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IO Linc to segregate landscape lighting into "zones" not working


GQuack

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Hi all, having a bit of confusion with an IO Linc setup that has me baffled. I am trying to segregate my backyard landscaping lighting into separately controlled “zones” using IO Lincs as a simple relay to turn each zone on or off independently. Guesstimating about 40 watts of 12V lighting LEDs on the strand I am trying to set up first which is within the 5A 30 volts capacity of the relay. The wiring is setup as the diagram attached using the IO Linc manual as a guide.

The IO Linc is set to continuous latching, LED on transmit box is checked.

Created a scene with a keypad as controller, IO linc relay as responder, relay set to 100%

When I press the keypad button, ISY status shows the scene as “ON”, relay device status shows as “ON”, and the LED is NOT lit on the IO Linc.

If I set the relay device independently of the scene via the ISY to “ON”, the relay device status shows as “ON” and the LED IS lit on the IO Linc.

But…the light(s) connected to the IO Linc do not turn on using either scenario.

The behavior of the IO Linc seems odd with the LED light sometimes on sometimes not depending on whether I use a scene or the device directly. I don’t have enough experience with the IO Lincs yet to know if I have a setup problem, bad IO Linc, bad wiring, bad concept or something else entirely. Anyone see anything obvious I am missing? Thanks in advance for any help.

IO Linc Landscape zones.jpg

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It would help if you could be more specific about the keypad you're using and the scene or program you have implemented.

I also know that the latching mode can have two variations - ON to open or ON to close.  From the manual:

Latching (Continuous) 1) Tap the Set button on I/O Linc to set the relay to the desired state. For example, if you want an ON command to open the relay, set the relay to be open. If you want an ON command to close the relay, set the relay to be closed. The I/O Linc Status LED will be dim if the relay is open or bright if the relay is closed

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1 hour ago, GQuack said:

When I press the keypad button, ISY status shows the scene as “ON”, relay device status shows as “ON”, and the LED is NOT lit on the IO Linc.

LED is, IIRC, based on the sensor input.  Do you have anything connected to the sensor input?  If not, it surprises me that the LED is lit under any circumstances.

I also see that the relay is rated at 5A and 30V.  That seems within what you are trying to accomplish, but not with a lot of extra capacity.

It looks to me as if you have it wired correctly.  Latching mode sounds correct also.  Are you trying to control the relay or the sensor from the admin panel?  Be sure to control the relay.

Still I am not confident with using NO or NC contacts.  I believe the NO contact would be open when OFF, which sounds right.  What happens when you turn the relay OFF?

Were this me, I would start probing voltages at key locations.  12V into IOLinc?  12V out of IOLinc?  I would also measure resistance between NO and comm terminals, when the relay is ON and OFF.  One should be near infinite.  The other should be near zero. 

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Thank you all for your responses.

ronvond: to answer your question, I do have a relay controlling power to the transformer but assuming I get this problem solved,  I will be using 4 IO Lincs to control 4 separate runs of lights for the same transformer each run controlled with their own scene.

palayman: to answer your question, I am using a 6 button Insteon keypad linc for this exercise and per my above comment, will be using 4 of those buttons each controlling one of the 4 scenes. The scene itself has only 2 devices in it, 1) the keypad linc button as controller, and 2) the IO Linc Relay (not sensor) as responder. The IO Linc is set to 100% relay on level. Turn the scene on, I expect the IO Linc to pass the current through the run wired to that IO Linc. Turn the scene off, the run turns off.

oberkc: to answer your questions, I do not have anything connected to the sensor terminal. For testing, I am trying all the following; 1) turning the scene "ON" via the keypad button, 2) turning the scene "ON" via the admin panel, and 3) turning the Relay only "ON" via the admin panel. In all 3 scenarios, the admin panel shows the Relay status of "ON" but the status LED light behaves differently. The status LED light is lit only in scenario 3, it is not lit in scenarios 1 and 2. This makes no sense to me, I would expect the status LED to be lit anytime the relay is "ON" regardless of the method used to turn it on. I get no change in behavior (lights are not on) when the relay is either in "ON" or "OFF" status. 

