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  • Error Message on Panel Initialization

    I am evaluating the plugin with the new Hometroller S6 connected via COM1. The Panel is a Gemini 9600. The plugin seems to be functioning properly but I have two issues. 1) I get the following error message consistently on startup:

    Dec-12 9:42:22 AM Napco Gemini FINISH - full Panel to HS status update!
    Dec-12 9:42:21 AM Napco Gemini Error UpdateInteralFromPanel - Length of argument 'String' must be greater than zero.
    Dec-12 9:42:21 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,0,0,8,0,0
    Dec-12 9:42:21 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,8,0,0

    2) The panel "beeps" twice during initialization with this plugin. This behaviour did not happen with HS2. Is this normal?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Please use the config page and turn on debug output and then look under your HS3 install / logs / NapcoDebug.log. This may not directly help but it's good to do if you need to track down an issue.

    The "update internal from panel" section is where, on startup, all the HS3 devices have their status updated based on values queried from the panel. There's a series of status commands issued to the panel in sequence in this section. Your log snip shows the last of them, the '8' request. There should also be before it 2 through 7. These are asking for all the zones opened/armed/bypassed etc.

    Something like:

    Code:
     
    SENDING: 39,0,0,2,0,0
    RECEIVED: 39,C,0,2,2,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
    SENDING: 39,0,0,3,0,0
    RECEIVED: 39,C,0,3,2,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
      
     ...up to what you show...
      
     Dec-12 9:42:21 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,0,0,8,0,0
    Dec-12 9:42:21 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,8,0,0
    If this section is erroring out on you, it's possible the AUTOMATION chip in your panel maybe doesn't support at least one of these status commands? I'm using a 40c version of the AUTOMATION chip. Other versions may have slight differences I suppose.

    Let me know if you see the other status commands in your log, not just the '8'

    Nathan
    HS 3.0.0.435 (PRO)
    Hardware: Napco GEM-P9600 | VenstarT1800 w/Insteon 2441V adapter | Insteon PLM
    Plugins HS3: Napco Gemini (mine) | Insteon Thermostat (mine) | Insteon Plug-in (mnsandler) | HSTouch Server (HST)
    Platform: Windows 10 Pro 64bit, core2 duo 2.0Ghz, 4GB memory
    http://www.kazteel.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Nathan. Here is the entire initialization sequence for the panel. You will note that this one had a comm retry, that happens about once every three or four restarts, but it seems to resolve itself. It seems the panel does report 2 thru 7. My rom says V11 on it, not sure how that corresponds to 40c?

      Dec-13 10:37:59 AM Plug-In Finished initializing plug-in Napco Gemini
      Dec-13 10:37:59 AM Napco Gemini FINISH - full Panel to HS status update!
      Dec-13 10:37:58 AM Napco Gemini Error UpdateInteralFromPanel - Length of argument 'String' must be greater than zero.
      Dec-13 10:37:58 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,0,0,8,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:58 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,8,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:58 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,C,0,7,2,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:58 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,7,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:57 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,C,0,6,2,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:57 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,6,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:57 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,C,0,5,2,0,0,0,B0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:57 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,5,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:57 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,C,0,4,2,0,10,0,1,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:57 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,4,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:57 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,C,0,3,2,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:57 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,3,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:56 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,C,0,2,2,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:56 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,2,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:56 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 40,0,0,0,0,0
      Dec-13 10:37:56 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 1A,6,0,0,0,0,*,*,*,*,*,*
      Dec-13 10:37:56 AM Napco Gemini Update all devices with live panel status...
      Last edited by jackallweiss; December 14th, 2014, 11:46 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        In your log, there's a small number of retries which is perfectly normal. That's one of the things I added over what the Napco plugin under HS2 had. Those retries allow the plugin to keep operating through "soft errors" in communication.

        The only thing that is off then is that last status command. The '8' is requesting a list of "areas armed" and is expecting back a single byte value which is a bit encoded list of the up to 8 areas the 9600 panel supports.

