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Ademco Vista BP/FBP 128 & 250

Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated ProgrammerPosts: 1,917
This is the second comm module in the last two days that has caused me some grief. This one is definately due to a protocol change on the part of Honeywell (ademco). It seems that the protocol was changed for the better in that it now supports multiple partitions and also allows access to all 250 zones (or max of panel). The only problem is that the preliminary documentation that AMX used to create the new Java comm module is quite different than the actual implementation. It seems that the disarm/arm and partition reporting portions of the module function properly, but the zone information is completely useless. The comm module is unable to interpret the zones as anything other than active.

I was watching the internal diagnostic messages and saw that the java module was occasionally reporting a SYSTEM EVENT message, but this message wasn't being sent to the virtual device. These events are actually what I am after for this job, so I was wondering if anyone knows of a PROPERTY I can set to have the comm module send these events to the virtual devices?

Eventually, I have another job coming up that will be easier to code if I can query the current status of the zones individually, but I am hoping that by then an update module will be available.

I really hope that I am just spending too much time in the areas where they are still painting and that after this weekend, the fumes will subside and I will see the stupid errors I am making, but until then I decided to essentially whine to the forums :)

Jeff

Comments

  • shr00m-dewshr00m-dew Junior Member Posts: 394
    I saw they released a 1.01 version at the begining of April. Are you running that one?

    Kevin D.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    That is the version I was trying. I have a good start on parsing the data looking for the necessary info, so I can make it work, I just wasn't having a good week when it comes to things going smoothly ;)

    Jeff
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    Ademco_Vista_v1_0_7_dr1_0_0

    Can anyone tell me if I load just the module into my system and panel, will the module control the security? So the only thing I changed is the 232 port and user id, then compile and download...is this module supposed to be able to control the security system? If it is...it is not.
    I see the TX light occassionally on the com port, but no RX, but if I use the same cable connected to my laptop and use a terminal emulator I send a poll command and get a reply. Also when I press buttons on the panel I dont see the TX light....???? Any ideas?
    I also keep getting "DDD.physicalDeviceOffline: 5001:5:0 is offline" in my diagnostic window and/or in telnet with msg on. This device # is the port I am using.
  • Joe HebertJoe Hebert Junior Member Posts: 2,159
    Are you using a cable with only pins 2,3, and 5?
    troberts wrote:
    Can anyone tell me if I load just the module into my system and panel, will the module control the security? So the only thing I changed is the 232 port and user id, then compile and download...is this module supposed to be able to control the security system? If it is...it is not.
    I see the TX light occassionally on the com port, but no RX, but if I use the same cable connected to my laptop and use a terminal emulator I send a poll command and get a reply. Also when I press buttons on the panel I dont see the TX light....???? Any ideas?
    I also keep getting "DDD.physicalDeviceOffline: 5001:5:0 is offline" in my diagnostic window and/or in telnet with msg on. This device # is the port I am using.
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    I am using a premade cable, but I see where you are going. I am going to try a 232 with only 2,3,5 on the AMX side of the cable.
    Hour later......
    Using just 2,3,5 did give make some of the module work and no longer is it falling offline. However when I send commands directly to the module using the format supplied in the help file...nothing happens. I see nothing going out of the 232 port. So I send the command SECSTATE-ARM HOME,021234 to the virtual device, but nothing comes out of the 232 port and nothing happens on the security system. Right now I cannot arm the system I am only getting zone status.

    I also notice that when an event happens on the security system, like a door opens and a zone fault happens, I get a "command to" from the virtual device. Should'nt that be a command from? So that I can do something with the information coming from the security system.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    If you are running the module from AMX with the panel file from AMX, everything should work. (Make sure the panel is addressed according to the code.)

    If the module and panel file from AMX don't work, then it's most likely a problem with the communication. There is a possibility that the alarm firmware is the older version and it will not work. I know for a fact that a premade cable will NOT work and it will cause a problem. If all you ever see is the TX light, and never the RX light, then the alarm panel is not communicating. Double check to make sure that the alarm is configured to properly talk through the serial port. Also, double check the wiring on the serial port. We had one serial port where the sticker that labeled the wire connection points was on upside down and, as a result, the serial adapter was wired incorrectly and did not function (go figure :) ).

