Author Topic: Very Disappointed in Continued Lack of Insteon Support  (Read 332 times)

Offline mrt100171

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Very Disappointed in Continued Lack of Insteon Support
« on: April 15, 2017, 11:11:06 am »
 It seems that all the development efforts out there by Vera have been for ZWave-based devices. Now tell me that this is not a never-ending battle, especially to get it right.

 I would have figured by now that the far more limited Insteon devices would be supported by now. In my real world experiences, Insteon is a far more reliable platform for the core lights/switches/etc. and I have no intention on swapping out hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of perfectly functioning X10 and Insteon (yes, there is a such thing as pretty dang reliable X10, when you live in the middle of nowhere and know how to deal with filters). Not replacing switches unless they die...period!

  Just about ready to pull the trigger on an ISY44i box. I am sure I am not the only one thinking about it. Maybe I will buy an Elk M1 to replace my ancient (as in 20 YO) HAI Omni II go along with it. I would still be far ahead of the game.

  I do technology all day, and really don't want to think too much about it at night; I just want it to work. And no, I don't want to have to screw around with damn "advanced parameters" and such to make it work.

  I wish I had an idea of intent, so I could figure out if I should cut my Vera losses and move on. If there was a new Vera required, I would be OK with that. I would be OK paying for a QUALITY Insteon implementation.

  Is that too much to ask?

  Ball-peen hammer is already sitting right next to the Vera.

 

Offline Alex Waverley

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Re: Very Disappointed in Continued Lack of Insteon Support
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 02:57:17 pm »
Not every product is for everybody.

I've been involved in the residential systems industry for many years.  I hold a lifetime ETA Master RESI certification and over the years I have written post-secondary programs for integrators and contributed to CEA Standards development.

I've designed and installed dozens of HAI installs (going back to the 1503 that was built in Jay M's basement) and put in hundreds of X-10 devices, filters, repeaters, bridges, and so on, over the years. They could be made to function reliably but they could also be a PITA. The Omni was probably the best power line controller available at the time, but it is a pretty primitive device by today's standards. X-10 was OK as far as it went (it was the only game in town) and Insteon has certainly given it new life. But I find ZWave to be a better solution for my requirements.

There is certainly a learning curve with new technology and ZWave is no exception. I made the switch several years ago and I am still learning the nuances of the protocol. That being said, I am very impressed with what I am able to accomplish with Zwave in general and with Vera units in particular. The open protocol has enabled third party plug-in development which has greatly extended the capabilities of the platform. I can control multiple units with wall-mounted touch screens. With Vera I can integrate ZWave with infrared control functions and robotic relay control over LAN's. It is very reliable and intuitive to use when all is said and done, but it takes a little initiative to make it all come together. In short, is a very capable tool, but it is not for everyone. Kind of like Linux.

If you are happy with what you have and don't require more functionality than the protocol can provide, I'd sell the Vera and find a simpler X-10/Insteon controller that will do the job for you. If you want the level of control and integration that a system like Vera can provide but are frustrated with the process, you could always hire a pro to do it for you.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 05:40:14 pm by Alex Waverley »

Offline Don Phillips

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Re: Very Disappointed in Continued Lack of Insteon Support
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 08:46:03 pm »
I have an Insteon relay controlling my garage door for years. The PLM died in December, otherwise, Vera plays nice with the one Insteon device I have.
Vera 3, UI7 1.7.919, CT101 t-stat, Everspring motion detector, GE/Jasco switch, Leviton outlet, AeonLabs door sensor, Insteon garage control, Blue Iris, Sricam SP011, iPhone locator, APCUPSD, VeraMate, VeraAlerts, PLEG, House Modes, Countdown Timer, DVR, Virtual & Multi Switch, Weather, Sys. Mon.

Offline Alex Waverley

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Re: Very Disappointed in Continued Lack of Insteon Support
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 06:58:52 pm »
This thread got me thinking about the old HAI products and how easy they were to program. I can't remember what they called their software, but it was well designed, if primitive by modern standards.

One of the recurring complaints on forums for HA controllers is the difficulty in programming via the GUI interface. This is completely understandable given that these controllers are being marketed to the general public. HAI was (and still is) a mid-range product. It was sold through the security/alarm channel as opposed to the systems integration channel and the pricing reflected that. It was no where near as capable or as slick as Crestron or AMX, but it was good at what it did.

One thing they got right was the way they implemented macros. They used simple logic gates and allowed them to be "stacked".

"When" commands indicated a change of state, WHEN the door opens, WHEN the sun sets,  WHEN I push this button, etc. They were like "Triggers" on UI7.

"Then" indicated what should happen. Turn the light on, turn the light off, set the thermostat to 70 degrees, etc. So far, so good.

What set the program apart was how easy it was to conditionalize macros by including the "AND IF" statement. One could easily apply multiple conditions to any scene:

WHEN the front door is opened >
And IF it is dark >
And IF mode is "AWAY" >
THEN turn on the foyer light

It sounds simple (and it was) but the ability to easily stack multiple "IF" statements into macros and the fact that they could be expanded to include a bunch of contact closures (essentially digital outputs in the PLC world) made the HAI product very flexible. I did some pretty wild stuff with those little gizmos.



Offline Scoutmedic

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Re: Very Disappointed in Continued Lack of Insteon Support
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 08:03:24 am »
For me, there are two Insteon devices Vera needs to natively support - KeypadLinc and Fanlinc. There are no Z-Wave devices that compare functionally or stylishly with them.

Offline Juppers

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Re: Very Disappointed in Continued Lack of Insteon Support
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 09:40:38 am »
For me, there are two Insteon devices Vera needs to natively support - KeypadLinc and Fanlinc. There are no Z-Wave devices that compare functionally or stylishly with them.

1000 times yes. There is such a small number of insteon devices Vera should be embarrassed for not supporting these fully, especially since Insteon settings is a menu option. 

Offline RichardTSchaefer

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Re: Very Disappointed in Continued Lack of Insteon Support
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 11:34:54 am »
Quote
It sounds simple (and it was) but the ability to easily stack multiple "IF" statements into macros and the fact that they could be expanded to include a bunch of contact closures (essentially digital outputs in the PLC world) made the HAI product very flexible. I did some pretty wild stuff with those little gizmos.

You can do the same with the PLEG plugin that incidentally requires the PLC plugin.
But here PLEG - Program Logic Event Generator
             PLC - Program Logic Core
See: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,21603.0.html


Offline Alex Waverley

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Re: Very Disappointed in Continued Lack of Insteon Support
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 06:09:06 pm »
Quote
It sounds simple (and it was) but the ability to easily stack multiple "IF" statements into macros and the fact that they could be expanded to include a bunch of contact closures (essentially digital outputs in the PLC world) made the HAI product very flexible. I did some pretty wild stuff with those little gizmos.

You can do the same with the PLEG plugin that incidentally requires the PLC plugin.
But here PLEG - Program Logic Event Generator
             PLC - Program Logic Core
See: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,21603.0.html

And that is what I do. But it is no where near as intuitive as programming a 20 year old Omni. This is such a basic PLC function that it is hard to believe it requires a plug-in (or two) to make it happen. Look at how much frustration is expressed on these forums over the inability to do what seems like simple tasks. Including the ability to "stack" logic gates within the default GUI is a no-brainer.