Question on usage

Plugin for the HAI family of security panels
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CinemarDave
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Question on usage

Postby CinemarDave » Tue May 20, 2008 7:23 pm

As part of the new plugin development I am struggling with the best way to manage all the data coming back from the panel. The demo OMNI Pro II panel that I am using is generating over 1000 data points that could potentially be monitored. This would translate to over 1000 server variables and that's just not an efficient way to do things.

There is no mechanism in the protocol to ask only for the data that is in use. For instance there are a potential of 511 available units on the panel. But only three may be in use. It would be a terrible waste of time to constantly poll 508 units that are not being used.

I can query for items that have been "Named" but is it a good assumption that you always assign a name to a Zone, Area, Unit etc. when you are going to use it? If that is true then I can focus the polling on only those devices that are "Named". If this isn't true then I may have present a UI that will force the user to manualy check off what is in use vs. what is to be ignored.

Give me your thoughts on how you configure your panels. I want to get this plugin out to beta.

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Postby ricks » Tue May 20, 2008 7:55 pm

I believe the "named" concept would be a feasible option as long as the communication between the plugin and the panel is solid. Personally I have never NOT named an active zone, unit, etc in a panel through PC Access.

My experience with the HAI panel has been 100% reliable concerning saved settings even after rather disastrous electrical hits. My experience with communication reliability between plugins and the panel has not been as solid.

If a setup page in the plugin (similar to HAI Dealer PC Access) will provide more reliable polling with less delay then this may be the way to go.

Fortunately the panel will handle all response events on its own such as sounder activation, call outs, all lights on, shut down of HVAC etc. so its not a life or death situation concerning ML. But when it comes to life safety issues people want the quick and reliable "light switch" response. Any delays or failed ML requests will have folks questioning the reliability of their Life Safety systems and lose confidence in the entire system.

So I guess my thought would be "whichever is more reliable with faster response" in your opinion.

Just my $.02

Rick

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Postby cborod » Wed May 21, 2008 12:15 am

the unfortunate reality is your goal is speed and reliability while any given user may or may not require a particular data point. Everyone's needs will vary.

Perhaps the named or selected data point is the most customizable.

In other words, you might well offer every data point, I as greedy user must accept slower response because I am getting 1000 points of light.

The lighter, more efficient user will choose 300 points and get incredible speed because of the leaner selection.

You can never predict or know which discreet data point a given user feels is valid, but if you can offer a map, or selection grid that I by detailed setup select or uncheck, then those are the values you will create variables on.

Assuming you have that flexibility and programming opportunity.

This is sounding good. I think your question speaks of a plugin with great potential! We're ready when you are.
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Postby DaveB » Wed May 21, 2008 9:22 pm

Dave;
In every case that I have used so far with the Omni II, the integration software company has used the names concept. It works well, and yes you are correct in that you always name a point in the panel. The great thing about using names is that the panel nemes that appear on keypads always synch with the names used in the supporting software. IE; touchscreens stay in synch with the keypads.
Thanks!

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Postby CinemarDave » Wed May 21, 2008 11:30 pm

Thanks for the feedback. It helps steer the direction to follow.

Here's another question. How many of you will be upgrading existing panels with the new firmware to take advantage of the the features the new protocol brings? The primary feature is that you will no longer have to poll to the panel to know what is going on. The panel will provide real time feedback on status and events.

Will you

1) Leave exisiting panels as is? Why bother they already are working.
2) Look at it case by case and only upgrade those that need it?
3) Will update all panels.

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Postby DaveB » Thu May 22, 2008 8:38 am

Dave

With the other benifits that HAI has made available, it is well worth the upgrade. I have been upgrading my customers panels during our annual visits. In fact, I made the upgrade part of my annual contract with my customers.

As for my panel in my home, I always upgrade to the latest technology.
Thanks!

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Postby ricks » Thu May 22, 2008 8:46 am

For panels that can be upgraded with a chip I think its the right way to go. But for existing Omni II's that can't be upgraded by replacing the chip its about a $1200 - $1500 hit when you add the cost of the panel and the labor to install and program it. Too big of a hit to absorb or pass along to the customer for no noticable enhnacement on their part.

Rick

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Postby Scott » Thu May 22, 2008 11:34 am

FYI the latest panels will be upgradable via software, no more firmware chips yah!!!! We only upgrade panels if their is a need. Luckly the chips are only about $40. Is the new software going to still support serial and ethernet? I would like to go back to customers that have Omni Lites and Omni 2s and sell a Cinemar package to interact with their security system.
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Postby DavidL » Thu May 22, 2008 12:09 pm

The revised MLHAI plugin will support serial and ethernet. We are hoping that the newer firmware does a little better job with ethernet as the current one is really cagey.

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Postby cborod » Thu May 22, 2008 9:54 pm

ditto Rick's response.

New panels get the new hardware / loaded with the firmware.

Old panels get upgraded ships if functionality is being added.

My personal panel just received v 2.16 chip which I am told supports the new protocol also known as omni-link 2

My understanding is that omni-link 2 does not require the new panel

Omni-link 2 requires firmware 2.16 or higher.

The only feature that requires the new panel the ability to upgrade firmware online.

All panels will be backward compatible with omni-link 1
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Postby DaveB » Fri May 23, 2008 6:49 am

Same here. The ability to update the panel EPROM via a serial or network connection only works with the new panels, so that is really a seperate issue.

The EPROM update above .16 provides the Omni Link II functionality along with additional control features. One of the best added features deals with the temperature adjustment issue.

HAI said that they will continue to produce updates via chip. If history is a guide, they will move away from that, but it will take years.

Once more, I keep all of my customers EPROM level current annually as part of my contract with them.
Thanks!

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Postby DaveB » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:17 pm

Dave; Any progress?
Thanks!

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Postby DavidL » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:25 pm

Yup, getting very close. You will be the first to know ;)

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Postby cborod » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:14 pm

:lol: no, i wanna be first :lol:
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Postby CinemarDave » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:48 pm

Yes very close. There are just a couple of small items to finish before we release to beta. Here are a couple of teasers of the UI.
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