Elan G! problems and delays - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 01-02-2014, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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We installed a fairly extensive Elan G! home automation system in our home, and it took almost 1 year to complete the entire system.  During the installation we encountered many bugs and problems with the Elan G! system, and are still having problems.  Specifically, the most critical problem is as follows:

 

 First some history on the problem. When we first created this project we were using version 5.9. In this version TTS did not work on the HC6 outputs. Version 6.0 kinda fixed this issue but not entirely. If the power is cycled on the HC6 controller the TTS on output 1 quits working. The work around for this is to set up a zone with Shoutcast as a source from output 1. When Shoutcast is selected and a song is played the audio for TTS from HC6 output is restored. We then turn off Shoutcast and TTS works. The critical issue for us is we are using TTS to announce security zone violations. This is a mission critical function. If there has been a power outage the TTS security quits working until someone does the work around. We would very much like to see this bug fixed, soon.

 

This is one of several problems that Elan appears to not be able to fix.  I would warn any possible consumers about Elan's abilities to provide a complete solution in home automation.  We keep getting the runaround at Elan on the solutions whenever we contact their support.

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post #2 of 34 Old 01-02-2014, 05:05 PM
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I am days away from pulling the trigger on a Elan g! purchase/installation of several of their components and would be very interested in any comments.  v12-man, what are some of the other problems?

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post #3 of 34 Old 01-02-2014, 06:04 PM
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I've got an system built around an early HC4, which I have kept updated), and have no issues. TTS works fine but I don't use the output from the HC4 on a regular basis - I would have to do some testing to see if the HC4 has the problem.

The system controls Security, Security Cameras, Irrigation, HVAC (via RCS thermostats), Lighting (UPB), A/V equipment (4 locations), Garage Doors, Whole House Water Shutoff, Temperature monitoring (air and lake water) and a number of other misc functions.

The hardware was already in place when I started and it took about 1 month to get the system up and running and maybe another 2-3 months of refinement, mostly UI configuration.

I am very pleased with my system and would recommend Elan g! to family and friends without hesitation, assuming it would meet their needs.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #4 of 34 Old 01-02-2014, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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~~Our experience has been not very good:

 

Main Elan HC-6 controller failed within 30 days.

 

Elan’s preconfigured networking router and switch assembly didn’t work and had to be replaced with a different brand.

 

Elan told us that our Vantage lighting system was supported by G! before we bought the system, but Elan’s interface has faulty drivers, and you can’t even emulate a keypad. This part of the project had to be abandoned because Elan could not make it work after weeks of support calls and tons of wasted paid time to our installer.

 

Music server didn’t work properly, their native server didn’t work right, and it took Elan almost year to make it work with the Squeezebox which Elan said was supported in the beginning when it really didn’t work. Then it didn’t support FLAC files.

 

Elan said G! supported our Blu-ray players when it really didn’t, their interface didn’t work properly, and frankly it was obvious that it had not even been tested once you tried it. We wasted more time with Elan support trying to get it to work and had to abandon it and seek another solution.

 

Speech to text didn’t work as Elan had said it would.

 

This is just a few of the problems. We found so many bugs in the Elan G! system that we basically felt we were ”beta” testing their system and finding all the problems and then waiting for Elan to fix them. This was very frustrating. It was obvious in many cases that the programmers had never even tested their design to see if it actually worked. We still have bugs in our G! system that their support department gave us case numbers for over a year ago and they are still not fixed. Elan’s support department is clueless half the time and often never gets back with you. Very difficult company to work with and appears to us to be very unorganized and poorly engineered.

 

Elan’s G! system interfaces have silly in capabilities that no one could have imagined. Why would you spend all this money designing a system like this that can’t do simple tasks with the touch of a button on the remote? The way the menus have to be structured are so constrained that you end up with a system that if you have no training, you cannot use the remote to control the TV. When I have guests in my house and they pick up the remote, they can’t figure out how to use it. When I had the Crestron system a 5 year old child could use it.

