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HAI OMNI II Serial Interface Problems

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  • HAI OMNI II Serial Interface Problems

    I've been using the HAI OMNI II serial interface into HomeSeer successfully for several months now, but recently, the serial interface has become 'flaky' and now does not appear to work at all.

    31/01/2004 12:22:12 PM~!~HAI System~!~HAI Plug-In Version 1.0.66
    31/01/2004 12:22:12 PM~!~HAI System~!~About to initialize HAI System on COM7
    31/01/2004 12:22:22 PM~!~HAI System~!~Panel Model: 0 (Omni II) with Panel Software Version: 0.0
    31/01/2004 12:22:22 PM~!~HAI System~!~Panel Model from Settings does not match model from panel. Settings: 15 Panel: 0

    I've tried a second serial port, reset the system RAM and cycled the power on the OMNI.
    The problem does not appear to go away.

    I've tried the PC Access (Demo 2.3) software to see if I can communicate with the OMNI. The main window (bottom right) reads with ON-LINE, but when I attempt tot upload HAI names into the applications, the "beginning upload ..." dialog sits with "Retry n (timeout)", where n increments.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance,

    dp

  • #2
    I've seen this before, but the reason completely escapes me. Until my brain starts working ago, all I can give are some general suggestions.
    1. Check to make sure that the serial port is still set to Omni-link. Also check the baud rate.
    2. Check to make sure your PCAccess code is correct.

    If the correct nuerons come together and I remember specifics, I'll put out a follow up post.

    My system is described in my profile.
    My system is described in my profile.

    Comment


    • #3
      I found the earlier thread about the corrupt access code and addressed that. Oddly enough, after trying config a second time it was corrupt again, so I had to edit the .ini to correct it again.

      Couldn't find where to set baud rate. Found the port number. Any pointers?

      dp

      Comment


      • #4
        The baud rate is fixed at 9600 (I think that is it anyway), so you shouldn't have to worry about that.

        I was trying to add some X10 features in the ~94 beta of the plug-in, but it never worked very well, so if you upgraded to that, please go back to the production version.

        I have been working on the WebCam plug-in the past week but plan on spending time on the HAI one right after that - I want to fix the communication glitches once and for all.

        The panel code is very important to have correct on the communication problems - for one thing, make sure there are not two user codes using the same password code - it might interpret the Master code password as a user code. The PC Access code can be used as well.

        Regards,

        Rick Tinker
        HomeSeer Technologies

        Regards,

        Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

        Comment


        • #5
          Baud rate is not fixed. You set it in the "installer", "expansion" menu.

          My system is described in my profile.
          My system is described in my profile.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the input guys. I'm running 1.0.66.

            I've set the code to nnnn several times, but it always appears corrupted (encrypted?) in the .ini file - so I set it back to nnnn in the .ini file.

            The PC code is different than the master code which is different from the user code.

            I'll check the installer setting tonight and report my findings.

            Thanks,

            dp

            Comment


            • #7
              The code is encrypted in the ini file.

              Comment


              • #8
                I am pretty new to this but it seems that if the Plug-in is returning an error in the log which is not a communications based error, that your homeseer system is talking to the Omni Box... I would remove the plug-in and reinstall it so that the panel code is set correctly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've checked the panel and the baud rate is 9600.

                  I've set the code to the PC access code.

                  Reset HS and received:

                  02/02/2004 6:40:28 PM~!~HAI System~!~HAI Plug-In Version 1.0.66
                  02/02/2004 6:40:29 PM~!~HAI System~!~About to initialize HAI System on COM7
                  02/02/2004 6:40:50 PM~!~HAI System~!~Could not communicate with the panel. Check your COM and panel code settings.

                  Anyone know how to verify the integrity of the OMNI II serial port/interface?

                  dp

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There is a bug in the code, whereby if you even go to the setup page that contains the entry of the panel code, the plugin encrypts the panel code, even if its blank, which breaks it. The plugin needs to ignore blank panel codes, and not use them.

                    You can fix a bad panel code by entering it manually in the ini file. The plugin will encrypt it automatically when it sees a plain text panel code. Problem is, go to that config screen again, and it screws up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Do you know what version of the Omni firmware that you have? The original firmware that came with the OPII up to revision D (or was it E?) was horrible and it had all kinds of communications problems. You may wish to check that.

                      When you enter the code in the INI file, the next running of the plug-in will re-encrypt the panel code, so that is not corruption, it is encryption! Try using the Master Code too - I have seen some issues with the PC Access Code but I and HAI could not put a finger on it.

