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judetf
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Posted: April 10 2008 at 09:39 | IP Logged Quote judetf

I think I am lacking some fundamental knowledge. This question is less a technical one than trying to understand how things "work" with PH & Insteon.

I have a KPL and linked a button to a Switchlink... Works perfectly to turn the light on/off, and to ramp up/down to particular levels. We only ever use single-clicks or presses - we've never had a need to use double-click faston/fastoffs, as we have the normal ramprate at an acceptable level.

My wife asked if I could add functionality so that when she turns that light off at night, it slowly ramps off so that she can make it to the bedroom before it is off. I thought it would be no problem...

My first attempt was to create an "insteon group in" trigger, using ph_insteongroupcu with a "slow ramp" group I have created. The formula itself works fine... But what I thought to do was add it to the same kpl button that we normally use andn to respond to a "fast off" but that doesn't seem to work.

My guess (and this is where my knowledge is wholly incomplete) is that since I have that button linked to the switchlinc, that I can't "intercept" the fastoff for a trigger - that the fastoff command gets sent to the light regardless.

If that's the case, it leaves me to wonder what the better option is. Clearly I could use another button and do it that way, but that's lame.

My other thought is that I could unlink the button and switchlinc, and create triggers to do the basic on/off, and the slow ramp. But that seems limited, too, since it (I assume) wouldn't let me press-and-hold the button to get to a manual dim level.

So, umm, what should I do? Am I correctly understanding that there is an incompatibility between linking a KPL button to a switch versus using triggers to enable the button to control the switch?

Thanks for any pointers.
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Posted: April 10 2008 at 12:13 | IP Logged Quote BeachBum

I handle the same scenario by triggering off a key being pressed and then driving a macro that incrementally dims lights at the rate I want. In my case it is when the bedroom TV is turned off by a key the trigger fires and the bedroom and house shutdown. I don’t use groups except to turn off the group at once. I manually have groups defined by room so incase there is a catastrophic computer failure I can still achieve some control locally.

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grif091
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Posted: April 10 2008 at 12:36 | IP Logged Quote grif091

How did you establish the links between the Keypadlinc and the Switchlinc, before you decided to add a trigger?

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Posted: April 10 2008 at 12:47 | IP Logged Quote BeachBum

If you go to the user manual, in my case either the SwitchLinc and/or ControLink, under “Creating an INSTEON Scene” there is a complete description on how this is done. I would think the ControLinc and the KPL are similar in this respect.

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grif091
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Posted: April 10 2008 at 13:33 | IP Logged Quote grif091

Pete, I assume at least a link was established making the Keypadlinc button a controller of the Switchlinc. With the Keypadlinc button turning the Switchlinc ON and OFF, I think that is a safe assumption. Don't know if the devices were cross linked to keep the Keypadlinc button LED and the Switchlinc LEDs in sync. With the controller link sitting in the Keypadlinc link database, the button press will cause the Keypadlinc hardware to send a general Group Broadcast followed by the specific Group Cleanup to the Switchlinc. That is Insteon hardware architecture and happens independent of what trigger may have been established or what logic the trigger may invoke. The trigger could do something totally unrelated to the Switchlinc. In the Keypadlinc OFF button case, even if the trigger sends some commands to DIM the Switchlinc to OFF, the Switchlinc has already been directed to turn full OFF by the Keypadlinc Group Cleanup OFF generated by the Keypadlinc hardware when the Keypadlinc button was pressed. Will have to wait until jtf responds with confirmation about the hardware link(s) between the two devices.

I guess the normal Insteon link(s) between the two devices could be deleted and replaced by links to the PLC only, but that would mean the Keypadlinc no longer directly controls the Switchlinc, making light control possible only if the computer and PH are up and running. Reading the various forums many people are happy with that but I am not. I want my house lighting to work even if the computer is down.

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Posted: April 10 2008 at 13:51 | IP Logged Quote BeachBum

And you are right on… I do not send Group commands to the units unless it is the Group Off for the reason my backup is controlled by the physical group only. I do have all devices linked to the PLC for the Group In Triggers to work effectively.

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grif091
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Posted: April 10 2008 at 14:18 | IP Logged Quote grif091

Pete, thanks for the information, do you have dedicated hardware, like something from UDI, controlling your network or are you dependent on some form of PC (or mac) for that control. What ever you use, how reliable have you found it to be?

