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    Need alternative to Omni LTe panel

    We built our home about 18 years ago and of course I outfitted it with the latest smart technology including Omni and X-10. Ha, well that worked pretty good for many years. It was about all you could get back then without spending a ton of money. I upgraded at some point to the LTe control board for easier programing through the network and PC access. Over time I have transitioned away from smart home stuff that relies on Omni since it's such an old technology and no longer supported. I do however still use it for a basic alarm system with all my doors, windows etc. hardwired. Looks like now the Ethernet part of the board is no longer functioning so I'm unable to connect my HS3 Zee to the system. The security system part still works (I don't have an alarm monitoring company).

    The question is what can I replace it with? I have three keypads and about 15 or so zones and really don't do any programing through the Omni any more. I do use the keypad beeper for notifications. I guess it's time to move on, what have you guys used as replacements? Guess I'll need to start from scratch.

    #2
    Same boat here. I'll detail my journey, but am also looking forward to what others have to say.

    I have basically moved over to Amazon Alexa for everything. It has been really great as voice activation is far far easier than using screens (and the prompts are very customizable). I have an echo dot in every room of my house (they almost give these things away) and alexa still connects to Omni Pro II via Homeseer to control some things in the house.

    What it does well:
    • Security Let's start here since this is your main concern. Alexa has a service called Guard, which protects your house. When you yell "Alexa, I am leaving" it will start listening for all sorts of things. Breaking glass, doors being crowbarred, footsteps, talking etc - It can then alert your phone, show you a security camera, turn all the lights on or pretty much whatever you want it to do. You can also have it call police, play the sound of a barking dog, etc when this happens. Additionally, amazon has heavily partnered with Ring for more security - they have motion sensors, window and door contacts, cameras, etc. I have the ring doorbell. When I am away and someone rings my doorbell, Alexa plays the sound of a vicious dog (haha) and then shows me who is at the door and whether they left. I have all hardwired window contacts and I don't use them anymore. Yes, seems like a waste but we always lock our windows when we close them and only open them when we are home. So, a burglar will have to crowbar or break glass to enter, both which gets heard. Random, fun fact - Amazon had a bunch of interns spend weeks smashing glass and recording the sounds. They fed these into an AI algorithm and can now detect it very reliably. We dropped a kitchen dish once and it thought someone was breaking in. They are currently working on ignoring dog sounds in case you are away but a dog is still at home. Also, ring sells a hub if you are concerned about power going out. It uses batteries and a cellular connection to replace power and wifi.
    • Lights This is pretty much Alexas bread and butter. You can control either switches or the bulbs themselves. The solutions here are pretty well documented. I still use UPB, another very old but reliable standard and Omni sends those control signals out on behalf of alexa. Slowly, though, I am replacing with alexa switches.
    • Routines I have replaced about 90% of my Omni and Homeseer automation (programming) with Alexa routines. They are easy to program and can also access and control hundreds of 3rd party "skills." Some of my skills include weather actions, harmony remote controls, motorized shades, etc. They are fully automated or voice activated.
    • Expandability This is huge. I only buy devices now that say "works with alexa." And, there are a TON of them. I can control my av receiver, my tv, my thermostat, my fridge, etc just by talking to alexa. I get household energy reports sent to me as well (from the thermostat)
    This platform has ramped up very quickly and shows no signs of stopping, which is why I am putting all of my eggs here. My favorite parts of Alexa aren't even in automation. We use it for announcements ("Dinner is ready" is played in every room of the house, so the kids can't pretend they didn't know), timers (for homework, cooking, projects, etc), whole house party music, getting answers to any questions (are the Packers losing right now? Answer: Yes), getting notified that there is a package at the front door, virtually dropping in on rooms to talk to people (either our house or even other people's houses, like grandparents). My six year old uses it to "call mamma" - the echo dot calls her cell phone directly from the alexa so they can talk. And, of course, all of this can be done remotely, too!

    Comment


      #3
      Just like bummywabbit, I'm all in with Alexa devices, however, the statement, "shows no signs of stopping", is hmmm...... troublesome. There are recent news articles that are saying that Amazon is phasing out Alexa services. Losing 10Bn a year doesn't instill continued support in a company's future vision.