 

We had an older Crestron system that was bulletproof for 10 years, and we never had support problems with Crestron. If Crestron said it could be done, it could be done and that was that, it worked. We wanted all new TV’s and a new system that would automate all the systems in the house with more modern interfaces. The Elan G! system looks flashy and their components are beautiful, but that is where it stops. Unfortunately we believed Elan’s claims about their system compatibility, reliability, and overall integrated design. In retrospect we should have just bought new Crestron controllers and Crestron interfaces and built our new system from there as in our experience Crestron is much more reliable and professional. I wish I could get all my money back and Elan would take back all this junk so we could put in a real system that works like it should. In the end, we have a system filled with “go arounds” and silly design flaws. Oh, and try calling Elan, they won’t talk to a consumer. They did finally talk to us because of all the problems we were having, and some “supervisor” was even rude to us at that point. Unbelievable. We are very nice people, and quite patient I might add. No, I would not recommend Elan to anyone.

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post #5 of 34 Old 01-02-2014, 11:56 PM
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Sorry to hear you've had such a rough time. Who did the system install\configuration?

If it was a dealer why was he installing something (the lighting system) that he hadn't tested beforehand to be sure it worked as required?

I cannot image why anybody would use the Elan router - makes me wonder a bit about the installers experience.

Not sure what you mean regards the HR2 - my family likes them a great deal and had no problem understanding the way they worked.

Crestron has been around a lot longer and tends to be pricey but they have had their failures such as the Prodigy system - CIs panned that system.

I have connected Oppo, Sony, and Denon BluRay players without problems.

My experience with bug fixes was good - it wasn't too long after I reported the bugs that a new version was released.

Sorry again that you had a bad time.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #6 of 34 Old 01-03-2014, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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~~Thank you fcwilt. It was a local installer that had also installed our Crestron system 10 years ago. He has been doing it for over 20 years and is quite knowledgeable, and in my experience knows quite a bit more than any other person I have talked to about AV systems. He was so embarrassed that he was the one who advised us to go with the new “wonderful” G! system, that he heavily discounted his work because of all the unbelievable problems.

 

The Vantage Lighting system was installed in our house 10 years ago when it was built, and part of the decision to go with Elan was that they claim to have “modules” that you pay for that are already setup (preprogrammed) and all you do is input your system into their framework and you are ready to go. Well, there is no way to “test” it beyond inputting our lighting system into their program to find out that it does not work. Based on promises from Elan that they were working on fixing the bugs we discovered upon initial programming, we went ahead in input our lighting system. Then we spent tons of time going back and forth with the problems. There was no other way to get there. If you are not actively attempting to implement solutions, you will not find out that it cannot be done. After quite some time we were told that they could not make it work, so we had to abandon putting our Vantage lighting system into the G! home automation system. If anything, our installer’s technical capabilities greatly helped Elan understand that their system didn’t work, so I would say it was the other way around, our installer knows too much for them.

 

The HR2 has significant limitations, i.e. you cannot really customize the user interface, it is created by default. For example, if you want to change rooms (we have 7 A/V rooms and over a dozen zones) you have to hold down one “non-descript” key for several seconds to “magically” pop open another menu to change rooms. Mind you that this key you hold down does not say “rooms, or zones”, or anything that makes sense, nor does it say “hold this key for an extended period of time” and you can change to a different A/V zone, so you would never ever figure this out if you were not told how to do it. Also, the names of some of the graphical buttons on the remote cannot be changed as well and the icons are very limited. If you want turn on music for in a multi-room setting, it is a convoluted process of pressing different buttons as well. In our old Crestron system it was as simple as touching one clearly marked button and then one more clearly marked button as to what you are doing. Not in the Elan G! system. We have had this system in our house for over a year and my wife has given up on figuring it out. Sure she can turn on the TV, change the channel, and turn off the TV. But ask her to turn off the security system notification, and she can’t remember how to do it and she has a doctoral level education.

 

Elan told us point blank that they had a solution for our Sony Blu-ray servers. Well they do, but it never worked properly and they no longer support it of course, so they won’t fix their broken module that never worked in the first place. And you can’t find this out by looking at it; you have to implement the system to find out. There were so many things like this, claims that the G! would do this and that and in the end it didn’t.

