The Fate of true Insteon PLM support from an already great product

As I have seen a little coverage on ther Insteon topic, being it thu various ports, addons etc.
will there ever be any work on truly supporting direct conversation thru the SH PLM, as what I have seen with Hubitat it rocks, love the Rules Machine, Mode manage, Saftey Monitor, it is slick well written and can see will become a stellar product, now with that said, I have 2 homes which have over 150+ insteon devices between the two of them and Yes currently use UDI 994i to control, but not a big fan of the way you create rukes, triggers ect... Hubitat excell greatly, but Hubitat sems to be going down the Zigbee/Zwave with minimal support for Insteon, which seems with its dual band technology to be as solid as the big boys like Lutron. I also recently have been looking at another hub by Smartenit, which has gone the Zigbee, Insteon, WiFi route, but is in a begining phase of building a rules engine and other aspect to control devices, and there dashboard is a littel slicker than Hubitat as you can take pictures of the devices or rooms and shows you live status of the device and nice control over then, now keep in mind it is a rewrite and a work in progress similare to Hubitat...

So with all the above said does this comunity or product fell that there will ever be native support theu the SH PLM to control the last missing technology in the loop to make Hubitat the only hub that dies it all.

I would be willing to test, work with was a programmer at one time but rusty to tru and figure out what it would take to build the code to get device or app code to run natively, and thoes who need can get a usb PLM to add on, I do belive it would really "Elevate mine and others Enviroment"

Sorry if this is a repeat, but I am willing to work with anyone to make it happens, unless there seems to be a technologiclal or $$ or license issue with smart homes...

Tell me what you all think.

as would be a great way to start the new year...

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We have looked closely at what it would take to do this. It would entail a substantial effort. We are not seeing enough demand to warrant doing this integration at this time, with only a handful of people asking about it. We certainly understand how someone like you would benefit from it, and we agree that the Insteon product has its virtues. So this is not at the top of our priority list for now.

Hi Bravenel,

Thanks for the quick response... and understood,

Is there any one that is trying or wants to make some side money, or knows where to finde the base code for the PLM to get me started in that direction, have coded but may years ago (and the corportate world of BS really made me begin to hate what I once loved) but if I am given a base I usually can run with it as long as I have a sounding board/support, to get help, as you guys are soooooooo, close to being perfect :frowning: and it would Elevate my Enviroment... :slight_smile:

Is there anyy base cide that you know that exist that can be played around with... I see the
Insteon-Hubitat/ Hubitat-Insteondirect.groovy
in the Git but that seems to be talking to another hub which then does what it does...

It is sooo frustrating as I have been getting so close with each hub yes I have 4 actual 6 of them if you add in ST and HUE yet none seem to make it complete.

As love the UI / dashboards from Smartenit (Picures, device status, sliders) and there approach to Insteon (still Needs many more device added and fixs bugs as I test alot for them), but your RuleMachine and others are far beyond what anyone has, and then there is ISY994 wich rocks at the Insteon control, and has all the Alexa /GH stuff and now a node server, and there network resources, but they have no RulesMachine, nor Saftey Monitor, etc... so you basiclly have to code all the logic by hand so soo close but yet so far away.

so If you build it the will come,

I have the faith some how some way it can be done :slight_smile:
agai thanks for the response

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This is what @cwwilson08 and I worked together on a few months back (Chris did all the heavy lifting. I just provided some Insteon knowledge and tested). I’m using it today and it’s limited in what it can do, but very solid. Unless the hub goes down, it just works and doesn’t slow the hub or cause any conflicts.

We also worked together on a direct PLM driver. It works too, but best to only use it for devices that don’t need a physical change to be reflected in HE. We jointly decided that it was best to disable its ability to refresh and don’t recommend forcing refresh with this particular driver, as that WAS causing issues with the hub, where refreshing the driver for the Express server does not cause problems.

Feel free to ask me anything about the drivers. The code is there for anyone to use, play with or improve. Would welcome the effort. Just make sure credit to @cwwilson08, @ogiewon and anyone I’m missing that wrote the original code, stays in the description header please. I may not get back to you right away today, but I will answer any questions you have about any of this in time.