In a very distant life I serviced main frame hardware, then wrote applications for main frames, then wrote PC applications for about 6 years before retirement. I have thought about something dedicated, like UDI, but just never crossed over to the dark side, yet.

Would appreciate your thoughts. jtf, sorry for using your post, will make this the last one unrelated to your question/problem!

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Posted: April 10 2008 at 14:30 | IP Logged Quote BeachBum

You didn’t work for Big Blue did you… Same background. I have 2 PLCs, 1 is passive and can be primary when needed. I have an IBM laptop with PH that only handles non network stuff like caller ID and Weather. Another system handles the network with PH. The backup plan is local control for Insteon and I have an old standalone controller downloaded from PC to drive some of the X10 network. I have a very noisy environment and I have written all kinds of redundancy into the X10 side. The Insteon side is easier to correct as it has 2 way communications.

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grif091
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Posted: April 10 2008 at 15:48 | IP Logged Quote grif091

Sure did, 1962-2000, Baltimore MD branch office, to Poughkeepsie NY, to Raleigh NC, they were the fun days. Where did you spend your time? Thanks for the information on your configuration. I had not considered getting a second PLC. I like that idea. I've got 5 PCs of various ages (including a very old PS/1) and a mac-mini, all functional. Just can’t bring myself to throw one away when I upgrade. With a 2nd PLC for backup, more than enough to dedicate one for primary control and another for backup. I'll have to check to see if I can install PH on more than one of those systems under the original license. Have you given any thought as to what you will do when you sell your house? Thanks again.

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Posted: April 10 2008 at 16:42 | IP Logged Quote BeachBum

Does BO 352 mean anything if so think upstairs… When I reread judetf’s post he is trying to override the Group and Cleanup to the SwitchLinc at night. I would think it would be more controllable if done from a trigger for the Off functions. Then he can apply what ramp rate he wants to the time of day.

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judetf
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Posted: April 10 2008 at 17:43 | IP Logged Quote judetf

I do have things crosslinked which (each is a controller and responder of the other). If I am understanding what you have written, is part of my problem.

Obviously this speaks to the lack of fundamental knowledge I spoke about earlier. I haven't done things in any particular way other than that it is how I have interpreted things here on the forum and how I have managed to make things work up until now. So if there is a better/more appropriate way to make this work I am abject willing to reconfigure things.

So if I do get it right, then I'll want to remove the Switchlinc as a controller of the KPL? And in that way I should be able to capture the fastoff and run it through a trigger while leaving the normal on and depressed-ramprate functionality intact?

Thanks for chiming in!
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Posted: April 10 2008 at 18:10 | IP Logged Quote BeachBum

I’m by no way an expert but from my experience I would believe you would have more control and options if you triggered on Group In when a KPL button is pressed. Then you can setup macros to do anything you want with the SwitchLinc depending on the time of day. As I said earlier, I stay away from the Group commands unless I am shutting everything down.

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grif091
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Posted: April 10 2008 at 18:15 | IP Logged Quote grif091

I would vote for using a second Keypadlinc button for night time turn off. Cross linking to a second button allows the Responder link in the Switchlinc to have the ramp rate and bright levels set to night time values, slow ramp rate to OFF if that is desired, different from the other Keypadlinc button link. That is just my view based on currently not wanting my basic house lighting dependent on a computer, at least for now. Pete has a good idea if you are committed to using PH as the controller. There is another forum entry that has a Subject of "stuck" ramp rate, or something like that, where Dave talked about using a Group definition in the PLC to reset ramp rates back to the default values. Suggest reading that so you don't fall into the same issue.

Just saw your last post just before I posted this. Linking the devices the way you did is the expected, and if I might be allowed, the "normal" way of linking. Lights work without the computer. Insteon architecture and Insteon hardware was around before HA software. Problems develop when marrying normal, expected Insteon hardware responses with the nearly anything goes when you add HA software in the mix. I believe in using Insteon hardware the way it was expected to be used when the hardware was developed, using HA software to do the optional things. Lots of folks disagree with that view. You will first have to think about how Insteon hardware reacts when device to device links exist, how the Insteon hardware works without the computer, programming PH around those responses, or drop the use of device to device links for those devices you plan to use PH to control, making those devices dependent on a computer and PH up and running. Lots of folks go that way.

