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KeepOnTruckin
Average Member

USA
129 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2012 :  05:59:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As this is a weekend getaway, with no computer left on when not there, as a practical matter, what security risks are involved in continuing on without a router? Is it only that there is one less layer of protection from an outsider being able to commandeer the IP camera an t-stat?

While the wife would not mind the WiFi ability that a router might bring, it also would add a layer of complication in my ability to muddle through the set-up process, and possibly more power strips to accommodate another appliance. Maybe in the spring, when the loss of the ability to remotely control the stat will be less of an issue.

In another matter, would plugging the LampLinc into the SmartLinc solve any potential coupling issue--just so I can eliminate that as a concern?

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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
8566 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2012 :  07:37:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Plugging a dual-band LampLinc into the SmartLinc would bypass the coupling issue by giving the SmartLinc a direct wireless connection to the thermostat adapter. If you want to reliably control or see the status of any devices on the opposite half of your electric service you'll want to add a dual-band device on that side, but that shortcut solves the immediate concern with the thermostat. To avoid overheating, plug a splitter into the SmartLinc pass through outlet, then plug the dual-band device into the splitter, so there's a nice air gap between the two devices. You can find one like this at the local hardware store: http://photos.travelblog.org/Photos/42322/252794/t/2049766-3-outlet-splitter--MUST-HAVE-GEAR-0.jpg

Skipping a router seems to be giving your modem fits, since it keep rebooting and acquiring a new IP. Each time the modem does that, your home is offline until the SmartLinc reregisters and communicates the new IP with the smartlinc.smarthome.com site. I suspect that, eventually, something is going to break--either the modem is going to die an untimely death or all the reboot activity is going to raise red flags at your ISP when they figure that you have an infected computer acting as a spambot and suspend your data account. Seems easier to just spend $20 to use a router as was intended.

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stusviews
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USA
11388 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2012 :  12:44:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Not having a router provides no security between anything connected to your modem and the internet. Of course, that begs the question, why would anyone want to control your lights? And the chances are high that no one would.

But some people are mischievous and, if they discover an opening, will play with it. Note that those imps have searching devices that seek out such holes. No doubt the mere volume of addresses available makes the possibility of finding your particular machine slim, but realize thousands of probes go out daily.

It is not necessary that you get a router with WiFi capability (more complex). A simple single port in, single port out is adequate. Most name brand routers will automatically find your network and do the setup for you. You only need to enter a user name and password.

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KeepOnTruckin
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USA
129 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2012 :  9:16:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks much, again. Time to find a router. Re: plugging the LampLinc into the SmartLinc, thanks also for that suggestion. As far as other devices goes, the place is less than 500 sq ft--all I really want is to reliably control the heat.

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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 01/23/2012 :  10:50:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Size is less of a consideration than how it's wired, what it's wired to, what's plugged in, and where it's plugged in. Mostly, it doesn't matter if interfering devices are filtered and the phase is bridged.

The main difficulty here concerns the initial lack of a router.

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KeepOnTruckin
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USA
129 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2012 :  9:21:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have bought a Netgear N150 router. Not sure when I will get around to attempting the installation, but when I do:

Are there any suggestion re: what to do with the SmartLinc upon first plugging it into the N150? Factory reset first? Play it by ear???

Thanks.

NGX

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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 01/25/2012 :  10:13:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
First ensure that you can get online using the router. We'll play it from there - or even by ear

modem--->router--->computer

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KeepOnTruckin
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USA
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Posted - 08/25/2012 :  07:41:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For the first time in many months, I am unable to control the two devices I have linked to my SmartLinc. I have a Venstar Model 2491T7E t-stat and a LampLinc. I have unplugged the SmartLinc from the power and have unplugged its ether-net cable.

The first time I unplugged the SmartLinc and plugged it in a minute later, I regained control over the LampLinc. It then correctly indicated the temperature setting on the t-stat, but not the operating mode--My guess is that it lost the link to the Venstart while "refreshing" its status. I then had no more control over the LampLinc and have been unable to control either the stat or the Lamp. The scenes are unchanged and the device IDs are obviously likewise unchanged.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. It has been awhile since I have had any problems, so I am likely a little rusty at linking and all that stuff...

