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hoffdano
Junior Member

USA
31 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2015 :  7:33:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just bought a 4 scene mini remote.

Am I dense or is the doc completely awful? I have a hub. I have a scene called "all outside lights" and I want to program a remote button to it. I use Android to control my devices.

How on earth do I program a button to turn this scene on and off?

I have successfully programmed a button to control ONE switch (which I don't think is a "scene").

??

stusviews
Advanced Member

USA
15854 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2015 :  8:16:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The Mini Remote is not fully supported by the Hub. But, you can manually link the remote as a controller of one or more other devices.

The on-line Owner's Manual has full instructions.

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hoffdano
Junior Member

USA
31 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2015 :  07:43:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rant:

Insteon documentation needs substantial improvement. So it seems there are different "scene" types. I can group devices one by one for the mini remote, which is tedious. But a "scene" managed by a hub is not the same thing?

Why does Insteon make this so difficult?

Does a Keypadlinc support a scene controlled by the hub?
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
10908 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2015 :  10:17:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One of the design choices that makes Insteon superior to other technologies is its distributed-processing design. If someone unplugs one thing, the rest of the gear continues to operate, because each unit knows what it is supposed to do independent of devices around it.

The definition of an Insteon scene is a single hardware controller linked to one or many responders. A single SwitchLinc can control one scene, a KeypadLinc can control up to 8 scenes, a Hub can control 200+ scenes, etc.

If you create a scene with multiple controllers using a Hub or ISY, you actually are creating multiple scenes--each responder can be programmed to do something the same, or different, in response to each controller.

If you create a scene using the Hub, the Hub app assists you with linking each device added as a Controller or Both directly to each responder. If you add five devices as scene controllers using the Hub app, the Hub helps build *six* scenes--one with the Hub as controller, then one for each other device you add as a controller.

This design means there's no central control all messages have to pass through. If the Hub or another module gets unplugged, the wall switches still work.
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stusviews
Advanced Member

USA
15854 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2015 :  1:44:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hoffdano
So it seems there are different "scene" types. I can group devices one by one for the mini remote, which is tedious. But a "scene" managed by a hub is not the same thing?


There's only one kind of Insteon scene, no matter what the devices are or how you create the scene.

A scene is created whenever an Insteon device controls another Insteon device. It doesn't matter if you create a scene using the Hub or manually.

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hoffdano
Junior Member

USA
31 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2015 :  07:45:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by stusviews

quote:
Originally posted by hoffdano
So it seems there are different "scene" types. I can group devices one by one for the mini remote, which is tedious. But a "scene" managed by a hub is not the same thing?


There's only one kind of Insteon scene, no matter what the devices are or how you create the scene.

A scene is created whenever an Insteon device controls another Insteon device. It doesn't matter if you create a scene using the Hub or manually.



OK. But I cannot "use" a scene that already exists. For the mini-remote, I have to create another scene, that duplicates a scene I created on a hub.

I appreciate the advantages pointed out in the post before you - but usability could be dramatically enhanced if I could simply reference an existing scene, if only to copy the scene members.
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
10908 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2015 :  08:43:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately, no. The Hub app doesn't support the Mini Remote, so it cannot copy a scene and put the Mini Remote in charge of it. With the Mini Remote, you have to use the tap linking method in the Mini Remote manual.

I agree, if they can pull it off, that would be a significant enhancement.
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PhilD
Starting Member

Australia
4 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2015 :  11:39:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hoffdano

quote:
Originally posted by stusviews

quote:
Originally posted by hoffdano
So it seems there are different "scene" types. I can group devices one by one for the mini remote, which is tedious. But a "scene" managed by a hub is not the same thing?


There's only one kind of Insteon scene, no matter what the devices are or how you create the scene.

A scene is created whenever an Insteon device controls another Insteon device. It doesn't matter if you create a scene using the Hub or manually.



OK. But I cannot "use" a scene that already exists. For the mini-remote, I have to create another scene, that duplicates a scene I created on a hub.

I appreciate the advantages pointed out in the post before you - but usability could be dramatically enhanced if I could simply reference an existing scene, if only to copy the scene members.



I had exactly the same issue - its such a logical thing to do. I simply assumed I could add switches to the scenes I set in the hub, in much the same way I can add a motion sensor to act as a switch.

I know that's not "how it works" and it appears its because the remote switch came before the hub. But it is enormously fristrating and annoying.

I bought mine as a test rig and the lack of any info from Insteon about this shortcoming is making me wary of getting the system for my house. If it doesn't do something this obvious what other obvious functions won't it do...?

Its pretty disappointing.
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
10908 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2015 :  11:58:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are lots of things the Hub doesn't do. It can act as a bridge to control your devices and scenes, turn each scene on and off once a day on schedule, and help you set up scenes for many devices (but not the Mini Remote), and it can do all that for $40.

