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Help! Sudden Insteon remote communication problem


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I live in a dense neighborhood in a condo. With very few exceptions, Insteon network has been great. All of a sudden, I had two open/close sensors have trouble at the same time. I replaced both modules but I had trouble programming them. To set them up, I had to place them very close to a dual-band keypad linc. My PLM is right at that 2-year failure time, so I ordered the new 2.3 version and installed it today. 

 

I had a heck of a time programming most of my remote sensors. I had to get a long extension cord with a dual-band lamplinc attached to it, and place it near the device I was writing updates to in order to get through it. I've replaced my PLM numerous times before, and have never had this problem.

 

Could this be interference? I believe Insteon uses 900 MHz, but no one in our complex has children, so it's not a new baby monitor that would be on all the time. (Even so, is Insteon communication this fragile?) 

 

I have dual-band keypad lincs and switchlincs throughout my 2-story townhome.

 

 Thinking about order a few range extenders, but I'm not sure those are any stronger than plain old dual band devices. Plus, my unit is only 1260 sq ft. I'm not sure how helpful range extenders are going to be unless they pump out a stronger signal to overpower whatever might be interfering. 

 

Any suggestions are welcome! I'm noticing a number of devices blinking their inability to communicate.

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Range extenders, on/off modules, and lamplinc dimmers will give you better RF coverage than the Keypads because their antennas are external whereas the keypads have their antennas in the back of the unit which is buried in the wall.

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Are the open/close sensors the only ISY difficulty?

No, it's all sensors that need to be close to something to be programmed. Fortunately, once they're programmed, most are able to get the open/motion signal to the ISY. But programming the devices always fails unless it's within inches of a dual-band device.

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I should also add that i tried plugging a dual-band lamplinc in the wall near the device I was trying to program. That too did not seem to help. I had to attach it to an extension cord to bring it within inches of the sensor for it to make a difference. 

 

I'm wondering if the fire department behind me is using something new in the 900 MHz band. 

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It certainly seems like an RF difficulty. Techman touched upon a solution. Install an dual-band plug-in device near the RF only device you're trying to add. Best is if you can make use of a dual feature device such as a plug-in dimmer or on.off device.

 

As far as the FD is concerned, it doesn't need to be at or near 900 MHz, any harmonic (even multiple, quarter, half) of that frequency can interfere.

 

OTOH, if the device functions well after the bothersome adding, then don't be too concerned, at least not now B)

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Thanks... do you think the range extenders are stronger than the plug-in lamp modules? I'm going to have to buy some of one or the other. If they're of the same strength, would rather get items that are functional as well. 

 

But if the range extender is stronger than the lamp module, I'd grab those. 

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Thanks... do you think the range extenders are stronger than the plug-in lamp modules? I'm going to have to buy some of one or the other. If they're of the same strength, would rather get items that are functional as well. 

 

But if the range extender is stronger than the lamp module, I'd grab those. 

It should be the same between the two modules.

The Range Extender is actually a 2457D2 Lamplinc with the dimmer circuit not populated. Even has the same FCC ID Number. SBP2457D2A

 

Many here opt for the full function model.

So if needed later for controlling a load. It does not have to be replaced with a full function model.

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