I am at the location where all three items are at.

Thanks for any help.

KoT

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Tfitzpatri8
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USA
8566 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2012 :  07:57:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's unlikely any links are upset, more likely there's a communications problem. Is the SmartLinc attached to a surge or noise filter or ups? Did you recently replace a router or switch or modem plugged in in the same area? Do you have two dual-band units installed, and has anyone moved one? Can you re-check them to make sure they still pass the 4-tap test?

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KeepOnTruckin
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USA
129 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2012 :  7:34:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have now plugged the LampLinc directly into the SmartLinc, so I am now confident re: the phasing issue of that device. The LampLinc now works--my simple scene to turn the lamp on and off works.

As for the stat: It is extremely slow (and erratic) to update based on commands put into it from the SmartLinc software--and even slower to update or refresh its status at the computer--sometimes the stat switches to what the command was through the software, but it does not reflect the new status on the software. It was fairly quick before the recent troubles.

Seems odd that everything worked pretty much without incident for months and then stopped and/or changed. Not sure if any electrical work has been done in the area that would have changed anything.

I am unclear on how the stat communicates with the SmartLinc--Is it through the building wiring or IR or both? Might the IR be failing? The stat is about 8-10 feet from the SmartLinc.

I still have no router installed, as discussed a few messages above, although I have purchased one. Am loathe to mess with anything that works (mostly), and I doubt that any of what is going on has to do with my lack of a router. The IP camera continues to work remotely with no problems.

What is a 4-tap test? And will it tell me anything re: the stat--the device I am most interested in having work consistently.

KoT

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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 08/25/2012 :  8:32:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The thermostat does not communicate with SmartLinc at all, at least, not directly. It's an RF device meaning that it receives and sends Insteon signals to a dual-band device which, in turn, receives and transmits the signal to the powerline.

A SmartLinc communicates with the powerline, so anything affecting signals on the powerline can affect communication between the SmartLinc and the thermostat and any other Insteon device on the path(s)/circuit(s) involved.

Back to the thermostat. Because it's an RF device you need at least one dual-band device. You already have one, the LampLinc. But, reliable signaling requires at least two properly located dual-band devices. The 4-tap test will let you know if they can see each other (communicate), thus bridging the legs of the split, single-phase electric supply.

What is the IP camera connected to? What is the SmartLinc connected to?

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KeepOnTruckin
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USA
129 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2012 :  06:09:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The IP camera is not part of the Insteon/SmartLinc set-up--it is plugged directly into the internet modem through a 5-port Ethernet switch. (I only mention the camera to indicate that I do not have network problems which might be affecting the SmartLinc)

The SmartLinc is plugged directly into a wall outlet. The LampLinc is plugged into the SmartLinc. Should this set-up provide reliable communication? Will a bridged system, , by definition, improve communication? I have no objection to setting up another LampLinc if it would be helpful to the system, but have no real "automation-use" for one.

I have read the following files on bridging, and sort of understand it.....:

http://support.cortexa.com/portal/cortexasupport/HomePage.do

Thanks.

KoT

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stusviews
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USA
11388 Posts

Posted - 08/26/2012 :  12:38:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KeepOnTruckin

The IP camera is not part of the Insteon/SmartLinc set-up--it is plugged directly into the internet modem through a 5-port Ethernet switch. (I only mention the camera to indicate that I do not have network problems which might be affecting the SmartLinc)


That'll do for a LAN. But a router will do a better job with managing IP addresses and ports.
quote:

The SmartLinc is plugged directly into a wall outlet.


Is it also connected to the same network switch?
quote:

The LampLinc is plugged into the SmartLinc. Should this set-up provide reliable communication?


It will provide reliable communication between the SmartLinc and the LampLinc. If the thermostat is within RF range of the LampLinc, then that communication will be OK, too. RF range involves more than just distance, objects such as masses of metal (e.g., refrigerator, metal desk, etc.) and other RF signals near 915 MHz can impede that signalling.
quote:

Will a bridged system, , by definition, improve communication? I have no objection to setting up another LampLinc if it would be helpful to the system, but have no real "automation-use" for one.