If you want something beyond those starter capabilities, like stronger scheduling capabilities or support for additional devices like the Mini Remote or the ability to perform tasks based on other conditions beside just time of day, consider exchanging the Hub for more advanced hardware or software. The ISY devices in particular are held in high regard.
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hoffdano
Junior Member

USA
31 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2015 :  1:28:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tfitzpatri8

There are lots of things the Hub doesn't do. It can act as a bridge to control your devices and scenes, turn each scene on and off once a day on schedule, and help you set up scenes for many devices (but not the Mini Remote), and it can do all that for $40.

If you want something beyond those starter capabilities, like stronger scheduling capabilities or support for additional devices like the Mini Remote or the ability to perform tasks based on other conditions beside just time of day, consider exchanging the Hub for more advanced hardware or software. The ISY devices in particular are held in high regard.



You're right. I bought the hub because it is a bargain for $40. The step up to ISY is significant. That it requires a PLM seems ridiculous to me.

But my renewed foray into automation has shown me several things:

- Insteon is a major advance over X10
- the cost of automation is still very high for simply controlling lights
- Insteon documentation is mediocre at best. The ambiguity of "scenes" is an example
- I am hopeful the switches etc. can last five years or more. This stuff is too expensive and too hard to install to have to replace it frequently.
- the Android software, though functional, is a borderline terrible piece of software. As a person in the software business for several decades, they have a convoluted approach to usability. The number of presses of icons required to change the schedule for a scene is ridiculous. I hope they improve it.

I like what is working so far. I missed the X10 stuff I had (when it was working). But I can see why this stuff remains light years away from mainstream acceptance. If this stuff could be integrated into a standard Leviton switch wired during construction for a $5 premium, then we'd have something.
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stusviews
Advanced Member

USA
15854 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2015 :  3:33:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You can link the Mini Remote to the device(s) you want to control by pushing and holding buttons.

On the Mini remote (controller):
Press the button you would like to be a controller.
Press the set button on the bottom until the lED blinks green, about 3 seconds.


On the device you want to control (responder):
Hold the set button until the Mini Remote stops blinking. That's it.

Optional:
If the responder is a dimmer, then you can set the On-level and ramp rate. Do that first, then link the Mini Remote as a controller within four minutes. If you wait more that four minutes, then the new On-level and ramp rate will be the default.

Stu's Views is Education and Fun. What do YOU want to VIEW today?
MathLandia High school mathematics learning fun.
Both Stu's Views and MathLandia are free websites that do not sell anything.
Saving energy is not always free. Be a world saver.


Please don't PM with questions that can be asked in a forum.
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PhilD
Starting Member

Australia
4 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2015 :  8:35:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the advice.

I have manually programmed devices from my mini remote - it was simple. But it was only simple with a couple of devices.

I am planning to add about 40 in-line dimers plus various relays to control motor into a new house. I have yet to receive the test dimmer but I hope they will be easy to configure into scenes in the hub. But I really don't want to go around every device to reprogram the scenes onto each button on the mini remote.

IMO Insteon has stepped into mainstream consumer territory with the Apple (Home Kit) and Microsoft and as a result it needs to get its act together and ensure all its products are plug and play or have big red letters on the ones that are old and don't fit into the new eco-system.

I get that the mini remote is a previous generation but nothing in sales Insteon documentation tells me its on comparable with the new generation. I know backwards integration isn't easy but if you introduce a product like the hub then release versions of remotes, sensors etc that are comparable with it.

I know the advice about the hub being basic is well meant but I bought instead because I want plug and play. I stayed away from home automation because I didn't want all the integration hassle. I am technical enough to get into it if I want to but in reality I am a tech consumer who just wants it to work without me needing any particular skills - I buy Apple because it does.

Looks like I may need to modify my expectations of the product and hope their marketing people read these type of forums.
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stusviews
Advanced Member

USA
15854 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2015 :  11:18:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit stusviews's Homepage  Reply with Quote
SH people usually don't read these comments as this is a user-to-user forum. If you have a suggestion, then it's best to contact them directly or post here: Insteon Product/Module Requests?

Stu's Views is Education and Fun. What do YOU want to VIEW today?
MathLandia High school mathematics learning fun.
Both Stu's Views and MathLandia are free websites that do not sell anything.
Saving energy is not always free. Be a world saver.


Please don't PM with questions that can be asked in a forum.
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PhilD
Starting Member

Australia
4 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2015 :  4:51:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by stusviews

SH people usually don't read these comments as this is a user-to-user forum. If you have a suggestion, then it's best to contact them directly or post here: Insteon Product/Module Requests?



I am slightly surprised they don't - every corporate I have worked for monitors the media for comment and given the brand damage that can occur through social media its unwise to ignore every channel. And this forum popped up quite high in my google search for Insteon.

But I will follow your suggestion and post on their forum - although this one seems to be a bit more active and responsive.
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rogerwise
Average Member

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 02/11/2015 :  2:12:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One big problem is that almost none of the expert users have a hub. They (we?) have ISY which is older and more powerful but with a steeper learning curve and more expensive.
This is changing but right now questions about the hub are almost a foreign language.

Another problem is that people who buy the hub sometimes hope for more than the hub actually is. I sympathize. It's endemic of advertising to never point out shortcomings. We know it, want to forget, and all too often do.
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