Can I somehow connect to UPB UPStart?


Hi everyone - I love this board and I'm going to drive you all crazy - I’ve been hooking up my new toys (M1G/XRF/XSP/XEP/DBH/Listen-in kit) over the past week, and basic security is functional and reliable (incidentally, without a single *wired* sensor of any kind). It feels very nice to have – my non-techie wife is even excited! When we bought the system from Martin at AO, we told him that (to start), we wanted to integrate only basic lighting control for our 4 outside lights, for security purposes. He sold us on HAI UPB. We bought the serial Computer Interface Module ("CIM" or "PIM"?), and 4 600w dimmers (and Martin threw in a lamp module for free – thanks again man!).
I used the lamp module and UPStart to test things out, and once I set the network ID in ElkRP to match the one in the CIM, I was able to plug the CIM back into the Elk and control the lamp (via a rule) right off the bat, which, incidentally, feels sooo good the first time it works, for a noob like me anyway.
On to my question(s) – I had assumed that once I plugged the PIM into my PC serial port ONCE (to set up the network) that I would then be able to hook the PIM back to the Elk via XSP, and leave it there, adding new devices as I go. But apparently, UPStart cannot see the CIM when the CIM is connected through the Elk XSP. I’m planning on adding those 4 switches one at a time - as time allows – so it kills me to think that I have to remove the CIM from the Elk and connect it to the PC EVERY TIME I want to add a new UPB device? I really hope I’m missing something there.
I would just dedicate a few hours to add all 4 switches at once, to make this a non-issue, but these outside lights all have multiple switches to turn them on and off, so I have to install quite a few three-way switches while I’m at it. In addition, I have to install regular, non-controlled paddles on all the other light switches which share the same gangs as these 4 lights, to prevent having different switch types in the same gang – the wife won’t allow even a temporary loss of the bezels, and I don’t believe I could easily find a four gang face plate with Switch|Paddle|Switch|Paddle configuration (or similar). This brings me to my other question. For the three way switches, do I have to buy the HAI “slave” (Auxiliary) paddles, or can I use normal 3-way "dummy" paddles from Home Depot? Eventually all my lights will be controlled, but I suspect that, in the interim, this is going to be a major inconvenience for me, any way I slice it – unless anyone here can share your similar experiences and how you dealt with them.

Sorry for the long winded post with more comments than questions, but I enjoy explaining the details right now – I am absolutely addicted to this stuff and it’s only been a week. Thanks!

PS – It shouldn’t matter, but since I mentioned the XEP as part of my setup above, I will add that it is not hooked in yet – I’m just using the main Elk serial connection to the PC for now – another reason why moving the PIM back and forth is a pain – I only have one serial port on my PC. The reason I don’t have the XEP hooked up yet is because I’m waiting for the phone company to come out and hook the Elk into my phone line, as well as add a phone jack in my wiring closet for the DSL modem/router. Then I’ll something to plug the XEP into. Right now the DSL modem is temporarily on the other side of the house.

No, you're not missing anything, it IS a royal pain to always dis/re connect the PIM to the XSP. What most of us do, especially if you'll be adding or tweaking switches for a while is to just get a second PIM. Keep the one on the XSP and use the second on your laptop or pc. That way you can program switches whenever you want to and never disturb the Elk. The other option is to get the Pocket Programmer from SAI which will allow you to program the devices without a regular PIM. Essentially it is UPStart on a PIM like device.

Also, you realize that switches will control the load 'normally' without programming, that is, they will work like a regular light switch. So, you can just replace the switches at your leisure, then program them all in a batch. The only caveat is the switch defaults to dimmer mode, so if it is a flourescent or non-dimmable load, it needs to be programmed right away.

IMHO, a second PIM makes the most sense as you can do your programming and you will have a spare in case anything happens to the main.

And yes, you need to use a UPB slave switch, you can not use a regular 'standard' switch. You can use another full UPB switch and hook it up without load control, but its a more expensive option. Thats's normally used since the SAI slaves are garbage and the LEDs don't match the US240's. The HAI slaves may be much better.
Sorry, I've not had DSL for the past few days, for reasons I won't go into (other than to say that I'm an idiot who managed to somehow cut my own incoming phone line)

Thank you so much for this very informative and helpful reply.

So, if I get two PIM's, will they automatically synchronize with one-another when I make Upstart changes on the one connected to the PC?

And yes, for now, all of the lights in question (my external house lights) are CFL's (including the floods), so I do have to remove the dimmer option immediately.

Anyone here care to confirm how nice the HAI slaves are, per Steve's last comment below?
So, if I get two PIM's, will they automatically synchronize with one-another when I make Upstart changes on the one connected to the PC?

And yes, for now, all of the lights in question (my external house lights) are CFL's (including the floods), so I do have to remove the dimmer option immediately.

Upstart uses the PIM or CIM to program Upstart changes to the switches themselves. There is no synchronization issue between CIM's and nothing is stored in them. The CIM's are merely the conduit to get you from computer to switch. For any non dimming CFL I would disable the dimming option immediately.