    A good way to verify that commincation is happening with the panel is to connect your laptop and use hyperterminal or something to monitor the panel. If it has version 2.x firmware, it should be sending strings out when zone events happen (motion and door sensors trip).

    Hope this helps,
    Jeff
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    Thanks Jeff. I really think there is something wrong with the module. Communication seems fine now, that I am not using a premade. While watching commands in and out of the virtual device for the module in netlinx studio device notification, I see things like "SECPOINTSTATUS-25,FAULT" when I open a door and then "SECPOINTSTATUS-25,ACTIVE" when I close the door. What is concerning me is that, those messages say to device, not from device. So when I try to parse the data I can't since it is not coming into my program.

    This is all despite the fact that the code downloaded with the AMX module completely does not work. The panel file it comes with is completely unusable, the code does not match the help file....it seems like this module and sample code needs a total redo. I am not even sure if this module supports keypad emulation on an FBP system...I do know Cre***** module does support keypad emulation and works great, right out of the box.
  • TechFreakTechFreak Junior Member Posts: 39
    I have to agree with troberts about the Comm module for this panel. I have a system that isn't reporting the zone status correctly. I can see the string coming from the security panel when a door is open, but it never triggers a command to the virtual device. The module is working some of the functions to control the sec.panel. I am able to emulate the keypad #'s, and it is reporting the current state of the system, ie: arm to home/arm to away/disarm, and it is updating the touchpanel correctly after it receives the state from the 30-sec polling of the system. However, the virtual device never receives the zone fault/active changes being sent from the device. I suspect the issue has to do with the revision of the reporting format, which would make sense that the Comm module is looking for the older format (14NQ...) instead of the new format (1Bnq...). The panel I am trying to control is the new 1Bnq revision.

    As for the panel/code from AMX as downloaded, there is no consideration for zone status or even a way to emulate the security keypad LCD. I now have a touchpanel that can arm if the system is ready, however if the system isn't ready, there is no way of knowing why or what zones are faulted, only that the "system not ready" is being displayed.

    If anyone has any suggestions, please post them.
  • roognationroognation Junior Member Posts: 138
    Honeywell Ademco - AMX Duet Module 1.07

    Well, I have a Vista 128 FBP unit here, and the module is acting kind of weird. I am using module version 1.07, which seems to communicate, but the module has a terrible memory. If I open a window, the module reports SECPOINTSTATUS-18,FAULT. But, when I ask the module, ?SECPOINTSTATUS-18, I get SECPOINTSTATUS-18,ACTIVE (even though the window is still open).

    So, the module is not actually reflecting the current state of any of the zones. Of course, I have elevated this up to AMX support, and there is an RFI in process; hopefully we will see a slight update in the near future. I'll update this thread when I get further information.

    Change Request: the module seems to be falsely reporting zones, too. It would be nice if the module was not online with the system, that zone information was not available, avoiding false positive/negative information. I mean, we ARE talking about security here. Or maybe use an UNKNOWN status for the zones if the communication link is down.

    One thing to add to the module, there should be some information on getting in to and around in the programming mode of the Ademco keypad, just for the AMX programmer who is onsite without the security vendor... Does anyone have links to the related documents?
  • Joe HebertJoe Hebert Junior Member Posts: 2,159
    roognation wrote: »
    One thing to add to the module, there should be some information on getting in to and around in the programming mode of the Ademco keypad, just for the AMX programmer who is onsite without the security vendor... Does anyone have links to the related documents?
    Attached...
  • roognationroognation Junior Member Posts: 138
    OK, I admit, I had a bit of a reading problem: seems the ?SECPOINTSTATE only yields the BYPASSED state. ?SECPOINTSTATUS gives you all the necessary info, and that seems to be working nicely, now. I guess the verbiage of the module confused me a bit.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    PS Thx Joe for the documentation
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    Has anyone heard when or if a new version of the Duet module will be coming out? Ademco_Vista_v1_0_7_dr1_0_0 does not compare to C*******'s version of the module. C*******'s works "out of the box" every time and has keypad emulation. There needs to be keypad emulation added to AMX's module and I still have yet to see this module work correctly with Ademco's new firmware. I see in previous posts the AMX sent an RFI, but that was months ago. Any info would be great.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    troberts wrote: »
    Has anyone heard when or if a new version of the Duet module will be coming out? Ademco_Vista_v1_0_7_dr1_0_0 does not compare to C*******'s version of the module. C*******'s works "out of the box" every time and has keypad emulation. There needs to be keypad emulation added to AMX's module and I still have yet to see this module work correctly with Ademco's new firmware. I see in previous posts the AMX sent an RFI, but that was months ago. Any info would be great.