Do you have the Insteon bridge, or USB modem?

I have both a brand new Insteon hub on the way (2245-222 ), a USB PLM (2413U) hooked to the Smarten IT hub and also have a serial PLM (2413S) hooked to the ISY994i ZW Controler, also hve a spare (2413S) as a backup.

so I have capabilities, and in the house i am in about 45 switichs, lamp modules , keypadLinc, motion sensors open close, so I have invested heavely in it.

even willing to sport a few PLM's to thoes who need or want ti tru help and again have a littel $$$ to help the process :slight_smile:

Just think it would make this the killer of all Hubs, as they have all tried but just never seem to make it... so why not try for the best and go for the gold

SHP, thankls for the reply,

as it is almost NYE... I will pose questions for a latertime as I have installed the drivers code,
but would need better to understand how that works in what I am assuming the SH Insteon Hub,
or is there another app I need to add as i have only loaded the Insteon direct dimmer/switch??

perhapse when you get the chance you can shed some light or point me to a section whereb i can go to get this setup...

I do hope I find a way, a person or resource to do this the correct way via the API, as Insteon is rock solid
device have had no issues for over 5+ years with the devices, and they keep adding more stuff or improve what's there... and I only see it growing...

have a great new years and speak soon

M

The instruction for the direct app is different then the one that needs an extra server.

However I’m a little unclear as to what you’re unclear about. Can you explain more? Is it the driver settings you don’t understand, or is it the set up of the express server. They are two different drivers with two different capabilities so it’s probably best that we have a back-and-forth dialogue to figure out what it is that’s you really want to do.

The Driver for the Express Server needs a Raspberry Pi or a spare computer running Node.js. It’s not complicated, but can be intimidating if you’re new to it.

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I want it all but will take what I can get :slight_smile:

I would like to be able to control the insteon devices, for which as I have said before swithches, keypads, motion sensors, open close contacts, but looks as though switches is all that is avalible at the moment.

I would perfer not to have to set up anothe computer to run express server, but i see if you want status in HE you would have 2. (wouls like to look at the code and seit one day though and better understand what it is doing.)

but to start would better understand what needs to be done with the Insteon Direct Dimmer/Switch code to get it working, I see a section that requires what I assume is the Insteon HUB stuff or is this created on a device by device need. or is there an app that lays over the device code to get the insteon devices into HE.

so lets start with the basics, I have as I said programed in the past so once i get an understanding I should be able to get moving at a faster pace.

I am on the sid going to see if I can find some abandond code that same one tried to write to the PLM directly, or tel me if that is something that will not be able to be done as it would require a inherant base code change to HE and could not be done via an app and device layer

so thanks for the help, and if there is a wiki or documentation I missed sorry as I did search

Mark

Hi Mark,

No wiki, and no documentation. I’m not a developer, but I understand a fair bit about Insteon (have been a user for about the same length of time as you). If you understand java based languages, you should be able to wrap your head around Groovy.

The code available for HE are drivers only. No app. You will need to enter the Insteon Hub credentials for each instance of the driver. If you’re new to HE, here’s how to add custom drivers.

The disadvantage to the direct PLM drivers is that if you refresh the status on a periodic schedule in HE, the hub and devices misbehave. So and switches, dimmers, outlets, or plug-in modules you are going to physically manipulate, either by paddle or load sense, won’t reflect that their ON or OFF state in HE. So that’s a problem if you want to turn a switch on manually, and then turn it off via Alexa or an HE automation as an example.

If you don’t need to manually control the device, then you can use it without issue, or another possible solution is to only digitally control the device by a Zigbee button or a Lutron Pico ( requires a Lutron Smart Bridge PRO). I was doing this in my deck light for a while, using a Pico to control the dimmer mounted in an inconvenient location. However, I use the other driver now for all my devices as the Express Server is very light duty and only requires a low powered Raspberry Pi. A Pi Zero W is plenty for the task in fact. Very small and unobtrusive. Doubt it would even cost you $1 a year to run.

