Feniex - Olympus 16X Controller Software

Zapp Brannigan

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 23, 2010
3,580
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https://www.feniex.com/


Feniex Olympus 16X Light/Siren Controller Software


https://www.feniex.com/product.php?prod_id=284


I have been in communications with Feniex, and they have authorized me to review their system. Communication with me was initiated BY Feniex after reading a post of mine in here wishing to review their product. Communication has been prompt, and cordial, even though it is the Holidays, they took plenty of time to discuss with me via e-mail, their hopes, and plans for the review.


This review is for the SOFTWARE ONLY, for this system, I am still in negotiations to test their hardware along with this software, I expect that to take place within the next few weeks (possibly right after the holidays).


First off, I was e-mailed the software in an attachment, which I unzipped, installed, and had to replace a file in the extracted folder (settings.dat). This process took a whopping 1 minute to do.


After that, I opened the program up, and did not even really need any instructions, I just went in and started making alterations (I just used logic/process of elimination) before I even noticed the link to the Help/Demo of how to program.


ai13.photobucket.com_albums_a255_xfirefighter484x_FeniexReview7.jpg


There are limits of characters you can have in names for the buttons, but that shouldn't be an issue, how long of a name do you WANT to be on a button? You can alter the name of any Relay by choosing the Relay Number, and erasing, and replacing the Device Name, The Memory Buttons (1, 2, and 3).


Each relay can be chosen, and assigned to any of the buttons up top, and, the function of each button selected (None [a standard On/Off action], Press & Hold [to actuate the relay, i.e. for a Gun Lock], or Pattern Changer [a click and release of the button gives you momentary power to that relay]).


ai13.photobucket.com_albums_a255_xfirefighter484x_FeniexReview2.jpg


You can even arrange/program the buttons that appear in the minimized bar (When you click on the Feniex Icon, it will minimize the main panel to a row of your 3 Memory buttons, and 6 Function buttons).


ai13.photobucket.com_albums_a255_xfirefighter484x_FeniexReview8.jpg


ai13.photobucket.com_albums_a255_xfirefighter484x_FeniexReview4.jpg


The ease of programming this system is an easy 5 Stars, I installed the software, and reprogrammed everything in under 10 minutes, but keep in mind, that was with me just blindly jumping into this instead of reading "How To". Could have easily been under 5 minutes.


Once the programming was done, it came time to look at the main screen, and layout of buttons (that were arranged/selected from previous actions).


ai13.photobucket.com_albums_a255_xfirefighter484x_FeniexReview3.jpg


Depending how anal-retentive you are, going back and moving spaces around in the Device Name may be necessary to make the names on the buttons align differently (for example the top line is to the left, and the bottom line is to the right, but you want them to both align to the center, left or right). Not a major issue, but the names do not automatically center in the button, or anything like that, simply for aesthetic purposes.


Take note that 2 different pre-set profiles can be created (their though process, if you have a night and day shift, both officers can create their own preferred layouts. All layouts can be altered at any time if you decide a change is wanted. The Device Names of the Relays are the same in both profiles, and alterations to one or the other will affect both profiles, however the layout, and FUNCTIONS of the buttons can be changed (i.e. a Press and Hold function can be made into a "Pattern Changer" function for a momentary application), and it WILL NOT affect the function of the relay on the other profile.


Once you select one of the Memory buttons (the 3 large ones at the bottom, which all names are customizable as well), you then click on whichever functions you want actuated by the Memory button. For each Memory button, it is not a successive/stacking feature, so if you select certain buttons for Memory 1, does NOT mean that it has to be on for the next level, you can have however many, or few, you want present for each Memory button. I chose to make it that way, though. Once you Unselect the Memory button, it will turn off all other buttons. Any button can be actuated without a Memory button on, though.


ai13.photobucket.com_albums_a255_xfirefighter484x_FeniexReview5.jpg


ai13.photobucket.com_albums_a255_xfirefighter484x_FeniexReview6.jpg


So, thus far, this was all I was able to evaluate. I do not yet have a touch screen to test out it's functionality with that, but, I do not see an issue, seeing as the functionality portion is in the hands of the Touch Screen itself, so there are other variables in that equation.


LIKES


Ok, so the things I liked:


-Programming: Very simple. User configurable, easy to do, and customizable. A BIG Positive in my book.


-"Features": I do not need/can not use a Siren as a Volly FF/EMT in my state, so I have no need for one. The basic Olympus does not include one, however, if you do need on later on, this company has one that can tie in, and be controlled by this system. I cannot speak on it's quality or performance, nor, if you wanted to use a different siren with this system, I do not have knowledge, or experience with them. This controller supports 16 Relays, though. More than I need now, but the ability to expand.


DISLIKES


Now, a few of the nit-picky items, that are mainly my own preference.


-Sounds: While I am certain that a simple deletion, and replacement with ANOTHER sound of your preference is possible, the only available functions provided are "Sound ON" and "Sound OFF". Not a huge fans of the sounds provided.


