How does Insteon work?

I'm an X10 veteran getting started with Insteon equipment. Just wondering how the protocal works. Suppose I have a tabletop controller linked to a lamplinc "L". If I hit the on button, does it work like X10 where the transmitter says simply "Button 'B' pressed", then the lamplinc gets the message and thinks "Button 'B' has been pressed, that means I'm supposed to turn on." Or does it work the opposite, where the transmitter knows what devices are linked to it, and sends the order "Lamplinc 'L' turn on" when you press button "B".

Also, is there any real difference between an Insteon primary link and Insteon scenes? I'm assuming no, and that this distinction is a holdover from X10 days.

About how many Insteon devices can you add to a small house before they noticably degrade X10 performance. 5? 10? 20? Is there a suggested limit per circuit?

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Monte Castleman
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? What/which X-10 controller works this way?

Yes with respect to the INSTEON Table Top ControLinc 2430 used in X-10 compatibility mode. Except that in X-10 compatibility mode, "set for" is more accurate than "linked with". In X-10 mode, you choose the address with button presses. If there is a device with that address, it will communicate. You can set it for an address at which there is no device. It jist won't accomplish anything. In INSTEON mode, linking is established by two-way communication. If there is no device out there, it won't link. The controller and the devices are "linked" when they communicate with each other.

I don't understand the question.

Are you planning to use the INSTEON controller in X-10 compatibility mode, or in INSTEON mode?

-- Adding more INSTEON devices has essentially the same effect on X-10 signal strength as adding more comparable, native, X-10-only devices.

-- INSTEON devices work in X-10 _or_ INSTEON mode, not both modes. You have to choose.

-- INSTEON devices repeat signals in INSTEON mode but not in X-10 mode

So as you add more INSTEON-mode devices to an existing X-10 system, the X-10 deteriorates at approximately the same rate as if the devices were conventional X-10 but the INSTEON signal (theoretically) increases with each additional INSTEON device owing to signal repetition.

I have about 40 INSTEON devices operating in INSTEON mode, but none active in X-10 mode.

I stumbled upon the way to use INSTEON with two-wire switches (no ground), and so will soon replace the last of the now-orphaned X-10 WS467's.

... Marc Marc_F_Hult

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