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Tips for using Insteon motion sensors for dummies like me


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I have an ISY 994i Pro and have had a horrible time setting up Insteon motion sensors with the ISY. Here are some tips that I learned. I'm putting these here because I could not find the steps even with searching.

1) write the address inside the cover  of the motion sensor in permanent marker. The sticker that's on the outside of the motion sensor will be unreadable after a short time.

2) if you cannot read the sticker and get the address from there, you might as well just throw away the motion sensor if you lose its programming. Or at least I cannot get my system to find the motion sensor. I've tried Link Management, Start Linking… And nothing works. Consequently, I'm tossing my 2 old sensors, as I do not know their addresses.

 

3) you have to use the following to set up the motion sensor:

 

https://wiki.universal-devices.com/index.php?title=ISY-99i/ISY-26_INSTEON:Linking_a_Motion_Sensor

 

This is why you need the address.

 

4) the above link talks about an "options" window. I could not find that window at all. Then I realized there's a small button in the administrative console on the bottom that says "Options". You have to select the motion sensor in order to get the button. (I was under the mistaken impression this options window would appear once the sensor was found.) I cannot tell you how long I have been looking for the "options" window. On my screen, it's a tiny button at the bottom of the window for the administrative console. If you click anywhere else, it goes away.

 

5) there there are instructions to reset the motion sensors. Basically, you take out the battery for 15 seconds, hold the button down, and put the battery back in. You hold the button down for a long time and the motion sensor is supposed to beep. None of my sensors – old or new – beep. No matter what I do, I have not been able get them to beep. I have sensors that are several years old, and brand-new ones. None of them do this.
 

For all of this, I could be doing this incorrectly. However I have tried many of the steps over the course of months and always reached the same conclusions. Additionally, I'm very busy and can only come back to this once every few months. The only reason I'm doing this now is because I've had shoulder surgery and can do many things I would normally do. So, if you're at all like me and have little time to work on these, hopefully this will help.

 

I plan to keep updating this if I can, as I fumble my way around.

 

PS – please ignore any grammar issues; I'm using a speech to text converter, which works fairly well, but makes mistakes. Unfortunately, those mistakes are spelled correctly but grammatically incorrect, and my brain corrects the grammar for me.

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I have an ISY 994i Pro and have had a horrible time setting up Insteon motion sensors with the ISY. Here are some tips that I learned. I'm putting these here because I could not find the steps even with searching.

 

1) write the address inside the cover  of the motion sensor in permanent marker. The sticker that's on the outside of the motion sensor will be unreadable after a short time.

 

2) if you cannot read the sticker and get the address from there, you might as well just throw away the motion sensor if you lose its programming. Or at least I cannot get my system to find the motion sensor. I've tried Link Management, Start Linking… And nothing works. Consequently, I'm tossing my 2 old sensors, as I do not know their addresses.

 

3) you have to use the following to set up the motion sensor:

 

https://wiki.universal-devices.com/index.php?title=ISY-99i/ISY-26_INSTEON:Linking_a_Motion_Sensor

 

This is why you need the address.

 

4) the above link talks about an "options" window. I could not find that window at all. Then I realized there's a small button in the administrative console on the bottom that says "Options". You have to select the motion sensor in order to get the button. (I was under the mistaken impression this options window would appear once the sensor was found.) I cannot tell you how long I have been looking for the "options" window. On my screen, it's a tiny button at the bottom of the window for the administrative console. If you click anywhere else, it goes away.

 

5) there there are instructions to reset the motion sensors. Basically, you take out the battery for 15 seconds, hold the button down, and put the battery back in. You hold the button down for a long time and the motion sensor is supposed to beep. None of my sensors – old or new – beep. No matter what I do, I have not been able get them to beep. I have sensors that are several years old, and brand-new ones. None of them do this.

 

For all of this, I could be doing this incorrectly. However I have tried many of the steps over the course of months and always reached the same conclusions. Additionally, I'm very busy and can only come back to this once every few months. The only reason I'm doing this now is because I've had shoulder surgery and can do many things I would normally do. So, if you're at all like me and have little time to work on these, hopefully this will help.

 

I plan to keep updating this if I can, as I fumble my way around.

 

PS – please ignore any grammar issues; I'm using a speech to text converter, which works fairly well, but makes mistakes. Unfortunately, those mistakes are spelled correctly but grammatically incorrect, and my brain corrects the grammar for me.

Don't throw the MS units away!

There are a few ways to get the IP address out of them.

 

One is to manually link the MS to another Insteon device. No Insteon Protocol address needed.

Then you can fire up the event viewer, in the admin console, and watch the traffic while you activate the MS. The address will be contained in the data going past.  

 

Yeah, I find the instructions are not always exactly correct, also.

I had to factory reset a few MSes many times before they behaved the way I thought they should and those battery tabs are not very sturdy to be doing it repeatedly.

 

One very hidden feature is the seven tap dark/light forced send. It only takes a few seconds for the MS to adjust to the light level it is exposed to and seven quick taps on the button will force it to send it's dark/light status immediately.

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Also, like many Insteon devices, the Factory Reset is the prescription for bizarre behavior...  ..for MS, this is especially true if the batter runs down to the battery alert level.  

