Stubbs
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:47 am

Visonic Powermax+

Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:50 am

Has anyone successfully hooked up their Pi to a Powermax+ alarm system?

I'm looking to see if I can avoid buying the outrageously expensive ethernet interface for it and thought maybe I could do what I need with a Raspberry Pi.

rolk
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:27 pm

Hi,

I'd be interested in that too. I own a Powermax+ panel, but do not have an RS-232 adaptor kit for it. I can't help but thinking that the 12 pin header that this adaptor is to plug in to has GND, TX, RX and VREF somewhere, and that all it would take is a simple cable to access these signals.

Finding info on that Visonic RS232 adaptor kit has proven quite difficult.

Robert

Stubbs
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:47 am

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:04 pm

So far I have found the info on The protocol & pinout if the Powermax, I've collected various links, mainly from DomoticaForum, but they're all collected here:

https://pinboard.in/u:stubbs/t:powermax/

Next I want to see if I can connect the Powermax direct to the GPIO pins or if I have to go RS232->USB. I don't know anything about the GPIO pins yet, so I don't even know if they will work.

-S

rolk
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:31 pm

I've managed to connect to the Powermax+ serial interface.

If you remove the mounting bracket, a 14 pin (2x7) pin header labeled J7 is revealed. The pin header is located on the PCB, and there is a fair amount of room around it. On the side of the panel you can slide out a small piece and then you can plug in an RS232 adapter board made by Visonic.

These sell for outrageous prices, and are even then hard to come by. And actually, you do not need that board as there are readily available alternatives.

I've used a Sparkfun FTDI basic board 3v3. This uses an FTDI FT232R chip that I've used in multiple projects now and that has been a faithful friend :).

You only need three signals from the pin header. If you look down on it, you'll see something like this:
________________________________________________
| |
| [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] |
| [7] [8] [9] [A] [C] [D] |
| |
| |
|_______________________________ hole in the panel |

[7] is TX (for the panel), you'll need to connect it to an RX for the Raspberry Pi.
[8] is RX (for the panel), obviously that will need to hook up to an TX for RPi.
[9] is Gnd

And I believe [2] is Gnd as well.

I've measured that pin 7 and pin 8 are hooked up via 500 Ohm resistors to the Powermax+ CPU (pins 31 and 32, which corresponds to UART1 of the CPU).

All serial communication is 9600 baud, 8N1. In my experiment, I've hooked up the FTDI basic 3v3 board, and got the panel to start communicating following some hints on the protocol to use. This uses 3.3 volts in IO, and the Powermax+ is happy with that. I'm not sure what voltage levels are actually used on the pins, I'll see whether I can find that out tomorrow. If the panel uses 3.3 volts as well, then everything is great: the Pi also uses 3.3v. I believe the IO connector of the Raspberry Pi has TXD on pin 8 and RXD on pin 10 of its IO connector. Pin 6 has Gnd.

So you might be able to hook it up like this. But I've been told that the Raspberry Pi does not tolerate 5V IO, so you probably would like to check the actual voltages used on the PowerMax+ header first.

PowerMax+ header Raspberry Pi IO

[7] TXD -------------------------------------------------> RXD [10]
[8] RXD <------------------------------------------------- TXD [8]
[9] GND --------------------------------------------------- GND [6]

Stubbs
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:47 am

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:08 pm

Do you mean one of these? https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9873

That's awesome progress!

http://www.domoticaforum.eu/viewtopic.php?f=68&t=6581 is a fairly full description of the Powermax protocol, and I'm sure there's a link to a Python library already in that thread ...

rolk
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:35 pm

Yes, that is the one.

Today I've installed my new panel. The serial connection works fine, and was very helpful while configuring it.

Robert

rolk
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:09 am

Hi,

I've checked the supply voltage of the M3062LFGPFP CPU used in the Powermax+. I've measured 5.0V between pin 16 (VCC1) and pin 14 (VSS). So it is pretty sure that the CPU uses a 5V supply voltage.

From the chip specification, the lowest voltage seen as a logic high on the UART TX/RX pins (pin 31 and pin 32) is 80% of VCC1, so 4.0V.

With 3.3V levels, I'm also pretty sure the FTDI Basic 3V3 board is operating well below that specification. So either the PowerMax+ is really forgiving and detecting the 3V3 level as high anyway, or....my 3v3 FTDI basic board has been patched to work as a 5v0 board. This particular board was salvaged from a pile of surplus electronics and it is really easy to apply the patch, so I might have been lucky here.

In any case, should you want to go via a USB-RS232 adapter board, make sure it can speak 5V levels. I believe the Raspberry PI GPIOs cannot handle TTL levels directly, so you need a level shifter anyway. You should avoid directly attaching the PM TX to the PI RX, as that might hurt the PI. I know there is a 500 Ohm resistor between the PM pin header and the PM CPU pins, but I'm not sure whether that is enough to protect the PI RX port.

There is a MAX3232 Breakout board from Sparkfun (similar stuff available from multiple vendors I'm sure), at $5.95. The generic Sparkfun breakout board that can be configured to run at 5V IO levels is $14.95.

ayasystems
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 8:45 pm

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Sat May 17, 2014 11:17 am

The powermax panel use 3.3 ttl the same voltage as the raspberry. You can connect booth directly. Good project! !

Dannnn
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:22 am

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:40 pm

Just to add a plea for any code snippets anyone's put together on this. I have the Visonic ethernet module but would much rather replace it with a Raspberry Pi solution, as the Visonic is expensive, slow, buggy, has a dated/ugly UI and is horribly insecure. Other than that it's brilliant...

junofield
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:26 am

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Fri Jan 01, 2016 11:30 am

What is the pinout for powermax Complete?

Mindcrime
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:40 pm

Re: Visonic Powermax+

Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:55 pm

This was too easy using the pin config (7-8-9) mentioned above.
Config:
  • Raspberry Pi 3 A+
    CH340 3.3v-5v TTL USB Serial Port Adapter (Set to 3.3v !....no special driver required for the CH340. ttyUSB was recognised immediately)
    Standard Raspbian Linux + xrdp for remote access
    Regular openHab install
tips: do not attempt to mess with the UART pins for TTL comms. I find it messy on the Pi 3 A+ anyway and wanted to avoid endless trouble shooting not knowing where to look (Raspbian config or hw)

Next is to learn openHAB. And I'd love to be able to program the Powermax+. Anyone who knows a package for that which I could run on the Raspberry?

Cheers,

Michael

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