    We've been in the process of moving from the Destiny6100 to whatever. We originally thought that we'd obviously move to the VistaFBP.

    We had to abandon it, however, due to some flaws in how the Vista works as far as external control is concerned.

    Our main beef is that the internal panel controls and external controls do not operate the same. On the Vista commands do not have to be preceeded with a user number. Externally all arm/disarm commands need to have the user prefix.

    We didn't like the idea of the client having to work the system two different ways. We liked the Destiny because keypad emulation worked flawlessly.

    This is not a flaw in the AMX module. It is just how the Vista works. We did get the AMX module working quite well but didn't like the functionality.

    After digging in and trying to roll our own module, we realized that the problem lies in how the Vista works.

    Another big issue that is flaky about the vista is that it doesn't volunteer feedback when a sensor status changes. You have to poll it. This, oddly enough, is true even within the panel itself. When you select the zone status window on the Vista panel, you see an update button. So, if you're looking at the panel's status and open a door, that zone will not change until you hit the update button.

    Here again, for us, this was not acceptable. We typically put a floor plan and door/window/fire pilot lights on the graphic to show open-closed status.

    I have to admit, we found ourselves puzzled by Honeywell on this. We were of the understanding that they were not ditching the Destiny per se but trying to absorb it into the Vista line. They seemed to know the liimitations of the Vista as of a couple years ago. I guess they just gave up on re-tooling it.

    By the way, we ended up going with the GE security system. It has worked wonderfully for us. It behaves much like the Destiny6100 but much faster and easier to program.
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    Thanks Eric for the info, but I still need to point out that C******'s module does keypad emulation for FBP panels only. Keypad emulation is a great thing, since there is no learning curve between the client's security panel and their AMX panel. I just dont understand why the AMX java module does not seem to support this.
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    This is an example of a product where RS-232 control was an afterthought and not a part of the engineering process. I remember at my old company we had to abandon most functionality of our Ademco interface because we were polling the unit for information it should have been giving us automatically, and the RS-232 traffic was preventing the alarm panel from dialing out, causing the system to fail tests.

    I was able to create a keypad on the touchpanel that functions pretty close to a real keypad, but I was writing my own code to talk to the unit, not using the module. The module was pretty useless.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    troberts wrote: »
    Thanks Eric for the info, but I still need to point out that C******'s module does keypad emulation for FBP panels only. Keypad emulation is a great thing, since there is no learning curve between the client's security panel and their AMX panel. I just dont understand why the AMX java module does not seem to support this.
    I would point out that Craptron's emulation has a hidden flaw in that they must be sending a user ID prefixed to the user code. So, either they are storing alarm codes in the craptron master or they're just using one of the ID number and code. Either way, they have to be jacking it somehow.

    I suppose it's a matter of how much liablility you want to take on. I personally do not want to store any security codes or other user information in my AMX system.

    We did make a keypad emulator of sorts and I was able to get it done as long as I stored all the user IDs and their access codes in the AMX program.
  • franjaropfranjarop Junior Member Posts: 2
    Help!
    I have a problem with the alarm honeywell 128.
    I want to capture the code that throws the alarm from the RS232 port to my computer, I have the code done and charge the controller of AMX and I can not receive anything.
    Someone will have some code that I can pass or at least, that can guide me?
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    franjarop wrote: »
    Help!
    I have a problem with the alarm honeywell 128.
    I want to capture the code that throws the alarm from the RS232 port to my computer, I have the code done and charge the controller of AMX and I can not receive anything.
    Someone will have some code that I can pass or at least, that can guide me?


