EZFlora and SmartHome HUB 2014-10-08T12:00:05+00:00

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  • Anonymous
    Post count: 11
    #40451 |

    Justin,

    I have 2 EZFlora devices that I have been successfully using in conjunction with a SmartLinc for years. Unfortunately, my SmartLinc looks to be near death. Although the timers work and all 40 Insteon devices on my system are operating OK, I can no longer access the SmartLinc Menu … which was pretty much the only way I operated EZFlora. While I know I could use the EZFlora utility, I really need an iPad accessable menu driven solution. Although I dread it, it looks like I will be transitioning over to the Insteon HUB, since SmartHome no longer sells the SmartLinc. It appears that connecting the EZFlora to the Insteon HUB is an unbelievable nightmare. My eyes glaze over when I read the directions that one user has posted to the Smarthome Forum:

    http://forum.smarthome.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13123

    A couple questions:

    1. Is it really that difficult to get EZFlora to work in conjunction with the HUB?
    2. Does Smartenit offer an alternative to the HUB that would enable me to easily connect and operate my 40 Insteon devices and my 2 EZFlora devices?
    3. Is there a device that I could run in conjunction with a HUB, but would be dedicated to only operating EZFlora … give me the remote iPad access I need?

    Keeping in mind that I am not a techie, don’t enjoying spending time toying with this mess, and prefer simple, turnkey solutions …. Given your knowledge and expertise … what would you do in handling this transition away from SmartLinc? ….. HUB, ISY, Smartenit device(s) of some type, other, combination?

    Thanks.

    JWillis

    Anonymous
    Post count: 146

    Hi there!

    I understand your frustration completely…there are quite a few customers in the same predicament.

    I was not aware that there was any way to get the EZFlora to work with the Hub as of yet, so I cannot comment on that.

    Our Harmony gateways work wonderfully with the EZFlora and the majority of INSTEON devices on the market, as well as ZigBee devices, X10 devices and some WiFi devices.

    If you’re looking for a gateway to do it all, then I would highly recommend getting our Harmony P2 with ZBPLM option.

    Here’s the link for that – https://smartenit.com/product/harmony-p2/

    Here is the link to all the devices that are currently supported by our iSmartenit app – https://smartenit.com/supported-devices/

    If you’re like to take a test drive of our application and learn more about it, visit this page – http://wiki.smartenit.com/index.php?title=ISmartenit

    I hope that helps,

    Justin

    Anonymous
    Post count: 11

    Justin,

    1. I am very perplexed by your statement “I was not aware that there was any way to get the EZFlora to work with the Hub as of yet, so I cannot comment on that.” If anyone knows whether the EZFlora works with the HUB, you would be that person. I’ve already wasted 3 hours trying to make it happen, I don’t want to waste more time trying to do what is not possible. Are you aware of anyone who has been successful in getting the EZFlora to operate with the HUB?

    2. I have the HUB set up and all my devices are working with exception of the 2 EZFlora. If I were to buy one of your gateways and dedicate it to only operating the EZFlora … can that be accomplished? Will your gateways run in conjunction with the HUB? And if I do this, which of your gateways should I purchase?

    3. Forgive me, but I am really confused as to exactly how your EZFlora utility program works. I have a 2413S connected to my laptop. When I had SmartLinc operating, I was able to use your Utility program on my laptop to access my EZFlora and set max run times. I did it twice in 3 or 4 years. Each time, I recall needing help in getting the program to connect to the EZFlora, but was eventually able to make it happen. Now that I no longer have a SmartLinc, and my HUB is up and running, I can not longer get your Utility Program to work. It simply will not connect to the EZFlora. Now, that would make sense to me if the communications went from Laptop > 2413S > SmartLinc > EzFlora and now my route is Laptop > 2413S > HUB > EzFlora. Is that what is going on? If not, and if I should still be able to connect to the EZFlora, what might I be doing wrong that prevents me from being able to make the connection?

    Thanks.

    JWillis

    Anonymous
    Post count: 192

    3) The Smartenit Utility Suite can use the 2412S or 2413S PLM to directly access the Smartenit module you want to setup. The EZFlora in your case.
    The latest Smartenit Utility Suite is 2.03a. If yours is older you may want to try the latest revision. There maybe additions or bug fixes in it.
    The HUB or Smartlinc should have no bearing in this matter.
    If the utility worked with the old Smartlinc and not with the HUB in use. You have power line or other issues.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 11

    BLH – Thank you. You’re right. It was a com port issue. When I used a different USB slot, the com port numbers changed and I was finally able to get the utility to connect to EZFlora.

    I am still having some trouble trying to get the HUB to run EZFlora. I am over on the SmartHome forum now trying to get some assistance with this issue: http://forum.smarthome.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13123

    Justin – still would like to know from Smartenit whether my efforts are simply a waste of time. Is it possible to get HUB to operate EZflora? At this point, I’d take just having the ability to individually turn each zone on and off. It’s my understanding that another user has gotten this to work via setting up a scene for each Zone. But, I am having some difficulty getting the HUB to establish scenes with EZFlora.

    Again, assuming I never get HUB to work with EZFlora. Can I run a Smartenit Controller, controlling just EZflora, in conjunction with running the HUB? Sometimes, running multiple controllers simultaneously will not work. For example, I know that ISY needs dedicated access to your network. Is that also the case with Smartenit controllers?

    Anonymous
    Post count: 146

    JWillis,

    1) The INSTEON HUB is a Smarthome product…why is it perplexing to you that we cannot comment on the capabilities of another company’s product? If it works with our product or not would be a question for the manufacturer of said product. We have an open Command Set for anyone to interface with our products, but if a company either chooses not to interface with our product or has implemented the Command Set incorrectly, that isn’t something that we’re responsible for. I’m not aware of anyone that has had success with the Hub and the EZFlora working together and I have communicated the need for this to Smarthome many times over the past couple of years, but ultimately their decision to support the EZFlora or not is solely governed by them, not us. I hope that makes sense.

    2) The Utility Suite will work with our EZSrve, EZIComm, a Smarthome PLC (2414U), or the Smarthome PLM (2412U, 2412S, 2413U, and 2413S). It does not interface with the SmartLinc. The connection to the EZFlora goes Laptop > 2413S > EZFlora…there is no Smartlinc in that equation. I’m a bit confused on how you’re trying to interface with the Smartlinc or Hub with the Utility Suite…the Utility Suite will not interface with either the Smartlinc or the Hub. Perhaps a phone call would be better to resolve any misunderstandings? Give me a call – (949) 429-3303 ext 2

    3) You can use our gateway with any other INSTEON controller, as there is no convention in INSTEON that states that there can only be one controller for the network.

    I hope that clears things up, but feel free to reply or give me a call for further clarification.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 11

    Justin,

    1. I don’t know the market share each home automation controller has within the marketplace. I’d have to believe though that SmartLinc and HUB are near the very top. And, your EZFlora product is sold by Smarthome. Plus, it had worked very well with the SmarthHome Smartlinc controller, and you all had provided detailed instructions on how to connect the EZFlora to the SmartLinc.

    Now, Smartlincs are failing, frequently. The SmartLinc product is no longer available for sale. Customers, including many with existing EZFlora (like myself), are being forced to transition to the HUB. So, I’d think you would be in a position to be able to clearly indicate whether EZFlora DOES, or DOES NOT work with the HUB.

    I am trying to get a definitive answer from you because there is conflicting information out there right now. The EZFLora product page on the SmartHome website does indicate that the EZFlora is not compatible. HOWEVER, the very active Smarthome user forum indicates otherwise. There is a detailed post on that forum (link to it above) where a user has indicated 3 extensive, multi-step options to get the HUB and EZFlora to talk with each other. I have done my best to work those options, without success, having wasted at least 10 hours of effort thus far.

    You talk with the technical people at Smarthome. You know your product, and are positioned better than any of the user community to know what’s going on with making EZFlora and HUB compatible. I’m just asking for you to give us a definitive answer as to whether it is currently possible to connect EZFlora to HUB … so that I, and others who follow, will not waste time to try to do what you and/or Smarthome may already know to be technically impossible. Or, if it does not work now, are there plans to make them work together at some point soon? Seems a reasonable customer inquiry, no?

    I have posts on the Smarthome forum, as well as here, looking for anyone who has had success in getting EZFlora and HUB to work together. I am asking you here whether you know if it can be done. I have two calls into SmartHome technical people. They have not called back. I won’t be the last person asking this. And given the failure rate of SmartLincs … I suspect there will be a wave to follow. Posting a definitive answer here could help others down the road.

    2. I did finally get the utility to work. It was user error. I was encountering a com port problem of some type. The USB slot I was using had me connecting through com port 7. For whatever reason, that was not working. When I changed my PLM to another USB slot, I was then able to connect without any difficulty. So, I can now control the EZFlora with the utility. Not ideal, but at least my EZFlora are no longer totally worthless.

    3. As to the use of multiple controllers on a network: “as there is no convention in INSTEON that states that there can only be one controller for the network”. I am not a technical person. I do not have very much knowledge about home automation products, but I can tell you from both personal experience, and from reading extensively in the SmartHome forum …. more often than not, introducing multiple controllers into a home automation environment is just asking for chaos. I did it with both ISY/SmartLinc and HomeLinc/SmartLinc and wound up with a complete and total disaster. And there isn’t a single experienced user on the SmartHome forum who would recommend using anything in conjunction with an ISY. Which is why I ask …

    Is it possible to use a Smartenit Controller to control only my EZFlora, while using a HUB to control all other Insteon devices?

    If I must go the route of buying a Smartenit Controller to get my EZFlora to work, I would have no objections to trying to allow it to control all other Insteon devices as well. But, I don’t want to count on going down that path. I have 36 active Insteon devices, and 6 others sitting in a box awaiting installation. I really don’t want to have to set all that equipment up on yet another Controller, and cross my fingers that it all works, when I currently have the HUB working now. Would just prefer a Smartenit Controller to operate EZFlora and HUB everything else … if I knew it could be done without there being the chaos that I’ve encountered, and read about, with multiple controllers on a single network.

