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G4 Panels & LAN Control

I love the capabilities of the G4 stuff, but I wish there was a way to have a panel that was served from the processor that has the same graphical possibilities of the G4 panels.

G4 Web Control lets you control a specific "physically existent" panel, but what if I dont want to have a panel always connected?

what if I dont want the LAN panel to always show exactly what the G4 panel is displaying?

IN the G3 world, it was not a problem having a LAN controlled virtual panel that would mimic the main user interface, or to easily have a LAN virtual panel that was different to be used as a "tech panel".

G4 Panel Preview provides the graphical data to be able to preview the project on a computer. It would be nice if AMX developed a way to convert the G4 project into a format that could be accessed directly from the NetLinx Processor, rather than directly to another panel.

With the costs of touch panels combined with the presence of OFE PC's, we will always be faced with the challenge of integrating less hardware, and maximizing the customers computers and network.

Maybe this is a feature we will see eventually available.

Thanks.

VLCNCRZR

Comments

  • shr00m-dewshr00m-dew Junior Member Posts: 394
    Main issue I see is space. G4 panels take up a lot of it. Connecting direct to the panel basically streams the graphics over. To have a master based G4 would eat up a lot of memory.
    This in addition to the processor overhead that would be required to serve up a virtual panel.

    I suppose as memory increases / gets cheaper and the processor speeds increase we'll see it. Hell, even Duet isn't going to run on the older masters without a memory upgrade. Perhaps a mostly Java based program will allow enough extra processor to serve them though, and we would just need some bigger flash cards..

    Kevin D.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    I think this has been addressed in previous posts, but it may have just been a conversation I had with others at CEDIA or something. One of the biggest concerns that was raised is reliability. With all of the different OS versions, video cards, other hardware, virus/spyware infections, ... it makes it very difficult to guarantee that a "Virtual" panel will work properly and the cost to troubleshoot/fix the issues could conceivably surpass the cost of a touchpanel very quickly. Just look at the perception most programmers have regarding the G3 virtual panel.

    On a seperate note, I keep hearing rumors that AMX is developing a new touchpanel that will offer a lower priced solution (I'm guessing a 4" replacement) and that there is also a 2 way wireless remote in development that runs off 802.11g.

    Jeff
  • Reese JacobsReese Jacobs Junior Member Posts: 347
    G4 Panels & LAN Control

    Jeff,

    Regarding your off-topic note in your last post (sorry to contine off-topic - perhaps a new thread is in order), you raised an interesting point I wanted to follow up on. I attended Infocomm last year in Atlanta primarily for the ACE Re-Certification classes and new product announcements. I attended the AMX ACE luncheon during which we discussed the Modero MVP touchpanels. I was told at the luncheon by several AMX representatives that an upgrade would be available soon to support 802.11g. I was also told it would be a firmware upgrade but this only makes sense if the MVP wireless card is already 802.11b/g capable. If not, it would seem that a wireless card upgrade as well as new firmware would be required. I have had an MVP apart to re-seat a wireless card that came out of the socket (customer panel abuse!) and the card was rather non-descript without any markings that might indicate 802.11g support.

    My question is whether or not you know if only new MVPs will support 802.11g or whether or not existing MVPs can be upgraded (in the field) to support G. If field upgradable, I would love to know if the upgrade is firmware only as told or whether a new wireless card will need to be purchased (as I suspect) if the option is even available for MVPs already in the field. All of the wireless networks I have been installing for customers to support MVPs have been b/g capable in anticipation of G based panels in the future.

    Thanks,

    Reese
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Re: G4 Panels & LAN Control
    Originally posted by Reese Jacobs
    Jeff,

    I was also told it would be a firmware upgrade but this only makes sense if the MVP wireless card is already 802.11b/g capable. If not, it would seem that a wireless card upgrade as well as new firmware would be required.


    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that a firmware upgrade may in fact be all that is needed. The only reason I choose to think this is because B and G both use the same frequencies (2.4gHz). This is only a guess of course ;)

    Jeff
  • AlexArtistAlexArtist Junior Member Posts: 51
    RE: G4 panels and web control

    RE: Main issue I see is space. G4 panels take up a lot of it. Connecting direct to the panel basically streams the graphics over. To have a master based G4 would eat up a lot of memory.

