Why do I need to refresh? Failures often 2009-03-20T01:26:51+00:00

HOME Forums Gateways EZSrve Why do I need to refresh? Failures often

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • Anonymous
    Post count: 35
    #40144 |

    I noticed the screen showing my devices had lights at 50%/etc. and this didn’t reflect true state of device.

    When I do refresh half the devices come back with “no status” and I wonder why even refresh is required at all.

    I have 2 rf repeaters plugged into my home along with desktop controller, ezrain, ezserve, ezflora and 4 switchlinc 600w dimmers.

    Isn’t insteon traffic guaranteed reliable? Why would you need to do expensive scan of all devices on network (which mostly times out) when these devices should be communicating constantly with the EzSrve? I would think my EzBridge would always store these messages/state and I wouldn’t need time consuming refresh.

    My browser often hangs returning image after any scan is done. Does EzSrve hang often like this?

    Quite often after hitting a tab in UI I won’t see buttons due to hang. For example when selecting configuration tab it doesn’t show Restart/Reset buttons until I’ve reloaded page like 3 times.

    I am hoping to have home automation key off of events…but I don’t seem to be receiving notification of status changes.

    My EzServe shows all found devices and I can control them fine….just can’t get status back in UI and UI seems to hang often.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 1001

    An Insteon network can be very reliable but it may take some work to clean up the powerline before reaching that point. PC and UPS power supplies are common sources of Insteon signal attenuation. Smarthome makes a FilterLinc which isolates devices from the powerline preventing Insteon signal attenuation. FilterLincs also prevent electrical noise being generated by an appliance from reaching the powerline. Either situation, signal attenuation or signal noise will reduce the reliability of powerlline communication. Because an EZSrve/EZBridge is often plugged into the same circuit as the PC/UPS, it is not uncommon to need a FilterLinc to isolate a PC/UPS from the powerline. Other devices, such as TVs can be sources of signal attenuation, some CFL devices as well as cell phone battery charges can be sources of noise. If you scan through the Smarthome forum you will find many cases where FilterLincs were required to eliminate signal attenuation and/or noise.

    For an EZSrve/EZBridge PLM to receive Group messages from Insteon devices, and therefore be aware of a device status, it is necessary for the EZSrve/EZBridge to be linked as a responder to the particular device. It sounds like some of the devices are not linked as a responder. Without this link you would be able to control a device from EZSrve/EZBridge with Direct commands but Group commands issued by the devices themselves would not be recognized and passed to EZSrve/EZBridge through the PLM. This will also prevent Macros from being triggered by specific device status changes such as On or Off. When getting “no status” for a particular device intermittently it sounds like you have powerline issues that will have to be resolved before you can expect reliable Insteon communication.

    What Browser (and level) are you using? I run with IE 7 on XP SP3, using both an EZSrve and an EZBridge running Ver 01.60 and do not see the hang up or lack of screen buttons you are describing.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 35

    I need to understand the underlying PLM technology better. Can you point me to an ‘approved’ link which discusses underlying plm better. Often I tried to enter insteon device addresses (ezrain, lights) and some respond with database some don’t. Most insteon instructions don’t go deeply into an area which they completely piggy back ontop of.

    I have a 2 story house and tried to install the rf repeaters on 1st and 2nd floor…but they never got in sync and I had to install them both on same floor. Do I need to buy another 2 and install them on other floor which I guess is on separate circuit?

    I am running EzBridge in my wiring closet…It will be tough if I end up having to buy ‘n’ powerlincs. I will start unplugging devices and I guess I can assume I need at least one of these for my quadcore computer which is in there too. I have 8 computers in my home and 20 devices in the wiring closet, I hope I’m not into another round of $$$. I’m already >$500 into insteon equipment…I can’t afford much more before looking at different technologies which would be even more painful.

    What about modern fridge? Hair driers? How many powerlincs to people typically have to buy to clean up their powerline?

    I’m running Firefox 3.0.7 and IE 7…both exhibit same problems. In fact I think my newly flashed EzBridge may be doa. It’s not even returning have the page elements yet I have full internet connectivity in other apps.

    I’ve never had anything like the EzSrve to display notification of events, but I’ve never had any reliability issues with my insteon network until getting my ezbridge back (not saying there’s a correlation just yet, but…). I’ve never had commands not responded to or lights turning on/off at random (like w/x10).

    Anonymous
    Post count: 35

    In prior post when I mention “installing rf repeaters”. They were already installed and plugged in when I got EZSrve back…I was reinstalling them trying to put one on each floor…which didn’t work.

    After doing this (they had to be on same floor/circuit?) I can now auto-add all name/device tuples with no problem…it can even find my ezflora. This is the EXACT same setup/location I had before re-pairing the 2 rf repeaters earlier. Yet then I couldn’t find 3 devices.

