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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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  #21  
Old November 27th, 2012, 11:04 PM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatvent View Post
Mark, how will your plugin work with the hub? I am guessing your plugin is in control and tells the hub to setup links, etc. Does a device also show up in the hub or must it be added by the hub OS (which I would think would cause conflicts with your plugin).
In the plugin, i changed how you identify the port where the plm or hub is located; either enter COMx or IPort. The plugin will determine what you have from there.

my plugin isn't going to configure anything that you would have to configure via the hub interface. I think the hub saves all its config in memory which is a black box to me; there are no dev notes for the web UI. so all that config is on the user.

i think the hub was meant to be used in conjuction with software like houselinc or homeseer now. Not sure if houselinc configures the web ui features of the hub.
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  #22  
Old December 5th, 2012, 01:06 PM
claude claude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnsandler View Post
... my plugin isn't going to configure anything that you would have to configure via the hub interface. I think the hub saves all its config in memory which is a black box to me ...
Looking at the quick start for this hub, I read "The INSTEON Hub stores your homes configuration in the cloud which allows access from any number of smartphones and tablets you may own".

Even so, I guess this doesn't help you with the plugin as you would need access to the credentials to get to the cloud.
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  #23  
Old December 5th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claude View Post
Looking at the quick start for this hub, I read "The INSTEON Hub stores your homes configuration in the cloud which allows access from any number of smartphones and tablets you may own".

Even so, I guess this doesn't help you with the plugin as you would need access to the credentials to get to the cloud.
Correct, the plugin is not going interact with the internal or external web ui avail in the hub.

The plugin is only going to access the internal plm to send and receive msgs (via http). No username or password required or supported at this time.
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  #24  
Old December 5th, 2012, 02:09 PM
claude claude is offline
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Originally Posted by mnsandler View Post
... In order to get async msgs (manual btn presses) from the network, i have to poll the hub's buffer via the network. I currently have this set to poll every second, sound reasonable? ...
Polling is a bummer, I guess you don't have a choice.

I've been redoing the AV part of my home automation (Demopad Designer with Global Caché's iTach): I'm trying to free myself from IR, at least from my controller device (WiFi on iPad).

In that AV set up, I use an IRlinc receiver 2411R to fire some Insteon commands to activate some lighting sequences. So I'm looking more and more at this Insteon hub, hoping I could eliminate one more piece of IR gear (2411R) by firing equivalents of those Insteon commands at the Insteon hub through IP.

My concern though is the reference you made to the hub's buffer: how long does it survive? If I fire a bunch of commands at the hub all at once, will the plugin be able to suck all of those in?

I use Insteon triggers to run some events that include several commands with delays. So, bottom line, I need HS + plugin to act as they did before: Hub = PLM.

With reference to the 1 second polling, I could certainly live with it, but not if you chose to bump it up higher.

P.S. Interesting how the hub pictured in the IOS app video is based on a PLM/SmartLinc format, as opposed to the white brick on SmartHome...
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  #25  
Old December 5th, 2012, 02:57 PM
claude claude is offline
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Insteon hub - firmware update capable?

Mark,

Have you determined on your test unit that it can update its firmware?

If no, then I'm not buying
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  #26  
Old December 5th, 2012, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claude View Post
Polling is a bummer, I guess you don't have a choice.

I've been redoing the AV part of my home automation (Demopad Designer with Global Caché's iTach): I'm trying to free myself from IR, at least from my controller device (WiFi on iPad).

In that AV set up, I use an IRlinc receiver 2411R to fire some Insteon commands to activate some lighting sequences. So I'm looking more and more at this Insteon hub, hoping I could eliminate one more piece of IR gear (2411R) by firing equivalents of those Insteon commands at the Insteon hub through IP.

My concern though is the reference you made to the hub's buffer: how long does it survive? If I fire a bunch of commands at the hub all at once, will the plugin be able to suck all of those in?

I use Insteon triggers to run some events that include several commands with delays. So, bottom line, I need HS + plugin to act as they did before: Hub = PLM.

With reference to the 1 second polling, I could certainly live with it, but not if you chose to bump it up higher.

