Altsteon vs. MCV Insteon

Hi everyone,
I had set up a vera lite with several insteon switches using the MCV built in support, which was working fine until I put an IOLinc on the garage door. After getting very frustrated, I decided to try altsteon because so many people have said it works better. I think I may have done something wrong. Altsteon works… ish. I can control the lights fine, but I’ve noticed some strageness that lead me to believe I didn’t set it up correctly. First, the lights all come on or off instantly, there is no ramp. Second, on the vera dashboard, the little pictures of light bulbs never change to yellow “on” bulbs. They are always gray “off” bulbs regardless of the state of the light. Third, the status seems to update very slowly, like around 5 minutes or so once the switch is controlled manually. Fourth, no devices show up in the vera mobile app. Does any of this sound indicative of a common error in setup? I tried to follow the instructions, disabled the MCV support, uploaded all those files, restarted, etc. The daemon is running, I get events through the cli, I just wonder if I missed something somewhere.
Thanks,
Byron

[quote=“byronm, post:1, topic:175723”]Hi everyone,
I had set up a vera lite with several insteon switches using the MCV built in support, which was working fine until I put an IOLinc on the garage door. After getting very frustrated, I decided to try altsteon because so many people have said it works better. I think I may have done something wrong. Altsteon works… ish. I can control the lights fine, but I’ve noticed some strageness that lead me to believe I didn’t set it up correctly. First, the lights all come on or off instantly, there is no ramp. Second, on the vera dashboard, the little pictures of light bulbs never change to yellow “on” bulbs. They are always gray “off” bulbs regardless of the state of the light. Third, the status seems to update very slowly, like around 5 minutes or so once the switch is controlled manually. Fourth, no devices show up in the vera mobile app. Does any of this sound indicative of a common error in setup? I tried to follow the instructions, disabled the MCV support, uploaded all those files, restarted, etc. The daemon is running, I get events through the cli, I just wonder if I missed something somewhere.
Thanks,
Byron[/quote]

I have checked in code to a separate branch for the “grey bulb” items…I’ll need to merge that.

The lights going on/off instantly is by design. I have code on my end that ramps it up and down, instead of instantly. I don’t know if there is a way to expose that in the UI or not, I can look into that.

As for status update, did you link the switch to the PLM and the PLM to the switch? To get instant status, the switch needs to be a Controller with the PLM as a Responder, so the PLM gets notified immediately of state changes. Otherwise, you would have to wait for the daemon to poll each switch.

As for status update, did you link the switch to the PLM and the PLM to the switch? To get instant status, the switch needs to be a Controller with the PLM as a Responder, so the PLM gets notified immediately of state changes. Otherwise, you would have to wait for the daemon to poll each switch.

No! That might be the piece I was missing! I went into the cli and did the add_device xx.xx.xx but that was it. How do you link it the other way?
Thanks!
-Byron

You have to cross link it for the best experience. Sounds like you might have done the second part, but not the first?

If this is a regular switch/dimmer, do it twice
Link with switch as Controller, PLM as Responder[code]

  • Press/hold Set on Switch (switch blinks and beeps)
  • Press/hold Set on PLM (PLM blinks/beeps and switch beeps - blinking stops)
    [/code]

Link with PLM as Controller, switch as Responder[code]

  • Press/hold Set on PLM (PLM blinks and beeps)
  • Press/hold Set on Switch (switch blinks/beeps and PLM beeps - blinking stops)
    [/code]

Ok, so do you also need to do the add_device in the cli and create the device in the apps menu of the UI? Is there a specific order this should be done in?

I usually:

  • link device to PLM
  • link PLM to device
  • in cli, use "add_device "
  • in cli, verify I can turn the device on/off
  • create device to Vera & test

Perfect! 2-way comm is working great, thanks :slight_smile:
I don’t suppose you’d want to point me in the right direction for fixing the ramp rate would you?

That involves checking out the source code from SourceForge and compiling it.

[quote=“PurdueGuy, post:2, topic:175723”]I have checked in code to a separate branch for the “grey bulb” items…I’ll need to merge that.[/quote]I merged the grey bulb fix. It is updated in the nightly build.
Nightly build info here: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,15033.0.html

You would only need to upload the following files:

D_InsteonDimmer.json
D_InsteonDimmerKpl.json
D_InsteonRelay.json
D_InsteonRelayKpl.json

[quote=“PurdueGuy, post:9, topic:175723”][quote=“PurdueGuy, post:2, topic:175723”]I have checked in code to a separate branch for the “grey bulb” items…I’ll need to merge that.[/quote]I merged the grey bulb fix. It is updated in the nightly build.
Nightly build info here: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,15033.0.html

You would only need to upload the following files:

D_InsteonDimmer.json D_InsteonDimmerKpl.json D_InsteonRelay.json D_InsteonRelayKpl.json [/quote]

Hmm, I pushed those files from the latest nightly and it didn’t change the grey bulbs. I even double checked that those files were different than from the previous nightly, restarted vera, and cleared browser cache just in case. Not that the grey bulbs bother me really, just thought you’d like to know.

[quote=“mwbehr, post:10, topic:175723”]Hmm, I pushed those files from the latest nightly and it didn’t change the grey bulbs. I even double checked that those files were different than from the previous nightly, restarted vera, and cleared browser cache just in case. Not that the grey bulbs bother me really, just thought you’d like to know.[/quote]From the nightly from “Last built : Tue Jun 11 00:00:51 PDT 2013” right? Not the latest release (0.07) from SourceForge?

