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INSTEON RF Development Kit Ships

SmartLabsMike

Active Member
Happy Friday Cocooners-

FYI and a bit of news before the weekend. The SmartLabs Technology team has informed me that the first INSTEON RF Developer kits began shipping this afternoon. The first units were shipped to strategic partners.

2600rf.jpg


More information is available at INSTEON.net and http://www.smarthome.com/insteon/hdk2600rf.html
 

gregoryx

Active Member
Curiosity on the "no neutral" premise: it seems like there were things that worked with no neutral back-in-the-day and the issues with them related to the problems of having to have SOME current constantly flowing THROUGH the switch and therefore the load device (light bulbs, typically). This meant that the type of load would directly affect the signal. Of course, the load would also have to handle constantly having some power to it - which causes some devices to hum.

Is there some work-around for these issues?

Is that where RF might help? How would the load constantly on issue be addressed?

I see the RF value in putting the signalling into devices other than wall-switches; I hadn't considered RF as a solution for this issue.

Looking forward to input!
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Leviton stand-alone motion sensors do not require a neutral and do not draw power through the load. (They can't since they are relay devices.) They operate between hot and ground but somehow do it in a way that is UL and code approved.
 

gregoryx

Active Member
So there's no third wire? even a ground wire? 'Cause if that thing'd work in some of the spots I've put lights - plastic boxes in wood walls - it'd HAVE to be getting it through the load.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
gregoryx said:
So there's no third wire? even a ground wire? 'Cause if that thing'd work in some of the spots I've put lights - plastic boxes in wood walls - it'd HAVE to be getting it through the load.
The Leviton has a ground wire but no neutral. It can't get power from the load because it is isolated by the open relay contact when the load is switched off.
 

SmartLabsMike

Active Member
Mike C said:
Mike, does this mean that 2 wire (ie no neutral) switches are close to shipping?
Not exactly. It means that developers now have all of the necessary tools to develop and bring to market INSTEON RF as well as INSTEON powerline devices.
 

SmartLabsMike

Active Member
az1324 said:
This kit is really disappointing. First of all, it doesn't run user applications. It also doesn't have an integrated antenna. And finally its too big (~2.5" square). Really what we need is something like this http://www.zen-sys.com/index.php?page=298 its only 0.5" square.
Hi Az,

Thank you for the feedback. The layout of the EVM3 was intended for application development purposes and not intended to be integrated into a product as is. Also, SmartLabs provides all tools needed to write your own application. Are you requiring something specific for user applications?

In listening to our customers and their requirements, we have found that there was not one form factor that would work for each individual project. Likewise antenna requirements also have a wide variance. This is why we chose to go down the path of the EVM3. SmartLabs provides the schematic and engineering support for developers to integrate INSTEON into their products. Many developers will choose to integrate our components directly on to their PCB. In the meantime we are also working towards a solution for those developers who do not have specific form factor and antenna requirements.
 

az1324

Senior Member
Hey Mike --

I really like what zensys has done with their development kit and was hoping to see something like that: small module that attaches to dev board.

As far as application development, the RF dev kit does not run user code on chip like the PLC. As far as size, there is a physical limit to how small of an area one can fit all the required components. So as long as this is minimized for the module it is going to be appropriate for most devices: thermostats, smoke detectors, and most other fixed sensors. Now for things like handheld remotes I can see why someone would want to integrate the chips into their board because there are a lot more layout and design concerns. I can see where handheld or long range products might also require different antennas, and maybe there could be an optional antenna connector or two modules: one with either a printed antenna or a ceramic chip antenna and one with a connector for an external antenna. It would also be nice if at least all the processing (RF + Insteon) was done on one chip.

If there is going to be a dev kit, it may as well maximize its usefulness by being in module form so that it can be incorporated into devices where possible. I really don't see anything that I could get out of using the kit as it is now that I couldn't get from a good spec report.
 
az1324 said:
This kit is really disappointing. First of all, it doesn't run user applications. It also doesn't have an integrated antenna. And finally its too big (~2.5" square). Really what we need is something like this http://www.zen-sys.com/index.php?page=298 its only 0.5" square.
I think a better comparison might be to the actual Z-Wave developers kit at:

http://www.zen-sys.com/media/381.pdf

Does this still cost $2500 or have they dropped the price? Every so often I talk to some OEM considering z-wave development and the price of the dev kit is something they always bring up.


To digress a little bit, am I the only one that noticed this part that is included with the INSTEON kit?

Access Point LampLinc V2

Is this a soft launch of the rumoured dual mesh products?

George West
 

az1324

Senior Member
Yes their dev kit comes with 5 slave setups and 1 dev setup, but the fact that it is module based is the most important part.

I would assume it is dual mesh since it can link to both RF and (I assume) powerline devices.

The only other RF product out is the RF phase couplers but I haven't seen any information on whether they communicate with the access point or other wireless devices directly.
 
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