P.S. Interesting how the hub pictured in the IOS app video is based on a PLM/SmartLinc format, as opposed to the white brick on SmartHome...
I'm not sure how long the buffer data survives, but based on my testing of just turning on a single switch (which then generates up to 4 msgs in a sec), i have been able to capture all of them.

i can make this an ini setting based on millisecs so you can tweak it lower if you want. its really just a matter of how much load you are willing to put on your server and network.
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  #27  
Old December 5th, 2012, 03:25 PM
claude claude is offline
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Originally Posted by mnsandler View Post
... The plugin is only going to access the internal plm to send and receive msgs (via http)...
So, from your answer, there appears to be a higher communication protocol with the Hub through HTTP. So you can send Insteon commands, wrapped in HTTP in some way, right? Is that "higher protocol" for public consumption? The reason I'm asking is that I would need this to talk to the Hub from DemoPad.
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  #28  
Old December 5th, 2012, 03:30 PM
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the dev notes are not for public consumption. but i suppose you could reverse engineer it.

PS the hub plm fw is not field upgradable. Only the web UI is field upgradable.
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  #29  
Old December 7th, 2012, 01:42 PM
claude claude is offline
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Plugin Insteon hub support official?

Hi Mark,

I'm close to acquiring the Insteon hub but only if your plugin supports it.

So does the Insteon hub have official support?

I presume so, given you have already developped for it, but need to make sure. If so, when do you think we will see a version with that support?
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  #30  
Old December 7th, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claude View Post
Hi Mark,

I'm close to acquiring the Insteon hub but only if your plugin supports it.

So does the Insteon hub have official support?

I presume so, given you have already developped for it, but need to make sure. If so, when do you think we will see a version with that support?
Version 1.8.x already has support for the hub. so i think its official.
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  #31  
Old December 7th, 2012, 04:07 PM
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So how do we think the hub interacts with netcams?

"Add a wireless camera and you'll see it all from your smartphone. The INSTEON cameras feature pan/tilt control and night vision"



Quote:
Originally Posted by mnsandler View Post
Version 1.8.x already has support for the hub. so i think its official.
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  #32  
Old December 8th, 2012, 04:01 PM
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pbibm pbibm is offline
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Plugin differences for Hub vs PLM

Mark,
Can you update / correct the below list of where/how plugin functionality will be different for the Hub versus PLM for those that will be migrating? If I missed something that you know of, fill that in too

I don't want to over think it, but I have a lot of things I use in the plugin today. In some ways I can predict the differences but some are harder to guess.

Main Insteon Configuration Page
  • What settings/button functionality/differences will there be?
  • Some of the plugin utility functions won't apply, like reset, swapped interface?
  • Display Interface Links?
  • Simplehomenet device support will still go through your plugin (?)
Manage Devices
  • Adding/modifying/deleting devices in hub versus plugin (?)
  • PLM users will have to setup existing devices in hub
  • Hub users will no longer be able to add/delete/edit in the plugin (?)
  • Test communications will still work the same way (?)
  • Specialized features like keypad channels (?)
Manage Groups
  • Can / will the plugin continue to do this for the hub?
  • Will groups report as devices to HS?
Thanks!
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  #33  
Old December 8th, 2012, 09:51 PM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leerogers View Post
So how do we think the hub interacts with netcams?

"Add a wireless camera and you'll see it all from your smartphone. The INSTEON cameras feature pan/tilt control and night vision"
Lee,
I'm not sure. I didn't spend a lot of time messing with the hub ui and its features. I'll leave that to you all.
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  #34  
Old December 9th, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbibm View Post
Mark,
Can you update / correct the below list of where/how plugin functionality will be different for the Hub versus PLM for those that will be migrating? If I missed something that you know of, fill that in too

I don't want to over think it, but I have a lot of things I use in the plugin today. In some ways I can predict the differences but some are harder to guess.

Main Insteon Configuration Page
  • What settings/button functionality/differences will there be?
  • Some of the plugin utility functions won't apply, like reset, swapped interface?
  • Display Interface Links?
  • Simplehomenet device support will still go through your plugin (?)
Manage Devices
  • Adding/modifying/deleting devices in hub versus plugin (?)
  • PLM users will have to setup existing devices in hub
  • Hub users will no longer be able to add/delete/edit in the plugin (?)
  • Test communications will still work the same way (?)
  • Specialized features like keypad channels (?)
Manage Groups
  • Can / will the plugin continue to do this for the hub?
  • Will groups report as devices to HS?
Thanks!
Paul,

The only thing i didn't test was the interface swap interface routine. Otherwise the hub behaves just like a PLM. The hub has the same command set as the PLM (because it has the plm chip inside).

