Ordering Matrix Switch with AM Radio FIX

Discussion in 'Multi-Room Audio (MRA) and MARPA' started by Charlie Crackle, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I am doing a new house with CBUS audio. AM radio is important for this customer.

    What do I have to do when ordering to make sure I get the unit with the AM Radio fix on it. I dont want to go through this nightmare again.

    Charles
     
    Charlie Crackle, Apr 2, 2012
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I have talked to distribution and they have no idea.. (or what I am talking abount)

    I rang Tech support today and all they know is there are field trials of fix happening.


    How can I order a unit that has and AM radio that works ?

    Why is this such a hard ask...

    Can I buy a unit now and then get the radio swapped out ?

    What is the procedure.

    I lost money on the last job because of the days and days of unchargble time
    i spent debugging the problem. I can not knowingly sell a product to a customer that I know will not work for them.

    There seems to be a communications issues between tech support and engineering.

    Please sort it out I just want the easy life....

    Can some one feed back to the MARPA product manager that this is starting to cost sales
     
    Charlie Crackle, Apr 11, 2012
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    AM radio fix

    Can I please get an update on how the AM radio fix field trials are going.

    It is has been over 6 months now. surely they are over now...

    When will this fix be intergrated into the product ? I have yet another customer complaining about the AM reception.

    Charles
     
    Charlie Crackle, Jul 18, 2012
    #3
  4. Charlie Crackle

    philthy

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    outa east melbs
    This Am issue is clearly affecting my old customers and now many new ones, technical advised me yesterday that there is no solution but to use a third party input device.
    If this is the way CIS will deal with known issues with their product then good luck staying around in business.
    I would have expected this to be acknowledged and resolved by now.
     
    philthy, Aug 3, 2012
    #4
  5. Charlie Crackle

    Don

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Townsville, Australia
    I've just been informed that work is underway to ensure that the AM reception fix gets into new products. I haven't heard any dates yet on expected completion of this project.

    A third party input device is not an acceptable solution IMHO, given that there is a solution which allows the full functionality of the system.
     
    Don, Aug 6, 2012
    #5
  6. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thanks for the info Don can you please find out the dates.

    I have been waiting over 8 months for 1 customer. I keep getting told "Undergoing Field Trials" It cannot take 8 months to undergo field trials. I have another customer with the hand soldered fix and it has been working perfectly. Clipsal will not supply any more hand worked boards. The only way I got this AM issue fixed for this customer was the customer wanted a complete return and refund of all the Audio equipment unless fixed.

    Why has Clipsal handled this issue so badly (in-terms of time and communication) ?

    Why does bottom level CIS support just dismiss the issue. (as shown my philthy experience too) Why dont they log issues. I have to push and push support and not accept there answers to find out the real story. Initially I was told "The AM was not as issue as their were only a few logged cases of the probem" They did not log my call. how may other calls do they not log. Product management then look and see "not may logged calls so not worth fixing"
    I then waste my time (1 day) getting and AM radio enginner to prove the problem so I can then LOG with tech support.

    I have been told that the product manager is not interested in spending any money on the product any more as it was not a good seller. Well it is not a good seller for a start because for the past 4 months everyone who asks me if they should install it I tell them "NO" as Clipsal are not fixing basic issues with the product. I am getting PM's and emails from people asking for advice and again all I can say is "I don’t recommend it."

    At one point support was going to supply a "NIRT, PAC and AM TUNER" as a work around. This was going to cost Clipsal far more than to fix the actual problem.

    It is very disappointing as is a great product and is the perfect complement for CBUS. I have over 10 houses I have prewired in the past when the customer budget did not stretch to it and now they are coming back years later and wanting to install, but I have to talk them out of the cbus option as I don’t want the headaches with the AM tuner and Doorbell issues I know they are going to get. I wish product management would realise what a good niche product this is (great when you revisit a customer) and spend some money on it fixing the basic issues (AM radio and DOOR bell) and adding new features to keep it up on the market trends.

