ISY-99i/ISY-26 INSTEON:Frequently Asked Questions

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Revision as of 03:43, 9 July 2007 by Sfhutchi (talk | contribs)
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Is there a way to find all my Insteon devices?

There is an option to add existing links from each device you add. The "Add devices found in links" option does crawl (spider) the network. It adds all the devices it finds in those links, but does not add the actual links and scenes in ISY. Therefore if you link a light that is linked to a keypad, which is linked to another light etc., then all those devices will be added to ISY. So if you start with one of your devices that has lots of links like a KeypadLinc you will get most of your devices just with that one device add, especially if you have an "all lights" scene.

On an existing Insteon setup do I need to start over when I first get my ISY?

Collecting all the scene links by spidering the Insteon network is quite challenging so at this time there is no option to get all your old scene links. You will have to start fresh with your scenes but the ISY makes it simple enough to get it done.

So I just got a ISY and know I will have to start over the programming for my existing Insteon setup. When I start over do I need to reset all my devices first to clear everything?

You do not need to reset your devices first, in fact if you do, you won't be able to crawl (spider) the network because there will be no links to find devices with. Having said that, if you don't reset your devices, they will operate (or partially operate) until the links get overwritten by linking devices in ISY. Therefore, when you first get your ISY, I would suggest the following:

Start Linking, with "Add Devices in links"
When all of your devices have been added to ISY, run "Restore Devices".
- As you know, this reprograms the devices to match the settings in ISY. If you have no groups in ISY, basically all but the PLM links will be deleted in the devices, essentially resetting them.
Do a "Backup ISY" so you have the option of starting fresh again at some point in the future without having to re-link all your devices.
You can now start reprogramming your network using ISY
You can run "Restore Devices" at anytime, but it is faster to run it right after you have initially linked your devices because it only has to delete links, which is much faster than writing out whole links.

I wish I had thought of the saving my clean slate before I got all mine reprogrammed. What steps should I take if I want to redo everything?

It's not really necessary, there is some time/risk involved to do this, and is an alternative to deleting all of your scenes (especially if you have a lot of scenes), but if you're one of those guys that just has to have it all here are the steps to go thru it all over again.

First create a fresh backup_orignal of your latest ISY data, with "Backup ISY"
Do a "Factory Reset" from the ISY command shell. See Advanced Configuration Guide for details and risks
Start Linking, with "Add Devices in links"
When all of your devices have been added to ISY, run "Restore Devices".
- As you know, this reprograms the devices to match the settings in ISY. If you have no groups in ISY, basically all but the PLM links will be deleted in the devices, essentially resetting them.
Do a "Backup ISY" so you have the backup_clean option of starting fresh again at some point in the future without having to re-link all your devices.
Bring back the backup_orignal with all your ISY programming, with "Restore ISY"
Finally to relink all your devices, do a "Restore Devices"

I already have the ISY programmed but some of my devices have lost their way; how can I fix them?

You will need to crawl (spider) your Insteon network with the all the ISY data which can take some time. Launching the "Restore Devices" within the ISY will casue it go thru all your devices and update all the scene links. This is useful to make sure all the links are correct. Here is where you will find it: File (pull-down) --> Restore Devices (menu selection)

What do I do if the ISY locks up?

All though it does not happen often but when it does, unplug the ISY and let it sit for a few minutes then plug it back in. On a typical startup the lights do a bunch of different blinking and then the Insteon Power Line Modem will flash a bunch as the ISY updates the status of all the linked devices. See Note Below

Should any of the 4 LED indicators be illuminated solid?

No. LEDs are only illuminated if; Transmitting to PLM (TX), Receiving from PLM (RX), Writing to Memory (MEM), System error (Error)! If all 4 LEDs are illuminated solid then the ISY is most likely locked up and will need to be power cycled according to the directions in the previous question.

How do I mount my ISY in my structured media panel?

I found that two 3 inch long strips double sided Velcro work just fine. I usually stick the soft fuzzy side to the device, and the rough hook side to the mounting spot that way if you remove the device to work with it the fuzzy Velcro does not scratch anything.

What is a ISY scene?

Scenes are simply a group of devices. A scene is equal to a group in Insteon vernacular. Also a scene is as small as two devices linked together and the more links you add the bigger the scene gets. I think there is a desire to think that just linking two devices is just a link and this is correct but it is still a scene. So if you want to create a link between two devices you will have to create a scene to do it.

What is the best way to create a scene?

Start with adding all your responding devices first. Then add your controlling devices last. This consolidates the longest busy times to just the last few devices you add to the scene.

What can I do when not all my devices are responding correctly?

The Insteon Power Line Modem is the main connection between your ISY and Insteon network. If you’re having issues that not all devices responding you may need to try connecting PLM to another location or try relocating your SignaLincs. Also it may help not to connect the Wall-wart (power transformer) to the PLM pass-thru plug. The ISY has very little to do with the quality of communication on the Insteon network.

Is there an offset for sunrise or sunset timers; how do I use it?

There is support for offset time (in minutes) for Sunrise and Sunset. If you want a schedule for 1.5 hours before Sunrise, make the offset -90. For any positive offset, leave out the sign. In the Schedule Configuration there is a Spin Box that if you click the little up and down arrows you will see the numbers change to positive and negative numbers.

Is there a way I can control the lights on a KeypadLinc with Insteon commands?

If the KeypadLinc button is part of a scene, the lights will turn on/off either from the GUI (when issuing a scene/group command) or by other controllers linked to it. ISY does not work as a pass through for Insteon commands; you can either use our GUI to perform what you need or our [soon to be release] SDKs. In short, no longer do you have to care about the details of Insteon commands; we take care of all of it in ISY. And, finally, you can even group KeypadLinc buttons (mutual exclusivity) using our GUI.

Is the ISY compatible with J2ME; what do I need to access my ISY?

As a matter of fact, our UDMobile client is based on J2ME (IBM Websphere Micro Environment Runtime = WEME). The only reason that we do not actively advertise our UDMobile client is that we have had a hard time figuring out where our clients can buy the license for WEME. The price for the license is $5.99 and we were told that users can buy it directly from Handango but it is not listed.
If you, or anyone else for that matter, is willing to take the responsibility for acquiring a license for WEME, you can download our UDMobile client: Installation is pretty straight forward:

Copy the contents of the zip file into an SD card
Insert the SD card into your Pocket PC
Use File Explorer and go to your /SD Card/UDClient or /Storage Card/UDClient directory
If your SD directory is called SD Card, then click on UDMSD
If your SD directory is called Storage Card, then click on UDMStorage

My PDA Phone runs Windows Mobile 2003 SE; what do I need to access my ISY?

You can use; download into a directory, and run setup.bat; this will install the app using ActiveSynch. Make sure you install to the device and not the SD Card.

I registered my ISY on you website but did not get a confirmation email; what shall I do?

Registration is immediate and you should receive your userid/pwd for AutoUpdate immediately. If you do not receive an email with-in lets say 15 minutes just send us an email to and we can check in our "dead letter" queue. We'll email you the AutoUpdate credentials ASAP so you can get the update downloaded.

I do have a question regarding the EZRain unit. After linking, I see groups 1-8, representing the valves 1-8, but do not see any groups for the four EZRain Zone groups (1-4). I had to set up 6 schedules to turn on each of the valves, with each start time following 30 min later and the a final schedule to turn off the last valve 30 min later. It works, but it would be a lot better if you were able to just set up a start schedule for one of the EZRain Zone programs. Did I mess up the linking or is there a way to do this?

As far as EZRain, you have not messed anything up. We are still a bit ambivalent as to what should be done with "not purely" insteon features such as Sprinkler Zones, number of zones, programming zones, etc. On the one hand, that would make ISY a great companion for EZRain but on the other it would make ISY manufacturer dependent. So, please do bear with us till we figure out what's the best way to go. And, thanks so very much for the feedback since it's only the feedbacks which prod us to one direction vs. the other.


Product Comparison




Hardware Freescale 5270 running at 100Mhz 512K flash 2MB RAM 2 Serial Ports: one for communications with PLM and one with a Shell which allows administrative functions SD Card Module: Up to 256MB holds a regular FAT file system QSPI, I2C, PWM, and GPIO input outputs available Real Time Clock on board

Why do you have so little flash and RAM? Because we do not need more. We have a multi-tasked web server with an SD based file-system on board. With the current configuration, we still have around 75K of free space left on the flash and 300K on the RAM.

OS A derivative of uCOS runs in less than 170K. I shall not discuss the benefits of uCOS (vs. ThreadX) simply because performing a copy/paste does not benefit this discussion.

Firmware HTTP Stack + Web Server SOAP 1.1/1.2 Stack UPnP Stack driven by Publish/Subscribe (DPWS to be available by end of 2007) D2D Stack (triggering events on local/remote devices) INSTEON driver - low level driver for communications with INSTEON X10 driver - to be available by early August (2007) SMS/Pager/Email drivers Scheduler with sunrise/sunset Cryptography (3 levels: none, 1. Digital Signatures Only, 2. Digital Signatures with Encryption, and 3. RSA). Default is 2 NTP client is available but disabled

Software 1. Java client based on subscriptions. No polling is ever done from the client to ISY. Upon "any" state change, the clients are notified. 2. JSDK: our Java SDK to develop an ISY client in a matter of days. One can even upload files to ISY and have it served up. 3. MCE Client for Microsoft Media Center which allows you to control ISY using MCE remote control 4. UDMobile client for Windows Mobile 5.0 platforms based on IBM J9 5. Web Services (SOAP 1.2) ... a little behind on the documentation

Support 90% of the features in ISY are based on the feedback we receive from our customers. Availability of updates are notified to clients upon which time an upgrade can be performed automatically from within the client and without having to "download" from a website and install.

In case of defective units, a new unit is shipped out within a day and the cost of returning the defective one is on us.