I checked and the state icons are in there. When you go to:
Apps -> Develop Apps and download the files, do you see the following:

In D_InsteonDimmerKpl.json and D_InsteonDimmer.json:

"state_icons":[ "Dimmable_Light_0.png", "Dimmable_Light_25.png", "Dimmable_Light_50.png", "Dimmable_Light_75.png", "Dimmable_Light_100.png" ],

The files D_InsteonRelayKpl.json and D_InsteonRelay.json should have:

"state_icons": [
        "Binary_Light_0.png",
        "Binary_Light_100.png"
    ],
I merged the grey bulb fix. It is updated in the nightly build. Nightly build info here: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,15033.0.html
Worked perfectly for me, thanks yet again :) -Byron

[quote=“PurdueGuy, post:11, topic:175723”][quote=“mwbehr, post:10, topic:175723”]Hmm, I pushed those files from the latest nightly and it didn’t change the grey bulbs. I even double checked that those files were different than from the previous nightly, restarted vera, and cleared browser cache just in case. Not that the grey bulbs bother me really, just thought you’d like to know.[/quote]From the nightly from “Last built : Tue Jun 11 00:00:51 PDT 2013” right? Not the latest release (0.07) from SourceForge?

I checked and the state icons are in there. When you go to:
Apps -> Develop Apps and download the files, do you see the following:

In D_InsteonDimmerKpl.json and D_InsteonDimmer.json:

"state_icons":[ "Dimmable_Light_0.png", "Dimmable_Light_25.png", "Dimmable_Light_50.png", "Dimmable_Light_75.png", "Dimmable_Light_100.png" ],

The files D_InsteonRelayKpl.json and D_InsteonRelay.json should have:

"state_icons": [ "Binary_Light_0.png", "Binary_Light_100.png" ], [/quote]

My apologies. I had downloaded the most recent nightly, but I think I accidentally pushed from the previous nightly directory I had made. When I examined the files on my Vera, they still matched the old ones. Now that I’ve pushed the correct files, it works for me as well.

Thanks for the update :wink:

[quote=“byronm, post:7, topic:175723”]Perfect! 2-way comm is working great, thanks :slight_smile:
I don’t suppose you’d want to point me in the right direction for fixing the ramp rate would you?[/quote]I just checked in an update to allow fading. Currently, if you use it, ALL dimmers in your Insteon network will fade.

Once the nightly build completes (midnight or so PDT), you can use that. You will then need to modify one line of your local copy if I_InsteonPLM.xml and upload it.

The line (#334) that readsplmSend("setloadleveltarget", "\"" .. target .. "\" instant_dim " .. newval .. "\n"
will need to be changed toplmSend("setloadleveltarget", "\"" .. target .. "\" ramp_dim " .. newval .. "\n")
(Just change “instant_dim” to “ramp_dim”)

Upload it, restart LUUP, and try it out.

Very cool, works great!
Thanks again,
Byron

[quote=“PurdueGuy, post:4, topic:175723”]Link with PLM as Controller, switch as Responder[code]

  • Press/hold Set on PLM (PLM blinks and beeps)
  • Press/hold Set on Switch (switch blinks/beeps and PLM beeps - blinking stops)
    [/code][/quote]

I get why you switch -> controller, for the quick update to the Altsteon daemon for updates… but why do you controller -> switch?

It seems no one answered this for you so I will chime in.

I think the reason is that if your controller is running scenes, you need for the controller to be able to tell the switch what to do so you link it in that direction. If you link it in the other direction, then if you turn off the switch at the switch, the controller is updated. Also, I believe that there is a way (still reading) that you can use multiple switch pushes to trigger other events.

Such as a double push of the living room light switch could trigger another light to turn on somewhere else but as I said, this is just the impression that I got from reading other posts. I am still trying to get Altsteon running in my setup.

If I am incorrect, I am sure someone will help correct my assumption.

[quote=“fryfrog, post:16, topic:175723”][quote=“PurdueGuy, post:4, topic:175723”]Link with PLM as Controller, switch as Responder[code]

  • Press/hold Set on PLM (PLM blinks and beeps)
  • Press/hold Set on Switch (switch blinks/beeps and PLM beeps - blinking stops)
    [/code][/quote]

I get why you switch -> controller, for the quick update to the Altsteon daemon for updates… but why do you controller -> switch?[/quote]Sorry I missed this earlier.

I think it is with the new I2CS (Insteon v2 Checksum) protocol for Insteon devices, a device must be explicitly linked as a responder (controller -> switch) before it will accept any commands from the controller, aside from “enter_link_mode” commands.

I’m trying to add the LUUP code to a scene such that it will dim a dimmer to a set level. I’ve tried the following:

plmSend(“setloadleveltarget”, “06.c6.9f on 75”)

but it does not work… :’(

I am able to manually send the command through a telnet session with the altsteon_cli running.

Please help!

It anything in Altsteon working from the GUI? Did you add that device to Vera? Can you turn the light on and off from the buttons on the UI?

If so, why not set it using the regular scene mechanism?
If you really want 75 and not 70 or 80, set it to 70, then go to the advanced tab, and change it to 75.

If you are set on doing it via LUUP, how does it fail? Looks like you are trying to use a local PLM function directly, which I don’t think is possible. If you added the device to the GUI, you could use the regular LUUP dimming commands:luup.call_action("urn:upnp-org:serviceId:Dimming1","SetLoadLevelTarget",{ newLoadlevelTarget="<TARGET>" },>DEVICE_ID>)
Change and <DEVICE_ID> to match your desired dim level and setup.