Infrared/INSTEON Bridge Technology

Currently there are three devices to bridge IR and INSTEON: the IRLinc Receiver (available for purchase here), the IRLinc Transmitter (available for purchase here) and the EZUIRT (available for purchase here). This page will cover IRLinc Transmitter and IRLinc Receiver only: the EZUIRT is Pro Only and is discussed in this forum post in more detail.

IRLinc Receiver Basics

Before we get to the How-To, we should probably take some time to explain how this device works - it is quite different than how the IRLinc Transmitter works - it's actually much easier. Each IR code learned corresponds to a virtual button on the Receiver. So, you train the Receiver with a button on your remote, and it will then toggle between broadcasting ON/OFF a specific button # (up to 417) which you can directly link to other INSTEON devices or have Indigo catch and perform some actions with. This How-To is going to focus on doing the latter (follow the instructions that came with your IRLinc Receiver to do the former).

Before you start the training process, you need to find a remote that's compatible with the Receiver. Most remote controls that use the NEC IR codes (a lot of remotes use those) will suffice. Follow these steps to see if your remote will work. If you are using a universal remote, such as one of the Harmony remotes by Logitech, we suggest adding a Xantech Gate Keeper Audio/Video Switch.

OK, so, once you've identified a remote that you want to use with the Receiver, perform this step to ensure that the remote will work with the receiver (if you're using the recommended Xantech Gate Keeper codes, you can skip this step):

  • Point the remote at IRLinc’s IR Receiver from a distance of more than 6 inches, and press the power button
    • If the IRLinc Green LED flashes (bottom of unit) – the IR code is compatible – continue to Linking
    • If the IRLinc Green LED does not flash – the IR code is not compatible – try another one

OK, now that you've successfully found a remote that will work with the Receiver, follow these steps to train the Receiver to respond to the buttons on the remote:

  1. Open the Edit Device dialog for your IRLinc Receiver by selecting it in the device list and clicking the Edit… button. Just leave this dialog open as you'll need it a little later in the process
  2. Press & hold the IRLinc Set button for about 5 seconds, then release. The blue LED will turn off after a brief flicker
  3. Point your IR remote at the IR Receiver from a distance of more than 6 inches, and press the button you want to be learned. The blue LED will begin blinking (no rush – you have 4 minutes to complete the next step)
  4. In Indigo, click on the Send PowerLinc set Button Pressed button in the Edit Device dialog for the Receiver. The Blue LED will return to steady on. Note: If the blue LED begins blinking rapidly instead of returning to steady on after step 3, this means the linking process was unsuccessful. In this case, you will need to perform a power restore (unplug the Receiver for 10 seconds, plug it back in, wait 10 seconds) and try linking again from step 1
  5. Once you've done this, press the button on the remote again, while pointing it at the Receiver's IR receiver. In the Event Log window of Indigo, you should see a line that looks something like this: Received INSTEON “Receiver Name Here” on (button 1). That means that the linking process worked and you can now create triggers in Indigo that watch for button 1 ON/OFF. Depending on the button, it may also send a “start brighten”, “stop brighten”, “start dim”, and “end dim”.


Congratulations! You now have the building blocks to use your IR remote control and IRLinc Receiver to start controlling your house. The default behavior, when programming a remote, is that the button will alternate between sending ON and OFF (or Dim/Brighten if holding the button down). This is fine if your only control for the device is the IR remote. If, on the other hand, other controllers will be used to control the device (or it can be operated manually), then the state of the device may get out of sync with the IRLinc. In this case, you might find it better to just have the remote send the same thing every time (ON or OFF, rather than alternating).