-Visual: No ability to set user preferences for background color, button color, text/font color. I am not saying these items are BAD as they are, just some people might prefer the availability to customize their own setups. This would be getting into more advanced set-up, though.


-Minimizing the Pad: When you minimize the main panel to the smaller controller pad, it cannot be moved. It automatically goes to the Top Left of the screen. I wish there was the ability to move it to another location on the screen, such as when it is full-sized.


-If you want to use a Traffic Arrow (such as I will have a 911EP TDWL36), there is no actual image of a LEFT ARROW, SPLIT, or RIGHT ARROW, you have to use words, or, as I did, dashes, and arrow keys


<---- <---> ---->


PLEASE, do not take the fact that I posted more dislikes than likes, as a bad sign, the dislikes are more nit-picky than downsides to this product.


So, all that being said, I would rate this software overall, a 4/5. Little things here and there could make some very nice improvements, but pretty solid as-is.


Again, this review is for the SOFTWARE ONLY!!! I can't wait to get the hardware, and tie it all together!!


Again, a thank you to Feniex for allowing me this opportunity, I look forward to hearing some other's opinions, and your own feedback. This is my first review of a product ever, and I would appreciate any feedback on what I may have missed, left out, or what you would have looked for.


Respectfully submitted 12-25-2010 @ 1930hrs EDT,


-Zapp Brannigan
 
Last edited by a moderator:
May 21, 2010
1,176
NJ &amp; IA
An afterthought - I actually clicked the link :oops:. What are the operating system requirements? I noticed that on their image they have it set on Windows XP. Would it for for Vista or Windows 7? How about Mac?
 

Zapp Brannigan

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 23, 2010
3,580
.
So, a few updates. I did the review of the software initially on my desktop. Upon installation of the software on my laptop (which will end up being the platform running in my vehicle) and the layout of the panel was off. I have screen shots, but no access to them at the moment while I am at work.


This initial review was forwarded to representatives at Feniex, and I spoke with one of their staff on the phone to address these, and some of my other ideas/thoughts, and that information is being forwarded to their R&D to look into them, including the shifting of the layout within all panels of the software on my laptop.


The hardware (controller and relay unit) was ordered and shipped yesterday, so I look forward to having a review of the full system (to be installed in a "new to me" (used) vehicle I should be acquiring around the same time. I will post more updated information as soon as I acquire more components of this system.


Thanks to the membership here reading this review, I have had no one comment, or PM me about anything, so I hope I covered enough information to be beneficial enough that no one has any questions, but if so, I do welcome questions, comments, and concerns! I also want to again thank Feniex who has been working closely with me throughout this process. They have been extremely receptive, and willing to work to figure out why my laptop ran into issues with their software, and even to look into the suggestions I made to improve their systems.
 

Zapp Brannigan

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 23, 2010
3,580
.
kinnelonfire75 said:
Good review - I like it and when I have more money available to me I may purchase it. For now simple switches will have to do. Whats the price tag on this thing?
Right from the first lines of the first post:

xfirefighter484x said:



kinnelonfire75 said:
An afterthought - I actually clicked the link :oops:. What are the operating system requirements? I noticed that on their image they have it set on Windows XP. Would it for for Vista or Windows 7? How about Mac?

I spoke with them in regards to minimum hardware requirements, and they did not have a specific list (i.e. minimum processor speed, RAM etc...). IIRC the only OS it is set-up for is Windows (almost any version) at this time.
 

Zapp Brannigan

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 23, 2010
3,580
.
Just an update for everyone.


I received the Hardware for the Olympus 16X the other week. The platform I planned to run in my vehicle to host the software encountered some form of an error after installation. For some odd reason, it displays improperly. I also have not yet begun installation of any lights into my new vehicle, but I promise I will have pictures and descriptions as I do!
 

Zapp Brannigan

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 23, 2010
3,580
.
The topic of Feniex came up in Chat tonight, so I figured I would throw my "latest" interaction(s) with Feniex.


The 'error' I encountered with the software was on my Laptop. The laptop is fine, works 100% normal. I run Windows Media Center Edition on both my desktop, and laptop, and the system functioned 100% normal on my desktop.


On my laptop, the pre-set size of the window for the Olympus 16X only showed a portion of the normal buttons.


As it appears on my Desktop:


ai13.photobucket.com_albums_a255_xfirefighter484x_FeniexReview6.jpg


As it appears on my Laptop:


ai13.photobucket.com_albums_a255_xfirefighter484x_FeniexReviewFromLaptop3.jpg


On my laptop, in the Setup mode, it also shows an extra row of relays buttons, however, they repeat the last 3 normal (in other words, it shows Relays #14, 15, and 16, two separate times in 2 separate rows).


