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Disabled Voice "stores" old messages when enabled


dbwarner5

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I 100% use ISY for programming, so am not super familiar with Elk rules.

My Elk PA out is connected to my whole house sound system PA in. To avoid the whole house making announcements during sleeping hours, I have (my only two) rules in Elk. They are pretty simple. 

1) Whenever the time is 11:00pm, disable non alarm voice messages

2) Whenever the time is 7:30am, enable non alarm voice messages.

I use ISY to cause the ELK to speak many other messages throughout the day. 

The issue is two fold:

1)Elk seems to cache messages during this time and then when the first message happens, it announces old things. An example of this is this morning. At 630am, isy disarms my Elk as part of morning routines. Then at 830 I turned on some "heat mats" that lead to my hot tub (live in northern michigan and its still trying to snow here!). An ISY program monitors the heat mat to auto turn it off after 90 minutes and also it "announces" via the ELK that they are on (and when they go off). The point here is that the announcement that came on when I turned the heat matts was first preceded by "The house is disarmed", followed by my heat mat on announcement. Its like the auto elk announcement of disarming was in a "cue" and gets triggered by the subsequent announcement, even though the event happened at 6:30, when the voice was disabled

2) Related to this, at night when I arm the system, if its after 11:00, it will often start to speak that the house is arm, and then cuts itself off abruptly in mid word. 

What am I doing wrong? Is there a different rule I should be using? I have looked but not found any others that seem to make sense. 

Thanks.!

(I attached a screen shot, but unfortunately its really blurry.

image.png

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That's the same Elk Rule I'm using and I'm not having that same problem.  But I'm assuming that you're using ISY rules to have Elk "Speak" the announcements.  Wonder if that is confusing the Elk.  I'm guessing that if you were doing it all in the Elk you wouldn't have this problem.  That said with a few tweaks I think you can fix this.  

One option would be have the time condition in the ISY programs and delete the Elk Rule.  

A slightly more complicated but probably better and more flexible approach is to use a phantom output.  Change the Elk Rule to say something like:

 

Whenever time is 11pm

Then Disable non alarm voice announcements

Turn off output 100 (or any unused output from I believe 65 to 192)  

 

Whenever time is 7:30am

Then Enable non alarm voice announcements

Turn on output 100

 

Then add a condition to the ISY programs "IF" that checks to see if Elk Output 100 is on before sending the Speak commands.  

Give that a try and report back.

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thanks, the commands that get "stored up" are elk driven commands around the arming and disarming of the system. I am already controlling when I have the ISY telling the Elk to speak or not. That is not the issue. That is easily controlled by simple programming in the ISY. Its the Elk auto announcements that are the issue, and hence the rule in the Elk. 

I added the Elk rule to stop the Arming and disarming messaging from go across the PA at sleep hours. And its those messages that seem to get stuck in the Elk and a) come out the next time it is asked to speak, or b) at night it will sometimes start to say that the system is Armed, but it stops itself after it starts.. really strange. 

 

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thanks, the commands that get "stored up" are elk driven commands around the arming and disarming of the system. I am already controlling when I have the ISY telling the Elk to speak or not. That is not the issue. That is easily controlled by simple programming in the ISY. Its the Elk auto announcements that are the issue, and hence the rule in the Elk. 
I added the Elk rule to stop the Arming and disarming messaging from go across the PA at sleep hours. And its those messages that seem to get stuck in the Elk and a) come out the next time it is asked to speak, or B) at night it will sometimes start to say that the system is Armed, but it stops itself after it starts.. really strange. 
 

I may not be able to help much from here but a couple thoughts. Do you know if your Elk is rebooting? What Elk firmware are you on?

There was on old version of firmware that would reboot randomly.

If you haven’t yet, I’d suggest setting up an email notification on Elk to tell you if the Elk has restarted. It’s helpful to have regardless, although you can check the log too.

Maybe the Elk is rebooting and your rule doesn’t trigger at startup but rather triggers on a voice announcement and then catches up and stops the announcement? That could explain problem b but not a. If you use an output that output status should persist across a restart.

Not sure about problem a. Is the PA connected to the Elk speaker output or are you using something else?


