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ronks
Starting Member

14 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2019 :  09:26:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think at our house we've run out the string on X-10 for "home automation" and we need to move to a newer approach, but which?

It's a small operation with four wall switches and three plug-in modules, to turn house lights and appliances on and off at selected times (some of them relative to sunrise/sunset) and to allow remote control from within the house.
The schedule for the timed events is created on a Windows PC with Smarthome Manager and downloaded to an 1132CU controller so the PC does not have to be on all the time.
We have to move away from the present setup for two reasons. The replacement of incandescent bulbs with LEDs means that some circuits have less than 60 watts of load and don't carry the signals reliably. Also, the X10 controller (the 1132CU) that holds the schedule just failed and they don't make or sell them any more.
Looking at the different options, Insteon seems the best way to go. I think it offers the functions we need (program a schedule on the PC and download it; remote manual control), and is compatible with X10 so we can upgrade the switches at our leisure to Insteon.
So, two questions: do people with Insteon controls like the result; and which units should we get as replacements? The wall switches and plug-ins are pretty straightforward, but I'm less clear on the PC software and the attached controller to replace Smarthome Manager and the 1132CU controller. The in-home remotes should not require a phone, but Wi-fi or Bluetooth are OK.

BLH
Advanced Member

6191 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2019 :  3:31:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One thing to look at.
Most of the X10 wall switches stole power through the Load and did not use a Neutral power connection.
If you don't have a Neutral power connection in the switches locations. Most Insteon switches will not work. Though you can sometimes rewire the switch loop to provide the Line and Neutral with the switches Load connection capped off. Then have a module in the fixtures to control the lights. There is one Insteon two wire switch but it is strictly for incandescent loads. As it steals power through the load.
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ronks
Starting Member

14 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2019 :  7:51:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good point. Three of our wall switches are 3-wire, and the fourth is probably not in this 1925 house. But if I understand right, I could leave the existing switch in place and drive it through the power line as I do now, only from an Insteon controller but with the RF backup. And I'd have to leave an incandescent bulb in till I can get a neutral wire to it.

Am still puzzling over the Insteon controller to replace the 1132CU; am unclear on the different models.
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BLH
Advanced Member

6191 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2019 :  03:33:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Insteon HUB is an entry level controller.
The ISY994i is a full featured Insteon controller.

I don't believe the present model HUB can do X10.

The ISY994i can do X10 and with the optional A10/X10 add on [$9.00 if memory serves me]. You can add the X10 modules to the Administrative Console. I send X10 commands through the ISY994i. To things like a an X10 Chime Module.

None of the controllers I have seen can send X10 RF. The Dual Band Insteon devices only do Insteon RF.

The presently sold Insteon devices don't officially support X10 any more. Though some still do.

My older Insteon Modules do accept a Primary X10 address added to them. I still use a V572A to receive X10 RF driving my XTB-IIR Coupler Repeater.

Three way with Insteon. You replace all the switches with Insteon modules. Rewire as needed to provide Line and Neutral to all locations. One module also drives the load. The others cap off its load wire and cross link all of them together.
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BLH
Advanced Member

6191 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2019 :  03:43:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have seen a few users over on the UDI forums still using an ISY994i with X10.
One nice thing about the ISY994i. Is you can buy the lower end base unit and add things if you need them later.

Like you can add the PRO feature. By buying the PRO add on if you need more modules and programs than the base supports. They enable it remotely.
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BLH
Advanced Member

6191 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2019 :  05:07:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can find all kinds of information for the ISY994i. On the UDI Forums. The UDI wiki has all kinds of information. On things like X10 support, Insteon and X10 programming, etc.
https://forum.universal-devices.com/
https://wiki.universal-devices.com/index.php?title=Main_Page
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ronks
Starting Member

14 Posts

Posted - 06/03/2019 :  08:23:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks much! I'll take a look.
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gadgetrist
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 06/05/2019 :  5:21:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you're not opposed to going wireless, you should consider a home automation hub like SmartThings or Home Assistant.

You can pretty easily and inexpensively integrate HVAC, security, and surveillance systems.
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ronks
Starting Member

14 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2019 :  8:48:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Getting back to this after a few days away, thanks for the suggestions.
I think the fog is lifting though not gone. Since I don't expect to use ZWave or IR, just X10 and Insteon, the base model of the ISY994i looks adequate.
But I'm confused between the 2413S Serial interface which seems to be required to use X10/Insteon, and the 2413U USB Modem Interface, which - well, I can't tell what it does from the product blurb.
And I assume there is some software app that runs on Windows 10 which is the equivalent of SmartHome Manager, but I haven't found it mentioned yet. Does it come with the ISY?
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Tfitzpatri8
Administrator

USA
10837 Posts

Posted - 06/12/2019 :  9:08:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The ISY uses the serial power line modem to connect with Insteon devices. The ISY connects to your computer for setup via your router and a java program, then you can disconnect and turn off the computer and the ISY does all the work.

The usb plm doesn’t work with the ISY at all and doesn’t come with any software. It is for use with 3rd party software like Indigo. With that alternative, your computer stays on and running the software 24/7.
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ronks
Starting Member

14 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2019 :  08:52:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks! I wondered about the 2413U but couldn't find an explanation.

> The ISY connects to your computer for setup via your router and a java program

So, a Java program comes with the ISY then. Are there any security concerns with that? I have heard that "Java in the browser" is deprecated, but not so much outside it.
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BLH
Advanced Member

6191 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2019 :  3:07:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The ISY994i connects to the serial port on the 2413S.
It also is connected to your network through an Ethernet connection.
The ISY994i does not come with a program. You can download the ISY Launcher program and access the ISY994i.
If you have not have a chance yet. There is all kinds of good information on their Wiki. Including a full users manual and ISY Cookbook from one of the users.
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ronks
Starting Member

14 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2019 :  8:14:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think I've got it now, enough to move ahead. This forum has been very helpful.
Will return if I get stuck.
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