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The Official Door/Gate Intercom Thread

elytronicelytronic Junior MemberPosts: 51
There have been many threads about this here and each one has some useful info but I would like to concentrate everything here since this is one area that we have not figured out completely help and I am sure there are others here that would benefit from this. Also this applies for both residential and commercial projects.

AMX offers the MET-ECOM. This is a very nice piece of equipment and solves a lot of problems in certain situations but on the other hand we can not specify it everywhere because of the following:
1) Not completely weather resistant - important
2) Very easy to steal - important
3) No way to send analog video - very important so that you send the camera to the tvs
4) No way to integrate an access control device in the same body - again important
5) No way to send the intercom to "normal" phones, you need voip - not very important
6) Camera is almost useless- not wide angle and very bad quality even compared to the cheapest chinese units - very important
7) Expensive - not very important
8) Quite difficult to integrate with the Multi-Room Audio System

So we are looking for an intercom that would be able to do some or all of the following:
1) Communicate with AMX touchpanels. This is very importat and this has to be done on the analog domain so that video can be send to the tvs also and maybe integrate the audio with a phone system.
- What are the requirements for this? You need line level audio and line level video for sure. Do most intercom units offer this or you have to use special interfaces? Crxston offers the C2N-IIF which I am not sure what it does yet.
- You need a matrix switcher with composite and analog audio. This way you can send the video amx touchpanels and tvs and the audio to the touchpanels. Is there any other way this can de done?
2) Fully weather resitant
3) Integrated Access Control
4) Communication of Access Control with AMX - this way you can have a list on the touchpanels and maybe send notification about who open specific doors/gates at what time
5) No need to integrate with wireless touchpanels
6) Communication with any telephone system. A lot of questions on this but first let's tackle the main requirements.
7) Integrate this with an interface with the multi-room audio system so that you can send an announcement over the house speakers

So let's start with the basics: what are the requirements and what is needed to integrate a generic intercom system with AMX touchapanels over the analog domain? I am sure gradually though our discussion we will find more solutions that will accomodate all my questions/requirements.

Just for info, the compatible touchpanels for this are the CV5 which will be stopped soon and anything over 7".

Comments

  • elytronicelytronic Junior Member Posts: 51
    Come on guys! I thought this topic is interesting - this subject always come up every few months or so!
  • mex_lithuaniamex_lithuania Junior Member Posts: 31
    Even I hadn't faced with MET-ECOM, but elytronic's statements seems pretty logical and I agree.
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,368
    Ok, I'll play, but as a disclaimer I haven't used one yet, I have one but haven't had time to set it up.
    1) Not completely weather resistant - important
    2) Very easy to steal - important
    3) No way to send analog video - very important so that you send the camera to the tvs
    4) No way to integrate an access control device in the same body - again important
    5) No way to send the intercom to "normal" phones, you need voip - not very important
    6) Camera is almost useless- not wide angle and very bad quality even compared to the cheapest chinese units - very important
    7) Expensive - not very important
    8) Quite difficult to integrate with the Multi-Room Audio System


    1) True, I intend to use a high temp silcone based di-electric grease to completely cover the jack and I/O relay terminals. This should prevent any corrosion espicially from the salty air where I anticipate my first install.

    2) True but so is pretty much anything else exterior to a locked up building. I be more worried about vandals just smashing them then stealing them and there's not much you can do about that. I'd consider it a low and tolerable risk. College campusses might be another story.

    3) Don't care. Prefer the stream since most TPs will be wireless in jobs I'll be designning. I'd prefer wired but in order to keep prices down it makes sense to combine the room/house control and local TV control on one platform. I'd prefer not but.. Otherwise for analog there's a host of other choices available.

    4) You can but that get's back to 2) and I think that would be a problem for any exterior device. Again even then a person would need a fair amount of intelligence to figure it out and you could get clever and install a reed or mercury (tamper) switch in the MET-ECOM enclosure that triggers an I/O on an the inside master that will in turn via relay kill power to the MET-ECOM's relay that controls the door release. Pull the MET-ECOM and it kills power to the relay and the door can't open and you can even notify the authorities or grounds keepers. So I'd say it's workable.

    5) True.

    6) Don't know but I would also like the possibity to bypass the internal camera and plug in a remote spy cam. A simple switch to bypass and then connect in a remote camera that you place where it will have the best field of vision. In most cases an in door phone camera is inadequate unless it's fish eye and then everything looks funny.

    7) agreed.

    8) not sure what you mean. I know one problem is that (I believe) the cameras can only support streams to 2 or 3 TPs so when their button is pushed you can't just page all internal TPs and flip to video. You can page all and pop up a notice saying "view door" or something, possibly track which TPs were recently used or recently had motion and then make assumptions but you know how that goes.
    So we are looking for an intercom that would be able to do some or all of the following:
    1) Communicate with AMX touchpanels. This is very importat and this has to be done on the analog domain so that video can be send to the tvs also and maybe integrate the audio with a phone system.
    - What are the requirements for this? You need line level audio and line level video for sure. Do most intercom units offer this or you have to use special interfaces? Crxston offers the C2N-IIF which I am not sure what it does yet.
    - You need a matrix switcher with composite and analog audio. This way you can send the video amx touchpanels and tvs and the audio to the touchpanels. Is there any other way this can de done?
    2) Fully weather resitant
    3) Integrated Access Control
    4) Communication of Access Control with AMX - this way you can have a list on the touchpanels and maybe send notification about who open specific doors/gates at what time
    5) No need to integrate with wireless touchpanels
    6) Communication with any telephone system. A lot of questions on this but first let's tackle the main requirements.
    7) Integrate this with an interface with the multi-room audio system so that you can send an announcement over the house speakers

    1) I don't know I think I keep the MET-ECOM streaming and choose another product if I wanted analog.

