Touchscreen For Stargate

upstatemike

Senior Member
In case anyone missed the announcement, there is a new color touchscreen about to be released for Stargate and CommStar controllers. RCI Automation has some screen shots available here.
 

un-wired

Active Member
RCS has been staying silent on their new touchscreens which can be used with the Stargate.

CommStar LTS78 Touchpanel
http://www.resconsys.com/

Large 7.8in Color Screen
640x480 resolution
Internet Enabled
Works with CommStar/JDS StarGateâ„¢ Controllers
Create Custom Screens with Included Skin Creation Software
Control all your CommStar Devices
Ethernet Interface
RS232 Port
RS485 Port
Network Powered
Surface or In-Wall Mounting
 

Mark S.

Active Member
This product strikes me as too little, too late - they should have had this at least 5 years ago. I'm guessing that it will be very proprietary to Stargate/Commstar. And even if it isn't, at 640x480 resolution, I don't think it would be much good as an internet browser or for any other purpose. It doesn't mention if it has audio either.

I hope it is very inexpensive, otherwise, IMHO your money is better spent on touchscreen/PCs coupled with the HomeSeer-Main Lobby combination.

Mark
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Thanks un-wired for the additional link. To Mark's points about cost vs. features, I think there is a lot to think about there. The unit is probably not a good platform for browsing the internet but who stands at a keypad and does that anyway? This device is definitely a dedicated HA interface and not a general purpose Internet appliance. The resolution is good enough for viewing security cameras and displaying menus and probably not much else.

On the other hand Mark is right that there could be better options to accomplish the same thing though I'm not sure Homeseer/Main Lobby is one of them. As someone who is more interested in using home automation than in tinkering with the techie side of getting it to work, I have never been happy with the amount of effort it takes to accomplish things with Homeseer. I would probably pay a little bit of a premium for something that just plugged in and worked natively with my Stargate hardware so I don't have to mess with configuring multiple platforms.

Since they will be at EHX maybe someone who is going to the show could swing by booth 339 and get some first hand exposure to the thing? Should be pretty easy at a live demo to determine if it worthwhile or just an overpriced dud!
 

un-wired

Active Member
I have called RCS in hopes of getting some information, but appearently Bruce has escaped to the Expo and is unreachable.

I hope someone gets some pics of this device (and Bruce)
 

pkoslow

Active Member
un-wired said:
I hope someone gets some pics of this device (and Bruce)
I'm thinking about taking a camera, but loaned my point & shoot to a friend. I have a Nikon D1, but it's really too large and heavy to carry around on the show floor.
 

pkoslow

Active Member
Steve said:
Surely you must have a camera in your cell :D
Nope... Blackberry 7100g, no camera!

I just switched from a 7200 series Blackberry last week and having a hard enought time typing without the full querty keyboard, throw in a camera and I'd be overwhelmed on how to use the thing! :huh:

PK
 

Mark S.

Active Member
upstatemike said:
As someone who is more interested in using home automation than in tinkering with the techie side of getting it to work, I have never been happy with the amount of effort it takes to accomplish things with Homeseer. I would probably pay a little bit of a premium for something that just plugged in and worked natively with my Stargate hardware so I don't have to mess with configuring multiple platforms.
I hear ya upstatemike, and actually, I feel the same way - that is why I have several SG LCD keypads. But because of LCD keypad limitations and the fact that there were no Stargate touchscreen options available, I pursued HS/Main Lobby and bought a few inexpensive PC's and touchscreens.

To your point, there was a learning curve and many hours in front of the PC - but I'm glad I did it. The flexibility of the HS/ML+SG combo is huge - I can't imagine that the RCS unit can even come close in possibilities. I'm guessing that the RCS touchscreen will be a glorified LCD keypad - but I hope I'm wrong.

pkoslow- We'd appreciate any info you can get. A good question might be - what functionality does the touchscreen provide that the existing LCD keypad doesn't? I also wonder if screen setup is any less work than creating ML scenes. Thanks.

Mark
 

dgeffs

Member
Mark S. said:
This product strikes me as too little, too late - they should have had this at least 5 years ago. I'm guessing that it will be very proprietary to Stargate/Commstar. And even if it isn't, at 640x480 resolution, I don't think it would be much good as an internet browser or for any other purpose. It doesn't mention if it has audio either.

I hope it is very inexpensive, otherwise, IMHO your money is better spent on touchscreen/PCs coupled with the HomeSeer-Main Lobby combination.

Mark
You hit the nail right on the head - way too little and way too late. The screen shots don't really look anywhere near as good as ML either. I'm underwhelmed.

Dale
 

wassup

New Member
(first post)

Hi all,

I had the chance to get a hands-on demo a month ago and I can just tell you that this screen is just not your regular touch-panel! The amount of work that went in the software is light-years from similar products I saw in the past (HAI and such). The system is all network configurable with custom screens (from background to buttons) that are really simple and fast to create. You can create a screen from your PC and see it in near real-time on your panel (really nice feature for designers). You can also use the PC as virtual panel to remote control (again, nice at design time). The PC app. is up to today's gui standard and automatically parses your Stargate conf. files to get your system information for creating button macros in a drag'n drop fashion (you get all the stuff you need in the ide). Integration to the Stargate is seemless, just need a firmware upgrade to support the extended protocol. I'm very impressed. Plus, the frame is slick and simple for easy wall mounting. Can't wait to get my unit...
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Hey Wassup, thanks for the additional info! Do you by any chance know if the firmware update will work with a regular Stargate with a voice/phone board? I know the UPB support is limited to Stargate Lite because there is not enough firmware space to support UPB AND audio. Is there a similiar issue with the new touchscreen firmware?
 

DavidL

Senior Member
Cinemar talked to RCS last year about the touchscreen. If I remember the conversation the touchscreen wasn't fast enough to effectively run MainLobby natively, but could via an RDP connection. I am not sure if RCS added RDP capability or not.

I suspect that there will be several touchscreens coming out soon.
 

wassup

New Member
as far as I recall, the touchscreen uses the existing protocol to read/write commands to the Stargate; there was no mention of a memory limitation. The demo I saw uses the ComStar which is basically the Stargate without the phone module. It's my understanding that the touchpanel "looks" like a KPG8 keypad to the Stargate.

some more info, the touchpanel runs WinCE .NET on a Intel xscale +200MHz. They have successfully run mp3 player on it, and streamed video too. Not sure if they'll initially support those out of the box...

Personnally, I was mostly interested in the development app. as it is where I spend most of my time. The IDE is slick and intuitive to use. Creating screens is easy and to the point (drag and drop). The integration with the existing WinEVM is also straight forward. The software architecture also allows for plugins to add new features (not sure if they'll release the API).

All you have to do is point the IDE to your Stargate folder, then you get the IDE populated with the devices present on your system. From there you just add graphics/buttons and assign them Stargate commands (out/incoming). It looked very much like a Visual Basic approach.

I probably can get more info if you've got specifics...
 
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