It will improve communication between Insteon devices on opposite opposite legs of the split, single-phase electric supply. Any two dual-band devices can be utilized, mix or match.
quote:

I have read the following files on bridging, and sort of understand it.....:

http://support.cortexa.com/portal/cortexasupport/HomePage.do


I have no idea which of the 100's of linked articles you read. Here's my understanding:

Electric is supplied to residences from a transformer with a center tap. If you have overhead lines, you can see those transformers. They are big, often gray, container looking objects. The powerline coming into your house usually consists of two black wires and one bare stranded one. The bare wire is the neutral.

This is called a 3-wire or split, single-phase electric supply providing 220/240 volts. The center tap is the neutral giving 110/120 volts between the neutral and each leg of the power line. Each leg is 180º out-of-phase with the opposite leg, thus the term phase-coupling (not phases). Half of your 110/120 volt circuits are on one leg and half on the other. A yoked pair of circuit breakers is an indication of a 220/240 volt circuit.

If an Insteon device is on one leg and another Insteon device is on the opposite leg, then the signal between them must travel to the distribution transformer and back. It often does not make it depending on distance and other powerline conditions. Line bridging devices (phase-couplers) alleviate the problem by coupling most of the Insteon signal to the opposite leg before it leaves the residence. A minimum of two are required--unless you use a single wire-in device at the panel.

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KeepOnTruckin
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USA
129 Posts

Posted - 08/27/2012 :  8:37:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the comments.

In response to my comment about the SmartLinc being plugged into a wall outlet, you ask: "Is it also connected to the same network switch?" If you mean the ethernet switch--then yes--it is connected to the same switch as the camera, as well as a Roku streaming video device, which, on reflection, I should probably unplug when we ar not there. And as I now consider your comments, and that the camera is set to email out pictures when the motion detector is triggered, I wonder if that issue might be slowing down all processes if packets are backed up, hogging the switch, etc.

Re: the RF of the stat--do you mean to say if it is working at all, then the addition of dual-band devices will make no difference, and that communication with that stat has only to do with its proximity to the SmartLinc, coupled with possible interference issues?

Between the SmartLinc and the stat is a wooden kitchen table top approx 2 inches thick. There is a refrigerator about 5 feet away, against the same wall that the SmartLinc is plugged in to--different outlet, but possibly--even likely-- the same circuit. It is an old fridge that seems to run a lot...

Thanks again.




KeepOnTruckin

Edited by - KeepOnTruckin on 08/30/2012 8:00:59 PM
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stusviews
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USA
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Posted - 08/30/2012 :  8:18:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KeepOnTruckin
Re: the RF of the stat--do you mean to say if it is working at all, then the addition of dual-band devices will make no difference, and that communication with that stat has only to do with its proximity to the SmartLinc, coupled with possible interference issues?


The thermostat cannot "see" the SmartLinc. It can communicate only with a dual-band device. The SmartLinc is not a dual-band device.

The thermostat communicates with the RF band of dual-band devices. They are dual-band in that they can receive and transmit both RF and powerline signals and translate between them.

thermostat<-->[dual band RF<dual-band device>dual-band powerline]<-->SmartLinc

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KeepOnTruckin
Average Member

USA
129 Posts

Posted - 09/09/2012 :  7:55:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Folks,

A new issue. To review: weekend getaway, LampLinc plugged directly into a SmartLinc, and a Venstar Model 2491T7E t-stat, which controls heat only. I have two scenes. One scene turns a lamp on and off. The other scene is meant to get the t-stat onto the 7-day program that I have manually programmed into it. That mode is called the PROG H mode in the Smartlinc t-stat interface.

The t-stat is typically set to *off* except during the winter, when it is set to 50 degrees or so, and except when we then remotely raise the temp in anticipation of our arrival. I have just noticed that remotely running the scene which turns that LampLinc lamp on and off will put the t-stat to the *PROG H* mode.

