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Complete system failure


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I was playing with the latest “Alex UBI” app today, possibly being somewhat impatient, when my entire system seemed to lock up.  I wasn’t able to do anything. 

 

In trying to fix it, I’ve reset and reloaded the Isy994i. (multiple times.)  I’ve factory reset and reloaded the PLM.  (Again multiple times and multiple PLM’s - I keep a spare). 

 

Loading the PLM fails. (See pic.)  The Administrative Console sees the PLM, although that’s a bit sporadic – it lost it once or twice while I was trying to reset. 

 

I’m fairly certain that, since I reset the PLM, I now need to go to each Insteon device and re-link it, but the Admin Console link routine times out after about five seconds, not giving me a chance to initiate the devices.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on what I’m doing wrong?  I really need to get this fixed.  My wife, who never wanted this in the first place, is NOW upset that it doesn’t work?  It took her a while to get accustomed to talking to Alexa, and is now forced to actually use real switches – never mind the loss of “scenes”!

 

Thanks for any help you might offer.

JLOB

post-8510-0-87923700-1498326277_thumb.jpg

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Hi 

Sorry, I know this kind of thing is no fun.

  • Did you restore the ISY's most recent back up. try that, then restore the PLM.
  • If you had tried restoring the most recent back up and it didn't work:
    • If you have more than 1 ISY backup, restore the one before the most recent
    • Then, restore the PLM after that.
    • You may have to rebuild the things you added/changed between the backups,

 

Paul

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I’m fairly certain that, since I reset the PLM, I now need to go to each Insteon device and re-link it, but the Admin Console link routine times out after about five seconds, not giving me a chance to initiate the devices.

 

 

No, you just have to restore PLM from ISY.  Unless you did "delete plm" in the ISY menu.  If you did that, you will need to restore a backup of your ISY.  Deleting PLM is a really bad thing to do.  I'm not even sure why it is an option since I don't know what legit reason there is for doing that. ISY has all the PLM links stored and will write them back to the PLM upon your telling it to do so (unless you deleted it).

 

However, the fact that you can't restore the PLM and seemingly can't even really talk to either of your two PLM's is concerning.  I suggest trying a new cable between your ISY and PLM, though it is unlikely the problem, it is a very easy thing to try.  Beyond that, I don't know what to tell you.

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OK!  I’m stuck!  I’ve not only tried everything that has been suggested (mutiple times) but the situation is sort of deteriorating!  As I said earlier, nothing appeared to work.  The PLM showed as found, but resetting it failed, or seemed to.  Turns out part of a “scene” started two evenings in a row, albeit an hour late.  Three of the lamps lit.  The first night, I was able to turn the scene off normally via an Alexa command.  The next night they could not be turned off without using the switch.  Also, there are several legacy X10 devices in the mix.  They can no longer be controlled either by Isy, or by normal X10 methods!

 

The bottom line is I have no idea what to try next.

 

PLEASE!  Any further ideas anyone?

 

Thanks,

JLOB

 

See attached:post-8510-0-68022500-1498492914_thumb.jpg

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JLOB

 

 

PLEASE!  Any further ideas anyone?

 

Thanks,

JLOB

 

See attached:attachicon.giffail2.jpg

 

 

Submit at ticket here, UDI is really good about phone support

 

Paste in link to this thread, so you don't have to retype a lot. They will get a hold of you and help figure it out

 

Paul

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I'd agree with Larry -- sounds like a massive noise problem is overwhelming everything.  Look for something that was plugged in or moved about the time this started.  Physical size is irrelevant -- one of the worst noise-producing items I ever found was a cheap chinese clone of the ubiquitous Samsung USB phone charger.

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I’d like to thank very one who offered help or opinions.   It turns out that the “excessive noise on the line” comment started me on the right track.  I had an electrician in last week to swap out three X10 switches for the Insteon equivalent.  At one point he told me that the switch he was replacing was a three-way.  It took me a while to recall that there was a second switch for that room, but it was hidden behind a stack of paint cans, and hadn’t ever been used since I bought the house.   He said he would take it out of the circuit.  My first thought, after the “noise” comment was that he had somehow messed up the work.

