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Blog - Page 3 of 3

Dynalite Implements Dealer Certification Program

Automation lighting specialist Dynalite will unveil a new training framework and dealer accreditation at the Integrated Systems Europe exhibition in February.

Known as Dynalite Dimension, the program will provide standardised training, improved access to technical support, and essential marketing support to all accredited companies and individuals.

At the heart of the program will be a standardised educational syllabus to ensure accredited dealers– including AV installers, system integrators and electrical contractors – stay up to date with the latest in Dynalite’s lighting control and building automation technologies.

Read here for more

Source: Channel News

The Cost Of Entertainment To Be Decided By Judges

The recent Australian High Court Copyright appeal in the Ice TV Vs Channel Nine hearing and the upcoming copyright ‘Test case’ against Perth based ISP iiNet is set to determine the future for content downloads and the delivery of information to an Electronic Program Guide in Australia.

Early next year the full bench of the Australian High Court will hand down a ruling that will determine whether Australians will get access to a full EPG service..

If Ice TV win their case, companies like Cisco, Microsoft and HP will start delivering a full EPG service with their media centre and media centre extender offerings.

In the most recent copyright case bought by the Australian Federation against Copyright Theft, who represent several Hollywood Studio’s an academic lawyer at Queensland University says the copyright “test case” against ISP iiNet “stretches” even the widened interpretation of Australian copyright law that resulted from the Sharman (Kazaa) case ­ but hinges on whether the respondents have “responsibility” for ensuring its subscribers do not download pirated material.

You can read the full article here
Source: Channel News

DVD Ripping War

A DVD ripping war is set to escalate with Hollywood studio’s set to go head to head with technology Companies like RealNetworks and Kaleidescape in an effort to stop the copying of DVD’s to storage devices.
A DVD ripping war is set to escalate with Hollywood studio’s set to go head to head with technology Companies like RealNetworks and Kaleidescape in an effort to stop the copying of DVD’s to storage devices.

Also being sucked into the fight are Companies like Control 4, AMX, Escient and Crestron all consumer electronics companies that have recently released DVD storage or ripping technology.

You can read the full article here
Source: Channel News

Is the unwary consumer being misled?

Written by Byron Rabone – Director of Rabone Systems

I recently reviewed a 92 page essential checklist published by a large electrical manufacturer and it is pleasing to see that the industry is trying to educate consumers on the technologies available today and how best to implement them into the home. Sure it is biased, but this is to be expected from any manufacturer who is looking to increase their market share and develop good product branding.

What’s disappointing is how misleading this information can be and when it comes to Automating a home a large number of manufacturers as well as installers are overselling and under delivering!
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Advanced Electronic Programming Guide for AMX

Rabone Systems has released a new revision of its Electronic Programming Guide for AMX adding some new functionality and enhancing the overall experience.

The EPG delivers AMX user’s full access of Free to Air, Foxtel and Optus programming information Australia wide.

In addition to programming information, the software simplifies the way people search, preview, watch and schedule content.

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It’s whats behind the rack that counts!

Too often people contract an AV integrator to provide a solution in their home or office only to find that the quality of installation is very poor.

As an organisation that has prided itself in delivering high end solutions it can be very frustrating to lose a bid on a project that costs tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars only to find out it was based on price.

How does someone judge whether an organisation has the ability to deliver a good quality solution or not?

The two pictures below have been taken of an implementation by an organisation in Australia that promotes themselves as the most awarded audiovisual company in Australia.

Poor Installation - 2

Poor Installation - 2

Poor Installation - 1

Poor Installation - 1

This should be titled as “my first rack” for 6 year olds but this was apparently done by a professional AV technician!

Now here are a couple of pictures from an installation Rabone Systems did more than 5 years ago.