Figuring that the t-stat may have inadvertently gotten included as a device in the LampLinc on/off scene, I removed it (or tried to) from that scene, but the LampLinc scene still seems to be actuating the t-stat--setting it to the PROG H mode. ( Note: I am not at all confident in my scene-setting abilities...)

Any suggestions or comments appreciated. Thanks again, as always.

KoT

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Tfitzpatri8
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USA
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Posted - 09/09/2012 :  8:46:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What steps are you following, and in what order, to remove the thermostat from the unwanted scene? Are you using HouseLinc, another program, or button taps?

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KeepOnTruckin
Average Member

USA
129 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2012 :  10:11:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am using the SmartLinc software interface.

I clicked on the LampLinc lamp on/off scene. The I clicked on *remove*, next to scene devices. Then I tapped the stat button once. The add/remove status then listed the id # of the stat. I then clicked *done*.

I think I need to contact SH on this. I am now unable to get any remote communication from the stat. I can access the LampLinc just fine. The RF did not work at all on my first stat, and this one is very balky, although I suppose it could be the LampLinc.

KoT

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KeepOnTruckin
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USA
129 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2012 :  05:50:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KeepOnTruckin

I am using the SmartLinc software interface.

I clicked on the LampLinc lamp on/off scene. The I clicked on *remove*, next to scene devices. Then I tapped the stat button once. The add/remove status then listed the id # of the stat. I then clicked *done*.

KoT



Was this the correct method for removing a device from a scene?

Thanks.

KoT

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stusviews
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Posted - 09/13/2012 :  12:33:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Correct procedure, wrong device. You want to remove the thermostat from the LampLinc scene.

Place the thermostat in *PROG H* mode first, then remove it.

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KeepOnTruckin
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Posted - 03/24/2013 :  11:55:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by stusviews

First ensure that you can get online using the router. We'll play it from there - or even by ear

modem--->router--->computer



I have finally set-up a router--Netgear wnr1000v3-- but have had no success in accessing the smartlinc from outside the network.

I am able to access it from a laptop ON the network, but then need to go to a coffee=shop to try it remotely--and no-go.

Would appreciate any help in setting it up. Thanks.

KoT

(I have been able to access a Panasonic IP camera remotely--but it appears to be more of a "plug-n-play" setup.)

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stusviews
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Posted - 03/24/2013 :  1:41:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
How are you accessing the SmartLinc from home? Be specific. "From a computer," is vague.

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KeepOnTruckin
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Posted - 03/24/2013 :  3:06:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Knock on wood--I have it running. I matched the port numbers in the router setup and smartlinc setup, enabled port forwarding, and it works. Either I am the luckiest guy going, or I'm actually starting to very slightly understand networking. Now my wife can logon with her Kindle through the WIFI, as can the ROKU, and I can control the heat and a "night light" remotely/from at home. And security is set up for the WIFI network. All in all, a good day's work.

Thanks for all past help.

KoT

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KeepOnTruckin
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Posted - 03/28/2013 :  03:57:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, now it has ceased being able to remotely connect.

From "help me find my smartlinc", when I type in my name and password under "I am not at home", it redirects me to an IP address I do not recognize, and will not connect. For a day or so, I could put in for a URL the IP address that had previously redirected it to, and it would connect. Now--no good.

I note that before I installed the router last weekend, this was also the behavior: I could only connect by directly typing in the IP address. I would occasionally not be able to connect (would time out)for a day or so, then it would work. I also note that it is the same IP address that the Panasonic IP camera also directs to, so when they were both working properly, I do not understand how the router would know which device to connect to. (If I cut and past the IP address into the address bar when I am logged onto the camera, it will reload and seek the logon information for the camera, and then successfully log back onto it.)

I guess I really do not understand this, and am most frustrated. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Of course, I am now 60 miles away from the device.

Thanks.

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stusviews
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Posted - 03/28/2013 :  12:00:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Unless you have a static IP address (you would know, it's costly), the IP address changes from time to time. You have o control over that.

