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Using scope to troubleshoot Insteon


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I'm getting ready to troubleshoot some communication problems I am having and want to use my scope. I could swear I saw a diagram someplace showing how to isolate the insteon signal. I tried to search for it but no joy.


Can someone point me in the right direction?



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Smart Home has put out several White Papers regarding the signal protocol so a search of their website might net some information.


SH White Papers have been criticised for some of the protocol not actually following their proposed protocol exactly, in production Insteon devices, though. This is classic industry practice.

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I don't remember seeing a circuit to isolate the Insteon power line commands. For use on a scope.

I did see one for the X10 signals. The ACT Scope Test 2. It was not safe for most to use. As it had the Line voltage directly on some of the components and care was needed. Something most Electronic oriented users would know.

Some one did make a schematic with out the BNC connectors and carrying case. I maybe able to find it if you are interested.


Though tuned to the X10 power line frequency. I have used an X10Pro XPCP phase coupler with a scope. It has two isolated transformer coupled connections. I used one set with a line cord to plug into outlets. The other output. I connected to my scope. Can't say how much the tuned circuits passed the Insteon 131.65Khz over the X10 120KHz but the signals where definitely seen on the scope.


At one time. I had brought the Zero Crossing and Power Line Received signals out of an old 2412S PLM. Then looked at them on a scope.

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Hmmm, the phase coupler sounds like a good idea even though I am not concerned about being connected directly to the power line with the ACT test. 


I was going to try putting together a 60 hz notch filter.



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60Hz notch filter could be a way to go.


Not sure if an series LC combination would do anything in your case.

I know some of the passive couplers used a .1uf cap in series with a 18uH coil to pass only close to the X10 120Khz signals.

I changed one to a 15uH coil to get closer to the Insteon 131.65Khz signal.

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I'd be careful that your filter isn't better than the Insteon device's filter.   Keep in mind that if you have a filter that's significantly better Q than the filter in the Insteon device itself, you're measurement is actually going to be showing a cleaner signal than what the device is seeing.  And I do suspect that much of the trouble with the Insteon devices is that they do not do as good a job as they should in terms of filtering out noise that's close-but-not-quite at the 131.65 carrier frequency.


In other words, I'd suggest that you start by picking the signal off of the correct spot on an actual Insteon device itself.  Of course that would require reverse-engineering part of the input on the PC board, which might be problematic in itself.


It's a shame that Insteon doesn't offer a development device with test points and documentation.

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I had modified an old original 2412S PLM. By adding a Zero Crossing, Received Data and Common Signal output. So I could scope the received information. Scope triggered on the Zero Crossing.


Was not a perfect match but worked. Until I had a brain fade and scrapped it.


The schematic of the older PowerLinc III board used in the 2412S is in the Modem Developers Guide. Yes the file name says 2413 but it is the older 2412 boards. The serial daughter board schematic has the original small Link Database EEPROM on it.



Too bad ELA had to stop developing his ELA Monitor Insteon signal tester. Mounted on a PLM and connected to a few signal points in it.. LCD information display on the front.

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Did Someone day "ELAMontor" ?      It helps if you say it with a Spanish accent. 8)


When I first started to Get Serious about improving my Insteon network ... Ole Indy Mike recommended the CP000 Phase Coupler to me.


I attached a schematic of the scope box I used early on.


The ELAMontor was first developed to quantify the severity of a Signal Sucker and blossomed from there to very flexible Insteon diagnostic tool.  

      In my opinion a powerful tool for Insteon but I did not want to afford production level costs for such a niche market.   It took me 11 hours to build one and the cost for 1-offs are too steep.

I have three prototypes I still use whenever I introduce a new electronic device into my network by quantifying its "suck Level".   

ELAMontor paid off big time when I used it to identify a "stuck" RF transmitter on a new Lamplink that was hosing my network.


I also created an active 9Khz high pass filter for when I wanted to quantify possible noise issues.  I originally developed a notch filter but the high pass filter worked better.  


A word of caution about looking too closely at what is happening at the signal level on the Insteon network.  You may be disillusioned  by what you see.  



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ELA. Glad to see you are here again.


Yes I had put a space in the middle of the model name. :oops:


Thanks for the schematic using the ACT CP000 coupler.

I may still have one in a storage box to try.

Now that ACT has dropped all their A10 devices. I believe the CP000 is discontinued. Though a web search did find a few on some automation web sites. One had it in their closeout section for $9.33.


I have an X10Pro XPCP that  has similar circuity as the CP000 in it. Mounted in a plastic electrical box with a line cord on one line connection and binding posts on the other line connection. I can easily add the components you have in your tester to mine.

Thanks for the tester information.

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