Help with an AMX Landmark System - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 66 Old 10-24-2009, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

I had a landmark system that went into the house when I built it back in 2001. It's been working pretty well for the past several years and with the help of EBAY I've managed to keep it running.

However the computer I used to use to talk to it has just stopped funcitoning, I think it's a bad power supply. So in order to cut down on the number of PCs in the household I just want to remove it from the rack and use another machine I own for the purpose.

I have an XP computer, and I've installed the Landmark designer software on it, but it will not talk to the Landmark controller. I have them both plugged into the same hub (just like the old machine was) and as far as I can tell I've got all the same network protocols on the new machine that were on the old one (TCP/IP and NETBIOS) but for some reason it shows no connection.

Can anyone help me figure this out?

thanks so much!

-RKS
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post #2 of 66 Old 10-24-2009, 06:19 PM
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I don't know much about AMX, but i do know from Crestron that if you have an IP device a lot of times that device has to have a static IP address in order for the control system to see it.

If you can figure out what the IP address of the old computer was or somehow get into the AMX system and figure out what it is set to (or change it), that might solve your problem.

But then again - I only drink Crestron KoolAid!

What do i know? I'm just a Crestron Programmer!
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post #3 of 66 Old 10-24-2009, 07:48 PM
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I've had a Landmark system installed for just about as long. The main thing to make sure of is that you NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS installed in addition to NWLink NetBIOS. You mentioned NetBIOS, but that isn't enough.

I'd love to chat with you at some point about your experience with Landmark and the PHAST hardware.
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post #4 of 66 Old 10-25-2009, 01:23 AM
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I wrote out step by step instructions for this but i cant find them. If you are connecting the MCU directly to the PC i think you need a crossover ethernet cable. If you are using a Network switch i dont think it matters. This is a non issue since you say you are using the same wire. Just bringing it up incase someone else stumbles upon this thread.

As Mr.Potter said.. add the IPX/SPX protocol. I found that XP's security center would randomly block the Phast system and i would have to uninstall and reinstall the IPX/SPX protocol from time to time. This might also be an issue. It happened to me when i replaced a dead Windows 98SE PC with a new XP PC and then it happened the next day to the client and a month later and then i never heard from him again so i assumed he kept the instructions i emailed him and was able to do it himself.

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post #5 of 66 Old 10-25-2009, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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So I've tried several times to add and remove the ipx/spx protocol with no seeming luck on that front. But I'll keep working on it. If anyone has other thoughts I'd love to hear them. I'm going to try another machine as well.

DavidPotter I'm happy to chat just PM me!

I'm the owner but have a fair amount of computer experience so I've done all the maintenance programming and adding of new devices for the past several years.
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post #6 of 66 Old 10-26-2009, 07:33 PM
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Slightly off topic but, I thought AMX to an extent admitted that the aquisition of phast was a huge mistake and was going to phase it out? has this not happened? I just rejoined a company that does both AMX and Crestron so I can ask tomorrow I suppose but man I sure hope they aren't using it.

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post #7 of 66 Old 10-26-2009, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahwoo View Post

Slightly off topic but, I thought AMX to an extent admitted that the aquisition of phast was a huge mistake and was going to phase it out? has this not happened? I just rejoined a company that does both AMX and Crestron so I can ask tomorrow I suppose but man I sure hope they aren't using it.

Phast has been done for some time. The user is simply trying to maintain his system.
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post #8 of 66 Old 10-27-2009, 12:03 PM
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I'm rather disappointed at AMX's handling of PHAST. They left us users in lurch without a reasonable upgrade path. I've got a lot of PHAST hardware in my walls and without spending a relatively large amount of money I'm stuck with an obsolete system. I did most of the programming on my system like RKS did on his so that aspect is not really a problem (I even got the NetLINX programming certificate, but that was about 5 years ago). However, my financial situation has changed in the last 10 years to where I can't afford to plunk down $15K to replace the system.

I'm now wishing I'd gone with Crestron back then. Oh well. Live and learn.
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post #9 of 66 Old 10-27-2009, 06:06 PM
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No one can be blamed for Phast but AMX. Dealers had no idea that a well established control system company would simply drop a product and create such a mess for dealers and clients. I cant imagine who anyone would continue to sell AMX after that or any client who would agree to the AMX upgrade path for Phast systems.

The good news is that you will most likely be able to switch to Crestron rather painlessly. If you were using DMS keypads that means you have a Cat5 everywhere and wi-fi/rf panels & remotes can replace anything thats not wired properly or that was using IR receivers.

