Insteon Setup and Controller Software

Last updated: November 08 2018 20:55:19

Insteon Setup And Controller Software For Windows

Full Featured, Fully Functional Trial Software

Get Started With Insteon

Insteon Setup And Controller Software For Windows by mgpSoftware

IonW-PLM For Windows XP service Pack 3 or greater, Vista, Windows 7

Required Insteon Interface

PowerLinc Modem PowerLinc Modem (PLM) 2413U, 2413S, 2412U, 2412S, or 2448A7.

- Plug the PowerLinc Modem (PLM) into an AC outlet, and the included USB or SERIAL cable from the Computer to the PLM.

IonW-PLM is distributed as a Windows Installer package ".msi" file. The Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) is the application installation and configuration service for Windows.

Install IonW-PLM - Double click on the installer package IonWxx-setup.msi.

Existing Configurations: Installing and update requires first un-installing any previous version. Previous Version Configuration Files Are Preserved.

HINT: Configuration Files are saved automatically after midnight when running as controller software, and upon closing the program.

Serial Port and Power Linc Modem Discovery

IonW-PLM software will open available serial ports until it discovers a PowerLinc Modem. The port information is saved to the configuration file for future use. IonW software will search available ports automatically. Make sure the PLM is plugged in to an un-filtered outlet and the serial or USB cable is plugged in the computer. Older Windows XP versions and or older USB device may need USB drivers downloaded from - Latest USB drivers

Options Menu

Options Menu

Select the time zone and enter Latitude and Longitude.

Latitude and Longitude can be cut and pasted off the Internet. A search for Latitude Longitude for St Paul MN is a good search expression.

Insteon Device Discovery - Linking to Power Line Modem (PLM)

If the Power Line Modem has previously been used, it probably contains existing links for Insteon devices. IonW will discover devices already linked to the PLM.

The PLM stores a list of Insteon device links in a database (ALDB). An Insteon device is linked to the PLM to be usable for computer control.

If an Insteon device network exists, the IonW software will want to learn by device discovery. It is best to allow the software to fully learn the Insteon network before editing Insteon device links.

Linking a new Insteon device to the PLM using Set Button

- Manual device linking using the PLM set button and device set button is easy when devices are reachable.

Put PLM in Linking Mode - Press and hold the PLM set button until the PLM LED begins blinking. (10 seconds) Note: the PLM can be put into linking mode by clicking on “PLM Start All-Link Mode” button. From “Device Setup” TAB, click on the PLM at the top of the device list tree control located at the left side of the screen.

Put Responder in Linking Mode – Press and hold the set button for a responder device. (3 seconds) See the respective Insteon device Get Started With Insteon or user manual for more details. Most responders will blink and or turn on. IonW software will show the linking and update its own database and device status.

Linking a device with software

  1. Add New Insteon Device ID Add New Insteon Device to Computer Group.
  2. New device entries first appear in area 251, and can be moved from there to other computer groups.
  3. From area 251, Insteon devices can be using "Drag and Drop" to another existing group, or use the "Join/Create Group" button.

The device ID will be printed on the Insteon device. The group number is used for organizing insteon devices into computer control groups. Any group number from 0 to 250 is valid.

Linking with device discovery (crawling)

After an Insteon device has been linked to the PLM it is seen by IonW-PLM software. IonW-PLM software will read the device internal All Link Database (ALDB).
Device links are examined and if a device ID is found and not already contained in the PLM device list, the device ID will be recorded and available for easy software linking.

Defaul device discovery group used by IonW-PLM

- Device Discovery -
If a device is moved to a computer group before the device links are read by the software, a group link is created for the computer group. When the device links have been read before moving to or creating a computer group, the device link list is checked for an existing link for this group. If an existing link for this computer group exists, a new duplicate link is not created. Understanding this is insight for occasional duplicate links found in a device link list.

Device discovery requires sending and receiving information from Insteon devices over the power line network. Insteon traffic on the power lines during device setup, can cause errors and the IonW software will attempt to refresh the information. During initial device setup, keep an eye on the activity window, allow a few seconds for the software to finish and you shouldn’t have any errors. From ‘Device Setup’ TAB, a right click menu of options is available to obtain device readings. The IonW software will take time between device updates so as to help keep the power line protocol usage less busy.

Configure Device Links – Edit or delete device links from the Device Setup View.

RemoteLinc – USE DIM BUTTON FOR LINKING/SETUP -When Linking devices to RemoteLinc using IonW software, PRESS and hold DIM BUTTON for 1 second. Reason, until the RemoteLinc button contains at least 1 link, it will not send a command. The DIM BUTTON will send its DIM COMMAND anytime it is pressed. The RemoteLinc needs to send -something-, to be seen on the Insteon Network, so the IonW software can effectively process the linking.

Creating Computer Groups

Computer Groups are used for Time Events, Logic Events, and Direct User Control. Computer groups allow software control over the Insteon device network.

  1. Click on a device ID in the [Discovery Group] folder. The device ID will fill the edit boxes shown above.
  2. Choose a group. Groups are used for software control. (scenes) Device groups can be altered, re-assigned and changed later. Group numbers are used by the Insteon devices. Humans use labels, which can be edited from the Tree Control. It can be easier to simply group new devices according to device type or general location. It is useful to group controller type devices together.
  3. Click the [Join/Create Group] button.
  4. Allow a few seconds for the software linking to occur. (watch the activity window)

The device is now listed in the PLM all-link database (ALDB). As your Insteon device network grows, group organization will grow. Devices can be dragged and dropped from group to group. Drag and drop moves a device. The “Join/Create Group” button creates a new device link for the group.

IonW software will record linking events as they are seen to occur. After IonW software has recorded a device ID, it is ready to learn more from the device. IonW software will read device type and record for permanent storage. IonW for Windows keeps a data file in Windows [AppData] folder.

