Oddball R4 problem

DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior MemberPosts: 4,584
I just upgraded an R4 and its associated Zigbee firmwares to the most current problem, and it seems to have developed an odd problem. First of all, the motion switch has stopped working; you have to press a button to wake the display, just picking it up doesn't do anything. Second, when it does wake, it doesn't actually operate the system until you reboot it ... it shows online, so it's not a connection problem, but nothing happens.

There is a possibility it got some massage oil inside (more than that, I won't ask about) ... which I hope to confirm or rule out on site within a day or so. But failing that, anyone ever see anything like this before? As far as I know, it was fine before the firmware updates, but I can't be sure of that since it's a vacation home and the homeowner has only been there on weekends starting this month, and my update was preliminary to that.

Comments

  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,152
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    I just upgraded an R4 and its associated Zigbee firmwares to the most current problem, and it seems to have developed an odd problem. First of all, the motion switch has stopped working; you have to press a button to wake the display, just picking it up doesn't do anything. Second, when it does wake, it doesn't actually operate the system until you reboot it ... it shows online, so it's not a connection problem, but nothing happens.

    There is a possibility it got some massage oil inside (more than that, I won't ask about) ... which I hope to confirm or rule out on site within a day or so. But failing that, anyone ever see anything like this before? As far as I know, it was fine before the firmware updates, but I can't be sure of that since it's a vacation home and the homeowner has only been there on weekends starting this month, and my update was preliminary to that.

    I've upgraded several remotes from 3.00.00 to the current Frimware version. They all have been behaving very well for me.

    I remember there was a very specific order to the update process (under penalty of death)
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    I was meticulous about the upgrade order, and have no reason to believe that went wrong. AMX has suggested a cold boot (pull the battery), which I will try today. Though I am leaning towards the massage oil right now ...
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,152
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    I was meticulous about the upgrade order, and have no reason to believe that went wrong. AMX has suggested a cold boot (pull the battery), which I will try today. Though I am leaning towards the massage oil right now ...

    That sounds reasonable. I too would prefer massage oil over a cold reboot.

    On a serious note to this. We have had some mysterious problems with gear as it relates to more personal matters on more than one occasion. the only good thing is that the client is usually a lot more pliant in paying for repairs of said items due to the sensitive nature of the cause of said repair.

    Thankfully, I don't have to touch the gear in these situations.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    ericmedley wrote: »
    We have had some mysterious problems with gear as it relates to more personal matters on more than one occasion. the only good thing is that the client is usually a lot more pliant in paying for repairs of said items due to the sensitive nature of the cause of said repair.

    Thankfully, I don't have to touch the gear in these situations.

    My favorite is the articulating tv mount in the bathroom that did not seem to be able to support the weight of the 22" TV on it and it wound up twisting the steel :) It's amazing how much force can be exerted by a 10-15 lb TV :P

    Jeff
  • TurnipTruckTurnipTruck Junior Member Posts: 1,485
    I worked for several years as a tech repairing consumer electronic equipment. You would be shocked what the kiddies, mommies and daddies put into VCRs. Not to mention what was on the tapes that would get stuck in them!
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Well, I got to the site, and despite customer complaints, the R4 was actually fine. However, when I did a cold boot, it couldn't find it's Zigbee card, and I had to take it apart and re-seat the thing to get back running. So, at this point, I suspect an intermittent issue due to a loose card.

    I did uncover another interesting thing about the latest R4 firmware though. When talking to tech support about why the Zigbee was offline, I mentioned that the R4 also needed to be shaken rather vigorously to wake the display rather than the simple motion it used to respond to. It came out that they "tweaked" the motion sensor calibration to make it "tighter." Well, I didn't want it "tighter," and as it turns out, when you power the thing up, it calibrates itself based on the motion going on as it boots up (cold boot only). So if you are holding it in your hand when power is applied, it's going to be less sensitive. If you drop it in the cradle immediately on installing the battery and leave it alone until fully started, it's back to what I consider appropriate, where it will wake just lifting it from the cradle. I yatched a bit to the tech that they just don't give us a slider on the setup page. It seems a bit arcane having to go through all that, and I never would have known if I didn't talk to support about it.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    I did uncover another interesting thing about the latest R4 firmware though. When talking to tech support about why the Zigbee was offline, I mentioned that the R4 also needed to be shaken rather vigorously to wake the display rather than the simple motion it used to respond to. It came out that they "tweaked" the motion sensor calibration to make it "tighter." Well, I didn't want it "tighter," and as it turns out, when you power the thing up, it calibrates itself based on the motion going on as it boots up (cold boot only). So if you are holding it in your hand when power is applied, it's going to be less sensitive. If you drop it in the cradle immediately on installing the battery and leave it alone until fully started, it's back to what I consider appropriate, where it will wake just lifting it from the cradle. I yatched a bit to the tech that they just don't give us a slider on the setup page. It seems a bit arcane having to go through all that, and I never would have known if I didn't talk to support about it.

    This sounds like a perfect thing to tech note. I am beginning to think that AMX's left hand and right hand have never met, let alone know what each other are doing? I suppose I should do a better job reading the changes in the firmware updates (assuming this was listed), but I wish that AMX would be a little bit more proactive at disseminating information that is going to change the user experience.