If you need to add wire for HD upgrades then its the perfect time to pull cable for the control system also. Last year i was able to swap out a 12 zone phast system with Crestron and i didnt have to do any drilling or drywall cutting. Phast lighting can be replaced with wireless products like Lutron Homeworks.

It sucks that you cant simply order parts or upgrade with compatible Phast products but at least theres an alternative.

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post #10 of 66 Old 10-27-2009, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidPotter View Post

I'm rather disappointed at AMX's handling of PHAST. They left us users in lurch without a reasonable upgrade path. I've got a lot of PHAST hardware in my walls and without spending a relatively large amount of money I'm stuck with an obsolete system. I did most of the programming on my system like RKS did on his so that aspect is not really a problem (I even got the NetLINX programming certificate, but that was about 5 years ago). However, my financial situation has changed in the last 10 years to where I can't afford to plunk down $15K to replace the system.

I'm now wishing I'd gone with Crestron back then. Oh well. Live and learn.

What sort of Phast system did you get? Are you doing just distributed audio or is there some automation and lighting? The reason i ask is that you may be able to ditch the Phast system and replace it with something less expensive and in most cases it will have a better feature set.

As an example.. a Phast system with a CD changer could be replaced with sonos or a URC iPod dock & URC remote.

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post #11 of 66 Old 10-27-2009, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp View Post

The good news is that you will most likely be able to switch to Crestron rather painlessly. If you were using DMS keypads that means you have a Cat5 everywhere and wi-fi/rf panels & remotes can replace anything thats not wired properly or that was using IR receivers.

Hmm, Painless maybe means something different between the two of us. The quote I had for a crestron replacement was 30K or so. And I ahve a pretty simple system.
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post #12 of 66 Old 10-27-2009, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKS View Post

Hmm, Painless maybe means something different between the two of us. The quote I had for a crestron replacement was 30K or so. And I ahve a pretty simple system.

Indeed it does. What i meant was that a sawzall or a demo hammer wouldn't be playing with your finished walls.

Obviously there will be hardware cost, not unlike when you purchase a new car or significantly change/replace anything.

I made a point in post 10 to quote and offer advice about situations where more affordable solutions are available.

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post #13 of 66 Old 10-28-2009, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKS View Post

Hmm, Painless maybe means something different between the two of us. The quote I had for a crestron replacement was 30K or so. And I ahve a pretty simple system.

If you were interested in replacing the system with Crestron but decided not to because of price, you may wish to obtain a quote for replacing it with the new Crestron Prodigy. It is less scalable then a full Crestron system, but otherwise a fully functional Crestron system. And as 39 indicated, would likely require no new wiring.

Full disclosure: My company is a Crestron integrator.
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post #14 of 66 Old 10-29-2009, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp View Post

What sort of Phast system did you get? Are you doing just distributed audio or is there some automation and lighting? The reason i ask is that you may be able to ditch the Phast system and replace it with something less expensive and in most cases it will have a better feature set.

As an example.. a Phast system with a CD changer could be replaced with sonos or a URC iPod dock & URC remote.

My system includes the following:
  • Whole-house audio (13 zones) using the 16-zone audio switcher and Parasound amps.
  • MLC light switches.
  • DMS and IMS keypads in most rooms.
  • Relays for controlling a 7-zone sprinkler system.
  • Button keypads in a number of places to provide 4-position dimming or to provide control of lighting scenes or a fireplace.
  • 3 garage door sensors.
  • Two closet door sensors for turning the light on and off when the door is opened and closed.
  • IR receiver to allow control in the home theater room.
  • IR senders for home theater components. I no longer use this, however, as the stick-on emitters didn't stay stuck on for long.

Probably the most important aspects of my system are:
  • Whole-house audio.
  • Integrated lighting control.
  • Sprinkler system control.
  • Closet door sensors.

If/when I replace the system, having something that is much better integrated with a PC running Windows will be a priority as well. Landmark runs on a PC, but it doesn't integrate with the audio stored on the PC.
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post #15 of 66 Old 11-08-2009, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I've now tried two machines both XP operating systems, with firewall on and off and I can't seem to talk to my phast system. I was able to briefly bring the other machine back to life and as far as I can tell all settings are the same, now however that machine is completely dead as far as I can tell. Anyone have any thoughts on what I"M missing to make this work?
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post #16 of 66 Old 11-08-2009, 03:47 PM
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1. If this is not how its set up right now and if you havent tried it, use a crossover ethernet cable and directly connect your PC to your MCU card.

2. The cards sometimes get 'lost' in software. What i mean is they would stop showing up until i moved them from one slot to another and then back in software. This probably isnt possible since you cant connect to the MCU.