I think the voltage probe is the next logical step. I'm sure there's something staring me in the face and I just don't see it. Any other comments or things to try are most welcome.

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The relay outputs are not polarity sensitive.  So controlling Low Voltage  AC or DC  is fine.  As long as your voltage is less than 30 volts and  5 amps.

The Sensor Inputs have a sensing voltage on them and ANY voltage applied to the sensor Inputs can damage the circuit.

Modules can be set to go Off when a scene is started. So you may want to double check it is not set to go Off when the Keypad is turned On.

 

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3 hours ago, GQuack said:

I would expect the status LED to be lit anytime the relay is "ON" regardless of the method used to turn it on.

Yes, but I wonder the same thing as BrianH...perhaps the IOLinc settings are such that the IOLinc turns off in response to a scene-ON command.  Also, scene commands can be more susceptible to communication problems than direct commands from the amin panel.

Everything looks correct to me still.  If there is something obvious, we are both missing it. I assume that you have tried temporarily removing the COM and N/O connections and tied them together, just to confirm that the lights work, correct?

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Yes, the lights work fine. I've had them direct connected for some time now and am trying to move into the segregation method.

I've been reading and re-reading the section of the manual that palayman referenced...if you want an ON command to open the relay, set the relay to be open. If you want an ON command to close the relay, set the relay to be closed...

Using the ISY, how do you "set the relay to be open" or "set the relay to be closed?" I have latching continuous selected and am using the N/O physical connection. I see no other options, Is there more to it than that?

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1 hour ago, GQuack said:

Using the ISY, how do you "set the relay to be open" or "set the relay to be closed?" I have latching continuous selected and am using the N/O physical connection. I see no other options, Is there more to it than that?

I don't think you set it using the ISY. Like you I found the manual confusing.  Set it to latching using the buttons on the relay and make sure it is on when you are finished.  I think that's all you have to do.

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6 hours ago, GQuack said:

I've been reading and re-reading the section of the manual that palayman referenced...if you want an ON command to open the relay, set the relay to be open. If you want an ON command to close the relay, set the relay to be closed...

I did not check, but I wonder if that is the part of the manual that describes the different ways to configure the IOLinc absent a hub-type device...all manually.  Additionally, the connections would matter also.  What does an "open relay" even mean...If the N/O connection is made, then the N/C connection would be open, and vice-versa.  I believe that most of those configuration settings (I am assuming they are talking about the various momentary modes here) can be done via ISY and don't need to be done manually.  

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Hi all, here's my report back. The short answer: The IO Linc was bad. Tested using the 9 volt battery and voltmeter and could not get a current to pass through. Still the same odd behavior with the LED status light.

Replaced the IO Linc with a new one using the same configuration and with the 9 volt battery and voltmeter...success! LED status light is responding as expected. Rewired into the exterior lighting and tested again, still success, Yay!!! Moving forward....

Thank you all for your replies and help, this was a good learning experience other than the cost of a new IO Linc.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello all, thought it worthwhile to post a final follow-up and again a thank you to those who helped me through this. After replacing the bad IO Linc, I've completed the project which was to use IO Lincs to separate 4 sets of outdoor lighting into unique "zones" all using the same transformer. 

I used an outdoor plug-in module to control the main power to the transformer and routed the 4 sets of outdoor wiring through an electrical box in which I mounted a high quality surge power strip for the IO Lincs and wired each strand of the landscape wiring through it's respective IO Linc. Each IO Linc is controlled via a scene from a keypad. 

While I know the power strip is probably not a best practice, the overall result works great, I can now control each of the 4 zones independently but all powered from the same transformer. I've attached a couple of pictures for anyone who is interested.

Regards

IMG_1161.jpg

IMG_1162.jpg

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