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A list of how-to guides for installing, configuring, and using CastleOS

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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
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Posts: 3350


1/3/2013
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
Please post any requests for how-to guides here - is there something you'd like a detailed walk-through of to demonstrate its use?
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Aftab Ahmad
Aftab Ahmad
Posts: 1


1/6/2013
Aftab Ahmad
Aftab Ahmad
Posts: 1
Hi, I have been wanting to automate my home for a while now. What would be a good starting point, as far as equipment is concerned, and comparability with CastleOS?
For Insteon products, there is the powerlinc, smartlinc, insteon hub. I am not sure what device I need to get started. Any suggestions or pointers would be helpful.

Thanks
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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
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Posts: 3350


1/6/2013
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
Aftab Ahmad wrote:
Hi, I have been wanting to automate my home for a while now. What would be a good starting point, as far as equipment is concerned, and comparability with CastleOS?
For Insteon products, there is the powerlinc, smartlinc, insteon hub. I am not sure what device I need to get started. Any suggestions or pointers would be helpful.


Hey Aftab! The requirements for CastleOS to use Insteon is a Powerlinc Modem (PLM) or the new USB adapter. The new USB adapter is preferred due to its compact size, but it's RF only, so make sure you have at least one dual band device if you plan to use powerline-only devices. Beside that, you'll only need a Windows computer to run CastleOS on (reusing old computers is perfect for this). The Smartlinc and Insteon Hub could take the place of CastleOS, but they have a much more limited feature set, and work with Insteon only (CastleOS will expand to encompass all public home automation protocols like Z-Wave and ZigBee, which they cannot).

After that, just buy whatever Insteon devices you need, and link them up with CastleOS! Let us know if you need any other details!
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Joseph Sivulka
Joseph Sivulka
Posts: 3


1/10/2013
Joseph Sivulka
Joseph Sivulka
Posts: 3
Hello:

I'm also interested in setting up a system with Insteon but have yet to purchase any products. I did notice on the Smarthome website that they have dualband USB interface. Aside from whatever remote components are installed (Outletlinc Dimmer, Switchlinc dimmer, etc) that would be the only thing needed in conjunction with CastleOS, correct? Related, do you know if this will play well with powerline networking? I've yet to try powerline but need to get a CAT5 cable to my basement from the 2nd floor and would love to use the simplistic powerline solution. I have friends that currently use it and say they can stream HD content from their remote PC to an Xbox used as an extender, but if it interferes with what the CastleOS software provides, I may have to rethink.

Joe
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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350


1/10/2013
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
Joseph Sivulka wrote:
Hello:

I'm also interested in setting up a system with Insteon but have yet to purchase any products. I did notice on the Smarthome website that they have dualband USB interface. Aside from whatever remote components are installed (Outletlinc Dimmer, Switchlinc dimmer, etc) that would be the only thing needed in conjunction with CastleOS, correct? Related, do you know if this will play well with powerline networking? I've yet to try powerline but need to get a CAT5 cable to my basement from the 2nd floor and would love to use the simplistic powerline solution. I have friends that currently use it and say they can stream HD content from their remote PC to an Xbox used as an extender, but if it interferes with what the CastleOS software provides, I may have to rethink.

Joe


Hey Joe!

You are correct, a dual band USB or serial PLM or an Insteon USB adapter is all you need for CastleOS to talk to your house. We recommend the new USB adapter due to it's compact size. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that because it's RF only, you'll need at least one dual-band device like a SwitchLinc if you have powerline-only devices in your network as well. But that's a pretty easy requirement to meet, and usually, it's met by default just by building out an Insteon network.

As far as powerline networking, one of our test homes does use Insteon and powerline networking together and they work without issue. But I can't promise that for all brands and models, I don't have enough data to say.
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Joseph Sivulka
Joseph Sivulka
Posts: 3


1/11/2013
Joseph Sivulka
Joseph Sivulka
Posts: 3
Thanks, but I'm confused (not unusual).

