News

Bugs in the System

Integrators usually troubleshoot first and hunt for bugs later; Audio Command Systems found bugs in an Audioaccess system right away.


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This story gives a whole new meaning to a “bug in the system.” Michael Curtin, an integrator with Audio Command Systems in Westbury, N.Y., offers these details:

A top designer called me to meet one of her best clients at their Long Island Home. The client is important to the designer so I wanted to make sure that everything went perfectly.

The homeowner said the multiroom audio system (AudioAccess) initially was acting buggy, changing channels and volume levels in a sporadic way, but was now not working at all.

The first thing the guys found was that a fuse was blown on the main controller. A tone and test of all the lines in the house told us that there must be more keypads than the number of zones the system supports (six). We asked the client, who told us of a little-used control out in the shed by the pool.

When the guys opened the box up they found the keypad to be the warm and snuggly winter home for some determined Halyomorpha halys aka the stinkbug. Apparently these foul smelling critters have the ability to project a nasty smell when prodded, touched, threatened or as the homeowner told us … squooshed. We decided it best not to disturb them, lest they emit their God-given gift.

The guys went to the local Radio Shack and brought back a can of compressed air intending to freeze the buggers; however the stinkbugs apparently knew their welcome had been worn out as they all completely bugged out when the guys arrived.

We replaced the fuse on the main controller turned on the system and voila, music once again rocked the house all without the help of our star programmer!

UPDATE: Check out more creepy stuff discovered by installers.



  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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