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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 August 29th, 2008, 12:24 PM
vansluis
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Post INSTEON Motion Sensor support?

I'm planning to add 5 Insteon motion sensors (plus 5 In-LineLinc Relays) to replace my failing X10 Motion Flood lights.

I have been digging around to see if these Insteon motion sensors will be recognized in HomeSeer with the Insteon Plug-In...

The commands I need to receive and act upon are:
- motion sensed - ON command (to turn my In-LineLinc on)
- countdown ended - OFF command (to turn my In-LineLinc off)
- low battery - ON command to Group 3 (script to send an email)

Does anyone know if these will work for me with my current setup:
- HomeSeer 2.2.0.11
- Insteon Plug-In: HSPI_INSTEON.dll version 1.1.50.17994

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old August 29th, 2008, 02:13 PM
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Support of new Insteon devices will done through the ISY plugin. We are working closely with Universal Devices to supply an ISY plugin that will enable support for devices that our corrent plugin does not support. A beta version of the ISY plugin has been posted.
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  #3  
Old August 29th, 2008, 07:45 PM
JasonWPB
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Originally Posted by rjh View Post
Support of new Insteon devices will done through the ISY plugin. We are working closely with Universal Devices to supply an ISY plugin that will enable support for devices that our corrent plugin does not support. A beta version of the ISY plugin has been posted.
Hmmm. I guess my support of HS is now officially over. I had used HS from 2003 until about a month ago. I didn't move to Insteon until I knew it was supported in some way by HS a couple of years ago. It became clear to me that HS no longer truly supports Insteon a few months ago.

After considering my options on other software, I decided to switch to the ISY. I have been very impressed with the value of the ISY. I no longer need to have the computer on all of the time to run Insteon programs, plus I get much better support of and integration with Insteon devices... and outstanding customer service/support. The capability of the ISY and the support of its users is far superior to what I ever had in HS.

Sadly, HS appears to be dead in the water and it now appears official that HS has given up on its Insteon clients -- except through the ISY. For the way I used HS, the ISY totally replaces it. There is no functionality in HS that is value-added above the ISY for me -- and I suspect this is the case for many others. Indeed, there is added functionality in the ISY over-and-above HS, at least without having to write my own script code.

Farewell HS.
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  #4  
Old August 29th, 2008, 10:51 PM
jsandlin jsandlin is offline
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RIP Homeseer

I have to totally agree with you Homeseer in my mind is dead also. I have invested thousands of dollars in Insteon switches and first a PLC then PLM because it was what was going to be supported. Now the only way to get support for new devices is to spend another $300 TO $500 for another interface (that’s not going to happen).
I can’t understand why they are trying to force feed Z-Wave to everybody. I thought the ideal behind Homeseer In the beginning was choices now it looks like its there choice not ours anymore.
I have recommended and talked some in to purchasing the software in the past but not anymore.
I will let Homeseer run and come to a slow death as support for new devices pass me up while looking for another home automation program or get out of the hobby altogether.
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  #5  
Old August 29th, 2008, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonWPB View Post
Sadly, HS appears to be dead in the water and it now appears official that HS has given up on its Insteon clients -- except through the ISY.
Jason - I think you've have it backwards. We're moving ahead with the ISY plug-in development PRECISELY BECAUSE we want to support our Insteon clients in the best possible way. And believe me... this is the fastest way for us to add support for the latest Insteon products! You should know too that we plan to offer the ISY controller in our online store once the plug-in is finally released.

Quote:
For the way I used HS, the ISY totally replaces it. There is no functionality in HS that is value-added above the ISY for me
There are plenty of longtime Stargate, HAI and Elk users out there who also never need anything beyond the capabilities of those controllers. That's OK with us. HomeSeer is not for everyone. But for those who want to add a bit more power to their systems, adding HS2, HSPRO, or one of our hardware controllers to the mix is a great way to go.

