the device. There is also a simple startup procedure with the switch by pressing keys to tell it which key pad is attached and how to handle toggling the load on and off. Its easier with the plugin.

You can swap the keypads with the switch in the wall.. Take off the faceplate, and pull out the set button so the switch goes dark. Unscrew, swap, screw back in. I've seen stories on the internet that say this is difficult... I did all three of mine in a few minutes each and had no touble at all.. other than dropping and losing one of the little screws... so put a cloth down and use a magnetic screwdriver if you can

There are only some configurations that are only available as 6 key version. For instance the only dualband keypadlinc, 2487S, comes as a 6 key. But I wanted an 8 key dual band switch in that location. I bought the $6 kepadlinc 8 key change kit and modified it myself. It took 2 minutes, including the 1 time special start up. Conversely, there is a kit to take 8's to 6's.

My take: The 8 key is really powerful control in one location. The 6 key ended up confusing my family on when to press on & off versus toggling button keys. And I get more keys to work with without losing control of the local switch (MAIN). The family really doesn't care which is local (on/off) and other lights A - D

Finally, I personally would not get the countdown version. I am programming one "away" function with one of my buttons. In addition to some local controlling in the switch, homeseer will see this button being pressed and handle a number of functions from insteon lights, x10 lights and HVAC. Having one device in one gang controlling just countdown is not something I would get much use out of.

.
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Last edited by pbibm; November 21st, 2011 at 01:08 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 01:07 AM
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What's the best way to program Keypad Linc Insteon Networks?

One way you can do it is with traditional HomeSeer Events. I'll call this one "good"

Event programming is the way we know, but it adds a lot of links to the chain betwen a finger pressing the button and a light turning on. However, events are necessary if you have non-insteon participants in Insteon activated scenes from keypadlincs. I have some yard lights plugged into X10 supersockets that need to kick on with Insteon premise lights.

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Old November 17th, 2011, 01:13 AM
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What's the best way to program Keypad Linc Insteon Networks? #2

Insteon Groups are a list of devices and their desired state: On/%On/Ramp Rate. Switch actions on the Insteon network can be associated with groups, and the Insteon network uses its own distributed processing to carry out the group commands.

A device that holds and acts on groups is a controller in Insteon speak. The PLC/PLM is a controller and can contain a number of groups.

This way utilizes the power of Insteon and is faster, and its "better"

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Last edited by pbibm; November 17th, 2011 at 10:18 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 01:17 AM
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What's the best way to program Keypad Linc Insteon Networks? #3

Most Insteon switches have the ability to house 1 group.. when that switch is activated, devices associated with it are activated directly by the switch

The Keypad linc is a special device, it has one controller for each key. That means each key can directly instruct the associated devices on the network how to behave. That's 8 controllers in a single gang device!

I consider this the best way to program keypad lincs. Its really fast and very powerful.

.
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Last edited by pbibm; November 17th, 2011 at 07:11 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 01:21 AM
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How to distribute your groups to the PLM or Keypadlinc

Here is a screenshot of how to use the plugin to push group programming out to the network. Simply use the 'Optional Controller' drop down on the page when creating a new group. 'None' means it will be stored in the PLC/PLM

In the case of the keypad linc, each key is called out as a controller. If you push a group to the A key of your keypad linc, those devices are turned on when you press it once, and off when you press it again.

Using Method 1, the computer can crash and burn and not take the keypad switches and lights with it, unless it crashes the plm too.
Using Method 2, you don't need the PLM, provided its not repeating signals to part of your network that needs to be reached. PLMs 'mesh' the insteon network too.

.
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Last edited by pbibm; November 17th, 2011 at 10:20 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 08:57 PM
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Remotely Switching Switchlinc Buttons that control local load

Here is what you need to know about activating Keypadlinc buttons remotely from Homeseer, Insteon Switches and other Keypad lincs

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Last edited by pbibm; November 17th, 2011 at 10:28 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 08:59 PM
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Remotely Switching Keypadlinc buttons that do not control load locally

When the keypadlinc button does not control the local load, the rules are a little different.