 

Wrong.  That was the first circuit I tested, and it had no effect.  I then began testing breaker by breaker to isolate the circuit.  Once I found the bad circuit, I began removing anything on it, until I was left with just the breaker itself as the cause.

 

With this breaker in the “off” position, all my Isy/X10 problems went away.  I’m awaiting the electrician to replace the breaker. 

 

Turns out apparently that it’s not only strange or new devices on the rid that can cause problems, but the grid itself.

 

Thanks again.

JLOB

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The breaker maybe OK. Something on the circuit maybe making the interference that went away with the breaker off.

Thought an X10 Troubleshooting set of tutorials. Many of the same noise and signal suckers. Also can effect Insteon.

As X10 is 120kHz and Insteon is 131.35 kHz. Power line frequency.

http://jvde.us/x10_troubleshooting.htm

The phone charger was a real problem.

 

One added thing to look at.

If you had an X10 active coupler/repeater in your X10 setup.

Many of them will see the tail end of an Insteon power line message as an X10 message. Tring to send what it thought was an X10 message and corrupting the Insteon power line commands.

Passive ones are OK.

 

The only X10 active coupler/repeater that I know is OK. Is a JV Digital XTB-IIR as it recognizes an Insteon power line command and does not step on it. 

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Bad breakers were found a lot, back in my daze.  :)

Trouble is, for a breaker to make noise usually some load has to be running off it.

This is one of the reasons breakers had thermal detection added to them, bad connections.

 

You could try putting the bad breaker  on and using an AM radio near it, to trace the noise source.  In the Hydro distribution utility, we found an AM  truck radio was the best tracking device there was, for finding bad contacts on high voltage switches, and sequentially eliminated a huge cost of having lines and switches scanned with iR equipment by contractors every year, looking for hotspots.

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A circuit breaker that make enough noise to interfere with HA signalling is highly unusual unless the breaker is very, very old. Most likely something on that circuit is the culprit. Unplug or disconnect everything on that circuit. Turning something off is inadequate. It must be unplugged or disconnected. Tip: pulling out the set button until it clicks in place is equivalent to disconnecting an Insteon SwitchLinc.

 

Turn the breaker on. Still have problems? Then it is a faulty breaker. Everything OK? Plug in or reconnect devices one at a time until the problem recurs. That last device is the problem maker and needs to be filtered.

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I’d like to thank very one who offered help or opinions.   It turns out that the “excessive noise on the line” comment started me on the right track.  I had an electrician in last week to swap out three X10 switches for the Insteon equivalent.  At one point he told me that the switch he was replacing was a three-way.  It took me a while to recall that there was a second switch for that room, but it was hidden behind a stack of paint cans, and hadn’t ever been used since I bought the house.   He said he would take it out of the circuit.  My first thought, after the “noise” comment was that he had somehow messed up the work.

 

Wrong.  That was the first circuit I tested, and it had no effect.  I then began testing breaker by breaker to isolate the circuit.  Once I found the bad circuit, I began removing anything on it, until I was left with just the breaker itself as the cause.

 

With this breaker in the “off” position, all my Isy/X10 problems went away.  I’m awaiting the electrician to replace the breaker. 

 

Turns out apparently that it’s not only strange or new devices on the rid that can cause problems, but the grid itself.

 

Thanks again.

JLOB

 

Do you have any CFL bulbs on the breaker circuit?  A bad ballast in a CFL can wreak havoc on the powerline.

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Not thinking of how a circuit breaker could cause noise.  Maybe if it were arcing, but it wouldn't arc unless there was something drawing power behind it, and you seem to be saying you disconnected everything that was on that circuit, which would eliminate all current and thus eliminate any arcing.

 

Hiring an electrician to change a circuit breaker is a bit overkill.  It will be the easiest $150 that guy makes this week.  The just yank out and you pop a new one in.

 

Something else is going on here.  Your original post shows an error that has nothing to do with noise on your house wiring. The ISY to PLM connection is a serial cable directly connecting the two devices and is not part of the power line comm that would contain noise.  I suppose that it is possible that with some specific type of noise the PLM may be so overwhelmed that it simply goes offline, even on the serial comm.  I guess.  Never heard of that, but I can't rule it out.

 

If you plugged the PLM into a filter that would also test the house noise as the issue.  The PLM would then only receive RF signals.

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