    Not sure what’s happening here. Did I need to re-pair the rf repeaters because of my reflashed ezbridge?

    Still seeing major hanging in webserver and I’ve moved it from wiring closet to my office. Some questions still if you may (I thank you for your current help greatly):

    1. Often after adding new device or doing scan ui/browser will hang loading an image file. Perhaps my unit is bad.

    2. Should auto-refresh pick up light state changes or do I need to hit explicit “refresh” button.

    3. Is the reflashed ezbridge any slower for webui than single dongle unit you make?

    Also…my EZServe is listed as controlling all 5 of my devices (4 lights and ezrain).

    All say “Controller of on Unit 01 – Data:00-00-00”

    All device entries are listed as following:

    Responder to 09.39.03 on Unit 01 – Data:FE-1B-00 (diff. data for each though)
    Responder to EZServe on Unit 01 – Data:FE-1B-00

    Additionally my one light because it is paired to a keypad shows an additional responder entry to that keypad address.

    I think links are correct?

    Anonymous
    Post count: 1001

    The only complete definitive information on a PLM would have to come from the Smarthome/Smartlabs Developer subscription. Smarthome considers that information proprietary. I don’t have a subscription so I cannot say for sure all you want to know about would be available. Generally we learn from our own experience or that of others.

    Normally Access Points can communicate with each other between floors. Range on battery devices like the motion sensor or thermostat would be less, perhaps requiring more than two Access Points to cover dead areas but I would have thought Access Points between themselves would be okay. However, there are no absolutes in the business. If something is interfering with the RF signals being generated by the Access Points, more could be needed. I would try different plug locations before buying more Access Points. Mine are in opposite ends of the same floor but are communicating through a few walls. The distance between them would be less if installed on different floors. If the LED on the second access point indicated it was installed on the opposite 120v leg to the first installed Access Point I would think that was enough for cross phase coupling. More could be needed if wireless battery powered RF devices such as the Smarthome motion sensor had problems reaching one of the Access Points.

    I would look at where the PLM is receiving power to start with. A simple test can be done by plugging the PLM into a good 3 wire extension cord and plugging the other end into a different circuit and different room away from where the PC/UPS is currently plugged in. This technique has worked well for several people in determining that the PC/UPS was attenuating the powerline signal, indicating a FilterLinc is necessary. If the computers are installed near each other, the larger FilterLinc can handle 10 amps so perhaps one or two is all that is needed. Of course if the computers are located in physically different locations more could be needed. Unplugging devices is also a good way to determine if they are causing a problem. Generally the extension cord technique is needed for the primary computer/UPS as they are needed to test with.

    Insteon devices turning On/Off by themself is very unusual unless they have been assigned an X10 address. Then noise can easily turn an X10 address On/Off. There have been reported incidents where Insteon devices have been received from the manufacturer with X10 addresses already assigned and even active link records. Several folks on the Smarthome forum strongly recommend doing a factory reset on every new device before it is placed in service.

    PC and UPS power supplies rank high in the signal attenuation category. I have PC/UPSs installed in different locations in the house and have put a FilterLincs at each location. Some TVs (not all for sure) have been a source of problems. I have a flat screen LCD in the bedroom and found it was causing a small problem. Found that one by pulling the plug. Reliability was not bad when it was plugged in, just got a little better when unplugged so I put a FilterLinc on it. Have not heard anyone talk about a refrigerator being the source of a problem. Hair dryer could be considering the type of motor but how often or long would that device be running.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 35

    I’m wasting everybody’s time here. I have a doa unit.

    I just resetted it completely and response is extremely flaky as described earlier.

    It’s plugged into the same switch as my laptop.

    I need to initiate rma but I’m not sure where to start as I have a reflashed ezbridge.

    So let’s say my power line is trashed out and I need some filters…could this possibly cause a hang-y EzSrve in browser? No? Then my unit is bad.

    Thanks much for your help…it’s appreciated. Good night.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 1001

    There should be no reason to have to do anything with the Access Points that I am aware of. Assuming they were correctly installed on opposite 120v legs to begin with. Seems like something has changed though since you can now access devices you were not able to before. Maybe something is not on now that was on before. Or perhaps the opposite. A 240V appliance like an electric hot water heater or electric dryer, etc. can couple the 120v phases so if the Access Points are not actually on opposite 120v legs, other things can create cross phase coupling on a temporary basis.

    Should be no difference between the EZSrve and the EZBridge. The same 01.60 image.bin file runs in both.

