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Help with KPL's and controlling scenes


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Hi.  After living with my setup for a few years, some persistent issues have cropped up and I'd love some input.  My biggest issue has to do with how I manage scene's from My KeypadLinks.  Without getting into a ton of detail (although I'm happy to if it helps);  In my family room, I have 2 KPLs on either end of the room.  The scene layouts more or less mirror either other on the KPL so you can initiate a scene from either end of the room etc.  All of the Scenes are triggered by Programs on the ISY which are configured according to "Condition/State/condition/nextstate" how-to's wonderfully explained elsewhere on this site.


I use 'dummy' scenes to control the On/Off state of the actual buttons on the KPLs and keep the 2 KPLs co-ordinated.... And herein lies the problem.   As a result of not directly linking the KPL button to the scene, there is a 1 to 1.5 second delay before anything happens.  It is shocking to me how much distress this seems to cause... but here I am posting about it.  It simply fails the 'wife' test.  And also the houseguest test.  What seems to happen is they end up holding the button down (it's unclear to me what effect that has) or they start hitting the button again... or the button next to it... or the wall... or the dog.... 


To compound this... every great once in a while, the button actually fails to trigger the program.  I mean like 1/100 times.  However, it is a button that gets used every day sooooo--you can can probably fill in the how the resulting conversation goes.


My question is this, do you guys use a different paradigm to control and co-ordinate multiple KPL's controlling multiple scenes in a room?  Are there ways to mitigate the delay when using programs to trigger scenes?  Do any of you have 'checker programs' that make sure everything that was supposed to happen did happen?



Thanks in advance!

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The first thing I would suggest is you place these devices in a program lock out. This will prevent a local user who keeps the button pressed and held in place from forcing the button into linking mode.


Programs have historically taken a few seconds longer to execute when compared to direct linked scenes. That is simply the reality of using such a design.


Having said this I am sure others can chime in with their solutions.

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I think the ton of detail may be needed.  You should always use scenes when possible.  This will be more simple, more reliable, and eliminate the delay that is causing trouble.  It will keep your kpl buttons coordinated without the need for the ISY to run a program.   Even more importanly, the result will be a much higher WAF. (wife approval factor)

I do use some checker programs that can tell me if a light is on in the basement by lighting up a KPL button in the hallway by the basement door.  We have a dining scene in the great room.  When you hit one of the dining scene buttons that button remains lit.  However, if one of the scene members is turned off or a non-scene member is turned on, a checker program turns off the dining scene button.  This way you can walk over to the button and re-activate the scene.

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So Erik... oour example gets to the heart of the issue... So I'm clear, your Dining scene is linked directly to scene button on the KPL?  It does not rely on a program?  If so, my issue in the past was that--using your example--if I used a checker program to un-light that button if, as you say, a member of the scene was altered--then ALL the light in the scene would get shut off.


If that's not happening in your case then I'm definitely doing something incorrectly... which is a good thing--i agree that linking the scene directly to the button is preferable.

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Using Scenes in Insteon is basic.   For all the reasons mentioned creating Scene results using Programs is a bad approach.  You may have coupling issues, noise or signal suckers, to explain why Scenes do not work now but whatever the issues they can be solved.


Start with one Scene, set up the KPL buttons involved, whatever Responders are used, etc.   When that is working well move on to the next.


ISY Scene xxxx
KPL1 - button B - Controller

KPL2 - button B - Controller

Responder1 - maybe as Controller if it has a paddle or Responder

Responder2 - Responder


Verify that the 2 120v legs are coupled.  Tap the Set button on PLM 4 times to start Beacon test.  Check color of KPL status LED in each KPL tto see if in RF range of PLM and on same or opposite 120v leg.

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Hey Lee.  My legs are bridged. I will run that test... I was unaware it existed.


But my more pressing question has to do with Erik's example...  If you link a KPL button directly to a scene, is it possible to un-light that KPL button without turning off all the lights in that scene?