 

Tips for using the MS outdoors: 

  • I now change my outdoor MS batteries in March and October, whether the low battery indicator is on or not.
  • I factory reset them and restore device anytime they are taken down, eg when changing the battery
  • I put a visible bead of superglue between bezel and lens.. left side, right side and bottom.  That's where the water gets in and ruins them, especially the corners

 A lot fewer problems with them when doing the above

 

Paul

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Also, like many Insteon devices, the Factory Reset is the prescription for bizarre behavior...  ..for MS, this is especially true if the batter runs down to the battery alert level.  

 

Tips for using the MS outdoors: 

  • I now change my outdoor MS batteries in March and October, whether the low battery indicator is on or not.
  • I factory reset them and restore device anytime they are taken down, eg when changing the battery
  • I put a visible bead of superglue between bezel and lens.. left side, right side and bottom.  That's where the water gets in and ruins them, especially the corners

 A lot fewer problems with them when doing the above

 

Paul

 

 

Paul,

 

Can you offer a little more insight as to why this is part of your SOP now? I ask because there must be a driving factor for you to do this from past experience?!?

 

It would seem to me unless those devices have some kind of hardware issue. Normally this extra step isn't required in most average customer installs. Would be interested to read what your thought process is and what the root problem that necessitates this extra work. 

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Paul,

 

Can you offer a little more insight as to why this is part of your SOP now? I ask because there must be a driving factor for you to do this from past experience?!?

 

It would seem to me unless those devices have some kind of hardware issue. Normally this extra step isn't required in most average customer installs. Would be interested to read what your thought process is and what the root problem that necessitates this extra work. 

 

Its a "while I'm at it"... sooner or later something happens to it. If I get in front of it, eg change the batteries before they get to low, or factory reset it before it starts acting up, I don't spend time chasing after unplanned problems. 

 

Its a PITA to pull the thing down to remediate when something not planned for happens, especially in the winter with snow, or ice on the deck etc.  Since I have it down anyway, and it doesn't take long for me to do it, its worked out well. I can't recall having an "in flight" problem since proactively doing this.

 

Paul

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Paul,

 

Can you offer a little more insight as to why this is part of your SOP now? I ask because there must be a driving factor for you to do this from past experience?!?

 

It would seem to me unless those devices have some kind of hardware issue. Normally this extra step isn't required in most average customer installs. Would be interested to read what your thought process is and what the root problem that necessitates this extra work.

 

Paul,

 

Can you offer a little more insight as to why this is part of your SOP now? I ask because there must be a driving factor for you to do this from past experience?!?

 

It would seem to me unless those devices have some kind of hardware issue. Normally this extra step isn't required in most average customer installs. Would be interested to read what your thought process is and what the root problem that necessitates this extra work.

 

I am not Paul! I hope I am not robbing Peter :)

 

I have one MS that always seems to act stupid after changing the battery, and I find it best to factory reset it.

 

The other nine MSes don't have that problem. New battery and done.

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  • 3 months later...

Also, like many Insteon devices, the Factory Reset is the prescription for bizarre behavior...  ..for MS, this is especially true if the batter runs down to the battery alert level.  

 

Tips for using the MS outdoors: 

  • I now change my outdoor MS batteries in March and October, whether the low battery indicator is on or not.
  • I factory reset them and restore device anytime they are taken down, eg when changing the battery
  • I put a visible bead of superglue between bezel and lens.. left side, right side and bottom.  That's where the water gets in and ruins them, especially the corners

 A lot fewer problems with them when doing the above

 

Paul

 

Here is a follow up to a weatherproofing technique for the "classic" 2842 Insteon Motion sensor. As mentioned above, mine are out in the open and rain used to eventually kill them.

 

Last fall, I took one MS apart and found visible light gaps between the lens and the case. I put a bead of superglue on the outside on the left side, right side and especially the bottom between the lens and the case in the front to keep the rain out.

 

There have been several heavy sustained rains here since last fall. Today I did my battery change and the following picture was a very good surprise.

 

Normally, when replacing the battery, the pads on the back of the battery door are black from mold due to water getting in. Today, the pads on both motion sensors were completely white. This technique might help you deploy the "classic" 2842 Insteon Motion sensor out-of-doors.

 

post-5496-0-31826300-1490536590_thumb.jpg

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My SOP for any battery operated device is to place a small amount of dielectric compound to the battery terminals to protect the two mating surfaces. While negating water penetration and rust from developing on the contacts.

 

It should be noted dielectric compound is frequently used on automotive battery terminals from the factory. As it displaces water, moisture, and the white crust of death from forming on the battery posts. Lastly, dielectric compound should not be confused with conductive grease which. Its sole purpose is to promote the transfer of electricity and reduce long term resistance.

 

One should be very cognoscente on the proper use of conductive grease due to potential carbon tracking and electrical shorting related issues.  

 

Finally, there are many electrical contact promoters like Stabil 235 which offer the same end results as conductive grease with out the worry of cross contamination, carbon tracking.

 

Than again one costs pennies a tube vs hundreds of dollars per oz!

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