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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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  #1  
Old May 30th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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aldo aldo is offline
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Keypadlinc - Buttons not in sync with HS

Hi,
I have a Keypadlinc with each button linked with different light switches. When I use HS to turn the light associated with the Keypad, the button does not respond (the button light does not turn on or off). When I do it from the keypad or the light switch, the button light responds ok. What am I doing missing? Your response is very much appreciated.

Aldo
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  #2  
Old May 30th, 2010, 08:37 PM
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heatvent heatvent is offline
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You aren't missing anything. That's one of my biggest frustrations. It's not HS or the plugin per se, it's really the design of Insteon. The KeypadLinc, IMO is designed more for use without software than with.

So here's the problem. You can link a KPL button to a switch and crosslinc back so that if you turn either on/off the kpl button works as it should. Unfortunately, HS (a plm) can't be one of the crosslinc'd items. I don't know why this is the case it just is. Maybe the plm is seen to be just a controller not a responder device. So when you turn a light on with HS, it is not part of the group/scene that was created in the databaseds of the Insteon devices.

Now you can create scenes whereby HS sends a group command to the KPL and device to turn them on. The issues are, (1) the HS scene does not go on/off with the KPL button/device and (2) scenes by design are on or off...you can't set to a specific dim level. The reason scenes are designged this way is a scene's primary purpose is to set multiple devices to a set state (dim level). If you have a KPL button linced to 5 switches, if you turn on 1 switch is the scene on? Insteon decided no. A scene is really a 1 way command. Controller device tells other devices what to do and they do it at the same time when each receives the group/scene command.

I have 1 KPL because I need it (old house with a 4x4 box that can only hold 2 switches and has 3 loads to control). Otherwise I would ditch them altogether.

The closest I have gotten is to crosslinc 2 insteon devices (KPL button and switch) and create a scene in HS. This works pretty well but you can't set dim level from HS. The only other thing I could think of but haven't gotten around to doing is some elaborate event and/or script programming. I.e. have an event track status changes of a device and then execute a similar status command on the related device you want controlled. I would expect, however, this would not give very clean results. One device would be dimmed and the other would follow rather than both being at the same time. If you don't care about setting a specific dim level, you may be able to get away with using scenes. You have to dim level up/down a scene to get to the brightness you want but it should work better.

Sorry for ranting on but I have played with this issue way too long.

Last edited by heatvent; May 30th, 2010 at 08:51 PM.
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  #3  
Old May 30th, 2010, 08:52 PM
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TechHA TechHA is offline
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All you need to do to keep the buttons in sync is create 2 events per button. One to tell the KPL button to turn on and one to turn it off.

Here is an example to get you started:



So in this example, if the Kitchen Ceiling Fan changed to Off, then turn the KPL button for the Kitchen Ceiling Fan off too.
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  #4  
Old May 31st, 2010, 05:34 PM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Guys,

I may be able to fix this...but first a short explanation of what is currently happening

When you turn On a light manually it sends out a group broadcast message to the entire network so anything that is linked will respond. The plugin does capture this broadcast msg and update the status of linked devices accordingly.

But when you turn on a light from HS it sends out a direct msg to the device. so the plugin does not update anything in this scenario.

so we need a mechanism to tell the plugin what to do in the second scenario...so we don't break existing behavior (good or bad)

i could added a "sync linked devices" checkbox (per device) that would tell the plugin to do something, the question is what should it do?

A. turn On linked devices (which will also update the hs status)
B. turn On related groups where the device turned on is the controller
C. do A and B
D. do something else

suggestions welcome
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  #5  
Old June 1st, 2010, 09:47 AM
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You are the best. I think "C" would do it. I will be happy to test it if you like.

Thanks,
Aldo
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  #6  
Old June 1st, 2010, 01:06 PM
stevewinick stevewinick is offline
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add me to "C" please (maybe with two different check boxes). more options are better. i actually have a more complicated version of what TechHA wrote above. i have multiple KPL's around that can be controlling multiple devices. i use many events to cover each of the cases and let HS do the work when an event occurs. i frequently don't actually link the insteon devices to the KPL's directly as loops can be inadvertantly created

anything you can do to make this process easier would be wonderful

thanks

sjw
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  #7  
Old June 1st, 2010, 01:17 PM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewinick View Post
add me to "C" please (maybe with two different check boxes). more options are better. i actually have a more complicated version of what TechHA wrote above. i have multiple KPL's around that can be controlling multiple devices. i use many events to cover each of the cases and let HS do the work when an event occurs. i frequently don't actually link the insteon devices to the KPL's directly as loops can be inadvertantly created

anything you can do to make this process easier would be wonderful

thanks

sjw
My suggestions above will rely on insteon links between devices otherwise the plugin will have no idea what to do.

