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Insteon & Premise

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  • Location:Montreal, QC
  • Experience:average
  • Software:Premise
  • Hardware:Elk M1

Posted 07 March 2008 - 09:31 AM

Do I need Smarthome's Device Manager (DM) to setup Insteon dimmers and switches or Premise with InsteonMinibrokerDriver is capable of doing that?
You need to setup the DM first then run the setup program for the Premise Insteon driver.
I see a choice of Powerlinc interfaces: USB and serial. Which one should I use for Premise to communicate with Insteon switches?
You can use either. The SDM supports both. The driver has only been tested
with the serial version, but there are people in the community that have used
the USB version.

So if I decide to use serial and need other applications to share the same serial port what would be the best way to do it?

If I use a splitter won't the devices connected interfere with each other?
Are there any common disadvantages of sharing COM ports?
Should I consider using USB and save serial for something else?
Unfortunately, you really can't share serial ports easily. You can use the USB version of the PLC. I just haven't done any testing on it. It should "theoretically" work (and apparently does for other folks in the community) because the SDM manages the communications between the driver and the PLC.

If you really want to use a serial port (and you don't have enough on your Premise server), you should consider a USB to serial converter. Keyspan makes 1, 2, and 4 port models. I use the 4 port model in my setup.
I'm trying to get the USB Insteon interface going and seem to be having problems starting the service. I have been shutting down the Smarthome device manager and still have the sdm3.exe task. I have even killed that task, but everytime I try to start the insteon service it start the sdm3 and then after about 15 seconds shuts down the insteon. I'm not getting anything in Premise.

Any thoughts,
Scott Drahos
I am using a dedicated computer for Premise so I did a clean install of XP to make sure I would not have any software conflicts. I followed the installation directions in the Version History.doc file thatís with the Insteon driver and then rebooted and under custom devices you should end up with an Insteon Root, I then went to the properties panel and clicked the box for detect and it found all my Insteon stuff.
I had a lot of trouble getting the service to start also. In the end I discovered that I needed to put the server 'name' in during the driver setup. Using 'localhost' or the ip address was not working. The service would start up and run for a few seconds then stop.

My issues may have been related to the fact that I have Hamachi and OpenVPN network connections also installed on my SYS server.

I hope this saves someone the hours it took for me to figure out this simple config setting.

I am using the USB version and it has been working pretty well but I did get stuck in an on off loop on an Leviton X10 relay switch I use on my Kitchen fluorescent lights last night. I ordered a serial version of the PLC but have not used it yet.

I'll look into the x10 issue. Are you still seeing the same problem with insteon devices?
I have not had any problems with Insteon devices lately, I had a X-10
relay get stuck in a loop one time but other then that everything has
been working well. I will order some Insteon Relays to replace the last
of my X-10 later this week.

Thanks for all the help.
I have noticed spurious failures of the PLC that require unplugging to clear. The light on the PLC starts blinking at about a 2-3 Hz rate (a 1 Hz flash means the core app has become corrupted), and the PLC fails to respond to commands. Have you seen those yet? I'm not sure I can fix those with the driver. Smarthome is very silent on the problem.
I think that is what happened when the X-10 light was going on and off, everything has been working well since then. I read on the Smarthome forums about problems with the USB version of the PLC and would not be surprised if the serial version is also prone to problems. I think it will take them awhile to work out all the kinks in the system but overall I think Insteon is a big improvement over X-10. I have been using X-10 since 1979 so I have seen my fair share of lights acting up.

I put my first Insteon switches in a little over a year ago and been pretty happy with them.


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