    Could you also find out if the Door bell issue will ever be fixed. Just a YES or NO. I have been told by support that this issue is not being fixed as the person who wrote the firmware does not work for Clipsal anymore and the Engineering team does not have skills in this area so it will take a lot of work to look at was seems to be a simple issue.


    Looking forward to some positive news......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2012
    Charlie Crackle, Aug 6, 2012
    #6
  7. Charlie Crackle

    pat911

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Surely this cannot be the case. If it is then I think we should all be concerned about the future support of products as when the responsible person leaves, no further work will be done on them.
     
    pat911, Aug 6, 2012
    #7
  8. Charlie Crackle

    Darren Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    2,361
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    It is not true that the Engineering team does not have the necessary skills. It is really an issue of priorities. There is a lot to do and only so many hours in the day :(
     
    Darren, Aug 7, 2012
    #8
  9. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Thanks Darren

    So the person who wrote the firmware is still available for work ??

    I got the impression from support that this person had left. I know your team would have the skills (you all are very very clever) but job would be bigger as someone would have look and analyse the code and make sure they did not break something else due to the lack of intermit knowledge of the code.

    I got the impression that a job that may have taken the original programmer a day might take someone else 2 weeks as they need to tread carefully. This is why a small fix might cost big $

    I just wish the person who sets the priorities would set some time aside to fix bugs in existing products in a timely manner. Don’t want Clipsal only to fix bugs that are costing them money. I bet if people started ringing up support and requesting refunds for the defective products the bugs would be fixed quicker. I think we are just all used to the OLD Clipsal and not the new Schneider

    When someone mentions "CLIPSAL" I used to think pay a little more but you get "great engineering", "Everything just works", "Everything fits", "Things are compatible", "Problems are fixed" CIS goes to great lengths to make tool kit to work with everything new and very old so there is still some of this happening....

    As Clipsal are being assimilated by Schneider. It seem to all abound the "$"
    I think customers need to change and stop thinking that Schneider will fix things as they did in the old days. Need to start returning defective product as it will get fed up the chain of command quicker than logging a support case as it effects “$”

    I feel sorry for support and engineering as both are put in positions where they cannot give the customer a great experence.

    It is not just Clipsal a lot of other great service companies like "Cisco" are going this way too. I suppose it is just a sign of the time..

    Keep up the good work and see if management will approve some over time !!!
     
    Charlie Crackle, Aug 7, 2012
    #9
  10. Charlie Crackle

    RatDeSewer

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Henley Beach
    Hi Charlie,

    I was responsible for both hardware and firmware on the MRA product. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is with the AM radio (not in touch anymore), but my guess is that it has poor sensitivity, if not ignore this :) . This is a consequence of the requirement to have only one antenna connector for all radios (AM/FM x 2). The software has no effect on this. The best way to solve this is to use 4 antenna connectors, but this means a change in the case, especially seeing as there is not enough room for 4 connectors. The actual radios themselves are plug-in modules so they would be simple to change. The solution we proposed at the time was to make an antenna/cable assembly that split the AM from the FM signals and for most cases it worked (good signal area and reasonable antenna).

    There is also some minor detuning when using both AM radios as they interact with each other. Again a consequence of the one antenna connection.

    It's sad to hear that it's causing you grief and I hope that this gets sorted sooner than later.

    By the way, I'm looking for work again.

    Cheers

    Harry
     
    RatDeSewer, Aug 24, 2012
    #10
  11. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Good to hear from you...

    The AM radio problem is fixed with a redesign to the AM radio board. I have fixed 1 customer with the hand soldered reworked board. (see below)

    They were badly designed from the start. With an AM signal injector you could not get a good signal.

    history is here
    http://www.cbusforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7057&highlight=radio

    The reworked boards works great.. Just be over 8 months no and no sign of the Field tested boards...

    Who know when CIS are going to put this fix into production boards. Don was going to find out but we have heard nothing as yet. I have given up waiting now and selling other products.


    CIS could you please contract harry to fix the door bell issue ??

