UPB or Insteon

hucker

Active Member
Some people will find the delay a VERY bad problem...
Have you tried to disguise the delay by using a slower ramp rate? Then it just looks like the delay is part of the ramp up or down.

Yeah, that is what I ended up doing. That makes it 'work' in so far as the delay isn't as painful but then using it as a dimmer takes too long. I can deal with it but I have watched people dork around with my lights. Usually I need to train them on how they work. My wife really wants me to get our old $9.99 that work with a slider.... Argh
 

MikeB

Active Member
Great thread.

If you're going to go Insteon, consider the purchase of an ISY-26 for your link management, scene creation, etc. - and possibly events & triggers. SO EASY to program, and it's really a great device, and they seem to be working closely with Elk on integration.

I have my Elk sitting on my shelf waiting to install, hopefully sometime soon.

Here are some comments I had:

Not really as big deal any more. $15 difference between a Switchlinc and HAI UPB, and I bet that diff gets even smaller in quantity.

Not a big deal for a few switches, but 60x$15 is a significant difference - at least to me.

But UPB has true wired inline relays and dimmers, a plug in I/O module, a plug in scheduler/timer module

Insteon has their InlineLinc devices, the EZIO, and the ISY-26 (though it's far more than a simple scheduler/timer module).


Compared to what? It's all just Decora (switchlincs and UPB stuff). Insteon has a light bar vs a single LED, but that is a personal preference. I happen to think the single LED is contemporary looking. With UPB each manufacturers switch has a slightly different feel and look so there is actually more choice there too. And a UPB switch with light bar is still rumored. Don't understand what is 'fun' about Insteon?

I think the light bar is useful to easily see the current dim level. I think the 'fun' part is maybe switching out to different color LEDs, which is easy with Insteon. I personally tried out a few different colors, however, and found most to be cheesey. They should release more 'subtle' colored lightpipes.

No, but then again UPB does not do any RF at all. But I can easily use any x10 RF device with the converter, or any other wireless device (like a Caddx keyfob) to control UPB device via a panel or other HA system.

I think RF is a big plus, and may be key to Insteon's growth. Imagine a standard thermostat run by a couple batteries that communicate via RF to Insteon, or maybe a garage door opener, or something similar. RF isn't just about remote control in my eyes. There are plenty of people, like me, who would rather not run another cat5 to my thermostats or garage door openers.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Not really as big deal any more. $15 difference between a Switchlinc and HAI UPB, and I bet that diff gets even smaller in quantity.

I looked it up and I paid $30.11 per switch for Insteon. So I can get the the HAI UPBs for around $45? That would not be bad but still at 80 switches is a $1,200 difference which is not trivial. (Actually I put Icons in the basement garage and third floor which saved me another $10 per switch for about 25 of the 80 switches).

Also the $30 ControLinc was was way cheaper than a UPB keypad in a Simply Automated Tabletop Box and I use 10 ControLincs.

And Insteon plugin modules at $30 ( times 40) was a lot more attractive than UPB at something like $90 (That is another $2,400 difference right there!)

If you are talking about hundreds of dollars in price difference then price should not be the primary factor in your decision but when the difference is many thousands of dollars you have to at least take it into consideration.
 

sloop

Active Member
i'll make the decision for you - upb

i think i read somewhere that the upb signal is stronger - all the savings in the world mean nothing if the devices don't work

smarthome rarely fixes problems with their products - they release them - them discontinue them

two things i read that best describe insteon

they are like a chintzy sharper image product

they are like a lightbulb - plan on replacing them

i am not sure how long your trial with insteon was, but the 'paddle problem' generally would arise the day after the warranty expired

with insteon, be prepared for gotchas (limitations that you won't know about until you start your customization)

x10 is a better choice than insteon (get lots of dissin but it worked great when i had it)
 

jimhannah

Member
Since we got this thread started, I have inserted a UPB solution in my design spreadsheet alongside the Insteon solution. Recognize that it’s a modest little design consisting of only about 20 switches focused on perimeter lighting primarily for security.

Based solely on catalog prices from one vendor, UPB was $500 more than Insteon. To achieve the desired functionality, I had to include a couple of UPB Scene Switches (Room Controllers). In the Insteon design, KeypadLincs were serving multiple functions--- i.e.- load switch, virtual 3-way, and scene controller.

This evaluation addresses only making the “manual” functions of the system equivalent (you pros correct my wording here if I screw it up.) Perhaps once the system is connected to the Elk along with the respective management software, the UPB design may outshine the functionality of the Insteon???

From the way I’m interpreting all this stuff right now, the UPB is going to have to REALLY shine brightly!!



Yeah, sloop, I don't have any accelerated aging tests planned!!!

I think it's time to take WayneW's initial advice and just do it. I may do what Steve suggested and get a UPB starter kit first, but I am far from sold on UPB at this point.

thanks much to all
 

Event5

Active Member
i think i read somewhere that the upb signal is stronger - all the savings in the world mean nothing if the devices don't work

The UPB signal is 40+ volts. Strong enough to travel up to two miles. Insteon, like x10, sends a 4volt signal. Insteon also depends on the retransmission of the signal by each device (this seems to work well). Yes there are items that can block the signal but it is less likely with UPB. With UPStart you can see the signal strengh, noise, test, log, etc.

Dave
 

jimhannah

Member
By the way, what are the problems with a mix of Insteon and UPB on the same network (2-phase electrical distribution network)? Interference or attenuation problems?
 

MikeB

Active Member
Yes there are items that can block the signal but it is less likely with UPB.

The problem I tend to see is that if an item is causing interference with Insteon, it can be fixed with filters. With UPB that doesn't seem to be an option.
 

Steve

Senior Member
Jim: I certainly would wish you luck with your Insteon setup and it really is not that bad. That being said, you have not 'tried' UPB until you see how links work and have used the UPStart software vs even the best Insteon has. Forget even the Elk, you can build a fully functional and automated solution with just UPStart. Simply looking at switches online and comparing price is doing yourself an injustice. You need to touch and feel and play and then you will know. Good luck either way you go.

Edit: And I just had to add after reading in another thread, not that this is so much a deciding factor, but when was the last time there was anyone from Smarthome or any Insteon manufacturer in here answering questions or offering product support? Not that he is here often but Brad (UPBSeer) from SAI is in here helping people out. That just tells me they care more about their customers instead of hiding behind their walls.
 

Steve

Senior Member
Yes there are items that can block the signal but it is less likely with UPB.

The problem I tend to see is that if an item is causing interference with Insteon, it can be fixed with filters. With UPB that doesn't seem to be an option.
There are also filters available for UPB, just they typically are not needed too often.
 

MikeB

Active Member
but when was the last time there was anyone from Smarthome or any Insteon manufacturer in here answering questions or offering product support?

True, they even abandoned their own forums for a while. However, Trevor from SmartHome has recently been posting up on Techmall. Not sure if they'll ever spend time here, but at least they again have a presence on their own forum.


There are also filters available for UPB, just they typically are not needed too often.

Really?? I've seen a few threads in here recently with people having major UPB communications issues, and posts indicate that there's no practical filter available.

I realize that UPB is more resilient to noise than other powerline protocols, but from what I've read when they do happen they seem to be next to impossible to solve.

Do you have a link to a UPB filter?
 

WayneW

Senior Member
If you're going to go Insteon, consider the purchase of an ISY-26 for your link management, scene creation, etc. - and possibly events & triggers. SO EASY to program, and it's really a great device, and they seem to be working closely with Elk on integration.
Until the ISY-26 has a way to load the Insteon linkages into Elk, I would suggest using PowerHome for link management and loading into the M1.
 
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