Quote:
Farewell HS.
Sorry to see you go Jason but stay in touch. Maybe further down the road you might have a use for HS again; you never know...
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  #6  
Old August 29th, 2008, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jsandlin View Post
I have to totally agree with you Homeseer in my mind is dead also. I have invested thousands of dollars in Insteon switches and first a PLC then PLM because it was what was going to be supported. Now the only way to get support for new devices is to spend another $300 TO $500 for another interface (that’s not going to happen).
jsandlin - You've spent "thousands or dollars" on your Insteon switches but now you balk at spending another $300 for a controller that's designed to support all the newest Insteon hardware? Seriously? This is where you draw the line? C'MON... this is your ticket to Insteon heaven. Don't stop now!!!
Quote:
I can’t understand why they are trying to force feed Z-Wave to everybody. I thought the ideal behind Homeseer In the beginning was choices now it looks like its there choice not ours anymore.
Again, like I said in my previous post, we're working with the ISY folks exactly because we DO believe in choice and we value our Insteon customers enough to want to give them the best option possible. The Insteon protocol is VERY difficult to support (a fact that's covered pretty extensively in this forum) and it would take us years (yes, YEARS) to duplicate the efforts they have already lavished on this controller.... this IS the best option.
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  #7  
Old August 30th, 2008, 12:23 AM
jsandlin jsandlin is offline
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Yes I will balk now because what happens in a couple months when this doesn’t work out and you then again drop support for this and go in another direction?
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  #8  
Old August 30th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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PC support of Insteon is VERY complex. Universal Devices has spent countless hours producing a product that is dedicated to supporting Insteon. They have told us they are going to support more Insteon hardware going forward. There is so much work involved with doing this that it just made sense to partner with the experts. I would contact them if you need to know what devices they will be supporting and when.
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  #9  
Old August 30th, 2008, 11:36 AM
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I have to say that this is a very positive development for Insteon support. Insteon really needs a central platform for managing and controlling links or else things get badly out of sync. (The old X-10 idea of lots of controllers broadcasting and listening to what other controllers are doing just doesn't apply to Insteon). Since the original HS plugin was never going to develop into a full fledged link management system it only makes sense to create a plugin to an existing platform that manages and controls Insteon links.

The ISY already enjoys support from Elk, IES, InterfaceGo, and a number of other partners and is quickly becoming a mainstream standard for interfacing Insteon to other systems. Because the ISY is Universal Devices main product they provide far more support than would be practical for HS to do based solely on the income from selling a plugin to a subset of their customer. It makes far more sense for UD to deal with the constant maintenance from new Insteon devices being released, Insteon firmware changes, PLM issues, etc. Plus, any effort UDI puts into new features for the ISY will automatically translate to additional features for users of the HS plugin.

I had set HS aside some time ago because the Insteon plugin was not going to be a viable way to manage a large Insteon environment but now I feel the HS option is open to me once again. I think an ISY+Elk M1+HT2+Way2Call make for about the most flexible HA platform out there and I have a lot more confidence in the overall reliablity of the system with an ISY interface than I ever would have with a straight PLM for HS control plus some completely separate platform for link management.
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  #10  
Old August 31st, 2008, 08:52 AM
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I understand that Insteon is difficult to work with, and I understand that the ISY device is a great product, and I don't have a problem with having to buy another interface that supports Insteon. Where I have a problem is in the amount of time I have invested in lighting control events. It is going to be a major PITA for HS users to recreate all these events. So HS is saying that the users of HS shoulder bear the burden of switching so things can be easire for HST.

Maybe HST can make some sort of conversion routine to eliminate having to recreat all these events.

This is not an attack on HST, but HST should under stand why many who use HS an Insteon will be upset with this decision.
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  #11  
Old August 31st, 2008, 04:02 PM
vansluis
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Question Insteon / ISY

Rich - thanks for the quick answer. I did not think my question would cause such a response for others...

Let me get this clear please:
- I need to replace my PowerLinc USB Controller with an ISY-99i Controller
- I need to replace my HSPI_INSTEON.dll plugin with the beta version of the ISY plugin
- the current beta version of the ISY plugin will expire on September 30th. Will there be another version available after that date?
- the ISY plugin description states: "Currently only supports lighting devices. Other types of devices will get a default On/Off control and status". Does that mean dimming as well? How about the "ON command to Group 3" for low battery status?