      I would guess that 1 of 3 things happen...
      1.) Alexa services become "prime member" only, and the prime membership still increases to $150 a year.
      2.) Alexa services are cut way back, only supporting those services that offer a vehicle to sell services to device owners, prime music for example...
      3.) they go full google and shutter the Alexa service in favor of a new platform that costs money for everything (1 cent per action for example), or

      4.) punt completely, liquidating the tech and moving on to mind control research applications. (ok there were 4 options).

      I'm actively looking for an Alexa replacement. Google Assistant isn't it - they're having the same issues and retire services/hardware faster than a hot potato cools, and neither is Apple, who doesn't let anyone/anything play in its sandbox (and is also having $$ problems with the siri platform, which is already a shadow of it's previous vision.)

      Homeseer peeps! - get cracking on firmware updates for all of these things that we can use as remote voice command microphones for our self-maintained HS system.

      With all that negativity out of the way... Alexa integration is indeed convenient and easy. I honestly marvel at it - it's fantastic. It's simple. Too simple. Just when we depend on it most - it will turn into something else that we "cannot live without". Like heated seats, and acceleration in our EVs /*tin hat*

      /alexa, tell delta to pour me 8 oz...

      Comment


        #4
        It will be interesting to see what happens with Alexa. All the news articles out there are referencing one businessinsider write up and if you read it, it really doesn't say how that $10bn number comes about... just that some insider in the "worldwide digital" unit told a reporter it was losing money and that Alexa is part of that unit. I also asked two friends who work at Amazon about this and they said it wasn't a talking point in any of the report outs they had seen in the past year. Finally, I haven't seen anything phased out yet that I use, so who knows.

        In any case, Alexa definitely failed in its original intent - to get people to buy more stuff off Amazon. But, I am still betting that all of the personal info it collects makes it worth continuing for Amazon - they know when you are home, when you go on vacation, when lights turned on, what you are watching, what you are asking for, etc etc and we know this consumer data is worth a fair amount of value to most companies.

        Anyway, we will see in time. I am willing to put $5 on the line that it doesn't regress significantly. We will see if this comment ages like milk in the future .... haha

        Comment


          #5
          Well, hum. Sounds like you guys have it working, but I'm not moving to Alexa. I did get my notification working that prompted this original post. I did it outside of Omni, but it did remind me how many things I originally had programmed for Omni to do and now it doesn't. I did plug the Ethernet into an old hub as was suggested on another forum and it did cause the light to light up, but still no activity. Guess I fiddle with it some more and see if I can get it back to life. For now I guess I'll limp along until something comes around.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by dogbone View Post
            Well, hum. Sounds like you guys have it working, but I'm not moving to Alexa. I did get my notification working that prompted this original post. I did it outside of Omni, but it did remind me how many things I originally had programmed for Omni to do and now it doesn't. I did plug the Ethernet into an old hub as was suggested on another forum and it did cause the light to light up, but still no activity. Guess I fiddle with it some more and see if I can get it back to life. For now I guess I'll limp along until something comes around.
            Let me know if I can help. You definitely want either an old 10/100 hub, or if you have a smart switch, set the ethernet port's settings to 10mbit 1/2 duplex.
            Monitor your router to see if it grabbed an IP address or not. Obviously, you'll need an IP address before being able to do anything.
            Once the IP is verified, you just need your OMNI keys to connect.

            I can be reached here or at robmasonjr67 at yahoo dot com

            HS4Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi4
            67 Z-Wave Nodes, 111 Events, 422 Devices
            Z-Wave, UPB, WiFi
            Plugins: EasyTrigger, weatherXML, OMNI, Z-Wave, Tuya, Device History
            HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by rmasonjr View Post

              Let me know if I can help. You definitely want either an old 10/100 hub, or if you have a smart switch, set the ethernet port's settings to 10mbit 1/2 duplex.
              Monitor your router to see if it grabbed an IP address or not. Obviously, you'll need an IP address before being able to do anything.
              Once the IP is verified, you just need your OMNI keys to connect.

              I can be reached here or at robmasonjr67 at yahoo dot com
              Well, I fooled with it good bit this afternoon. I read through connecting a separate router. Did that and no change. I did connect my laptop directly to the board and it seemed to work. I can ping the IP number of the board and it responds. I cannot however get PCAccess to connect. I don't remember anything about the Omni keys you speak of?