The USB adapter I'm referring to is dual band - RF and powerline.

http://www.smarthome.com/2413U/PowerLinc-Modem-INSTEON-USB-Interface-Dual-Band/p.aspx

Doesn't this solve the problem? But you're correct; my initial intent is to install powerlinc dimmer outlets and a few switchlincs, so I'm covered.

To summarize, all I need to do is plug the USB or serial adapter into an outlet, connect an ethernet cable to it, innstall the outlets and switches and the necessary software, and I'll be able to control the switches and outlets via the CastleOS software, either on the native PC or from any browser, whether iPhone, Lumia 920, etc plus the Kinect with voice? Seriously, is this a dream? I do realize there are always tweaks to be made (router forwarding?) but this all seems too good to be true!
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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350


1/11/2013
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
Joseph Sivulka wrote:
Thanks, but I'm confused (not unusual).

The USB adapter I'm referring to is dual band - RF and powerline.

http://www.smarthome.com/2413U/PowerLinc-Modem-INSTEON-USB-Interface-Dual-Band/p.aspx

Doesn't this solve the problem? But you're correct; my initial intent is to install powerlinc dimmer outlets and a few switchlincs, so I'm covered.

To summarize, all I need to do is plug the USB or serial adapter into an outlet, connect an ethernet cable to it, innstall the outlets and switches and the necessary software, and I'll be able to control the switches and outlets via the CastleOS software, either on the native PC or from any browser, whether iPhone, Lumia 920, etc plus the Kinect with voice? Seriously, is this a dream? I do realize there are always tweaks to be made (router forwarding?) but this all seems too good to be true!


Everything you say is correct! Just one minor point of clarification: what you are referring to is actually the USB (or serial) PLM, or PowerLinc Modem. What I meant was the new USB adapter (http://www.smarthome.com/2448A7/INSTEON-Portable-USB-Adapter/p.aspx), both work equally well with CastleOS, but the USB adapter is RF only, in exchange for being much more compact. That's where needing at least one dual-band device elsewhere comes in (which is easily accomplished with a dual-band SwitchLinc, LampLinc, etc).

As far as accessing CastleOS, you are correct, any device with a web browser (including first gen iPhones!) will work, or through the Kinect voice control. You will need to enable port forwarding for port 80 on your router, but that's it, and we have a handy guide for doing that smile

Let us know if you have other questions!

EDIT: I should add, if you plan to use X10, you need a PLM, but if you are going Insteon-only, the USB adapter is recommended.
edited by ccicchitelli on 1/11/2013
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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350


1/11/2013
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
Chris Cicchitelli wrote:
Joseph Sivulka wrote:

To summarize, all I need to do is plug the USB or serial adapter into an outlet, connect an ethernet cable to it


Sorry, one more thing. I realized you said Ethernet cable. If you buy the USB adapter, you just plug it in to the computer running CastleOS. If you buy the PLM, you plug the USB (or serial) cable, not Ethernet cable, in to the PLM and the other end to the computer running CastleOS.
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Joseph Sivulka
Joseph Sivulka
Posts: 3


1/14/2013
Joseph Sivulka
Joseph Sivulka
Posts: 3
Chris Cicchitelli wrote:
Joseph Sivulka wrote:
Thanks, but I'm confused (not unusual).

The USB adapter I'm referring to is dual band - RF and powerline.

http://www.smarthome.com/2413U/PowerLinc-Modem-INSTEON-USB-Interface-Dual-Band/p.aspx

Doesn't this solve the problem? But you're correct; my initial intent is to install powerlinc dimmer outlets and a few switchlincs, so I'm covered.

To summarize, all I need to do is plug the USB or serial adapter into an outlet, connect an ethernet cable to it, innstall the outlets and switches and the necessary software, and I'll be able to control the switches and outlets via the CastleOS software, either on the native PC or from any browser, whether iPhone, Lumia 920, etc plus the Kinect with voice? Seriously, is this a dream? I do realize there are always tweaks to be made (router forwarding?) but this all seems too good to be true!