    Thank you for your help here Justin.

    JWillis

    Anonymous
    Post count: 146

    JWillis,

    I understand your frustration and forgive any shortness in my replies, as I try to keep things as concise as possible on the forums.

    I do not know of any way to control the EZFlora with the Hub, if there was any way that I was aware of I would have already made that information available to you and everyone else that have purchased the EZFlora and the Hub. As I mentioned, I have made multiple attempts to request that Smarthome will implement EZFlora control in the Hub but have gotten no where.

    We were given a document from Smarthome on how to make the Smartlinc work with the EZFlora, so I redistributed that to our customers when there was an inquiry. I don’t want to say that it DOES NOT WORK with the Hub, because I’m not aware if they have made any improvements since I last spoke to them and they do not communicate that information as readily as we would hope.

    There is NO issue with having multiple controllers in an INSTEON network…I’ve been working with INSTEON nearly since it’s inception, having previously worked at Smarthome. Any issues would arise from trying to control the same responders from multiple controllers at the same time. Ex. you would not trigger the EZFlora to turn on at sunset from two different controllers. If they’re all doing different things at different times, however, there is no issue.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 11

    Thanks Justin.

    I just now hung up from a conversation with a technical support person (Cole) at SmartHome. They tell me that EZFlora will absolutely NOT work with the HUB. And, they currently have no plans to make it work with the HUB in the future. Strangely, they do not see a need for a controller/irrigation solution. I think that’s a mistake, but who am I to question their strategic direction? That should mean more business headed Smartenit’s way as a result.

    I’m going to take their word as gospel and not spend another minute trying to make HUB and EZFlora talk with each other.

    They also advised that the best alternative was to go the route of buying a Smartenit controller. I am going to read up on those now, including the one you provided links to in a response above. I’ll probably have further questions of you Justin in making a decision on exactly which one is best to purchase, but I’ll open up a new topic if/when I get to that point. I suspect it best to discuss this through the forum. I know there will be a wave of others facing this issue in the future as more SmartLincs come to the end of their useful lives.

    Justin, thank you for your help on this thus far.

    JWillis

    Anonymous
    Post count: 146

    Thank you JWillis,

    Wow, that is not what I was expecting to hear from Smarthome…hopefully Cole was misinformed, as I have had many customers ask about the EZFlora’s integration with the Hub. The EZFlora is the most popular product that Smarthome buys from us, so that would be a really bad decision if that was the case for them.

    But, like you said…more opportunity for customers to realize the advantages of our gateway 🙂

    Feel free to contact me whenever you like, forum, phone, email, etc… I’ll be here.

    Thanks much!

    Anonymous
    Post count: 192

    On the Smarthome sales page for the EZFlora. It says not currently compatible with the Insteon HUB.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 11

    I am sorry to prolong this thread, but someone may have come up with a way to Control EZFlora through the HUB. Can’t you manually connect a Keypad to an EZFlora? I recall reading where users have done that. If so, you can buy and install an 8 Key Keypad for each EZFlora … go through the steps to manually assign a key to each zone … set the Keypad up as a device in the HUB … then set a Scene for each Key of the KeyPad to turn a specific Zone on or off … also set a Schedule for each Scene to automatically turn a Zone on or off at a specific time on a specific day(s) of the week. So, that would give you individual control over each Zone through the HUB, and enable you to set whole system watering cycles.

    Does that sound doable Justin? I think it is.

    But how do you manually assign keys of a keypad to Zones of an EZFlora? Similar to steps in setting up EZFlora in SmartLinc?

    HOWEVER, given all the complexity of buying 2, 8 button keypads, finding somewhere to wire them up, and manually setting all that up … I’d rather spend the few extra bucks on a Smartenit Controller. I suspect your software would provide more functionality than the Keypad route offers, as well.

    I really don’t know how well informed Cole was, or was not. He did take my number, made internal inquiry, and called me back with answers. So, he consulted with others within SmartHome about the issue too. And I agree with you Justin, there are a number of SmartHome/SmartLinc/EZFlora customers who will be facing this problem as their SmartLincs die. And I think we’re just on the front end of that wave.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 146

    Hi again,

    I don’t think that’s actually doable, I could be wrong if they have changed the logic to be able to trigger a Keypad scene remotely…that used to not be possible.

    – Update – I received a reply back that this would not be doable.

    You can definitely link an EZFlora to respond to a KeypadLinc…the only problem is you’d have to trigger the EZFlora from the Keypad itself as there isn’t a way to virtually push the keypad button. I’ve put in a email to Smarthome to see if that has changed, but you’re right, I think it would better to invest that money in a gateway that can do much more for you than having a keypad just to control your EZFlora.

    But, if you have a gardner that needs manual control of the system, a keypadlinc isn’t a bad idea to have in addition.

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