IonW-PLM Views

All Insteon devices stored in the Power Line Modem (PLM) are listed to the left. The views to the right show device details and provides editing of device links including Group, On Level, and Ramp Rate. Computer control of the Insteon device is also provided.

Device Setup View

Insteon Device Setup View

Device Links are listed for view and edit from the Device Setup View. Edit a device link to set device on level and ramp rate associated for a controller group. Example: A KeypadLinc button used to control 1 or more Insteon dimmable devices such LampLinc, InlineLinc etc., send GROUP commands. Group commands do not send on level or ramp rate. On level and ramp rate is set in the responder device as part of link information. Each responder device stores link information for each link to a controller. Controllers such as KeypadLinc, RemoteLinc, Motion Sensor etc., send group commands. It is up to each Insteon responder device to know how to respond. Note: Computer control can send a direct command to a single device which includes on level and ramp rate. This type of command addresses a single device.

Use of Ramp Rates
  1. 2 seconds for a soft start.
  2. 8 minutes causes landscape lighting to turn on and off slowly.

Controller Setup View

Controller Edit View

Insteon devices listed at the left can be dragged and dropped onto a controller button. Or in the case of a motion sensor, drop a link inside the yellow outline.

Linking Insteon device to Insteon controllers

The view to the right lists Insteon controllers as they are found. A controller device is identified after the IonW software has either recorded device type from a SET BUTTON event or issued a device ID command to the device directly. Clicking on a controller device changes the center view to that of the controller device.

Timer Events View

The computer needs to remain on and IonW-PLM software running for Timer and Logic Events to work.

Timer Events View

The Timer Events menu pictured above provides around the clock control over Insteon devices.

  1. Select Device - Click to select an Insteon device.
  2. Set time - Choose either Hour/Minute, or Sunrise/Sunset.
  3. Hour/Minute - Use the slider controls to select hour/minute for this event.
  4. Sunrise/Sunset - Option for Pre or Post Delay in minutes is available.
  5. Choose days of week for this event.
  6. Choose function On or OFF. On function has On Level selection for dimmers. Switches ignore the On Level.

Example turn landscape lights on 30 minutes after sunset. Off 30 minutes before sunrise.

Logic Events View

The computer needs to remain on and IonW-PLM software running for Timer and Logic Events to work.

Logic Events View

Logic events happen asynchronously when pre defined action occurs.

  1. Select Initiator ID - Click on Init ID. Select an Initiator device and function.
    • Optional delay minutes / seconds.
  2. Select Operator ID - Click on Oper ID. Select an Operator device and function.
  3. Select Days of Week.

- Alert Lighting - Lights responding to motion and times of day is common place. IonW Logic events coupled with Insteon devices provide more flexible options for control. I like to turn my wall and step lights onto 50%, 30 minutes after sunset. When motion on the driveway or step area is detected, a Logic Event dims the wall and step lights to 100%. When the motions sensor sends it's off command, a Logic Event dims the wall and step lights back to 50%. It lets visitors see they have been noticed and is a good way turn un wanted visitors around before they get to the house. An old X10 chime works well with this setup.


Computer Group does not Work

- The PLM may need at least 1 device linked using a set button. – Fix this by clicking on the PLM listing located in the upper left tree control list. Click [PLM Start All-Link Mode], use the set button on any Insteon device you have. The PLM may have a bug where at least 1 device needs to be linked with its set button. This is only pertains to be a fix for software control over computer groups using the PLM to send group commands.

3-1-2013 Update software to detect this condition and link 1 device automatically using software set buttons. (this condition stems from software development from before Insteon devices supported think link function in software.

USB Powelinc Modems may require recycle after Windows Powers USB port down.

How to Disable USB Power Management in Windows 7

  1. Press the "Windows" key and "R" key simultaneously. A "Run" box appears.
  2. Type "Devmgmt.msc," then press "Enter." This loads the Device Manager.
  3. Double-click on "Universal Serial Bus controllers."
  4. Double-click on "USB Root Hub." You may have more than one "USB Root Hub" listed in the Device Manager. Double-click on any one of the "USB Root Hubs."
  5. Click on the "Power Management" tab.
  6. Uncheck the box next to "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power."
  7. Push the "OK" button and close the "Device Manager."
  8. Repeat steps four through seven if you would like to disable multiple "USB Root Hubs."

PLM Not Found - USB drivers for the Power Line Modem May Require a Reboot

PLM 2412U/2413U - 2010 version seemed a little buggy. 2009 version was good.

Latest FTDI USB drivers

The 2010 USB drivers occasionally get caught in a loop, which requires rebooting your computer. Verified using a serial port debugging device, also having unplugged the PLM, reset PLM. The USB driver has been seen to loop using old data. I have also observed incorrect data. Either case results in broken communications with the PLM. This effectively causes any software searching for any USB based Power Line Modem (PLM) 2413U, 2412U from being discovered. A reboot of the computer will clear the situation. This buggy loop does not appear to be related to any foreseeable event. It was not a problem with early drivers from around 2008, but newer drivers supplied in 2010. The port remains available to open and close, but the driver (USB to Serial Port) does not appear to perform properly. This is why a serial port will confirm available with no PLM found. This condition occurs intermittent, and will not occur while the IonW-PLM software is running, but while the port is closed and unused.

Windows XP#2412U may require installing USB drivers downloaded from the Smarthome website. Run the USB driver software. After installation the USB port will be seen as a serial port for the ION software.

Managing a growing Insteon network can become somewhat complex, and difficult to keep track of all the inter-linking. IonW Software provides an organized view and control of the Insteon network.

INSTEON Compatible Home Automation Software Requires PowerLinc Modem.

back to top