Everything you say is correct! Just one minor point of clarification: what you are referring to is actually the USB (or serial) PLM, or PowerLinc Modem. What I meant was the new USB adapter (http://www.smarthome.com/2448A7/INSTEON-Portable-USB-Adapter/p.aspx), both work equally well with CastleOS, but the USB adapter is RF only, in exchange for being much more compact. That's where needing at least one dual-band device elsewhere comes in (which is easily accomplished with a dual-band SwitchLinc, LampLinc, etc).

As far as accessing CastleOS, you are correct, any device with a web browser (including first gen iPhones!) will work, or through the Kinect voice control. You will need to enable port forwarding for port 80 on your router, but that's it, and we have a handy guide for doing that smile

Let us know if you have other questions!

EDIT: I should add, if you plan to use X10, you need a PLM, but if you are going Insteon-only, the USB adapter is recommended.
edited by ccicchitelli on 1/11/2013


Thanks Chris!

I didn't see the USB adapter but completely agree that it's the best route to go because of its compact size.
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Tim Lines
Tim Lines
Posts: 1


7/25/2013
Tim Lines
Tim Lines
Posts: 1
Dear Chris
This technology looks amazing! Some questions:

(1) Do you provide support to the United Kingdom? We are constructing a 4000 ft2 eco house off the UK south coast
(2) Will you be upgrading the integration to the forthcoming Kinect 2?
(3) Noting you state:"the computer that has an Insteon PLM or USB stick plugged in to it". Do I need additional hardware to connect Z-Wave or is Insteon's capability sufficient?
(4) Can you integrate iNELS devices (http://www.inels.com/) - a company from the Czech Republic - into Castle OS?
(5) Can you integrate Lightwave devices into Castle OS?
(6) Can you recommend a finger-print activated door lock that integrates with Castle OS?
(7) Can you recommend (i) a pH sensor (for a swimming pool); (ii) a flood detector (for basement); (iii) a soil humidity sensor (for automatic watering); (iv) a meterological sensor (to close windows when it rains) that integrate with Castle OS?
many thanks
Tim
edited by linestd1 on 7/25/2013
edited by linestd1 on 7/25/2013
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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350


7/25/2013
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
Tim Lines wrote:
Dear Chris
This technology looks amazing! Some questions:

(1) Do you provide support to the United Kingdom? We are constructing a 4000 ft2 eco house off the UK south coast
(2) Will you be upgrading the integration to the forthcoming Kinect 2?
(3) Noting you state:"the computer that has an Insteon PLM or USB stick plugged in to it". Do I need additional hardware to connect Z-Wave or is Insteon's capability sufficient?
(4) Can you integrate iNELS devices (http://www.inels.com/) - a company from the Czech Republic - into Castle OS?
(5) Can you integrate Lightwave devices into Castle OS?
(6) Can you recommend a finger-print activated door lock that integrates with Castle OS?
(7) Can you recommend (i) a pH sensor (for a swimming pool); (ii) a flood detector (for basement); (iii) a soil humidity sensor (for automatic watering); (iv) a meterological sensor (to close windows when it rains) that integrate with Castle OS?
many thanks
Tim
edited by linestd1 on 7/25/2013
edited by linestd1 on 7/25/2013


Hey Tim! Thanks for your message! In order:
1) We provide software support to the UK, for hardware, you can purchase it from Amazon.co.uk, or through an automation specialist.
2) You bet!
3) For Z-Wave, you get a USB adapter for that too, so you'd have one for INSTEON, one for Z-Wave. For Z-Wave, it's about the size of a USB memory stick.
4) Will take a look at iNELS, not immediately familiar with it unfortunately.
5) Lightwave is something we are looking at. Z-Wave, SmartThings, and WeMo are next up.
6) Unfortunately no, on the consumer level, there just isn't a good option. I've looked for my own home! Instead, I settled on Z-Wave touchscreen locks from Yale. They are really awesome!
7) For flood/leak, you can get this: http://www.insteon.com/2852-222-leak-sensor.html, for the others, anything Z-Wave enabled would work.

Let us know if you have any other questions!!!
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Karen
Karen
Posts: 45


12/12/2013
Karen
Karen
Posts: 45
Hi - I see on the blurb there is talk about EnergyEye, DawnGuard etc, but nothing explaining what they actually are, and how you set them up? This might be good info for people who are thinking about buying the system.

Also, I have been looking for info on the Kinect integration, which I cannot find - for example, does each Kinect have to be physically connected to a computer? Is there a way to network them back to a server? How many does CastleOs support? Can you change the voice, and program in responses, such as: computer, turn the light on (computer: the light is already on idiot).

Also, can you add logic to devices, such as if-else statements, for say a motion controller? At this point, I'm not sure what is and is not possible?

Thanks
Karen
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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350


12/12/2013
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
Karen Parry wrote:
Hi - I see on the blurb there is talk about EnergyEye, DawnGuard etc, but nothing explaining what they actually are, and how you set them up? This might be good info for people who are thinking about buying the system.

Also, I have been looking for info on the Kinect integration, which I cannot find - for example, does each Kinect have to be physically connected to a computer? Is there a way to network them back to a server? How many does CastleOs support? Can you change the voice, and program in responses, such as: computer, turn the light on (computer: the light is already on idiot).

Also, can you add logic to devices, such as if-else statements, for say a motion controller? At this point, I'm not sure what is and is not possible?

Thanks
Karen


Hey Karen,
EnergyEye is a customizable timer, for instance no motion detected turn off the lights after 15 minutes. NightShield turns on lights when the sun goes down, DawnGuard does the opposite turning them off when the sun comes up (both are great for exterior lights), and PermaLight ensures a light stays set at what you want, and if someone presses the switch to change it, it overrides them and returns the light to the setting you chose. HungryPet is a pet feeder feature, that makes scheduling feeding times as easy as possible.

Each Kinect does need to be plugged into a computer, but you can get USB extension cables up to 82ft in length. CastleOS supports as many Kinects as your computer has USB busses. We do have some other voices available for download on our website.

For seeing if lights are on, you can ask the computer "computer is the hallway light on?" or "computer what lights are on?" etc.

If/Then logic is defintely possible, go to Events then add a new event to see all the options, but you can have it based on a one time or recurring schedule, or a trigger like motion, then you can list actions and conditions, i.e. turn on the lights but only if it's dark outside etc.

Thanks!
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Happydad36
Happydad36
Posts: 2


12/20/2013
Happydad36
Happydad36
Posts: 2
I am having a hard time understanding or finding where to download the app for my IPHONE and I would also like to install it on my kindles so I can mount them in the wall. Any help?
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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350


12/21/2013
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
Happydad36 wrote:
I am having a hard time understanding or finding where to download the app for my IPHONE and I would also like to install it on my kindles so I can mount them in the wall. Any help?



Hello! The iPhone app is built in to the Core Service, you can find instructions how to create a link to the app on your home screen here: http://www.castleos.com/Download.aspx
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John Sierra
John Sierra
Posts: 1


1/24/2014
John Sierra
John Sierra
Posts: 1
Hello I have few houses ready set up with Insteon and hub.
If I want to use castle Os I need to change the Hub?
Also I would like to know how many microphones I need to use for a 4 bedrooms two story house. All the dimmers we have are dual band
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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350


1/24/2014
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
John Sierra wrote:
Hello I have few houses ready set up with Insteon and hub.
If I want to use castle Os I need to change the Hub?
Also I would like to know how many microphones I need to use for a 4 bedrooms two story house. All the dimmers we have are dual band



Hi John! With CastleOS, it uses the Hub as in INSTEON interface, bypassing the Hub's internal software and accessing the built in PowerLinc Modem directly.


