Insteon receptacles?

Insteon receptacles?

Post by Fabrizio S » Tue, 31 Jan 2006 12:18:08


I was wondering if there is any Insteon enabled wall receptacle out
there. Something similar to the ones available for X10.


Insteon receptacles?

Post by Bruce » Tue, 31 Jan 2006 15:48:45

Not yet

From:Fabrizio Santini


Insteon receptacles?

Post by Fabrizio S » Thu, 02 Feb 2006 13:22:31

Do you think they are going to be available soon? What's the problem of
building Insteon enabled receptacles?

Insteon receptacles?

Post by Bruce » Thu, 02 Feb 2006 13:45:05

I have no inside info so I don't really know when or even if they will
offer them but I can't see any reason that they couldn't if they thought
there was a market for them. As for WHY they don't have them now, if
you look at the Insteon products released to date, you'll notice that
they are using all the same housings and plastics as for their X10
Switchlinc products. Since they never had a Switchlinc outlet they will
have to do the plastics for that which takes some time and money.
Probably just not at the top of the list yet.

From:Fabrizio Santini

Insteon receptacles?

Post by nobod » Thu, 02 Feb 2006 21:45:22

Does the ICON use Switchlinc plastics?

Another factor may be that the volume of X-10 business that SmartHome has
done historically gives them reliable projections of market demand for a
specific device. If the projected demand is low and it requires new plastics
it's likely to have a low priority.

Insteon receptacles?

Post by Robert Gre » Thu, 02 Feb 2006 22:49:32

The SmartHome devices have always struck me as a little too big to cram into
an outlet box successfully.


Insteon receptacles?

Post by nobod » Thu, 02 Feb 2006 23:16:23

Tain't so - at least, not with the ICON switches.

But not only will they need new plastics, they need a different layout of
the components. The referenced pics are of the ICON On/Off model.

Insteon receptacles?

Post by Bruce » Fri, 03 Feb 2006 06:11:00

All the Insteon, ICON and Switchlinc plug-in modules use the same
housings with various openings as needed.
The Insteon and ICON wall switches are only 1" deep - about the same a
standard switch. Both use the same housing with the only difference
being the paddle bezel and number of LEDs. The back is clear so you can
see that they also share the same circuitry. It is obvious that these
are the same units with different feature sets. Perhaps the ICONs are
missing a chip or maybe it's just a firmware difference.

From:Robert Green

Insteon receptacles?

Post by Robert Gre » Fri, 03 Feb 2006 10:31:37

Answering two posts with one]

Sorry I was unclear. Since the thread was about receptacles, I was basing
my comments not on the switch series, but on their plug-in Switchlinc
"appliance" modules which, my wife assures me, are much larger than their
X-10 counterparts. (I just measured one and it's substantially larger than
its X-10 counterpart in every dimension - an inch taller, at least.) AFAIK,
Smarthome's line is conspicuously absent a switched in-wall 110VAC
receptacle so we have nothing to really compare it to except the X-10

An outlet is always going to have a minimum depth based on the length of a
common three-prong plug. Now, multiply that by two and a duplex wall outlet
module *has* to consume more space than a comparable switch module right on
the drawing board (or CAD/CAM screen for all you young whippersnappers!)

A duplex outlet almost certainly has to consume more cubic inches in a box
than a switch will. You can shrink a switch in PLC devices to miniature
size because it's not directly switching the load, it's triggering a larger
current switching device like a triac or a relay. But you can't shrink the
number of cubic inches lost to outlet sockets unless you make them external
to the outlet. Hence the appliance module. Just put two X-10 appliance
modules head-to-head and you'll see. Then compare two SwitchLinc appliance
modules head-to-head they take up the volume that *three* X-10 appliance
modules could fit in.

I think X-10 "in-the-wall" outlets (only 1 outlet switched, BTW, probably to
reduce size demands) have a high failure rate because they are packed too
tight and the components suffer from heat damage. I would have to run
temperature tests to be sure, but the plastic cams in the failed ones I've
seen have become brittle from the heat and break and tend to look like the
brown spot that appears above the transformer in their minicontrollers.

It wouldn't surprise me if SmartHome *does* have a duplex outlet in beta,
but that the failure rate is too high to release it without a redesign.
I've seen some pretty impressive internal sparking from X-10 appliance
modules switching loads close to capacity. I'll bet that back-EMF and all
sorts of other issues involving relay switching of large inductive AC loads
just *plagues* appliance module designers. Dimmers are typically rated for
much smaller and "friendlier" loads. IIRC, X-10's max switch rating is 500W
but their appliance modules are rated for 1500W. That makes comparing light
dimming switches to outlets just a little unequal. Which gets me back to
what I said in the first place:

I'll rephrase my original comment "the SmartHome appliance modules have
always struck me as a little too big to successfully create a duplex outlet
in-wall receptacle from their existing design."