    I also wish that there was a way for them to send Known Problem alerts to dealers that have purchased the affected product. For example, how many people know that there is a known problem with 5200s and that when in the dock, there is a chance they will lose network connectivity? This is a firmware issue that has probably caused many dealers some head scratching moments that eventually went away, or still continue to plague them. After learning about this, I have to think back to some of the changes I have made to our wireless network in the office because we keep having problems with the 5200 dropping offline. I don't know how many hours I wasted dealing with this problem thinking it was my fault only to find out that it is probably a firmware issue.

    The other thing I hate is hearing "That is not a common problem that I am aware of." coming from tech support only to find out a couple of hours/days later that someone else at AMX is aware of the problem and it seems to be affecting a lot of dealers and has been for the last few days/weeks. Even if AMX doesn't want to inform dealers of potential problems with an alert, can the tech support people at least get the information so that when call in with the problem they are able to inform us of it?

    Jeff
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,348
    Spire_Jeff wrote:
    I am beginning to think that AMX's left hand and right hand have never met, let alone know what each other are doing?
    Thanks, that gave me a smile! :)

    This has been a sore spot for me as well and the subject of many posts. Can't find them though, they might be off limits.

    I think the last time this was brought up (maybe by me) the AMX response was something like, "TS often doesn't know it's a problem until many different dealers call in", "that's why they don't issue and advisory". Of course I came back with some smart alec remark in some rappers dialogue but basically said "fine, if you get a couple calls how about a quick post saying there's a potential issue or if you do wait for confirmation at least let us know at that point" like c'mon this is the perfect "forum" for that kind of dissemination at least on the ACE forum if you don't want the general public to know. Ok, on second thought the ACE forum isn't a good idea. ;)

    That may have been the thread where Dave followed up stating something like, "AMX doesn't like to admit a problem until they have a solution in hand". That's not really an acceptable postion IMHO when our time and money is at stake. Just like you I don't know how many times I've westled with a problem that's been known about for weeks. I don't call tech support cuz like you I usually thinks it me and even if I think it's not me I'm too timid to call. I damn sure ain't calling TS now for $1,200.00. Forums been where I've found what I've needed for 3 years and found the folks that have help me with pretty much everything I've ever needed. So why not consolidate resources and issue timely advisories here? It's a waste of a resource and highly inefficient not to.
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    ericmedley wrote: »
    I would prefer massage oil over a cold reboot.
    I think most of us would
  • John NagyJohn Nagy CineTouch Product Manager Posts: 1,498
    A long time ago in a galaxy far far away

    Someone close to the center of things some years back told me that SUPPORT at a company like AMX is typically instructed to downplay issues until there are solutions because of government contracts that become void or have ratcheting liability if a problem is "known" by the supplier. So admitting that a panel drops offline and that they are working on a cure could trigger millions of dollars in liability and a breech of contract, just by being uttered out loud.

    In my work, I talk to many dozens of dealers all the time about support issues. The "never heard of that problem before" chant is familiar to all of us, even on problems we know we and others have reported before. It does get old.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    John Nagy wrote: »
    Someone close to the center of things some years back told me that SUPPORT at a company like AMX is typically instructed to downplay issues until there are solutions because of government contracts that become void or have ratcheting liability if a problem is "known" by the supplier. So admitting that a panel drops offline and that they are working on a cure could trigger millions of dollars in liability and a breech of contract, just by being uttered out loud.

    In my work, I talk to many dozens of dealers all the time about support issues. The "never heard of that problem before" chant is familiar to all of us, even on problems we know we and others have reported before. It does get old.

    I can see that, but the flip side is when it is discovered they had a known problem, and failed to notify clients. Just ask Toyota how that goes. We aren't talking public safety in most cases, but I can sure avoid a lot of grief and bad customer vibes if I know about an issue and have a workaround ... sometimes even just being able to say, "they know about the problem and are working on it," is enough to get me off the hook. When it blindsides me, it makes me and AMX look bad.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,898
    Personally, I've had SO many issues with the latest Zigbee firmware, I down grade them all to the previous firmware.

    In fact, when I head back to Nebraska, I'll be downgrading them immediately. Lates ZB isn't stable enough for me. The things consistently fall offline for no reason. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don't.
  • a_riot42a_riot42 AMX Wizard Posts: 1,619
    jjames wrote: »
    Personally, I've had SO many issues with the latest Zigbee firmware, I down grade them all to the previous firmware.

    In fact, when I head back to Nebraska, I'll be downgrading them immediately. Lates ZB isn't stable enough for me. The things consistently fall offline for no reason. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they don't.

    I have seen this and also really stable ones. I think there is some gear interplay between ZGWs and certain switches, but I can't know this for sure.
    Paul
  • John NagyJohn Nagy CineTouch Product Manager Posts: 1,498
    Firmware on R4

    I have:
    Firmware: v3.01.13
    ZigBee Firmware: v3.01.06
    on all our units and stability is outstanding. Same reports from our dealers.
    Individual R4 units have had internal issues and we have returned several for repair, one more than once.
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