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Breaking into AMX Programming

Discussion in 'Custom Installations & Installers' started by gsheridan, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. gsheridan

    gsheridan Guest

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    Hi guys,

    I talked to a friend of mine recently who runs his own
    custom installation business for residential home theaters.
    I didn't realize there was so much programming involved in this field.

    I've been a Java programmer for the past 7 years in both business
    and scientific environments, but I have no experience at all with
    home theater/AV.

    My friend piqued my interest when he told me the rates he pays
    consultants to do the programming part of his jobs.

    I'm very happy where I am, but I've been toying with the idea of
    trying to learn enough about AMX programming to see if it might
    be something I can get involved in as a side thing, and maybe even
    make a jump to, if I like it and end up being good at it.

    I plan on talking to my friend more about the business side of it,
    but I thought it would be interesting to get the opinion of people
    who are actually doing the programming.

    Here are my questions:

    1)How much of the programming must be done on-site?
    This may be unrealistic, but I would love to try to keep
    working at my current day job, and try to do AMX
    programming at night. I could go to people houses at
    5:30 - 6:00 PM whenever I need to be on-site. I'm sure
    this will depend a lot on who I do the work for, but I'm
    just wondering what people's experience has been as far
    as hours go.

    2)Does anyone know of a way to pick up the AMX books
    used, from someone who has taken the courses. Since
    I'm unsure if I'll ever be able to use the knowledge, I'd
    like to read the books before committing to
    anything, and save the money. It looks like the
    3 classrooom courses listed on AMX's website as
    required for the certified AMX programmer cost a total
    of $3,750.00. There are 3 other online courses with no
    prices listed. Anyone know if there's a cost for those
    courses? The courses are Getting Started with AMX,
    Quest for Power, and Intro to Networking for A/V
    Professionals.

    3)Would anyone recommend taking any courses beyond the
    3 required for the programmer certification(AMX
    Essentials, AMX Programmer 1, AMX Programmer 2).
    It doesn't look like these cover building interfaces.
    Other courses that I saw that look good are:
    -TPD4 UI Design
    -Building Java Modules Using Café Duet
    -AMX Programmer III
    Has anyone taken these? Would they be useful?
    Essential?

    4)Are there any books or online resources that anyone
    knows of besides the ones AMX provides with the
    courses that I can use to LEARN the material. I'm sure
    there are reference books, but I'm wondering if there are
    any good tutorials I can use to learn from.

    5)What about books on AV/home theater concepts? I think
    I should be in a pretty good position to learn the
    programming language itself, but I also have a lot to
    learn about AV concepts, considering that at this point I
    know absolutely nothing.

    I know that's a lot of questions. Any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks very much,
    Greg
  2. SeanT

    SeanT Member

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    Knowing a couple of AMX / Crestron guys, and having observed their sheer wealth of knowledge on the kit (including all the "outdated" and "discontinued" equipment) and control protocols, it doesn't seem like the sort of thing you'd do for a bit of cash on the side - it isn't necessarily the hardest thing to program, but if you don't do it all the time and don't have someone you can ask when you come unstuck you might end up looking like less value for money than the people thought they were getting - a fair bit of the programming can be done from home, but for a decent sized system you might be looking at a day and a half on site tweaking and trying to get the installers to actually wire the kit up right, which could equate to a lot of evenings. Oh, and you can't exactly call Sanyo / Panasonic / etc. in the evening to ask them why the hell does their latest blow your nuts off projector / plasma / etc. use different protocols / pinouts / is just generally weird so that puts you back another 24 hours on the job....
    Not trying to put you off learning it and having a crack, but you might find that demand exceeds what you can supply if you stay in your current job....
  3. gsheridan

    gsheridan Guest

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    Sean,

    I appreciate the honest feedback. Before getting into programming, I spent 8 years as a System Administrator
    for various types of computer networks, so I know exactly what you mean about dealing with vendors and compatibility issues.

    This is something I really wasn't thinking about. When programming for general purpose computers, you don't have to deal with these types of issues too much.
    In fact, the reason I got out of administration and into
    programming is that I couldn't stand having to keep track of so many different areas of technology, hardware, etc.
    And the thing that really drove me crazy was that whenever I encountered a very difficult problem I was at the mercy of the vendor to help me. If I got the new kid on the block on the tech support line, I was dead.

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I'm still considering it, but it sounds like there are enough hardware issues that
    it wouldn't be something I'd enjoy enough to do.

    Thanks,
    Greg
  4. SeanT

    SeanT Member

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    Like I said last night, I wouldn't want to put you off, in fact I'd love to see you go for it and prove me wrong as it's such a closed shop at the moment!
  5. empty-oz

    empty-oz Member

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    G'day,

    I've been programming AMX for 11 years.
    Contact me if you would like some info. Programming manuals etc.

    Cheers
  6. DaveChester

    DaveChester Member

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    I'm an AMX and Crestron programmer and if you mean the statement above then AV programming isn't for you. You can earn a decent wage but obviously the client expects a fair bit for his money. You really have to enjoy keeping up to date and working out every little detail of how something works.

    I'd stick to the day job in all honesty.
  7. Franko09

    Franko09 Guest

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    Empty-OZ,

    If you are serious about those AMX programming manuals, let me know, I would love to use them as a learning tool.

    Thx
  8. bogdandr

    bogdandr Member

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    Hello,
    I am interested to learning AMX programming.
    Can you please be so kind and share for me the programming manuals and other learning stuffs?

    Thanks you.

  9. SeanT

    SeanT Member

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    lol, just rereading my comments above (you've replied to a very old thread) realising that I now do both a bit of what the op does and a bit of crestron programming to boot.
  10. bogdandr

    bogdandr Member

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    Some AMX programming documentation anyway? :))

    Currently I am using ISEO from AV Stumpfl - screens, monoblox, fast fold - designer + pc client - you have a quite big freedom to realize your ideas by using this product.

    Anyway, going back - can you please provide me some AMX documentation :>
    I need AMX for the moment to control the KNX automation trough a Siemens IP/KNX router.

    many thanks!
    :)

  11. ACRONIN

    ACRONIN Member

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    Hello,

    Could i get those manuals off you please?

    I would really appreciate it.

    Cheers
  12. ACRONIN

    ACRONIN Member

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    Hello,

    Could i get those manuals off you please?

    I would really appreciate it.

    Cheers
  13. SeanT

    SeanT Member

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    There's more info on programming crestron than you could ever need on the Yahoo group. The stuff you get on the Essentials and Intermediate courses could hardly be described as a manual, it's almost useless without the lab equipment (Pro 2, TPS4000) in front of you and a guy at the front to take you through it. Thinking of doing the advanced course soon. It really is quite advanced stuff though, even at intermediate level, and the pace of the course is certainly quicker when you get to that level too.

    If you have the software, and some existing code, you can learn to bash it a bit yourself in a couple of days (if you have some kit to test it on) - getting the software is harder than getting the kit in this case.
  14. moswing

    moswing Member

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    Do you still have those AMX manuals electronically? I to would like access to those manuals.
  15. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    Can I have some money please?

    I know you probably had to work for the money but I’d like it for Free :D

    Joe
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. Linx08

    Linx08 Member

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    Lol, me too please. :)

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