              Comment


                #8
                Let the laptop ping the panel continuously for say 24 hours.
                - Pete

                Auto mator
                Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb
                Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro
                HS4 Lite - Ubuntu 22.04 / Lenovo Tiny M900 / 32Gb Ram

                HS4 Pro - V4.1.18.1 - Ubuntu 22.04 / Lenova Tiny M900 / 32Gb Ram
                HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets - Asus AIO

                X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Alexa, Cheaper RFID, W800 and Home Assistant

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by dogbone View Post

                  Well, I fooled with it good bit this afternoon. I read through connecting a separate router. Did that and no change. I did connect my laptop directly to the board and it seemed to work. I can ping the IP number of the board and it responds. I cannot however get PCAccess to connect. I don't remember anything about the Omni keys you speak of?
                  You'll need PC Access to have a successful connection before being able to use the plugin so focus on that.

                  OMNI Keys are from your controller setup and allow other apps to connect to your panel.
                  They would look something like:
                  aa-bb-cc-dd-ee-ff-gg-hh
                  ii-jj-kk-ll-mm-nn-oo-pp
                  with different letters and numbers.

                  Get the PCAccess issue sorted first, then we can get the plugin connected.
                  HS4Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi4
                  67 Z-Wave Nodes, 111 Events, 422 Devices
                  Z-Wave, UPB, WiFi
                  Plugins: EasyTrigger, weatherXML, OMNI, Z-Wave, Tuya, Device History
                  HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by rmasonjr View Post

                    You'll need PC Access to have a successful connection before being able to use the plugin so focus on that.

                    OMNI Keys are from your controller setup and allow other apps to connect to your panel.
                    They would look something like:
                    aa-bb-cc-dd-ee-ff-gg-hh
                    ii-jj-kk-ll-mm-nn-oo-pp
                    with different letters and numbers.

                    Get the PCAccess issue sorted first, then we can get the plugin connected.
                    I have the keys I think. I copied them from my Homeseer plug in screen. I am not having any luck finding a way to put them into PCAccess. I can load one of my past saved setups and then go to communications/connect/network and I get a return message at the bottom of the window that there's in an invalid encryption key (8).

                    Under Options I am unable to select network. I'm guessing that's where they would be input.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yes - under Options/Network is where you'll enter the IP, Port, and Keys.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      If Network is greyed out, then you need to disconnect first under Communications.
                      HS4Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi4
                      67 Z-Wave Nodes, 111 Events, 422 Devices
                      Z-Wave, UPB, WiFi
                      Plugins: EasyTrigger, weatherXML, OMNI, Z-Wave, Tuya, Device History
                      HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I fooled around and got it to accept the keys. the first time I tried to connect it said wrong version so I have adjusted the firmware option on mine which is 3.7. Now when I try and connect it says Comm Status: Disconnected (201). I can still ping the ip number with success.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Make sure you have the correct ip and port in your network config.
                          double and triple check the keys. It's easy to mistype them.
                          if you are running an Omni IIe make sure it's selected in the drop down.
                          Copy/paste a screenshot here and let's look.
                          HS4Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi4
                          67 Z-Wave Nodes, 111 Events, 422 Devices
                          Z-Wave, UPB, WiFi
                          Plugins: EasyTrigger, weatherXML, OMNI, Z-Wave, Tuya, Device History
                          HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I'm still hacking around with this. It doesn't really make any sense. I did check the console to make sure I have the correct keys and the correct port.

                            If I open a file inside pca the option to make changes to the network info is always greyed out. If I go ahead and try and connect I get a notice saying the encryption keys are bad. If I change the firmware version to 3.7 on the main screen then try and make a connection I get a comm error saying it's disconnected. Still no way to go in and make changes to the keys or port. I looked for a some sort of conf file in the folder with the pca executable, but really didn't see one. Thought maybe if I renamed it then pca would make me start over with all new data input.

                            I can still ping the omni. I'm using a standard ethernet cable directly into the omni board, is this correct or should I be using a crossover cable?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              In PCAccess, it might be easier to just start over:

                              File -> New
                              Select your panel type and language.
                              Now, click on Options -> Network and enter the info.
                              Click Save, then Communications -> Connect -> Network

                              If it does connect, the first thing you should do is Communications -> Read from Controller
                              (this will download your OMNI panel's setup to your PC)
                              Click Save

                              Now, you can try the plugin once PCAccess tests out ok...

                              HS4Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi4
                              67 Z-Wave Nodes, 111 Events, 422 Devices
                              Z-Wave, UPB, WiFi
                              Plugins: EasyTrigger, weatherXML, OMNI, Z-Wave, Tuya, Device History
                              HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

                              Comment

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