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My Irule experience
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Curt Palme
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:50 pm    Post subject: My Irule experience Reply with quote


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I'm diving in today to learn the Irule stuff. As many of you know, I am a good hardware troubleshooting tech, primarily analog stuff, and frankly, I'm way behind the 8ball when it comes to computer network/programming stuff. As far as I've gotten is learning some code for a couple of digital signal processors that I've sold a year or two ago, and that was like pulling teeth for a couple of days while I got the hang of it. Then.. I hate to admit it... it was almost fun. Smile

So, I bought the Irule training kit before Christmas, and finally have the time to learn it. I'll be updating this blog throughout the next couple of days while I get this beast up and running.

A bit of how I'm going to use Irule: While I will put an Irule system into my own HT, once that's actually up and running, my main use is going to be to control commercial sound systems, so I don't need to get into Crestron or AMX. I want to show my customers that now want flashy, fancy touch panels, etc that I can do it for significantly less than the aforementioned manufacturers.

So, what I did is buy a WF2IR, Wifi controllable IR hardware box:

http://www.globalcache.com/products/itach/wf2irspecs/

Here at home, I have a typical high speed cable modem, which is then plugged into a 4 port router with Wifi. It's reliable, and it works. I have a desktop computer sitting here that I'm typing on, and I have a laptop connected via Wifi.

So there's two sets of learning curves here after I got into the training portion of the system.. one is the setup of the WF2IR unit to the computer network, the other is learning how to build a cool looking GUI for the Ipad/Iphone.

So I start with the configuration process, which is outlined via a series of tutorials at www.globalcache.com. I started here:


https://go.bluevolt.com/bedrock/CourseDetail/Global-Cach%C3%A9-Setting-up-an-iTach-WiFi-Device/26216#

My laptop instantly finds the Itach network, and I read this sheet that was included with the Itach Wifi unit:

http://www.globalcache.com/files/docs/Quickstart_iTachWF_x1_distrib.pdf

So I'm going through the tutorial, and everything is fine, but then it gets to the part where it wants me to enter the network settings of my home network. Immediately the tutorial ASSUMES that I know what I'm doing here, and in my case, I have no idea. SSID, DNS, .... say WHAT????

Yes, I'll bet I'm in the minority here, but I have no idea how/where to find this. I sent an email to tech support at globalcache.com, and am waiting for a response.

I'll update this blog once I venture further, but right now I'm stuck...

BTW, for those interested, tutorials and their website is here:

http://support.iruleathome.com/customer/portal/articles/497964-all-irule-tutorials


Last edited by Curt Palme on Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Curt,

Did anybody give you links to the Tutorial Videos?

http://iruleathome.com/support-content/tutorial-videos

Here's the one specifically on iTach WF setup:
Tutorial: Global Caché iTach Wi-Fi Setup and Configuration

I'll be very interested to see how fare with the learning process. I know there are some gaps in the iRule training, but with your background, I don't imagine you'll have much trouble getting from here to at controlling some basic pieces of gear and your system and understanding how the system works.

Also, I realize you're doing the "pre-work" now, but the free training you'll get as a dealer will give you a much better handle on how the system works.

Won't be long and you'll be building up a basic remote in 15 or 20 minutes.

SC
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Curt Palme
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TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, that's the training video that I'm stuck on. If you jump to section 18, I get totally lost. I'm sure this is a snap for anyone that's worked with any sort of IP setup, the problem is, I haven't. As close as I've come is setting up my home Wifi router, which was as simple as dropping in a CD ROM, and running through it.

Further, I jumped over section 18, and I'm assuming I can't do anything with the Ihelp program, since my unit isn't set up yet, so my network doesn't see it. I get that part. Smile

Then jumping to section 22, the IR configuration section, I get lost when they talk about Sensor In and Sensor Notify. I get that this is some kind of verification, right?, that will confirm that the device acknowledges that it's received a command, but how do I set this up, and what the heck is the tutorial talking about when they talk about the notify port, and the notify timer?

Again, they are assuming that the programmer/tech has done this stuff before, but guys like me that are totally new to this are lost.

I really need to get a geek hat.....
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries! Setting up Wi-Fi devices like cameras and the iTach is a pain. Just is. Wired is way easier.

Yes, you need to get the iTach on the network before you start doing anything else. It's not nearly as complicated as it looks, or as the Global Caché training makes it.

SSID is just the name of your router, i.e. CurtsWireless, or similar. Same thing you see on your computer's or phone's Wi-Fi selection menu.

Don't worry about all those IP fields like DNS and all that - you can set that up later. For now, just tick the DHCP box and all that stuff will get filled in for you when it reboots.