 

As far as timing of fixing bugs, I think I have covered that. We still have bugs not fixed that were promised over 1 year ago. And that is why I finally got so frustrated that I decided that other people need to now about this stuff so they don’t get trapped into the situation we have.

 

By the time we spent all the money fishing out bugs for Elan and trying to find “go-arounds” for their interfaces, we could have just about programmed a new Crestron system for the house which would have a much better custom user interface that anyone could use without instruction. And we would have our lighting, Blu-ray servers, air conditioning, and etc. all on one home automation system. In fact, that was what started the whole project, to have everything in one interface (a home automation system), but in the end we have a mish-mosh of different solutions from different sources, and a not so user friendly interface, not what we wanted at all. By the time we found out that Elan could not do what they said it could do, we were too far in to go back, and Elan would not take back all the equipment. A really sad situation. Thank you Elan.

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post #7 of 34 Old 01-03-2014, 02:50 PM
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Wow what a "perfect storm" of problems.

Crestron is a very different system from Elan g! and the approach to setting up a "friendly and functional" system is very different as well. If you installer was an experienced with Crestron but new to Elan g! he may have faced a substantial learning curve.

I know that you can configure an HR2 to support more then one AV zone but why was that done? It's much simpler to simply have one HR2 per zone. I really cannot imagine what has been done to make it hard to understand - even our guests have no issues - I hand them the quick start guide for the remote and they take it from there.

Changing icons and labels is generally possible - I haven't encountered any situations where I was not able to achieve the desired goal.


I would love to be able to see how your Elan g! is configured.


"Sony Blu-ray server" - what is that exactly?

What gear are you trying to get rid of - I might be interested.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #8 of 34 Old 01-03-2014, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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~~We have five HR2's. But it is kind of silly to walk 30 feet and pick up another remote to operate a different room. And are you going to have a different HR2 for all 14 sound zones in the house? Also, having different HR2's does not solve the convoluted problems like turning on and off the security system notification for example, or even worse the go around we have to do to turn it on in the first place whenever it resets.

 

If you would like to come over to the house, I can show you everything. If you have a solution I will pay you to fix it. That would be great. But I would caution you that we aren’t stupid and according to Elan this is it (after tons of hours trying their recommended solutions that don’t always work).

 

Not trying to get rid of any gear, we are too deep financially to get out of it unless you want to buy us out of our gear and programming time. That would be great!

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post #9 of 34 Old 01-03-2014, 05:12 PM
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Fourteen HR2s would be a significant expense true but not totally insane. In my home I installed 13 zones of Sonos and since I didn't want to have to worry about locating a controller the system included 13 CR100 controllers (now discontinued) but they were not as expensive as HR2s.

What is/are the issue(s) with the security system? How does it work at your end? Normally you would press the g! button on the HR2, then the Security "button", then select the desired mode.

And again what is this Sony Blu-Ray server you mentioned - do you have a model number?

Thanks.

I may be able to help you get your system working better.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #10 of 34 Old 01-03-2014, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
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That would be great.  Please read my first post which accurately describes the most critical problem we have at the moment.  If you have a solution let me know.  Thanks.

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post #11 of 34 Old 01-04-2014, 07:24 AM
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That would be great.  Please read my first post which accurately describes the most critical problem we have at the moment.  If you have a solution let me know.  Thanks.

Well my first question relates to power outages. What size of UPS is powering the system?

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #12 of 34 Old 01-04-2014, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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APC Back-UPS HS 500

 

However, why should my UPS make up for a failure in the Elan program for the next 10 years?  And, it isn't just a failure in power.  Any reset that resets the system causes the same problem.

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post #13 of 34 Old 01-04-2014, 01:24 PM
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Understood about any reset causing the TTS problem.

But with the UPS carrying the system during power failures the only time you are going to be doing a reset is (maybe) during configuration.

I think I've reset my system once in the last year.

In any case I'll setup an HC6 and see if I can duplicate the problem. I vaguely recall encountering this problem but I don't remember the details - it was awhile back.

