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Maximum distance between ISY and PLM?


rleidy

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A little history:  I had my ISY and PLM co-located in my electrical room, with the PLM plugged-in to an outlet right off the main panel and a short Cat6 cable between the ISY and PLM.  Due to real-or-perceived issues with the IOlinc controlling the garage door opener, I decided to switch to a Z-Wave controller for the GDO.  I had to move the ISY/PLM to the center of the house to get the closer to the garage, and with a couple Z-Wave outlets in between, the ISY is able to control the GDO about 80% of the time (not great, but getting there).  However, I'm now having issues with Insteon devices with the PLM at its new location.  There's an even greater lag than normal in program execution triggered by motion sensors, and sometimes KBL LED's are getting out-of-sync.

 

So, my thought is that I move the PLM back to the electrical room and use the Cat6 though the structured wiring panel to connect it to the ISY.  Is this likely to work at all or cause me any new issues?  I'm guessing there's probably 50ft of Cat6 cable between the two, and it would have taken me less time to hook it up than to write this post, but I wanted to make sure I wouldn't harm anything before I tried it.

 

Thanks! 

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The cable distance between the ISY and PLM should be 6' or less. The distance between the ISY and router can be longer. There is no advantage to using Cat6 over Cat5 for the ISY.

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A little history:  I had my ISY and PLM co-located in my electrical room, with the PLM plugged-in to an outlet right off the main panel and a short Cat6 cable between the ISY and PLM.  Due to real-or-perceived issues with the IOlinc controlling the garage door opener, I decided to switch to a Z-Wave controller for the GDO.  I had to move the ISY/PLM to the center of the house to get the closer to the garage, and with a couple Z-Wave outlets in between, the ISY is able to control the GDO about 80% of the time (not great, but getting there).  However, I'm now having issues with Insteon devices with the PLM at its new location.  There's an even greater lag than normal in program execution triggered by motion sensors, and sometimes KBL LED's are getting out-of-sync.

 

So, my thought is that I move the PLM back to the electrical room and use the Cat6 though the structured wiring panel to connect it to the ISY.  Is this likely to work at all or cause me any new issues?  I'm guessing there's probably 50ft of Cat6 cable between the two, and it would have taken me less time to hook it up than to write this post, but I wanted to make sure I wouldn't harm anything before I tried it.

 

Thanks! 

 

Technically speaking RS-232 communications should be run on the shortest wire length. Having said this I have run a network exceeding 75 feet with out issues.

 

I would however like to quantify this install used CAT 7 shielded cable and not the cheap CAT5e cable. Never mind CCA cable that is all over the Internet like lice!

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Teken, it that distance between the router and PLM or between the PLM and ISY or both?

 

The (approx 75') distance is from the ISY to 2413S PLM . . .

 

This in my mind exceeds what is the norm and practicality but the client had a need at that time. So the only recourse was to use the highest quality cabling and wire both from that distance.

 

I don't believe this scenario would have ever come up if the IR requirement wasn't the pressing issue at the time. The client didn't want yet another box to relay the IR commands which of course would have required more cost and complexity to the final install.

 

My feed back was simply to offer this has been done with the caveats listed above. With anything I am sure YMMV as my personal home install I saw issues at 40 feet. Then again I wasn't using CAT 7 but CAT 6 cable and it wasn't shield cable either.

 

Since my mini reno has been completed its down to a more reasonable 15 feet using CAT 7 cable.

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There's the standard (15M for RS-232, 100M for FastEthernet), then there's what you can get away with.   Since the PLM connection is serial at a relatively low baud rate, you should be able to get away with a lot --  I run the connection between my PLM and ISY on 10M (30') of Cat5e cable with no communication problems.

 

If I was deploying a remote PLM for a paying customer and needed a solution I could stand behind, I would use a powered "Serial port extender", these can drive RS-232 over CAT5 up to 1,000 meters.  Figure on spending between $50-$100 for the pair.

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There's the standard (15M for RS-232, 100M for FastEthernet), then there's what you can get away with.   Since the PLM connection is serial at a relatively low baud rate, you should be able to get away with a lot --  I run the connection between my PLM and ISY on 10M (30') of Cat5e cable with no communication problems.

 

If I was deploying a remote PLM for a paying customer and needed a solution I could stand behind, I would use a powered "Serial port extender", these can drive RS-232 over CAT5 up to 1,000 meters.  Figure on spending between $50-$100 for the pair.

 

You'll also need Ethernet to Serial cables Neither the ISY nor the router has a serial port. (The 99i did.)

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As far as I am aware the client has been going strong for about 11 months now. I personally would not go to that distance but than again it wasn't my call at the time.

 

I just so happen to be the grunt on site at the time so did what they asked. The only obvious visual I saw while on site was it took about 30-45 seconds longer to bring up the Admin Console.

 

After the Admin Console was fully loaded everything operated just fine . . . I suspect if there were lots of programs running in the back ground perhaps some latency would be seen.

 

Then again I didn't stick around to find out (IF) he did!

 

Ha . . .

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You'll also need Ethernet to Serial cables Neither the ISY nor the router has a serial port. (The 99i did.)

 

I used to run a few ISPs and I now design corporate networks, I've forgotten that not everybody has multiple boxes full of serial to RJ45 adapters :-P

 

It sounds like there's room to hope it will work.  I'll give it a shot.  Thanks, all.

Yes, 50 feet is likely to work, give it a shot and let us know how it turns out.  

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I relocated the PLM back to its original location in the electrical room and connected it to the ISY through Cat6 wiring and patch cords, and everything seems to be working.  I won't know for a few days if that will solve the intermittency that I was seeing, but it doesn't seem to be any worse.

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