The smartlinc.smarthome address is actually a service that redirects your browser to the updated IP address. There are others. You do have a choice

You do have control over your LAN IP addresses. Any time you disconnect and or reconnect a device to you router, it's LAN IP address can change. Did you assign a static LAN IP address? a port number?

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KeepOnTruckin
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Posted - 03/28/2013 :  2:56:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When you say "there are others", to what do you refer?

What are LAN IP addresses? Are they the 192.168.xxx.xxx addresses?


The "former" IP address continues to log into the IP camera, and it is shown on the set-up interface, so has it really changed? Coukld it change for one device and not another?

I am not sure if I have the correct settings in the smartlinc network interface. Because it works/worked briefly, I left it alone, but I really don't understand the settings.

I am not sure if I assigned a static LAN IP address, as I am unsure what it is. I think I assigned a port, 8080, but I also think it is the same port as the camera.....

It just seems the IP camera is a plug-n-play setup that has worked almost flawlessly for over 2 years, and a Filtrete WIFI IP thermostat at my home has worked flawlessly for more than a year. SmartLinc--not so much....

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stusviews
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Posted - 03/28/2013 :  4:38:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A DNS server allows you to access your LAN from the internet, OpenDNS and DynDNS, to name two, provide that service. So does the SH link, but that's only for the SL. Your IP camera probably provides a similar service for the camera.

You're correct, addresses beginning with 192.168 are reserved for a LAN.

Devices with the same port value on the same LAN can cause conflicts. It's best for each device to have a different port assignment. Some standard ports are already open on a router (less secure). You can and should assign the SL a unique port (more secure). See: List of Ports to avoid

That does require that you forward the same port on your router. See: http://portforward.com/

You indicated, "I could only connect by directly typing in the IP address." Which address, LAN or WAN?

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KeepOnTruckin
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Posted - 03/28/2013 :  6:24:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was able to connect using the WAN (If that is the non-192.168 IP)

TimeWarner (my ISP) indicates as follows: **Road Runner® uses Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to assign IP addresses dynamically. This means that you will not always have the same IP address.**

RE the IP camera--I believe it does have a service as you describe,as follows:*** Viewnetcam.com is our unique Dynamic DNS service for the Panasonic Network Camera products. Our camera's offer remote pan and tilt functions so you can adjust camera angles from anywhere... with a regular Web browser! As of June 1, 2003, the service is free for all who own a Panasonic IP Camera. Viewnetcam.com will allow you to create a personalized web address (for example, bob.viewnetcam.com) at which your camera's live video can always be found on the Internet.*****

So, is it likely the case that the IP address may have changed, but the smartlinc and/or the router settings are not set to "follow" the new address???

Am I correct that I can do nothing until such time as I am at the location of the SL? What should I set differently on it? And/or on the router?

Thanks, as always



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stusviews
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Posted - 03/28/2013 :  8:13:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, the non-192.168 address is the WAN IP address and it will change.

Neither the SL nor the camera are aware of the WAN address. That's the purpose of a DNS service. The smarthome.smartlinc service is essentially the same as the camera service, except, of course, for the product it seeks.

Did you append the WAN address with the port number, that is aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:8080? If not, what did you enter? You can and should not use the actual digits of the WAN IP address.

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KeepOnTruckin
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Posted - 03/28/2013 :  8:47:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The SL now comes up with: ***Login was successful. Redirecting to: http://xx.xxx.xxx.xxx:1904**, which then fails to connect, indicating **Firefox can't establish a connection to the server xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx***

For awhile, I could put the IP address directly into the browser address bar and it would, connect, asking for the SL login. I believe I was NOT putting the port in. Which makes me wonder how it would know I was looking for the SL, as opposed to the camera.

So, I guess the question(s) might be: are the router settings bad, and/or, are the SL settings bad? I guess when I get back up there, I will check the router settings for the camera, since that seems to operate in a stable manner, then see if similar settings will stabilize the SL.

Any additional comments, suggestions, or even encouragement.... would be great.....

KeepOnTruckin
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