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NXC-MPE or newer Netlinx master?

bobbob Independent ProgrammerPosts: 296
Hi there,

would you recommend getting the NXC-MPE master to replace an Axcent3 based master or is the NXC-MPE not as good as newer Netlinx masters? I am not necessarily into Jave and money is an issue. The system consist of a couple of Axcess cardframes and VPN-CP panels. I may add an AXB-SPE to drive Axlink busses though.

Can someone with experience compare the NXC-MPE to say NXC-ME260?

Thanks,
Bob.

Comments

  • HedbergHedberg Junior Member Posts: 671
    An NI700 (or NI 900) coupled with the cardframes and Axcent3 that you already have will work fine, I would think, and it could be done for a very reasonable price.
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    Hedberg wrote:
    An NI700 (or NI 900) coupled with the cardframes and Axcent3 that you already have will work fine, I would think, and it could be done for a very reasonable price.
    I can get the NXC-MPE for about $200 and another $50 for the AXB-SPE. Is that ok?

    Thanks,
    Bob
  • Mark EpsteinMark Epstein xAMXer Posts: 6
    bob wrote:
    I can get the NXC-MPE for about $200 and another $50 for the AXB-SPE. Is that ok?
    Make sure you're getting an enclosure for that MPE too.

    The NXC-MPE is a great tool for learning how to write NetLinx code. But if you ever plan to use (let alone write) anything in java, you'll need an NI-series or ME260 master.

    Going forward, AMX is writing modules (almost?) exclusively in java. As time goes on, more and more independent programmers will likely follow suit. You will never be able to use these modules.

    So, if you can live with where the MPE firmware is frozen (2.31.137 or earlier) and without any modules, the master itself is fine.
    -
    On the other hand, if you don't need all those buffered AXlink ports of the SPE, you might want to find out what you can get an NI-700 for and compare all your options for the present and the future.

    -Mark
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Personally, I would slave the old Axcent chassis to an NI-700. It offers the best long-term upgrade path, and it's reasonably priced. The MPE may be cheaper to start, but if it requires replacing again in a year, you've lost that investment.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Hi Bob
    I just converted 20 Axcent III's over to slaves with NI-700's as master. It took about 20 minutes to modify the my old code and another 15 minutes to add the extra axlink, convert the Axcent III to slave and get the system all up. Another bonus is the speed of the NI-700 is more than the NXC-MPE.
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    Ok, so my options are basically down to either the ME260 or NI-700 where I already got an NXS-MHS for the master. I would somehow prefer the ME260 (and don't necessarily need the buffered ports of the AXB-SPE).

    Just to confirm, they both can run Java modules? I can remember reading somerwhere that there is a special ME260/64 version of the ME260 only which could do Java because of the larger memory. Can the memory card of the ME260 be upgraded and is it standard CF?

    PS:
    Anyone by any chance has an used ME260 for sale, only the processor card maybe left from an upgrade?

    Thanks,
    Bob.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Only the 260/64 will run Duet, and there is no upgrade for the 260 to allow it ... not one AMX supports, anyway. Whether you want to "hack" one with your own CF card is another matter.
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    DHawthorne wrote:
    Only the 260/64 will run Duet, and there is no upgrade for the 260 to allow it ... not one AMX supports, anyway. Whether you want to "hack" one with your own CF card is another matter.
    Would that *technically* work? Is this a matter of exchanging the CF card or does it include more?

    Looking at:
    http://www.amx.com/product-details.asp?lin=84&pf=1&pid=614
    I have found an "EXM-64MB NetLinx 64MB Memory Upgrade for NXC-ME260" which seems to be an official version of an upgrade to the 260?!

    Thanks,
    Bob
  • Mark EpsteinMark Epstein xAMXer Posts: 6
    bob wrote:
    Ok, so my options are basically down to either the ME260 or NI-700 where I already got an NXS-MHS for the master...
    bob wrote:
    I have found an "EXM-64MB NetLinx 64MB Memory Upgrade for NXC-ME260" which seems to be an official version of an upgrade to the 260?!

    Your options are an NI-anything or an ME260/64. ME260 is not going to work.

    The ME260/64 is a different model, not just a 260 with extra memory. However, I'll allow there is a possiblity I am mis-informed.
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    Can the 16MB flashmemory chip of the NI-700 be upgraded? I know the manual states it is not upgradeable, but are there any options like swaping out the chip? Thanks!
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    There is a discussion of this buried elsewhere in the forums, and I thought someone had come up with something, but I don't remember if it was for an ME card or Modero panel. But last time I was at AMX, one of the tech there told me it was not field upgradeable because it would require cutting traces and soldering wires on the board to make new ones. They won't do it, it's too much of a support nightmare. But that doesn't mean a brave soul with the proper resources couldn't take it on themselves, just as long as they were prepared to handle the consequences.
  • cwpartridgecwpartridge AMX Engineering Posts: 120
    bob wrote:
    Can the 16MB flashmemory chip of the NI-700 be upgraded? I know the manual states it is not upgradeable, but are there any options like swaping out the chip? Thanks!

    No. There is not an upgrade option for the flash memory of the NI-700. If you need more memory, you need to look at an NI-X000 or the new NI-X100 series. They have compact flash modules and can be expanded to higher memory capacities.

    As far as the question of an ME260 not being able to run Duet, it cannot. The ME260/64 can, but the ME260 cannot. This is because Duet requires more volatile RAM than is available on the ME260 (it has 16MB of volatile RAM). The ME260/64 has 64MB of volatile RAM. The NI series has 32MB of volatile RAM.

    The size of the flash card is not the restricting value for whether a unit can run Duet.
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    I am getting confused regarding the ME260 - the AMX websites clearly states "16 MB Compact Flash memory, 16 MB SDRAM, 1 MB NVRAM memory. Accepts CF and CF II memory, presently upgradeable to 1GB (IBM Microdrive) and beyond as CF technology allows"

    I interpret this as 16MB CF card onboard which maybe swaped out to larger CF and CFII cards, even 1GB microdrive.

    ??
  • Mark EpsteinMark Epstein xAMXer Posts: 6
    bob wrote:
    I am getting confused regarding the ME260 - the AMX websites clearly states "16 MB Compact Flash memory, 16 MB SDRAM, 1 MB NVRAM memory. Accepts CF and CF II memory, presently upgradeable to 1GB (IBM Microdrive) and beyond as CF technology allows"

    I interpret this as 16MB CF card onboard which maybe swaped out to larger CF and CFII cards, even 1GB microdrive.

    ??

    The 16MB SDRAM in that statement is the volatile RAM that is insufficient for Duet. SDRAM is not increased by the introduction of a larger CF.
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    Ahh, ok, I see. What is the CF memory card actually used for?
  • cwpartridgecwpartridge AMX Engineering Posts: 120
    bob wrote:
    Ahh, ok, I see. What is the CF memory card actually used for?

    The CF provides the disk for the file system, which stores firmware files, NetLinx program files, Web Pages, and user file access via NetLinx FILE_* commands, Duet Java file IO, and FTP.
  • bobbob Independent Programmer Posts: 296
    Thanks for the clarification. Highly appreciated.
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