3. Try powering everything off and unplugging everything from the card frame and removing all the other cards so that only the MCU is installed. Connect a crossover ethernet cable from your MCU to your PC. Remove Landmark from the startup folder if its there. Restart your PC, turn on the card frame. Once your PC is completely ON launch landmark, login PHUN and pray.

4. Sometimes you have to flip pages in software to get the connection icon to go green. So click Floors then back to network to see if it goes green.

5. One last thing.. Double click the connection icon in the top right corner and make sure "enable network connections" is selected under the Network tab.

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post #17 of 66 Old 11-09-2009, 08:22 AM
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FYI, someone is selling a card frame right now...

http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin...hread.cgi?4041

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post #18 of 66 Old 11-09-2009, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidPotter View Post

My system includes the following:
  • Whole-house audio (13 zones) using the 16-zone audio switcher and Parasound amps.
  • MLC light switches.
  • DMS and IMS keypads in most rooms.
  • Relays for controlling a 7-zone sprinkler system.
  • Button keypads in a number of places to provide 4-position dimming or to provide control of lighting scenes or a fireplace.
  • 3 garage door sensors.
  • Two closet door sensors for turning the light on and off when the door is opened and closed.
  • IR receiver to allow control in the home theater room.
  • IR senders for home theater components. I no longer use this, however, as the stick-on emitters didn't stay stuck on for long.

Probably the most important aspects of my system are:
  • Whole-house audio.
  • Integrated lighting control.
  • Sprinkler system control.
  • Closet door sensors.

If/when I replace the system, having something that is much better integrated with a PC running Windows will be a priority as well. Landmark runs on a PC, but it doesn't integrate with the audio stored on the PC.

The biggest expense will be the lighting. Theres no way around having to replace it all IMO. You can reuse the parasound amps and if the sensors/relays etc are 3rd party(not phast) you may be able to keep those in place and connect them to the new control system.

The IR emitters/receiver will be a non issue because you will most likely get an RF or wi-fi remote. To avoid having emitters fall off you can use hot glue instead of the double sided tape or embed the emitter inside the component so it never falls off and cant be seen.

You have manu options with the distributed audio system IMO because you have a cat5 to each room for a keypad/touchscreen or gateway for a handheld remote and speaker wires are home run to the control room (correct?).

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post #19 of 66 Old 11-09-2009, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 39CentStamp View Post

1. If this is not how its set up right now and if you havent tried it, use a crossover ethernet cable and directly connect your PC to your MCU card.

2. The cards sometimes get 'lost' in software. What i mean is they would stop showing up until i moved them from one slot to another and then back in software. This probably isnt possible since you cant connect to the MCU.

3. Try powering everything off and unplugging everything from the card frame and removing all the other cards so that only the MCU is installed. Connect a crossover ethernet cable from your MCU to your PC. Remove Landmark from the startup folder if its there. Restart your PC, turn on the card frame. Once your PC is completely ON launch landmark, login PHUN and pray.

4. Sometimes you have to flip pages in software to get the connection icon to go green. So click Floors then back to network to see if it goes green.

5. One last thing.. Double click the connection icon in the top right corner and make sure "enable network connections" is selected under the Network tab.


Thanks, I doubt these are the issues, let me explain why. So before the old machine completely kicked the bucket I managed to virtualise it with the VMWARE converter software. I was finally able to find a laptop which could run the VM created and when I run that VM on that laptop and connect it works. When I take another laptop plugged into the same cable and run the software on that laptop directly (not the VM) it fails. ARGH!

So clearly I have some issue with the configuration of the machine which works and the laptop that doesn't yet I cannot for the life of me see what it is.

-R
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post #20 of 66 Old 11-09-2009, 06:21 PM
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So to be clear here..

You have a windows XP machine. You have a copy of the correct version of landmark that you can install on the XP machine. You have the ppj/ppd file for your project.

You installed landmark, enabled ipxspx protocol and opened the ppj or ppd and it wont connect?

I cant remember which of the 2 files is the important one (ppj or ppd).

I wonder if an XP service pack might have killed Phast completely. The reason i am assuming this is because several months ago i had a service call with a Phast system that was running from the MCU, no PC present. The Phast system was really simple, only a satellite receiver as a single audio source.

I tried to connect to the card frame and didnt have any luck after about 10 minutes of trying. Then i realized the satellite box was dead and swapped it with the one from the kitchen (same model satellite receiver so no reprogramming required) and got the system running again. I didnt spend any more time trying to connect to the cardframe after i swapped the satellite receiver. The fact that the system was fully operational leads me to beleive the card frame is fine but for some reason i cant connect to it with my XP machine.

