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Ready to throw in the towel on ISY, best way to do that?


jwilliams

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Since the PLM cannot communicate reliably with devices from its current location the only option is to factory reset the devices that have been added to the ISY and link them back to the SmartLinc.

 

Even if the PLM communication issues are resolved first the manual Set button links that have been established outside the ISY environment make graceful clean up by the ISY impossible. The normal recommended clean up for Set button links is to factory reset the devices and do a Restore Device. Since the ISY is not in the final solution a simple factory reset of the devices is the safest approach. Of course if the comm. problems extend beyond PLM to device, linking to the SmartLinc could be the next issue.

 

There is no need to do anything with the ISY itself.

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If you do a simple removal of a device via the ISY admin console, I assume it leaves the the links intact. But, if you add them back to the ISY, you can choose to do so while wiping the device clean of existing links. What if I were to remove all devices from ISY, add them back using the wipe existing links clean option, then remove them again? Wouldn't that accomplish the same thing as running around the house and doing a manual factory reset on all devices?

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It does not leave the links intact when Deleting a device unless power is removed from the device by pulling the air gap switch before the Delete. Adding them back to the ISY with 'remove existing links' does not result in a physically clean device link database. Like all HA applications that support device event based triggering the ISY must add link records to the device and the PLM to allow Insteon devices to notify the ISY of device state changes.

 

This process has already been shown to be unreliable as a result of the PLM to device comm problems. Also the device link database will still have the remains of other link records. This should not cause a problem but I recommend doing a factory reset on the devices to physically clear the entire device link database to zero. There is no function in the ISY that physically clears the entire link database to zero.

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Lee, I'm confused.

 

In your first sentence, you indicate "It [removing a device from ISY via the Admin Console] does not leave the links intact" .... which suggests it erases the links from the database, right?

 

Then you indicate in the second sentence, "Adding them back to the ISY with 'remove existing links' does not result in physically clean device link database" ..... but why wouldn't it? If I removed it from the ISY first, the links got erased, as you indicate in the first sentence. And, if that's true, adding it back, while erasing existing links, appears to be a second swipe at cleaning out all the links.

 

Not trying to be a pain, just trying to understand what's going on ... how I can best erase the mess that I created. Hopefully without pulling a bunch of switches out of the walls.

 

Should it be this difficult to understand how the ISY works?

 

There really needs to be a cleaner, clearer effort made it enable the user to examine, understand and manipulate all the existing links between devices. While we can attempt to read the links table, as I have encountered, that's not always possible. But even it is was, where's the documentation that tells us how to interpret the code that comes to screen? And why are we only able to do this on a device by device basis?

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Maybe if I made an effort to better understand how the Links tables work, what they mean, how to read then, I could resolve my problems.

 

Keep in mind, I'm not a technical person. So bear with me.

 

There are 3 primary types of tables

 

PLM

Device

ISY

 

My simple english understanding of each

 

PLM - shows the links between the ISY and each Insteon device in the network

Device - shows the links currently residing in tables stored on the individual device

ISY - Do not have a clue. Guessing that these are tables to describe relationships between devices that are necessary to run programs?

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Read further on tables, now understand better.

 

PLM - links between PLM and all Insteon devices. Perplexed though as to why I can run a PLM links query and it shows the device I am having trouble with. Yet, when I try to run a device links query on that device, I get error messages telling me it can not communicate with it.

 

Device - actual links stored in the device.

 

ISY - those same links uploaded to and stored separately in ISY.

 

So, if you make manual links outside of ISY ... there will be more links in the Device tables than there are in the ISY link table for that device.

 

Now, if I could only read the links tables and make heads or tails of the code. Is there anything documented anywhere that would help me do that?

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I traced a Delete device with the expectation I could post an event trace showing how the ISY deactivates the first link record which would logically clear the device link database. There is no Insteon command to cause the device link database to be physically cleared to zeros as a factory reset does.

 

Either my memory is wrong or the ISY has changed along the way. Either way the ISY does not alter the device link database when a device is Deleted. The Controller link in the PLM is removed.

 

Sat 02/02/2013 11:08:03 AM : [MNG-LNK-RSP ] 02 6F 80 E2 00 1C F2 EE 02 09 42 15

 

This means the devices can be Deleted from the ISY with no change to the device link database.

 

Adding the device back to the ISY with 'remove existing links' is a logical process which when completed will leave as the only 'active' link records those needed by the ISY for event awareness and device control. It does not physically clear the link database. Without an Insteon command to do that it could take hours to write one byte of zeros into each link database memory location.

 

My recommendation to factory reset the devices insures that each device will start out with a link database that is all zeros. There is no option through the ISY that can accomplish.