They still do! :-)

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news:Et9Ef.6085$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM ...


Insteon receptacles?

Post by none » Fri, 03 Feb 2006 11:04:25


Considering how small they made the SwitchLinc V2s, I would say that the
larger housing of the LampLinc V2s and ApplianceLinc V2s is simply a design
issue. Also, SmartHome has used the same housing for several different
products and from their manufacturing standpoint that would make sense.

I would see them having no problem making a standard sized duplex outlet
similar to the X-10 ones (at worse, just as deep).

(And like many others here, I wish they WOULD hurry up and make them!)

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Insteon receptacles?

Post by Bruce » Fri, 03 Feb 2006 11:39:28

es, you're right, I was comparing the wall switches. The plug-in
modules are needlessly huge. The Leviton X10 plug-ins are a nice size,
wish they'd copy that design! BTW, Leviton offers a version of the X10
outlet with both switched rather than just the one that X10 offers. It's
really just a matter of internal wiring as they are not switched

From:Robert Green


Insteon receptacles?

Post by Robert Gre » Fri, 03 Feb 2006 12:01:44

<stuff snipped>

Well, they haven't been able to design a reliable in wall-outlet yet. They
don't even have their own X-10 version as far as I can tell. That tells me
there's something wrong. Not enough demand? Maybe, but I doubt it. There
have been plenty of calls for it, including yours and the OP's.

The new *switches* are smaller BUT they are switches, not outlets. It's not
a fair comparison. They have a single relay in a configuration that doesn't
have to include space for inserting two three-prong grounded plugs. A
duplex wall receptacle with two fully-addressable 110VAC outlets will
require space for two relays and two receptacles. That makes them hard to
compare reasonably to a device like a wall switch which needs only one relay
and NO real estate inside the box for two receptacles.

As slim as it is, even the V2 couldn't easily accommodate the addition of
two grounded 110VAC receptacles AND a second 110VAC relay. Imagine smushing
a 99 cent Home Depot outlet into that Switchlinc box in the photo above.
Now imagine cramming *another* Switchlinc inside the box so you can remotely
control both the lower and upper outlets. I believe that's why we've seen
no such devices from Smarthome. They can't imagine how to cram 10 pounds of
*stuff* into a 5 pound sack, either!

Actually, I think it's a smart move. The X-10 outlet has a terrible
reputation for reliability. I think they didn't want to inherit that
reputation and are working on different designs to insure an ultra-reliable
outlet because it's both a pain and a hazard to have to constantly replace
them if they fail. The in-wall wiring pigtails get flexed too much and
often break if you pull a switch or outlet too many times, especially in a
house with old wires.

Insteon receptacles?

Post by Robert Gre » Fri, 03 Feb 2006 13:22:33

We have most off-white walls. When SWMBO saw the battleship-sized and
battleship gray ApplianceLincs, back they went to Smarthome. They actually
made the small X-10 appliance modules look good to her.

By "both switched" you mean upper and lower outlets respond to the same
address? That's a compromise design, IMHO. Ideally, you want to control
upper and lower outlets separately but I don't think they could cram a
second relay in the Leviton box. I've looked inside a couple of dead X10
duplex outlets. It's cramped.

Ideally, both upper and lower outlets could be individually addressed and
either switched or unswitched. They should also be capable of being wired
to separate circuits like they do some kitchens to provide 30A per outlet
point for toaster ovens and high wattage appliances, etc. It would be nice
to know the answer to "Did I leave the toaster oven on?" (which is easy to
do with some of them just by closing the door) remotely by knowing that
outlet Kitch3 was OFF. Oh, and that's really off - no current at all going
to the appliance not any of this "based on my state table I believe it is
off" crap. Off. That has to be switchable, too, because so many new
appliances have "sleep" modes. No wonder we haven't seen a good duplex
outlet yet! Lots of factors to look at when they design and build a good
one. :-)

It will be interesting to see what they design if they ever get around to
releasing one. Once upon a time someone from Smarthome used to post here,
but he was probably run out of town on a DIN rail. :-)

Insteon receptacles?

Post by Marc F Hul » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 00:51:03

The slimnesss of the case comes at the expense of volume available for the
inductor -- it is only 5 turns around a toroid core, European CE
requirements for noise are more restrictive than US so a European model
might require a redesign of the case. I will be scoping the noise these
dimmers create when I get back to HA stuff in April.

... Marc

On Wed, 01 Feb 2006 14:16:23 GMT, XXXX@XXXXX.COM (Dave Houston) wrote
in message < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >: