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How to Automate Exterior Lights with an INSTEON 2420M Motion Sensor – Part 2

Bob Jackson
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by Bob Jackson

This update explains how to program the ISY-99i home automation controller and configure a Smarthome 2420M Rev. 2.2 motion sensor to automatic exterior lights.

Smarthome INSTEON 2420M Motion Sensor

It’s been 3 years since I installed the INSTEON 2420M Rev 1.1 (first generation) motion sensor. The battery recently died (I was on my 2nd or 3rd battery) and after replacing the battery, the motion sensor wouldn’t accept programming updates from the ISY-99i administrative console after linking, despite a factory reset and placing the motion sensor next to the Smarthome 2443 Access Point for a strong RF signal. The old motion sensor worked fine otherwise, but the red motion LED is very bright at night and I really wanted to dim the LED brightness, which requires programming via the ISY-99i. I gave up on troubleshooting the old unit and purchased a new Smarthome/SkyLink 2420M Wireless INSTEON Motion / Occupancy Sensor, Rev. 2.2.

SmartHome 2420M INSTEON Motion Sensor Kit Contents

The new Smarthome 2420M Rev. 2.x motion sensor has a couple of hardware upgrades compared to the older Rev. 1.x unit:

  • Jumper 5 – enables INSTEON remote software management by disabling Jumpers 2, 3 and 4.
  • Two small dials (potentiometers – i.e. adjustable resistors) to adjust the Automatic OFF Countdown and Day/Night Threshold settings, respectively. The new dials are located to the right of Jumper 5.
Smarthome INSTEON Motion Sensor 2420M Rev 2.2 Jumpers and Set Button

I installed Jumper 5 on both pins to manage the 2402M options exclusively via the ISY-99i Administrative Console and left all other Jumpers in the OFF position (OFF means the jumper is only installed on single pin or missing).

ISY-99i: Linking the 2420M Motion Sensor

See the Universal Devices Wiki page for ISY-99i/ISY-26 INSTEON: Linking a Motion Sensor for an overview of linking a motion sensor. The following 2420M motion sensor linking and configuration steps are more detailed version of the Wiki overview.

  • Install Jumper 5 on both pins.
  • Install a new 9 volt battery in the 2420M.
  • Place the 2420M close to the 2443 Access Point. While watching the Access Point LED, click the 2420M Set button. The Access Point LED should blink each time the 2420M Set button is pressed. This confirms you have a good wireless signal.
  • Press and Hold the Set button for about 5 seconds until the motion sensor LED starts blinking to put it in Linking mode.
    You have 4 minutes to complete the following steps.
  • Log into the ISY-99i Administrative Console.
  • Click Link Management → New INSTEON Device on the main menu.
  • Enter the 2420M device Address.
  • Enter the Name – e.g. Porch Motion Sensor or something meaningful to you.
  • Click Device Type.
  • Scroll down the list of devices to the bottom. Select “[10.01] (2420M) INSTEON Motion Sensor“.
ISY-99i Admin Console: New INSTEON Device 2420M Motion Sensor
  • I kept the default, “Remove existing links” – because I hadn’t directly linked the old 2420M to any other devices.
  • Click the OK button. See the screen below.
ISY-99i Admin Console: New 2420M INSTEON Motion Sensor Device Linking

The ISY-99i Admin Console will display a “Writing” status next to the 2420M device entries and a progress dialog box. It took only a second or so to link the 2420M.

ISY-99i Admin Console: New INSTEON Device 2420M Initializing System

If you’re having linking failures, this is most often due to a weak RF signal; try placing the 2420M closer to the 2443 Access Point. My 2420M was about 10 feet away with a clear line of sight from the 2443 Access Point. It appeared to me that linking/writing the 2420m configuration required a stronger RF signal than when just sensing motion events.

The linked 2420M now appears in the ISY-99i Admin Console as the Porch Motion Sensor device:

ISY-99i Admin Console: New 2420M Motion Sensor Linking Complete

Next, click the Set Options button at the bottom of the screen (see above). Verify the 2420M is in linking mode and click OK to continue.

ISY-99i Admin Console: 2420M Motion Sensor Set Options Confirmation

2420M Motion Sensor Configuration

The current 2420M motion sensor configuration will be read by the ISY-99i software and displayed in the following dialog box:

ISY-99i Admin Console: 2420M INSTEON Motion Sensor Set Options Parameters

For my application, I configured the 2420M motion sensor parameters are follows:

  • 1 minute Timeout: the sensor will send an OFF command after 1 minute of inactivity (no motion).
  • 10 LED Brightness: range is 0 to 255. I wanted the LED to be dim, but noticeable to confirm it’s sensing motion.
  • 35 Darkness Sensitivity: 35 is the default. Range is 0 to 255 with higher values corresponding to more darkness.
  • Sensing Mode: Checked because I wanted ON commands sent when motion is detected instead of waiting for the timeout to expire.
  • On Only Mode: Checked because my program logic depends on receiving OFF commands.
  • Night Mode: Checked so it will send ON/OFF commands before and after sunrise per the ISY-99i program logic.

Click OK after entering your values to write the new configuration to the 2420M. This took only a moment on my system. You can verify the settings were written to the 2420M by clicking the “Set Options” button again while the 2420M is in linking mode to see your values displayed in the Confirm menu.

In the next part of this project, I explain the new ISY-99i programming and source code for the 2420M motion sensor.

Thanks for reading,

Bob Jackson

2420M configuration2420M Motion Sensor Linkingautomate exterior lightsFast Off eventhow to
Bob Jackson
Bob Jackson
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