    The EZSrve/EZBridge requires a link from the Insteon device as a Controller and the EZSrve/EZBridge as a reponder for it to receive a Group message from a device when the device manually changes state (on/off). The links you describe are going in the opposite direction. Assuming the correct links are present, I think the device view/control screen will reflect the correct status on the next auto refresh. I believe that is why the auto-refresh takes place. Of course you can always request a specific refresh which actually queries the devices (not all devices can be queried in that fashion). I don’t keep track of my devices that way so there could be an exception I am missing.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 35

    I have the older…no longer sold…repeaters. I don’t have the APs.

    Smarthome has an ‘advanced’ manual for it that I never saw before so am reading up.

    Firmware may be the same…but is the EZServe a faster pic? (cpu).

    You sure my links are backwards? They read textually like they should I think. Please re-read because I will swear they are correct.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 1001

    Regarding the links from your earlier post ……

    Also…my EZServe is listed as controlling all 5 of my devices (4 lights and ezrain).

    All say “Controller of on Unit 01 – Data:00-00-00”

    All device entries are listed as following:

    Responder to 09.39.03 on Unit 01 – Data:FE-1B-00 (diff. data for each though)
    Responder to EZServe on Unit 01 – Data:FE-1B-00

    You don’t mention what the EZBridge has but the post says the EZSrve is listed as controlling all 5 devices. All device entries are listed as “Responder to”.

    Nothing wrong with those links as far as allowing the EZSrve to control the responder devices. Since EZSrve is controlling those devices the device status change originates at the EZSrve and all is well.

    What I thought you were looking for was when you press an On or Off paddle on the switch itself, EZSrve device status is not updated. For the SwitchLinc to send a Group message to EZSrve, the SwitchLinc device must have a “Controller of” link record that points to EZSrve, and EZSrve must have a “Responder to” link record containing the SwitchLinc address. Now when the On or Off paddle is pressed, the SwitchLinc will send a Group message to EZSrve which EZSrve will receive and process because it has a “Responder to” link record. I think this will update the device status.

    I don’t know if there is a different processor (or the same processor being clocked at a different speed). I have both an EZSrve and an EZBridge and see no visible difference in response speeds.

    I just tested the theory about the Device View/Control screen being updated if the device had a Controller of link and the EZSrve had a Responder to link record. Does not work. It is documented that X10 device status is not updated on that screen. Looks like Insteon devices are not either. You will have to click on the REFRESH button to get the current status.

    EDIT: if you want a Macro to trigger from a SwitchLinc paddle press you will need the link records I described above.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 35

    Is this an EZSrve webserver bug or an insteon limitation?

    So is it possible in any fashion to receive events from insteon devices without expensive polling? It sounds like no.

    I’ll admit that my primary concern is control…not monitoring. But I thought this would be possible.

    Now I’m wondering what the point of auto-refresh in web ui is…this must be possible somehow.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 1001

    The PLM (internal and external) has a Monitor mode that when activated would pass on Insteon message traffic to the application. This feature turned out not to be reliable. It is only an assumption but without a reliable way to independently Monitor powerline traffic the Device View/Control function would not be accurate so it was decided not to implement that function at all.

    EZServ/EZBridge Timers and Macros issued by the respective device which turn on/off Insteon devices are reflected in the device status on the Device View/Control screen. Example, a Timer turns on an ICON switch in my case (similar to a SwitchLinc without the variable ramp rate feature). When the Timer fires, the ICON switch is turned on and the device status on the Device View/Control screen indicates the ICON switch is On. A second Timer turns off the ICON switch a few minutes later and the device status on the Device View/Control screen indicates the ICON switch is Off.

    I coded a Macro to fire whenever I press the On paddle of the ICON switch. The Macro Action turns on a LampLinc. When I press the ICON On paddle the LampLinc turns On and the Device View/Control screen shows the LampLinc as On. A second Macro fires when I press the ICON Off paddle, with an Action that turns the LampLinc Off. When I press the ICON Off paddle, the LampLinc turns Off and the Device View/Control screen indicates the LampLinc is Off.

    For Insteon devices which EZSrve/EZBridge turns On/Off with a Timer, Macro or On/Off Icon press on the Device View/Control screen, the device status reflects that activity. It does not reflect activity it did not initiate unless the REFRESH button is pressed.

    For EZSrve/EZBridge to be aware of the ICON paddle press, either On or Off to activate a Macro, the link I described in an earlier post must be present.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 35

    This was the whole reason I switched to Insteon…reliability. It’s disturbing that you can’t reliably recieve events from insteon devices….like upcoming motion/floods.

    So if I won’t get events from insteon motion sensors…what’s the point?

