Installing Alsteon from a Mac to control X10 devices only

So I have spent literally DAYS reading entries from these forums. I have a collection of 6 z-wave devices, formerly controlled via 2 HA09 Intermatic controllers, now on a refurbished Vera2 that I just bought. I also have a 2413U which will not talk to my X10 devices on Vera2, 2 TM751’s operating on B and C which control about 8 devices total, Two X10 remotes (HR12A) and an 8-year- old security system (PS561) that operates on the A band. I do not own any Insteon devices except the 2413U, and don’t plan to. All future purchases will be Zwave. The X10 system works flawlessly on its own, as does the Vera2/Z-wave setup. I’m not concerned about connecting the security system. When it dies, it will be replaced with a z-wave.

I have several specific questions that I don’t see answered anywhere:

  1. Will Cyberduck or Fugu on a Mac work as the SCP to transfer the file to the Vera?
    I only have a Mac Mini running OS 10.8.3, I am a grad student and I spent my only extra $$$ on the Vera2. If anyone else has done this, I’d be grateful for help or a pointer tho the right thread.

  2. Can this be learned quickly?
    My computer programming skills consist of a Basic programming course in the 80’s (!). I have read the Alsteon Instructions text file. I am currently on a school holiday, so I could spend a LOT of time on this over the next few weeks, but beyond that, I am not training to be a programmer. I was able to add those 2 HA09 controllers to the system, though, so I’m feeling lucky.

  3. Do I have to transfer all of the Insteon files if I only want X10 capability? If not, which specific files do I need from the download?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

I have found a program called RBrowser that looks like it will work. Has anyone used it?

If you are not cli averse you can just use the ssh, scp, and sftp programs that come with Mac OS X. You just need to start a terminal session. I believe it is in the Utilities folder under the Applications folder.

You shouldn’t need to be much of a developer to install Altsteon, but there is currently no UI support for X10 in Altsteon. So, you would want to learn how to write some LUA and build plugins for the Vera. From there, you can probably get Altsteon to speak to your X10 devices. However, I have not done anything with X10 and the Insteon gear, so YMMV.

@fba…i did manage to get that going from a terminal session on my Mac. I was not successful in getting anything transferred to the Vera 2, however. A few nights later, I decided to just use what the Vera came with, start adding devices, and see what happened. I activated the Insteon area in mios and had no trouble getting Vera to recognize the 2413U. So far it has recognized all of my appliance and lamp modules (I am in a rental, so I only use plug in modules and socket rockets). There is a delay of 2-3 seconds compared to the zwave devices on my system, so the X10 lights are always the last ones on/off. It doesn’t bother me, and my DH mostly likes the “all lghts on/off” control from his iPhone, so this will work for now. I do have a few items, such as my front porch light, controlled by hawkeye motion sensors that separate from the X10 security system. I still cannot get Vera to recognize them. Other than that, I am happy with the set up.

Some delay in activity on your X-10 devices is to be expected. The X-10 protocol actually relies on there being some delay. How long that delay is depends on what the Vera guys implemented.

As for the hawkeyes, I don’t think I would hold my breath for those working on the native Insteon support. In the experiments I did with that native code, it didn’t seem to parse any inbound messages. Even in Altsteon, the support for X-10 right now is very minimal, and the hawkeyes wouldn’t work. But, I hope to change that in the next couple of months.

quick question - I keep seeing alsteon mentioned on these boards but I cant figure out what it is… I know what Insteon is but what is Alsteon?

Altsteon in an alternative implementation of Insteon for Vera (ALTernate inSTEON).
It was developed mostly by forum user fba, and has since been open-sourced and updated.,8910.msg58036.html#msg58036,14598.0.html

Oh cool. Is it required if I want to use i seton gear with a Vera lite? And if not then what are the advantages of using it over standard insteon?

Altsteon is not required to use some Insteon devices (switches/dimmers).

Native Insteon support in Vera is extremely limited. It is only 1-way (meaning Vera is not notified when a light is turned on manually). Altsteon provides 2-way support.

Also, not every Insteon device is supported in Vera natively, while many/most are supported with Altsteon.

@latcatin - just noticed your question about RBrowser. I’ve been using it ever since I started developing plug-ins for Vera and I find it invaluable. Highly recommended for Mac users!