Insteon users - Some help to keep you going

Some help for Insteon owners

How to add and remove devices from your Insteon 2245-222 hub

Now that the ability to use the Insteon app is gone, you will need to manually add devices to the hub. There are ways to do this with open source software, but you can also do this by using the Link button on the 2245 hub, or by using the following HTTP commands.

NOTE: You will need to find your Insteon hub IP address by looking at the DCHP address table, or the MAC address table of your router. Every router will be different. Consult your router manual by downloading it from the manufacturer's website or do some searching online for answers using your router's brand and model number if a manual isn't available. If your hub has never been named, it will probably show up in a DHCP table as "Smarthome". But if your router doesn't display device names in the DHCP table, look for the matching MAC Address to the one shown on the bottom of your 2245-222 hub.

Example of an Insteon MAC Address

00:0E:F3:x:x:x (where the x will be two HEX values unique to your particular Insteon hub).

Before you start, it’s important to understand some basics around how to form the URL to enable linking. Since you can join devices by Group (Scene) you will have the ability to add devices to your hub and to a particular Insteon Scene. You don’t have to use Insteon Scenes, but without their use you will either get a popcorn effect from your lights when you try to control several of them at once with a non-Insteon group, or some of the Insteon devices may not respond at all if you're trying to use a non-Insteon group to control multiple at once. Insteon Scenes will send out a single group message, where all Insteon devices in that Insteon Group (Scene) will respond simultaneously, with no popcorn effect, and no missed commands by any Insteon device that is a member of that group.

The following are HTTP commands from the Insteon Developer Guide. You should probably download this for reference while you still can. The guide is from the 2242-222 hub, but the commands are the same for the 2245-222 hub.

The remainder of the URL contains the commands for linking/unlinking, together with the group you want to add the device to, or the group you want to removed the device from.

Enter Linking Mode to group 10

/0?0910=I=0

Enter Unlinking Mode from Group 10

/0?0A10=I=0

Cancel Linking or Unlinking Mode

/0?08=I=0

Examples:

Set the hub into Linking mode to add a device to Group (Scene) 10
Here 09 is the HEX command to put the Insteon hub into Linking mode, and 10 is the Insteon Group it will join.

http://Annie:ytyYUbva@192.168.0.146:25105/0?0910=I=0

Set the hub into Unlinking mode to remove a device from Group (Scene) 10
Here 0A is the HEX command to put the Insteon hub into Unlinking mode, and 10 is the Insteon Group it will leave.

http://Annie:ytyYUbva@192.168.0.146:25105/0?0A10=I=0

Cancel Linking or Unlinking Mode (Group number doesn’t have to be included and will be ignored if it is included together with the Cancel Linking/Unlinking command).
Here 08 is the HEX command to Cancel linking or unlinking mode, and even though 10 for the Group is still included in the URL, it is unnecessary for a Cancel command. However it can safely be left included if you just want to change the HEX value before the Group number in the URL. It will be ignored in this case.

http://Annie:ytyYUbva@192.168.0.146:25105/0?0810=I=0`

Turn OFF Group (Scene) 10
Here 11 is the HEX command to turn OFF the devices in Group 10

http://Annie:ytyYUbva@192.168.0.146:25105/0?1110=I=0

Turn ON Group (Scene) 10
Here 12 is the HEX command to turn ON the devices in Group 10

http://Annie:ytyYUbva@192.168.0.146:25105/0?1210=I=0

  1. To use the HTTP commands, first send your constructed URL via a web browser by entering it in the address bar. You must include the Hub user name and password in your URL. Nothing will happen if you don't.

  2. After entering the URL in your browser address bar, you may need to press enter twice to get a response from the hub. Once the light is flashing on the hub, press and hold the link button on your device until you hear a quick double-beep and its light stops flashing. It should instantly join. Repeat the process for each device you want to add to a particular Group on your Insteon hub.

  3. Use the ON and OFF URL examples above to test your devices are added to the group you intended and are all responding as expected.

How to control groups from Hubitat

You can control Insteon groups from a Hubitat Elevation hub without installing any drivers or software by sending an HTTP command using GET with Hubitat Rule Machine or Button Controller.

Example:

Send GET to: http://Annie:ytyYUbva@192.168.0.146:25105/0?1110=I=0

For more complex control via Hubitat or other methods, see this link for further information.

8 Likes

Looks like users need to make sure they never perform a factory reset on their Insteon hubs. There's no way to re-configure it afterwards.

How have you arrived at that? I'm a long time Insteon user, but I don't pretend to know everything about them. To write the above post, I took a spare hub that had been factory reset and added devices to it using the methods I posted above. It worked fine.

