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Insteon Failures


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#16 Digger

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 06:08 PM

They should stop hiding from the problems. They wont go away on their own................. Then again....... they might.

#17 upstatemike

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 06:19 PM

What happened to the "Touchlincs" my friend said they "died at birth. Anyone know if that is true or not?

I think the TouchLinc was supposed to use the same wall mount bracket as the ControLinc. Some difficulty in producing the brackets has probably pushed the launch of the TouchLinc out to some distant future date.

#18 Digger

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 06:23 PM

Its been almost 2 years since they said that they would have the Touchlincs. They cant make a piece of plastic in 2 years?

#19 upstatemike

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 06:24 PM

Can you amagine clicking an icon with your mouse on your desktop and your computer ignoring the mouse click to prevent false clicking. That's rediculous IMHO.

This is actually listed as one of the new and improved features in Vista.

#20 John Hughes

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 06:50 PM


Can you imagine clicking an icon with your mouse on your desktop and your computer ignoring the mouse click to prevent false clicking.  That's rediculous IMHO.

This is actually listed as one of the new and improved features in Vista.

Hah, awesome! :P

#21 az1324

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 07:10 PM

I have about 50 devices installed and I have only had 2 icon dimmers die. Other than that, I have replaced 2 switchlincs with the flicker issue. I did my install almost 6 months ago.

For the most part, I like the insteon technology -- the design, protocol, pricing, and developer friendliness. They are having some quality control problems in manufacturing, but that is always a tough issue. The one big thing I am disappointed in is the inability to do firmware updates over the powerline.

#22 Digger

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 07:24 PM

AZ1324,

Your setup is an example of what SH keeps saying. That the product works and that there are few complaints.

But..........how many people are hainv that much sucess and why is it that some installs are fine and others are having tremendous problems.\?

Is the power cleaner by you and you have less problems? Do you have less surges?

There has to be a reason why your install is fine and others are not working out. They only thing I noted was that yourself and UpstateMike have about 50 devices. Maybe SH is right in saying for me to buy and install more, however, they should advertise the product that you need a minimum of 30 or 40 or 50 devices for it to work reliably.

#23 gregoryx

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 08:03 PM

I have over 50 devices now. All work well excepting the flicker issue that requires me to replace a bunch.

To the above point: they worked fine when I bought the first few. I bought another dozen or so and all well again - DOAs excepted. By the time I had one die in the wall, I had a dozen or more in already. I didn't like pulling it out; but I've only had about 5-6 failures from over 50 devices.

It's not what I'd call "reliable hardware" but I can live with the current failure rate if that's how SmartHome wants to run things. :blink:


Don't think that I don't see the irony in the above statements: all fine except that I have to replace a dozen because of bad initial build design; all fine except for the DOAs; etc. I see how silly it is.


Here's the thing: balance; compromise; give-and-take.

If true reliable controlled lighting was my goal, I'd have gone hard-wired control, not cutting-edge. To my mind, X10 was cutting edge that never approached true market readiness (read as "hardwired reliability"). In my research, I was looking at compromise choices between Insteon, Z-Wave, UPB, and other newer stuff. As always, the stuff that's not out is the only ones with theoretical "no compromise" promise. :P I'm just not that gullible any more. :blink:

Z-Wave's got its issues. UPB has its issues. Z-Wave seems to have their reliability issues behind them. UPB performance is yet to be confirmed as behind them.

Maybe I'm just a lucky one... but a working Insteon switch is a fast- and reliable-working switch that can even illuminate buttons of other switches to provide more feedback to normal people on states and such. Only X10 or hard-wired systems do that; one unreliably, the other very expensively. Insteon is relatively inexpensive and are able to overcome the major issue, however inconveniently: they'll replace the broken stuff with no questions asked. At least that's been my experience.


QA / QC needs to be fixed.

I don't think we're helping the situation when we do the "Insteon sucks" posts. Of course no-one replies. To present one's self in such an ignorant manner - and so abrasively - is to ask to be treated appropriately: which is to be ignored.

To present the situation for its strengths and weaknesses and stay focused on the few, most significant items may leave the appropriate folks room to participate in the discussion, at least.

If the purpose is to beat them up, why would anyone expect them to show up for the festivities? :blink:


The point?
Do we have one? Ideally, one?
Hardware reliability? The failure rates?
Design? Not having to replace because of wrong triac or whatever?
Product availability? Where's this promised device or that one?
Computer-based control? Getting all the features and reliability into the PLC and SDM and such?

How many design teams are there for Insteon?
Who heads this up?
Any chance of getting them to help us understand the priorities if we treat them with respect and expect the same of them?

I'd sure like to treat them with respect and see if perhaps I can get an audience with the right folks. Not for any reason other than to understand where they are focusing their attentions at the moment. I hope it's not on everything at once, 'cause that's a sure recipe for failure. I'm using the products and very pleased with them - after considering the compromises. What can I expect in the future?

SmartHome? Mike? Whomever? Could we be "rewarded" for professional behavior? ;)

#24 Edenlights

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 08:57 PM

Thanks for the information on the SH product, I looked at the Insteon products but I just didn't like the overall feel of it. I never got past a bench test setup which did work. I have installed over 1000 upb switches: HAI, PCS, and SA, I have had one failure which was a failure to communicate. I still get butterflys when I start programming but all is well so far. Knock knock on some wood. I was thinking of looking at the SH product again because some how it has been LifeWare certified and UPB still has not? After reading this thread how could anyone ever install this in someones home as a professional. Please tell me what I am missing?