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post #21 of 66 Old 11-09-2009, 06:28 PM
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Also.. I know that XP Home service pack 1 works with landmark. I swapped out a PC for a client and the system was operational all the way up until the end when we replaced it. My current work laptop is XP Pro. What version of XP do you have? Just trying to see if im on to something with the version of XP playing a role. Hopefully others with Phast systems and XP will chime in.

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post #22 of 66 Old 11-09-2009, 09:00 PM
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I have a customer / friend out here in Washington who has a phast landmark system that is a couple of years older than yours, but much larger. He is a mostly do it your self kind of guy who has already been through your pain, he recently swapped out the lighting for a Lutron homework's setup. I will ask him about your predicament to see if he has any suggestions.

If you need a good local Crestron guy, I know someone, if you don't want to pay anywhere near that much to make the switch, I have another option entirely, that is nearly as powerful, very reliable and extremely simple to operate.

David
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post #23 of 66 Old 11-10-2009, 06:15 AM
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Wouldn't happen to be RTI would it?

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post #24 of 66 Old 11-10-2009, 10:32 AM
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I'm using XP Pro + SP3 and it's working fine for me. Good idea, though.
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post #25 of 66 Old 11-10-2009, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
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Wouldn't happen to be RTI would it?

Now why would you think that?
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post #26 of 66 Old 11-10-2009, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
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Wouldn't happen to be RTI would it?

Now that you mention it, I could replace his processor with an XP8, update his pads, throw in some remotes, give him HD distributed video, Zwave light switches and so forth, all for a fraction of what a Crestron upgrade would cost, and it would of course be a lot more useful and way more forward compatible than it is now.

It sounds to me like he really just wants to nurse it along for now, and I don't blame him. I run into a lot of people who bought these big systems way back when, and now they are left abandoned with a hand full of sick parts and the feeling that they were led down the prim rose path, and their only option is to spend another truckload of cash on new stuff that may very well corral them into the same predicament as before.

So if he can keep it going until eBay runs out of parts and he is happy with that, more power to him. I have a customer up in Bellingham who is doing the very same thing, he says that one of these days he will upgrade, but for now he is just stretching out the inevitable as far as possible.
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post #27 of 66 Old 11-10-2009, 01:26 PM
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.[*]IR senders for home theater components. I no longer use this, however, as the stick-on emitters didn't stay stuck on for long.[/list]
Probably the most important aspects of my system are:
  • Whole-house audio.
  • Integrated lighting control.
  • Sprinkler system control.
  • Closet door sensors.

If/when I replace the system, having something that is much better integrated with a PC running Windows will be a priority as well. Landmark runs on a PC, but it doesn't integrate with the audio stored on the PC.[/quote]

Ya know David I was looking at your punch list here and first off, a trick I came up with 15 years ago is to simply use a small dab of hot glue on your emitters, it wont hurt anything and it will hold them very solid.

Is there any other reason that you want the system running on a PC other than Music integration? What if you could have all the cool advantages of the PC without the need for the PC to be the control center of your system?

Your short list can all be acomplished easily and reliably with a non PC, non mac control system.

Are you familiar with Autonomics Controls? (see images below from an RTI K4), this is a 3rd party software (that runs on PC) making it possible to directly control your itunes or MCE content with Crestron, RTI, AMX and so from any of their compatible touchpanels




There are practicle alternatives. Just food for thought
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post #28 of 66 Old 11-10-2009, 03:24 PM
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That looks interesting. I'll check it out. Music integration is certainly a big part of it, if not the main issue I have with my Landmark system. I have all my music in lossless WMA format, and I recently added iTunes AAC format since I bought an iPhone earlier this year.

The issue I have with Landmark is that it can't feed the information about my music to the keypads scattered throughout the house.

I checked out the website for that product (http://www.autonomichome.com/). It looks like it feeds up to 4 streams of audio over the LAN to a variety of control systems. They integrate with AMX's Netlinx, but not Landmark (not surprising), so it looks like I'd still need to replace the main control system to support this, not to mention all the switches and keypads :-)

I don't want to lead you on, though. Unfortunately I'm not in a position to make a big (thousands-of-dollars) investment right at this moment. I am, however, very interested in checking out my options for making forward progress towards a system that isn't completely unsupported and will eventually die off. I really appreciate your input on this topic.
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post #29 of 66 Old 11-10-2009, 09:50 PM
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That looks interesting. I'll check it out. Music integration is certainly a big part of it, if not the main issue I have with my Landmark system. I have all my music in lossless WMA format, and I recently added iTunes AAC format since I bought an iPhone earlier this year.

