See my other recent posts. I've ripped out what was left of the X-10 from our house. INSTEON will replace X10 and probably some other equipment that had homebrew hardware.
INSTEON ICON is less expensive than (eg) Leviton X-10, much more reliable, more flexible, faster, has better tactile feel and so on.
Speed *is* important in a system that uses feedback, for example, setting light level by measuring actual illumination rather than simply as a fraction of the powerline cycle (conventional dimmer).
Some quibbles (some temporary, and in no particular order):
1) switches are the conventional contemporary "Decora' style that is not well suited for many locations in our home
2) colors other than white are not (yet) available for ICON switches
3) no switched outlet available (yet)
4) ICON and V2 switches have different interfaces (1-touch vs 2-touch)
5) AC line noise still unassessed (by me).
The first issue may be easily resolved with a different face plate which may not have to be homebrew if this is already planned (I dunno). Also, the design seems to be amenable to a home-brew low-voltage extension of the switch contacts (reed relay, 1-wire, DMX-512 etc) which would liberate the switch from its unappealing (to me) physical interface.
I think I prefer the ICON switches. The LEDs on the V2 models are too gaudy and bright except for a room with 'modern' decor. If the LED logic on the ICON switches were reversed, (Green when the room light is ON instead of v v) it would be preferable. I presume that the purpose is to be able to find the switch in the dark, but I find the lights (especially the many bright ones one the V2 models ) to be annoying. There may be some tweaking to be done in firmware and with filters. I may replace the five V2 models I installed with ICON models (1/2 price, same quality, less gaudy, simpler operation). The V2 6/8-position switch+pad is a different matter and is a winner. The light level can be controlled with opacity of the labels used (and perhaps other ways -- I dunno.)
As I wrote in OK with modules. The wall switches I've installed work well in manual mode. That was one of the most exasperating part of X10 switches -- even if you gave up on using them for automation, they were still a POS because the tactile feel and feedback was so poor. The V2 and ICON switches feel the same and are good enough in this regard (for me and mine).
I gave up on Insteon and sent the whole kit back for a refund. (starter kit+ powerlinc USB + mcontrol s/w) Coverage was very poor. I couldn't consistently the Insteon control modules even a few feet from the signalinc or boosterlinc. (I never tried to control myx10 modules.) I'm an experienced x10 user and have an existing, stable X10 system operating in a 3-level 5300 sft home including coverage to exterior devices in the yard at the end of a long buried AC line.. My x10 system has been adequate, but the insteon product was a nonstarter for me. Give it a try with the starter kit, but go into it with your eyes open.
I think the core flaw is that it's actually a hybrid system. Yeah, it's wireless-based....to an extent. But the powerlinc modules aren't wireless. They use essentially the x10 powerline mode to communicate with the signalincs, which are in-turn the gateway to the wireless network. So you still have to fight battles with co-circuit PCs, UPSs, and any other load unfriently to power line signaling. I elected to not fight that battle and will instead wait for zigbee products to become available.
BTW, the mcontrol software is unstable and butt-ugly.
Yes, I saw that note. I don't have a boosterlinc. Instead, my existing X10 system uses an amplified homepro repeater straddling the two phases at the power panel. It's likely that the UPS serving the PC that controlled the powerlinc USB module might have been at issue. But I'm sorry....I bought insteon because they said it was an RF-based system. To find out only after purchasing the equipment that there's this little secret about still using powerline signaling in order for the powerlinc to reach the two signalincs, which are in turn the gateway to the RF ad hoc net, makes me question their concept. Yeah, I know, they said in case of difficulty just buy their powerline filters or move your switching loads to another circuit. But I absolutely refuse to throw money at a bandaid solution because they chose to cut corners. The system is EXTREMELY to placement of the devices, so buying filters and such would be a perpetual crapshoot.
In your initial post, you said you had a BoosterLinc and now you say you don't have a BoosterLinc. Which is it?
I haven't seen where they claim it's an RF based system. They say its a "dual mesh network" and it should be clear to anyone who reads their whitepaper that they only use RF to couple the two phases. They've also made it fairly clear that filters may still be necessary.
So far, you are the only person to make negative comments here about Insteon. Some very knowledgeable folk have tried it and, in general, liked it.
