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Topic:
Crestron Programming
This thread has 14 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 00:11
mikeavx
Long Time Member
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59
Hey guys, My name is Mike I am a college student / beginner programmer. I have been programming Elan, LiteTouch, Xantech, URC, Pronto, and RTI systems for the last year and a half. I would like to start learning SIMPL and being able to do some small crestron systems. The problem is that the company I work for is not a Crestron dealer, so its a cool 1000 for programming I. The few Crestron peices we've done have come through a third pary company and programmed by their programmers. I have SIMPL Windows, VTPro and the rest of the Crestron suite, Ive figured out that SIMPL is a pretty basic language that lets you do amazing things by connecting modules by the three differnet types of signals and so on and so forth.My question is, is there any one good place to start actually learning the logic and processes involved with doing a system start to finish? Books, Crestron programming message boards, etc... I have downloaded every sample program I can get my hands on but still cant figure out how it all finishes out...
Thanks in advance,
Mike J

Last edited by mikeavx on January 31, 2006 00:18.
Post 2 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 00:19
djnorm
Founding Member
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January 2002
1,692
[Link: crestron.com]

Is a good place to start...

hope the link works, I don't think you need to be signed up to get manuals...
Post 3 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 09:33
RADIO RAHIM
Advanced Member
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799
Yahoo has a crestron forum. Ask someone for some old basic programs to learn from.
Post 4 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 09:41
Audible Solutionns
Super Member
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March 2004
3,246
A. He's not going to be able to download much from the Crestron site without a password.

B. You can download the CNX-Cookbook from the Yahoo site

C. A basic program would require you to master a few symbols that, if you are used to prodeduaral languages, will seem wierd.

Interlock
Buffer
or
and
mv
SR
toggle
stepper

for serial
SIO

Leave analog logic out of this for the moment

The help files have improved dramatically since the CNMS days. The Yahoo site is a fabulous resource for which everyone ought to thank Tony, even those who use AMX. If you get stuck email me.

Alan
"This is a Christian Country,Charlie,founded on Christian values...when you can't put a nativiy scene in front fire house at Christmas time in Nacogdoches Township, something's gone terribly wrong"
Post 5 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 11:05
cma
Super Member
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3,028
Actually you can download quite a bit of stuff at Crestrons site without a password. The primer link above works.
Post 6 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 11:28
RADIO RAHIM
Advanced Member
Joined:
Posts:
August 2005
799
$1000 dollars isn't really that much money for a crestron education. So if you save your pennies, it would be a damn good investment.
Post 7 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 11:54
Impaqt
RC Moderator
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Posts:
October 2002
5,935
WHy not just become a dealer? Unless your going to go the whole CAIP route, I dont think Crestron authorizes dealers to buy/install/program Crestron products for clients if they are not an Authorized dealer.

Creston (Or AMX for that matter) is not something to do occastionally. It takes a LOT of work and practice to get good. Touching up a clients program or programming a home theater here and there just dont cut it.

If your shop is not up to speed on this kind of stuff, your doing the best thing right now by subbing it out.

What exactlly do you hope to gain from donating $1000 to Crestron?
I'm no engineer, but I did stay at a Motel 6 last night!
Post 8 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 12:22
BigPapa
Super Member
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3,138
On 1138726498, Impaqt said...
Creston (Or AMX for that matter) is not something
to do occastionally. It takes a LOT of work and
practice to get good. Touching up a clients program
or programming a home theater here and there just
dont cut it.


If your shop is not up to speed on this kind of
stuff, your doing the best thing right now by
subbing it out.

Great point.

It does seem our OP is intent on being a programmer, pure and simple. I don't think programming (language) is something you do part time. I shy away from companies who've looked at my resume rife with (configurable systems) programming experience, who then ask me if I 'know AMX.'

That's a red flag to me. You don't get good at programming language by doing it part time. Hire a programmer.

I once thought I wanted to be an actual programmer, and started learning VB. It was a great experience. I deduced I could be a really good programmer, if I committed to it and did nothing else for 40 hours a week. Then I realized I'd be sitting in front of computer all the time, and I wouldn't be doing other things I like doing. I made a wise choice and decided to let the real 'programmers' do the code, and I program everything else.

In my experience, the best programmers I've worked with came into the work force as programmers, then moved to the AV Integration industry. There's a message in that for me.

Also, I've worked commercial that did both Crestron and AMX. Of the best programmers, nobody mastered both languages. Though most guys could do both, there was a definite difference in capabilities between the two languages.

If the OP's company is intent on using Crestron more, then he'd do well by utilizing Crestron's resources. Otherwise, sub it out and work on mastering the programming of the platforms currently utilized. If he really wants to learn the Big Two, then he should move to a Big Two shop.

I'm impressed the guy is looking ahead and wanting to learn more, so kudos to him.
Post 9 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 12:41
cma
Super Member
Joined:
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3,028
In my experience, the best programmers I've worked
with came into the work force as programmers,
then moved to the AV Integration industry. There's
a message in that for me.