    Harry,
    Do you know about the door bell issue ??

    http://www.cbusforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7204&highlight=door+bell

    With your knowledge is this a complicated firmware fix.

    I just wish everyone who has a version 2.0 would ring tech support and demand a refund unless the AM radio and doorbell issues are fixed. This seems the only way these days to get some time spent on fixing bugs with products these days.



    Charles
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2012
    Charlie Crackle, Aug 26, 2012
    #11
  12. Charlie Crackle

    RatDeSewer

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Henley Beach
    Hi Charlie,

    Looking at the attached picture, I'm surprised it works at all. Do you have a circuit diagram of the mod?

    It appears that you have removed the tuning coils for the AM receiver sections and replaced it with some sort of splitter. Is it still possible to run both AM radios at once? The AM portion of the chip relies on those coils to tune in the radio station - basically you program the chip to receive a particular frequency and then the chip adjusts an internal varicap to maximise the signal, what it's tuning now is not obvious.

    Because there are 2 AM receivers, the simplest solution was to lightly couple the tuning coils to minimise cross-tuning. I recall there was another inductor to minimise loading of the FM signal. As the AM signal is being fed into a high impedance point, the antenna should present a high impedance at the AM frequencies. That is why AM loop antennas don't work - a long wire is best. Signal generators also present a low impedance - so they don't work either.

    Separate AM/FM connectors would have been so much nicer - not enough room :(

    I did send an email to Paul, but never got a reply.

    As for the door bell issue, I sent an email to Darren quite a while ago as to what I guessed was the problem - the order of doing things in response to a doorbell request needs to be changed.

    Cheers
    Harry
     
    RatDeSewer, Aug 27, 2012
    #12
  13. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Sorry dont have a circuit diagram, I did ask for the original circuit diagram so paul at pkloops could have a look but CIS got another RF guy to look at it. It took a while and the customer wanting a refund but it does work ok on both tuners AM and FM

    I set up am and fm combiner with seperate FM and AM loop antennas. no break in the coax need any more.

    You are right seperate inputs would have been better.

    I suppose in future they could replace the board with a Digital AM tuner I suppose that was the idea of making it a plug in board.

    If they are still shipping units with the defective tuners I could not see this happening any time soon.

    Thanks for the info on the doorbell issue.

    Charles
     
    Charlie Crackle, Aug 27, 2012
    #13
  14. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Can we have an update on this work it has been another couple of months?

    Darren any chance of you digging up this email and getting this issue fixed or contracting Harry if there are not enough hours in the day.
     
    Charlie Crackle, Oct 12, 2012
    #14
  15. Charlie Crackle

    Don

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Townsville, Australia
    The fix is underway - I've been in contact with the engineers and they should be able to finalise the solution within a few weeks.
    This is the same circuit as was used in the reworked board you photographed, but now neatly built on a new PCB.
     
    Don, Oct 13, 2012
    #15
  16. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Any news on the AM Radio Fix getting into the new product?


    Any news on getting the door bell issue fixed ?

    Charles
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2012
    Charlie Crackle, Dec 13, 2012
    #16
  17. Charlie Crackle

    Roosta

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Any more updates or news on this AM fix guys? And doorbell?

    Cheers..
     
    Roosta, Feb 12, 2013
    #17
  18. Charlie Crackle

    Don

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Townsville, Australia
    fix has been designed and tested. It's performance matches the earlier hand-built modifications. There are some boards available, but I don't know how many. You would have to talk to your local rep for more detailsbut I suspect if you made it clear you need good AM performance, you could get it.
     
    Don, Feb 12, 2013
    #18
  19. Charlie Crackle

    Roosta

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks for the reply Don..

    Will see what I can cook up!!!

    Cheers..
     
    Roosta, Feb 12, 2013
    #19
  20. Charlie Crackle

    Charlie Crackle

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Messages:
    803
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Melbourne
    are the new switchers shipping with the AM radio fix yet ??
     
    Charlie Crackle, Apr 15, 2013
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.