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Author Topic: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306  (Read 10583 times)

dave w

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2011, 02:15:33 PM »

Maybe the engineer who designed the CM15A was absent the day they taught that ;-)
$0.02
No, Noam, I think they know exactly what they are doing, from the onset.
I have seen X10 take an existing design (a lamp module) and remove two caps in an appearent cost reduction effort. How much could those two caps have cost? I doubt they were even a nickel, but the lamp module was made in the million units per year, so in X10 bean counter eyes it adds up. The X10 market model is to sell cheaper than anyone else. So I sure that permiates the design. I also suspect that the initial design, sans "extra" bypass caps, probably works well in the lab, but once mass manfactured the shortcuts manifest themselves. pomonabill221 pointed out the long leads example.  You can take out a bypass cap and have everything continue to work dandy until one of the other bybass caps are not inserted down flush with the PC board and does not properly "bypass".
 
 
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Noam

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2011, 03:54:42 PM »

Fair enough. I was never trying to defend their product design flaws. I was just trying to add a little humor to the conversation.
I agree that spending a few cents more to manufacture each unit would have made a better product. I guess their bean counters did the math, and figured that the lost profit from the added cost was more than the sales they would lose because the units were less reliable.
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pomonabill221

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2011, 04:04:59 PM »

I agree about not having the caps down flush to the board when assembled.
  The CM15 is most definitly NOT automated assembly!!!  Most of the parts are sticking up like they just bent the leads to go through the board, and left them above the board because they were not pushed down to the board, and the hole spacing for the components is wider than the actual spacing for the part.
  Even some of the parts are crooked or cocked where one lead is all the way through, and the other lead is long.
  So when decoupling caps are engineered for the pcb layout, the spacing MUST be correct for the part to fit flush, and the copper traces MUST be as short as possible.
  A better approach would be to use SMT caps on the copper side RIGHT BETWEEN or NEXT TO THE POWER PINS!  This would be ideal! BUT would add complexity to assembly.
  This is another reason they don't use double sided boards, and alot of jumpers.... MUCH cheaper to route the board.  AND they cram part together!
  There is an opto isolator for the zero crossing input and the line in connection is RIGHT NEXT TO IT!!!  IF, during assembly, a strand of wire from the line wire were to fray when pushed through the solder hole and touch a pin on the opto... POOF!!!!  There are ALOT of other parts crammed around it as well, where other real estate on the board is wide open!  Layout is very poor on this board and with a little effort, could have been alot better.... BUT that would have cost 1/2 cent more... B:(
  I do have the schematic... got it from the FCC website.  The title for the schematic is "USA Cypress USB Interface"  but that doesn't google the CM15a.  Just google cm15a schematic!
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Brian H

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2011, 07:05:21 AM »

Found this information on the CM15A.
It may give you some added information.
http://davehouston.net/cm15a.htm
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2011, 06:19:24 PM »

Hello all!
  My first post here.  Just bought the CM15a and install sw version 3.305 (I think), then upgraded to 3.306 for both the AHP (main) and Smartmacros.
  I DESPISE the interface!!!!
1) The icons are HUGE and cannot be resized   :-[
2) The font size is HUGE and cannot be changed   :-[
3) on THREE different computers, the mouse scroll wheel does NOT function at all for any window  :-\ :-[  B:(
4) the scroll "handle" to move the list for changing rooms in the macro designer does NOT work (only the UP/DOWN arrow buttons, but does work in the main macro window   :-[   B:(
5) There is NO WAY to sort the order of rooms/macros/timers in the tree view, even though the mouse cursor changes to a hand like you could drag and drop to a new location... doesn't work!!!   :-\ :-\
  Every once in a while, when a menu item is selected (like File/New), the particular drop down will not go away, even if an item (like NEW) is clicked, and nothing happens either.  I have to exit and restart AHP.   :-[ :-[
  These are big bugs that should have been taken care of.     ::) ::) ::) :-[
  I also have the crashing problem and have tried the x10net service hack (change the log on setting to my uid with password, rather than system).  The problem I was having is that I could download to the interface once, then when I tried again, I got the Msoft crash report popup and ahp quit.  After that the only way was to unplug the USB, powerdown the interface (power AND batteries), restart windows, install batteries, AC power, USB... then the cycle would repeat!
  It seems that the x10net hack fixed the problem (I think).  UPDATE.... wrong... still crashes!  Will try the earlier version after complete uninstall.
  I have been an x10'er since they first came out with my first starter kit (about 78?? with ONE maxi controller and three dark brown dimmer modules sold at Perry Truman ( no longer around) under the BSR name, then a CP290 (still have), then the CM11 (yech), then Smarthome 1132CUP (non insteon) VERY bad support!!!).  I DO know X10.
  I haven't gone X10 crazy because of the reliabillity issues, but recently built the XTBM monitor after "suffering" with a high pass filter and scope... THIS IS A VERY USEFUL INSTRUMENT!!!!  GET ONE IF YOU NEED TO TROUBLESHOOT X10!!!  #:) :)%
  If anyone has a hint about the crashing, text, icon, scroll wheel problems, PLEASE give a clue!
Thanks to ALL that contribute!
Bill