There's a limitation in that you cannot set the device Ramp Rate (how fast or slow it dims), or the default brightness level from the app as you could conveniently do from the app when their cloud server was still running. But Insteon was designed hardware first, cloud second. It's not actually a cloud dependent system. It's only the development of the 2245-222 hub that started to lean on the cloud more, but as you can see from the example above, there are still workarounds due to the way that Insteon designed their hardware from the beginning, and its X10 roots. You can set Ramp Rate and default dim levels on Insteon devices from each devices, it's just not convenient, especially if it's a buried micro module.

For a more convenient to use way to add devices and adjust each of their custom parameters, I personally have my eye on this solution. I fully intend to keep using my node.js server with Hubitat to control my devices, because it's frankly just better than anything out there. But this Home Assistant panel should give me back the convenient device configuration I'm now lacking (but honestly not desperately in need of right now).

To be frank, there's a lot of unnecessary panic out there right now. I just pulled Insteon from my old home and actually expanded it in my new home, adding three new dimmers to my setup. Insteon rivals the really expensive Lutron RA2 devices on a lot of levels. I'm not saying it's better, but if you already own Insteon devices, you have some really nice equipment that was a fraction of what it would cost to get similar results with Lutron RA2. Yes, Insteon as a company is now gone, but I'm still using lots of devices from other manufactures that are no longer made, or the company is no longer in existence. Many of us here are. If you can still configure it, and it still functions, why would anyone replace it? Honestly the throw it in landfill mentality is wrong and a pointless waste of money, time and resources.

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I saw mention of it somewhere so I thought I'd throw it out there in case it's actually true. I'm a long time user as well and I won't be scrapping my Insteon hardware anytime soon. I've been using the "AS-IS" WS driver and the node.js.server for a few years now and everything is working fine. The install was tricky on my Pi but it was worth the pain. Thank you and Chris Wilson BTW. This integration kept my Insteon gear out of the landfill (which is a box in my basement because as my wife always reminds me, I don't know how to throw stuff away).

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It's not true. Unfortunately reddit is one of the best places I've seen for misinformation.

That's great to hear. Really that driver is probably fine, but we could never get confirmation from the users that said it didn't work properly with KeypadLinc. Chris and I both tested a lot before release and it all worked properly, but as I'm not a developer and Chris just couldn't continue to develop a driver to a system he didn't even own, we jointly decided to mark it AS-IS with the hopes that someone would someday develop it further. Who knows, maybe that day has come. However there were never as many Insteon users as the other systems out there, and so the myth began to develop that it was inferior, which really isn't true. Unfortunately that albatross has now killed the company.

It's been some years, but I did set is up on a Pi Zero W just to be sure it could be done. I run mine on an old Mac. Yes, the Pi can be a pain in the rear to work with, but it's cost effective for sure. So glad you're getting good use from it. Thanks!

Your wife has a great sense of humor! :rofl:

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The problem with KeypadLinc is the lag with button press events sending to the hub or at least that's what I've observed with my setup. It's at least a 2 to 3 second lag.

All, please confirm or correct: I've been under the impression that the Insteon PLM is the "Achilles heel", in that without it, there's no way for any of these automation approaches to communicate with Insteon devices. Am I mistaken in that assumption? Can you please comment specifically on this? Thanks in advance.

I guess that's one way to put it. But then you could say that about Zigbee or Z-Wave too. If I don't have one of those radios, I also cannot communicate with one of those device types. So yeah, Insteon is not WiFi, just as Zigbee or Z-Wave is not WiFi either. Yes, you need an Insteon Hub or PLM to communicate with their devices.

Honestly, there's more panic than rationality in all this right now. There's not as many Insteon devices out there as Z-Wave or Zigbee, but that also means there's not as many people competing with me to buy used devices, which I absolutely will when the prices stabilize. I'm already seeing more devices arrive for sale on ebay than I've seen in the last few years, and not all of it is outrageously priced.

A couple of things are happening here. There's gouging to capture all the panicked buyers, but there's also panicked sellers. As people decide they need another system because after many years of stability, they for some reason think their Insteon devices are all going to fail tomorrow, or they were solely Insteon Hub only users, thus dependent on their cloud for Mobile control, Alexa and Timed Events adjustments, so they too will begin to sell off their equipment. And maybe some people were just thinking of making a switch to another radio technology anyway, and this is further incentive to do it now.

In any case, I'm looking forward to when the panic and gouging subsides (because it will), and then I'll buy more Insteon stuff at normal, to well below normal prices. I'm honestly trying to help people and show those that are tech savvy enough to seek out the very reasonable solutions that exist, how to keep using what they have. But if they do decide to sell, I'm also looking forward to the return of Insteon devices I can buy. I'll welcome maybe one more spare hub or a PLM (I already have two spares), or the renewed possibly to expand the reliable Insteon system I have even further. It's good stuff and will last far beyond my need or future desire to replace them.

