Elk & Insteon


I've got Insteon lighting integrated to the Elk M1G. I've got something like 65 lights. As you know.. the integration sucks, particularly for a large number of devices. I used Powerhome to configure all my insteon links, and to dump the information into the Elk. The Elk can control my lights very reliably. However, the Elk doesn't keep accurate status of the lights. I can connect Powerhome to the same cable that I typically connect the Elk to, and Powerhome gets the right status. I think that means that the PLC is linked correctly and that the Elk should be getting status. Can anyone tell give me some ideas on how I can get the Elk to accurately represent the state of my Insteon lights?

I'm happy to provide whatever information I can.

This is a pretty big problem for me. Right now, i have to use outputs to flag the state of my lights, and that is quite restrictive. It also means that the voice interface, and other things through the elk report status incorrectly.

Thanks in advance!
I think this is a limitation in the elk.

You can turn polling on but htere may be a delay when the light is turned on by another switch. The XSP manual has the details for the polling feature, if I'm correct.
gatchel said:
I think this is a limitation in the elk.

You can turn polling on but htere may be a delay when the light is turned on by another switch. The XSP manual has the details for the polling feature, if I'm correct.
I know you can turn on polling, which will give me dim levels as well, but I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be able to get on/off status without polling.

Yes it is but you have to link your switches to your PLC first. I was not able to get it to work in my test case as well. I'm going to give it another try in the next month.
FWIW, I'm having a very similar problem with my HomeSeer system (70+ Insteon devices and running the latest HS plugin).

HS controls the system very reliably, but it just doesn't pick up local control of the lights very well. The weird thing is that it was working fine, and no changes have occurred in the interim to the system except an update to the HS plugin - it just decided to stop reporting local control...
I could swear mine has worked somewhat in the past, but now it seems like it doesn't work at all. I think I have my lights all linked to the PLC bidirectionally. I'm not sure what the problem is. I'd be happy to share my powerhome database if that would provide the necessary visibility.

I never could get the stutus update to work properly but I also use many groups within the M1 and also just natively with my Insteon stuff (keypadlinc, contollinc, etc) and there is no way for the M1 to understand what is going on with groups. I turned on the polling feature in the M1 and this essentially solved the problem. The only consideration is that the M1 will poll one device every 15 seconds so it may be a few minutes before a changed status shows up depending on how many devices you have. Also, very infrequently I would get a failed lighting command and think it was due to having a group command collide with the status polling if they hit at about the same time. Also, I got in the habbit of turning the status polling off when I used Powerhome with Powerhome's polling turned on because with both running at the same time I got many more Powerhome communication failures than normal (generally I am at 100% communication for all of my devices).

On another note I see a response regarding HomeSeer. I recently (about 2 months ago) switched my lighting over to HomeSeer and have had tremendous success outside of a few bugs still being worked out of the Homeseer Beta. After I made sure that HomeSeer had properly read the link tables for all of my devices it has been dead accurate at keeping track of the status for everything regardless of if I control switches locally, through a group (such as keypad, controllinc, etc) or even for the few devices and groups I still control from my M1. I really love the M1 but after seeing the flexibility and more robust event control options (including the ability to use OR logic in an event trigger) I wish I had moved my lighting and several other automation tasks over to HS sooner. I am using the M1 Ethernet plug in for integrating the M1 into HS and it has worked very well.

Hope this helps.

My status updating had been very inconsistent as well. At one point I was seeing 95% accuracy but when I changed M1XSP firmware it dropped to about 75% or so. I only have about 20 devices so that may be a factor.

FWIW, I have 3 different ways of monitoring device status. My touch screen uses Main Lobby and shows light status through the ELK Plug-in (Not the ML Insteon Plug-In) and this has been the least accurate. Second, I have ELK RM installed on most PCs in the house and it seems to be slightly more accurate. Third I have a Mac that runs Indigo and has always been very accurate at tracking status. This difference may also be a factor of where the two PLC's are located but I think it's more likely something between the PLC and the ELK as most have mentioned here.
The ELK resident Insteon expert reports the following:

A few weeks ago I made changes to the M1XSP firmware which:

1. Improved the reading of the status of a device that was controlled locally.

2. Fixed a problem of the XSP interpreting incorrect levels of devices from a received Group command from the controller switch. This would cause some lights to change levels after a switch was locally pressed. Some people called it “ghosting”.

The new firmware is in Beta Testing. I’ve heard positive feedback that it appears to have corrected the “Ghosting”.

ELK continues to make improvements.
Uupdate on reading local control changes (switch manually on / off) -

I found that I had to re-link the switches in question with the PLC, manually (reading with the HS plugin didn't do it). I've no idea why they lost their connection, but re-linking them did the trick. Note that HomeSeer was still controlling these switches just fine. It was only tracking of local control that had bit the dust. Haven't tried relinking with Powerhome, but will try that. I use it only for updating links, etc., while letting HS run the house.