I think we'll just have to see what others uncover in time.

The hub's UI is not part of my support. Anything a user does via the hub's UI is out of bounds for me as i don't have access to that config info...nor do i want it.

I would say that if anyone has a working setup/plm, that they should stick with it. But for new users and others who absolutely need their plm on the network (maybe hs is remote/hosted), then the hub is a good option.

Back story: Several users over the years have requested an ip connection between hs and the plm. I didn't want to get into 3rd party network drivers so i had to pass on that idea. But now that SH has an ip based plm that is documented, i can make this option available.
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  #35  
Old December 9th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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Ok, thanks Mark. Some of those features are very interesting to me. I recognize that polling is the method to get message off of the network, but in this case I don't see it as a problem for me. Switch related programing that can be noticed is all pushed to insteon controllers on the mesh. I have nothing mesh-to-server that a one second polling delay is going to matter. E.g the Appliance linc that senses attic temperature takes a second longer for the event to kick the fan on... I will never notice that, if it happens.

The reality for the PLM, USB or Serial, is that messages have to be picked up off of buffers anyway, and they come at around 2.5kb. The act of looking once a second should be extremely low impact.

I do realize that I am wondering in to uncharted waters with the hub and I accept the unknowns that come with it, just want to be sure I anticipate as best as possible.
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  #36  
Old December 12th, 2012, 03:11 PM
claude claude is offline
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Transition from PLM to Insteon hub?

Mark,

I'm anticipating I may flip back and forth for a time between PLM and Insteon hub. I'm also assuming the Insteon hub is seen by your plugin as THE only interface it will deal with (as opposed to treating it as another controller device), so no coexistence of PLM + Insteon hub ?




So, if it's either-or:
  • How would I initially transition from PLM to Insteon hub ? Using the "Program and Replace/Swapped Interface" ? Same way going back to PLM ?
  • Any issue you can see around flipping PLM <--> Insteon hub, ie not loosing links ? Events still working after flip?
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  #37  
Old December 12th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claude View Post
Mark,

I'm anticipating I may flip back and forth for a time between PLM and Insteon hub. I'm also assuming the Insteon hub is seen by your plugin as THE only interface it will deal with (as opposed to treating it as another controller device), so no coexistence of PLM + Insteon hub ?




So, if it's either-or:
  • How would I initially transition from PLM to Insteon hub ? Using the "Program and Replace/Swapped Interface" ? Same way going back to PLM ?
  • Any issue you can see around flipping PLM <--> Insteon hub, ie not loosing links ? Events still working after flip?
Claude,
i really think flipping back and forth is a bad idea. The swap interface routine is flacky at best; you'll break a lot of links.

my suggestion is to setup a test HS site and run the insteon hub separately while you test it. I think you would need to do this on a separate box; not sure you can run two instances of hs on one box. this is what i do for all my testing and development. You can copy your hs database, and all the other config files so the test site will look similar. obviously other non-insteon hardware won't work on the test site.

Its ok to link devices to multiple controllers; the links will show up in both installations without issue.

once you are satisfied with the insteon hub, then you can go down the swap interface path with your production installation
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  #38  
Old December 12th, 2012, 03:55 PM
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One way to do it on a single server is with a virtual Machine. W7 allows an XP VM to be set up a copy of HS running in side of it. Using XP mode, that HS copy will show up as a window on your HS server desktop; you can have both your production HS and the VM evaluation copy running side by side. I am going to start off this way. Its probably best to initially assign the the hub to the vm to avoid USB port issues.

After seeing how it works, it will be a "big bang" cutover to the hub from the PLM, leaving lots of time to test that. We're going to have to share notes here as to how it goes.
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  #39  
Old December 12th, 2012, 04:34 PM
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Mine is in constantly slipping backorder... hopefully, it will now ship 12/14/2012. :-/
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  #40  
Old December 13th, 2012, 11:12 AM
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Hey Mark, the docs list 4 models of the hub:
2242-222,
2242-422,
2242-442 and
2242-522

The 222 is the one offered currently... do you know what the others are? Different power requirements?
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