I'll be back at work in a week or two. I will let you know what I find.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #14 of 34 Old 01-13-2014, 03:03 PM
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"can not provide a complete solution in home automation" Yes,you are right. I can not agree more. I am a ex Elan dealer at overseas and quit now.At last I got an answer that G! system looks good if you just use it as Elan advised,of cause something error even though they had in tech note. Do not imagine more even though I gave much more demand and advise to Elan and they improved its system so slowly. Many issue should be done before 2 years ago.

In fact, I face more and more customers with their own plan.Doing CI for these customers with G is like killing a tiger with pencil knife.I had asked for SDK to deal with it but none.So you just do you job within Elan's ready-made circle,it will be safe.

Any way, I quit and be easy now.My advise is change to a customizable system such as AMX, Crestron or Savant. Please forget what they said cost effective ratio,it is a joke.
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post #15 of 34 Old 02-12-2014, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally, Elan has solved the problem.  Took quite a while to fix the bug.

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post #16 of 34 Old 02-12-2014, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
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Finally, Elan has solved the problem.  Took quite a while to fix the bug.

Great - glad to hear it.

What issue did they fix?

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #17 of 34 Old 02-12-2014, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Fixed TTS to work on the HC6 outputs.

 

The basic design of the and limitations of the HR2 are not fixable.  In discussions with the Elan tech people they have told us it would take a complete re-write of the entire structure of the software interface to make it more flexible.  That is a bummer because the HR2 remote is really a slick piece of equipment.  If it had more flexibility in the menu designs and capabilities it would dominate that segment of the market.

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post #18 of 34 Old 02-12-2014, 12:38 PM
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Fixed TTS to work on the HC6 outputs.

The basic design of the and limitations of the HR2 are not fixable.  In discussions with the Elan tech people they have told us it would take a complete re-write of the entire structure of the software interface to make it more flexible.  That is a bummer because the HR2 remote is really a slick piece of equipment.  If it had more flexibility in the menu designs and capabilities it would dominate that segment of the market.

What is it that you would like to do with the HR2 that you cannot?

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #19 of 34 Old 02-12-2014, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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See Post #6 in this thread.

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post #20 of 34 Old 02-12-2014, 03:14 PM
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Well it's not Crestron that's for sure but the labor costs for setting it up aren't there BECAUSE of the many predetermined settings.

The issue of holding the Media icon to access other then the default room is simple enough to my way of thinking - I mean that's what the user guide says to do - so it wasn't too hard to figure out.

As far as having buttons to turn on/off multiple zones at one time, that is easily done.

The selection of icons that comes with the system is small but the installer can easily create/add others.

While you can't change the names of the icons on the main page everything else on all the other pages can be named as desired. It would seem simple enough for Elan to allow renaming the main page icons.

The steps needed to control the security system are determined by the security system not Elan.


Sorry you are not happy with the system.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #21 of 34 Old 02-19-2014, 06:00 PM
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My experience is that the g! system drivers aren't very robust in supporting non-Elan devices (alarm system, thermostats, etc...). For many devices, only some features are supported. Also, there can be the need to buy an RS232 module from each manufacturer to support the integration. So, you end up paying for the Elan driver and the manufacturers integration module. Then you have something that doesn't fully work. The better solution seems to be to just automate directly through the manufacturers device. Most manufacturer now have apps to control their product directly. The only reason I can see to automate is to tie several systems together, but I think this is more trouble than it's worth.
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post #22 of 34 Old 02-19-2014, 07:32 PM
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The only reason I can see to automate is to tie several systems together, but I think this is more trouble than it's worth.

But the integration into a cohesive system is one of the primary benefits.

Yes you can use a handful of standalone apps to control this and that but you have no integration.

For many of us it's well worth it.




And having to add some sort of hardware or software to give a device the ability to be integrated is the norm and not a big deal. It's certainly a drop in the bucket money wise.

Many manufacturers make a line of equipment that is intended to be integrated so you can take that route instead.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #23 of 34 Old 02-23-2014, 10:28 PM
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Dear Sir

 

Provide me the details of your Controller i will check it resolve it. I am strongly suggesting you that this is issue with the programing. Not with the controller. I can solve them.


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post #24 of 34 Old 03-29-2014, 10:24 AM
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DITTO!  I have had all the same problems with Elan G! and more....vantage integration, remote problems, squeezebox problems, irrigation integration, HVAC irrigation.  blah blah blah  Now stuck with it given all we put into it and just hoping some day in my lifetime it gets better.  

