OH2 Insteon PLM Bounty Posted

Following up on our discussion in Insteon PLM recognized but not available as a Binding, I’ve started up collection for a bounty on a first-class OH2 Insteon PLM add-on. For those interested or able to work on it, please see https://www.bountysource.com/issues/47277806-insteonplm-feature-request-oh2-insteon-plm-hub-support

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Bonus points for adding pairing capability! $30 thrown in but I see some other generous contributors.

Based on perusing all the recent inteonplm posts and failed pull requests, I’m ready to withdraw support from my OpenHab bounties. Some folks do appear to have some sort of Insteon Hub or PLM functionality working, but have not been able to clarify just what is working and how. From what I gather, the work to get the v1 plugin properly working with v2 is something that the very few developers capable of doing the work don’t wish to take on. It seems that writing a proper v2 add-on for the Insteon PLM is too high a political and technical challenge to overcome. I’ll leave the bounties active for a few days more before moving on to other projects.

Frankly I don’t understand why you think you cannot use OH2 with the Insteon plugin.

I still use OH1, but installed OH2 to see if the insteon plugin didn’t work. I configured it exactly the same as the docs explain for OH1 and it worked immediately. No issues at all.

Now, I do agree that there isn’t a nice OH 2 front end GUI config, but it doesn’t require special developer knowledge to do this. Just the same config as everyone who ever used OH1 did.

I think it’s cool that you’ve made this bounty to take the OH2 Insteon experience to the next level, I personally don’t have the skills to do that. Hopefully someone out there does. I did just want to make sure you that Insteon is perfectly usable in OH2 now.

Are we speaking about the same PLM and insteonplm plugin?? If so, I’m the confused one – the plugin appears not to be complete or functional as it pertains to OH2. At least some of the people in this forum claim to have it up and running. But I have my doubts as to whether the PLM, plugin version, underlying USB stack, and a hundred other variables are consistent across those cases, but I’ve given up arguing. OpenHab works for every tech in my home except Insteon, and that’s a deal breaker. My PLM works in OH1, not OH2, and that’s not uncommon with other OH1 plugins I’ve tried. Results vary widely.

The main feedback I’ve heard from potential bounty takers is that there’s not enough Insteon documentation to take a non-hackish route in development and that the upstream changes needed are substantial.

The PLM works flawlessly in newer 2.* builds BUT you do have to configure it the 1.* way which isn’t difficult. This means an insteonplm.cfg in conf/services and a *.items file in conf/items. It works even better than configuring things through PaperUI.

What I want to see in OH2 is the ability to pair the PLM while in OH2. In OH1 is was actually really easy to remove the binding, pair a device, add the binding back in. OH2 makes is so much more of a pain in the arse.

Hi August,

Yes, we are talking about the insteon PLM plugin discussed here:

This plugin can use several Insteon controllers like the PLM, old hub and
new hub. With one of those devices, this plugin is capable of
communicating with huge amount of Insteon hardware and is capable of
controlling Insteon scenes as well. It works well with just about every
main stream device out there like dimmers, switches, keypads, motion
sensors, door open/close sensors and some of the more advanced devices like
the FanLinc, Smoke Bridge Thermostat and tons more. Keeping in mind that
this is billed as not being a configuration tool (that is what
Insteon-Terminal is for) what is it lacking in functionality that you
believe makes this plugin barely complete?

Yes, that is what is being talked about. The bounty is (was?) to make a proper 2.* binding with the ability to pair within PaperUI. Insteon terminal is a kludge and with that, HouseLinc, or other tools you need to stop OH (or unload the binding which is painful enough in 2.x), pair, then start again. Theoretically if there was a working 2.x binding it would suspend itself when putting the PLM in pairing mode, allow you to add by device ID or button push, then continue on your merry way once done.

@eviltechmonkey - cool! I’m sure everyone would love that - including

Just wanted to make sure that everyone knew the current state of openHAB
support. it actually works great, just needs to be configured in the
config files and not in paperUI.

There is a very simple command to send the PLM (or any other device) to put
it into linking mode. I think it is even in insteon-terminal already so
its documented. You do have to go and push the button on the new device
you are linking to though, that is just part of how the Insteon hardware

Are there any docs on creating a plugin that works in paperUI? I’m
guessing that making something rudimentary wouldn’t be that big of an
addition to the current insteon plugin. That way we could at least get it
to show up like a normal plugin and configure the stuff in the .cfg there.
That woudl be a start.


You actually don’t need to push ANY physical buttons. That’s one of the advantages of Insteon. If you have the device address (ab.12.cd) you can just insert that, it finds the device if it is plugged in and adds it to the modem database. That’s why I use HouseLinc in a Virtualbox VM. Effortless pairing without running all over the house or yard. I would hope you could do the same with Insteon terminal but like I’ve said it has been a kludge in the past. Haven’t touched it in over a year.

Interesting. I use the PLM now with openhab, but originally used a insteon
(new) hub. I still have it around and using the Insteon app for said hub,
to add hardware you have to push the button.

I know how to add device addresses directly to the modem’s DB, that’s
easy. However, on the remote device, all insteon traffic (like a db
write/linking request) gets ignored from any device not in its database,
I’m not sure how you can remote add the modem to the other devices DB. I
thought this was supposed to be part of the “security” model.

I think HouseLinc covers that part for you. Insteon-terminal (if it doesn’t) should be able to do the same. Which is why this all comes back to OH2 and PaperUI support really needing to be done to make OH more user friendly. I have no issues manually configuring but I can’t promote Insteon and OH2 to a layman.

Understood and agreed on OH2 / Insteon to the layman. Trust me - I’m all
for this!

Im really curious how Houselinc accomplishes remote linking. Are you sure
this isn’t for a device that already has the modem in its DB and that you
can do this with a brand-new out of the box device? I watched a video once
on how the Insteon security model isn’t the most robust, but this is
supposed to be a main part of the security model. Without this someone
could potentially plug a laptop/plm into your outside plug and control your
whole house, open doors, turn on/off your thermostat etc.

Absolutely 100% sure. Because I’m super lazy. I take a picture of my devices, get them plugged in. Never touch the pairing button, open the VM, launch Houselinc (which also requires the latest xml file), and Add Device by ID. Pairs perfectly. Only trouble I have ever had was the refurb LampLincs. New items have never been an issue. HouseLinc can also set the PLM in linking mode and you can push the button on the device if that is what you want to do.


Curious if you can hear the remote device do the linking “beep”?

@Bernd_Pfrommer - any idea how houselinc can write to a remote devices link DB without already being in its link DB?

The difference might be that HouseLinc is FROM Insteon. They seem developer friendly but I know jack for programming. Just not wired for it. IIRC HomeAid Pi supported linking by ID too. That was from iSmartenIt. Their PLM does Insteon AND Zigbee but I don’t think anyone has it working in OH though it has popped up here and there in the forum.

Nah, not really. I tried to do that, too. I think for some older devices it worked. For the newer ones I couldn’t link remotely. But I also remember using the hub and that one doesn’t require the button pushing.
I believe HouseLinc has a monitoring function where you can see the data sent/received. So maybe from that one can figure out how they do the linking.

Here’s a Node.js app that supports linking (https://github.com/automategreen/home-controller#linking-functions). Since it’s written in JavaScript, it would be a good template to start from.