• You've been granted Beta access to this site, allowing you to explore some of the new features while they're still under construction. More information can be found in the Beta forum.

Some INSTEON Questions

upstatemike

Senior Member
Now that smarthome has dropped the prices on INSTEON switches I am considereing an unconventional use for them and I need to know if this idea will work. I want to use use two matching switches where one is X-10 controlled and one is manual but both have on/off indicators on the switch. My idea is to use 2 INSTEON relay switches where 1 is set to an X-10 address and the other is not (making it essentially a manual switch since I don't have an INSTEON controller).

This gives me matching switches with on/off indicators that can control CFL bulbs but the closet switch will not be automated. A couple of things I need to know before I try this are:

1- If you do not set an X-10 address does it default to A1 or is there truly no address at all? I don't want the closet switch to respond to all-lights-on or any other stray X-10 command on any house code.

2- If an X-10 address is not set, I assume the circuitry is still coupled to the power line. In other words I assme an INSTEON switch will suck just as much X-10 signal from the power line when X-10 compatability is not enabled as it would if an X-10 address was assigned.

3- Does anybody know if there is going to be an INSTEON Switchlink keypad that incorporates a relay instead of a dimmer? (not related to the above closet light scenario) I am converting almost everything to CFL bulbs to save energy so I don't have many places where I can install a dimmer keypad.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
1) by default it has NO x-10 address.
2) I assume so also.
3) I haven't heard of one planned and they didn't make on in the v1 series, so I kind of doubt it. But I have a use for some too.

Is that matching LED status indicator worth $39 bucks to you? They make much cheaper manual switches with lights. At least they used to, in the toggle style days. Now that you mention it, I don't know if I have seen them in Decora style.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
The LED indicator is needed so the closet light won't be left on with the door shut and possibly not noticed for a few weeks or months (rarely used closet). It is the aestheics of matching the whole switch, not just the LED indicators, that is worth $39 (but not $59). Smarthome has made non-automated dimmers in the past but nothing that you could use with CFL bulbs. This seemed like a unique way to get a switch that was not automated, matched the switches that are automated, and could control a CFL load.
 

toymaster458

Active Member
upstatemike said:
2- If an X-10 address is not set, I assume the circuitry is still coupled to the power line. In other words I assme an INSTEON switch will suck just as much X-10 signal from the power line when X-10 compatability is not enabled as it would if an X-10 address was assigned.

3- Does anybody know if there is going to be an INSTEON Switchlink keypad that incorporates a relay instead of a dimmer? (not related to the above closet light scenario) I am converting almost everything to CFL bulbs to save energy so I don't have many places where I can install a dimmer keypad.
2- This is correct. It will suck as much as a X10 2-way Switch

3- There is rumor that they may have a KeypadLinc Relay but nothing confirmed or denied.
 

WayneW

Senior Member
So if you are going to that expense, then why not automate it, at least a little? For example:
If closet light has been on for 30 minutes, then turn off.

I am not debating your switch selection, just letting you know that there probably cheaper ways to do it, if the aesthetics were not a concern. I know I have a boss at home too. :p
 

TCassio

Active Member
As far as my closet doors, I use DS10's. When the door is opened the light comes on and when closed the light goes off.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
WayneW-

I may automate it someday if I convert to Insteon but in the X-10 world the risk of the closet light going on from noise or other X-10 gremlins outweighs any value in automating it. I could load my scedule up with extra X-10 OFF commands to combat false activation but I am looking to reduce powerline traffic not add to it.

TCassio-

Good idea but DS10s are not an option for me as my stargate does not support the WGL800. I use WGL's RF sprinkler controller tied to digital inputs on my stargate. This only supports the standard X-10 RF stuff, not the security sensors.
 

PeterW

Active Member
Re default X10 address.. BEWARE! I got a bunch of switchlinc-relay devices that were all set to P-1, in spite of the documentation sayng that they were not supposed to be that way. I've been told that they are programmed to P1 for factory testing and are SUPPOSED to be reset before leaving....

