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[RELEASE] Visonic Powermax Alarm

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#141

I am having some issues with my Powermax+ (US version) and Wemos integration, and was wondering if anyone here came across this. Since I have a Powermax+, I used Wemos and Arduino Nano as suggested by Cjcharles. When I connect everything to my Powermax+, after few hrs I start seeing Inactivity alerts on the alarm LCD. It appears as range of sensors drops significantly and they the further located ones aren’t able to take to Powermax+ panel. I’ve tested it few times by disconnecting Wemos, and when Wemos is disconnected, all door sensors work correctly.

I also thought that maybe Wemos is pulling too much power out of Powermax+, so I supplied Powermax+ with 12v AC, but that didn’t resolve the issue.

I’ve looked online if anyone has issues with door/window sensor signal strenghs with Powerlink enabled, and couldn’t find anything useful. I also tried disconnecting wireless devices around the house, like cordless phone, wifi, and z-wave devices, but still no luck.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


(MARCO S) #142

Hi CJ,
do you know if your app it’s compatible with Powermax (no+, no pro)?
thanks

ps. great job!


(cjcharles) #143

Hi all,
@marcoslv I’m not sure if it is comparable with Powermax (without the plus), but if you open up the panel and can see a powerlink (often marked as BBA) connection then there is a pretty good chance that it will work fine since virtually all models share the same serial interface. I would suggest getting the Arduino aswell, just in case it is needed by the Powermax. Happy to help with troubleshooting along the way, just ask here.

@dracula Where have you installed the Wemos and Arduino? Where do the wires route and do they pass near any of the internal antennas? Perhaps if you can send some pictures that would be useful. I haven’t seen it before or had other reports of it sadly, is possible that its power related, but not very likely I think, where did you connect to per inside the panel? I can’t say any more without a few pics please.


#144

Thanks for your reply, cjcharles. I put Wemos and Arduino into a separate box, and ran wires from Powermax+ through the top of the Alarm panel as you can see in the photos. I also used 12v supply from connector labeled 12v and Ground (by 2 resistors) on the Powermax+ as you can see in my photos.


(cjcharles) #145

There are a few things to try but suggest having a chat by PM first and then can put the results of the chat in here as it will be less cluttered.


(Tom) #146

I finally got around to removing my Visonic Express and installing my Powermax+ (US Version) with Wemos and Arduino boards. I have one MCT-302 door sensor (the farthest one in my garage) that will not communicate with my Powermax+. All others work fine. If I move it closer, it works fine. I think I may run some bell wire to the dry contacts and mount the MCT a bit closer. Otherwise, this setup is working great!

Ps. What is the “visonic test device” that is listed in “My Home, Things” used for? It always seems to show CLOSED.


(cjcharles) #147

It would seem this device might help extend the range of the sensors, and may be a quicker solution to bug fixing, but I suspect this is a problem with Visonic designing their serial lines badly on some devices.
Visonic PowerCode MCX-610 - Powermax range extender - I’m not sure how it worms but it didn’t seem that expensive.

The test device can be removed, I’ll publish some updated code aswell which will improve things in several ways today.

I’ve actually got Powermax express working now so will publish some extra instructions. It involves some soldering unless you have a Powermax Express from the last 12 months (a single connection needs soldering for power).


(Tom) #148

I am able to Arm Away, Arm Home and Disarm my Visonic Powermax+ from the Smartthings iPhone App. If I Arm Away, Arm Home or Disarm from my alarm panel, it doesn’t automatically refresh the Alarm State in the Smartthings App. The Alarm state does change if I hit the refresh button. Is there a setting in IDE that I have to change?


(cjcharles) #149

Just leave it a bit? Does that not fix it? The message is only sent once the arming disarming process is completed, hence can be 20s after it had been triggered.


(cjcharles) #150

Hi everybody,

I have added some further improvements to the device handler which should make it more reliable, and a few extra features.

  1. It should handle zone creation more reliably, and if you have lots of zones you can keep on pressing the Create zones button (rather than just a single press). On every press it will see if there are still zones which are not added and hence add them, though dont press it very frequently or Im 100% sure ST will get unhappy since their code doesnt work too well with child devices now!
  2. It now only needs a single device handler, you only need to install the ‘Alarm Panel’ device, and none of the others for motion/contact sensors.
  3. If you have other sensors (such as smoke/flood) then it should now add them to ST, but they might not work 100% yet. If you have a sensor where the status isnt changing then please send me a PM and I can have a look at the logs and add whatever is needed.
  4. Ive also added code to allow you to trigger an alarm through ST, hence you can link in other sensors and make the Visonic Powermax alarm sound! This is currently done through a small relay board (described on Github), but hopefully in the future it might be possible without it (though that requires Visonic to help me decode some signals as I have tested hundreds and not found one which works). Either way the github instructions are fairly thorough (I think) so have a read and ask any follow up questions here.

Any problems let me know!


#151

I think I figured out the problem about the child devices creation problem I mentioned.

Last weekend, I got another unexplained “stuck” child device states in ST (a door sensor this time).
So I removed the alarm device, restated my alarm (I disconnected battery and power), recreated the alarm device and I was unable to create the child devices. I realised that I forgot to set the Powermax+ time/date and after doing so I was able to create the child devices.

