Insteon - USB interface with XL

Lighting control systems, upb, lutron, insteon, LED lighting, Etc.

Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby vaporhat on Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Which Insteon product do I need to control my Insteon loads using XL?

PowerLink modem, PowerLink controller??

And is USB the most robust choice for communication path?
-3RiC
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby wesblack on Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:18 pm

Use the 2412U insteon interface piece, most up to date interface device that works with xLobby V3. :D

2412u.jpg
2412u.jpg (6.84 KiB) Viewed 12337 times


If you need help setting this up call me. (323) 465-2131.

http://www.smarthome.com/2412U/PowerLinc-INSTEON-Modem-USB/p.aspx



Image

Wes Black \ Calrad
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby vaporhat on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:18 pm

Wes, thank you!

I am just wrapping up my CCTV project and lights/HVAC is next. I will have some time over the next month and over the holiday to work this into my system. I will be in touch.
-3RiC
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby samsonlov on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:51 pm

My $0.02:

I've got clients managing lighting, HVAC, and access control using V3 and the 2414U *[edit] 2412U - thanks vaporhat. :) [/edit]* with good results in multiple installations in and around Los Angeles.
I even installed a 2414U *[edit] 2412U - thanks vaporhat. :) [/edit]* in a home with a "high-end" lutron system with two "full" panels - to controll their gates - and saved the owner about $2,000.00 over what it would have cost him to have the gates "integrated" into the Lutron system. (He did not have pay for several Lutron wireless devices and repeaters and to have them installed, he didn't have to pay to run any new wires to his "old" gate control motors, and he didn't have to pay to reprogram the Lutron system).
XLobby+Insteon = economical, effective, reliable.
:)
Last edited by samsonlov on Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby vaporhat on Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:21 pm

What are the differances between 2412U and 2414U?
-3RiC
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby samsonlov on Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:34 pm

A Type-o.
:)
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby vaporhat on Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:45 pm

They do make a similar product with that ID...
so it's 2412U.

Next question:

I have a 3-way controlled series of lights in one room with 3 switches. I don't typically use one of the switches. Do I need to replace all 3 or can I get away with just 2 using this product? If so, do I need to remove the other conventional switch or can I leave it in the circuit?

http://www.smarthome.com/2494M3/SwitchL ... Kit/p.aspx
-3RiC
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby samsonlov on Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:28 am

vaporhat wrote:Next question:
I have a 3-way controlled series of lights in one room with 3 switches. I don't typically use one of the switches. Do I need to replace all 3 or can I get away with just 2 using this product? If so, do I need to remove the other conventional switch or can I leave it in the circuit?


What you have is actually called a "4-way" switch, and what you'll want to do is put the insteon switch in the "main location", (look online for 3-way and 4-way switch wiring http://www.askthebuilder.com/B141_3_Way_Switch_Wiring_Diagram_and_4_Way_Switch_Wiring_Diagram.shtml and there are also some videos on the Smarthome site to help you to determine which of your switches is the "main" one, and that's where you put the Insteon Load-carrying switch or dimmer. Once you have installed a "remote-controllable" switch like the one you linked to, you can put 1 or more switches to act as "remotes" where the other 2 of your "4-way" switches currently reside, or anywhere else in your home. Just about any Insteon Switch can be used as a "remote" so that means you can use multi-button switches which will allow you to control the "main location" switch, and also be able to send commands to other switches in your home, AND...

[get ready to be very happy about choosing Insteon with XLobby...]

... Insteon switches will also allow you to trigger commands in XLobby to control pretty-much whatever you want.
:)
(And this capability is built-into XLobby V3.)

Wes installed a few multi-button switches in the XLobby Demo room, and from what I remember, he has one or two buttons on each switch controlling the connected lighting load, and the rest just send "scene" commands to other switches and modules, and triggers to XLobby which then turns other modules on or off, or executes XLobby commands like play/pause, etc. - It's Very cool.

Just figure-out what you will want to have access to at the current switch locations, and then choose the switch(s) with the right number of buttons.

The Insteon switches will run you from 50 to 85 bucks, but the extra $25-$35 for a 6-8 button switch, really gives you a great value XLobby remote control location built right into the wallswitch.

I Like the 6-button models (about $75), because you get larger "on" and "off" buttons at the top and bottom, and 4 "scene" buttons in the middle. They also offer the switch in many standard colors, and if you change your mind later, you can order just the plastic inserts to change the color as you wish. I have installed the brown switchplates with blue LED -inserts with a Lutron Screwless "Claro" 4-gang wallplate in a theater I built for a client, and I liked them so much, I'll be getting the brown/blue combo for my home.

Hope that helps,
Samson
:)
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby vaporhat on Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:32 pm

Samson, Great info! Thank you..

to make sure I am following you...

As long as I install a load-carrying switch or dimmer at the "main" location, therortically I only need one Insteon switch\dimmer to control the 3 or 4 way circuit? or do I need at least 2? ...?

Also, is there anything diffent from the 3-way switch package that I linked from the individual switchs (aside from them coming preconfigured with the paring, which I belive can be done manually too??)
-3RiC
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby samsonlov on Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:02 pm

Q1.
As long as I install a load-carrying switch or dimmer at the "main" location, therortically I only need one Insteon switch\dimmer to control the 3 or 4 way circuit? or do I need at least 2? ...?


A1.
What you have is actually called a "4-way" switch, and what you'll want to do is put the insteon switch in the "main location", (look online for 3-way and 4-way switch wiring http://www.askthebuilder.com/B141_3_Way ... gram.shtml and there are also some videos on the Smarthome site to help you to determine which of your switches is the "main" one, and that's where you put the Insteon Load-carrying switch or dimmer.
, and
...you can put 1 or more switches to act as "remotes" where the other 2 of your "4-way" switches currently reside, or anywhere else in your home.


