PowerLinc 2412U (PLM) Support

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Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:53 am
matt (support) offline
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PowerLinc 2412U (PLM) Support

UPDATE (NEWER): The lockup problem happens very rarely and may be related to X10 traffic. I haven't heard of any INSTEON-only installations seeing the lockup. Also note we've added some code to detect a soft lockup which Indigo can restore by reconnecting to the PowerLinc. I've still seen a hard lockup which is impossible for Indigo to recover from (requires a physical unplug), but it is very rare and possibly related to X10 traffic.

UPDATE: I've encountered a couple of PLM freezes that require an unplug of the PLM to reset. Note I've only seen this problem twice after testing the 2412U for weeks, so it doesn't happen often. But I consider this to be a serious issue since it requires a physical unplug of the PLM which may not be possible for second homes, etc. We are working with Smartlabs on resolving or a workaround for this issue.

The public beta of Indigo 4.1.0, which now supports the PowerLinc 2412U, is now available (download the DMG here).

The PowerLinc 2412U is like a newer version of the 2414U with the exception that it does NOT have an internal clock or ability to run standalone mode. If you need to shutdown or put your Indigo Mac to sleep, then the older 2414U is still the correct interface for you.

But if you have a Mac you leave on to run Indigo, then it looks like the 2412U will be a good and faster replacement for the 2414U. Based on our internal test the 2412U is significantly faster than the 2414U. We have seen full link syncs go from 15 minutes to 5 minutes, and from 38 minutes to 14 minutes. The exact speed increase depends on several factors: how reliable your INSTEON network is, what types of modules you have, etc. Regardless, I think anyone that switches to the 2412U will see a good speed increase. Sending direct commands (turn on, turn off, set brightness, change setpoints, etc.) will also typically execute faster than on the 2414U.

As an added bonus, Indigo 4.1 also syncs links faster for 2414U users. I saw full syncs go from 38 minutes to 30 minutes. Not as dramatic as upgrading to the 2412U, but still a good improvement.

Norm at MacHomeStore.com has some 2412Us (UPDATE: Norm isn't shipping the 2412U until we can further research the lockup problem above) in stock and ready to ship out. Note Indigo requires a minimum PowerLinc 2412U firmware version of 8.5 or higher (which is what MacHomeStore.com has), so if you have an older one you might have to get it swapped out for Indigo compatibility.

In future betas of 4.1 we hope to take advantage of 2412U capabilities (the 2nd rev of the INSTEON engine) which will make some additional functionality available on a few newer INSTEON modules (like the motion sensor, keypadlinc relay). We'll have more details on this over the next few weeks.

Lastly, note this is still beta quality. The implementation of adding support for the PowerLinc 2412U was non-trivial. Just about the only thing it shares in common with its older ancestor (the 2414U) is the name. Therefore, I would appreciate beta feedback and bug reports, along with your patience as we work through any issues that might come up.
Last edited by matt (support) on Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:58 am
matt (support) offline
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Re: PowerLinc 2412U (PLM) Support

The PowerLinc 2412U internally uses an FTDI USB to RS232 chip. For Indigo use you will want the VCP driver available here:

http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm

Once installed you will see an additional Serial Port name in the ports popup list. It will be named something like: usbserial-A6004tjb.

I think that the driver comes installed on OS X 10.5 (update: I'm wrong -- they aren't), but it wouldn't hurt to make sure you have the latest version downloaded and installed.
Last edited by matt (support) on Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posted on
Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:14 pm
roundy offline
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Just an FYI, on my OS X Server 10.5.7 system, this driver is not installed by default. At first I thought Indigo 4.1b1 was broken or that my 2412U was not at version 8.5. Luckily I looked here and found this post.

I've been waiting for 4.1b1 for a couple of weeks now. You don't know how much you miss motion sensors until they don't work. And I was really upset when 4.1b1 wouldn't connect to the 2412U on first install.

Luckily, everything is ok now. You may want to think about bundling the drivers with the 4.1b1 install program, if you can. This is a minor thing, but something new with Indigo and the Powerlinc modem, so I'm sure a lot of people are going to be confused by it. I mean having to download drivers for the 2412U.

Thanks! Now I can finally get my house back in order. :D

Thomas

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Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:40 pm
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Thanks for the info. I thought I had read on a forum somewhere that the FTDI driver got included with 10.5, but apparently that was wrong (or I misread it). We'll look into bundling the driver or having our installer install it for sure.