If you have an X-10 system that works, >Yes, I saw that note. I don't have a boosterlinc. Instead, my
Oops. I erred in the orignal posting. When I said "boosterlinc" I should have said "powerlinc", of which I was using the USB flavor as my PC's interface to the network. Regarding my reading of the white paper, while I admit that I didn't take the time to read it as closely as I should have, you're not entirely accurate in saying they use RF only to couple the two phases. The figure on page 8 indicates that Insteon RF devices are also members of the RF network. But the bottom line is that they do indeed advertise this as a wireless system, which is not entirely true...quoting their literature ...... "INSTEON=99 is a powerful, wireless home-control networking technology that simply, affordably and reliably integrates....." But it ain't entirely wireless. I was looking forward to getting away from the inconsistencies of my x10 coverage by foresaking powerline signaling. Their mention of the fact that I may need filters in order to make Insteon work properly should have been a hint to me that it isn't really as wireless as they say it is. But to be fair, their refund was full and prompt.
The white paper explains a lot of what Insteon COULD do. But, if you look on the product pages to for the actual devices, they don't say they are RF.
But to be fair, when I first started reading about it, I inferred that they were both powerline and RF (like Z-Wave and X10 combined). However, some simple research on the web, SmartHome, and etc. explained it pretty clearly that the devices available now were not RF.
On the positive side, the RF repeaters allow you to get signal to a place via an alternate pathway.
The RF repeaters are more effective than hardwired couplers and repeaters. I have 4 installed now and will probably add one or two more to my 8500sf home. The advantage is that, once the first pair is properly installed on both legs, additional units can be simply plugged into trouble spots to solve a problem.
I will agree that their emphasis on terms like "dual mesh network" is misleading - I've posted critical comments on that here. But the diagram you cite refers to, as yet, non-existent RF devices that can be network members. Unless they've added something in the past few days, the RF SignaLincs are the only Insteon RF products available.
However, equating a slow, one-way ASK PLC protocol like X-10 with a fast, two-way (with ACK/NAK) BPSK PLC protocol like Insteon is a much greater distortion than anything from SmartHome's marketeers.
RF has a place as an adjunct to any basic network, whether it be hard-wired or PLC, but a reliable RF-only network is likely to be far too expensive for most of us - just check the prices on Lutron's RadioRA. Z-Wave has been available for much longer than Insteon but about the only people touting Z-Wave in this forum are those with a financial interest in it or those who don't understand the fundamentals and are easily swayed by hyperbolic press releases.
One thing that I wish SmartHome would do is publish the range of "noise" frequencies that will be a problem for Insteon. I think it will be a narrow band when compared to X-10 - older X-10 devices respond to frequencies between ~75-200kHz.
I th>Oops. I erred in the orignal posting. When I said "boosterlinc" I
I reread my posts, but couldn't discern where anything I said could be misconstrued as distortion. If I did so, it was unintentional. At any rate, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of this new line of Zigbee products:
And I'm willing to pay a little extra for something that can demonstrate that it works consistently right out of the box. If it does, they have my business. My time is too valuable to run around the house finding sweetspots in my AC wiring, and then later on wondering why module locations that once worked ok sometimes degrade to uselessness. It happens with X10, and it will happen with Insteon as long as they depend on PLC.
It will be interesting to see their prices and what kind of RF range the units have. I've used Hawking networking gear and found it reliable and low cost. If their Zigbee gear is equally reliable and priced agressively, it will be a nail in the coffin for Z-Wave. Eaton had also proposed a similar but more limited Zigbee line but they later delayed its introduction and I haven't seen anything about it lately.
You obviously are biased against PLC but I and others have few problems with X-10 and I doubt that there will be major problems with Insteon. You're likely to find real deadspots with RF and they will be much harder to troubleshoot and cure.
There are no "sweetspots" >I reread my posts, but couldn't discern where anything I said could be
Yes, I'm anxious to learn more about the Hawking product once it comes out this summer. I've been following zigbee for a while, but this seems to be the first announced product for the HA market. But not expecting it to be cheap at first.
I wouldn't necessarily say I'm biased but, yes, I definitely have no love lost toward PLC. (Ok....I'm biased.) My x10 network is working acceptably at the moment. But I can't understand why a module location can work fine for months and then become useless. It seems to happen once or twice a year and bugs the heck out of me because the family always comes to me to complain about it. Regarding sweet spots, I definitely do find dead spots even with my repeatered signal bridge. I'm not sure their cause is as simple as a capacitor between hot and neutral. More likely it's line noise from a switching power supply.
"fpmacko" wrote in news:1142296592.790436.224720 @p10g2000cwp.googlegroups.com:
Actually, one of the nice things about Insteon is that the system IMPROVES with every switch you add. The reason is that, unlike X10, every Insteon switch is also a signal repeater. The more Insteon devices you have, the better the signal coverage. I have over 50 Insteon devices in my home, and I NEVER see a signal fail. I did have to fix a wiring problem first.