Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Plugin for the HAI family of security panels
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DanielSiegel
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Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DanielSiegel » Fri Aug 07, 2009 3:29 am

I have what I believe are current versions of the MLHAI plugin (3.0.18) and MLHAI Agent (3.0.3273.24765).
I have this plugin working with ML Server 3 (version 3.75.39) and my HAI OmniPro II.

I have two 4-branch ALC cards installed in my HAI OmniPro II and well over 100 ALC Units (dimmers and relays) installed in my house.

Based upon the (apparently) successful logging data that shows up in the MLHAI Agent, the MLHAI plugin appears to be communicating successfully.

However, I have thus far only been able to get the "Macro" command to work, which invokes my "Buttons" that trigger ALC scenes (eg, turning off multiple lighting circuits). I am communicating over Ethernet via my MLServer host (named "abmx1"), and the following command works very reliably: "MLHAI|abmx1~Macro~78" (where 78 is the number of the "button"). I didnt see the requirement for the host name (abmx1) in the Wiki, but I can only get the command to work when I use it.

BUT, I have tried to turn on a particular UNIT using every variation of the syntax I could find in the Wiki (and beyond), and nothing seems to have any effect. I dont see any error message in the logs (if I turn on "logging"), but there are so many messages I could easily be missing something.

I'm starting to wonder whether there is something I need to do (upgrade?) to my HAI OmniPro II to get UNIT commands to work, or am I simply not yet finding the precise syntax for the UNIT command (which seems unlikely as I have tried so many different permutations)?

I havent tried other commands (thermostats, zones, etc), as I am primarily interested in getting the lighting control working (Buttons and individual UNIT commands).
Any help would be most appreciated.

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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DaveB » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:37 pm

Are you on the Beta version or the published version?

What chip version is in the panel?
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DanielSiegel » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:30 pm

I believe it is the published version.
It says Version 3.0.18 for the plugin and 3.0.3273.24765 for the Agent.
I purchased the plugin for $99 on 6-24-09.

According to the Agent, my OmniPro II is using Firmware version 2.15 A.
I bought the OmniPro II in 2003, and added a firmware upgrade chip a few years later.
I dont believe they were flash-upgradable until around 2008 (though I could be mistaken).

Although the command syntax is a little confusing, I was able to get the Macro commands to work (just not Unit commands).
Do you think the problem is the panel?

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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DaveB » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:11 am

No - I think it is the plugin. You are actually running the public beta version of the HAI module and Agent. That version is at about 85% as there are several unresolved issues. DaveP will work on the completion of the driver as time allows. For now, I would do a few things;

1. Go to the HAI site and purchase the 3.0 chip for the panel. I has many HAI side improvements.
2. You panel date, not the chip version will not allow you to ever flash upgrade the panel. That feature is built into panels manufactured after 2 /2008, so the only way to stay current is to continue to purchase the chip.
3. During the Beta, we were all most concerned about alarm notification and connectivity, ability to control the alarm functions from MLS, and communication stability. We all started working on the control side and getting it sorted out when Dave had to move onto some other pressing projects. This one is very high on the list and I am sure he will get to it soon.

I use UPB, so I can not test the ALC commands. The UPB commands work well. Once more, upgrade your chip then reconnect to MLS. That may solve some of your issues.

Let me know if you need assistance.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DanielSiegel » Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:14 am

Thanks.
I will try the new firmware (though I'm not too optimistic that will help, but you never know).
Do you know how to order from HAI's website (very confusing)?
Perhaps I should just call them Monday and get it (dont know if Distributors carry it).

Hopefully, Dave P will get the basic ALC Unit commands working.
That would be a big step forward for my purposes.

Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.
Thanks again.

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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DaveB » Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:45 am

That is interesting; Since the begining of the company, they had a small on line store where you could purchase firmware updates and small parts. I have not been on there site in a few months. I even signed in with my dealer account thinking that they placed the store in the dealer area. It is gone. Looks like you are now forced to go out through one of there national distributors.

I would call them. If you have an issue, contact me. I know that I can get an upgrade for you via Worthington.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DanielSiegel » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:25 pm

Thanks.
I've used Worthington as well in the past (though not for chip upgrades).
I'll let you know if that does the trick.
Thanks again for all your help.

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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DanielSiegel » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:25 pm

OK. I ordered the firmware upgrade chip online from HAI - current version is 3.2.
I installed it and everything is working fine, but I am still unable to get the MLHAI plugin to process UNIT commands (just does MACRO/button commands). The log file in the agent gives me the same feedback for both commands (ie, both Macro and Unit commands are acknowledged and appear to be successful).

Is the plugin just not properly sending UNIT commands?
If so, when do you think this will be fixed?

Thanks

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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DaveB » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:41 pm

Correct - It is not. I do know that this is very high on Dave's list. He knows about all the issues and is going to rework the module to properly communicate with all the current HAI features. I know that he is close to starting this project.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DanielSiegel » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:46 pm

Thanks. I'll try to be patient (just not my strong suit).
I have to say, however, that the plugin has been extremely reliable for quite a few months now.

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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DaveB » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:00 pm

DanielSiegel wrote:Thanks. I'll try to be patient (just not my strong suit).
I have to say, however, that the plug-in has been extremely reliable for quite a few months now.


In my case, it is not bad, but many of the features are missing. Also, the communication fails after 20 to 30 minutes of use. I need to force a restart of the agent every 30 minutes if I want good reliability. Variables still jump around and do not consistently populate and I could go on. Dave is aware of all of this, and I am sure will get things corrected.

Watch the HAIbeta area in the forum and get yourself on the beta list SO that you, along with us can assist Dave in getting this thing done quickly.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DanielSiegel » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:05 pm

Sorry to hear that.
I wonder why mine seems so stable.
I've never had to restart the agent.
I'm using the Ethernet connection, though I would expect it to be less stable than Serial.

I will join the Beta list and do what I can to facilitate future improvements.

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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby ricks » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:42 pm

Hey Daniel,

Can you tell me what polling frequency you use for Events, Status and Event Log? I have mine set at Events=2, Status=2 and Event Log=0 and I still get hangs every 20-30 minutes. Are yours set significantly higher? Just trying to figure out how to get better stability.

Thanks,
Rick

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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DanielSiegel » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:52 pm

I never changed these, so I assume they are the default.
I have Events = 2 secs, Status = 15 secs and Event Log = 60 minutes.

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Re: Problem with ALC UNIT Commands

Postby DaveB » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:04 am

Rick and I have been fighting this one forever. Actually my TCP connection is far worse with more errors than the serial connection. I constantly switch between the two just always wishing it would somehow heal itself.

Thanks for the info.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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