For the Kinects, we generally recommend one per room.

Let us know how else we can help!

Thanks,
Chris
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Marvin Carwile
Marvin Carwile
Posts: 5


1/27/2014
Marvin Carwile
Marvin Carwile
Posts: 5
I recently placed Kinetics in each area I wanted to speak in my home. I have a total of 4. I purchased the monoprice 2.0 USB extender cables and have connected them to my PC. Each kinetic unit has powered up, and my pc seems to load all the drivers for each kinect.. ie..the pc loads drivers for connect on each port. but I can only use one kinect at a time. I'm quit sure I'm doing something wrong or need something I'm not aware of. I read the forms an noticed that I should be able to use up to 10 of them. One thing I did notice is the green light is on on the kinect units but only the red camera light is on the first unit plugged in. Example... I plug the Kinect that is at the furthest distance from my PC in first and all lights on the Kinect work and voice activation works. If I plug in another kinect no matter where, it won't function correctly and the red light remains out.

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Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350


1/27/2014
Chris Cicchitelli
Chris Cicchitelli
Administrator
Posts: 3350
Marvin Carwile wrote:
I recently placed Kinetics in each area I wanted to speak in my home. I have a total of 4. I purchased the monoprice 2.0 USB extender cables and have connected them to my PC. Each kinetic unit has powered up, and my pc seems to load all the drivers for each kinect.. ie..the pc loads drivers for connect on each port. but I can only use one kinect at a time. I'm quit sure I'm doing something wrong or need something I'm not aware of. I read the forms an noticed that I should be able to use up to 10 of them. One thing I did notice is the green light is on on the kinect units but only the red camera light is on the first unit plugged in. Example... I plug the Kinect that is at the furthest distance from my PC in first and all lights on the Kinect work and voice activation works. If I plug in another kinect no matter where, it won't function correctly and the red light remains out.



Hi Marv,
It sounds like your USB bus that the Kinects are plugged into is overloaded. Each Kinect needs it's own USB bus, but usually multiple USB ports will share a bus. Each computer will have typically have multiple busses, so you'll have to move the Kinects to different ports to try it out. I'd suggest starting with just two Kinects, and going from there. The red light should be on for all of them, and when you give a command if all are in range, all should respond at the same time.

Thanks,
Chris
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Marvin Carwile
Marvin Carwile
Posts: 5


1/28/2014
Marvin Carwile
Marvin Carwile
Posts: 5
Thanks for the super fast response. I figured it out. Apparently my serial port card was causing the problem. Once I removed it, reboot, the kinects came up fine.. So now I'm on a roll for a bit. ..Thanks again... Great job

Chris Cicchitelli wrote:
Marvin Carwile wrote:
I recently placed Kinetics in each area I wanted to speak in my home. I have a total of 4. I purchased the monoprice 2.0 USB extender cables and have connected them to my PC. Each kinetic unit has powered up, and my pc seems to load all the drivers for each kinect.. ie..the pc loads drivers for connect on each port. but I can only use one kinect at a time. I'm quit sure I'm doing something wrong or need something I'm not aware of. I read the forms an noticed that I should be able to use up to 10 of them. One thing I did notice is the green light is on on the kinect units but only the red camera light is on the first unit plugged in. Example... I plug the Kinect that is at the furthest distance from my PC in first and all lights on the Kinect work and voice activation works. If I plug in another kinect no matter where, it won't function correctly and the red light remains out.



Hi Marv,
It sounds like your USB bus that the Kinects are plugged into is overloaded. Each Kinect needs it's own USB bus, but usually multiple USB ports will share a bus. Each computer will have typically have multiple busses, so you'll have to move the Kinects to different ports to try it out. I'd suggest starting with just two Kinects, and going from there. The red light should be on for all of them, and when you give a command if all are in range, all should respond at the same time.

Thanks,
Chris


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