So if you use a lot of events to manually turn on other unlinked device my changes will not help.
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  #8  
Old June 1st, 2010, 01:22 PM
stevewinick stevewinick is offline
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thanks for the response

how would you recommend handling the scenario of multiple KPL's controlling a given device and wanting to keep all the KPL's in sync as well as HS

sjw
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  #9  
Old June 1st, 2010, 01:35 PM
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heatvent heatvent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnsandler View Post
My suggestions above will rely on insteon links between devices otherwise the plugin will have no idea what to do.

So if you use a lot of events to manually turn on other unlinked device my changes will not help.
Another thing to add is if HS is down, you want to be able to turn on a light! Boy would my WAF would go way down if she couldn't turn on the lights because my pc froze up.

Mark, on/off is one issue. The ability/option to fully work in sync is what I was hoping for. If you put the technical aspects aside of how to get this done, what I am looking for is the following:

The ability to have multiple devices work in unison no matter how they are activated or controlled (KPL button, press 1 of the switches, activate from HS). This could be turning then on, off, dim 1 level, dim to x %, etc. Natively, Insteon does not like syncing dim levels. Once you crosslink/create a scene/group, Insteon expects to receive either on/off/dim/brighten commands. I am sure this is because that is how the switches work without a PC/appliation. Once you introduce an application it is now possible to tell a device to dim/brighten to a given level. It would be ideal to lock or sync all activity/states for certain applications. A couple that I have are:

Living room has two lamplincs on either end of the room that are controlled by a KPL button. I use both lamps to light the room (no ceiling light), no real need to have then operate independently. So I can crosslinc all and from the KPL, all is good. However, if I want to set the lights to 40% in HS, I have to send the command individually as well as turn on the KPL button. Lights ramp up separately and the KPL button comes on last. You would almost need a way to treat the 3 as 1 device that HS sees as a normal dimmer switch and then have the plugin do all the work behind the scenes.

Another similar situation is with 1 light in a virtual 3-way with two switchlincs. If you want to set to 40% from HS, you have to turn on the light and then tell the switchlinc to do the same thing separately. Again, probably similar solution.

Hope these examples help. I am guessing this is probably not possible and maybe too complex for the plugin to deal with. It would have to check status of devices and then do dim levels up/down to get to the correct % dim I would think. This also may not be feasible from a performance/reliability standpoint.

Oh, one additional note. It would be ideal if there were somehow a new device that does this so in HS Touch you could have 1 slider that controlled say the living room.
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  #10  
Old June 2nd, 2010, 10:26 PM
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Any thoughts on the above post?
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  #11  
Old June 3rd, 2010, 09:48 PM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatvent View Post
Another thing to add is if HS is down, you want to be able to turn on a light! Boy would my WAF would go way down if she couldn't turn on the lights because my pc froze up.

Mark, on/off is one issue. The ability/option to fully work in sync is what I was hoping for. If you put the technical aspects aside of how to get this done, what I am looking for is the following:

The ability to have multiple devices work in unison no matter how they are activated or controlled (KPL button, press 1 of the switches, activate from HS). This could be turning then on, off, dim 1 level, dim to x %, etc. Natively, Insteon does not like syncing dim levels. Once you crosslink/create a scene/group, Insteon expects to receive either on/off/dim/brighten commands. I am sure this is because that is how the switches work without a PC/appliation. Once you introduce an application it is now possible to tell a device to dim/brighten to a given level. It would be ideal to lock or sync all activity/states for certain applications. A couple that I have are:

Living room has two lamplincs on either end of the room that are controlled by a KPL button. I use both lamps to light the room (no ceiling light), no real need to have then operate independently. So I can crosslinc all and from the KPL, all is good. However, if I want to set the lights to 40% in HS, I have to send the command individually as well as turn on the KPL button. Lights ramp up separately and the KPL button comes on last. You would almost need a way to treat the 3 as 1 device that HS sees as a normal dimmer switch and then have the plugin do all the work behind the scenes.

Another similar situation is with 1 light in a virtual 3-way with two switchlincs. If you want to set to 40% from HS, you have to turn on the light and then tell the switchlinc to do the same thing separately. Again, probably similar solution.

Hope these examples help. I am guessing this is probably not possible and maybe too complex for the plugin to deal with. It would have to check status of devices and then do dim levels up/down to get to the correct % dim I would think. This also may not be feasible from a performance/reliability standpoint.

Oh, one additional note. It would be ideal if there were somehow a new device that does this so in HS Touch you could have 1 slider that controlled say the living room.
insteon groups aside, i think I can add in the ability to sync two or more crosslinked devices at the dim level as well as on/off. Working on it now.

the kpl btns are a special case because they really only have on/off status, not a dim level.

i can't comment on the hs touch, don't use it.
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  #12  
Old June 6th, 2010, 01:34 PM
jono jono is offline
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I believe there is a comparable issue with Non Load bearing switches in virtual 3 way, 4 way, etc set ups.

