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Insteon reliability has suddenly declined.


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I finished converting my dozens of X10 lighting/outlet modules to Insteon and ISY994i during the Summer and all has been quite reliable until just recently. I have a Sleep program that turns everything Off at bedtime and just recently various modules have failed to turn off but their ISY status indicates OFF! It's not the same module every time - it varies randomly. I can go to the ISY994i app and click on Off or just run the Sleep program again to get them Off. Similarly, I have a program that turns some things On in the morning and some of those modules have failed to turn on yet report status of ON! 

 

I suppose this could be a noise problem possibly caused by something that has changed recently but we haven't made any house wiring changes, nor installed any new appliances. 

If Insteon uses line AND RF signaling to verify status how can it be consistently wrong? I have enough modules all through the house and outside that signaling should be very reliable. 

 

I posted this on the Insteon forum and was told that the ISY does NOT follow-up on group commands for scenes and simply assumes that each device in the scene responded appropriately.  Can this be true?  I switched to Insteon and the ISY to improve reliability and now it's not much better than my old X10 system.  

 

It was also stated that the ISY has scene troubleshooting features built-in, making it far easier to identify any marginal communications issues during setup.  But if the issue is random noise, as it seems to be, the setup may go just fine only to fail randomly later.  

 

It was also stated that it's possible to use ISY programs to follow up a scene command with individual device commands.  This choice allows users to pick between faster operations with less error-checking or slower operations that are more error-proof.

 

Is the ultimate solution - to supplement scene controls with individual program commands?  If so why not just do everything with programs and forget scenes altogether?  

 

Becoming a bit disillusioned with Insteon using ISY.  

 

Dick

 

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Hello Dick,

 

My reply only pertains to why scenes would be used instead of programs. Scenes are native to the hardware device and does not require a controller to be in place. Meaning should the ISY Series Controller ever be off line, broken, removed, those linked scenes will continue to operate as expected.

 

Programs are normally used to expand on the native (basic) capabilities of the Insteon hardware. This is where most people unleash the true power of  Insteon home automation via conditional logic of the IF, THEN, ELSE clauses.

 

Scenes normally react immediately where as programs can sometimes have a slight delay. If the controller is ever busy, off line, broken, programs will of course not operate.

 

Programs should be viewed as extensions of the Insteon network like making the hardware do something it normally can't like timers. Other things like making the back lighting LED react in the reverse order etc.

 

I always suggest a person make their HA based on as many scenes as possible. This avoids any future issues if a controller becomes none responsive or is off line etc. 

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Scenes, being native to Insteon, are immediate, programs require processing time. Scenes are always preferred unless there's a compelling reason to use a program.

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When I start to observe new issues it is usually one of several things.

 

A florescent bulb going bad which I assume is polluting the power lines with noise. Easily identifiably by the carbon deposits appearing inside of the tube and the bulb base is extremely hot.

 

Another is the rare occasion where a single Insteon module is going bad or I have loose wire nuts on a hardwired unit.

 

And of course put all wall transformers on surge protector power strip to keep the switching frequency from polluting the power lines.

 

+1 for scenes. I use scenes to control lights. Program are for event driven control of scenes.

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