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I am on Firmware 5.3.10, Boot version 3.3.6, Hardware version 0.13, Voice list version 0.8. The Elk is connected via its PA out to a PA in on my Russound whole house audio system.

I dont think the elk is rebooting, as this is not an irregular problem. It is very consistent. Doing some testing to better explain it.  So this morning, at 8:40am, I triggered a command  that triggers the following ISY program:

Heat Trax Speak is On - [ID 005A][Parent 01D5]

If
        'Heat Matt' Status is On
 
Then
        Set Elk Speak Word '[500ms_Silence]'
        Set Elk Speak Word '[800hz_Tone]'
        Set Elk Speak Word '[800hz_Tone]'
        Set Elk Speak Word 'Patio'
        Set Elk Speak Word 'Heat'
        Set Elk Speak Word 'Is_on'
        Set Elk Speak Word '[500ms_Silence]'

What came out of the speaker system was:

"is disarmed. beep beep, Patio heat is on." 

The first part of the above announcement, I think, was the tale end of the canned Elk announcement of Elk disarming that was caused by this program below, but via the ELK rule in my first post, did not get announced because it was at 6am, outside of the 730am Elk rule window for enabled voice:

Bedtime Auto Off - [ID 002E][Parent 001D]

If
        Time is  6:00:00AM
  
Then
        Set Elk Area 'Main House' Disarm
        $I_Security_Status  = 0
        $I_Security_Status Init To $I_Security_Status
        Set 'Keypad Bedtime' Off
        Run Program 'Bedtime Button On' (Else Path)

This program also triggers the following program:

Disarm Other zones - [ID 01F2][Parent 0137]

If
        Elk Area 'Main House' 'Armed State' is Disarmed
 
Then
        Set Elk Area 'Main Xercise' Disarm
        Set Elk Area 'Motion Interior' Disarm

It is clear that with my ISY chain program above and  2 others  that arms  other zones, depending on stay or away mode, messes up the built in elk announcements. It only announces the last zone it touches. 

So in playing with it a bit, now inside the ELK voice rule window, I get the following results:

Regardless if the chain program is on or off, whenever I arm Stay mode, I only get "Area 1", or "Area 2", etc, or the last one in the chain,, ie "Area 4"

But when I Disarm stay mode I get the full sentence,  "Area X is disarmed", over the PA, again either, if the chain programs are disabled, I get that individual zone and if the chain programs are enabled ,only the last zone in the chain.

But when I do the same exercise in Away mode, I get the full sentence "Area x is armed in away mode". Same on disarming. And again, only the last one in the chain if the chain programs are enabled. 

Additional to the PA announcement, the Elk also announces over its siren/speaker. Sometimes these announcements are in sync with the PA and sometimes they are not. 

The only reason I have the Elk PA connected is that I use the whole house system for other announcements that the ISY triggers, ie garage door is left open etc.. 

Any advice or things to try would be appreciated.  I do need to clean this are area of my system up, both on my Elk zones etc, and on the ISY so that these announcements make sense and are consistent. And unfortunately my installer did not install pet friendly motion sensors and we have since changed the forced confinement of a cat so that she has free reign of the house now when we are gone, so I need to do some re-assigning / combining and eliminating the motion interior zones as I cant use them when away any more. So I won't need the chain program which will eliminate some one of the issues above. 

 

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Probably worth asking Elk.  You're on the latest firmware.

I'm not sure I follow everything here, but a couple thoughts / tests...  BTW, this Matt fellow sure puts up with a lot...

What happens if for example you arm the system after 7:30 AM when voice alerts are enabled and before any other voice announcements happen?  Do you hear any queued announcements? (e.g. disarmed from 6AM?)

Are there any other voice announcements that have this same problem as the "Matt" problem?

What happens with the Matt announcement if you remove the 500ms silence?

Can you create a simpler one line speak program and see if it shows the same problem?

I'm assuming the PA is connected to Output 1, and either your system accepts speaker level output somehow or there's an adapter.  I believe you're either doing that, or hooked up to the "Audio Network Interface" somehow or it's going through the M1XEP.  If it's output 1 that simplifies things...

