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Author Topic: Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units [2 of 3]  (Read 9571 times)

donald mcmow

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With Carmines years of experiance we would <BR>end up with HAL from Stanley Kubrick's <BR>Space 2001. Being an engineer does not make <BR>for good products all of the time. They <BR>tend to want to OVER engineer things that <BR>tend to bring the price up. Yess wee all <BR>want a working system but I don't want to <BR>put in a storage cabinate to hold <BR>everything. Now adays people want good <BR>products at cheap prices. No matter what <BR>you do there is a trade off - Price Versus <BR>quality.


Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units [1 of 3]

Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units [3 of 3]


[TTA Edit: Experiment to determine whether or not SPLITTING 'Highly-Viewed' / 'Highly-Replied' but currently

INACTIVE threads from LONG, LONG AGO (I'm starting with ~2 years) into parts will allow current

ACTIVE threads to appear in the Top 10 Topics (by Replies) section of the

Statistics Center (aka More Stats) Page.

NOTE: I *WILL* address the <BR> problem...]
« Last Edit: April 22, 2007, 02:43:44 AM by TakeTheActive »
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david k

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2005, 10:17:08 PM »

Donald McMow - you must be a manager.
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carmine pacifico

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2005, 10:43:32 PM »

Donald

If  X10 would implement the changes I
suggested , the box would be the same size
less the 4 AAA batteries. A button lithium
battery can power the clock chip for over
10 years with power off, there is no need
to keep the processor running during power
outage, just the clock.
I never designed products that are
complicate to use, I believe that if the
user need to read a manual in order use the
product than the product it’s not good
enough.
The user interface has to be simple, there
is nothing wrong with the current
interface, it’s user friendly, definitely a
lot easier than Smart Home software.
The hardware changes would make easier for
them to upgrade the firmware without
exchanging unit, and of course new features
could be added.
The memory used now is 64kbits(8Kbutes),
memory up 1Mbits can be added without
changing hardware, just a different part.
Have a look at our web site, manual are
there too, keep in mind these products are
for hazardous location(housing are
explosion proof) , therefore is very
expensive to add keypad, we use a single
button(magnetic switch) to activate menus
and set-up, in 3 languages(user selectable)
using only 4 character display(scrolling
messages), the menu structure(using a
single button) toke longer to develop than
the product itself, and with a lot of feed
back from our customers.

The new CM15,to the end user will be just
as simple, except it will be able to keep
up to with both wireless and powerline
command , event , timers …...
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carmine pacifico

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2005, 10:44:19 PM »

 
Donald part 2

The way I see it if X10 can achieve current
feature in all in one with a processor that
has 8K of code space and 256 bytes of ram
running at 6mhz; just think what they could
do with a processor that has 16K of code
space, 768 bytes of ram an external
hardware RTC,  hardware ports to
communicate with the RF module and external
memory, and   running at 24mhz.
It would be just as easy to use, but a lot
more fun.
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Observer

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2005, 12:53:25 AM »

Total cost of ownership and net margin are
interesting terms.  Carmine has eloquently
addressed them both without enumerating the
obvious elements.  Great answer, hope X10
gets it.

Our total cost of ownership is going up
every day that we try to make it work and X-
10’s net margin diminishes.  They sold us
the product not as a Beta but as full
production… who owes who what?

My CM15A has cost me at least 100 times what
I paid for it . . .  That is more than my
best PC!!!!  How about you Donald, how much
has your inexpensive CM15A really cost you?
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donald mcmow

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2005, 09:57:31 AM »

Sorry - No I am not a manager but I do see
the costs of so called engineers
developements.

Carmine: I would feel really embarased if I
were you as an engineer. Why? Because you
keep comparing apples and oranges. Your
equipment has to be more reliable, for the
simple reason that someones life may depend
on it whereas no ones life has to depend
upon the convienence of home automation. My
life isn't going to come to a standstill if
the kitchen light doesn't turn on when I
enter. I could do without the interface
whereas I couldn't do without a toxic gas
detector if I was working in the oil and
gas industry. It's all realative and
depends upon the users requirments. It also
depends upon what your willing to spend. If
you want a 100% working product then you
should be willing to spend the bucks to
back up the talk. If my life was to depend
upon the quality of a gas detector then I
would want to spend the money for a quality
product. Give it a rest. We know that you
don't like X10 products.
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roger1818

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  • Roger H.
Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2005, 10:15:49 AM »

I might as well jump in on this one.  I
agree with Carmine that some hardware
upgrades would be very beneficial.
However, I am not convinced that a price
range of “$100 to $200” would be
successful.  Yes there are people out there
who would pay that much.  Maybe even most
of the regulars on this forum would.  If
they want to draw in new customers however,
they need to keep their price low.  There
are third party solutions that are closer
to what Carmine is describing at a higher
price tag.

Unlike the situation Carmine described
where his company upgraded hardware to add
features, in this situation
few “marketable” new features would be
added, only improved reliability of the
features currently advertised.  It is
difficult to market improved reliability.
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arf1410

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2005, 10:31:16 AM »

OK, I get to pick on Donald M.'s comments
too (notice I said I am picking on his
comments, not him personally).