My experience has shown the opposite, I've seen a few programmers at an old company I worked for come out of school as hot shot C++ and whatever programmers only to crash and burn in AMX only because they couldn't grasp the fundamentals on how AV and other systems work and interact with each other. They were out to write the most complex he-man program to impress anyone who would ever dare to look at the code, and if something didn't work the way they thought it should they wouldn't know how to fix it or make it work other than through trial and error. "I'm sending the On command and the Input command, I don't know why it doesn't go to the right input, the TV must be bad"
Post 10 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 13:08
Audible Solutionns
Super Member
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3,246
I don't konw wherer the best programmers come from. The best code jockeys often have no clue how to devlop code for A/V. We see this alll of the time with respect to manufacturer generated code. Partially this is the natural result of our own blinders. I write code to make a system work the way I think it sholuld work. And if there are other ways to use it or it is used in a way I did not expect what happens? For example, what happens if your client sets the heating setpoint higher than the cool setpoint? What happens if your scheduler program is only based upon digital press logic? If the thermostat is changed and no one presses a button to change the mode will the program reinititalize the mode ( does it recognize the manual change ) or does it still think it's in that mode so that it does not understand that the temperature has changed and will not resend the code for that mode.

For Crestron dealers you can see lots of these example, the CLX lighting module is based upon button presses and not the actual lighting analog state. I have witnessed many code jockeys who can code much better than I write horrid programs. Understanding what to code is being able to code are 2 different talents.

However, Impaqt's point is very wise. If you don't practice you will never be very good. The more code you write the more you will learn and the better your code will become. That said, youi have to begin somewhere. He's a college student. Who says he will remain with this dealer for ever? As someone else pointed out he's looking ahead. It is a rare coder who will become proficient at both languages but it's still a lanugage. You need to practice it but as long as you do you should be decent and maybe better. But you need to exercise the mussel to improve.

Alan
"This is a Christian Country,Charlie,founded on Christian values...when you can't put a nativiy scene in front fire house at Christmas time in Nacogdoches Township, something's gone terribly wrong"
Post 11 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 13:34
BigPapa
Super Member
Joined:
Posts:
October 2005
3,138
On January 31, 2006 at 12:41, cma said...
My experience has shown the opposite, I've seen
a few programmers at an old company I worked for
come out of school as hot shot C++ and whatever
programmers only to crash and burn in AMX only
because they couldn't grasp the fundamentals on
how AV and other systems work and interact with
each other. They were out to write the most complex
he-man program to impress anyone who would ever
dare to look at the code, and if something didn't
work the way they thought it should they wouldn't
know how to fix it or make it work other than
through trial and error.

I think they crashed and burned because they wrote over complex and inefficient code, which was caused by their arrogance and attitude. Kinda like some ex installers who just got back from AMX school.

There's no doubt a need for an acclimation period to our industry. But, code is language. AV is not rocket science, and any programmer who is mediocre in skills should be able to figure out IO mapping, how to make buttons work, etc. They should even be able to program a VCR, but if not, I can do it.

I don't deny your experience, but I would rather have an experienced programmer (past the 'wild oats' stage you described) and teach him AV. I'm sure there's exceptions to every experience, but I've not seen many badass programmers who were ex-installers. I've not seen a really good programmer who still installs, and does well at both crafts.

I don't want to hijack the thread about who makes a better programmer. We all agree it's a craft, a profession, not a part time secondary job.
Post 12 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 14:28
tsvisser
Founding Member
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Posts:
March 2002
1,229
i also think it is very important that the communication or working dynamic between the programmer and the project's lead and techs is solid. someone that is 100% on their programming capabilities may face complications if they aren't given enough input on what product to produce, or installers don't know exactly how to hook things up. seems simple for small systems, but add multiple zones and multiple subsystems, and things grow in complexity exponentially. simple problems in larger systems can be complicated to troubleshoot and having multiple variables in a problem can delay or even make impossible to find a solution (while remaining profitable).

i don't consider myself strictly a programmer, but also tightly integrated into the design process. i do all the drawings for my clients and demand that this service is packaged into the deal with few exceptions. w/o such organization, quite frankly i wouldn't want to be involved. the overall solution is more important and more interesting for me.
[Link: imdb.com]
Post 13 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 16:03
cma
Super Member
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Posts:
August 2003
3,028
Ooops Sorry, wasn't trying to start a battle of who's better, was just trying to state my personal observations.
Post 14 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 16:41
BigPapa
Super Member
Joined:
Posts:
October 2005
3,138
On January 31, 2006 at 16:03, cma said...
Ooops Sorry, wasn't trying to start a battle of
who's better, was just trying to state my personal
observations.

Understood brah, and I won't deny your opinion or experience.

That's a great point also about programmers and techs on a job. It takes two guys with different mindsets to really ice a job off and get it going well. I program everything on a job except the strings, which I leave to the 'pro.' This helps me understand the system better from a programming POV, which in turn makes it easier to figure out what's a software issue and what's a hardware issue.

On the larger jobs, it takes the full capacites of a seasoned tech and a seasoned programmer get a top notch system running well. Those two guys (or girls) are the closers.
Post 15 made on Tuesday January 31, 2006 at 20:17
ian_av
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
December 2005
154
On January 31, 2006 at 16:41, BigPapa said...
I program everything on a job except the
strings, which I leave to the 'pro.' This helps
me understand the system better from a programming
POV, which in turn makes it easier to figure out
what's a software issue and what's a hardware
issue.

so does this mean you do the VTPro side of things and let the programmer do the simpl stuff? if so who assigns the join numbers, or do you have set joins assigned , say dvd play is always join 200-300, sat is 400-500, etc....


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