Thank you for your improved device handler, I will try it.


(cjcharles) #152

Thats good to know, I remember reading that the Powermax+ sometimes complained if the time was not set before Powerlink enroling. I also know that Powermax+ is the only model where you cannot set the time via Powerlink.

Next time you get a stuck sensor (hopefully it doesnt happen again!), can you send me a message and I would like to collect some debug info from you, since I have not seen that happen on my end.


(Thomas Lockyer) #153

I’ve noticed I’m having the same issue regarding the Visonic Alarm section in ST not updating automatically. Need to hit refresh for anything to happen.


(cjcharles) #154

That is strange, does it also happen if you change the alarm status through ST? Or only on manual changes (i.e. on a keypad/alarm).

I have uploaded a new Device Handler today (which makes lots of changes and requires changing the child device IDs) but it will support various other alarm systems. Can you either give that a go, or let me know when you last updated it?

If you do change to this DTH, then you will need to:

  1. Ensure the zone tiles which should be displayed are correct (currently showing tiles for zones 1-8, this is the only section that needs changing since the tile creation step now makes 30 tiles, even if you dont make them visible)
  2. Press configure (to update the new tiles names and status)
  3. Either:
    3a) Remove all child devices, wait 5s, then press 'Create Child Devices’
    3b) OR - rename all children device IDs from visoniczoneX to alarmchildzoneX . You can keep the name as it was and all should start working again once you change the ID.

Sorry about the big change, but Im trying to make this device handler support multiple alarm systems as then it should be much more likely to be published (and maybe run offline).


(Tom) #156

Thank you for the update. I will try it. In the setting “Method to trigger alarm” how do I know which setting to choose? Serial, D6 or D7?

The devices update in real time (Door opening and closing). The state of the alarm doesn’t update until I hit the Refresh button on the iPhone app or close the Smartthings iPhone app. It doesn’t matter if I arm throught the Smartthings app or the alarm pad. It still doesn’t change the status page. I just updated to your latest code in my IDE & will update you.

Is there a way to use the Smartthings Security App that is part of Smart Home Monitor to turn all lights on and turn on my Dome Siren when the alarm is triggered? I can’t seem to figure out how it can integrate with your Device Handler.


(Tom) #157

I installed the most recent update from Github and now I cannot control the Alarm from the app. The Zones will not populate either. I can still control the Alarm from the Dashboard for esp8266 controlled Visonic Powermax. I then tried to go back to your previous Visonic Device Handler and have the same results. I tried deleting the Visonic Alarm Panel Device in IDE and then created it again and still cannot control my alarm from the Smartthings app on my iPhone. When I open a door, it does light up in the Zone list, but the names don’t populate when I hit the Configure or Create Zone Device buttons.


(cjcharles) #158

Oh dear! Can you give me a screenshot of the app? I guess they just slow as blank or zero? Do the settings all show correctly like ip and stuff?

Nothing has changed apart from layout and naming conventions so that’s quite strange!


#159

Hi @cjcharles,

I tried the latest device handler for my Powermax+, the child devices creation works fine with the exception of the two hardwired zones that now show up (it did not before). I don’t have them but there is probably not much you can do as they are reported by the PM status message. So far I have not found any settings to disable them from the PM admin menu. As I can remove the hardwired child devices manually, this is not a big deal.

My bigger issue is with the status of the child devices, after adding them the status is not updated and stay in “Motion”/“Open” permanently. Looking at the ST log, I can see that I am still getting problem with time (this seems similar to the “frozen” state I reported previously):

26934546-07d9-4237-a9c4-216e236b0db6 08:18:38: error java.lang.NullPointerException: Cannot get property ‘dateCreated’ on null object @line 455 (parse)
26934546-07d9-4237-a9c4-216e236b0db6 08:18:38: debug [zone_name:Hall, zone_id:1, zone_status:Violated (Motion)]

Do you have any idea about what may have changed to trigger this problem?


(Tom) #160

I just removed all of your DH and the Alarm Panel Device. I then reinstalled the Alarm Panel Device Handler and then created the Visonic Alarm Panel Device. I can now Arm and Disarm from my iPhone. The Zone names will not populate after hitting Refresh and then Configure (after 10s). The Zones all show Inactive, but when I open a door, they do change to Open and then show Closed. None of the Door contacts or Motion Sensors have been pulled into ST. I tried from my Wife’s iPhone and have the same results.

Your previous code did show zone names and Door contacts & Motion Sensors were pulled into ST. I don’t know what could have changed with my alarm that has broken the zones. There are no Errors. Everything works fine in the Dashboard for esp8266 controlled Visonic Powermax. What can I send you to help figure this out?


(Tom) #161

I had this issue when I first updated the DH code a couple of weeks ago. I am not sure which Version number we are on currently, but it was the one just prior to Alarm Panel Bridge. I had to do a Walk Test to get the status of the child devices to change from Motion or Open to Closed. I didn’t go into Walk Test mode on the Alarm, I just walked around and opened and closed windows and doors and walked through motion areas.