mwebster
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multi-way switch circuits with PLM and other issues

Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:53 am

I'm having some trouble getting 3 and 4 way switches to operate correctly in the mllighting plugin using the plm (status doesn't track how I expect and ramp rate and on level don't work). The process I've been attempting is as follows:

1 - go through the fun of attempting to remove the links in the plm and switches from previous failed attempts (end up defaulting everything)

2 - Add the first switch in the multi-way circuit in the plugin. Set the local on level and ramp rate for this switch using the plugin control and cycle the power of the switch as instructed. Repeat this process for the remaining switches in the circuit.

3 - Create the group in the plugin and drag each switch into the group setting the "group" on level and ramp rate for each as instructed.

4 - Cross-link the switches manually at the switches by following the instructions in the smarthome docs.

Is this the correct process?

Am I required to wait 4 minutes after step 2 to lock in the local ramp rates and on levels?

The insteon quick start guide mentions linking switches back to the plc for virtual mult-way circuits or secondary switches.

Is this required for the plm and does it apply to the primary switch as well?

If it is required, when should it be done?

The doc says that when you read the PLC database, the device should show up as master. When I read the PLM database, nothing shows up as master (unless I'm supposed to know from the hex codes).


The only way I've been able to get rid of some links after removing devices or groups is to manually remove them in the plugin or defaulting everything at the devices. In doing this, I think the database could get out of synch with the network.

What's the best way to get back to ground zero?

As I add devices, is there a way to backup what I have that has worked to prevent starting from scratch when things get hosed (bunch of dead links created by groups for multi-way circuit that don't function).

Is there a way to delete groups from the database?

It seems that when they are removed, they remain in the database and the next group follows the deleted one in sequence.


A recent update change the ramp rate units to seconds. When adding groups, it's still the original units. A bit confusing.

Could they be one way or the other?


Thanks for any help.
Matt

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Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:49 pm

Great questions, I like to know the answers as well.
Ben Drawbaugh
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mwebster
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Tue Jun 26, 2007 6:26 pm

I guess my issues could be network related or maybe I've done something wrong, but after hours and hours of trying, I can't get a group for a 3 way circuit to function properly. With the plugin I expect to be able to issue an on command for the group in the plugin and see the lights come on to the programmed group on level using the group ramp rate. The status should match on both switches and other devices I've added that don't belong to the group should not go on/off.

I'm out of ideas. I've installed filterlincs and moved the plm to new locations. Deleted the mdb and reinstalled the mllighting plugin and defaulted the devices many times. All devices I've tried work fine when not using the plugin.

Would log files be helpful? If so, which step in the what process should be logged?

Does anyone have a group controlling a 3 way switch circuit working with the plm?

Matt

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Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:25 pm

Matt - I might be able to help.

Its not clear BTW which part is not working for you - the turning on and off using a group command or the ramp rates not setting.

I assume you established the group using the 'drag and drop' method correct?

Have you tried setting the group using the group linking inside the PLM plugin - See attached picture......

Use the same group you used for drag and drop.

Hit the 'START BUTTON' and go to the switch and hold on for 10 seconds.

Try that and report back.

Frank
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mwebster
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Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:49 pm

Frank,

Thanks for replying. I did what you suggested and it worked perfectly for the group! For some reason all of the other devices I've added (that are not included in my first and only drag/drop group) are following the state of the group. I'll default everything again, clean out the database, and start from there to see if the problem persists.

Thanks again for spending the time replying. I wonder if I've missed some documents somewhere? If knowing to do what you suggested is assumed intuitive or inherently logical, I guess I feel dumb. Previous to your reply, I've wasted a bunch of time.

Matt

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Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:05 pm

Oh well you are welcome.

I meant to get back to you earlier but I lost track.

I have worked thru most of the issues with the PLM and believe none of it is/was clear but I think I have a map now to get everything to work. Some of it is convoluted and ass backwards but whatever. I have spent way too many hours at this point but thats the pain of being probably the first guy thru.

In fact that very 'trick' I just showed you - the ability to set the group thru the plugin - is something I questioned weeks ago (to Mario) and he implied it was a 'left over' and they might remove it.

Heres another reason NOT TO remove it.

AFAIK it is the only way to assign a group to an individual (non load bearing) button on a KPL.

Anything else and just post away.

Take care.

Frank

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Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:41 pm

How bout someone update the Wiki with information like this?

Doesn't have to be pretty, just add the information. In time, I or others will help to clean it up.

mwebster
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Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:05 pm

What!? I paid for this, wasted hours of time, and you're asking me and other users to provide basic documentation for it? I'd have no problems adding advanced stuff (if I knew any), but the software should have reasonable documentation when you sell it.

Matt

mwebster
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Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:02 am

Frank,

I defaulted all devices, reset the plm, deleted the mllighting mdb, and reinstalled the mllighting plugin. Next I added one device (a relaylinc), tested it for on/off in the plugin and it worked. Added two more devices (switchlincs for a 3-way) and set the local on level and ramp rates using the plugin, this worked. Then I created a group for the 2 switchlincs that create the 3-way and then used the start button for group 1 on the control tab of the plm window. I held the secondary switch of the 3 way on for 10 seconds, then clicked the start button for group 1 again and held the primary switch of the 3 way for 10 seconds. Although the groups field in the device windows for the devices make sense (relaylinc shows none and switchlincs show 1), the group on/off commands control the relaylinc switch as well as the 3-way. The group on command does correctly control the 3-way using the group on-level and ramp rate, but the status doesn't make sense or track after manual activations.

I did not manually cross-link the switches until after all other actions in the plugin. Wasn't sure whether the plugin would cross-link them for me or not.

