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Thread: Mobile

  1. #1
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Mobile - thought this might be of interest - and wondered how others do it ...

    controlling things from a smartphone or tablet seems to be all the rage at the moment ... but the practical difficulties are never mentioned - eg: what happens when the 3G signal is less than perfect, what happens when it’s perfect but lots of other people are using their ‘phones, too ... sometimes there’s WiFi as an alternative, but it also gets overloaded all too easily ...

    equally, touch-phones are great, but travelling in the car means bumps & bends, and the wrong things getting selected, or getting selected in the wrong way - especially when trying to scroll down a list & select something, and do whatever with it ...

    and not only in the car, because devices vary a lot - ie: scrolling and selecting is easier on some than on others (we’ve bought low-cost tablets to go with our intercom units, and we’ve found them pretty good, so long as things are kept very simple) ...

    even so, we find the Mobile package for Cortex pretty useful, in the house & out ... eg: when we’re away, we can ‘phone ahead to tell Cortex we’re coming, so it can get the house up to speed (hot water, ventilation, heating); when we’re out shopping & realise we forgot to push the button on the freezer to get it ready for new things, we can command it from the shop - or from our desk, to save us going downstairs ... etc, etc ... we even use it to get Cortex to send us e-mails, about the status of things we’re worrying about ...

    Cortex Mobile allows plenty of freedom of choice, and we experimented with several options, before arriving at our current arrangement - see images (larger sized ones included in the 02:18pm posting, below) ...

    the icons reflect current status, and the Synchronise button is a way of ensuring they’re up to date (when comm’s are difficult, and there is some doubt) ... ditto the CloseBothDoors button, is a way of ensure the doors are closed, when individual control is getting fraught (due to weak or overloaded comm’s, or bumpy roads) ...

    having the active buttons one level down in the hierarchy helps, by minimising the need to scroll while they’re presented (bumpy roads again) ...

    of course, tapping the buttons gives access to the full range of facilities - status, history, control, etc, for all modules, sensors, automated controls, etc ... or just direct control of individual aspects - whatever's required / appropriate ...

    BTW, thought this an interesting article :

    http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/a...ign=2016-03-30

    though it does highlight how far behind mainstream thinking is, with little mention of practical experience & difficulties - eg: smart thermostats & motion sensors with simplistic intelligence & enormous blind spots, mobile devices expected to work anywhere & everywhere, indoors & out, and glib talk of integration ...

    Chris
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    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 1st April 2016 at 08:40 PM. Reason: tried to get the images to useful size - the upload process reduces it too much !

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    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Have you got any bigger images Chris? These seem to render very small on my browser.

    I noticed your comment about getting Cortex to send status E-mails. Is this because some information is not visible or not visible in appropriate form via the mobile browser itself?

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    the original images were fine - I tried many times to load them as they were, but the standard AH process always reduced their size, to the point that I wanted to delete the post, but I couldn't find a way to do that, either - ie: all very frustrating, and very time-wasting !

    e-mails - we have Cortex set-up to send e-mail alerts, with listed data, when criteria are met, but it's also useful to be able to (via Mobile) ask for them to be sent at other times, for reassurance, and for finer detail ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 1st April 2016 at 04:34 PM.

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    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    I'd be interested to see bigger pics.

    How did you achieve this layout?

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    OK, better images ...at last !

    left one is what we get when log-in, right one is what we get after tapping on a couple of the bars ...

    easy to achieve - the lower buttons appear by default (*) as do the top ones if there are messages ... to get the black bar buttons & sub-buttons with icons etc, assemble a menu (**) with connections & names as they are to appear ... icons will reflect the state of the object connected-to - we connected some to General Logic gates, others to Relays, real or virtual, the latter with associated General Logic to connect to real objects ...

    (*) assuming enabled in the object's WebServer window (double-click its entry in StructureView or right-click its icon in PlanView, and click WebServer in the drop-down list) ...

    (*) ie: add a UserDefinedMenu, double-click its icon & go to its WebServer window, enable it & allocate to Root, etc … when editing an entry, selecting "Menu selection" results in a black bar, selecting "Object action" results in a button with icon etc ... NB: define its name (Menu description) last, after defining Object & Action !

    HTH

    Chris
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    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 1st April 2016 at 09:57 PM.