Rabone Systems Rack Work - 1

Rabone Systems Rack Work - 1

Rabone Systems Rack Work - 2

Rabone Systems Rack Work - 2

Make sure you pick carefully when selecting an Audiovisual integrator and always check the quality of installation during your project. Even better, don’t pay if you don’t think the work is satisfactory.

Irrigation Sensors

We have had a few people ask us how we manage to provide precise measurement of volumetric water content of watering zones.

Our answer is ECH2O probes. These inexpensive sensors are buried in the ground in each watering zone and connected to an interface which provides RS-232 communications to a 3rd party control system such as AMX.

Now all you need is a technician who can use a shovel!

Daikin VRV Interface

As most integrators would know, Daikin Air conditioning systems can be difficult and expensive to interface to. You also need to know the BACnet protocol as well and have enough experience writing communications modules using IP.

Some clever people in Europe have developed an interface that will communicate directly to Daikin VRV systems over the proprietary DIII-Net protocol.

The interface provides high level integration to a number of compatible indoor and outdoor units with full control, monitoring and advanced diagnostics.

The interface costs around $ 1,910.00 and we can supply you with an AMX module for it.

Programming Dynalite Wirelessly

If you are programming Dynalite for a living then you would have experienced the frustrations of having to be plugged into a Dynalite panel or dimmer using a network node.

Sometimes it would be nice to be able to just walk around and program wirelessly with your laptop.

It is now quite easy as there are a number of serial to IP gateways readily available on the market because there is a large amount of legacy devices that people are trying to support over current infrastructure.

Not all serial gateways perform the same and Dynalite will tell you to use their network node. This is not such a bad idea as sometimes a device directly connected to the network can cause problems.

We however have been communicating directly to the network with AMX control systems for a number of years and have never had any issues.

The serial gateways that we have tried and tested come from Quatech. They make a number of wired and wireless products which are suitable and can be configured to communicate directly to the network.

The gateways come with some software to emulate a serial port on your PC making it a seamless connection to your Dynalite network.

The really big benefit to using a serial gateway is that you no longer need to go to site to support your customer!

Feedback for RTI K4 and T4

One of the problems with using an RTI remote control as the front-end for an AMX control system is the lack of feedback. With some creative thinking; HTML design; and basic HTTP knowledge, feedback can be achieved.

The RTI K4 and the soon to be released T4 both have the ability to view web sites, providing a great platform for a user interface. Lack of Java support eliminates the possibility of utilising G3 Web Control.

There will be 3 mains steps involved to get RTI control and feedback. Firstly, the GUI must be created in HTML with a standard naming convention for your buttons. I used button__<0 or 1>.jpg where button one in the OFF state would be button_1_0.jpg and button_1_1.jpg when ON. Add a hyperlink to the image that points to the NetLinx master on port 81 with an extension to allow the master to recognise the button channel. It is also wise to add a series of chars to capture the end of the hyperlink. 3 pipes work fine. The link for button 1 would look like http://192.168.0.1:81/touchpanel/button?1|||

Next create a TCP server in your NetLinx code to monitor and respond to the requests from the GUI. Remember this must be on port 81. [ip_server_open( 0:3:0, 81, 1 ) ]. Using a data_event, the button presses can now be captured by looking for the hyperlinks under the GET HTTP header. Extract the button number between the button and the ||| and convert to a number. You now have the button channel to trigger whatever events you desire.

Finally, you have to create the feedback for either this button or any others it may have triggered. Buffer the html file of the GUI and then search for the button_ or whatever naming standard you chose. If you want to turn the button ON, change the proceeding 2 chars with _1 or to turn it off use _0. Save the buffer back to the GUI file. With the HTML updated with all feedback changes, send a HTTP header redirecting (302 Found) the RTI back from port 81 to the originating html file on the master. If the page fails to refresh with the new image then you can instead redirect to another html file which contains a simple JavaScript function that attaches a random extension to the redirect. ( window.location=”/touchpanel/index.html”+”?”+Math.random()*100; ) This will cause the html to be properly refreshed every time.