Hardware/Software ideas and requests

Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated ProgrammerPosts: 1,917
This came about in a different thread, but I think it deserves it's own thread. I apologize for not checking for an existing thread, but let's use this to reiterate some of our ideas and desires.

I'll start off with the two desires I posted in the other thread:

1. A new updated keypad. Preferably IP based with updated appearance (maybe even partner with Lutron and offer the colors that they offer??? ;) )

2. A Wireless remote that is based on the 802.11b/g standard. Something that allows a person to channel surf without feeling like they are a NASA employee trying to land a space shuttle.

3. (not mine, but I'll post it anyway because I like it) On the fly palette changing. hmmm, maybe the ability to sort of morph between palettes? So that instead of moving from palette 1 to palette 2 instantly, the touchpanel slowly moves the color values up or down in steps of 1, 2, 5 or whatever until the RGB values meet the new palette? In a board room, this could be used to signal the people using the room that they have 5 minutes left till the next group needs the room or something without being overly distracting???


I'm sure I'll have others, but I look forward to seeing the ideas that everyone else has come up with.

Jeff
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Comments

  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    I love the palette morph idea - nothing quite like the conference room panel going from green to yellow to red as the meeting deadline approaches :).
  • kennyannkennyann Junior Member Posts: 113
    That is a great idea on the morphing of the paletes. I can use those in the residential market too.

    What do you mean by wireless remote - do you mean a wireless remote for channel serving only. I trying to clarify.

    Thank you
    Kenny A
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    kennyann wrote:
    That is a great idea on the morphing of the paletes. I can use those in the residential market too.

    What do you mean by wireless remote - do you mean a wireless remote for channel serving only. I trying to clarify.

    Thank you
    Kenny A

    I thought of a few residential applications myself, but the most usefull example I could think of was the commercial one (one I thought might apply to the masses ;) )

    As for wireless remote, I kind of picture something like the MX-800 from Home Theater Master, but as a device on the netlinx processor connected via 802.11b/g. Think of it as a scaled down MVP-7500. Maybe like a DMS meets MVP sorta deal. It would be great if this remote could come in around the $500-$700 price range (Retail). It would be even better if the remote could be in the $300-$500 Price range. Or if they could do a one-way remote in the lower price range and a two-way remote in the upper price range. The other idealistic thought this brings to mind is that this technology could easily be applied to both keypads and handheld remotes (but, this is pure speculation ;) )


    Jeff
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    The old TXC remotes could use a revamp. Modernize them, put real buttons instead of those clunky big rubber things, make them 802.11 instead of RF. I like the idea of a small portable device like them - I use the original myself at home at my stationary bike to control the stereo; the last thing I want when exercising is a delicate touchpanel that will cost hundreds of dollars to fix if it slips out of a sweaty hand. Likewise for applications like bathrooms and indoor pools.
  • mediapilotincmediapilotinc Junior Member Posts: 82
    1. I'd like to see some lower cost/higher resolution panels, maybe with a scaled down Modero engine to save cost.
    Over $11k/$12k MSRP for an XGA resolution panel (a necessity for TakeNote) is way too steep IMHO. I recently bought a 1280x1024 17" LCD display for $200. Of course this only displays what the $350 Dell / $500 MacMini sends to it and does not offer a touch interface, but the $10k+ price difference can be very hard to justify, and using a TPI/4 is not always a good solution.

    2. Add a wired ethernet port to the MVP panels and/or their docking stations so they have a very reliable network connection when docked.

    3. Like others mentioned before; a small simple handheld remote with real buttons, preferably using WiFi (G with WPA, etc.). Think of a something shaped like Tivo's. Allow for a customizable (printable) 'wrap' similar to the one HP sells for the iPod to provide the labels.

    4. A successor for G3 web control (but we'll probably see that at Infocomm)
  • Dries KaspersDries Kaspers Junior Member Posts: 142
    I'd like to see a smaller modero viewpoint (5 - 6 inch) with an active TFT and a no frills docking station in a reasonable priced package.

    This panel could do without computer control (too small) and connections for USB keyboard and mouse are also not needed.

    Also the panel housing itself could do with an upgrade, a more scratch free finish with a few color options...