        A valid status looks like:
        Code:
         
         6/3/2014 4:37:59 PM ~ Napco Gemini ~ OUTGOING ~ SENDING: 39,0,0,8,0,0
        6/3/2014 4:37:59 PM ~ Napco Gemini ~ INCOMING ~ RECEIVED: 39,1,0,8,2,0,0
        6/3/2014 4:37:59 PM ~ Napco Gemini ~ INFO ~ FINISH - full Panel to HS status update!
        You can see how the status command response from your panel is missing the expected last byte. It seems to just echo the command back:

        Code:
        Dec-13 10:37:59 AM Napco Gemini FINISH - full Panel to HS status update!
        Dec-13 10:37:58 AM Napco Gemini Error UpdateInteralFromPanel - Length of argument 'String' must be greater than zero.
        Dec-13 10:37:58 AM Napco Gemini RECEIVED: 39,0,0,8,0,0
        Dec-13 10:37:58 AM Napco Gemini SENDING: 39,0,0,8,0,0
        Back in 2005 when I install my 9600, the GEM-AUTOMATION EEPROM versions were in the v30c, v40b, v40c range. I'm using the latest one I have which is v40c.

        I believe in a previous post you said your panel was circa mid-1990's ? Maybe the GEM-AUTOMATION was V11 back then? If so, maybe that version doesn't support a proactive status query for area armed status? That would mean that HS3 couldn't set the initial area state on HS3 reboot but will have to wait for the flow of status information that routinely is sent from the panel. I can only suggest you experiment with this to see how your panel and that version of GEM-AUTOMATION react. Exercise the zones, arm and disarm the panel etc. and watch HS3 for updates.

        Now that I think more about it, older 3200 panels have a hardware version of V11 but that is separate from the GEM-AUTOMATION EEPROM version. In my 9600 panel, you have to open up the panel door and then open the little metal enclosure that normally has the master code sticker on it. Underneath is the firmware EEPROM. That's where you swap the original 9600 EEPROM for the GEM-AUTOMATION and that should have it's own sticker. Of course, all that's done with the power off and battery disconnected and being well grounded. DISCLAIMER - Steps like opening the panel and removing the cover over the EEPROM should be done by an alarm company or other qualified electronics professional to avoid damage to the system. I can take no responsibility for the hardware of your alarm system.

        If you find you do have an older GEM-AUTOMATION EEPROM, I see some third-party online stores like spytown still appear to sell it. You could contact them for the specific version. Again, can't say that will help you but it's just one possibility.

        Nathan
        HS 3.0.0.435 (PRO)
        Hardware: Napco GEM-P9600 | VenstarT1800 w/Insteon 2441V adapter | Insteon PLM
        Plugins HS3: Napco Gemini (mine) | Insteon Thermostat (mine) | Insteon Plug-in (mnsandler) | HSTouch Server (HST)
        Platform: Windows 10 Pro 64bit, core2 duo 2.0Ghz, 4GB memory
        http://www.kazteel.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Nathan. Thanks for taking the time to look at this. I understand the issue. I don't feel it is really a big problem, because in my testing to date everything works fine. The issue only occurs on initialization, which is infrequent, and within a short time the panel communicates area status and would correct the initialization problem. When I arm or disarm an area it is reported almost immediately and the correct status is shown in HS3. I did look at my ROM before trying the plugin and it does say V11, the panel seems to be V17 (that is what is stamped in the triangle on the board). As I said I have a newer ROM, but since I am happy with everything I am not going to go to the trouble of changing it.

          My only suggestion is that maybe in a future version of the plugin you classify this as a WARNING instead of an ERROR as I do not think it is that serious.

          I will probably finish my eval this week and then purchase the product barring any unforeseen issues. Thanks for the great support and excellent plugin. I highly recommend it to anyone with a compatible Napco panel that wants to upgrade to HS3.

          Jack

          Comment

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