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    Opinions Please

    I need to get some advice (I know dangerous to ask on this board) but here goes....

    I am thinking about supplementing my existing install with UPB in select locations. so some ??'s

    1. what is the best interface?
    2. what is the best coupler?
    3. who/what/where is this new Gen II I have seen posts about?
    4. what to stay away from?

    Over The Hill
    What Hill?
    I Don't Remember Any Hill

    Virtualized Server 2k3 Ent X86 Guest on VMWare ESXi 4.1 with 3 SunRay thin clients as access points - HSPro - ZTroller - ACRF2 (3 WGL 800's) - iAutomate RFID - Ledam - MLHSPlugin - Ultra1wire - RainRelay8 - TI103 - Ultramon - WAF-AB8SS - jvESS (11 zones) - Bitwise Controls BC4 - with 745 Total Devices - 550 Events - 104 scripts - 78 ZWave devices - 42 X10 devices - 76 DS10a's 3 RFXSenors and 32 Motion Sensors

    Nah, you can say anything you want about UPB.

    I honestly can't say which is best. I'm using mostly HAI stuff here, but i have a couple of devices of both SA and webmtn installed as well. No troubles with any of it so far. I have a mixture of Gen 1 and 2 and here they've all worked without any fuss. I prefer the HAI keypads, because they have LED's in each button that i can control to show status, i also use some buttons as indicators, for example one button on all my keypads lights up to show we have voice mail waiting.

    Do put a phase coupler in, you may not need it but in my opinion it's better to have it and not need it rather than to not have it and need it.

    So far i can't say I've found one brand over the other better. I use HAI mostly because i get it at work for cost, and i do like their keypads better.

    In the two years I've had UPB installed I've had one two hour period on a Sunday afternoon that nothing worked. I suspect some kind of outside interference but it wasn't there long enough to track down. Other than that one two hour period it hasn't missed a beat.
    XPpro SP3 /w HS Standard, HSTouch Server -, HSTouch Client HSTouch Android -, HSTouch iPhone -
    Playing with HS3 a bit but it's just play at this point.


      I also have a mixture... Pulseworks, HAI, SA... Gen I and II. My first preference is HAI due to lower cost (HAI is now all Gen II at no price increase). I have had problems with HAI phase couplers... 2 have failed (HAI replaced at no cost)... so you might want to look at other brands of phase coupler.

      Pulseworks and HAI keypads seem identical in features... both allow individual control of keypad LEDs... don't know about other brand keypads. I also use keypad LEDs for automation status... one example: OFF LED at top of stairs is on only if ALL downstairs lights are off (so when light switches are turned on individually downstairs, the OFF LED goes off).

      I am using Main Lobby for touchscreen control of the lighting. A lighting status scene shows each light as an on or off icon on a floor plan (by floor level). One level has over 100 such icons and Main Lobby loads and updates the scene quickly. Icon change is almost simultaneous with switch/scene change, so I am very pleased with the interface. The control scenes are by room and have sliders to show dim level and to control the device as well as %Buttons to change all lights in the room to a specific percent brightness.
      Last edited by Jayhawk; April 18, 2008, 08:11 AM.


        I have SA and HAI and operationally they are the same. In my case I do not use any bridge or filters. I have heard of no reports where one vendor is better than another other than on the appearance or price.

        GenII is a PCS design change based upon collection of field data from problem sites and useabilty features requested by the marketplace. Functionally it targets the 0.1% of problem installs with microcode changes and provides a user-programmable delay for single-click vs. double-click operations.

        PCS licenses the GenII microcode. SA has found the market that has a need for the GenII functiionality to be so small that they elected to not license it and target their segment of the market based upon a lower price point. Note that SA is the one who was selling UPB switches at Frys for under $30. It is much like filling up your car with premium gasoline when all it needs is regular grade. Why pay for premium when all you need is regular?

        Any technology takes time to mature because field operations are always different in one way or another from lab operations. What has made UPB so desirable is that it is at the sweet spot on the maturity curve where is sufficiently new to be relevant and sufficiently old that problems have been worked out.

        It is not that unusual that a company improves their products, but what is special about PCS is how actively they support their customer base and agressively seek to help their customers and collect the data necessary to they can understand what can be done to make the product better. I have found SA customer support also to be excellent. I have no experience with HAI support.

        The ownership of the technology taken by PCS and its licensees is also something you really do not see with any other. If you have a problem you know where to go and they are there to help you. They act as if their existance depends upon their products working at your location. I have never seen this with any other consumer product. The motivation is much like the ebay experience of avoiding negative feedback at all costs.