LinuxMCE Forums

General => Users => Topic started by: ddamron on October 30, 2007, 08:35:00 pm

Title: My orders are coming...
Post by: ddamron on October 30, 2007, 08:35:00 pm
Ok, After piddling with lmce since version 1.0, I finally decided to put it together.

I  have a whackload of insteon devices due today (at least that's what the tracking says)

1 x 2400LG  SwitchLinc Light Pipe Kit, Green, 8-PK (Hot Deal!) 
2 x 2401L  KeypadLinc LED Kit, 4-color (Hot Deal!) 
4 x 2476D  INSTEON SwitchLinc Dimmer, White (Hot Deal!) 
1 x 2476DH  INSTEON SwitchLinc Dimmer (High Wattage) (Hot Deal!)   
1 x 2476S  INSTEON SwitchLinc Relay (Non-dimming), White (Hot Deal!)   
2 x 2486D  INSTEON KeypadLinc Dimmer (Hot Deal!) 
1 x 2493  INSTEON Keypad Dimmer Scene Lighting Starter Kit 
1 x 31270  EZRain INSTEON/X10 Sprinkler Controller 
1 x 31272P  EZBridge IP to INSTEON/X10 Bridge w/ PLM   

This was ordered from

Also, I have these items coming from Fiire:
1 x Fiire Chief
*USB Dongles : 5 (to use remote in 5 rooms)

1 x Fiire Station (2.2" wall mount or set-top box)
*Default Video Connector : DVI/HDMI
*Default Video Standard : NTSC
*Gyro remote : 1 Fiire Chief + wireless keyboar

1 x Fiire Station (1" thick Vertical Mount)
*Default Video Connector : DVI/HDMI
*Default Video Standard : NTSC
*I/R receiver/remote : I/R Receive/Transmit learning/do

1 x Fiire Engine
*I/R receiver/remote : I/R Receive/Transmit learning/do

All this is to complement my existing X10 infrastructure, existing media directors, etc...

I have a simple question though:  I understand PeteK's working on insteon support..  I take it that is support for the PLM (Power line modem)

What about support for the EZBridge IP to Insteon/X10?  It looks pretty straight forward, communication is handled via a open socket to a port, and all commands/responses are in xml format...
anyone using this yet?

Please comment on this setup...

(I also have a plethera of other hardware, 4 IP Cameras, 2 Intel servers, Satelite DVB x 3, Emp Centauri 9x8 Multiswitch, etc, etc, etc,

Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: PeteK on October 30, 2007, 09:06:25 pm
Holy cow.  I guess the pressure is on now.  Actually, all I've had to test with so far is a pair of lamp modules.  I've got some more devices coming in today.  I am going to use them for further testing of a larger system  My development is based on the PLC.  The PLC is probably a little heavyweight for this application, but there was a more robust suite of low-level Linux drivers available for it.  The PLM also wasn't available as a USB device last time I checked.  USB has some nice advantages for pnp install.  Plus, the PLC is being shipped by Insteon in the development kit Paul sent me, so that's what I used.  Eventually, I think porting to the PLM will be a good idea.
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: ddamron on October 30, 2007, 10:28:41 pm
Cool, I just received my smarthome order... lotsa cool things...

Still tinkering.. however, the EZBridge is ...nice....  it shouldn't be too hard to interface it, and it directly talks to the plm.

Communication is via a socket connection and xml formatted commands/results...

Will fill in more as I learn more...



Is there any way to test your driver?  By that, I mean, it looks like I'm in a position to help out debug insteon devices...  willing to if able...
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: ddamron on November 01, 2007, 04:20:45 am
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: PeteK on November 01, 2007, 04:47:59 am
Sure.  Right now I'm having an issue with starting the executable, so i have to start it manually when I restart the PC.  The real issue I'm seeing right now is that I can't send you the template for the device.  In fact, I made it a while ago and I'm not sure what's in it right now.  Daniel and the other guys are working hard to get the development infrastructure in place so we can check in templates and such.  What I can try to do is take some screen caps of the device template and send that to you along with the executable.  Then you can try to recreate the device.  It's klugy, but hell, I could use more tests.  I'll do that over the weekend and post it the forums.

Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: ddamron on November 01, 2007, 05:54:17 am
Coolio, sounds great!

Well, I've been scratching my head with this PLM... couldn't get it to pair until I moved my access points around (for the second time).. Now it's bed time, but I did finally get it to pair to a device and now it's picking up messages left and right..  The bridge seems to work.. not as well as expected, but it works... I'm waiting on a new firmware for it to convert it to an EZServer.  That will enable a web server inside it and simplify configuration.

As it stands, I think I'm about 40% through the X10-Insteon re-learning process... hehe  Wow, does Insteon ever have a nice infrastructure.. about 3 times more complicated than X10, and about 150 times more powerful..
As it stands, I don't think a Driver will be needed for the EZBridge...  the PLM also comes with a serial cable, so I can actually start putting together 2 templates.. 1 using the generic serial device (for the PLM direct to ttyS0), and the other using a generic socket device (for the EZBridge communications) if one exists, haven't looked yet...

Thanks for all your help, and I'm still waiting for my Fiire order... I have my two intel servers running myth svn (another ball of wax) and I don't want to break it to install linuxmce again.... lol
I've got a Fiire Station, 2 Engines, 2 Chiefs coming, within the next week, I can wait for that..
Can you say.... TINKERTIME YAY!!!

Once I get it all working, I'm going to mount the 1" to the back of our bedroom TV and see if the wife notices... then, I'll just "activate" it..

TTYL, Thanks again...


My other computer is your windows box.

Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: ddamron on November 03, 2007, 06:03:16 pm
Petek, any chance of seeing those template screenshots??
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: PeteK on November 04, 2007, 02:57:57 am
I'll do that tomorrow.

Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: PeteK on November 04, 2007, 07:23:25 pm
I used the Z-wave interface device template as the template for making the Insteon interface template (if that makes any sense).  Consequently, the template is going to be tweaked before release and probably afterwards as well.  This template is designed to support the Insteon Powerlink controller (USB version).  Right now, I don't have the Lighting step-by-step configuration setup that supports Zwave interfaces, though that will be done at some point. I created each light manually via the web admin, and assigned it to be controlled by Insteon.  In the #12 Port/Channel Number(string) field, I entered the Insteon address string, including periods.
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: PeteK on November 04, 2007, 07:25:23 pm
This is the Insteon command group and the Insteon package, though neither one is implemented currently.
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: ddamron on November 05, 2007, 09:29:09 pm
Thanks for all your help PeteK, those screenshots do help...

I'm itching to play with this.. I SHOULD be able to integrate the EZBridge AND the PLM using GSD and Ruby...

Integrating the PLM should be very straight forward, it's basically raw insteon messages to and from via a serial port..

Integrating the EZBridge theoretically should be the same except instead of a serial port, it's IP based...

I've noticed quite a few differences in the programming manuals for the EZBridge, results not as expected, etc.. so that may take some more time...

Also, they have a new firmware in beta to enable it as a web server for communication / setup.

I'm waiting for my Fiire Engine to come!!!

Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: PeteK on November 05, 2007, 09:51:34 pm
Sure.  The executable is 2.3 Megs, so I won't be able to post it.  If anyone wants to PM me, I can email it. 
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: ddamron on November 07, 2007, 05:22:13 am
Thanks again PeteK, Check your PM.. ;)

Well, an update re: EZBridge by Simplehomenet...

I have all the docs for said unit, been testing pretty heavily..  heres the sticker..

It seems as their docs are not keeping up with their firmware updates... most of the commands in the docs aren't quite correct.. either the command structure is wrong, or the response structure is wrong, or the command simply doesn't work!

That said, The device is workable.  For the most part, they succeeded with the Insteon to IP/X10 Bridge.. <if you know what I mean>
Some commands I have learned to stay away from... others, I have learned workarounds... so I should be ok.

The PLM on the other hand, seems VERY well documented from Smarthome..  Nevertheless, I still don't have all the documentation I need, or would like...

Last night I put my second order in for another batch of Insteon products..  Top on my list are the developers package (that comes with a USB PLC), the developer's hardware package (isolated), and a whackload of more keypadlinc's, switchlinc's, Lamplinc's, Appliancelinc's, etc.. (you get the idea lol)
so, by the time I get my fiire equipment, there shouldn't be a light in the house that's not controlled via insteon... 