Re signal sucking.. Insteon uses the same tuned circuit that X10 does for transmitting. ie: ALL insteon switches are signal suckers, for both Insteon and X10 signals. If you add a bunch of Insteon devices to a small X10 network, that can be enough to push it over the edge into unreliability. This isn't a problem for Insteon, because each 'signal sucker' is also a repeater. In practice this works really well... for Insteon. The Smarthome web site describes "Insteon's effect on X10" and they recommend adding Boosterlinc devices to fix it. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to think that this is actually part of the Master Plan.. ie: wait till somebody is well invested in Insteon devices and then find that they either need to spend money to keep the remaining X10 devices on life support, or spend money on replacing them with Insteon devices. And at this point, the user is well familiar with how superior Insteon's reliability is and would likely choose the latter option.

Re keypads vs relays.. May I suggest an AppliancelincV2 and bind it to the Keypad, if its practical and within budget? I did this as an experiment (but usng a switchlincV2-dimmer, not a keypad) to see how reliable linking device->device communication worked across phases in a room. It actually works really well! It was pleasant compared to X10!
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Thanks for the heads-up on the default address. I'll be sure to go through the procedure to remove any address that might have been programmed for testing.

Unfortunately linking a v2 appliance module to a keypad won't solve my problem in most locations. The best places for keypads are ones that control ceiling fixtures that can't accommodate any kind of fixture or appliance module. Because I have converted them to CFL bulbs, I can no longer use KeypadLinks in these locations.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
One more question... I notice the logo on the black paddle color change kit reads INSTENO instead of INSTEON. Is this some kind of freudian slip or subliminal warning?
 

WayneW

Senior Member
Is this actually in the plastic molding? or some picture on the web we can all laugh at?
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
It is the large logo printed on the instruction sheet visible through the clear plastic bag that contains the paddles.
 

Attachments

  • Insteno1.jpg
    Insteno1.jpg
    16.7 KB · Views: 17

ForTheBuddha

New Member
upstatemike said:
Now that smarthome has dropped the prices on INSTEON switches I am considereing an unconventional use for them and I need to know if this idea will work. I want to use use two matching switches where one is X-10 controlled and one is manual but both have on/off indicators on the switch. My idea is to use 2 INSTEON relay switches where 1 is set to an X-10 address and the other is not (making it essentially a manual switch since I don't have an INSTEON controller).

This gives me matching switches with on/off indicators that can control CFL bulbs but the closet switch will not be automated. A couple of things I need to know before I try this are:

1- If you do not set an X-10 address does it default to A1 or is there truly no address at all? I don't want the closet switch to respond to all-lights-on or any other stray X-10 command on any house code.

2- If an X-10 address is not set, I assume the circuitry is still coupled to the power line. In other words I assme an INSTEON switch will suck just as much X-10 signal from the power line when X-10 compatability is not enabled as it would if an X-10 address was assigned.

3- Does anybody know if there is going to be an INSTEON Switchlink keypad that incorporates a relay instead of a dimmer? (not related to the above closet light scenario) I am converting almost everything to CFL bulbs to save energy so I don't have many places where I can install a dimmer keypad.
Hey,
Here are the answers to your questions:

1. With the INSTEON switch (Dimmer or Relay) there is NO 'default' X10 address. So if you've just pulled it out of the box, or reset it, or never programmed any X10 features, then it doesn't have an X10 address and will not respond to any X10 commands (Inluding All Lights On/Units Off)

2. Absolutely correct! Even though an X10 address is not set, it's still a "2-Way" (transmitter and receiver) X10 device and all 2-Way X10 devices will enherently absorb some X10 signals.

A common question to this is "how much?" That is, how much signal will any given 2-way device absorb. Well it really comes down to several factors, including impedances. Most 2-way devices have the same "potential" absorbtion factor, but they will each very depending on where they are installed and other environmental conditions.

3. Nobody really knows if there will ever be an INSTEON KeypadLinc with a built in Relay instead of just a dimmer. I guess if everyone keeps pinging Smarthome for them it may happen.

Have fun and enjoy your $40 indicator switches :p

Trops
 
Top