    Wouldn't it be nice if there was a device you could ad to the netlinx master, that is like an expansion card, but simulates a G4 panel and can store and quickly process pages, but that communicates very closly with the cage for a fast web control. I personally love web control too and the slowlness of the G4 panels over the web is annoying.
  • mediapilotincmediapilotinc Junior Member Posts: 82
    Memory cannot be that big an issue with CF 1GB high speed (80x) memory cards costing less than $100 retail. The NI processors (2000/3000/4000, not sure about the 700) use standard Compact Flash cards already.

    The end of support for the G3 panels will be missed and gives the guys in NJ a new feature they can use against AMX.

    IMHO this must be a revenue issue. Hopefully Infocomm will bring a good solution.
  • AlexArtistAlexArtist Junior Member Posts: 51
    G4 Web Contol, & the guys in NJ

    Hey Mediapilotinc, what did you mean by "gives the guys in NJ a new feature they can use against AMX," who are the gues in NJ?

    The only good reason that i can think of AMX not creating more high speed interactive G4 web interfacing, is to make sure people use high speed moderos.
  • Chip MoodyChip Moody Junior Member Posts: 727
    Originally posted by mediapilotinc
    The NI processors (2000/3000/4000, not sure about the 700) use standard Compact Flash cards already.

    I believe there's more of a RAM issue than a disk-space issue.

    Maybe someday we'll see NetLinx masters with SIMM slots?

    - Chip
  • Chip MoodyChip Moody Junior Member Posts: 727
    Re: G4 Web Contol, & the guys in NJ
    Originally posted by AlexArtist
    Hey Mediapilotinc, what did you mean by "gives the guys in NJ a new feature they can use against AMX," who are the gues in NJ?

    Assuming you weren't kidding around, he means the company that is AMXs closest competitor. The ones with processors that not only support TP project files saved as web files and served from the controller's built-in web server, but also allows for the TP project files to be compiled into slick little applications that you can run on your PC.

    Of course, you can still use G3 control and support platforms OTHER than Windows, which the guys from NJ fall short on.

    - Chip
  • mediapilotincmediapilotinc Junior Member Posts: 82
    Re: Re: G4 Web Contol, & the guys in NJ
    Originally posted by Chip Moody
    Of course, you can still use G3 control and support platforms OTHER than Windows, which the guys from NJ fall short on.

    - Chip

    I understood that G3 control went away with the introduction of Duet (Java) support. New firmware no longer shows the panels in the browser window, just the G4 panels. NJ may not support OS X (G4 does not support that either if I'm not mistaken), but does support Windows based PDAs which is pretty cool really.

    My guess is that AMX will introduce a Java based solution at Infocomm. And that better be Infocomm 2005.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    With the onset of Duet, I can't imagine HTTP based applications are very far away. NetLinx masters are web servers, it doesn't seem like much of a leap to me to write code that will respond to HTTP events in lieu of button presses on a panel.
  • As fas as I know, the webserver is protected and can not be accesed from inside DUET. Maybe this will be possible in the future in a licensing model??
  • shr00m-dewshr00m-dew Junior Member Posts: 394
    FWIW, in another thread someone noticed that G3 web control still works in the new firmware. You just have to manually enter the panel directory into the URL line.

    It was also said that everything appeared to work fine, but if it ever broke in a later release AMX probably wouldn't fix it.

    Kevin D.
  • VLCNCRZRVLCNCRZR Senior member Posts: 216
    Not holding breath for G3 WEB long term

    My original post expressed my concern for a "modern' non-html based virtual panel solution.

    Although the powers keep stating that G3 WEB is not going away, I dont see a push for continued support either.

    With the browser and Java issues that already exist, I dont forsee any manufacturer putting much effort into bettering this type of control.

    I sincerely hope that new methods of "virtual" panel control are being developed for the AMX line.

    When I have to compare between manufacturers, sometimes I have to go with what works best and what I can sell the customer on as a reliable solution.

    Maybe I just thought technology was farther ahead than it really is.
  • mediapilotincmediapilotinc Junior Member Posts: 82
    The recent Tech Note 729 (NetLinx Version 3 Firmware and G3 WebControl) seems to support my impression that a Java based solution is on the way.

    They need some time to get past the beta phase (9-12 months) and then G3 support will most likely stop.

    Hopefully the true Java based solution will be much more stable and should work on Windows, OS X, Unix, Linux....
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