                      The error is coming up apparently so fast that it may be a basic RS-232 problem. The way to check is to use the PC Access software if you have it and try communicating with the panel using the same COM port with that software. (HomeSeer needs to be shut down at the time of course.) If it can communicate, then the problem is either that firmware revision or in the HAI plug-in.

                      While the plug-in has been plagued with initial setup bugs, once it is going it has been rock solid for everybody that I have spoken to that uses it.

                      Is there any other information you can provide that might help identify what is going on?


                      Regards,

                      Rick Tinker
                      HomeSeer Technologies

                      Regards,

                      Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh and by the way, if those other tests/ideas don't work, open a helpdesk ticket and we'll use the built-in debug logging in the plug-in to figure out what is happening - it has been fairly effective to-date at finding these things out for me.


                        Regards,

                        Rick Tinker
                        HomeSeer Technologies

                        Regards,

                        Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          HomeSeer can periodically communicate (Rx and Tx) with the OMNI II, but not reliably.

                          I've tried the PC Access (Demo 2.3) software to see if I can communicate with the OMNI. The main window (bottom right) reads with ON-LINE, but when I attempt to upload HAI names into the applications, the "beginning upload ..." dialog sits with "Retry n (timeout)", where n increments.

                          I've tried a second serial port on the PC, reset the OMNI system RAM and cycled the power on the OMNI.
                          The problem does not appear to go away.

                          I've put a call into HAI support.

                          I'm running 20A04-1 2.3C.

                          The fact it is intermittent makes it difficult to debug.

                          If I get more from HAI I'll post it. Thanks to all who have suggested ideas so far. Keep the ideas coming.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, it's working - but I'm afraid I cannot explain why. Thanks to all for their suggestions.

                            I finally managed to get it to work by moving the OMNI II to COM 1 and the CM11A to COM 5.

                            Throughout all of this my Ocelot on COM 4 (same board as COM 5) has been as happy as a clam.

                            It's been running for a couple of hours now and no errors reported.

                            For some unknown reason, the OMNI II stopped working reliably on COM 5 (a PCI multi-port card from Axxon). The CM11A appears to be happy on that port. I tried changing the card (I keep a backup for such circumstances), re-installing the drivers, nothing worked, except moving the OMNI II to COM 1.

                            What is most peculiar is I've not changed anything on my HS server other than Windows Updates and HS updates. Perhaps some peculiar interaction? After all of my tests, see below, I could always see the TX/Rx LEDs flashing on the OMNI II motherboard - so it was clear it was receiving the signal from the PC but apparently the PC was not reliably receiving the data from the OMNI II.

                            Here's what I tried for the record:

                            1. changed serial cards
                            2. changed serial cable & RJ11 cable
                            3. reset OMNI II RAM
                            4. changed OMNI II serial type a from OMNILINK to PROLINK to OMNILINK (may clear a bit - tip from HAI tech)
                            5. tried different ports on new and old multi-port serial card
                            6. reloaded drivers
                            7. moved to COM 1 (yahoo!)

                            All this to say Home Automation remains a hobby (sigh!)

                            dp out

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One bad product or a problem with a product should not mark the industry as a whole. Believe me when I tell you that if you are willing to spend big $$$, there are solutions out there that you would not have a problem with and almost come with a person to install it for you.

                              HAI's PC Access software has always limited itself to COM ports 1-4 when the rest of the world realized that PCs had far, far more than that, so only HAI can be blamed for that. The communications problems with the plug-in though are likely to still be caused by the firmware as I wrote the plug-in to support entering a COM port number, which means 7 or higher is just fine. I cannot recall for certain and my development Omni Pro II system is not here right now, but I am pretty sure that the problems were either resolved in 2.3D or that was the last version with the problems, so you really ought to get HAI to send you the latest firmware. 2.4 is the version that supports using the Ethernet port anyway. I never got the software they promised to help me support the Ethernet port in the plug-in, but I will get that working eventually.

                              I still don't know why HAI hard codes their COM ports as I just checked the 2.0a version of PC Access, and it goes beyond COM4, but only to COM8. I happen to have 34 COM ports total on my system!

                              Sorry for the trouble, but don't let this episode convince you that there are no professional level products out there.



                              Regards,

                              Rick Tinker
                              HomeSeer Technologies

                              Regards,

                              Rick Tinker (a.k.a. "Tink")

                              Comment

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