What I do is include the Non Load bearing switches as members of the groups. When HS turns on the load that is part of a group, all the non load bearing switches also indicate on (i.e. the icon LED goes off, or switchlink LEDs are all lit). I do the same with KPL buttons so they indicate the status of the lights even though they don't control the load.

I also write separate events such that when a light is turned on, all the non load bearing switches in the 3 way (icons, switchlincs or KPL buttons) are also turned on. I use a similar event for off. That seems to keep everything in synch regardless if a switch is turned on manually, or by HS.
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  #13  
Old June 7th, 2010, 12:28 PM
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Sonnyh Sonnyh is offline
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Me too. I have lots of buttons!
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  #14  
Old June 9th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Guys, give this build a try.

what i added...for any device that has linked devices (ie the current device is a controller), the plugin will turn on these linked devices (the responders)

you will need to visit each registered device on the plugin device page that you want the plugin to 'sync linked devices' and check the option box.

please provide detailed feedback if it is not working as you expected.

this build only syncs insteon devices not insteon groups.

please be sure to disable any syncing events you may have created before testing.

i tested this on a 3-way between to switchlincs and 1 switchlinc and a kpl bnt and it seemed to work as I expected.

enjoy

Last edited by mnsandler; June 16th, 2010 at 10:42 AM. Reason: removed attachment
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  #15  
Old June 9th, 2010, 01:08 PM
stevewinick stevewinick is offline
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shall do !

could you please clarify the preferred way of doing this now. i mentioned in earlier message that i have multiple KPLs with common buttons controlling a separate insteon module. presently i use HS events to sync them, ie, when the insteon is set on, the buttons are turned on.

with the new capability, do i remove the events? ie, what would be the steps if i set up a new module and new KPL buttons to sync

thanks again for your work !!

sjw
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Old June 9th, 2010, 01:21 PM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewinick View Post
shall do !

could you please clarify the preferred way of doing this now. i mentioned in earlier message that i have multiple KPLs with common buttons controlling a separate insteon module. presently i use HS events to sync them, ie, when the insteon is set on, the buttons are turned on.

with the new capability, do i remove the events? ie, what would be the steps if i set up a new module and new KPL buttons to sync

thanks again for your work !!

sjw
Steve,
regarding your events, you can just "disable" them from the event page.

regarding the multiple KPLs controlling separate modules...

i would suggest using the plugin to create cross-links between the kpl keys (as controllers) and the other kpls and modules (as responders). You will need to repeat this for each kpl key that you want to control the other devices/btns.

this way no matter which device you use from hs to turn on the circuit, all the other kpl keys will be turned on as well.

so basically, if A and B are KPL keys and C is the module then create the following set of cross-links

A to B
A to C
B to C

hope this helps

you can always delete the links if it doesn't work as expected.
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  #17  
Old June 9th, 2010, 03:47 PM
stevewinick stevewinick is offline
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thanks for the prompt response. i'll give it a try
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  #18  
Old June 9th, 2010, 04:10 PM
stevewinick stevewinick is offline
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some feedback. the basic 3-way link looks like it's working.

i assume that if i were doing a 4-way, i need to enter links for all combinations of 2 devices. directionality doesn't matter (ie, A -> B is the same as B-> when linking the buttons on the KPLs)

i had to delete the existing link and then add back with the cross link checked. i assume this was the right way to do it as i don't see a way to edit an existing link to add the check.

would be helpful if the link display showed the cross links

one issue, when working under HS control, the cross links do not appear to work either by running an event or manually turning one of the 3 devices on or off. don't know if this was an intended. if so, do i still need the events?

thanks again

sjw
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  #19  
Old June 9th, 2010, 04:35 PM
stevewinick stevewinick is offline
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postscript to last message. i think all is working correctly. i hadn't checked the sync linked devices box for each of the 3 devices. after doing that, all 3 stay in sync whether activated manually or by HS.

i assume that was required (check sync linked for each device and then check cross link for each link when creating them)

would doing them manually give the same result?
a->b
a->c
b->c
b->a
c->a
c->b

btw, i do see that the cross links appear in the link list it's just hard to see what goes with what, but they're there

sjw
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  #20  
Old June 9th, 2010, 05:50 PM
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mnsandler mnsandler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewinick View Post
postscript to last message. i think all is working correctly. i hadn't checked the sync linked devices box for each of the 3 devices. after doing that, all 3 stay in sync whether activated manually or by HS.

i assume that was required (check sync linked for each device and then check cross link for each link when creating them)

would doing them manually give the same result?
a->b
a->c
b->c
b->a
c->a
c->b

btw, i do see that the cross links appear in the link list it's just hard to see what goes with what, but they're there

sjw
they way you created them should be fine, its the same set of links. the cross-link checkbox does a -> b and b-> a all at once.
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