In my e-mail to Alex @ Feniex, they looked into the issue, and felt it had something to do with the VERSION of Windows I was running (XP Media Center Edition aka MCE), (they never came up with a definitive reason), and that it was not worth them looking into any deeper for a different version of Windows, as it was designed to function on XP and/or XP Pro, and recommended that I change my Windows version, as it would take more time/effort to re-design it to function on my version, than it took to develop the whole thing from the beginning. I can't argue that, if it really does take more effort, it really is not worth it the corporate world. I just found it odd that their system worked flawlessly on my desktop, with the SAME OS as my laptop, but had issues on the laptop.


I had wanted to get a NEW system anyway (laptop is 5 years old, however functions great still), so maybe if/when I get that, we will see if the system works, for installation in my vehicle!!
 

Zapp Brannigan

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 23, 2010
3,580
.
Sadly Dave, no, stupid $$ constraints. I will re-iterate, the software worked perfectly on my 3-year-old desktop, but my 5 year old laptop had issues. I was able to wire up 2 lights to the relay-setup, and hook it up to the computer, and it functioned perfectly, just cannot get a full installation. Case in point, I am still running a 5 year old laptop lol!


If someone wanted to ya know, donate some $$ for me :undecided: I could get the system up and running!!!!
 

rattler

New Member
Oct 18, 2011
3
TX
I have a possible explanation on why it is looking funny on the laptop.


The button sizes and text size seem to be tied to the Windows Icon and Text sizes. I have the Digital Touch Olympus installed in my vehicle and when I changed from normal icon and text size to the medium sizes on Windows 7 Professional it did almost exactly the same thing. I have also noticed a few other quirks and plan on writing a full review of the system soon and will be sending some suggestions for upgrades to the software to Feniex.
 

KAdams327

Member
Oct 28, 2011
46
MI
Warning techno geek speaking...


Try matching the resolution on your laptop to the same resolution that you are running on your desktop. The buttons could be configured as a set number of pixels instead of a percentage of the window that they are opened in.
 

Zapp Brannigan

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 23, 2010
3,580
.
rattler said:
I have a possible explanation on why it is looking funny on the laptop.
The button sizes and text size seem to be tied to the Windows Icon and Text sizes. I have the Digital Touch Olympus installed in my vehicle and when I changed from normal icon and text size to the medium sizes on Windows 7 Professional it did almost exactly the same thing. I have also noticed a few other quirks and plan on writing a full review of the system soon and will be sending some suggestions for upgrades to the software to Feniex.
Thank you for this information, I am going to check it out!!! I look forward to your review!!

KAdams327 said:
Warning techno geek speaking...

Try matching the resolution on your laptop to the same resolution that you are running on your desktop. The buttons could be configured as a set number of pixels instead of a percentage of the window that they are opened in.
Thanks, I did have the resolutions identical, and I even tried it with different resolutions, and the same thing happened.
 

Zapp Brannigan

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 23, 2010
3,580
.
So this whole issue has been dead in the water since my last post. I had issues with my laptop that the information was forwarded onto Feniex along with my System information, and they could not figure out what the problem was.


I think I spoke with Feniex one more time after that, and they had no more information, and never replied to my requests for any possible software updates.


I am working on getting a CarPC from Alec 7d9_z28, and trying to complete my install, and hopefully see if I cannot get something functioning.


I really have/had high hopes for this product, just wish I could get the install finalized!!!
 

FDlou961

Member
May 23, 2011
122
New Paltz, NY
Zapp,


I personally haven't used this software, but reading the specs, I can see one improvement, if you havent thought of it yet.


One thing you could bring up to Feniex if/when you recontact them, in a future version of this unit, having an input into the box that would allow the software to dim down the screen at night for ease of viewing(ex.:when the dashboard lights on, the hardware unit sends a signal via the USB connection to the program to allow it to commuicate to windows to lower the backlight or brightness setting to a desired lower level, then when the lights turn off, go back to full brightness)


I know from experience of having a multimedia head unit in my POV that at full brightness, its borderline blinding me if I glance to the unit to check a time, or a volume setting.
 

firetek

New Member
Sep 11, 2012
2
Long Island, NY
Hello everyone, I have a software package that I preparing to release that controlls the Feniex Olympus. It replaces the software that they provide, and expands on it's functionality. I am posting to ask if anyone wants to try it out. I have had 3 people testing it, but the more feedback I can get, the better and more stable it will be. In exchange, I will give testers a free copy for providing feedback. Feniex is aware of the software and helped with development. I have listed a few differences below.


Resolution Independant Display - It scales properly to your screen.


Multiple Controller Support - You are not limited to just 16 relays, big help for Whelen WeCan users.


Provides a heads-up display for MotoTRBO and Uniden scanners.


Customizable colors and icons - No more text arrows, you can add your own images.


Day/Night mode - You can select from a dark or light color, Windows Vista+ with brightness sensor can automatically adjust the display.


More layout options for the buttons.


If you would like more information, or would like to help test, you can contact me here or at jgilkey@fireteksolutions.com


Thanks,


Joe
 

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