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Vantage Integration

rolorolo Junior MemberPosts: 51
I am doing my first Vantage/AMX integration. What is the easiest way to do this, wit specific attention to which is better to use IP or rs-232, how to keep up with dynamic status (nothing with binary I hope), and whether or not it is better to use the amx module, or just stick directly to v command.

What is the best way to integrate the these two?

Thanks Ahead Of Time



  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    Never having used the device, feel free to ditch my advice in favor of any from someone with real experience :).

    My rule of thumb is always use TCP instead of RS-232 when available, just as I'll always use RS-232 in favor of IR when available. But if the implementation is flawed, you may find RS-232 is more reliable. A good example is the Escient line of products - when they first came out, the TCP connection was horribly slow and continuously falling offline. RS-232 was the only reliable way to ontrol them. In the past year, they improved it so much I won't even thing of using RS-232 with them anymore.

    My other rule of thumb is to use the AMX comm module, but write my own UI module. There are some UI modules that are just so complex, it's not worth re-inventing the wheel (like for a MAX server), but mostly you can get away with rolling your own. I tend to only write my own comm modules when I have no other choice. Ironically, it's the aspect of NetLinx programming I enjoy the most, but it's also the hardest to justify to the billing department. "What do you mean, you need 30 hours to write a module to talk to a receiver? We can't bill them for that!! There's got to be something out there you can use..."
  • jjamesjjames Just another dude Posts: 2,906

    Are you doing a wired, hybrid or RadioLink solution? I've integrated AMX and Vantage once, and I'll tell you - it wasn't fun. When I did that one, I used V-Commands only and parsed directly from the C-Box. I had to rely completely on the V-Commands because I was integrating a complete RadioLink hook-up, and the V-Commands were different from commands being sent from the AMX module.

    Mind you - this was all back maybe two months into my AMX programming experience with no official training at Visitec or AMX. I never got the thing really working that great, but I think if challenged again - I could get it working pretty slick without the AMX module.

    Hope this helps.
  • sonnysonny Junior Member Posts: 208
    IP to Vantage, as far as I know at this point, just goes onto an Ethernet/RS232 converter to connect to the Vantage processor. I'm on a large project now, and I use the AMX module, however, there are a number of things I have to use V-Commands for. One problem with this is the AMX module does not send you replies from the Vantage system, so you have to create a buffer for the serial port and parse the replies. In some cases the buffer contains multiple replies before a Data Event is called, so I have to parse through multiple packets to find the ones I'm loooking for.
  • Joe HebertJoe Hebert Junior Member Posts: 2,159
    sonny wrote:
    One problem with this is the AMX module does not send you replies from the Vantage system, so you have to create a buffer for the serial port and parse the replies. In some cases the buffer contains multiple replies before a Data Event is called, so I have to parse through multiple packets to find the ones I'm loooking for.
    The AMX module will return unsolicited feedback for lighting level changes, keypad button pushes/releases, and LED change of states. You need to send the notify request commands for the loads and keypads you want to track after the module tells you that it?s ready for notification requests.

    Is this the type of feedback you are looking for or is there some other data you?re interested in?
  • sonnysonny Junior Member Posts: 208
    Is this the type of feedback you are looking for or is there some other data you?re interested in?

    no, I needed to get state of internal vantage variables which require a different command than the one AMX uses. Also polling for current settings on internal Vantage thermostats. That is the beauty of Passthru commands, however, I wish it would "pass" me back the response. Of course that would mean it had to pass everything back, which is essentially the same as parsing the buffer manually.
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    Lighting Levels

    Does anyone know if, when the keypads AMX is controlling are programmed in the vantage program as virtual keypads (aka phantoms) can you use the level commands to adjust lighting (L:[1:2:3:4]:75:5)

    The other problem I seem to have is that the system I am interfacing to is all RF keypads, so there is only a 2 digit address (master and station, no enclosure and I'm not sure if the button is considered a load)

    I also tried the module passthru and used qseries protocol
    VLC <master> <station> <load> <level> {<fade>}[CR], but still no luck.

    I can control regular press and release without a problem, but the light level commands don't seem to work. Even if I only load the AMX module test file.

    Can someone help?
  • shr00m-dewshr00m-dew Junior Member Posts: 394
    Are they RF keypads or RF dimmers? If they are RF dimmers you're only going to be able to control the buttons on the front, not the loads (through the AMX module). I asked for them to add support for it, but never got anywhere.

    You can either write your own module, use the pass-trough commands, or have a bunch of virtual keypads doing what you want and just hitting the button through AMX.

    As far as the VLC command, I believe there's a different one for keypad loads.

