Insteon suddenly unstable...

…and by suddenly I mean about 1/day in the past 3 days of the week that I’ve had this (brand new) vera3 configured. :slight_smile: Here are the symptoms:
(1) the USB1 light where the PLM is plugged in flashes continuously,
(2) Insteon will work as expected for a good while with devices doing their thing, polling working, etc.,
(3) at some point during the day Vera will become unresponsive (e.g. stays in loading data when logging in through portal, no z-wave or x10 events working,
(4) when #3 occurs the z-wave light on vera turns off, the usb1 light flashes intermittently then pauses then continues that way cyclically, led is lit on the PLM … power cycling of vera does not restore anything…
(5) I can reproducibly restore function by (a) unplugging PLM from Vera, (b) unplugging PLM from power, (c) unplugging Vera from power, (d) plugging PLM back to power, (e) plugging PLM into Vera, (f) plugging Vera back into power

Additional background:
(1) All units are on surge protected power so I don’t think anything is fried. PLM beeps on set, etc.
(2) This Vera was one of the units the accidentally upgraded itself to UI6; although downgrade seemed successful, I wonder if it left stray files that are confusing the system
(3) Alerts have some interesting data of the type “system failure” in them examples are “Lighttpd failure”, and CheckLogs: X where X is 5864, 5820, 5784, 5820, 5812 … if I try to view any of them (I assume you do this by clicking on them???) I get an error that says “Unable to retrieve data, please try again later. If the situation persist, please check your internet settings”. My internet settings seem to be fine (what would I be checking for? I have an internet connection and it works ;-))
(4) I’m running firmware 1.5.622 downgraded from UI6 as mentioned previously
(5) Insteon PLM is 2413U V1.B

thanks for any thoughts and help on what might be going on here

Is your PLM on the surge protector?

Uh, surge protection tends to filter out (kill) the insteon powerline signals. Now, if you also have dual-band devices, insteon can still attempt RF communications, but powerline signals can sometimes travel farther. If you have mostly dual-band devices, insteon can still work perfectly fine via RF, but reliability can be increased if powerline signals can also be used.

For maximum reliability, insteon devices (including the plm) should never be put behind surge protection. However, if you live in an area prone to lightning strikes, this is a problem.

Ah, yes, the PLM was behind a surge protector but I was hoping that since it worked there on initial config this meant that I was able to keep it there. (I just hate plugging electronics into unprotected power). I will move it off of the surge protector to see if that changes the overall stability or not.

To be clear, the problem I’m having is not that the Insteon signals are not reaching their targets. Everything has been working great. It’s just that the Vera loses connectivity to the PLM. It’s Vera that seems to be losing it not the PLM…

Of course, everything has stayed stable for the past 2 days now although nothing has changed in the config

If you’re comfortable with linux, looking at dmesg might give you a hint, but that’s something of a long shot.

Examining the plm on a PC using the free Houselinc program might give hints, but that’s another long shot.

It’s nasty and ugly, but I’d probably do a backup, un-pair all insteon devices from the plm, followed by a full factory reset of everything (vera3 and plm). Hopefully, restoring the backup will get most settings back, but you’ll have to re-pair every device with the plm.

thanks – I will give it a go on both fronts… the vera3/plm seem to crash hard about every 2-3 days. I’ve filed a support ticket but no response yet.

I’m ok with Linux… to look at dmesg, I’d need to ssh into the box somehow I guess? I will check around for a procedure to get access to vera, presuming there’s a writeup somewhere on the forum

(right now I’m wrestling with a door install – the original bolt was drilled in at slight upward angle (not by me!) and this, along with overly aggressive amounts of weather stripping, is creating all kinds of alignment problems with the yale and the door, etc… so exciting)

That’s starting to sound like a hardware issue of some type.

I'm ok with Linux... to look at dmesg, I'd need to ssh into the box somehow I guess? I will check around for a procedure to get access to vera, presuming there's a writeup somewhere on the forum

Yaa, if you’re lucky, the ssh password is on the bottom of your vera3.

I have a veralite, and the ssh password is not displayed anywhere. To get access to it you have to go into the web interface, and create and save/download a backup. The backup is a compressed tarball, and the ssh password is in a file like [font=courier]backup/etc/cmh/cmh.conf[/font] – look for the line that starts with [font=courier]Password=[/font].

yes, I’m worried about it being hw related and if not that possibly something weird due to the downleveling of the firmware (I was one of those that accidentally upgraded and sometimes not all traces of the firmware disappear on loads),.

on the ssh stuff, thanks! it would’ve taken me forever to find that – but I grabbed my password using your procedure in about 10sec… I will poke around to have a look at dmesg when I get a chance

Heh, welcome to vera. The vera3/veralite is arguably undocumented, and the forums here are the best source of information. (The wiki is horribly outdated, and the vera folks no longer let people edit it.) Getting the ssh password is just the first hurdle … :stuck_out_tongue:

lol awesome… well, as an old mentor of mine was fond of saying: “if it were easy, it would be easy!”