Max sent me some photos to go along with the ongoing saga of this interesting project. I've added pics here so you can reread the letters (reprinted from last month) and see the photos. Max will be returning to China to complete the project in April and has promised to update us of the progress.

Added Graphics in Apr 99


china.gif (18450 bytes)
Qingdao Technology Center
Qingdao, China

Max sent me some photos to go along with the ongoing saga of this interesting project. I've added pics here so you can reread the letters (reprinted from last month) and see the photos. Max will be returning to China to complete the project in April and has promised to update us of the progress.

Max E Greene, Jr. President

Jan 19, 1999

Hello Everyone,

I have not had much time since I got here and it took a while for me to get access to the Internet. Phone calls are about 3 dollars a minute so forget hearing from me. I am working on a project in Qingdao China   for a corporation by the name of Haier . I have been told they are one of the biggest companies in China and I believe it since we see advertisements on everything from huge buildings to shopping cart handles. They manufacturer electric appliances like HVAC, ovens, dish washers etc.

china technology center.jpg (12157 bytes)

I took some pictures of the main building and our project. I did not know a great deal of the actual project just that it was going to be a 6 room technology center to show an automated home. The area is about 1100 sq. ft and has about $300,000 worth of electronics to show off including:

  • 3 60" Panasonic Plasma screens about $20,000 each
  • 9 computers all networked and displayed on each plasma
  • 6 zone speaker system throughout the project and two theaters -   THX quality. One is a prepackaged theater sent from Japan. They will install it themselves.
  • They also have a 4 thundering bass shaker theater seats, the seats vibrate when there is deep bass tones.
  • Motion sensing in every room for a virtual walk through in Chinese.
  • Cable modem connections and access to control and view 6 cameras from the Internet.

OK now that you know a little of what I am doing here I should inform you as to what I learned of the project. The 1100 sq. ft small unit is housed in a building that cost 2 billion Chinese dollars (Exchange rate is about 8 Chinese dollars to one US dollar). The building is about 200 yards wide and 200 yards deep and 8 stories tall and is located in the heart of Qingdao Technology Center. It has stairs that count only about 40 but they are about 200 yards wide and start about 300 yards from the street to the building. Incredibly impressive. The entire building is for technology, gallery and museum.

I will send more later I have to go now.

Jan 20, 1999

Just wanted to fill you in on the schedule. It looks like Haier has decided to try to complete and finish the wall coverings after all. It is now the 20th at 2:50 PM. All of the equipment that was picked up yesterday is installed Phone KSU, Alarm, Cameras, Motion Sensors, Logic Center and I/O boards.

HVAC controllers are installed but I cannot imagine they will have the air handlers installed for our walk through. We can power the units with 24 vac and show that they are operational. The 6 port data jacks were also trimmed today and the patch panel and hub were installed.

extension cord.jpg (13745 bytes)They have temporary power available but I don't feel that we should connect electronics. Is there any way we can get them to provide the UPS power? It is quiet an experience seeing how the local contractors provide temp power to the job site. There is not one single extension cord on the project. They make their own by shoving two wires into receptacle slots and run wire to another receptacle and so on. The power goes out about every hour and they have to reset the temp panel. Nothing like feeling comfortable around 240 V.

The building is monstrous and the concrete is mixed with shovels and hand carried with 5 gallon jugs. 8 Story building that is 400 yards square. Not a single cement truck.

Sorry got off on the wrong subject. Anyway the power is not sustained and I would not hook any of this equipment up until they get sustained power. I just want to make sure who is responsible if we power every thing up and something happens like blowing up the AMX processor? Please advise.

Jan 21, 1999

The Xantec Keypads are going to be installed today as well as the X-10 switches. Although they still do not have any light fixtures installed.

As far as the power requirements ... it is a bit shaky. The only power at this time is tapped off of the temp service for the entire building. Basically the Chinese contractor as shoved two wires into a temp power outlet ... 240 V. This wire is laying on the floor down a hallway to our unit where they have spliced in some receptacles that are laying on the floor. If the workers need a shop light they plug into one of the receptacles of this home made extension cord. They have also tapped into this wire and connected a small variable transformer that provides 110. The output of this transformer is connected to the 125 amp Filter Concepts device. No UPS has been provided at this time. A UPS should be connected to supply all electronics in this unit. I have asked them to get us a small 15 amp unit to power up the phone system, alarm, Logic Center, Thermostats and low voltage power supply to power the cameras and the motion sensors. That may be sufficient to them although there should be some agreement as to who would be responsible if the power takes out a component. china day1 panel.jpg (18673 bytes)

Haier Corporation's show room has a great deal of expensive electronics and I don't believe they use UPS power supplies. Clean power is only a recommendation. The X-10 is utilizing the Filter Concepts device for filtering noise. We can probably use just that component for X-10 and get away with a 15 amp UPS for the equipment wall. The main sub panel has not been trimmed to date and there is no can for a second filtered X-10 sub panel.

If they get the power supplies installed and the electrical trimmed, including panels and circuit breakers, by the 24th we should be OK. If they don't we can have the alarm, phone system with no incoming phone lines, Logic Center working, no A/V, Computers or X-10. We will just have to see what they can get done in the next couple of days. They are working hard and fast to meet the deadline. I still believe it to be a workable deadline, but I agree there must be a back up plan.