Aside, I would suggest having the rules that disarm the other areas in the Elk Rules, not in the ISY as it appears.  It's also a bit unusual to have that many areas IMO.  Do they all have keypads?

Hope this can help and if nothing else these steps should help narrow things down for Elk Support.

Edit: PS, you had a pro install this?  Can he still help?  I've heard that pro help on Elk installs can be hard to find so probably worth keeping him in the loop and happy...  Especially if he's given you access to Elk RP etc.

 

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@TrojanHorse  Good tests.. will try  a few tommorw morning. 

-->It's also a bit unusual to have that many areas IMO.  Do they all have keypads?

Agree I need to clean this up. Originally, I had the main house with security related items, and then a second area for non security stuff like doorbells, sprinklers etc. Then I realized I have an upstairs deck with an alarmed door off an exercise room and worried that when we have kids visiting, they may use it and open that door while the house is still armed, so I separated it to manage it, but have found its not needed. Never happens. And then lastly, the fourth area was interior motion sensors that I only arm when I am AWAY, but now need to take them out completely since our cat sets them off. 

Again, I havent really spent enough time finding the best practices re: the elk, and know I need to. I will be reducing the four zones down to one alarm and one non alarm and will no longer need the chain arm / disarming that I currently have.

 

--> PS, you had a pro install this?  Can he still help? 

I had a pro pull all the wires per my specification and his input while we built our house. He also did all the sensors, sound systems / tvs and set up the main AV rack. I then took the HUGE bundle of wires and sorted them and built my Elk system up from there. 

IMG_9597 (1).jpeg

IMG_3401.jpeg

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@TrojanHorse  Update on Matt.. he is getting pretty tired, so this morning, at around 10:30, I ran a different program that announces that there is a guest at the front door. 

It reacted the same way. Started with "isss disarmed" and then followed with the proper message , "alert guest at front door".   (isss is not a typo, it seems to slur the start lol)

 

Tomorrow I will try to arm the system and see what happens.. (I only get one test per day without having to change the ELK rule ?)

Thanks,

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so this morning I armed the system. Total gibberish came out. lol Then when I disarmed it, all was fine. I need to clean up my zones first and tweak some of my isy programs and then will start again on this. 

thanks. 

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I'd like to try and help you with this and no one else has chimed in, so...

You mentioned that you have many other ISY programs that send "speak" commands to the Elk.  Can you easily disable them as a test?  

As I suggested in the 2nd post here, I have a *hunch* that if the ISY sends speak commands to the Elk when voice alerts are disabled it is causing confusion in the Elk.  I imagine that when voice alerts are disabled, the Elk doesn't send itself voice alerts and then trap them somewhere, but maybe that's in effect what happens when the ISY sends "speak" commands and at a higher level the Elk stops them but they get stuck somewhere and garbled later.   

I think we need to narrow down if this is a standalone issue with the Elk or if it's related to the ISY integration.  

Ideally the ISY programs that need to be disabled are all easy to find and only handle the voice commands, as opposed to being intertwined with other functionality.  If it's the latter there are other ways to troubleshoot (e.g. a phantom output on the programs as I suggested) but disabling any programs that use voice would be the best way.

Another route is to temporarily change the Elk Rule that disables voice to allow testing at other times of the day.  And as blasphemous as it sounds, you could unplug the ISY during a short test...

Let me know if you want help and how you can proceed with the test, that is basically temporarily stop ISY from sending voice commands to the Elk.  

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@TrojanHorse Thanks.. all that you say makes sense. I need to clean up my Elk Areas first and then like you said, disable the ISY voice commands and see what happens with the elk with just a typical flow: Arm the system at night before the Elk voice gets disabled, let the isy disarm it early in the morning, before the Elk voice is re-enabled, and then after the voice is enabled, re-arm the system. This way I can determine how the elk operates all by itself, as you mention. 

And yes I can play with the time in the elk to do the above testing. Will have to wait until a rainy day as spring is trying to hit here in northern michigna and there are lots of outdoor projects! 

thanks, I'll post the above result, and if the Elk worked fine, then its clearly something to do with how the ISY is interfacing.

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