/1/ X10 markets the product heavily for
security system use, so safety is an issue.

/2/  Most importantly, regardless of
whether the product sells for $5 or $500,
and controls my bathroom light or my kidney
dialysis machine, X10 is LEGALLY OBLIGATED
to provide a product that does what it is
advertised to do, which includes operating
with a reasonable level of reliablity.
While the law does not specifically state
product must work "X%" of the time, I think
the large majority of forum users would
agree with the statement "the CM15A does
not function at its advertised capabilites,
with high reliability"
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andy d

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2005, 11:02:49 AM »

re "No matter what  you do there is a trade
off - Price Versus  quality."

Not true - the trade off should be price vs
features.  Yes I'm engineer (over 30 years
in military and commercial aerospace).

Andy
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carmine pacifico

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2005, 11:18:46 AM »

Donald

The difference from a good product compared
to a lemon is usually few cents.
My changes would only add about $5 to $10
cost to the unit.
Think of this simple scenario:
Get an X10 sprinkler controller from WGL,
use your CM15a to send control it,
everything is working great; now take a
well deserved vacation, while you are
vacationing your trusted CM15a send a
command to turn on the sprinkler then it
crashes and the sprinkler remains on. If
you had a choice would pay and extra $50
for a unit that the chance of failing was
less than chance of winning a big lottery?

In early 80’s I had an intelligent
thermostat controlling my furnace, this was
a commercial grade controller and worked
great. I went for holiday ( in December),in
just a few days I received a frantic call
from my friend : he was checking my every
day, the house was very hot, the thermostat
crashed and the furnace stuck on. This only
happened once and the thermostat never
failed again, but I lost the food in the
freezer and shortly after I had to replace
my fridge.If the Idiot who designed that
thermostat would have enabled
the “watchdog” ( 0 cost added) once crashed
it would have restarted within
milliseconds , that was simple bad
engineering.
I never said I do not like X10, X10
technology can be reliable if used
properly,  but the moment any &%$&% company
( not just X10, any X10 compatible)
advertise the product for security, they
better have a bullet proof system or get
out of the business and stick with toys.
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Observer

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2005, 12:04:11 PM »

On  Donald’s behave I must point out that he
is probably too pragmatic to pay more for a
product for reliability in order to protect
his home when his home owner’s insurance
already covers it.
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Helpful Hints

  • Guest
Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2005, 12:14:48 PM »

I have to agree with Andy truly great
engineering and design optimize the
compromise among all the aspects to best
solution and performance.  And that always
includes price.  Poorly designed and poorly
engineered products are always excused
as “you get what you pay for” or “the market
won’t support it “.  To that I say bologna!
What ever happened to “ invent a better
mouse trap and the world will beat a path to
your door?  America’s heritage is based on
better, faster, stronger, higher, more
affordable…  lok at what Henry Ford did with
that…  More current? – Try Intel.
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carmine pacifico

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2005, 12:34:29 PM »

Observer

Insurance will not cover a large water bill
due to an X10 malfunction, neither will pay
fines for false alarms.
My Alarm panel has burglary, fire,
environment  and X10 capabilities, but X10
signals do not control any critical alarm
functions, the do allows me to control my
lighting and cameras from anywhere in the
world with a touch phone.
That was just an example of what can happen
if you choose to control critical equipment
with improperly designed products.
Insurance can replace property, sometimes
better than before, but it can not replace
priceless memories.
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Disappointed Customer

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Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2005, 12:56:37 PM »

Roger H: I have to question your statement
(your statement not you) that an extra one
to two hundred dollars would be beyond its
market value.  I spent over $300 for
filters, coupler/repeaters which have no
direct application value.  Only as mandatory
options if you want to send X10 signals.  I
would have chosen in a blink of an eye to
spent the money on the options that provide
direct functionality and reliability rather
then for my  X10 friendly and clean power
line with a controller that has RF problems
and a bunch of bugs  (on the market now over
8 months).

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roger1818

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  • Roger H.
Re: Hardware Differences between Reg and Diag. Units
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2005, 02:00:05 PM »

Disappointed:  I didn’t say that no one
would pay for a more expensive controller.
There are people out there who will think
nothing of dropping a couple Gs on a home
automation system and there are companies
that provide high-end controllers for them.

From what I can tell, X10 is marketing to
lower end users and their controller needs
to be priced accordingly.  A controller
can’t be everything for everyone.

As for spending over $300 for “filters,
coupler/repeaters,” you are the exception.
Most people can easily get away with the
following:

1  SignaLinc Phase Coupler*      $19.99 ea
3  X10 Pro 5 Amp Plug-in Filter  $15.99 ea
1  ACT 15 Amp Plug-in Filter     $27.99 ea

TOTAL                            $95.95

* or a Hardwired SignaLinc™ Phase Coupler
for $15.99

If you have a large house, maybe you will
need to replace the Phase Coupler with a
Coupler-Repeater and add a few more noise
filters, but you can easily do that for
less than $300.
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