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Ab8ss alternatives?

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  • cabbage
    replied
    including shipping
    Last edited by cabbage; May 10, 2012, 06:02 PM.

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  • cabbage
    replied
    Hi,

    I have now got a working rs232 interface to homeseer and a script to control it. I am going to use it to build my alternative to the AB8SS.

    The basic features are as follows:-

    RS232 control interface
    A/B Amp Source Selection (Max Amp Power Approx 125W RMS)
    9 Indiviual 8 Ohm Stereo Zones(Max 14W RMS Per Channel)
    Static Impedance Load To Amp
    Hardware Supports Single Zone On/Off/Toggle commands and Direct Setting of all outputs simultaneously.

    I am considering selling these if anyone is interested. I will be finalising the PCB this week. Let me know if there are any other features you would like.

    Cabbage
    Last edited by cabbage; May 4, 2012, 09:30 AM.

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  • johnnybwis
    replied
    Just wanted to mention... the waf ab8ss plugin I use can run an event (actually its a script)and then set the hardware back to the previous settings. Very useful for such things as listing to music - announce caller ID - and then switch back to music setup.

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  • Michael McSharry
    replied
    For the Vaux Aris 700 8x8 switch I organized the user interface to according to 8 output devices and each has an enumeration (DeviceValue) of the possible input sources. The same was true for Volume control where 2db increments were used. I followed the pattern for the status, bass, treble, turn-on level and turn-on mute features the switch provides. This hardware has a ascii serial interface.

    For scene control I expect the Homeseer user to define an event for each scene where the Device Action on the event is set the devices to their desired DeviceValues.

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  • cabbage
    replied
    Michael,

    Thanks for the tip. I will have 10 devices 9 zones and an A/B switch. I think I will concentrate on switching single zones individually while interfacing with homeseer and leave the multiple zones until I get that sorted.

    Cabbage

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  • Michael McSharry
    replied
    I do not have application for audio switching, but generally speaking Homeseer is easiest to interface if each end point is associated with a single device code. If you have 9 switches then I would expect to see 9 devices. The user will turn on/off a device at a time and the plugin/script will interace with the hardware. In your case it seems to be ascii serial at the hardware level. The data returned will show up as DeviceStatus ON/OFF and/or DeviceValue 1/0 for each of the nine devices.

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  • cabbage
    replied
    Hi,

    I have a working prototype of my switch. I am just wondering if I can get some pointers on control of the switch via HS. What I have implemented in the prototype is to switch all zones on:- send m1111111110 via RS232, where the string of 1111111110 is zone 1-9 (I have 9 zones) and the A/B switch. once this command has been actioned the string A1111111110 will be sent to confirm the action. For single zone commands I am using the format sXx where X is the zone number (decimal) with 0 being A/B and x is either "1", "0" or "T" to toggle.

    Obviously this is just a simple setup for testing but is there anything else people think I should include to make interfacing with HS easier.

    cabbage

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  • stevea
    replied
    Originally posted by jgary View Post
    Hi Steve - Where did you purchase your "two cheapo 15W ELK amps." Gary
    Well, first off, it looks like I mis-spoke: It's a 10W amp, ELK-800. It's the one on the ELK page here: http://www.elkproducts.com/product-c...module-10-watt

    I don't remember where I got them (two for stereo), but it wasn't from ELK directly. Smarthome has them, but is WAY overpriced.

    Steve

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  • jgary
    replied
    Hi Steve - Where did you purchase your "two cheapo 15W ELK amps." Gary

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  • cabbage
    replied
    John,

    Thanks for the info, In my setup I don't have an A/B but its easy to allow for the option just an extra relay. If there is a volume change then I think I will stick to my original plan.

    Also what sort of amplifier power (RMS) are people using.

    cabbage

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  • johnnybwis
    replied
    There's definitely a volume difference when switching speakers. I've never really had an issue with it. As I turn on a zone I'll adjust the volume for the zone I'm in, good enough for me. Someone had or suggested a script that would adjust volume per the amount of speakers that were active but I never had a need to do that, others may think differently. The A/B switch is the real sweet spot for me as the ab8ss can switch to HS for an announcement which the volume and zones are predetermined and then switch back to the music setup.

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  • cabbage
    replied
    Steve,

    Good to know, maybe I will rethink my strategy on resistive loading, as it stands I am looking at 2 high power resistors per zone, so if the AB8SS can get away with its variation in load and power then maybe I should do the same. Does anyone have any idea on the way the resistors are switched for the AB8SS.

    Cabbage

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  • stevea
    replied
    I've only got 3 pairs of speakers, powered by two cheapo 15W ELK amps. I had thought I might hear a difference in volume when speakers turned on or off, but I don't. If I have all three pairs on and then turn off the two other than where I am, I can't tell any difference in volume.

    Steve

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  • cabbage
    replied
    Jon00,

    That looks like some setup, hard to beat the flexibility but with an amp and soundcard for each zone it could soon become expensive, I am happy enough with one amp with multiple sources and switching that throughout my zones.

    I have a general question about what people would prefer from a speaker switch. The AB8SS has the following charachteristics

    Number of speakers selected= 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    Ohm load seen by amplifier= 8.49 4.98 4.13 3.96 4.05 4.27 4.85 4.92
    % power to speakers= 94 80 64 50 40 31 29 20
    max power internal resistors 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
    max power speakers 156 80 53 40 33 27 29 20
    max power from AMP 166 100 83 80 83 87 98 100

    This means in theory that the volume will change with zones being switched in and out and that maximum power is delivered to speakers with only one zone connected.

    The setup I am thinking about is based on my previous design with the maxibee, what it means is that there is a relatively constant load at the amp of approx 8 to 8.2 Ohms and that irrespective of the zones switched the same power is delivered to each speaker pair which is 1/9th of the total power (I am thinking about a 9 speaker switch). So when all of the speakers are connected all amp power is going to them and when none of them are connected all power is going to resistors.

    From my setup what this means in practice is that if I change from all speakers at full power to 1 speaker there is no appreciable volume change. The spec for the AB8SS seems to indicate it would be a massive change but maybe some owners could let me know, also with my setup all zones can be muted (turned off) at the switch. Can this be done with the AB8SS.

    Cabbage

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  • jon00
    replied
    How about multiple USB soundcards like this: http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=153511

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