I use AHP 3.306 and and it's on a HP 2031 20" monitor and AHP looks like it always did.  I don't consider the display to be big, it's always looked liked that since AHP came along as I imported my files form Active Home.   
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pomonabill221

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2011, 01:10:55 AM »

Well I cannot see more than 4 or 5 steps in a macro because of the large icons.
Also the text is much larger than it needs to be.
Are you able to use the scroll wheel on your mouse?  (mine doesn't,,, on three different computers)
Do the "drag handles" on a scroll bar work on ALL list boxes? (they do not work on all list boxes, even though they are there, just the up/down arrows on a scroll bar).
Does ALT+F4 close ANY of the windows?  (mine do not, once again on all three computers).
Why does the left hand tree open ALL the subtrees when AHP is started?  The previous window's positions should be remembered!
These are user interface items that REALLY make a difference!!  User HOSTILE is what I call AHP!
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dave w

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2011, 10:03:38 AM »

I was never trying to defend their product design flaws. 
No-no, me neither. My assessment is: X10 makes a marginal "skeleton cost" design and combines it with manufacturing that has little process control. Even incorporating the lowest ISO 9000 standard would do wonders for X10 quality.

pomonabill221  observations are right on. My bet is the poor end of line technician that has to plug the babies into the test outlet has smoke blackened fingers.  rofl
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2011, 01:00:44 PM »

Well I cannot see more than 4 or 5 steps in a macro because of the large icons.
Also the text is much larger than it needs to be.
Are you able to use the scroll wheel on your mouse?  (mine doesn't,,, on three different computers)
Do the "drag handles" on a scroll bar work on ALL list boxes? (they do not work on all list boxes, even though they are there, just the up/down arrows on a scroll bar).
Does ALT+F4 close ANY of the windows?  (mine do not, once again on all three computers).
Why does the left hand tree open ALL the subtrees when AHP is started?  The previous window's positions should be remembered!
These are user interface items that REALLY make a difference!!  User HOSTILE is what I call AHP!

If you mean the Macro Designer,  THAT has always been that way, since AHP was introduced.  It shows EVERY module you have, so you have to use the pull down bar (right side of the window) to see all if them.
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pomonabill221

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2011, 05:08:43 PM »

  Well if SOME of the scroll bars work, and others don't what are the differences as far as programming?  Was this overlooked, maybe?
  I am NOT TRYING TO BASH/FLAME/BE CRITICAL of the software/hardware!!!  I am trying to find out if OTHERS have the same problem or have found a workaround for the problem!!!
  Also bring these things up some maybe someone can get these findings back to the sw programmers, or create a fix.
  I know that the typed word does NOT show emotion so it is kinda hard to "complain nicely", but that is what I am doing!
  Overall, the software, in MY opinion, is lacking some "creature comforts" and "friendliness" (scrolling wheel support, scroll bar functionality, sorting list ability, etc.), BUT it DOES indicate programming effort to make programming macros and timers, fairly easy and readable, even for users that do not have the "logical thinking" ability that others have.  (NOT TRYING TO PUT DOWN ANYONE!!! PLEASE).
  Alot of other software does have the ability to set user interface features for "customizability" and I am surprised that AHP is lacking in this department, seeing that effort was made to make a readable interface, just not very friendly.
  PLEASE accept my apology for anyone that I may have offended or insulted, this was NOT my intention!!!
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2011, 06:34:32 PM »

Apology accepted.   X10 suffered a loss of programmers in 2008, it has taken almost 2 1/2 years to get new one, plus the time to get fully "on board".    Much of AHP dates to early in 2002 or so, and the Macro Designer dates from that time, AFAIK. 

I got AHP in July of 2005 and the Macro Designer was exactly what you see today.   
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pomonabill221

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2011, 06:43:27 PM »

AHHA!!!! That explains why different parts of the interface operate differently!!!  Makes sense now!
I have read that they cannot keep programmers very long... that is sad because in the long run, ramp up time for new programmers is LLOOONNNGGG and is reflected in the update frequency and the "missing holes" when an update is rolled out.
Oh well....
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2011, 09:43:42 PM »

It's not the interface (that's the CM15A) it's AHP (the program) that you deal with.
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pomonabill221

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2011, 11:19:30 PM »

Yes Dan...  by interface I meant the program!
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Dan Lawrence

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2011, 08:02:23 AM »

Terminology get in the way sometimes.   I got into X10 in the late 1980's and knew from the beginning that the interface was plugged into an outlet and put signals on the power line and the program was on the computer.

Something I knew from the beginning is that X10 is not mass marketed, you learn about it from a friend who already had it.  Radio Shack sold X10 modules and other stuff as their "Plug-N-Power line (their factory in China was right across the road from the X10 factory) and X10 sold modules with the name Motorola and others, all were X10.  I've got modules from X10, Motorola, Stanley and others still in use, AHP sees them as modules.
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Noam

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Re: Lousy GUI for AHP 3.306
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2011, 11:05:23 PM »

I think the OP is referring to the USER Interface, which - since it is not text based - would be a Graphical User Interface, or GUI.

That should clear up some confusion.
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