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Should I hire a professional to program my ISY?


Jay M

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Let's just say that when it comes to home automation, I know just enough to be dangerous.

 

I can get it all working, but not exactly as I want. For example:

I can program a keypad to turn my fountain on and off, as well as have it respond to an all lights off command. But the little detail is that the keypad button light doesn't always correspond to the fountain being on or off.

Three way switches either don't work, or the bar graph on the switch doesn't reflect the brightness of the light.

 

I think those things are the result of me not actually knowing what I'm doing.

 

How much would it cost to hire someone to program the isy and. About 50 switches and plugin modules?

 

I live in Valencia ca just north of LA.

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Let's just say that when it comes to home automation, I know just enough to be dangerous.

 

I can get it all working, but not exactly as I want. For example:

I can program a keypad to turn my fountain on and off, as well as have it respond to an all lights off command. But the little detail is that the keypad button light doesn't always correspond to the fountain being on or off.

Three way switches either don't work, or the bar graph on the switch doesn't reflect the brightness of the light.

 

I think those things are the result of me not actually knowing what I'm doing.

 

How much would it cost to hire someone to program the isy and. About 50 switches and plugin modules?

 

I live in Valencia ca just north of LA.

 

Jay,

 

Please keep your money and let the forum members help you complete this task. There is going to be about 12 people who are going to read your reply and offer you a guided tour and the steps to complete these tasks.

 

Teken . . .

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One factor in whether you want to pursue outside help is your interest level. Does technology, in general, and home automation specifically, intrigue you? Do you find spending an hour or so for a few evenings on the computer early in your life with insteon and the ISY to be time well-spent? Do you like understanding how things work? Do you fix your own appliances because you hate to spend a hundred dollars for someone to come out to fix it for you? If so, then save your money and take advantage of the wonderful folks around here.

 

Do you just want to get things working? Do you look forward to the day when you no longer have to open the ISY admin panel? Do you think your insteon system will remain static once installed? Do you hate smartphones and digital cameras? Did your old VCR clock continue to flash 00:00? Do you get a blank stare in your face if someone asks you what browser you use to surf the internet? If this is more your style, then the use of outside help may not be something to quickly reject.

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One factor in whether you want to pursue outside help is your interest level. Does technology, in general, and home automation specifically, intrigue you? Do you find spending an hour or so for a few evenings on the computer early in your life with insteon and the ISY to be time well-spent? Do you like understanding how things work? Do you fix your own appliances because you hate to spend a hundred dollars for someone to come out to fix it for you? If so, then save your money and take advantage of the wonderful folks around here.

 

Do you just want to get things working? Do you look forward to the day when you no longer have to open the ISY admin panel? Do you think your insteon system will remain static once installed? Do you hate smartphones and digital cameras? Did your old VCR clock continue to flash 00:00? Do you get a blank stare in your face if someone asks you what browser you use to surf the internet? If this is more your style, then the use of outside help may not be something to quickly reject.

 

That's some great food for thought, I'll try to answer...

 

Yes, technology does intrigue me.

Spending an hour or so each night for a few days is fine, but every day, then you can't exactly call it automated.

 

I hate paying someone to do a job just because I'm too lazy. I'll gladly pay somone who actually knows what they are doing. Half of the time when I pay for a job to be done it ends up being no better than if I'd done it myself.

 

I do just want to get it working. I hadn't opened the admin panel in well over a year. But let's be honest- Insteon devices are not built to last, so as they stop working, you do need to deal with them.

 

My house is somewhat static. Maybe once a year I'll think of something I'd like to add to the lighting system.

 

VCR blinking 12:00? No, I did try to keep it set, and I was happy when I bought one that could set its own clock. I rarely programmed it to record.

 

I spend way too many hours a day on the Internet. I use Chrome at work, and Firefox at home. I have no idea why on don't use the same browser in both places. I think the reason might be that there was a version of Firefox that broke flash, and that day I switched to Chrome. I never had that version at home.

 

My smart phone is an iPhone, not because I have a gay crush on Steve Jobs, and not because I love Apple telling me what's best for me, I use an iPhone because it not just can't be tweaked, it doesn't need to be tweaked. Yes there are things I wish it could do better, but I like not having to think abut it. I need it to just work when I use it.

 

I need home automation to be like my iPhone. When I, the household geek pushes a button, I don't want to wonder if it will work. More importantly, when my wife, who quite frankly could live the Amish life style, presses a button, there better be no mystery or trouble shooting involved. It needs to work just like a normal switch that normal people have in their homes.

 

I just feel guilty taking so much from all of you when I have so little to contribute. But if you're willing to hold my hand though this process, then I'd rather just do it myself so I can fix it when it breaks.

 

Thanks,

~Jay

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Valencia huh? I am down in Long Beach...it's not often I am out yet way, but I can try to help out some time (gratis)!

 

But as Teken said, post your items here, and someone can help out.

 

As for the KPL button not reflecting actual status, it is probably caused by interacting with the device itself, and not through a scene.

 

Take your fountain...I have one too, connected to an outdoor module.

Create a scene, call it "Fountain" and have 2 entries:

- Fountain outlet/module (at least as a Responder, and as a Controller if supported)

- KPL button as a Controller

 

Add the KPL button as a Responder to the "all lights off" scene. (it sounds like the Fountain module is already a Responder to that scene).

 

Now, whenever you want to turn the fountain on, do not turn the fountain device, but instead, turn on the scene. That will turn on the fountain module and the KPL button. Do the same when turning the fountain off. You can run that scene from the Admin Console, Dashboard, MobiLinc, or a program. Things should stay in sync (assuming there are no communication issues!)

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One factor in whether you want to pursue outside help is your interest level. Does technology, in general, and home automation specifically, intrigue you? Do you find spending an hour or so for a few evenings on the computer early in your life with insteon and the ISY to be time well-spent? Do you like understanding how things work? Do you fix your own appliances because you hate to spend a hundred dollars for someone to come out to fix it for you? If so, then save your money and take advantage of the wonderful folks around here.

 

Do you just want to get things working? Do you look forward to the day when you no longer have to open the ISY admin panel? Do you think your insteon system will remain static once installed? Do you hate smartphones and digital cameras? Did your old VCR clock continue to flash 00:00? Do you get a blank stare in your face if someone asks you what browser you use to surf the internet? If this is more your style, then the use of outside help may not be something to quickly reject.

 

That's some great food for thought, I'll try to answer...

 

Yes, technology does intrigue me.

Spending an hour or so each night for a few days is fine, but every day, then you can't exactly call it automated.

 

I hate paying someone to do a job just because I'm too lazy. I'll gladly pay somone who actually knows what they are doing. Half of the time when I pay for a job to be done it ends up being no better than if I'd done it myself.

 

I do just want to get it working. I hadn't opened the admin panel in well over a year. But let's be honest- Insteon devices are not built to last, so as they stop working, you do need to deal with them.

 

My house is somewhat static. Maybe once a year I'll think of something I'd like to add to the lighting system.

 

VCR blinking 12:00? No, I did try to keep it set, and I was happy when I bought one that could set its own clock. I rarely programmed it to record.

 

I spend way too many hours a day on the Internet. I use Chrome at work, and Firefox at home. I have no idea why on don't use the same browser in both places. I think the reason might be that there was a version of Firefox that broke flash, and that day I switched to Chrome. I never had that version at home.

 

My smart phone is an iPhone, not because I have a gay crush on Steve Jobs, and not because I love Apple telling me what's best for me, I use an iPhone because it not just can't be tweaked, it doesn't need to be tweaked. Yes there are things I wish it could do better, but I like not having to think abut it. I need it to just work when I use it.

 

I need home automation to be like my iPhone. When I, the household geek pushes a button, I don't want to wonder if it will work. More importantly, when my wife, who quite frankly could live the Amish life style, presses a button, there better be no mystery or trouble shooting involved. It needs to work just like a normal switch that normal people have in their homes.

 

I just feel guilty taking so much from all of you when I have so little to contribute. But if you're willing to hold my hand though this process, then I'd rather just do it myself so I can fix it when it breaks.

 

Thanks,

~Jay

 

I apologize for being unclear, but I intended these as rhetorical questions to help guide your decision. But...I have seen enough. Your attention to detail and willingness to read the responses leads me to the conclusion that you should give this a shot without professional help.

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Yes, technology does intrigue me.

Spending an hour or so each night for a few days is fine, but every day, then you can't exactly call it automated.

 

Only for a few days, up front. I go for months without touching mine. Then, when I do, it is often to experiment or change the way my system works. I encounter nearly NO need for maintenance or babysitting.

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