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    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    e-mails - Cortex sends e-mail alerts with data listed, when criteria are met, and it's useful to be able to (via Mobile) ask for them to be sent at other times, for reassurance, and for finer detail ...
    Ah, I see.

    In case others are wondering, you can get some objects to appear directly on the front page by assigning them into the 'Root' category in their web server options menu. Works better for some objects than others.

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    we found the neatest (visually & operationally) result was obtained by allocating a User Defined Menu as a Root item & then creating & connecting items in that Menu as desired - to get black buttons, icon-ised buttons, etc, as required ... ie: rather than allocating the items to Root directly ... but, of course, much depends on what's wanted ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 2nd April 2016 at 01:11 PM.

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    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    OK, better images ...at last !

    left one is what we get when log-in, right one is what we get after tapping on a couple of the bars ...

    easy to achieve - the lower buttons appear by default (*) as do the top ones if there are messages ... to get the black bar buttons & sub-buttons with icons etc, assemble a menu (**) with connections & names as they are to appear ... icons will reflect the state of the object connected-to - we connected some to General Logic gates, others to Relays, real or virtual, the latter with associated General Logic to connect to real objects ...

    (*) assuming enabled in the object's WebServer window (double-click its entry in StructureView or right-click its icon in PlanView, and click WebServer in the drop-down list) ...

    (*) ie: add a UserDefinedMenu, double-click its icon & go to its WebServer window, enable it & allocate to Root, etc … when editing an entry, selecting "Menu selection" results in a black bar, selecting "Object action" results in a button with icon etc ... NB: define its name (Menu description) last, after defining Object & Action !

    HTH

    Chris
    Thanks - 'Sort of', yes - I've got as far as having the UserDefinedMenu appear on the "homepage", but it appears as per your "Favourites" menu item does in your images, albeit the icon only has 1 star. Within this,
    I then see my UserDefinedMenu, and then within this, I see the "Menu selection" "Black bars" to appear within that menu.

    When I setup the UserDefinedMenu - I enabled the webserver settings, and added the menu to "Root" (Had to type this in, I have no existing options to select) - and later renamed this to "Favourites" as per the attached images.

    What I am doing wrong? I'd quite like to have the "Black bar" menu appear on the homepage to add a couple of regularly used actions / statuses.

    Appreciate your help


    1.jpg

    2.jpg

    3.jpg

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    looks to me like your UDM is within Favourites - ie: undo your rename, to go back to the Root assignment, and it will appear as I think you want ... then add/append some entries within the UDM at the various levels & make the connections - try a few, and you'll get the idea ...

    you can also assign other objects to appear within the Root category, outside of the UDM - again try a few ...

    via UDM works better for some things, direct for others ...

    assigning other categories, besides Root, will result in other sub-items under Favourites ...

    the icon will reflect the state of the object connected-to - eg: a relay, either in the UDM or on its own ... if connecting to some General Logic, this won't happen and, to deal with that, if it mattered, we connected to intermediate virtual relays whose state we then connected to the General Logic ...

    Chris
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 4th April 2016 at 10:10 AM.

  10. #10
    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    looks to me like your UDM is within Favourites - ie: undo your rename, to go back to the Root assignment, and it will appear as I think you want ... then add/append some entries within the UDM at the various levels & make the connections - try a few, and you'll get the idea ...

    you can also assign other objects to appear within the Root category, outside of the UDM - again try a few ...

    via UDM works better for some things, direct for others ...

    assigning other categories, besides Root, will result in other sub-items under Favourites ...

    the icon will reflect the state of the object connected-to - eg: a relay, either in the UDM or on its own ... if connecting to some General Logic, this won't happen and, to deal with that, if it mattered, we connected to intermediate virtual relays whose state we then connected to the General Logic ...

    Chris

    If I simply rename the "Favourite Category" in the Web Server options to "Root" - this displays the same as the above images, just that the menu object appears as "Root" rather than "Favourites"

    I noticed the 'help' blurb in the Web Server settings states " . . . Specifying a category name of 'Home' will make the object appear on the home page itself" - so if I rename the "Favourite Category" in the Web Server options to be 'Home', I do see my "Cliff Menu" User Defined Menu on the home screen, but I still can't get the "Grey bars" to appear on the home page.

    Am I missing something in your comment about ". . . & make the connections"?

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