    -- [edit]
    Oh, and perhaps a PoE ethernet port on the NI-series for applications where only the WAP needs to be connected to the NI. This could replace the ICSNET ports since they seem to be abandoned anyway...
  • Reese JacobsReese Jacobs Junior Member Posts: 342
    Hardware/Software ideas and requests

    I would like to second (or third) some of the previous suggestions:

    1. I agree with Wilbert - add an Ethernet port to the MVPs and to the MVP docking stations so a hardwired connection can be used when possible for a more reliable connection.

    2. Handheld Remote Control - something like an RTI or Home Theatre Master that works directly as a Netlinx device. Preferably WiFi and bi-directional but most anything along these lines would be a great enhancement to the product line.

    Other ideas perhaps not covered here already but discussed elsewhere:

    3. DMS Keypad replacement - a native Netlinx device with full level control in both directions (need to be able to combine DMS levels with other devices).

    4. NI-700 - offer a version of the device with an ICSNet port either in addition to or instead of the Axlink port. I like the device (lots of memory, fastest processor of any Master) but the lack of an ICSNet port is limiting at least in my applications.

    5. Single room A/V device controller similar to the old PMB-TCC (NI-700 was a good idea but I am referring to an ICSNet replacement for the TCC). The NXC-IRS4 gets you a long way there but the old TCC had IR outputs, IR input, a built-in VSS, and contact inputs. Stuff a serial port on it and a mini WiFi access point as well. Let's see how many goodies we can get into a small footprint device.

    Reese
  • VLCNCRZRVLCNCRZR Senior member Posts: 216
    More Hardware Ideas

    I would like to see them develop a wireless module shell that would acommodate any available control card. This would work out great for portable lecterns, and applications where running new cabling isnt cost
    effective. If they can make a panel wireless, why not a module?

    Personally, I am still undecided if I like all the new ethernet connectivity in the control systems. I have yet to see an application where everything works perfectly 100% of the time. The networks are getting so over-populated, especially in the wireless area. Youd can integrate the best control system around, and it is at the mercy of the customers LAN. There is a part of me that still likes the proprietary communication for control panels. I do realize the benefits of the ethernet capabilities, but with every advancement, there also is a drawback.

    Just like many others, I would like to see some physical changes to the MVP series panels. I also agree the pricing for the larger panels is ridiculously expensive.

    Thanks.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Hi everyone,
    1- I would like a controller with the simple stereo volume controller built in, 1 box.
    2- The HTML web pages to auto-sync with the touch panel without the need to write the code to do so, this could be selectable option that could be turned on/off depending on how the programmer wants the panels to interact.
  • maxifoxmaxifox Junior Member Posts: 209
    For sure it was stated here many times but I think it is worse to repeat again... A web browser running on the panel.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Hi,
    A cheaper Modero panel to replace the G3 that exist now.
  • veraviewveraview Junior Member Posts: 44
    Phoenix connectors instead of D-SUBs for RS232 ports like on the NXI and the Axcent 2. While we have a standard at our shop (controller transmit always gets the RED wire), we still miss frequently due to poor documentation from third party equipment. Swapping pins ain't easy after the rack has been installed.

    A small LCD panel on the front of netlinx masters that shows the IP address...and maybe some other basic config information. The only easy way around is to put a G4 panel on the network, set it to "auto", and let it connect to the master on its own to find the address. Otherwise its off to the rack with an rs232 cable to run diagnostics. Since its getting harder and harder to find laptops with real serial ports this would be a great bonus.

    An AMX branded USB keyboard and mouse that match the modero panels.
  • Cameron DCameron D Junior Member Posts: 31
    Ideas

    I would like to see more ethernet ports or a built in hub and or access point on the NI controlers.Why have loads of boxes for one system.

    No 9 way d-types on the NI's.

    A more robust wall docking station.

    And a 10" modero panel not wide screen for lecturns.
  • JillJill Junior Member Posts: 44
    Bonjour
    I would like to see a new style connector for the intial setup of the controller. With more and more laptop companies dropping all but the latest port connectors, it is hard to find a laptop that has DB9(and the USB- DB9 don't always work) Perhaps a USB style. :):)
  • Cameron DCameron D Junior Member Posts: 31
    More Ideas

    Firmware update program, like the Web update Program.
    Which looks at a system tree and compares the firmware dates and uploads the newest one.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    I know that they are trying to keep the cost of the NI-700 down but it would be nice to have a couple of relay contacts on it.

    Hi Cameron; A few months back I posted a poll with this as the question. I too would really like to see this feature. :)
  • Marc ScheibeinMarc Scheibein Junior Member Posts: 669
    I know that they are trying to keep the cost of the NI-700 down but it would be nice to have a couple of relay contacts on it.