All you should need to know to set up the iTach initially are:
- SSID
- Security type (get it from your router's 'security' tab - Probably WPA2 if it's relatively recent)…
- Passphrase (password - just like you type on your computer)

When you have it all filled in, click the 'save' button and it will reboot. If it worked, the light on the iTach will change to a slow "heartbeat" type of blink, like on a second, off a second. If you make a mistake, it won't work, but you can just reset it with a paper-clip and start over. It's confusing the first time, but much easier later.

Give it a whirl and let me know if you're still having trouble.

SC
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Curt Palme
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Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, NOW we're getting somewhere! Smile

Let me work on that, I'll post again....


It's saving now, I'll come back to this in a bit..
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Curt Palme
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so far so good! That helped a lot, Steve. Didn't get it right the first time, but did the second time. Will continue with training as soon as a customer shows up.
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Curt Palme
CRT Tech



Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 23993
Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, confused again. I purchased a dealer package on Nov 20, got the invoice and package, that says I have an Ultimate license. It looks like I entered an email address that doesn't exist into the order system, which would explain why I never got any order confirmation.

I just emailed the 'orders' email asking to change my email address and to send me my login info to the correct email address, but still....walk me through this...

When I go to your website, I click on the 'try Irule builder now' button. That opens the IRule builder page, and gives me the Apple or Android option. I click on the Apple option, which opens the Itune page. On my desktop computer, I click on the download button, and it downloads the app. Then what? Where did the app go? How to I get to the builder software/page?\

Keep in mind that I've NEVER bought anything through Itunes so maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Oh, and to add, I downloaded the IRule app to my Iphone just fine. It asked me for my ID and password, and keeps coming up with 'failed to authenticate'. About 3 tries in, I get an email on my desktop saying that my billing info is out of date.

It has come to our attention that your account Billing Information records are out of date.
That requires you to update your Billing Information.
Failure to update your records will result in account termination.
Click on the reference link below and enter your login information on the following page to confirm your billing information.
http://www.apple.com/ca/support/customers/


Is this spam, or do I need to re-enter everything?
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Nashou66




Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 16170
Location: West Seneca NY


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yep must be confused you posted twice Wink
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Curt Palme
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
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Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bleh, now I'm coming down with a cold...
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zaphod




Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2002
Location: Cloverdale


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every often you need to renter info for your iTunes account to confirm the info and agree to terms. I'm pretty sure I had to do it on my computer and not the iphone. So open up iTunes on the PC and look at your account settings.


When you sync your phone to the PC you should get the app you bought installed.

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Curt Palme
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TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally figured the issue out with a call to Irule.

When you try the demo software, it's only good for 30 days. I did that back in November, so the trial expired. Every time I tried to get into the software, it only gave me two options to buy software, it never gave me an option to get into the program.

I called tech support just now, and they reset the 30 day trial for me.

Steve, you might do a little add-on to that page that opens when the 30 day trial expires for idiots like me that take too long to buy and learn the software, simply saying: 'your 30 day trial has expired, now it's time to buy', or something like that. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I couldn't get into the software module were it not for a call to you guys. Got it straightened out quickfast though thanks to tech support, and TODAY I will learn via the tutorials online to see if I can get something working by the end of the day.

Will also sign up for the online lessons.. TODAY(!!) and will be a 'profeshunal' dealer by the end of next week!
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Curt Palme
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so I just came out of the 4 hour training course. My mind hit saturation at about the 2 hour mark. The problem isn't the training, it's ME!

I am now paying the price of ignoring all things computer related for the last 15 years, and this is all new to me, whereas I'd say that 99% of all others taking this course have worked with SOME form of software controlled remote control or programmable device. I haven't, and it's causing me massive grief.

Fortunately I've been at this point before with a DSP programming unit 2 years ago. I sweated bullets for 2 days before it made sense, and now I'm at the same point with IRule.

So, for a newbie like me, there's not a chance I'd be controlling anything within 20 minutes. Not a chance. From what I can tell though, IRule definitely is easier to use than a lot of the other custom programming stuff that needs to to write code.

At the end of the session, I did get my Iphone to talk to the Itach that's set up with my Onkyo receiver that's sitting in my office.

Now to plod through putting pages together for a couple of hours, until I get frustrated. I will report back on my progress, but this is where I am now. I think I'm going to try and rope Zaphod into learning with me, as he has network experience. I'm going also to incorporate another Itach unit into my upstairs TV system, where I have a few components together. Will order that in the next couple of days.
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Nashou66




Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 16170
Location: West Seneca NY


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curt look at this new iTach device . It looks much better option than the larger box type.

http://www.smarthome.com/81179/Global-Cache-Flex-IP-iTach-Flex-Smart-End-Point-Ethernet/p.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=y-3j3d_yX64

Athanasios

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Curt Palme
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 23993
Location: Langley, BC

TV/Projector: All of them!


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not looking at anything! Let me get this basic thing figured out! Very Happy

I probably jumped the gun on buying the eBay stuff, but keep in mind that the installs I do are always one room, one rack, when it comes to the commercial stuff. Besides, in a lot of commercial environments, the client won't want me tieing into their network, so I'll most likely build my own to communicate with the Itach devices, etc. I envision that some installs will actually only consist of an Ipad mini bolted to the front of the rack for control, and other handsets won't be used. Last thing you need in a pool or an arena is to have 30 Iphones all controlling the same system.

I've got to take this really slowly to properly learn it, but the potential here is absolutely massive.
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Nashou66




Joined: 12 Jan 2007
Posts: 16170
Location: West Seneca NY


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The potential is massive. When you figure this stuff out look at the Insteaon products also
in the Smarthome website. they have thermostat, lighting, HVAc etc you can tie into the iRule.

You can control all of Vancouver from your home!!!!

Moowaaaaaa!!!!!!


Nashou

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Don't blame your underwear for your crooked ass~ unknown Greek philosopher


"Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15." --- President Reagan

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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
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TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nashou66 wrote:
Curt look at this new iTach device . It looks much better option than the larger box type.


I'd hold off on the Flex for now. It's a pretty new device, and GC is still fleshing out a few bugs here and there. It will get there, but for now, I'd recommend the old iTach as they're bulletproof.

Personally - and this is just me and my opinion, here - I don't quite understand the appeal of the Flex. It is very small, but it's not like the iTach was ever too big; it's the size of a pack of cigarettes. I guess it would be nice in a ceiling install above a projector, but other than that instance, size really hasn't ever been a problem. The Flex is more flexible in that it can be used for IR or RS-232, so dealers would like that because they can reduce expensive inventory. Unfortunately, you need expensive, proprietary cables to switch back and forth between IR and RS-232, so that's just more inventory to stock. The Flex still needs power, and with the special cables, it ends up costing as much or more than the old iTach.

FYI, the Flex isn't supported directly by iRule yet. It will be, but for now it's just that the auto-discovery won't find it. You can just add the gateways manually, as an iTach, and it will work fine.

Cheers,
SC
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curt Palme wrote:
I've got to take this really slowly to properly learn it, but the potential here is absolutely massive.
Nashou66 wrote:
The potential is massive. When you figure this stuff out look at the Insteaon products also
in the Smarthome website. they have thermostat, lighting, HVAc etc you can tie into the iRule.

You can control all of Vancouver from your home!!!!

Moowaaaaaa!!!!!!


Hahahahh… Now you guys are getting it! Welcome to my world! World domination and control… From the palm of my hand… Muuwaaahahahahaha…

Twisted Evil

SC
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Curt Palme
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure I'll be as excited if my bald spot on the back of my head hasn't grown significantly by the time I'm done the learning curve! Very Happy

Wiping my Ibuilder slate clean in a second, and starting over.... Smile
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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curt Palme wrote:
Ok, so I just came out of the 4 hour training course. My mind hit saturation at about the 2 hour mark. The problem isn't the training, it's ME!

I've heard that before. It's a lot to take in all at once. We've considered splitting it into two two-hour sessions to make it easier to digest, but then it's a scheduling pain - for customers and for us. If you have ideas to make it easier in any way, we're always glad to listen.

Curt Palme wrote:
I'm sure I'll be as excited if my bald spot on the back of my head hasn't grown significantly by the time I'm done the learning curve! Very Happy

It'll all make sense soon. It rally won't take that long - honest. I'm so busy with marketing stuff, I don't get to do much programming any more, but it's all pretty engrained at this point. I'm not as fast as I used to be, but it's still very easy. You'll get the hang of it. The only thing I have to ask for help on is some really tweaky stuff like using variables to swap out commands on the fly for matrix switching. Everything else I'm pretty comfortable with, and I'm NOT a programmer or engineering type… I've got a little of it in my, but it runs out VERY quickly.

Curt Palme wrote:
Wiping my Ibuilder slate clean in a second, and starting over.... Smile

Good man. That's the way to learn. Repetition. Do it half a dozen times, and you'll learn a little more and get faster each time. Soon, you'll be able to do a simple setup in like 10 minutes.

SC
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Nashou66




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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve how many iRule guys are there in Western New York area? Maybe I should look into doing it as well during my free time Wink

Nashou

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