    The AMX module for this actually work for this pretty well. I'd ho with that.
  • franjaropfranjarop Junior Member Posts: 2
    ericmedley wrote: »


    The AMX module for this actually work for this pretty well. I'd ho with that.
    You will have a code example that you can provide me because I use this code and not getting any results through the port RS232
    My code:
    MODULE_NAME='UI_Alarm' (DEV vdvADEMCO, DEV dvTP, INTEGER nBUTTONS[])

    DEFINE_DEVICE

    dvALARM_COM = 5001:1:0

    DEFINE_CONSTANT
    #INCLUDE 'SNAPI.AXI'

    DEFINE_TYPE

    DEFINE_VARIABLE



    VOLATILE CHAR cTEST[2000]
    VOLATILE CHAR cTEST_2[2000]

    DEFINE_LATCHING

    (***********************************************************)
    (* MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE DEFINITIONS GO BELOW *)
    (***********************************************************)
    DEFINE_MUTUALLY_EXCLUSIVE

    (***********************************************************)
    (* SUBROUTINE/FUNCTION DEFINITIONS GO BELOW *)
    (***********************************************************)
    (* EXAMPLE: DEFINE_FUNCTION <RETURN_TYPE> <NAME> (<PARAMETERS>) *)
    (* EXAMPLE: DEFINE_CALL '<NAME>' (<PARAMETERS>) *)

    (***********************************************************)
    (* STARTUP CODE GOES BELOW *)
    (***********************************************************)
    DEFINE_START

    //SEND_COMMAND dvADEMCO,"'SET BAUD 9600,N,8,1,485 DISABLE'"

    DEFINE_EVENT

    DATA_EVENT[dvALARM_COM]
    {
    STRING:
    {
    SEND_STRING 0,"'UI RECEIVED FROM COMM:',DATA.TEXT"
    cTEST = DATA.TEXT
    }
    }

    DATA_EVENT[ vdvADEMCO]
    {
    STRING:
    {
    cTEST_2= DATA.TEXT
    }

    }
    DEFINE_PROGRAM

    (*****************************************************************)
    (* END OF PROGRAM *)
    (* *)
    (* !!! DO NOT PUT ANY CODE BELOW THIS COMMENT !!! *)
    (* *)
    (*****************************************************************)




    Not getting the results for any of the two devices and also I should mention that integrated:
    Ademmco_Vista_Comm.jar in another file named, main menu
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    franjarop wrote: »
    You will have a code example that you can provide me because I use this code and not getting any results through the port RS232
    My code:
    MODULE_NAME='UI_Alarm' (DEV vdvADEMCO, DEV dvTP, INTEGER nBUTTONS[])


    Not getting the results for any of the two devices and also I should mention that integrated:
    Ademmco_Vista_Comm.jar in another file named, main menu

    Well, first off - that is the UI module and there is no UI code in it.
    Secondly, this is not that kind of forum. You don't typically come here to get free code. We all do this for a living. Typically when you see example code here it is more along the lines of people sharing ideas and code snipets. If you are new to programming, you might want to have your employer (if they are an AMX dealer) get you to the classes. You'll find it very enlightening.

    but - to answer your question: The way I'd do it myself is to add the xxx_comm module to your code. You can go ahead and use the provided UI module as well to give you helpful hints. But, I'd seriouconsider writing your own UI code. It's a very simple device. You'll basicaly just need a 10-key pad for the client to enter in their security code, a few buttons for "Alarm - Away", "Alarm Home" and "Disarm" You'll also need a few feedback buttons for the alarm status.

    If you're feeling frisky, you can also get the status of each zone in the system and show when a door is opened or closed and that kind of thing.
  • a_riot42a_riot42 AMX Wizard Posts: 1,619
    I am a little surprised so many are having issues with these systems/module. I've used it for years without issue, getting updates when a zone is triggered etc. There is one thing though, in that the Vista 128FBP is the older model, and the newer one is a Vista 128FBPT. T being for turbo. The difference is the time it takes for the system to respond to a command and since there is a timeout, if the module doesn't respond quickly enough the command is ignored. I believe AMX changed the length of the timeout in the module to a shorter duration on account of the Turbo model coming out, but it appears many installers are still selling the older non-Turbo unit which requires a longer timeout period. I didn't notice this until I tried to do bypass zones. This required sending a bunch of keys to the system, and so the shorter timeout would kick in and the command wouldn't work. Occasionally it would, depending on some factor I never figured out, but most of the time it didn't. If you have the Turbo panels, this shouldn't happen. This is what I've discovered in multiple support calls, but YMMV.
    Paul
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