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Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:07 pm
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I edited the original post above -- looks like we have a lockup problem. If you already have a 2412U and are able to continue testing it, then please do so. Just be aware of the fact that the lockup can occur, although it appears to happen very infrequently. If you experience the lockup (no INSTEON commands will be sent), then please let us know. Unplugging the 2412U from the power outlet and plugging it back in appears to get it working again.

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Posted on
Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:33 am
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I finally got around to trying out 2412. Every 15 minutes I run an AppleScript to update the lights on a KPL and make a bunch of calls like this:       
Code: Select all
if (on state of device "Window Light" = true) then
   send insteon group instnTurnOn using index 16
else
   send insteon group instnTurnOff using index 16
end if

I sometimes see, every forth or fifth time (but no pattern)

Code: Select all
2009-07-15 08:15:05   Error   resending previous command (failure response)
2009-07-15 08:15:05   Error   unknown command bytes received 62 00 (ignoring)
2009-07-15 08:15:12   Error   resending previous command (failure response)
2009-07-15 08:15:13   Error   unknown command bytes received 62 00 (ignoring)

I've also seen, less frequently and not always at the same time

Code: Select all
2009-07-15 04:45:06   PowerLinc   Unexpected command 02 62 (flushing)

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Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:31 am
jay (support) offline
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CharlieParker wrote:
I finally got around to trying out 2412. Every 15 minutes I run an AppleScript to update the lights on a KPL and make a bunch of calls like this:       
Code: Select all
if (on state of device "Window Light" = true) then
   send insteon group instnTurnOn using index 16
else
   send insteon group instnTurnOff using index 16
end if

I sometimes see, every forth or fifth time (but no pattern)

Code: Select all
2009-07-15 08:15:05   Error   resending previous command (failure response)
2009-07-15 08:15:05   Error   unknown command bytes received 62 00 (ignoring)
2009-07-15 08:15:12   Error   resending previous command (failure response)
2009-07-15 08:15:13   Error   unknown command bytes received 62 00 (ignoring)

I've also seen, less frequently and not always at the same time

Code: Select all
2009-07-15 04:45:06   PowerLinc   Unexpected command 02 62 (flushing)


Thanks for the info. How many of those are you sending every 15 minutes? It looks like there are INSTEON signal collisions which are causing resends, and some of those resends are failing. Collisions would also explain the unknown bytes.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:17 am
CharlieParker offline
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I send 10 each time. Looking further down the script I see I had a 1 second delay before sending each of the last 7. I'll now try a 5 second delay before every send and let you know.

Posted on
Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:30 am
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I've been running it every 5 minutes and the delay seems to be working.

Posted on
Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:33 am
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Is the 2412 more sensitive to line noise than the 2414? With the 2412 sending an INSTEON group/scenes won't turn on all the lights. Status requests yield "send failed (no acknowledgment)" frequently and for different devices. Changing the temperature on a Venstar also frequently yields "send failed (no acknowledgment)". I don't think anything else has changed because I've been switching between 2412 and 2414 every couple of days. The 2414 is always rock solid and the 2412 is not.

I'm 95% sure the flakey devices are on the other phase. That and the Venstar issue has me thinking about Access Points. The first time I linked the 2412 I had trouble and wound up unplugging/re-plugging an Access Point and that seemed to help. Do Access Points go bad? Why no trouble with 2414? I should add that I have a dryer plug-in phase coupler I need for TED (does that couple INSTEON?).

Anyone else using the 2412?

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Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:33 pm
kd5crs11 offline
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I saw this on the Smarthome forum. Is this related to the lockups?

http://www.smarthome.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5819

Brian

Posted on
Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:42 pm
matt (support) offline
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I don't believe so. My 2412U never go hot at all.

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Posted on
Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:35 am
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Matt,

Aside from the lock up issue, how goes the 2412 development?

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Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:54 am
jay (support) offline
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CharlieParker wrote:
Matt,

Aside from the lock up issue, how goes the 2412 development?


We'll be having another beta here pretty soon probably - we may have identified an FTDI driver issue with the 2412 as well that we're trying to track down, so it's still going slower than we'd like. And these server/hosting issues aren't helping either... :?

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Posted on
Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:16 am
CharlieParker offline
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Sorry to keep bugging you. (OK, not really :wink: )

I seem to be the only one with problems with the 2412 (but none with 2414) and after a lot testing (and relinking) I'm thinking my 2412 may be off. But the 2412 support is beta so, do you think the next release will help with the reliability? Is that even plausible? Or do I call my 2412 a dud and replace it?

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