Did I miss a step or perform one out of order?

Matt

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Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:37 am

Hey Hey, not to flame here, but I think Smoothtlk was just making a suggestion that helps the community.

I'm not going to disagree on the quality of the documentation and as Cinemar matures and takes on things like Crestron, it will have to get better. At the same time, the technical support (again maybe because it is a smaller community) make it so we get much more real access to the developers.

Typically at this stage of a software company, the community is just as instrumental in carrying the technology forward as the company selling it. While not taking in to consideration everyones financial situation, this software is a pretty good value and the only issue I've really had is the doc. To keep the price lower and not have Cinemar have to hire a team of tech writers to keep up with the constant change and increase prices, I'm happy to contribute to the community while things are maturing.

That is just my perspective and I think Smooth was just making a request to fnkpet that it might help the community. Fnkpet probably knows how to make it work from the "end-user" perspective better than the developers after living in the real world of implementing the PLM.

That sounded soap boxish, but this community generally stays positive and helpful to one another and that is a big reason I stay with it. That and the software is really flexible !!!

Peace!

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DavidL
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Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:56 am

Thank you bigDvette,
Yes, that is what I was suggesting.

The PLM driver is still in beta. Docs will be created in the Wiki. I have asked the developer to start putting some together.

I think it's fair to say that docs with the MainLobby suite are quite a bit better than they ever have been. The incorporation of the Wiki should get it to the next level.

mcascio

Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:43 am

Here's the process users should follow for multi-way switches:

1. Add all lights to MLLighting.
A. Open the MLLighting plugin
B. Click the add button in the lights frame (A window will now open)
C. Select the controller to add the light to (in most cases this will be controller #1)
D.Enter the light address
E. Enter the light alias
F. Enter the light room name
G. Select the number to assign to the light
H. Select the model of the light from the drop down list
E. Click "Add"

2. Link desired lights.
A. Open one of the lights control panel in MLLighting.
(this light will be refered to as light#1 for the remainder of the steps)
B. Click on the "Links" tab at the top
C. Click the "Add" button near the bottom (A window will now open)
D. Select which light to link to from the drop down list
(the selected light will be refered to as light#2 for the remainder of the steps)
E. Leave the "Group/Button" field set to 1
F. Click "OK" ( another window will now open)
G. Select the type of linking you wish to perform
H. Click "OK" ( another window will now open)
I. Select the ramp rate and preset level you would like to use for light#1
J. Click "OK", the plugin will now link light#1 to light #2
J. If you selected 2-way linking another window will open,
select the ramp rate and preset level you would like to use for light#2
K. Click "OK", the plugin will not link light#2 to light#1

At this point manual control of the lights is ready, the lights will go on/off with one another and status will be reported accuratlly in mllighting. However computer control of the lights will not produces the desired results, as in when one light is turned on/off only that one light will go on/off not any linked lights. To keep the lights insync for computer control we recommend placing all the lights in a group.

3. Add lights to group
If you have already added a group for the desired lights skip steps A & B
A. Add the group to mllighting by clicking on the "Add" button in the groups frame of the mllighting plugin
B. Enter the name of the new group (the group is now added)
C. Selecte the desired light from the lights list
D. Drag the light to the desired group ( a window will now open)
E. Select the desired ramp rate and preset level to use with the light for the group
The plugin will now add the light to the group
Repeat steps C-E for each light you wish to add to the group

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Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:59 am

Mario - Not sure If I have exactly followed each step above in the exact order but I think I have thru the 10,000 seperate ways I have tried to link and get stuff working. :roll:

There still seems to be 'weirdness' in getting some of this to work..... (response below it seems that an additional hard link between PLM and device is needed, but I could be wrong

Matt - I think you need two steps more in your links try this

1) for each device (1 relaylinc, 2 swicthlincs) link them 'manualy' using the set method. This is what I do after the plugin link method and it seems to work for me A)Go to device hold 'On' for 10 seconds, B) on PLM then hold for 5 seconds. Then reverse - Hold set for 10 seconds (when released should be blinking) and go to device and hold ON for 5 seconds. It is essentialy then using the non software method to create the links.

2) At that point open try this. First get all 3 devices in an off state (i.e. the swicth is off AND the status of the light in variables is off.

open the PLM log, clear it and manulay turn a light on using one of the swicth links. Take note that you see a new entry in the log an also then go note the variable status of the swicthlinc light and the relay linc.

Assuming you 1) are getting an entry in the PLM and 2) at least the swicthlinc variable status is now = to on then we are almost hhome. We only need to write a rule for when the switchlinc value changes that we update the value of the relay link. I can show you that next but first try this out.

Frank

mcascio

Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:42 pm

I would recommend resetting and testing a pair of multi-way switches and following the steps noted above.

Based on our testing, it provides the most accurate results both at the switch and from PC control.

When turning on/off lights, just use the groupOn/groupOff command and your light bars will stay in sync and there is no need for any automation rules.

Also, there is no need to physically link switches together. Our software automatically does this.

If you do attempt this, you could actually be unlinking them and cause more issues.

mcascio

Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:46 pm

Frank,

The control Tab is not really necessary for anything you are doing. We should really remove this as I think its causing more confusion.
When following the steps, this tab is not needed at all.
fnkpet wrote:Matt - I might be able to help.

Its not clear BTW which part is not working for you - the turning on and off using a group command or the ramp rates not setting.

I assume you established the group using the 'drag and drop' method correct?

Have you tried setting the group using the group linking inside the PLM plugin - See attached picture......

Use the same group you used for drag and drop.

Hit the 'START BUTTON' and go to the switch and hold on for 10 seconds.

Try that and report back.

Frank

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