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post #25 of 34 Old 03-29-2014, 12:41 PM
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DITTO!  I have had all the same problems with Elan G! and more....vantage integration, remote problems, squeezebox problems, irrigation integration, HVAC irrigation.  blah blah blah  Now stuck with it given all we put into it and just hoping some day in my lifetime it gets better.  

Well just so you know what can be done with a Elan G! system mine is configured for:

Irrigation (Hunter), Security System (ELK), Security Cameras (Axis), HVAC System (Lennox - 4 systems - 8 zones), Lighting control (UPB - 50 some devices), A/V gear (4 zones) and a number of misc items (Garage Door control, Towel Warmers, Steam Shower, Whole House Water Shutoff, etc).

It includes two 7" Touch Screens, four HR2 remotes, several Tablets - and it all works day after day just fine.

Based on my experiences with my own system and working with other owners the problem, 9 times out of 10, is the installer.

Any complex system involving the interaction of many disparate components takes a good deal of knowledge, experience and effort - and one or more of these is often lacking.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #26 of 34 Old 03-31-2014, 06:31 AM
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its totally integration problem. i am sure about that. I have done 70 installation of Elan systems still all are working fine till today


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post #27 of 34 Old 03-31-2014, 11:25 AM
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That's great.  You are lucky.  I have a Hunter Controller IC-600 which replaced Hunter X-CORE in 2011.  But Elan doesn't yet integrate with the IC-600.  I have Vantage lighting, and you can not emulate a keypad.  I have Mitsubishi HVAC which does not integrate with Elan.  And a few more not worth mentioning.  I have a very large installation with 13 TV's with G Remotes, Gate Control, Whole House Vantage lighting, several touch pads and all rely on G! being up.  One day it crashed and completely lost it's programming.  Had to be restored from backup.   

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post #28 of 34 Old 03-31-2014, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RKJK View Post

That's great.  You are lucky.  I have a Hunter Controller IC-600 which replaced Hunter X-CORE in 2011.  But Elan doesn't yet integrate with the IC-600.  I have Vantage lighting, and you can not emulate a keypad.  I have Mitsubishi HVAC which does not integrate with Elan.  And a few more not worth mentioning.  I have a very large installation with 13 TV's with G Remotes, Gate Control, Whole House Vantage lighting, several touch pads and all rely on G! being up.  One day it crashed and completely lost it's programming.  Had to be restored from backup.   

My Hunter unit is an ICC-800 which was chosen at the time because it was supported - it's been discontinued - makes me wonder if it's replacement is compatible? I have a set of spares so I guess I'm good for now.

What model of Vantage do you have?

To integrate my Lennox HVAC gear I had to replace all of the thermostats with RCS units that were supported and could be retro-fitted.

I've never had a system crash the caused the programming to be lost. Is your system on a UPS?

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #29 of 34 Old 03-31-2014, 01:40 PM
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The Hunter I-CORE is needed in our case because it is the only one that supports 30 irrigation zones that we need.  

 

Not sure of the Vantage Model.  This was new construction with new lighting system, so very recent.  Elan said they supported it, but as it turned out they didn't support the latest version.

 

As for HVAC, the Mitsubishi is controlled by a central controller called an AG-150, there aren't thermostats.

 

 

We do have UPS.  As it turned out, we weren't the only ones that had lost all their programming, it had happened before and they are looking it to it last we heard.  But still scary.

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post #30 of 34 Old 03-31-2014, 02:08 PM
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It would have been nice if the new Hunter units were backwards compatible with the old units - but I guess they are not.


That AG-150 (at least the one I found) doesn't look much like it's for use in a home.

If it's a product line aimed at businesses I'm not surprised the Elan doesn't support it.


The AG-150 web site page does say it supports a form of remote control. That's good.

But you would have to write a conversion program and then have something for the program to run on. That's not good.

In a few cases I have done just that, written a program to convert between a device that the home automation controller does understand to a device that it doesn't.


Was the loss of programming related to any event - like a lightning strike, loss of power, etc?

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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