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    Ap800

    O.K. I finally got the bandwidth to work on my AP800. I actually have two now, but I think may only need one.

    Here's what I want to do. Looking for any feedback if this makes sense.

    I have 5 mics throughout my house. I'll feed these to 5 mic inputs, and I want to mix these down to one output fed into the PC to voice recognition. I generally know how to do that, but will need to experiment on gating, levels, etc.

    Next, I have 7 speakers throughout my house. Currently they all go through one PA amp, but I ran shielded cable to each and I'm planning to put an ELK amp by each, and hook each to an output on the AP800. Then I'll connect my PC speaker output to an input, and route that input to all speakers and also connect this in for echo cancellation.

    My goal is to control which speakers are on for any Homeseer announcements. It looks like my choice to do this is to send commands via the RS-232 port or control some inputs to the AP800 via some other hardware. Which method is best? If it takes a bunch of commands to mute the speaker I don't want, will this be accomplished in the AP800 pretty fast? Or should I stick to hardware with some type of I/O device to the PC to control inputs on the AP800? Would it be best to use two AP800s for this? One for mics, one for speakers?

    Thanks.

    Allen

    #2
    Originally posted by anogee
    My goal is to control which speakers are on for any Homeseer announcements. It looks like my choice to do this is to send commands via the RS-232 port or control some inputs to the AP800 via some other hardware. Which method is best? If it takes a bunch of commands to mute the speaker I don't want, will this be accomplished in the AP800 pretty fast? Or should I stick to hardware with some type of I/O device to the PC to control inputs on the AP800? Would it be best to use two AP800s for this? One for mics, one for speakers?
    I think you're going to find you want to use both methods. With direct I/O, you can quickly do some -- but not all -- things. One neat feature is the ability to switch between presets with direct I/O, which can do a bunch of serial commands really quickly for you. However, for maximum flexibility, you'll also want to use the RS-232 interface, especially for dynamic mixing.

    It doesn't sound like you're going to need two AP800s. If you use OUTPUT A from the AP800 to connect it to your LINE IN or MIC IN on the sound card, and INPUT A to connect it to your SOUND OUT on the sound card, everything else is a simple mix.

    When a mic goes active, your I/O unit can detect it immediately and set a variable in HS. Then you can issue a routing command to the AP800 to route INPUT A (your sound card) to OUTPUT x (whichever one drives the speaker in the room you spoke from). Now when HS speaks through the sound card, it's going to go only to the room you made the voice command in.

    For global announcements, you simply route INPUT A to ALL of the outputs, and presto.

    I don't think you need to worry about muting to do what you want, other than if you want local mute control (e.g., tell HS not to send any announcements to a particular room, which could be useful if, for example, the inhabitants are small children who are napping....)

    Anyway, sounds like you're off to a good start. I just got the two ports on my AP800 hooked up to a Weeder Tech the way I like it, so I'm ready to begin working on my own system soon... finally!


    Enjoy.

    Dan

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      #3
      Thanks Dan


      Very helpful.

      What do you recommend for PC I/O to connect to the AP800? About how many I/O lines do I need?

      Thanks.

      Comment


        #4
        Well, that's a good question. I am using a Weeder Tech WTDIO board, which gives me 14 lines of I/O. I don't *feel* like that's enough, but I'm not using my solution enough to know what the right amount is yet.

        If it were me, personally, and I wasn't clutching at the purse strings, I'd try to get quite a few I/O lines. You can always use more, and they are useful well beyond the AP800.

        For the AP800 itself, there are 22 pins that can be controlled on Status/Control A, and 20 pins on Status/Control B. So if you wanted maximum control, you'd need 42 pins. That said, you probably don't need to control or see everything that's listed.

        But again, if it were me... I'd shoot for a 48-port I/O solution as a minimal amount.

        The WTDIO series can be stacked to create up to 255 addressable ports. That said, I'm not sure WTDIO is the best solution....

        Dan

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