#25 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 09:43 PM

Gregory;

With all due respect, I have to strongly disagree with your statements above! My personal opinion is that marketing and greed drive companies now and we are all expected to provide free beta testing for their products along with accepting these failures. Not to mention all the extra labor and frustration involved in troubleshooting and replacing switches (which should have been done by them in the first place).

This trend is soooo common, that it seems to almost be an acceptable practice! :blink:

The same goes for some software products out there. They release software half baked, then we are expected to not only PAY for it, but provide them FREE beta testing. Then the companies will release new releases (some so fast you can't keep up with them) and expect you to beta test those releases; wash, rinse, repeat, till they get it right.

I don't own any Insteon, mainly because of the problems members here are having. I also have reverted back to old versions of software I was running because I REFUSE to provide free beta testing!

This trend has seemed to increase at a dramatic rate these past two years. I have seen more software that has been improperly beta tested before release, plus hardware problems our members are reporting, that just has to many failures on their initial releases. This is not acceptable and we should start NOT just lay back and continuing to let this happen. I CAN NOT believe that these problems were missed during beta testing (that companies claim they have done) because they are just to plentifull.

Sorry for the rant, but I believe more of us need to display just how fed up we are as consumers who pay hard earned money for this stuff!! I don't want to waste my time getting "officially released" hardware AND software working. Small problems are of course acceptable, but the ones that should have been caught during basic, beta testing are NOT accpetable.

This thread is of course about Insteon, but the problems I stated above are common for MANY companies currently releasing hardware and software products for our community.

One company that seemed to get it right was Elk! As complex a product as the M1 Gold is, their initial release was pretty flawless. This shows the unit has undergone proper beta testing.

Of course they released firmware changes, but these were mainly to fix small problems and add features as users requested them. I would love to know how many Elks died on initial power up!!!

Elk Technologies should publicly publish their beta testing program. I know a LOT of companies who could benefit from it! :P

Regards,

BSR

Edited by BraveSirRobbin, 15 October 2006 - 09:57 PM.


#26 Digger

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 10:05 PM

Gregory,

I work for a large mfg and tehy would NEVER intentionally release a product this bad. We just released a new product and sent over 1000 units out for beta testing. They were clearly identified as BETA. When an Installer had a problem that could not be resolved with help from our tech support and became frustrated because the homeowner was at their wits end we sent two representatives to the install site.

In the end it turned out to be an installation problem. But to be honest the product should have been capable to be installed the way the customer and the installer wanted to. So a few hours of code crunching and we tweaked the firmware to handle something that we had not anticipated and the product was never really intended for.

A new unit was shipped to the installer and I believe that everyone is happy now.

Regular production units are being manufactured and will be shipped with a few enhanceents that were learned in Beta testing.

Another version of the product is still being tested in house. This week we learned that a ground fault could cause a problem in RARE circumstances. We came up with an immediate fix but after sleeping on it decided that the installers would not understand that it has to be installed a certian way. So we came up with a better fix and we are currently qualifying an alternate component that will resolve the problem. That coulld take a few weeks but it is the responsible thing to do.

Is my company perfect? Not even close. But..... we are trying hard to put out a reliable product.

#27 Digger

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 10:21 PM

BSR,

Elk's edge is that they get it right the first time it is released for the most part. While it is rare for a company to be as good Elk is they should be setting the standard for the industry.

As a somewhat competitor to Elk I have to say that we could learn a few things from them. But to be honest we cant compete with Elk and will not go near there part of the market. They have their place and we have ours. Elk caters to a high end market and we cater to a high volume market. Some day we may have to worry about Elk getting into our market as they expand. But I dont think they have to worry about us going up against the M1 etc.

I would buy any Elk product with total confidence. Even though it was a lot more money then I could have paid for a GE, Ademco, Napco system etc. it was worth every penny.

#28 KenM

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Posted 15 October 2006 - 11:10 PM

Hi all,

I got my rant over with a while back. I still have a couple of INSTEON PLCs and half a dozen plug in modules as I have built some free software. I figured it only fair that I support it as long as people use it. My INSTEON wall switches are in a box in the garage and I now use Z-Wave. I'm not saying Z-Wave is any better, it costs more and has less options. It just does not give me any headaches, I put it in and it works (for me). Happy camper. In retrospect, I really wish that I had never wasted my money on the INSTEON products. My experience, my opinion. I am sure there are happy INSTEON users out there. I'm just not one.

ken

#29 Herdfan

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:03 AM

Are some people not speaking up or are there just very few large Insteon installs? Do the failures happen in batches, like perhaps as the result of some surge activity or it is completely random over time?

As an early adopter I spoke up quite often. I currently have 80+ devices and another 30 sitting in boxes to either be installed or ebayed.

Some switches are set to be replaced for the 4th time. First it was the resistor issue that would cause the switches to go dead for no reason. Got replacements. Only to find out they had the same resistor and went dead again. Now there is the flicker issue and those are going to have to be replaced.

I love the concept of the technology, just not the execution. SH needs to license the technology to manufacturers that know what they are doing. Leviton would have been ideal, but they went with Z-wave.

When Insteon works, it works great. But there are too many hardware issues for this to be the product it should be.

#30 Herdfan

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 08:13 AM

They just dont know what to do about it.

Well, it seems the first step would be to admit there is a problem. While they may be doing this internally, they are silent to their user base.

While us early adopters and those with large installs may stick it out to see what happens, J6P who wants to automate a couple of lights and has issues will be gone.

I think Joe Dada should be forced to put Insteon in his house and live with the issues.

And before the end of this, I expect there will be a class-action suit against SH/SL.




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