The issue I have with Landmark is that it can't feed the information about my music to the keypads scattered throughout the house.

I checked out the website for that product (http://www.autonomichome.com/). It looks like it feeds up to 4 streams of audio over the LAN to a variety of control systems. They integrate with AMX's Netlinx, but not Landmark (not surprising), so it looks like I'd still need to replace the main control system to support this, not to mention all the switches and keypads :-)

I don't want to lead you on, though. Unfortunately I'm not in a position to make a big (thousands-of-dollars) investment right at this moment. I am, however, very interested in checking out my options for making forward progress towards a system that isn't completely unsupported and will eventually die off. I really appreciate your input on this topic.

Who knows maybe you will win the lottery next year?

We have an IP patch for RTI that allows us to put the polytone version of Mirage into single zone per keypad or multiple zone mode as needed, the number of audio outputs is only limited by the number of output channels that are available on a PC. The Mirage setup utility allows us to break a 7.1 sound card up into 4 stereo assignable audio pairs, if you have two sound cards you then have 8 available stereo sound outputs. You can even assign one card to 7.1 and another to separate stereo outputs for multiple zones, you can even use USB external sound cards, Mirage does not care. Mirage farms content from both MCE and Itunes.

If you want to take the grow as you go path, all RTI controllers, like the RTI K4 touch panel can be used in a standalone capacity, meaning it works all buy itself , all it needs is a 16 volt power supply and Ethernet access. Even if you only have a single cat5 running to a touch panel location, we can break that out into 2 way RTI control and Ethernet, just so long as that run is not over 80 feet to the head end.

To control the mirage software installed on your PC, We simply program in a standard IP viewer on the K4 and point it at the server where Mirage is installed. Audio feeds in turn shall be sent from your server to the 16 channel landmark audio switcher. You could actually have several K4's installed the same way without having to buy any processors or other interfaces. In the future if you want to expand into actually replacing the Landmark stuff, everything RTI you have purchased is already forward compatible.

When, or if you decide to upgrade, we will remove the Phast brains, but we will retain the switcher, amplifiers and any other compatible components; we can still use your sprinkler relays, garage door contacts and so forth, they will work just as before. Except you will be able to do more.


Whole-house audio (13 zones) using the 16-zone audio switcher and Parasound amps. Good amps! We can re-use the switcher as well MLC light switches. Replace with low cost leviton Zwave switches DMS and IMS keypads in most rooms. Replace with RK3V and RK1 keypads
Relays for controlling a 7-zone sprinkler system. Re-integrate
Button keypads in a number of places to provide 4-position dimming or to provide control of lighting scenes or a fireplace. Replace with RK1 4 or 8 button keypads
3 garage door sensors. Re-integrate
Two closet door sensors for turning the light on and off when the door is opened and closed. Re-integrate
IR receiver to allow control in the home theater room. You wont need this as you will have a Z wave handheld remote IR senders for home theater components. I no longer use this, however, as the stick-on emitters didn't stay stuck on for long. If they are not damaged we can reuse these parts


Old DMS Key Pad (below)which would be replaced with the RTI RK3V


RTI RK3V replacement for above seen Below


New pop out of wall 7 inch Zwave panel only needs a local power supply, no wire to fish, and its aforadable


New 10 inch panel
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post #30 of 66 Old 11-11-2009, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 39CentStamp View Post

So to be clear here..

You have a windows XP machine. You have a copy of the correct version of landmark that you can install on the XP machine. You have the ppj/ppd file for your project.

You installed landmark, enabled ipxspx protocol and opened the ppj or ppd and it wont connect?

I cant remember which of the 2 files is the important one (ppj or ppd).

I wonder if an XP service pack might have killed Phast completely. The reason i am assuming this is because several months ago i had a service call with a Phast system that was running from the MCU, no PC present. The Phast system was really simple, only a satellite receiver as a single audio source.

I tried to connect to the card frame and didnt have any luck after about 10 minutes of trying. Then i realized the satellite box was dead and swapped it with the one from the kitchen (same model satellite receiver so no reprogramming required) and got the system running again. I didnt spend any more time trying to connect to the cardframe after i swapped the satellite receiver. The fact that the system was fully operational leads me to beleive the card frame is fine but for some reason i cant connect to it with my XP machine.

The machine is XP Pro, SP3, same as the machine that does connect I believe. I have been using the copied save file directory created from the machine that worked.
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