To get you started, Here's a quick How-To on having button 1 that you defined above toggle on/off a light:

  1. Follow the steps above, except between steps 3 & 4, tap the set button on the IRLinc once to send only ON commands (if you want OFF instead, you tap the set button twice)
  2. Finish the process as outlined above. You'll now be able to catch the ON commands that come from the remote. Make a note of the button # that is being sent
  3. Next, select TRIGGERS (or a subfolder of it) in the outline view
  4. Click the New… button to create a new trigger action
  5. Name your trigger “Toggle Light”
  6. Select INSTEON Command Received from the Type popup
  7. Select your IRLinc Receiver from the Device popup
  8. Select On from the Received popup
  9. Type in “1” in the text field next to button/group # - this is the group # of the remote code
  10. Select the Actions tab
  11. Select Control Light / Appliance from the Type popup
  12. Select Toggle On/Off from the Action popup
  13. Select your light from the Device popup
  14. Click OK


That's it. Now, when you press the button on your remote, it will toggle the light on/off. Note, this will work for any type of light - X10 or INSTEON - if you're controlling an INSTEON light only, you may want to consider linking the IRLinc directly with the INSTEON light - just follow the directions that came with your IRLinc to do that.

IRLinc Transmitter Basics

Before we get to the How-To, we should probably take some time to explain how this device works - it is quite different than how the IRLinc Receiver works. For each IR code that is programmed into the Transmitter, an associated link is made to a controller of some type. The controller button (or group) that's linked then can tell the Transmitter to send that IR code. It does this by sending an On/Off to a Group/Scene that the link defines in that device.

When linking a Transmitter directly to a controller of some type (for instance, a ControLinc), these details aren't necessary for the user to know. Unfortunately, when you want Indigo to initiate the command, it's important to understand this process. You might expect that you would be able to just do all the definition from within Indigo, but we don't have the ability to do that. We can't edit the links in the Transmitter like we can in other devices. This means that the definition process for a Transmitter is a little cumbersome. However, once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad! ;)

Before you start the process described below, make sure you define your IRLinc Transmitter in Indigo. One note - if you ever hear 5 beeps (or more) from the Transmitter, it means that the linking process has pretty much failed. If this happens, you MUST start over at step 1 for that code.

Because this process seems to be a little tricky, we highly recommend that you read through the procedure a couple of times before trying it out.

To Link your PowerLinc to your IRLinc Transmitter (repeat these steps for each IR code):

  1. Select Manage PowerLinc Links from the Interface menu
  2. Select an unused PowerLinc Group/Scene number from the popup, and optionally give it a name. For now, just leave this dialog open in Indigo - you'll need to use it in just a second…
  3. Double tap the IRLinc's Set button. It should double beep and its LED should begin blinking
  4. Point your IR remote control at the bottom of the IRLinc, hold it within a couple of inches of the IR sensor, and briefly press the IR button to be learned. The IRLinc should double beep and it's LED will return to steady on: if it beeps 8 times during this step, repeat steps 1-2
  5. Tap the Set button. The IRLinc should beep, the IR emitters should blink red, and the device being controlled should respond correctly to the command - you can repeat this if you like
  6. Back in Indigo, select your Transmitter from the popup toward the bottom beside the word responder. A sheet will drop down, explaining that you can't remotely program the IRLinc, but that the PowerLinc is now in linking mode.
  7. Without waiting too long (there seems to be some sort of timeout at this step), press and hold the IRLinc's Set button until it beeps. The IRLinc will beep twice again after a short pause. This is one of those points where it may beep 5 or more times - if so, you'll need to start over at step 1.
  8. OPTION: If you want the IR code to be sent when the OFF command is sent (it uses ON by default), then you'll need to quickly click the Finished button in Indigo and then click the Send Off button at the top right of the dialog.


That's it. Mostly. Now, if you want to use the same Group, but have the OFF command send a different IR command, you follow the steps above first, DON'T do the last step so that your first command will be send by an ON, but go ahead and click the Finished button on the sheet. Then click the New Link to Responder button. Then, start with step #3 above with the code you want sent with the group OFF command, and this time, do the last step. Don't freak out, because when you click the Finished button, there will still be only one link there. That's OK - the PowerLinc only stores one link for both the ON and OFF command - the IRLinc actually stores 2 links, one for each, but because we can't view/edit links on those guys, we can't show them.

inst_irlinc.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/25 22:53 (external edit)
 

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