Keypads and Sensor work with the Insteonlocal Homebridge plugin that includes the Express Server. We have not figured it out or had the time to devote to making it work with the stand alone Express Server, but it should be possible.

I don’t use Insteon Sensors. I have a door/window sensor, and a leak sensor. Currently I'm not using the door/window sensor since I moved away from using the Insteonlocal plugin for Homebridge because of the poor performance it causes in both Homebridge and Insteon devices, where as when you separate the two, even if they run on the same server, the performance is good.

HE has no insteon radios, so Insteon sensors are just too much work for me to bother with personally, because my investment in them was so low. I instead use Zigbee sensors which are directly compatible. I have only one Zigbee motion sensor that cost me $30, all the others were around $12 for Xiaomi sensors. They are very small, very fast and have decent battery life. We have also recently discovered that they work very well with the IKEA Trådfri outlets to repeat their signal and keep them stable (they have a slightly different Zigbee protocol, so they required a compatible repeater to keep them stable).

Anyway, that's the skinny on the drivers. Have to run to a client. I'm around in the evening if you have more questions.

There have been some changes to the platform since @SmartHomePrimer and I worked on this , it may be possible to setup a websocket to listen for events from the hub now. I find it very hard to do much more without any insteon equipment to test on.

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what do you need , I can get you some stuff, as if it helps the cause I am willing to invest :slight_smile:
The smartenit hub uses a usb cable to the usb Insteon PLM, now how they are accomplishing the com I dont know I will have to attach a monitor to the hub and snoop around :slight_smile:

But if you want I can fund som gear for ay just let me know ... I dealy I would like to see usb from the HE to the USB PLM com wouldbe sweet, not sure it is possible but as I said Smartenit is doing it (just getting started but works with statues etc)

I appreciate the offer. I however am a novice as best. I would not be comfortable taking equipment from anyone, there is no telling if I could make it work in the end. I don't want to put anyone out on what would be essentially a roll of the dice.

Reach out to @patrick. He wrote a driver for the USB PLM back in his SmartThings days. Only he can say for sure, but it might be possible for the code he started with to be modified to work with HE.

Otherwise, I think you're going to need a Raspberry PI to connect the USB to. There's lots of info about the Express Server which uses Home Controller and what it's capable of doing here. It was written for Home Assistant originally I think.

Anyway, get in touch with Scott Kuester via his Github repo GitHub - kuestess/homebridge-platform-insteonlocal: Homebridge platform plugin for local Insteon control. He wrote the original Insteonlocal plugin for Homebridge and also the stand alone Express Server and he's working on something else right now too which sounds like it needs one of the older serial Insteon controllers, or maybe it works with ISY. I just looked briefly at description. Scott can tell you more what's appropriate for the equipment you have.

Or, just buy an Insteon 2245-222 hub, a Raspberry Pi Zero W with a case and throw Node JS and the express server on it. That setup works fine for any Insteon switch, dimmer, micro dimmer, micro switch, outlet, or plug-in module. You can pick up a used 2245-222 hub for $45 used or $80 new and you can get a Raspberry Pi Zero W starter kit for $35. You just run the RPi headless. I'm using a computer for the express server right now because I use Node.js for other things, but if you're only going to run the Express Server for Insteon, it's really simple to setup SSH and the WiFi connection. You then just SSH into it and install Node.js and the Express Server vis NPM. I'll be happy to guide you if you need it. Lots of others here and online can help with that too. Not hard at all. It will take about 30-60 minutes to setup. After that, it's rock solid. I don't have to think about the express server. Never needed restarting. Just works.

SHP,

Thanks for the information...

I still need to reach out to @patrick and see if a port to use the usb PLM directly is possible or not worth it :slight_smile:

Yah I figured that each device would need to be configured induvidually, and then comminicat to the hub thru the HttpGet, and saw that the staus was an issue, which seeing that I uses these control daily manually will cause a problem as will always be out of sync :frowning:

I did take a look at the other option with using the middel layer Express server ( which means now we have 3 devices instead of one, which even though I have may setups using RPi and stuff it is what I was tring to get away from), but with the above said I also saw work on a beta where the where using the what iIthink is the 2243 hub Pro and flashing the ES image which would reduce the HW to 2 devices but
will have to take a look at this and see if it is worth yet going and buying a $143 hub when I already have 6 different solutions infront of me from different projects :slight_smile:
thanks again for th response, I will wait for my regulasr Insteon 2245 Hub to get here was suppose to be but some how got lost in the mail so they had to resend, and give the hub with out status as I also saw "sendHubCommand" in the code that was commented out and intreseted to see where that was going

Thanks

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Well you need to pick what you’re comfortable with. You’re never going to get below two boxes because you want HE because it’s one of the best home automation systems there is, and you need an Insteon radio, so you’re going to have a second box right there.

Honestly, the Express Server is so simple and the RPi so small and low power consumption, it’s almost like just plugging in a dongle to make things work. After initial config, you never touch it other than to start it.

Agreed...
and I do admit HE hub/Platform is one of the best out there, out there and I only see it getting better :slight_smile:

I think I will do baby steps and start with the device code and the 2245 hub then either move to
the RPi and ES and the hub or see where the Hub Pro 2243 is heading as I really want the sensors, KeyPadLInc to be exposed with in HE :slight_smile:

I did ping Patrick to see wherether direct HE HUB to PLM was even possible or a waste, so we will see,

I know it can be done as I said I have another HUB by Smartenit that is USB to the 2413U PLM and it seems to work (they are still a work in progress, same bumps I see in other treads) but they only support Zigbee and not Zwave, Zigbee etc.

Also consider that CES starting in a few days could bring announcements from both manufacturers that could change the landscape a bit.

Wait it out a few days if you’re undecided is the best advice.

Cool...

and I do love to hear what comes from CES, one day I will get there almost went a few years ago, but
ended up having a triple bypass, that sort of threw a wrench into the mix.,.. ROTFL

It truly is amazing at how how fast things and tech change, I been dabbeling with this for like 20 yeas, and have had boards in computers running X10 with voice, and sensors,I remember when they came out with Eliza on the TRS80 and it was a pain to setup/program, jump forward 20 years and you can get plug and play HA. and ask alex or google to do alot...

who knows whats next :slight_smile:
Again thanks for you help, cant wait to get my Insteon HUB and give it a whirl..

I cant say that my ISY994i has ever failed me, I just love the approach HE has taken to make creating Rules and lighting scenes, like the direction of the Dashboards do hope it gets to where SharpTools is going as there interface to HE is slick and getting slicker :slight_smile:

Keep up the good work, and if you ever need some one to test some stuff Just ask,

Mark

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Hi SHP,

I was with my friend today and we priced out both Lutron Homework’s and RA2 anthem cost would be well into like $8k with the friends and family discount, so that’s a show stopper :frowning:, all in with Insteon, keypads, dimmers, switches, sensors, open close, a new hub, mini remotes, jam switches I’m in for about $1.3k so I will have to make it work :slightly_smiling_face:

So I tried the direct PLM driver and it is fast and works well, but as you said, no status of any type and I see it is only switches, so I guess I will try and move next to the homebridge-platform-insteonlocal, I probably already know the answer but is there a guide as to what steps to get it all set up and interfaced together like what OS I should use on the RPi, I got a 3b+ with a 32GB micro I think It has noobs so I have a choice of installs, I have to assemble tomorrow and start, so I saw you said I need to install node.js and express server ...... any way any directions steps would be great as once the Pi is built how do I tie it back to HE, as I would assume I should remove the Driver cove for Insteon direct dimmer/switch and any devices created with that, I am pretty good at getting things working just need to have a guide or the proper steps so thanks in advance for any help you or anyone else can provide, an if any one has a config file that has scenes, 8 way keypad links dimmers and sensors configured that I could use as atemplat that would be a real help.
Look forward to getting it up and running :slightly_smiling_face:

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