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What to use for garage door sensor

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  • What to use for garage door sensor

    I bought a "kit" of Insteon devices a long time ago. It included the IOLinc. It doesn't directly work with my garage door opener, but I hooked it up to a scavenged remote control and can now open and close the garage door using an Insteon mini-remote or the Insteon app.

    Now I want to have a sensor for the garage door state. Is there anything special about the sensor that is included with the Insteon Garage kit? Or can I just use a magnetic contact switch that I have from my security system for the windows (I have a BUNCH of extra sensors from when I replaced a bunch that stopped working). If there is something special, how do I order it separate from the kit?

    Also, when I operate the garage door from the app or a mini remote, I have to click "off" twice to get it to work. Is there a way that I can get it to operate with an "on" or "off" toggle?

  • #2
    The original Insteon garage kit used a simple 2-wire Normally Closed contact from Seco-Larm. It looks like these get made at a factory now so I'm not sure the brand of the newer ones but the contact is pretty much the same. I would give it a shot but these are only about $10 online.

    For the garage, will you double check and make sure your settings match the link below? It may fix your double tap issue. If it doesn't just let this group know and we can dive deeper.

    https://www.insteon.com/support-know...gs-for-hub-ios






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    • #3
      I checked the settings (although my app is not IOS) and unchecked the "latched" and changed to "on and off". Now the app works as I expected. Each press of the Off button makes the door operate. Pressing the On doesn't operate the door however.


      The mini-remote doesn't operate when the button is pressed and the green light blinks (on condition?), but does when red light blinks (off condition?). And sometimes it doesn't seem to respond at all.


      So is the Seco-Larm just a magnetically activate switch? Is there anything else in it? Some sort of resistor or circuitry of some sort?

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      • #4
        The original Garage Door Kit. Had a Seco-Larm SM-226L-3Q. Three wire heavy duty Overhead Door Magnetic Contact switch. It had a common connection, a NO connections and a NC connection.
        You could choose it NC or NO was better in your case. In the later kits it was just a 2 wire NC type.
        Nothing special about them just a standard magnetic switch. With NO and NC set of contacts.

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        • #5
          Well, I hooked up the magnetic sensor I had to the Sense and Ground connectors as per the manual. The NO and COM connectors were connected to my hacked remote. I was surprised when I connected the sensor, the door opened. It was like the sensor was being used to tell the IOLinc to operate the remote.

          I can see that as the garage door opens and closes, the sensor light on the IOLinc would go off and on respectively.

          But the App seemed to take a long time to show the state of the sensor and I never saw the state of the sensor change in the UI.

          I'll play with it more tomorrow.

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          • #6
            In the app, under the IO linc settings, make sure that sensor triggers relay is off.

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            • #7
              It was. Working even more odd today as I try various combinations of sensors.

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              • #8
                If I disconnect the sensor and press the button on the IOLinc, it operates the door. Though maybe not on each press. If I do the same thing on the mini-remote or the phone, I get a similar erratic behavior (which is why I wanted to connect the sensor in order to know the state of the door.

                But if I try the same thing in the Insteon app for Hub, I keep getting a message about failing to "connect" to the hub, even though the app can turn lights on and off without problem (so the message is probably bogus or misleading).

                Any more ideas how to get this to operate properly?
                Last edited by mtiede; 07-11-2019, 12:03 PM.

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                • #9
                  Just to clarify, when you are already logged into the Hub app, you go to the garage door device and tap on it and you get a message saying failed to connect to the Hub?

                  The IO Linc device is power line only, no RF signaling, so I am wondering if maybe there is some interference between the nearest Insteon node and the Io linc since you can tap it manually but the remote approach is erratic.

                  If you have an extra 2457D2 or 2635-222 you could try plugging that into the pass through outlet on the Io Linc and see if that helps signaling for the Hub and the Mini Remote.

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                  • #10
                    Ok, I think I have a satisfactory operation, at least from the phone and NOT from the mini-remote or the PC desktop app.

                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    The settings I am using are:

                    Monitor and Display Sensor Status: Check
                    Momentary: Check
                    Momentary Duration: 2 seconds (I suspect I could make this shorter)
                    On opens relay, off closes relay: Check
                    Sensor Triggers Relay: No
                    Check Sensor Before Triggering: Yes
                    Sensor Sends: On when Closed
                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    In this mode, if I look at the icon in the Android phone app when the door is closed, there is a little green dot on the Icon upper left corner.

                    If I click on the icon and the switch is displayed, I can press the Off, that means open the door.

                    After the door is open, the green dot turns white (indicator the sensor is in the "open" condition")

                    If I then click on the icon and the switch is displayed again, I can press the On, that means close the door.

                    Once the door is closed again and the sensor is also closed, the icon dot becomes green again.

                    ================================================== ================================================== =====

                    I have two problems with the phone.

                    1. When Insteon Android app first starts up and gets status of devices, the garage icon has a white dot instead of the green one.
                    2. S
                    ometimes when I press on the On or Off of the icon's switch, nothing happens and the dot just has a spinning circle.

                    Problem 1 is probably a software bug by Insteon. Their Windows app software was low quality and I assume the Android one hasn't gone through a quality assurance program either. Hopefully, they will eventually fix it. The Sensor is definitely in the position that the app should make it green.

                    The status dot does seem to take kind of a long time to update sometimes. Maybe 3 or 4 seconds. Perhaps this is an X10 issue.

                    ===================================
                    ===================================
                    ===================================

                    The mini-remote doesn't seem to work at all most of the time. I also noticed a couple of times that the red light flashed several times. At first I thought that was feedback from the sensor status, but it doesn't happen all the time. I guess I won't use that remote and I will unlink it.

                    ===================================
                    ===================================
                    ===================================

                    And lastly, the PC desktop app doesn't seem to communicate the on and off operations to the IOLinc. It DOES however properly indicate the Status of the sensor. So whereas the phone app comes up with a white dot, the desktop app comes up with a green or white icon matching the status.

                    When trying to turn garage door "on" or "off", I just get an error message that it can't communicate with the IOLinc (which of course isn't true since it was able to query it's status successfully)


                    I wish I could have done the programming for Insteon. I kills me when apps on desktop and phones aren't designed similarly and sharing common code. I've been doing programming since 1966 and quality assurance has dropped off the map in recent years. Oh well.

                    If anyone has any further suggestions, I'd appreciate getting all of these pieces working properly.

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