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Sure.   Need to know how you are turning one of the Scene devices Off to know how best to turn the KPL button(s) Off without affecting all the Scene devices.  Done by physically turning the device Off, with a Program action, another Scene, etc.   Detail is most important.

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First advice is to listen to Lee. There are often several ways to do things so having specific examples of what you want to do is necessary. I would then Google search for the isy tutorial video. This may or may not still be on the isy product page on the smarthome website or on the UD site. It is definitely on YouTube.

In order to turn off a kpl button create a scene with just that button as a responder. Then turn off the scene. You cannot directly command a button to turn off.

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Scenes, scenes, scenes. I, too, have multiple KPLs that have duplicate buttons. Response is immediate. Both buttons are lit or unlit. There are a few situations where I want to control only one or more buttons' LED. I create a scene with only those buttons (as responders) and use a program to control the LEDs, but load responders turn on or off immediately. The WAF is high and guests are not confused. All KPL buttons are labelled. Most paddles are, too. That helps immensely.


What are some conditions that you require?

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Hey Erik.  Oh don't worry.  I intend to listen to everyone that responds... especially Lee.  I've already been through the tutotial videos--at least all the ones I could find.  Also, I'm doing exactly as you suggested creating a scene that just controls the KPL.  In my original post, that the 'dummy' scene I'm referring to.


But what you're saying more or less confirms what I thought... You can't turn off a KPL button that's directly linked to a scene without, in fact, turning off all the members of that scene.


This is why I don't understand the advice on always directly linking... it becomes very limiting if you want to address scenarios like your Dining scene.  So I'm assuming you have a very similar setup to me...  Don't you experience a program lag activating that scene from the KPL?  

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Hey guy.  Perhaps I should have posted this first... but it wasn't really prepared with public consumption in mind.  This link will show the program flow of what's happening in this room.




In essence.  There are 2 KPLs that contral 2 main scenes; "All On" and "Dim".  As several of you mentioned, the actual KPL buttons are controls their own scenes for that pupose alone--they don't control the lighting scenes directly.  The program flow changes a variable as various conditions are met as a person switches between the 2 scenes.  The only thing that makes it a little complex is that I have a "Day/Night" variable that, when changed to night, moves the room into the DIM scene--simultaneously turning off the "ALL ON" Buttons on both KPLs and on the "DIM" buttons.


The program flow then also accounts for the scenario when my wife decides she doesn't want the room dimmer despite the fact it's dark outside.... SO if someone manually hits the ALL ON button again, it will stay there.


What other details of the room would be helpful?


Stu... that's very interesting that you have no lag... If I could simply solve that issue, I'd be set.  Perhaps the issue is signal related as Lee alluded to,  I'm going to try his test this evening.  

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But what you're saying more or less confirms what I thought... You can turn off a KPL button that's directly linked to a scene without, in fact, turning off all the members of that scene.



You can control the button's LED without affecting other members of that button's scene if that button is the only member of a (different) scene and you control the scene.

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STU!  Don't take this wrong way but I may be deeply in love with you.  That did it!


I realize what I was doing wrong in past attempts.  The Scene I used to control the LED had more then 1 Keypad Link link button in it.  I was trying to use 1 scene to control the LED on/state of the buttons on Both KPLs in the room that had the same function.  


I'm curious... how did you know that?  Is there something fundamental that changes in a scene if it only has 1 member?


Anyway... thanks to everyone who responded.  I greatly appreciate it.

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Maybe I'm missing what you are trying to accomplish, but if all you want is one button on each of two Keypads to control the same device and also have their LEDs synchronize, then one scene should do it.

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Hey stu.  Well that's part of what's happening but the program flow has a lot of other elements.  What I found way back when I first tried to set this up was that my LED controller Scene was also affecting my lighting scenes if the ose Lighting scenes were linked directly to the KPL buttons.  Thus I unlinked them and used programs to initiate the lighting scenes creating that annoying lag.  Perhaps there was something else going on but by limiting my LED controller Scenes to 1 button and 1 KPL, everything is working much better (lighting scenes are now directly linked to those KPL buttons.).

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