Need An Insteon Firmware Flashing Device

upstatemike

Senior Member
I need some inventive person with experience programming ROMs to come up with a device for upgrading the firmware in Insteon devices. I am starting to get a range of different firmware levels for like devices in my house and it would be nice to be able to bring everything up to match the latest version installed.

I am talking something very simple (no download images or PCs or software involved). Just a little widget that will plug into the programming port under the rocker cover and do 2 things: Reads data out and Writes it back.

I would like to go up to my newest switch, plug the progam cable in and press a button called copy (or read or record or whatever) and have the firmware image copied out to the updater device. Then I want to go to my older switches, plug in, press write, and have the firmware image in the widget overwrite the older firmware in the switch.

Is this feasible? Anybody want to take this on?
 

ginigma

Active Member
Are Insteon devices able to be upgraded "over the wire", meaning that you don't have to go device to device to perform upgrades, but you can push out an upgrade from a central place? If so, perhaps the vendors of the different software packages can add that feature?
 

Steve

Senior Member
Why would it be impractical? Granted, you don't want to flood your powerline but why not have it run in batch serial mode (all switches 1 at a time) overnight or something, or just have certain groups done at a time. UPStart does this so I imagine it could be built into a software package and it will save you all the time and hassle of removing switch plates, etc.
 

Mike

Senior Member
Actually is that true? You can do 10 megabit networking over the powerline and some power companies are looking at offering this as an alternative to dsl and broadband.

I don't know the details, but I wouldn't say it is not possible by default. The larger issue would be if smarthome did not anticipate this and build in the possibility for supporting this.

The issue I could see if they hadn't is do you void the certifications by cracking the case (and thus open yourself to liability if an issue occurs) and remove some sort of EPROM, reflash it and put it back in.

Easier solution is to return the defective ones perhaps.
 

Guy Lavoie

Active Member
First of all, do the Insteon switches use flash memory? If they don't and only use write-once roms, then this won't be possible.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Steve said:
Why would it be impractical? Granted, you don't want to flood your powerline but why not have it run in batch serial mode (all switches 1 at a time) overnight or something, or just have certain groups done at a time. UPStart does this so I imagine it could be built into a software package and it will save you all the time and hassle of removing switch plates, etc.
It would take over 4 1/2 minutes to flash a KeypadLinc. The chances of doing that successfully the first time across a noisy powerline are pretty close to zero. Any glitch and the device is unusable and probably unrecoverable without the direct programming cable link.

Moot point anyway because that functionality is not built in to Insteon stuff.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Mike said:
Actually is that true? You can do 10 megabit networking over the powerline and some power companies are looking at offering this as an alternative to dsl and broadband.

Whatever the hardware and protocol is that is required to do this, it does not exist in current Insteon products.

I don't know the details, but I wouldn't say it is not possible by default. The larger issue would be if smarthome did not anticipate this and build in the possibility for supporting this.

They did consider it and decided the cost/benefit did not justify it. Most Insteon users probably don't need this ability so it is more practical to keep the pricing down and have a separate programming widget for professional installers (and Cocooners).

The issue I could see if they hadn't is do you void the certifications by cracking the case (and thus open yourself to liability if an issue occurs) and remove some sort of EPROM, reflash it and put it back in.

You do not have to crack the case or remove anything. The programming port is right under the user replaceable faceplate/paddle.

Easier solution is to return the defective ones perhaps.

I am not claiming older rev devices are defective. They usually just lack some newer feature or response tweak.
All these ideas require SH to change the product design. Much simpler just to create a widget that works with existing Insteon product.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Guy Lavoie said:
First of all, do the Insteon switches use flash memory? If they don't and only use write-once roms, then this won't be possible.
Yes. Smarthome uses this method to bring warehoused stock up to the current rev just prior to shipping.
 

Herdfan

Active Member
And it seems how they made the timer out of a relay. If you peel the sticker on the back of the timers off, it has a relay sticker underneath.
 

BLH

Active Member
From what I read in accessha.com. The modules have a programming connector used at the factory to program the devices and can be reprogrammed. The module has to be disassembled to do it as the connector is on the PC Board and all the powerline derived power supplies; have AC hot refferenced to the power supply and can be a shock hazzard.
PowerLinc v2s 2414U 2814U and 2414S have a power transformer and would be slightly safer. Not that Smarthome is going to release the programming device and program to do it.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
BLH said:
From what I read in accessha.com. The modules have a programming connector used at the factory to program the devices and can be reprogrammed. The module has to be disassembled to do it as the connector is on the PC Board...

NO The switch does not have to be disassembled. The programming connector is right under the rocker. I am changing a light pipe right now and am looking right at the connector.

...and all the powerline derived power supplies; have AC hot refferenced to the power supply and can be a shock hazzard.

NO There are no hazardous voltages under the rocker.

PowerLinc v2s 2414U 2814U and 2414S have a power transformer and would be slightly safer. Not that Smarthome is going to release the programming device and program to do it.

I am not asking Smarthome to release a device. They are already behind in the production of some pretty basic stuff, like the piece of plastic needed to wall mount a ControLinc. I don't think they are going to jump on something like this any time soon. I am hoping a third party will do it, much the way PowerHome came through to provide link management software.
I also don't want a device to tweak or change the firmware in any way. Just copy an officially released firmware image from a switch or keypad and copy it into a different switch or keypad.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Guy Lavoie said:
Is there a way (with software) to know what a switch's firmware version is?
I don't know but there is a sticker on the front of each switch showing the rev level. I just want to plug into a switch labled rev. 2.6 (for example) and copy the firmware. Then I want to walk up to a switch labled rev 2.1 and copy the newer image into it. That's it. No bells, no whistles. I don't want to know anything about the actual firmware code.

Just move the newer rev. firmware into the switch with the older rev. firmware.
 

BLH

Active Member
Glad the connector is under the rocker.
I only have ApplianceLinc V2s in use now and I believe those have to be disassembled.
Looked at a switch and did see the connector. I have updated my information on such matters.
Thanks for the heads up.
 
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