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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the impending release of mcontrol for vista Ive been eyeing finally starting my home automation system (being completly controlled by mcontrol and my media server running vista). At first it would consist of a couple dimmers and replacing my thermostat but I would like to expand it over time.


From my research it seems insteon has the better products (and cheaper) right now but zwave is still a work in progress but they have more partners (so would be more likely to have more stuff long term). But I see a few zwave thermostat's only (and replace just my thermostat which i think I could do but thats one thing I wasnt sure if you could just replace your thermostat and i dont see anything like that for insteon at all)


I really would like to pick a version and was wondering what other people have used with mcontrol and what works well and what doesnt.


Ive asked a similar question at embeddedautomations forums but there is very little activity there.
 

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I just got started using mControl and Insteon, right now I'm not really happy with the integration. I'm seeing where lights will turn on but mControl isn't recognizing it, I'm also seeing inconsistent performance of my macros.


Granted I've only been using it a week, I have 5 switches, and 3 rf links and haven't really got the kinks worked out.


The one kink I am having is it sounds like for macros I need to have a 2 second delay between insteon commands in a macro so the controller has time to get the response back, 2 seconds seems like an eternity. So to turn on two lights, it's turn on light 1, delay, turn on light 2, I'm curious if zwave has this same limitation in mcontrol.
 

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Did you link all devices to and from the PLC (both ways)? If not, mcontrol won't get proper status updates. Just like linking two insteon switches, you need to first link them one way then do the same at the other switch.
 

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This is just the status from within mcontrol. So if I use mcontrol to turn on a light, if mcontrol gets the right signal back from the light, mcontrol should see the light as on. Right now it is not happening consistently. It may be were I have the plc plugged in to.


As for pressing a switch and having mcontrol know about it, yes I know I need to link them but so far have had no luck. I get the switch to blink (in linking mode) when I go back to the plc the led is on steady I hold it for 3-5 seconds and nothing changes on the plc or switch. I've downloaded timecoreapp 1.06 like they said but I think that is an old one, I need to figure out how to get the latest timercoreapp on there as I have ver 2.1 of the plc I think.
 

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Even if you control the light from within mcontrol, you still need to ensure its linked 2-ways (from the plc to the switch and from the switch back to the plc).


You might want to try downloading the 30 day trial of PowerHome. It really helps simplify managing/setting up your insteon devices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i do think the insteon dimmers are far better than anything zwave has atm but one thing i want to know is how well their thermostats work (ive seen a few and it looks like they only offer the whole package with what im guessing is a control box vs just the actual thermosdat)
 

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My setup is working much better after a tweak last night. I moved the plc over to another outlet and I got much better response and only a few "nacks" all my performance was much better I didn't even have to add any delays to my macros. The oulet I had the plc plugged into had an 600 watt amplifier and I know the line has all my a/v equipment so I'm guessing something along it was causing the issue.


I was able to get the manual linking to work, I reset the plc, and redownloaded the timercoreapp. But what it did to take was I needed to hold the set button down for around 10seconds to get the switch to be linked vs. the 3-5 seconds listed in the documentation.


As for mcontrol knowing about the status of the switches, mcontrol as I understand it sets up a link from the plc to the switch, that should be all that is needed for mcontrol to know about the switch if i'm initiating the command from mcontrol. mcontrol should be able to read the response of the switch to the command. From what I understood the two way linking is only needed if you want mcontrol to know about switch presses done on the switch. That is the way I understood it.


But I can definately see getting some sort of software to start managing links.


Also an insteon thermostat would be nice. I'm interested to see when the Carrier one is coming out. The nice thing about mcontrol is you could use one of the existing zwave thermostats. I think HAI is coming out with one, not sure when.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i know but i kinda would rather pick one and make the whole house insteon or zwave.... so i would only have to worry about one type of devices and go from there.


is carrier coming out with an insteon or zwave version thermostat? i have a carrier hvac now and would likely make an easy transition.
 

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Thermostats for either technology should be pretty straight forward as far as installation goes.


I have a RCS TZ-16 (Z-Wave enabled) thermostat and while I did have to put a control box between my furnace and the wall unit (using the existing thermostat wiring) it only took about half an hour to hook-up.


I would imagine that they wouldn't get much more complicated than that.
 

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I have a Camstat Zwave thermostat. It requires 24v at to the thermostat and some people don't have enough wires to power it. I did and have been very happy with it. It does make an annoying beep when being changed though.
 

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The more I think about it, I'll probably go hard wired for thermostat, just seems like a better idea.
 
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