Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

Posted on
Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:57 pm
greenhornet offline
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan 22, 2011

Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

Hey everyone,
I've been running Indigo for roughly a decade. I have a Mac mini connected to a Powerlinc 2413U and I'm looking to replace the Powerlinc. It seems that the quality of the Insteon devices has really declined in recent years. Every few years, my PowerLinc starts acting flaky and not controlling devices. If I unplug it, wait a bit and then plug back in things will work normally for a few days/weeks but eventually the problem will get worse and the controller will need to be replaced. This has been true for most of the newer Insteon devices I buy. The old stuff (some of it over 10 years old) just keeps working. I'm tired of buying a new controller every year or two and would rather not buy another SmartHome (or whatever they're calling themselves these days) product and continue to reward them for shoddy products.

I know that Indigo is more than capable of working with multiple platforms and interfaces but I have limited experience with devices outside the Insteon protocol. I have A LOT of Insteon devices. Probably over 100.

So.... can I get some recommendations on a new controller? I'm willing to look at other protocols but still need to use all the Insteon devices I have.

Thanks in advance guys!

Posted on
Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:13 pm
lanbrown offline
Posts: 910
Joined: Sep 26, 2017

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

I think based on the number of devices and I believe that you need a controller made by Insteon, you should probably buy another one at this point. As remote devices fail replace them with Z-Wave devices. Then when you get to a handful or Insteon devices left and the controller fails again, just replace the rest with Z-wave devices. It would be a huge and expensive undertaking to switch to a different system right off the bat.

Just my $0.02

Posted on
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:46 am
peszko offline
Posts: 97
Joined: Mar 07, 2012

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

I'm in simmilar situation. I have run insteon for a long time, but could never get it to be anywhere close to decent reliability. At this point, I have installed a z-wave interface, and am slowly moving to using that. I'm starting my changes with any sensors (starting with motion) especially ones with the I2 engine (have some all on issues with those). I'm also getting rid of all kypadlinks, as they were no end of trouble for me. Both in terms of getting the buttons properly synchronized and also not responding and/or sending corupted signals.

So at this point, I'm not buying any insteon devices at all. If anything fails or starts going squirly it gets replaced by z-wave equivalent. The only problem would be the controller as it needs to work till the last insteon device is present. And Yes, I already had to replace it several times in the life of my system. AND every time it was a royal pain. Even though indigo will re-write all the links, but... Battery devices needed to be woken up, sometimes more then once (a huge job). Many devices still had old links in their tables and needed to be factory reset. So in my case with over 130 insteon devices, this was a double royal pain.

Posted on
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:16 pm
greenhornet offline
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan 22, 2011

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

What's a good z-wave controller that will work simultaneously with my Insteon one?

Posted on
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:18 pm
lanbrown offline
Posts: 910
Joined: Sep 26, 2017

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

Any will work that is listed as compatible with Indigo. One has nothing to do with with the other controller.

Posted on
Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:25 pm
greenhornet offline
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan 22, 2011

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

lanbrown wrote:
Any will work that is listed as compatible with Indigo. One has nothing to do with with the other controller.


Yes, I understand that. I'm asking for recommendations from people that have used z-wave.

Posted on
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:43 pm
greenhornet offline
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan 22, 2011

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

bump - any suggestions for a z-wave controller?

Posted on
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:51 pm
peszko offline
Posts: 97
Joined: Mar 07, 2012

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

I use the Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Z-Stick, Gen5 Z-Wave Plus - ZW090 and it works for me. I'm just starting out, so don't have that long an experience with it.

Posted on
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:12 am
jay (support) offline
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Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

The ones that we have direct experience with are the ones outlined in the Connecting Z-Wave Interfaces section of the docs. We are using or have used those ourselves so we are confident that they work well.

I think if it were me, I'd probably get the GoControl QuickStick Combo - the Z-Wave part works well (that's what I use for development and testing), and it has the extra advantage of having a Zigbee radio in it as well. While there currently isn't any direct way to use that yet, at some point we hope to have an interface or plugin that will, which would then give Indigo users direct access to Zigbee devices as well. The only downside is that it requires the 3rd party SILabs driver - but I don't think this is a big risk given that SILabs owns Z-Wave and is also a primary Zigbee chip provider.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:30 am
peszko offline
Posts: 97
Joined: Mar 07, 2012

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

jay (support) wrote:
I think if it were me, I'd probably get the GoControl QuickStick Combo - the Z-Wave part works well (that's what I use for development and testing), and it has the extra advantage of having a Zigbee radio in it as well.


That's a very good idea. Now a question comes in to mind for now and for the future, how easy it is to switch a z-wave controller. Currently, I only have five z-wave devices so not a big deal, but how would I go about replacing the z-wave controller with a different one? Would I have to remove then re-add all the z-wave devices?

I'm asking this for two reasons. In this case since I'm just starting out, I think I may change my controller to the GoControll combo. The second is in the future if for some reason my controller fails, and I have over hundred devices how can I change it without removing (which might be problematic if original controller failed) and adding all of the devices to the new one?

Posted on
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:38 am
lanbrown offline
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Joined: Sep 26, 2017

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

The Aeotec offers a Windows based backup utility.

Posted on
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:35 am
Dual offline
Posts: 78
Joined: Feb 05, 2019

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

I am brand new to Indigo. Day 7 here. I have the Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5. All good so far. Seems like a good device. I will be looking into the Windows backup ability for sure. Except who do I know that has Windows. Hmmmm.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Posted on
Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:52 am
peszko offline
Posts: 97
Joined: Mar 07, 2012

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

I only have windows in VM, probably should work. Can you send the link to the backup utility?

Posted on
Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:06 am
greenhornet offline
Posts: 52
Joined: Jan 22, 2011

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

Jay & peszko - thanks for your help. This is exactly the info I was looking for!

Posted on
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:40 am
berkinet offline
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Joined: Nov 18, 2008
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA & Mougins, France

Re: Replacement or upgrade from Insteon Powerlinc controller

Dual wrote:
... who do I know that has Windows. Hmmmm...


Think VirtualBox. Works well and the price is right.
Last edited by berkinet on Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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