[Altsteon] Getting Started / How-To *Read First*

Getting Started / How-To for those new to Altsteon for Vera 2 & Vera 3

  1. Link all devices to PLM.
    You MUST link all your Insteon devices to your PLM. See your PLM’s and device specific User Manuals for the method.
  • This is important - if they are not linked they will not work properly, if at all, with Altsteon *
  1. Get the needed files

Vera3… binaries & ancillary files posted http://www.geektaco.info/altsteon/
Vera2…
use only ancillary files from lasted version posted http://www.geektaco.info/altsteon/
use binaries in attachment posted http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,8910.msg71493.html#msg71493

From the Vera UI…

  1. Install the Altsteon file set inside folder ‘vera-files’

go to “Apps” -> “Develop Apps” -> “Luup files”
and upload all of the files in that folder using the Vera UI. When uploading the files, do not check the box to “Restart Luup after upload”.

  1. Create the PLM device

    Go to : Apps -> Develop Apps -> Create device and enter these values :

     Device type : urn:geektaco-info:device:plm:1
     Internal ID : plm
     Description : plm
     Upnp Device Filename : D_InsteonPlm.xml
     Upnp Implementation Filename : I_InsteonPlm.xml
     Ip Address :  <Address of the machine you are running the daemon on>
     MAC : <blank>
     Room : <doesn't matter>
     Parent device : No parent/Please select
    

    Click “Create device”. You should eventually get a pop-up indicating that a new device has
    been created. If you go back to the “Devices” section of the dashboard you should see a place holder
    for the plm. If not, hit the “Reload” button to let the Vera find it.

    If you see the PLM in your dashboard, you are ready to start adding Insteon devices to be controlled.
    It is best to start with adding a single device and then testing it before starting to bulk add your
    devices.

  2. Set the Vera to start Altsteon on boot.

Go to : Apps->Develop Apps->Startup Lua
… add the code below based on what your PLM is set to use. See Finding What USB port your PLM is on section below to figure it out.

[code]local plm = “/dev/ttyUSB0”

os.execute("/overlay/sbin/altsteon -p " … plm)[/code]

From SSH…

  1. Login to the VERA using SSH (version 2) to get a command line
    … user: root
    … password:

6a) Copy the files inside the ‘vera-binaries’ directory to the ‘/overlay/sbin/ directory’ using SCP

6b) ‘chmod’ the altsteon file to 755 (to make it executable) - WinSCP can also do this using right-click Properties on the file.

  1. Go to the document “altsteon_instructions.txt” that came with the Altsteon file set.
    … Search for “Getting Started” and after that you will find how to create your other devices.
    … SPECIAL NOTE: The dimmer instructions are WRONG. You MUST use D_InsteonDimmer.xml in the ‘Upnp Device Filename’ section
  • Finding What USB port your PLM is on *

Lets make sure you can run the binary
… run “/overlay/sbin/altsteon --help”
… this displays the help screen from altsteon. If you see the help menu, the binary is ready to go.

Now we need to figure out what port your PLM is on.

If you use an Insteon USB PLM or an FTDI usb to serial adapter with your Insteon serial PLM, you will run :
dmesg | grep “FTDI”
… Response looks like : “usb 2-2: FTDI USB Serial Device converter now attached to ttyUSB1”.

If you use a Prolific USB to Serial adapter, with an Insteon serial PLM, you will run :
dmesg | grep “pl2303”
… Response looks like :
USB Serial support registered for pl2303
usbcore: registered new interface driver pl2303
pl2303: Prolific PL2303 USB to serial adaptor driver
pl2303 2-1.2:1.0: pl2303 converter detected
usb 2-1.2: pl2303 converter now attached to ttyUSB0
pl2303 2-1.3:1.0: pl2303 converter detected
usb 2-1.3: pl2303 convert

… “ttyUSB1” or “ttyUSB0” portion is what we need.
We insert “/dev/” in front of that and use the value to pass in to the program.
So, if “ttyUSB1” is what you have, run ‘altsteon’ with the command “/overlay/sbin/altsteon -p /dev/ttyUSB1”.

If it runs properly you will see something like this…

root@MiOS:~# /overlay/sbin/altsteon -p /dev/ttyUSB0
Quitting parent.
root@MiOS:~# Debug Level : 0
[4/30/2012 - 20:15:46] - --| Starting altsteon!

Thanks Aaron,

I give it a try I think. I got the SPC client loaded and open looks easier than I thought. Do I move the directory over or just copy the two files inside of it? Sorry for the basic questions I just want to get it correct.

I updated the fist post… use that, it will be easier to follow, and quicker.

Aaron,

Thanks That was the Altsteon for Dummies guide I needed. I got it all loaded, just need to figure out why I getting the PLM- Lau Engine failed to load

updated to add… Link all devices to PLM

Thanks for the help. Following the directions (mostly), I managed to get this working for a Vera2 connected to a 2413S PLM through an FTDI-based serial to USB adapter.

With the adapter plugged into the USB1 port, the appropriate /dev turned out to be /dev/usb/tts/0 The easiest way to figure that out was to turn on the built-in INSTEON support and look to see where Vera found the PLM and copy that. Once I did that, everything else worked nicely. That was the biggest hitch.

I am brand new to micasaverde and home automation in general. I am an expert in Machine to Machine communications over cellular so I should be able to learn this fairly fast. :slight_smile:

I have a vera lite and am curious if Alsteon will run on a vera lite ( I know it has the same OS as Vera 3)? Also, any hints on the best PLM to use?

Thanks for the help!

J

I am an HA newbie and only have few insteon dimmers and the 2413U plm, hooked up to a PC. I am considering experimenting with vera lite/2413U plm combo before i significantly expand my insteon network. I got a quick demo of Altsteon at one of my friends house, and it looks quite awesome. I have few questions about toolchains:

  1. can the same toolchain (Vera 3) be applied to Vera Lite?
  2. since it’s based on OpenWRT, and as fba mentioned that it’s nothing other than the openwrt router with z-wave radio, what’s preventing someone from building and installing altsteon on something like netgear wndr3800 -> http;//wiki.openwrt.org/toh/netgear/wndr3800 and hooking it up to a smarthome usb plm using one of the usb ports.

Thanks,
Andy

I went through this process to get altsteon working and it seemed to be working just fine, until I tried adding a keypadlinc. Since adding the keypadlinc, I get the following “INSTEON: No Insteon” at the top of the screen, when I reload. And all of the normal dimmers that worked before, don’t work anymore. Any advice would be great!

UPDATE: Ok, I have altsteon working. I didn’t realize I needed to turn off the native insteon support on the vera.

Great tutorial, I think I am almost ready to take the plunge.

I have a quick question regarding the requirement to add all device. I am planning on installing Altsteon to better manage my Insteon network, but as my Insteon network is still expanding, I am wondering what is the process/requirement on adding an addition Insteon device in the future.

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

[quote=“nicksandoval, post:10, topic:171423”]Great tutorial, I think I am almost ready to take the plunge.

I have a quick question regarding the requirement to add all device. I am planning on installing Altsteon to better manage my Insteon network, but as my Insteon network is still expanding, I am wondering what is the process/requirement on adding an addition Insteon device in the future.

Thanks in advance :)[/quote]

Adding an additional device should just be a matter of linking it to your PLM.

will this ever be availible in the MCV app Store? I am fairly good with a computer, actually work as an IT professional for a power company and still cant figure out the install of the Altseon, it just seems to go right over my head. I think the ability to install like many other plug ins from app store would be very helpful. Just a thought

I’ve made this topic a sticky so it can be easier to see since these instructions are easy to follow and can help anyone who would like to try out altsteon.

How is the EZFlora support with Altsteon. I wan to Use it to operate pool control valves. I don’t need to schedule anything just need to send commands to change valves for different pool features. Is this doable with the EZFlora support in Altsteon. Thanks

One basic question:
Does Insteon device need to be enabled with Altsteon running?

No, you do not enable the insteon support in Vera if using Altsteon, this will cause conflicts.

  • Garrett

Does this work with Veralite? Didn’t see it mentioned in the OP.

[quote=“azula, post:17, topic:171423”]Does this work with Veralite? Didn’t see it mentioned in the OP.[/quote]Yes. A Vera lite is the same platform as Vera 3, just scaled down.

I successfully added the PLM and one dimmer to the UI but the dimmer is not responding at all. I verified that the dimmer/plm connection is working by enabling native vera support. I disabled before trying alsteon again, still no luck.

OK, figured out how to use PUTTY and this is what I see:

root@MiOS_35013568:~# /overlay/sbin/altsteon -p /dev/ttyUSB0
root@MiOS_35013568:~# Debug Level : 0
[INFO ] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:29] - --| Starting altsteon!
[INFO ] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:29] - Running on non-apple Hardware
[ERROR] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:39] - PLM didn’t respond!
[INFO ] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:39] - Modem info :
[INFO ] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:39] - cflag = 00000CBE
[INFO ] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:39] - oflag = 00000000
[INFO ] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:39] - iflag = 00000804
[INFO ] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:39] - lflag = 00000000
[ERROR] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:39] - Failed to initialize PLM.
[INFO ] [9/21/2013 - 02:03:29] - --| Starting altsteon!

I figured it out. I was using my computer’s address for the PLM when I should have been using Vera Lite’s IP address. ::slight_smile: Running beautifully thus far!

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