    I can live without events from lightswitches…but motion detectors? No.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 1001

    Sorry, clearly I have not been using the correct words after reading your last post. Create a controller link between the device you want to monitor and the EZSrve/EZBridge as a responder. With this you can trigger a macro from the device on/off action. Insteon devices do not send messages on the powerline unless they are linked to something. Without a link there is no message to monitor. You can press the SwitchLinc paddle On/Off and it will control whatever local load is connected to the SwitchLinc. However, the SwitchLinc does not send any message on the powerline unless the SwitchLinc is a Controller (contains a Controller of link record). This is not unique to a SwitchLinc. Motion Sensors, ICON switches, ToggleLincs, RemoteLincs, and on and on do not send Group messages (the method Insteon hardware devices communicate with each other) unless and until they have a Controller of link definition and responder devices do not react to the controller messages unless they have a Responder to link record. A Group message sequence is made up of two Insteon messages. The second message is directed to a specific responder device and that responder device address is contained in a Controller of link record. For every device that is to be notified of the SwitchLinc paddle press, a unique Controller of link record is required containing the Insteon address of the responder.

    There is an Insteon Details document in the public domain section of the SmartLabs web site. Perhaps becoming familiar with the general Insteon architecture and the requirement to link Insteon devices together will help in understanding the requirements of Insteon hardware. The above has nothing to do with EZSrve or EZBridge. HouseLinc2 (Smarthomes PC based home automation software), PowerHome2 (another very popular PC based home automation software) have the same requirements. Insteon hardware devices send Group message sequences only to devices that have been linked as a responder.

    X10 devices are assigned a House/Unit code and connected to the powerline. They blindly send those codes and any device that happens to receive it can react to it. Very easy and very unreliable because one never knows what device(s) if any has received the X10 messages. With Insteon, controllers and responders are linked together, allowing the responder device to ACK messages that are directed to it which also allows the controller to repeat a message for which no ACK is received. More complex to establish, more complex to administer, but has the capability to be extremely reliable. Hope this helps clarify Insteon hardware requirements.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 35

    I will spend a few hours going thru these other documents. I am definitely missing certain pieces of information.

    So if I’m missing some link records to get event notification…this doesn’t explain your earlier statement about event notifications being unreliable and this feature being turned off.

    Given erratic behaviour of EZSrve unit though (not refreshing all page elements) I think I have other problems though. I called SHN and need to talk to somebody who’s back on wed. My unit s/be more responsive rep said.

    Thanks again man…you’ve been an awesome help.

    Anonymous
    Post count: 1001

    SwitchLinc A and SwitchLinc B are cross linked to form a virtual 3 way circuit. With the two devices cross linked pressing SwitchLinc A On paddle causes A to send a Group message to SwitchLinc B telling B to turn On. Same is true in the opposite direction. Pressing SwitchLinc B On paddle causes B to send a Group message to SwitchLinc A telling A to turn On.

    SwitchLinc C does not react to messages from SwitchLinc A or SwitchLinc B because it has not been linked to either device. This is standard Insteon architecture and has been from the beginning of Insteon.

    Now replace SwitchLinc C with a PLM associated with an EZBridge or EZSrve. The PLM does not react to messages from SwitchLinc A or SwitchLinc B because it has not been linked to either device. Now turn on Monitor mode in the PLM. In theory the PLM would react to messages from SwitchLinc A and/or SwitchLinc B without being linked to either A or B. This would allow the application connected to the PLM to be aware of activity on SwitchLinc A and/or SwitchLinc B without being linked to either device. The Monitor feature has proven not to react to messages from SwitchLinc A and/or SwitchLinc B all the time making the Monitor feature unreliable.

    The solution that all products are using is to require the PLM to be linked to any device that the PLM will react to. This makes the PLM link requirement the same as any other Insteon device. Just as SwitchLinc C would not react to messages by SwitchLinc A or SwitchLinc B without having a link to A and B, the PLM requires a link to each device it is going to react to. The PLM Monitor mode was a nice idea that did not work in the real world so all applications including EZSrve/EZBridge require the link that was required before the Monitor mode idea came along. With these links in place EZSrve/EZBridge Macros can be triggered by actions of SwitchLinc A and SwitchLinc B providing the control you are looking for.

    For a Motion Sensor example, you could link the Motion Sensor to SwitchLinc C if you want the Motion Sensor to have direct control of another Insteon device. Or you can link the Motion Sensor to the EZSrve/EZBridge PLM in which case Macros could be triggered to control SwitchLinc C. You can even do both. Have the Motion Sensor linked to SwitchLinc C so the Motion Sensor turns on C directly and have the Motion Sensor linked to the PLM so that EZSrve/EZBridge could trigger a Macro with a time delay action that turns off SwitchLinc C 10 minutes later.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.