    Kevin D.
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    So, if they are dimmers, can I still control the levels through the pass-through of the module and if so what is the command using only the master module and button as an address?
  • shr00m-dewshr00m-dew Junior Member Posts: 394
    Just checked, VLC is the command for the wall dimmers. What the code look like when you're trying the passthrough?

    Kevin D.
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    Thanks, but that is what I tried my string was through the passthrough then
    'VLC 1 9 6 50',$0D

    1 is my master 9 is my station 6 is my button on my phantom keypad. Does any of this seem not right?
  • shr00m-dewshr00m-dew Junior Member Posts: 394
    You're not changing the level of a button, you're changing the level of the load in the dimmer. If it's a single gang dimmer the load is going to be 1. Double-gang load is either 1 or 2, etc...

    You also don't need the [CR] when sending a pass-through command, but do need the pass-through initiator:


    SEND_COMMAND VANTAGE, " '>:VLC 1 9 1 50' "

    Kevin D.
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    I'll give that a try.
    Thanks Kevin D
    One last question...I hope. Does it matter that the keypad I am trying to control is a phantom. In otherwords the phantom dimmer I control is only in the Vantage program and not a physical keypad or dimmer. So my button 6 on station 1 controls the light connected to an RF dimmer at station 98. So...I though I could just control the phantom keypad and set a level to that button and then that would set the level of the load on station 98. But maybe that is not possible. Hope my intentions are clear enough. Thanks again.
  • shr00m-dewshr00m-dew Junior Member Posts: 394
    Yes it matters..

    You have to separate buttons from loads. A button on a keypad can control any load, and you can control any load from AMX. But, if you control a button from AMX you're only going to do what that button can do.

    Controlling a button from AMX is emulating someone physically pushing that button. While you can have phantom dimmers, that load doesn't exist. All your phantoms should really be just keypads anyway.

    So if you want to have full control of the load, you have to talk to the load. So the commands for load 1 on RF dimmer 98 would be:

    SEND_COMMAND VANTAGE, " '>:VLC 1 98 1 50' "

    You're really only going to use that when you need to do something explicit to that load.

    For most things (light on/off, standard dimmer, all offs, etc) you can just create a phantom keypad and point to a button.

    Kevin D.
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    Thanks that explains alot. Thank you so much for your help!!!
  • trobertstroberts Member Posts: 228
    InFusion feedback

    If I am using the duet module, does anyone know how to force AMX to poll for the status of a lighting load. I see in the help doc AMX sends a command of "STATUS ALL" every 5 seconds. However that does not seem like it really gets the load status.

    When I turn on a light from the AMX module, I get the correct feedback. However when I turn off that same load from a vantage lighting keypad, the AMX module still thinks the light is on...even if I query for the light status it still says the light is on.

    I am guessing when I send a ?LIGHTSYSTEMSTATE-407 is queres the module...not vantage. Can anyone confirm this or point me in the right direction?
  • alexsquaredalexsquared Junior Member Posts: 166
    New Module released

    Anyone got their hands on the new Infusion Module yet? Looks like AMX finally figured it out if this bullet point is true.

    Added LED and button status command feedback

    This has been missing for 2.5 years now. I just tried to download and link is broken. When going to the inConcert center, it still seems to be the older module.

    I look forward to hearing results on this one.
  • RoalgoRoalgo Junior Member Posts: 3

    testing this is a test message to see if its working
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    Roalgo wrote: »
    testing this is a test message to see if its working
    10-4. message recieved.
  • GarretGarret Junior Member Posts: 27
    I have been messing with the vantage system quite a bit lately and found the modal isn't what I had hoped for unless there is a new one. The only one i could find was updated in 2006 I beleve.

    This is a bit of what I did....
    	WAIT 10 

    The ADDSTATUS host command for the vantage needs all the VID's of each light load that you wish to monitor by the amx. I have the cLOADVID variable for this. the LISTSTATUS is just there for confirmation.

    after geting the ADDSTATUS command, the vantage sends out a string every time those loads or any other VID added changes states. I add every load on the system and send them to sliders with the same level code as the VID.

    The TASK 919 part is at task i created in the vantage system that ramps all the loads down to 0 over 15 seconds then restores the loads to there previous state. it triggers and resets so quickly with that 15 second ramp that no one can see a change.

    I also wrote a simple API so the vantage can send commands to the AMX so I can get simple AV control (volume up, down, zone off, zone on Ect.) from vantage wall KP's. This API requires a second IP server connection to a different IP port number. I'm not confident that this is second connection is the best way but I couldn't get the vantage to send the commands over the same port as it process its host commands.

    Ok, I have rambled enough but I'm happy to ramble more if anyone wants me to :)
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