EDIT: Sorry I missed your last point. No, removing the "Controller of" link in the Switchlinc only stops the Switchlinc from sending a Group Broadcast followed by a Group Cleanup to the Keypadlinc to control the button LED when the Switchlinc paddle is used to turn the load on/off. You have to remove the "Controller of" link in the Keypadlinc. It is this entry in the Keypadlinc link database that is responsible for the Group Broadcast and Group Cleanup OFF being sent by the Keypadlinc to the Switchlinc when the Keypadlinc button is pressed OFF in this case. This also breaks the ON connection from the Keypadlinc to the Switchlinc. This is one of those cases where you accept the way Insteon hardware works when device to device links exist, or remove those links and do it all from HP.

Pete, sending you a PM. Amazing! Don't remember the BO number specifically but that must make you a peddler or SE at the inner harbor building.

Edited by grif091 - April 10 2008 at 19:08


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Posted: April 10 2008 at 23:49 | IP Logged Quote grif091

jtf, just realized that I don't really know in your csse whether the Keypadlinc is connected to the load or if the Switchlinc is connected to the load. I have been assuming the Switchlinc was connnected to the load, in which case my comment regarding what the "Controller of" link in the Switchlinc does is correct. It would only be controlling the LED under the Keypadlinc button. However, if the Keypadlinc is connected to the load, then your conclusion about removing the "Controller of" link from the Switchlinc would be correct. It would be this link that is actually causing the Switchlinc to send the group cleanup to the Keypadlinc, turning the load control off in the Keypadlinc when the Switchlinc paddle is pressed. Then the "Controller of" link in the Keypadlinc is only keeping the status LEDs in the Switchlinc in sync with the load. The Keypadlinc button press is directly controlling the ON/OFF of the load, with the "Controller of" link in the Keypadlinc causing the group cleanup back to the Switchlinc there only to keep the Switchlinc LEDs in sync.

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judetf
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Posted: April 11 2008 at 06:16 | IP Logged Quote judetf

Yes, Switchlink is connected to the load I am controlling.

At this point I have both options configured, and it's "working" - I just have to decide between the fundamental choices of using one or two buttons.

Ironically, I was the author of the "stuck ramprate" post, and for whatever reason I am _not_ experiencing that issue on this KPL. The KPL that was getting stuck is v1.65 while the one I am currently working on is v1.6. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.

But for now I have my original cross-linked button which is perfectly fine for on/off; and I have a second button configured to on/off with single-clicks, and slow-ramp with double-clicks. So I can test for a while and see which we use and which we like, and then go from there.

I'll keep playing and post back with results.
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grif091
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Posted: April 11 2008 at 07:21 | IP Logged Quote grif091

Thanks for the update. So often something gets resolved and the results are not posted back. Rev 1.65 is the latest, I think. Just received a new Keypadlinc two days ago and it is at the 1.65 level. Lots of functional changes between 1.4 and 1.65. Don't know the differences between 1.6 and 1.65. Smarthome even published a new users guide for Keypadlincs over 1.4. Hope I did not scare you away from the HA function in PH. I'm just not comfortable changing the way my basic Insteon network works. As you read the forums you will see that many people do take advantage of the HA function, linking devices to the PLC rather than using links between devices so that there are less issues with the way Insteon hardware works.

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judetf
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Posted: April 11 2008 at 07:48 | IP Logged Quote judetf

Oh, don't worry, I've already got lots of PH functionality going on that, should the computer ever be off, will grind to a halt. I'm definitely not scared away...

But when I come upon issues I do like to figure out the best/right way to configure things.

For now I've settled on the following: I'm leaving the cross-linking, and set the ramp rate for on/off to be the slow "going to bed rate." So we will just have to learn/remember to use double-clicks to do our normal on/off, and use the single click for the bedtime functionality.

As soon as I put a KPL in the bedroom (or an IRLinc so that we can use a remote control!) I'll setup a "go to bed" macro that does all the nighttime lights. But for now this should work...

And yes, I'm a big fan of posting follow-ups. Over time I expect I'll learn enough to be a contributor (and some of the "fun ideas" I've posted have even been adopted by others, from what I understand), but the least I can do after soliciting people's input and help is to respond back with how it all worked out.

Thanks again!
jtf
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