I apologize for all of these questions. However one of my customers spend well over $20,000 (this includes automated gate, outdoor and indoor cameras, Insteon, X10, Thermostats and Elk M1-Gold security system) and due to some X10 problems he is currently not all that happy. I told him that we will replace all of his X10 motion floodlights with Insteon motion detectors and In-LineLincs, but now I have to make sure I do not promise anything that is either not available yet or is not stable yet...

I have been using and reselling HomeSeer for many years and have been real pleased with it. I have a vested interest in this as I am quite an expert and have invested quite a bit of time with custom scripts etc., so I don't really like to switch.

Thanks!
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Old September 1st, 2008, 08:51 AM
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I don't have enough info to fully answer your questions, I'll let Universal Devices answer.
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  #13  
Old September 1st, 2008, 10:55 PM
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Angry Sad News

1st. it was the PLC then the PLM now the isy... Seems to me whan another HS user was complaining about the PLM programming there was some statment that HS was not going to go the isy route and that HS was going to support the PLM. Now that it appears that the programer for the PLM/PLC is gone we are now told the the ISY is the way to go.. Well $300 is a lot more than the ~$70 for a PLM or PLC and it appears to me that HS is taking the easy way out again.. I all ready see when it don't work or support something HS can say it's not are problem talk to the ISY people... I feel that if ISY can do it then the hardware must be sound ,, so why can'nt HS get the software for this interface going.. If it takes a differant programming mind set (as was stated in another post) than it appaers to me that this is the time for HS to get this mind set.. It sucks but it appears that I to now have to start looking for some other HA program as for HS is going the wrong route and I am not going to follow.. $300 + for a interface and another $30 or $40 for the plugin makes the ISY way to costly.. It looks to me by supporting the ISY for insteon will force people to purchase the less costly Zwave which is where it appears HS wants to head any way.. It's to bad HS and SM will not get together but it appears to me that both are to tied up in there own items HS in Zwave and SM in there HA program..
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  #14  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 01:06 AM
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dem5867 - Most of your points have already been addressed earlier in this thread, so I'm not going to recycle those comments. However, a few points of clarification:

1) Our Insteon plug-in works just fine with the PLM now. All the major issues with the PLM and plug-in were resolved several months ago. Anyone who just needs to control Insteon lighting and isn't terribly concerned about link mgmt, can use that combo and be happy.

2) The ISY controller is not a replacement for the PLM. In fact, you MUST use the PLM with the ISY controller. What the ISY controller adds is link mgmt for your Insteon network and support for the newest Insteon devices (which has to be written device by device).

3) As we've said already (Rich and I both), the Insteon protocol is VERY complex to support and Smarthome does not provide developers with link management tools (like PCS did with their 'UpStart' tool for UPB). The ISY folks have invested hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours into their Insteon support so it makes a great deal of sense for us to partner with them to provide advanced Insteon support for our customers.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 11:02 AM
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I agree with you that the plm is presently working fine so why are you not moving forward with its developement..

The way I see it is the ISY is a $400 (ISY , PLM , Plugin.) dollar easy way out for HS,, As I stated above when it don't work HS will be saying it's ISYs problem.. The Insteon interface for HS should be < $100 as it presently does,, not $400.. As I understand it ISY is stating there interface is for lighting control and could incorperate other insteon devices in the furture.. And it surprizres me that others have gotten insteon to work fine,, Why is it such a hassle for HS to get it together.. One more question,,, As the ISY becomes more powerful don't you think there will not be a need for HS.. It appears to me as was stated before that HS is trying to get the cost of the insteon system so costly that one will have to buy Zwave as a low cost system. It saddings me that HS is going this route and I new I should have left about the time of the paid plugins , But I have a lot of hardware that works with HS and it is going to be hard to replace but I sure it can be replaced over time.. Your not listening to your customers and that is the quickest way to go out of bussness.. Your customers don't want a $400 interface if they did we all have UPB wouldn't we... And Zwave just don't work for some for us..
I don't blame HS for this whole insteon mess.. some of it falls on Smarthome they could have stepped up to the plate and wrote , helped write , or partnered with HS to create a working linc managed plugin.. I would think that it still would be in HSs interest maybe to move forward with both plugin the insteon and the ISY..

