All current Insteon modules (where it makes sense) can be configured to respond to X10 commands in addition to Insteon, making it easy to add them to X10-based systems.
Insteon protocol itself is way more reliable than X10 for two reasons (IMO): all commands are ACKed (or NAKed); and every Insteon device functions as a repeater, so signal level issues are pretty much eliminated.
IMO, that's overstating things a bit. The biggest problem for X-10 is devices that attenuate the signal. Devices that eat 120kHz are likely to also eat 131.65kHz. While Insteon addresses the issue of signal level it doesn't completely solve it.
There are two types of devices that attenuate both X-10 and Insteon signals.
One type consists of X-10 and Insteon transmitters which nibble at the signal strength by loading the powerline. With X-10, the more transmitters the lower is signal strength. Insteon transmitters have the same effect and since all Insteon devices are two-way, all include transmitters. Insteon solves this by having all Insteon devices repeat the signal so, if there are no other signal eating devices, Insteon signal level tends to be a constant level thoughout the "network". The more Insteon devices, the better it is for Insteon signal level. However, Insteon transmitters also nibble at X-10 signals which are not repeated so the more Insteon devices, the lower are X-10 signal levels.
The other type of signal attenuation usually comes from other devices plugged into the powerline that have line filter capacitors between line and neutral. These usually take large bytes out of both X-10 and Insteon signals and repeating the signals may not overcome the effect. Filters used for X-10 will also address this problem for Insteon.
I saw much higher Insteon signal levels with my ESM1 which probably indicates that you have more signal suckers than do I. Aside from PLC transmitters I only have one major signal sucker and it's behind a filter.
The fact that you get workable Insteon signal levels speaks well for their repeater philosophy.
It would be interesting to know the ESM1 X-10 signal strength in your computer room and garage.
FWIW, my ESM1 shows a peak resp>A bit more info on actual Insteon use:
Thanks for the measurements. Now I'll try to let you concentrate on your book.
You obviously have some serious signal suckers. That the Insteon nodules work where X-10 madules do not is evidence that Insteon certainly addresses signal level issues but your rather low Insteon signal level is also evidence that signal suckers will continue to be a problem.
I didn't record any ESM1 readings for Insteon signals because I had noticed that it was a bit more sensitive to Insteon than to X-10 signals and I did not know by how much. I do have some oscilloscope screenshots of the Insteon signals and all seem to be a bit higher than 3Vpp even with some attenuators between the source (tabletop controller) and the ESM1. When I was able to catch the signal sent by the SignaLinc that shared a Y connection with the ESM1, the signal was still higher. (I use those short Y extensions made for plugging wallwarts into powerstrips.)
The manuals give a minimum PLC transmit level for all of the modules (3.2Vpp into 5 ohms) but do not state a maximum.
According to the specs in the manual, the Insteon modules (including SignaLinc) only need a 1mV PLC signal. If that much makes it to the SignaLinc on Phase A, it will repeat it as RF to Phase B which repeats it as PLC. Unless the signal suckers reduce the PLC level below 1mV, all the Insteon modules should work.
It's not so much the specific problem of address loss (I noted that Insteon modules are hard coded in my review.) as it is the fact that they've allowed a firmware problem to fester for several years. (There was a post by Martin Custer yesterday that implies this is fixed in the latest SwitchLincs.) I worry that there may be Insteon firmware problems that they will also allow to fester.
Unlike some other manufacturers and their dealers, >>> Neil,