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Last edited by pbibm; November 17th, 2011 at 10:29 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 09:02 PM
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Create 3 way to 'N' way circuit functionality with multiple keypadlincs

You can make any number of keypadlincs behave like 3, 4 or 'n' way circuits using groups. Simply include all of the participants in the group, including the appropriate keys on the other controller that you want to turn on or off with the device(s) you are activating. The key light up and the button will be "on", ready for someone to turn things "off"

You have to do this for each controller... it can be a little laborious, but the results are well worth it.

You do have to watch if events are running from the server to support this, especially if you are operating related x10 devices through the PLM. Have the event wait a second or two before sending the x10. The PLM is trying to do both jobs, Insteon and x10, there is a slightly longer than normal pause between pushing the button and lights coming on.

Alternatively, program the key to send the x10 signals directly.

.
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Last edited by pbibm; November 21st, 2011 at 01:20 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 09:03 PM
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This ends the series I wanted to do. Comments are requested especially from Mark. It can be a sticky for future reference.

Paul
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Old November 21st, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Wooah!

This is a good reference. Very well documented.
Thk U.

p.s. to admins : please make this a sticky thread...
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Old November 21st, 2011, 11:54 PM
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Mark, I am open to comments on this. I think its pretty close, but I can make whatever updates are needed. I can be sticky once its been kicked around an updated enough
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Old February 4th, 2012, 09:12 PM
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Paul,

The following applies to i2 KPLs...

I just figured out how to simulate a kpl btn press from HS so that the cmd will initiate the group linked to that kpl btn. The signal flow looks like this:

PLM ---> KPL ---> linked devices on the network

Thus a plugin group would no longer be needed. You could just trigger the kpl btn.

as a result, the hs status page On/Off buttons for individual kpl btns could directly control the group/scene.

thus the following flow could become obsolete:

KPL ---> PLM event trigger ---> turn group X on (linked devices)

does this make any sense?
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Old February 4th, 2012, 10:06 PM
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Hi Mark

This is in reference to post #8?

Just to clarify, you have updated plugin code to do this, or did I miss something in the current feature set?

Currently the one case I want to do this is when ACRF senses motion on certain X10 MS, I turn on one of the groups for one of my A buttons on one of the KPLs.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbibm View Post
Hi Mark

This is in reference to post #8?

Just to clarify, you have updated plugin code to do this, or did I miss something in the current feature set?

Currently the one case I want to do this is when ACRF senses motion on certain X10 MS, I turn on one of the groups for one of my A buttons on one of the KPLs.
Yes, referencing post #8.

the current plugin does not include this feature, but the next one probably will. Just haven't figured out how to implement it yet.

options:
1. create an insteon action to trigger this feature.
2. change the hs status on/off kpl btns to trigger this feature. this may cause problems with current setups.

thoughts
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Old April 21st, 2013, 11:22 PM
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my problem is how to add the keypad linc to my HS system with your plug in, there is no address. and the tap system seems confusing. i have a tabletop unit that i used in another home with x 10- now i have insteon in my new home and i want to use it to have the scenes trigger separate HS events...
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 12:09 AM
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now how do i erase the old x10 codes i have in these buttons from a new address for the keylinc. ....
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
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now how do i erase the old x10 codes i have in these buttons from a new address for the keylinc. ....
perform a factory reset of the device first to clear the x10 codes and existing links. Or follow the manual which describes how to clear the x10 addresses on each button.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gfs View Post
my problem is how to add the keypad linc to my HS system with your plug in, there is no address. and the tap system seems confusing. i have a tabletop unit that i used in another home with x 10- now i have insteon in my new home and i want to use it to have the scenes trigger separate HS events...
if the device is missing the address sticker, then link the kpl to the plm and then display the links for the interface to see the address.

To link the two do the following: put the plm into linking mode by pressing the set btn once. then put the kpl into linking mode by pressing the up paddle for 10 seconds until it beeps.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 11:49 AM
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thanks mark. i found the ad dress and added it. then i did the factory reset by pulling out the set tab, waited 10 secs, then pushed in and held... it never beeped but eventually the ON button lit up so i assumed it was reset?
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 11:52 AM
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also mark, what do i need to boost the range/reception in my house... i have an access point unit... do i use that? i have the PLM in basement at my panel... sorry, new to insteon... use zwave but need insteon for some items. its fast!
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