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NI to NX upgrade question

PyroGuyPyroGuy Junior MemberPosts: 121

Good day!

i am not a "high end" AMX programmer, but I can usually get the job done unless it gets out of control in which case I have a good resource to draw on.

We have a client for whom we installed an NI-2200 about 10 years ago. It was running with DMS keypads.

They want to upgrade to touchpanels. Likely MD702 units. There will be approx 8 or 10 TPs.

There will not be significant processing required for the overall system. Only 2 people live in the house, but he is an Engineer so he has more ideas of what he thinks he should be able to do.

Does anyone have any comments - one way or the other about including an upgrade from the original NI-2200 to an NX-2200 or 3200?

The system is also driving a PLB-AS8 that they use for intercom.



  • John NagyJohn Nagy CineTouch Product Manager Posts: 1,679
    edited June 2020

    Your NI is probably a 2100, not an NI2200 (no such model). The removal of the ICSNet keypads (I'm presuming PLK-DMS) AND the ICSNet PLB-AS8 from last century would be required in order to make the change to the new processors possible, but frankly there's little likely advantage in a small job. The programming changes required would be small, but the resulting improvement would primarily be in speed... enough to notice on complex 2-way interactive touch panel designs, but actually fairly trivial in user impact on small systems.

    All our older systems were and are on NI's, and many of them are likely larger than what you describe. We have built several in the 40 room/30 touch panel range, running in a single NI series processor. That size shows the load with sluggishness when security systems, lighting control, thermostats, and panel intercoms are in simultaneous use. An NX master improved those monster systems quite noticeably. We typically just made the existing NI's into I/O slaves to the add-on NX for an easy upgrade.

    In my own home system (12 rooms, 9 panels, 3 PLK-DMS, 1 AMX color thermostat, integrated Lutron lighting, ITI security, fireplace and garage door control, door cam and intercom to panels, voice control, scheduled events, video on panels, etc.), I have a single NI-3100 in charge. I put an NX on it to see, and could clearly tell I liked it better, but not enough to give up my own ICSNet DMS locations to get the improvement. So I am back on the NI alone and am not much disappointed.

    There is unlikely to be a way to use the antique AS8 with a an NX. We never explored trying to support ICSNet on slaves with an NX in charge, as expending likely significant effort with doubtful outcome in order to attempt the support of rare and obsolete 25+ year old subsystems seemed like a poor use of resources.

    Though I'd be happy to hear from someone who made ISCNet work on NI's below an NX, even if only as a hack for my own system.

  • PyroGuyPyroGuy Junior Member Posts: 121

    Thanks John...

    That is good information and helps put things into better perspective.

    We are still going to have to deal with panel to panel intercom so I'll deal with that when the tim comes.

    I think they will appreciate the speed increase. I just need to do some more work on the transition from KP to TP.

    I appreciate your comments and experience!


  • Reese JacobsReese Jacobs Junior Member Posts: 347

    DId an upgrade for a system that utilized NXC-VOL4 cards in a cardframe (12 of then for a 24-zone audio system) that had been connected to an NI-3100 via ICSNet. The upgrade was migrating to an NX-4200 (from NI-3100) which of course meant no more ICSNet. Given the relative lack of options for replacing the VOL4 cards to work with the NX-4200 directly, the decision was made to retain the NI-3100 system solely to manage volume control using the cardframe and VOL4 cards. The NI-3100 is in a master-to-master configuration with the NX-4200 with the audio devices declared in the NX-4200 master and controlled from TPs attached to that system all of which translate to functions performed by the slave NI-3100. The system works great, has been super reliable, and there is no noticeable delay in the audio functions despite them being handled by the slave NI-3100 in response to TP button presses/releases on the NX-4200 master. Additionally, levels from the NI-3100 devices are used to reflect volume on the NX-4200 TPs and these too work great (and with great response).

    The original audio system also had PLB-AMP8 amplifiers on ICSNet which were replaced with newer AMX Alero AMPs in the conversion even though the latter only offer relay control and no integrated Netlinx control. Many years ago the system used PLB-AS16 switchers but those had long been replaced with an Extron switch. As such, only the VOL4 devices had to be addressed in the upgrade.

    Side note, the upgrade to the NX-4200 was driven by memory (and reliability) issues. The Netlinx program is extremely large and the limited memory size of the NI-3100 along with numerous memory leaks associated with IP programming on the NI-3100 drove the decision. Otherwise, the system would stop functioning every 6-8 weeks once memory was exhausted and would require a reboot. Although the NX-4200 does have some small memory leaks in the IP programming area, it is orders of magnitude better than the NI series and when coupled with the larger memory configuration available on NX processors, it has been an ideal upgrade. The system now runs until a reboot is needed for programming changes -- the reliability has been incredible.

  • John NagyJohn Nagy CineTouch Product Manager Posts: 1,679
    edited June 2020

    Yikes! So the operations and manipulation of ICENet remain in the new processor and OS, just no native place to access it.... So your implementation was two-way, as required for a PLK-DMS keypad... huh. Thanks for this encouragement. It may be simple enough to be worthwhile despite obsolescence.

  • Reese JacobsReese Jacobs Junior Member Posts: 347

    Precisely - and to be honest, I was worried while planning the upgrade that the master-to-master solution for handling the ICSNet volume control devices would induce too much latency for control and feedback (particularly reflecting level changes for volume to the touchpanels). To my surprise, it works extremely well and you would never know that control and feedback on the NX is being handled behind the scenes by the NI. I never tried the PLB-AMP8 amplifiers or any other original Landmark devices in this design so I can't offer any insight as to how they might work but it is encouraging nonetheless if you end up having to go down the upgrade path for your PLK-DMS solution.

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