    If you open a NI-700, on the back there are 2 solder places which look like there may fit relais, but... ;)
  • Marc ScheibeinMarc Scheibein Junior Member Posts: 669
    Maybe I've overseen that, but my ideas are:

    - an updated version of NetLinx Diagnostics (G4 support, etc)
    - a software tool "Workspace Loader" -> load a workspace into the tool, check the comm and device settings and download all the stuff

    Both to have small tools to give to the not-so-experienced customers, for simple diagnostics and to have a way to download all the necessary files without that big Studio environment.

    BTW - what about a simple integrated IR file viewer in Studio? So it would not be necessary to launch the full IREdit just to have a look into the code list of the IR file....?!
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,900
    Something I'd love to see which could save us programmers some headaches is a compare feature in Netlinx Studio. I'm thinking this feature could compare two files (one from the master and the other that has been sitting on your PC) to see what is different. File revision control can sometimes become an issue, and what you're working off of, and what should really be worked on could be two different files. Perhaps a simple count would be good, such as this file has 743 lines of code, 3 timelines, 16 button events and this file has 756 lines of code, 3 timelines and 13 button events. You obviously could get very detailed and say, lines 233 are both button events, but one has three SEND_STRINGs and the other one has one SEND_STRING.

    Just my two cents.
  • JillJill Junior Member Posts: 44
    Auto-detect RS232 ports, by auto detect I mean they detect and if need be correct the Tx/Rx pins config. Handy if you change equipment with a different wiring config. :):)
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Jill wrote:
    Auto-detect RS232 ports, by auto detect I mean they detect and if need be correct the Tx/Rx pins config. Handy if you change equipment with a different wiring config. :):)
    That would be lovely - but since it's not in the RS-232 spec, I doubt anyone makes a serial chip that supports it.
  • JillJill Junior Member Posts: 44
    Hi Dave
    I thought Barco? either had or was working such a system some years back, looks like it didn't work or catch on. :):)
  • veraviewveraview Junior Member Posts: 44
    Maybe just a "null modem" dip switch for each port, so we could make oodles of standard cables then just flip the dips when its time to program? I don't think anyone was expecting to have systems with 20+ serial ports in them when the RS232 spec was written!

    Tom
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    I hadn't thought of that - a simple hardware switch would do the job, no need to drill down to the chip level.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    As simple as a DPDT dip. Easy, cheap and could be added to the existing system very easily. If I get a moment I'll beta one in my office and let you know how it works. :cool:
    Good idea guys and now girls.
  • Charles LawCharles Law Junior Member Posts: 72
    USB Programming Port

    Add USB Programming Port to NI Controller. Hard to find COM port in a Laptop PC nowaday.
  • Chip MoodyChip Moody Junior Member Posts: 727
    Add USB Programming Port to NI Controller. Hard to find COM port in a Laptop PC nowaday.

    I'd say skip the USB and just use the Ethernet port that's already there, but then you need an easy means to set the Ethernet parameters. :)

    - Chip
  • Charles LawCharles Law Junior Member Posts: 72
    Chip Moody wrote:
    I'd say skip the USB and just use the Ethernet port that's already there, but then you need an easy means to set the Ethernet parameters. :)

    - Chip

    Agreed. Able to use arp to set the IP address of the controller may be a good idea.
  • On the subject of the 9-pin serial ports being troublesome, AMX offers a STS connector. If you don't want to solder, or what to test your wiring before soldering:

    Need to connect a cable to a DB9 control port? Forget the hassles of parts, pins, and soldering--get an STS, lock the wires down to the built-in screw terminals, and plug it in.

    They work quite well.

    Screw-terminals are nice but, quite expensive, 9-subs are Cheap.

    <a href="http://www.amx.com/product-details.asp?pid=295&lin=84&pf=1|13">http://www.amx.com/product-details.asp?pid=295&lin=84&pf=1|13</a>
  • Cameron DCameron D Junior Member Posts: 31
    Need To Redesign.

    The MVP Panels are bit plastic looking take a look at cr*****s wireless panels
    they are all made of 2 cases, eg a back part and a front part.Not like the MVP Panels which have push on a front panel.Which sometimes comes off.

    And the plastic cover paint does not last after a few scratches.

    Sorry if i am ripping the panels.

    But please improve the case for these panels.
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