 

I just saw the last post so here are the answers to those questions

 

"PLM - shows the links between the ISY and each Insteon device in the network"

 

The PLM contains a Responder link record for each device node that can generate an inbound command the ISY must be aware of. It also contains a Controller link record for each device node that is controllable by the ISY. I state it this way as some device nodes do not send commands and would not require a Responder link record and some device nodes cannot be controlled from the ISY and would not have a Controller link in the PLM.

 

"Device - shows the links currently residing in tables stored on the individual device"

 

Correct. There are active link records (Controller and Responder), inactive link records that have been removed from Scenes or unlinked with the Set button, and an End of List link record which marks the end of the logical link database. This link record starts with a 00 in the first byte. The device will not look for active link records beyond the End of List record.

 

"ISY - Do not have a clue. Guessing that these are tables to describe relationships between devices that are necessary to run programs?"

 

The ISY Links Table for a device contains the link records the ISY thinks should be there. That is, link records the ISY has managed. These include active Controller and Responder link records as well as logically removed link records (inactive link records). When the Compare button on the Show Device Links Table is clicked this is the database the ISY compares against to determine if the device link database is correct.

 

"Maybe if I made an effort to better understand how the Links tables work, what they mean, how to read then, I could resolve my problems."

 

There is an old but applicable insteondetails.pdf document at insteon.net that has some information on Insteon link records. Each link record is eight byte long and its format has not changed since the beginning of Insteon back around 2005.

 

I don't think learning the link database will be of much use. The SmartLinc has no ability to display the link database of a device. The ISY must have a device defined to it to be able to use the ISY Show Device Links Table so even if the ISY was kept for diagnostic use only it would not be of any use with the devices Deleted.

 

This link may be of use as far as understanding Insteon link records. He has accumulated a fair amount of Insteon information.

 

http://www.madreporite.com/insteon/insteon.html

 

EDIT: the nice thing about link records is the format has never changed. A link record written in 2005 will look pretty much like one written today. There are some new Flag byte bit combinations (first byte of link record) that have shown up for I2CS but the basic bits for Controller, Responder, Active, and End Of List are the same across the board.

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"PLM - links between PLM and all Insteon devices. Perplexed though as to why I can run a PLM links query and it shows the device I am having trouble with. Yet, when I try to run a device links query on that device, I get error messages telling me it can not communicate with it."

 

The existence of the link records are needed for Scenes and for the ISY to be aware of device state changes. They do not insure the Insteon Mesh Network is working. Manual device control does not involve the use of link records so they do not matter unless it is an I2CS device. The I2CS devices cannot be manipulated from a PLM that has not been authorized to talk to it. If the authorization link record in the device is lost communication will not be intermittent.

 

I don't think comments by me and others regarding the fact that there are comm problems have been understood to mean there are powerline and/or RF issues and/or phase coupling issues that have no relation to link records.

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Certainly a factory reset on the devices will eliminate all traces of your PLM and ISY. My suggestion is to try a quick attempt at establishing communication with your plm. Try moving it to where you had your smartlinc. Feel free to use an extension cord, if necessary. Hopefully, it will work better.

 

If it does work better, you can try "removing" each device from the ISY. It is hard to know if this will work. The difficulties you have experienced may have corrupted some of your devices. If removing the devces does not work, a factory reset of each may be your only option.

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I unplugged the ISY and associated PLM. Everything is back to normal. That doesn't make sense to me, but it is what it is. KeyPads that weren't working are now working. Cross-links between devices that weren't working are now working.

 

I am going to factory reset the ISY, put it on a shelf, and rest up for now. May make another run at it at a later time. Or, maybe not.

 

Thanks for the info above. I read carefully and learned a great deal. I think I'll just hang out on this board in the coming months and absorb as much info as possible. Thank you for your help Lee and oberkc. Sincerely. Perhaps if I got better informed, my next ISY attempt might work.

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I unplugged the ISY and associated PLM. Everything is back to normal. That doesn't make sense to me, but it is what it is. KeyPads that weren't working are now working. Cross-links between devices that weren't working are now working.

 

I am going to factory reset the ISY, put it on a shelf, and rest up for now. May make another run at it at a later time. Or, maybe not.

 

Thanks for the info above. I read carefully and learned a great deal. I think I'll just hang out on this board in the coming months and absorb as much info as possible. Thank you for your help Lee and oberkc. Sincerely. Perhaps if I got better informed, my next ISY attempt might work.

 

My suspicion would be that your PLM is having some sort of issue. Direct links between devices are only monitored by ISY, it doesn't do anything but listen, and the listening is really done by the PLM (the ISY listens to the PLM). Perhaps you PLM was interjecting noise? It might be worth it to try a different PLM.

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