Quote:
Originally Posted by macromark View Post
dem5867 - Most of your points have already been addressed earlier in this thread, so I'm not going to recycle those comments. However, a few points of clarification:

1) Our Insteon plug-in works just fine with the PLM now. All the major issues with the PLM and plug-in were resolved several months ago. Anyone who just needs to control Insteon lighting and isn't terribly concerned about link mgmt, can use that combo and be happy.

2) The ISY controller is not a replacement for the PLM. In fact, you MUST use the PLM with the ISY controller. What the ISY controller adds is link mgmt for your Insteon network and support for the newest Insteon devices (which has to be written device by device).

3) As we've said already (Rich and I both), the Insteon protocol is VERY complex to support and Smarthome does not provide developers with link management tools (like PCS did with their 'UpStart' tool for UPB). The ISY folks have invested hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours into their Insteon support so it makes a great deal of sense for us to partner with them to provide advanced Insteon support for our customers.

Last edited by dem5867; September 2nd, 2008 at 11:04 AM. Reason: editing
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  #16  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 07:37 PM
MKohanim
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Hello all,

Firstly, let me answer the questions vis-a-vis functionality:
  1. INSTEON motion sensors shall be fully supported 1 to 2 weeks after we receive them (Estimated ship date 9/9/2008)
  2. The plugin shall support sending commands to groups/scenes including dim, brighten, etc.
I do agree and empathize with the sentiments that paying another $300-$400 is quite disheartening. This said, however - and based on almost 2 years of interacting with hundreds of INSTEON users - I am very much convinced (as upstatemike is) that any significant INSTEON installation without a central link management tool is simply unmanageable. For instance, how would you replace a defective switch with links to 10 other switches? How would you revert back to the last configuration after a party? And, finally, how would you have your INSTEON network communicate with other non-INSTEON devices?

ISY has been designed as a network appliance which manages and exploits 99% of the underlying protocol 100% of the time while not playing as a traffic cop: it actually programs all the INSTEON devices and, as such, all the devices/scenes will continue to work even if ISY is unplugged. Furthermore, unlike other INSTEON management tools, ISY provides a rich network library (Web Services) so that other systems and solutions can easily integrate with ISY and be dynamically and instantly updated with the status of devices to the most minute details of link management events. These are the precise reasons why we truly believe in the HS-ISY solution.

With kind regards,
Michel Kohanim
Universal Devices, Inc.

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  #17  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:10 PM
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misraels misraels is offline
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Hmmm...and with HomeSeer officially not delivering on Insteon, what about those people that bought homeseer when the package was sold with full insteon support. Sounds like the product was mis-represented.
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  #18  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by misraels View Post
Hmmm...and with HomeSeer officially not delivering on Insteon, what about those people that bought homeseer when the package was sold with full insteon support. Sounds like the product was mis-represented.
The PLM and PLC plugins are still available and are free.
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  #19  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:44 PM
jsandlin jsandlin is offline
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There dose seem to be a little mis-representation but as been shown over and over again HS has made up their mind and there is nothing that can been done about it.
What I think is interesting is if you look at the join date of the people with the complaints most of us have been using HS from the beginning about 7 or 8 years.
I not a marketing expert but when you start alienating you long time customers that is not a good practice
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  #20  
Old September 2nd, 2008, 08:48 PM
eklee eklee is offline
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Michael, perhaps Universal Devices have an upcoming ISY device that does not have built-in timers and program functionalities? If I am pairing ISY with HS2, I will be using HS2's event system, rather than ISY's. So it would seem part of the $329 for ISY would go to waste.
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