    2) Well you have to make connections so I'd go with the grease option unless it has other holes. Just looked at and the camera angle adjustment lever and pin holes for the LED & reset should be greased after setting too.

    3)
    4) I think for both of these it's intended for someone on the inside responding to MET-ECOM caller to allow them access otherwise an exterior numeric keypad tied into the security system could provide access control and log entries.

    5) Disagree. I think this is very important and essential.

    6) I suppose a simple interface device could be provide for this purpose.

    7) I guess this goes with the 8) from before. I guess they'd prefer you to have a TP in every room and actually so would I but $$$ so I guess another interface type device actually maybe the same device made to interface non SIP phone systems could do the trick.

    I don't believe there's been any real revisions to this product yet so we can only assume it will evolve.
  • Costas TheoharisCostas Theoharis Junior Member Posts: 30
    Guys I have a 1M $ question: When it's night and someone hits the MET-ECOM button, how do you see the image???

    I think the most important thing you didn't mention is that the camera is not an IR camera so during the night is completely useless!
    Another problem is the poor quality sound with frequent drops especially when used with wireless panels
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    This probably won't be helpful to your application, but I'll throw it out there in case it is for someone else.

    I simply keep my intercom system separate. I use the Panasonic phone systems as intercom and door station; it is trivial to set a port to only ring on the doorbell, and then put a relay on that to trigger whatever you need from the AMX, including switching to a local (and again, separate) camera and displaying it on a touch panel screen. I imagine you could take it a step further and use VOIP on the Panasonic to connect to the panel if you really wanted to.

    My main problem with integrated doorbell/camera is that you can almost never position the camera exactly they way you want, and the cameras are nearly always of bad quality (ditto for gate boxes with integrated cameras). Yes, it's an extra device at the door, but an independently installed camera simply is much better quality and fits my needs better.
  • alexsquaredalexsquared Junior Member Posts: 166
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    This probably won't be helpful to your application, but I'll throw it out there in case it is for someone else.

    I simply keep my intercom system separate. I use the Panasonic phone systems as intercom and door station; it is trivial to set a port to only ring on the doorbell, and then put a relay on that to trigger whatever you need from the AMX, including switching to a local (and again, separate) camera and displaying it on a touch panel screen. I imagine you could take it a step further and use VOIP on the Panasonic to connect to the panel if you really wanted to.

    My main problem with integrated doorbell/camera is that you can almost never position the camera exactly they way you want, and the cameras are nearly always of bad quality (ditto for gate boxes with integrated cameras). Yes, it's an extra device at the door, but an independently installed camera simply is much better quality and fits my needs better.

    We've done similarly what Dave is mentioning. One thing that we came up with on our last project, was creating a page on TP's called "auto camera display". On this screen, the customer could highlight which TV's (if any) he wanted to turn on and tune to the appropriate channel (to display the modulated camera image). He loved this because it gave him control over what displays would turn on and show the image. If the TV's were already on, they stay on. If the TV's were off, they will turn back off after a designated time. All in all it was a really slick feature. Audio from the doorbell was just routed to their phones, not their TP's.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Guys I have a 1M $ question: When it's night and someone hits the MET-ECOM button, how do you see the image???

    I think the most important thing you didn't mention is that the camera is not an IR camera so during the night is completely useless!
    Another problem is the poor quality sound with frequent drops especially when used with wireless panels

    Here is the 1M+ $ house answer.... easy, just have the lighting control system turn on the lights (if they are not already on) when the button is pushed :)

    Jeff
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,368
    Spire_Jeff wrote:
    just have the lighting control system turn on the lights (if they are not already on) when the button is pushed
    Actually you should be using a small spy type PIR in the ceiling over the stairs towards the front of the porch to turn the lights before they even get to the door. This can also trigger the camera and internal notifications. If the lights on already at or below 60% raise them to 90% and start a counter, reset the counter on further motion detection and then resume to previous level after x amount of minutes when the counter reaches 0.
  • vegastechvegastech Junior Member Posts: 369
    So question - with products like the Viking C1000 (controller) and W1000(door station) being able to connect via one of the analog ports on the CSG, how would that communicate with the IP phones in the system? Would it just be assigned an extension like the other phones? Also, what if a phone system were already installed (we do panasonics as well, but may be changing over to the voip versions soon) ? Can the CSG work as an intermediary for the touchpanels, allowing the touchpanels to have extensions on a phone system, but still allow the door station (whether it be the met-ecom, 3rd party like viking, or proprietary-to-the-existing-phone-system) to ring the panels and phones? I bring this up because the Viking products seem to have much better cameras, or at least the ability to change/add better and smaller cameras.

    Update - I realized that the CSG can work as a gateway for up to 4 analog devices, like doorphones. :)
  • vegastechvegastech Junior Member Posts: 369
    Is anyone using the csg and entry comm in a commercial application? Anything blatantly missing from functionality?
  • icejsmithicejsmith Junior Member Posts: 1
    MET-ECOM to MVP5200i

    Got bit trying to use the MET-ECOM to 7-MVP5200i touch-panels. Hit and miss displaying the video when the button is pressed on the MET-ECOM. Approximately half of the panels will show no video available. Found out after the fact from tech support and the manual only 3 simultaneous connections are supported from the intercom at one time. Makes the unit almost useless in my mind.
  • vegastechvegastech Junior Member Posts: 369
    Thanks for the post! So when you say connections, do you mean video displays only(streaming camera video), or also intercom audio connections? I agree that 3 is far too few connections for video to display. It sounds like a separate IP camera would be a better solution. As far as the audio goes, I would hope that the audio would send to as many panels as necessary, since, after all, it IS an intercom...
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