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What to do with broken Insteon switches


randyth

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4 hours ago, apostolakisl said:

Prior to virtual nodes on polyglot, you could use them as not-virtual, virtual nodes.  Also you can use them in a location where you never physically use them.  Slave switches basically. 

This particular one was wired to the load in a 4-way switch setup, working solely as a slave for years. I just learned to ignore it, since "switching" it did nothing.

I finally ripped it and turned it into the above. I must have five of these 1-gang box + extension cord + flaky Insteon switch "LampLincs" in use around my house now.

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There some of the power line only 2476D and 2476S Switchlinc switches. Where the small board mounted tact switches did that. Paddles would push on them. They clicked but didn't make electrical contact. Smarthome actually gave us a seven year extended warranty on those hardware runs. Some only On or Off did it and some both On and Off did it. I was told I didn't know how to properly push the paddles.?

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1 hour ago, TrojanHorse said:

I’ve gotten to the point where my lights turn on and off usually as needed but I rarely push the buttons. Never had one mechanically fail, knock on wood. Did this happen to switches that got frequent “control” touches?


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Yeah. Once you go vocal the dirty fingermarks don't need to be cleaned either, or the dirty grope marks on the wall trying to locate the switches in the dark, or around the corner.

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1 hour ago, Brian H said:

I had some spares in storage. They had intermittent paddle operations. Right from the package.

Can't you get some contact cleaner spray right down the throat of the PB sleeve to fix that? Most are just (inert to plastic) alcohols, but I know we had some that would "eat" plastic a few decades ago. Ruined more things with some those sprays back then. I think the manufacturers finally took notice and discontinued those types since.

I fixed a few potentiometers by forcing the spray right down the sleeve around the shaft and working it into the body until the thing was probably floating with spray inside. :)

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15 hours ago, Brian H said:

There some of the power line only 2476D and 2476S Switchlinc switches. Where the small board mounted tact switches did that. Paddles would push on them. They clicked but didn't make electrical contact. Smarthome actually gave us a seven year extended warranty on those hardware runs. Some only On or Off did it and some both On and Off did it. I was told I didn't know how to properly push the paddles.?

I had the original series of switchlincs that had that tact switch problem.  Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't.  Hard to know why.  I assume oxidation or something on the contact.  To their credit, SH replaced every single one of them.  Though it was still a PITA.  At that time I only had about 25.  I have since replaced all of them again after dual band became a thing.  Knock on wood, I have gone quite a few years with the current dual band guys and no probs at all.  I did have some of the second series of switches fail because of capacitor issues.  After the PLM capacitor issue I wondered if some of my failed switchlincs were the same and just randomly replaced caps and low and behold, it fixed it.

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15 hours ago, TrojanHorse said:

I’ve gotten to the point where my lights turn on and off usually as needed but I rarely push the buttons. Never had one mechanically fail, knock on wood. Did this happen to switches that got frequent “control” touches?


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Probably, but I honestly can't remember well enough to say.

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23 hours ago, TrojanHorse said:

I’ve gotten to the point where my lights turn on and off usually as needed but I rarely push the buttons. Never had one mechanically fail, knock on wood. Did this happen to switches that got frequent “control” touches?


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I never experienced this problem in Insteon equipment, but I have in other electronic equipment contacts. Contacts typically improve with manipulation if they are designed as a contact wiping design,  and get worse if not.

Of course once old age sets in and the metal plating wears off they all can get worse.

Perhaps somebody else has seen the contacts inside a SwitchLinc.

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They are a surface mounted Tact type switch. With a small push button passing through the top of it. The back of the paddle has a raised bump on it. That pushes on the small button when activated.

I did see a how to on another site. On replacing them. Need the proper sized square mm sided Tact switch and proper sized activation button.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are a couple of uses I can think of for these switches:

1. The plastic paddle assembly can be reused on any existing Switchlincs in case they get yellow.

2. Some recent Switchlinc relays have a different style indicator for visually distinguishing an on/off Switchinc vs a dimming one. If you have a bunch of older style Switchlinc Relays and want to maintain a consistent look, these paddles can be useful in that respect.

3. You can use them like you might use an Inlinelinc.

4. Store them away, marking them as being bad with bad tact switches. When the time comes, you might collect the gumption to take the Switchlinc apart and replace the bad tact switches. The only hard part as I recall was removing the board which was riveted to the aluminium cover assembly. Other than that, it was pretty straightforward.

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