BTW, did I tell you how much I LOVE this technology??  1000% better than the old X10...  I was going to "migrate" away from my old 1-way X10 stuff.. then I saw how well the insteon worked... That plan was dropped.

So, by Friday, I should have that order, and I will also have a PLC to play with.



My other computer is your windows box.
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: teedge77 on November 07, 2007, 03:33:29 pm
hey pete, i was wondering what the benefits of insteon over z-wave would be. right now i use z-wave but i just wanted to test it out, so i only have the controller and two dimmers. if i found insteon would better suit me i wouldnt cry about moving. i have read in some of your posts that insteon works with the two way communication and doesnt have the rippling effect z-wave does with turning on groups of lights. is there more you have found and what products have you managed to get going? any work on thermostats or anything besides lights?
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: PeteK on November 07, 2007, 05:36:32 pm

So far, I haven't found any great advantages of Insteon over Z-wave.  Insteon devices can be implemented using both powerline and RF communications, so you can kind of get the range advantages of either one for a particular installation.  I think Z-wave dropped security from the new revision of their protocol, which is a little worrisome, while Insteon does have security enabled.  As far as activating devices by group rather than by individual device, I suspect that Z-wave has this functionality, but it is not currently implemented that way in the pluto/LMCE driver.  Unforutnately, the Zensys Z-wave development kit is on the order of several thousand dollars (vs. $200 for the Insteon kit), so I don't have access to the protocol to see.  Insteon has per-unit controllable ramp rates, which is a nice feature.  There does seem to be at least one other company developing interesting Insteon-compatible products (  They've got a few relay I/O modules that I'd like to build support for.  I actually bought the sprinkler controller and I'm working on support for that right now.   They have a high-power relay module and a zoned-heating module.  I understand that an Insteon-compatible thermostat is on its way.

To answer your question, right now I'm running both Insteon and Z-wave lights through LMCE, and everything seems to work OK.  The only real disadvantage of Z-wave I'm seeing as a developer is the large cost to get in the door vs. Insteon.  I can tweak the Insteon driver because I have the protocol documentation.  We're currently stuck without a workable  z-wave interface becuase I don't have that information for Z-wave
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: teedge77 on November 07, 2007, 06:04:10 pm
thanks pete. since you are running both now i think i might stick with zwave for lights and see what other additions you get to for the insteon and maybe work that in also. i wasnt sure if there would be any problem with running both at the same time. thanks for all the info and for working so hard to get all the insteon stuff together on your own.
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: tschak909 on November 07, 2007, 07:13:30 pm
the two-way communication is ultimately what may very well drive me entirely to Insteon, and scrap my Z-Wave installation.. that, and..well, the details of the specs seem better with Insteon..... if only we had zigbee devices...

Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: ddamron on November 07, 2007, 11:26:02 pm
Don't forget, once you do purchase the $200.00 developers kit, you can also purchase a hardware dev kit for $99.  Insteon also make use of a compiled "SALad" program so one can customize their hardware device.  This is exactly what simplehomenet have done.  AFAIK one can transmit the SALad app across the powerline/rf to an installed device, reboot and viola, you have customized extra functionality.  I'm planning on developing an INSTEON UIRT device via extended commands.

One thing I did notice - the RF remotes don't have status capability... yet...
It shouldn't be too long before other devices start coming out... I can see insteon Door Locks, Insteon wireless contact sensors/relays, There is a 3 speed (I think) bathroom fan already converted to insteon... it's on smarthome's site...

How bout a Inteon to Bluetooth Bridge? hehe
Title: Re: My orders are coming...
Post by: ddamron on November 08, 2007, 05:14:13 pm
Another point I found while digging around in the insteon docs... when a message has to be repeated, (relayed) all insteon devices that hear the initial message repeat simultaneously..

Insteon has converted a common problem with powerline interfaces (message collisions) and utilized the behaviour in their favour.

That, combined with super sensitive receivers, really helps with "noisy" equipment..

Also, Group Broadcast and cleanup is a nice feature..