Replacing the 3/4way main switch with the Insteon switch necessarily means you are "abandoning" the "old" way of switching the load, and as such, the remaining "old" switches will not function. - Remember, you are replacing an old "wired" solution with a remote-controllable solution, and creating "3-way" or "4-way", (or "20-way" circuits for that matter), only requires your adding more Insteon switches.

Q2.
Also, is there anything diffent from the 3-way switch package that I linked from the individual switchs (aside from them coming preconfigured with the paring, which I belive can be done manually too??)


A2. (From the link you posted)
"This kit is an easy way to control lights from two different switches, such as the switches located at the top and bottom of a staircase or on each end of a hallway. The best part is that the two INSTEON SwitchLinc Dimmers (#2476D) come pre-configured and set up to communicate with each other, so once you install the SwitchLincs, there is no setup or programming required in order to control one light with these two switches."


Based on Smarthome's statement in the link you provided, the answer is:
"No, there is nothing different (aside from the pre-configuration), and Yes, switches can be manually linked."

Hope that helps,
Samson
:)
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby vaporhat on Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:40 pm


Replacing the 3/4way main switch with the Insteon switch necessarily means you are "abandoning" the "old" way of switching the load, and as such, the remaining "old" switches will not function. - Remember, you are replacing an old "wired" solution with a remote-controllable solution, and creating "3-way" or "4-way", (or "20-way" circuits for that matter), only requires your adding more Insteon switches.




Alright.. I believe I go it. I didn't fully understand that by going to a remote-controlled solution I was completely abandoning the standard switching functions. I did not understand the physical inner working of the switches.

Thank you for the insight and explanations.

I'm excited about getting this project going!
-3RiC
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby samsonlov on Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:59 am

Yeah, the insteon "looks" like a "traditional" switch, so it's easy to imagine that the wiring would be similar - but the wiring is only similar in the way a "single" switch is wired - except that you have to use the "neutral" wire just like you would with some of the "fancy" dimmer switches with built-in electronic presets, and led indicator lights.

When you rewire your setup, you may not have "neutral" (white) wires going from your main switch to the "remote" locations but you probably will have 2 "switched hot" wires (likely black) and a few "traveler" wires (likely red or pink), (also it isn't uncommon for lazy electricians to use a 3-conductor - black+red+white+bare ground - non-metalic cable like "Romex" for a 3-way switch, and then you'll have a white wire that you can re-purpose as a "neutral".) Whatever wires you've got in your walls, if the switches in your 4-way setup are working properly now, then with some careful testing (remember to turn the power off at the breaker and use an inductive voltage tester even after the power has been turned-off just to make sure there isn't a stray hot wire in the switchbox), if you don't have "neutrals" you should be able to isolate one of the traveler" wires going to each remote switch location, and use those as your "neutrals".

It should only take you a few minutes to check the wiring going to each switch, so maybe it's worth spending the time before you order your switches.

Hope that helps, Let me know how it works-out.
Samson
:)
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby vaporhat on Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:13 pm

Samson,

A question about the neutral wire;

The 4-way circuit I was talking about does have a neutral wire, however, I do have a couple switches that do not. In one location of those unfortunate switches, it is installed in a double gang box with a circuit that does. Can I use the neutral wire from another circuit? If I can, do I also need to run a neutral wire to the light?

Thinking it might be ok if the two circuits are on different 120v legs?? If they were on the same I would think there would be a chance of carrying more current?
Put me in line here..

ps
the next time I'm out in LA, I am going to buy you lunch :)
-3RiC
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby samsonlov on Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:40 pm

vaporhat wrote:...Can I use the neutral wire from another circuit?

Usually, Yes, but consult with a local electrician.

vaporhat wrote:...If I can, do I also need to run a neutral wire to the light?

If the light is presently working, then it already has a neutral wire connected to the main switch. - The "Remote" switch will not be switching a load directly, it will only be "talking" to the main switch. Insteon is like X-10 in that it sends a "command" throughout the house (using the neutral line to carry that command to all the far reaches of your homes electrical system. Any Insteon switch that recognizes the command will respond, and send back a reply that it responded.) So, no - you don't need to run "more" neutral wires from the remote switches back to the light(s) you are controlling.

vaporhat wrote:Thinking it might be okay if the two circuits are on different 120v legs??

When you write "circuits", are you referring to the main switch and the remote switch(es)? If so, remember that the remotes don't really use any significant current because they are not directly switching the load - the remotes are only sending a tiny "signal" to the main switch telling it to switch the load. *[edit] In fact, in order for the Insteon products to work reliably without additional "phase-couplers", you'll want all the devices on the same electrical "phase". When you start adding devices to the rest of your house, you'll most-likely require some type of phase-coupling solution, and if you're also planning to add any wireless devices such as their thermostat control, I recommend using the wireless phase couplers, because this kills two birds with one stone - so to speak. (Phases coupled and wireless connectivity.)[/edit]

vaporhat wrote:If they were on the same I would think there would be a chance of carrying more current?

See above.

vaporhat wrote:the next time I'm out in LA, I am going to buy you lunch :)

One of my favorites: http://www.nobumatsuhisa.com/

Hope that helps.
Samson
:)
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Re: Insteon - USB interface with XL

Postby vaporhat on Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:58 pm

vaporhat wrote:the next time I'm out in LA, I am going to buy you lunch :)

One of my favorites: http://www.nobumatsuhisa.com/

Hope that helps.
Samson
:)[/quote]

You got it! Been to the nobu in Malibu before.. not bad.

Thanks again for the help. Looking to tackle this at the end of Dec..
-3RiC
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