I still think it sucks that people have to go through this. Insteon could have given people warning. Also not everyone is as tech savvy as the next guy. So this can be a real problem for them. When I decided to get rid of Wink, Insteon was one of the ones I thought about going with. Glad I didn't. And if HE ever decides to go the same way (which crossing fingers It doesn't) I hope those in charge are kind enough to open source it... Even if they don't, I think they'd say something. (At least we would be operating as normal)

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The nice thing about HE is that it works whether or whether not the company exists....

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Not disappointed for a moment going with Insteon from the beginning, or that I continue to use it. But definitely a disgraceful exit. Shame on Rob Lilleness for allowing it to happen this way.

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I've been an Insteon Devices user. As far as Insteon concerned, my situation is exactly what's described in the beginning of your post. My Insteon hub suddenly failed to work on April 14th 2022. As such, my Insteon light switches could no longer be controlled via Google Home nor Insteon App. However they can still be functionable by manually switching the ON/OFF button. And it's been confirmed many time that the Insteon Cloud Server is not responding when trying to reach it via the mobile App or web browser.
I have followed the steps that you posted to connect to the Insteon Hub. However, it did not work in my case. The only thing I got by doing a \http:192.x.x.x:25105 was getting the hub information in the browser. I could never get to any interface of the hub in the web browser. The light on the hub would never turn in GREEN by itself after the power was plugged in. I was able to change the light to flashing green or steady green by pressing the reset button. However, by doing that, it' still did not help me to re-set up the hub.
Does it mean that my Insteon Hub is no longer usable and cannot be reconfigured unless the Insteon Cloud Server is back online ?

I'm waiting for someone to dox him. One of the articles I read said that people went by the office and it was completely cleaned out. Sorry... I just get annoyed by shittey people...

And this is actually true about Insteon too. It is a local hub. What’s missing now are the cloud features, and for most Insteon users, that’s specifically Alexa. If Hubitat were to go under, you also wouldn’t have Alexa or Google home control of the hub directly. Hubitat hubs would still work local, but just like Insteon now, you would need to figure out a different way to command devices from a voice assistant.

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Yeah but without the cloud access aren't there a few setup issues (like if you factory reset for whatever reason?)

You misunderstand. What I posted is how to send commands to the hub. It doesn’t give you a UI. If you want a UI you need to connect the hub to Home Assistant, or add to the node.js server as a middle man to connect the Insteon hub to Hubitat. You will never get the old Insteon UI back, You can get a UI from Home Assistant that is almost as fully functional as what you had. There is a also a Home Assistant panel that you can also add which will allow device configuration via a UI such as Ranp rate and default dim level so you don’t have to set it manually at each Insteon device by button presses. I’m building a new Home Assistant so I can run the supervised version and test it out myself. It’ll be a few weeks before I’m ready to do that

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No I meant like setting ip and what have you... or did I misunderstand one of your previous posts?

No not really. What I’m describing here would allow you to add devices back if you factory reset. And it’s also possible to add them through third-party software such as ISY, Home assistant, and some other software I linked to in another post here. And of course just using the HTTP commands direct to the hub.

I’ve seen one or two people post on Reddit that they couldn’t communicate with their hub anymore, I think it’s probably they are misunderstanding something or they don’t have the right IP address, or they don’t know how to use something like the URL above, or their hub has a bad Ethernet port, which can happen. I have one hub that has a bad Ethernet interface, but I can still add devices to it. As I said in another post, it’s apparently possible to add an RS-232 or USB interface to the 2245 hub, by accessing the TTL Rx/Tx on the hub. If I can figure that out I’ll post some instructions how to do it. Right now the details are sketchy and I’m not sure I know how.

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If you know the http commands you could build an UI for HE, and from that look to integrate a voice assistant.

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The hub obtains an IP address by DHCP on its own. It doesn’t need to cloud for that. You simply look in your router and see what IP address was assigned to the hub. On the bottom of the hub it shows its MAC address, and then you can match that up with what MAC address in your router, or you can look at the name of the hub. If it’s factory reset it’ll come up as smarthome. Not all routers show the name so sometimes you might have to look at what it added most recently, etc. etc. Routers are all so different, it’s impossible to list specific instructions for that part. You can usually look at the manufacture instructions for your router and they’ll explain how to find that out. If you’re already a Hubitat user, you should understand this already, because it’s the same method.

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Download the Hubitat app