Jan 22/99

Today was a bad day. We arrived at the site around 9:00 AM. They still haven't provided the our power requirements and we have only 3 days left till our deadline. We left and went shopping for some F connectors ... none to be found. We went to a huge electronics store and finally found some RCA connectors that we can convert. We returned to the site at 2:00 PM. Still no power! I cannot do any programming without power. Luckily I brought the notebook computer to program a few items but it is very difficult to set up the systems without power.

Living Room Day 1.jpg (18894 bytes)

I informed them that even if we get power now it is too late to bring the system up to full completion. I believe they are under the impression that when they get power every thing will work great. I don't think they understand the terms "system setup" or "programming". Mr. Liu stopped by the site today and I tried to explain the situation. They are still working very hard to get this up and running. Rick is still helping them trim wires. There is still a possibility we can bring the equipment up and they may love everything. It is just that we know what we could do and what can be done with this time frame.

The 6 computers, 3 gaming center computers, bass shaker theater seats, a/v equipment, AMX processor, are going to be delivered some time tonight. Actually all the equipment is going to be delivered tonight. They have decided to bring it in against our recommendation. There are no cabinets and no furniture so they plan on putting the equipment in the rooms and setting it on the floor. Oh I almost forgot they are also bringing in the 3 60" plasma screens. The dust is terrible they still have dry wall. They are in such a rush they are not thinking of the equipment. It is their equipment! We shall see what happens tomorrow.

Installed to date - the Alarm, Alarm Keypad, Motion Sensors, Phone, Logic Center, All Leviton Switches, Cameras, Xantec Keypads, RCS Thermostats, Patch Panels, IES W/ Leviton 6 Port plates, In-Wall Speakers,

Items still needed to be installed and programmed - all audio and video equipment including AMX, all computers, door/window contacts & electric door lock (No Doors or Windows), X-10 receptacles.

There is still a possibility that we can get the systems operational. We were told we would get 100 amps temporary clean power by tomorrow morning. I will keep you informed.

We did get a chance to go down town today while we were waiting for power. We went for those F Connectors. Smack in the middle of the shopping center was Mr. McDonalds. Oh yeah after eating cow stomach, eels, raw lobster and some kind of meat it was nice to have a good old American Big Mac. I shouldn't complain too much ... actually the food is very good here if you know how to order. It took five days for me to order an eggroll "choin jar" and 6 to order soy sauce. I still don't know how to say it but I know where they keep it so I help myself.

Jan 23, 1999

They delivered in most of the equipment last night. I took some pictures. No one will believe the conditions. They finally gave us enough power to power up the alarm, thermostats, Logic Center, motions and cameras. Rick tried to power up the KSU but there was a problem. We will let you know what we find. The power is fluctuating from 103 to 115. We did not want to connect but they asked us to power up anyway. They said they would have the three plasma screens here this morning. We actually are getting quite a bit done but are a long way off from full completion. I believe they want to try to finish the rest after we leave.

Kitchen Computer Temp Connection.jpg (22135 bytes)

Jan 24, 1999

We have power! Finally we received power today. Not the best but we are leaving in three days and we won't complain. We powered up the phone system and it works just great. One of the cat 5 wires was wired for data so Rick reversed polarity and everything tested great. We powered up the kitchen computer, the bedroom computer, the study computer. They actually brought in the three plasma screens. I took pictures ... amazed that they even considered it. We had the Laser Disk up, DVD and the computer in the study up and running. We got the Xantec sound system up except keypads. It was nice to hear some American tunes. I am glad I copied some CDs to my hard drive before I left. We just plugged my lap top into the Xantec distribution panel and had all 6 zones cranked. Haier employees were amazed that they could turn on and off the computer screens with a telephone. It really went well. We have a great deal of work ahead of us so I will cut it short and fill you in more tomorrow. It is 10:00 PM now goodnight.

Jan 25, 1999

Another good day! We had pizza for lunch. I have had pizza in Turkey, Spain, Germany and now China. Quiet the cultural connoisseur. It helps to love pizza.

About the project, We powered up the Alien Ware gaming center computers three of them with gaming chairs (very nice) 21" monitors and they work fine. Plasma DVD and LD are up and running. We did run into a problem with the plasma screens. Unlike the US version they have no RCA inputs on the Japanese version. We had planed on using one input for the computer "VGA" one for DVD "S. Video" and utilize the receiver to switch LD, VCR and SAT, It is a little complex but we will have to run a few more cables from the equipment room. With all this money they should have just purchased three DVD and three LD one for each screen instead of trying to split the outputs with the DA's. I know it is only a show home but it would have made things a great deal easier. We did have a little scare with the voltage. Because we were only getting 96 voltages the Logic Center's 16.5 VAC transformer was putting out about 15 volts and the relays on the I/O boards started to chatter. We fixed it by supplying the I/O boards with a filtered regulated 12 VDC power supply instead of running it off the Logic Center's 12 VDC aux. power. It had never happened to me before but then I have never had to run off of 96 volts. I hope they get us the ups soon.

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