TUS Posts: 4
Good day, colleagues
I met pretty disappointing issue:
We have 4 ERB-REL8 boxes installed. Three of them are from one series, one is from another.
So speaking about issue: after receiving 10-15 channel "on" and "off" commands, box disappear from the network and stop answering on any command. IP Scanner tells, that the box is offline in such moments, ping packets have 100% drops.
This happens with all of the boxes regardless of using Web Master page or control system.
We tried to use Ubiquiti UniFi Switch PoE 24 and D-Link DGS-1008P. Both with support of 802.3af PoE.
Have you ever met such issue? Maybe you have decision?
If you're having an issue with a product, feel free to call our HARMAN Pro Tech Support at +1 (844) 776-4899 or on the web at https://pro.harman.com/service . There is a form submission on the website, but I would recommend calling for the quickest service.
This is a known issue with the firmware shipped on the EXB boxes. Make sure you're using firmware 1.0.57 or later. For some reason it's STILL NOT ON THE AMX WEBSITE and you have to call support to get it.
< rant >
This blows my mind. I have an archive of 1.0.57 from 2012. How is it 7 years later, the latest firmware on the website is still 1.0.49? It's like you want to back up the phone support system with stupid phone calls for files that should be on the website. I had the same problem with Crestron. They had a 2-series firmware that they KNEW would cause a processor to disappear from the network. If you called in to get support about it, as soon as you said "Yeah I have a 2 series processor with x.x.x firmware that drops offline" the support guy would say "Oh, yeah, we have new firmware for that. I'll email it to you." In the release notes, it showed that the issue with the previous firmware was found like a week after it was released and this new firmware was made another week later. And this was at least a year before I called in.
Not only does this cause us frustration, it causes us onsite guys lost time because we think we have the latest firmware that's available so it must be something on our end and we spend time trying to troubleshoot it. I see a note on the EXB site that says there's a hotfix available. Why is it a hotfix? Why do I have to call in to get it? Is there some technical issue with loading it? Why is it not just put on the website as the latest firmware? Who do we need to talk to to make our lives easier?
< /rant >
In general, a "hotfix" is revised code that is intended to correct an issue but has not had the rigorous testing required to approve it for general release. This is important for government and secure sites who don't take chances with untested vulnerabilities. Software versions that remain "hotfix" for a long time often have suspicion of other issues that may have been introduced by the fix changes, or the volume of customer need is judged not to justify the costs of a full test cycle. So they are only released as requested for a specific issue a customer has that the fix addresses... as the risks may be preferable to the outright fail in a case-by-case basis.
Yeah, software liability is a pain.
Again, the latest version on the website is 1.0.49. I have 1.0.53 that was from 2012. The website says 1.0.63 is the hotfix version. Every EXB device I've ever seen has the issue out of the box (losing network connectivity). I don't see a justifiable reason not to have updated tested firmware on the website at this point.
Agree with @sentry07 here. Just add a comment that clearly indicates that the firmware you're downloading has not gone through general release testing, should be considered as a 'hotfix' release and should be used only if you understand the possible risks. Etc. Add a checkbox where the downloader agrees with whatever statement AMX puts up there and make the download available. Don't make it so difficult. We aren't end users after all and should be capable of deciding for ourselfs whether or not to take the 'risk' of using a hotfix.
After jumping through hoops now, the end result is still that: a download link, without any further explanation. So what would be the difference?
Thank you all. I'll try to get the latest firmware. Engineer from our local Harman office know about my problem, but he did not say anything about firmware newer than 1.0.49.
Okay, that is strange, but updating firmware didn't help.
Yesterday I recreated the scheme at our office. I used customers’ EXB-REL8 and Finder relays with 24VDC 37mA coil. With these relays, control box worked just perfect regardless how often I changed state of channels.
Also, I tried to test control box with 12VDC relays, but without blinds motors. In that case, control box lose connection. So I decided that the problem is in the relays with 12VDC coil current.
Although the relays in the REL8 take care of physically separating the signal to the external relais, it could be that the electronics in the box are still affected by the high voltage spikes that could occur when switching certain relais. You said DC relays, do you use diodes mounted close to the relays to supress this?
Also, I've had relay boxes from another manufacturer often lock up completely when driving motors, probably due to some high-voltage induction spikes which messed up the internal electronics. That box used internal power relays (20A), and I was only able to solve that by using external power relays, mounted close to the motor.
I've used quite a few EXB-REL8 boxes and can't say I've ever noticed one going offline, even with the currently published firmware.
I used EXB-REL8 relays to power up external relays with 12VDC 42mA on control contact. Relays themselves could handle up to 250V 10A. Power supply is 12V 840mA. So there is no high voltage on EXB relays. I know, that they could handle up to 28VDC 1A per channel.
I disconnected motors to figure out, how they influence on EXB, but the control box still looses connection.
I know there is no direct high voltage on the EXB relays, Im talking about the high voltage spikes that occur when switching a relay on or off. These voltage will be on the wires connected to the EXB and I have seen some weird stuff happen when switching inductive loads. So if you're not properly claping the relays with supressor diodes, it is really worth a try. Second paragraph in the linked application note: