CENTRO-M

General Discussion on DemoPad or related products
cv27
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Back to the Centro-M...

Post by cv27 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:46 pm

Personally, I find my requirements being met in part by the potential Centro-M and the Centro-C, but neither is a perfect solution for me.

Here's what I'm looking for:
  • - Internal processing/automation software (as Centro-M)
    - Powered via external adapter to wall (as Centro-C); PoE or USB power is not always available near the Centro-M
    - RJ45 1GB (for streaming) Ethernet (as Centro-C)
    - WiFi as well would be nice (but probably more expensive than internal Ethernet)
    - Ethernet would also be used for firmware updates
    - Some GUI (on the ControlApp IOS/Android device, or via a Web browser)
    - IR ports, 3-5 individually addressable, with compatibility with the iTach (use that relationship with Global Caché)
    - IR controller directly reachable via Ethernet (as iTach) for configuration
    - IR learning port
    - Pricing 100-125 $USD
My thoughts on other options that have been mentioned:
  • - Micro SD slot: I'm assuming sufficient internal memory that could handle future versions and storage of centrally stored variables
    - HDMI: I don't see practical use for an HDMI output (what source material would it output?)
    - USB: can't see usage
    - Relay I/O and serial ports: in my opinion, the average home user does not need them; if so, then it's time to look at the Centro-C

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CENTRO-8M

Post by DemoPad » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:45 pm

As discussed in this thread: http://www.demopad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5538

DemoPad will be developing a Centro-M control processor. User comments are welcome here.

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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by DemoPad » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:51 pm

We saw the HDMI output and the USB ports typically for displaying user's photos / video as another source to the system - the USB used for additional storage. The final specification of the Centro-M may or may not have these, we are still looking at the hardware specification.

I can say that currently we are not intending to include any IR ports on the Centro-M.

Nnuudd
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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by Nnuudd » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:04 am

Is there any news or update for the centro-m?

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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by asimp11 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:03 pm

All that would be great at that price point (if it were possible). Your project needs a Centro M. But all I would like to see is a smaller Centro C version for more typical sized projects just like the Global Cache-100-106 in size, one RS232 and three IRs. But this unit would have the Centro App built in, as app download costs are my biggest issue. We could call it the Centro-GC! The Control4 driver is a nice touch also. :D

Mike DemoPad
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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by Mike DemoPad » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:41 pm

The new Centro M will be launched in September / October 2016 and looks like member cv27 predicted its specification / features almost exactly see his original post:-
Here's what I'm looking for:
- Internal processing/automation software (as Centro-M)
- Powered via external adapter to wall (as Centro-C); PoE or USB power is not always available near the Centro-M
- RJ45 1GB (for streaming) Ethernet (as Centro-C)
- WiFi as well would be nice (but probably more expensive than internal Ethernet)
- Ethernet would also be used for firmware updates
- Some GUI (on the ControlApp IOS/Android device, or via a Web browser)
- IR ports, 3-5 individually addressable, with compatibility with the iTach (use that relationship with Global Caché)
- IR controller directly reachable via Ethernet (as iTach) for configuration
- IR learning port
- Pricing 100-125 $USD
My thoughts on other options that have been mentioned:
- Micro SD slot: I'm assuming sufficient internal memory that could handle future versions and storage of centrally stored variables

cv27
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Location: Montréal, QC, Canada

Re: CENTRO-M

Post by cv27 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:45 pm

Although the long awaited Centro-M would be great news, I couldn't find any release info. Where did you see this?

Mike DemoPad
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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by Mike DemoPad » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:47 pm

Apologies I am a director of Demopad and the Centro M project has taken some time to complete and was influenced by yours and other contributors suggestions. The final release specification is very close to your "wish list" and by way of a thank you if you contact me next month after release I will make sure you receive one with our compliments and gratitude for your contribution. mike@demopad.com

Just share your experiences with other users and we hope you enjoy your new processor. Final specification has not yet been set in stone but here goes as at today:

Your wish list:-

- Internal processing/automation software (as Centro-M) - YES
- Powered via external adapter to wall (as Centro-C); PoE or USB power is not always available near the Centro-M - YES
- RJ45 1GB (for streaming) Ethernet (as Centro-C) - YES
- WiFi as well would be nice (but probably more expensive than internal Ethernet) - YES
- Ethernet would also be used for firmware updates - YES
- Some GUI (on the ControlApp IOS/Android device, or via a Web browser) - UNDER REVIEW
- IR ports, 3-5 individually addressable, with compatibility with the iTach (use that relationship with Global Cache) - YES 3 EMITTER PORTS
- IR controller directly reachable via Ethernet (as iTach) for configuration - YES
- IR learning port - YES
- Pricing 100-125 $USD - TARGET US$ 125
My thoughts on other options that have been mentioned:
- Micro SD slot: I'm assuming sufficient internal memory that could handle future versions and storage of centrally stored variables - YES
- HDMI: I don't see practical use for an HDMI output (what source material would it output?) - INCLUDED
- USB: can't see usage - INCLUDED BUT NOT USED AT LAUNCH (MAY USE FOR RS232 OR RELAY CABLES)
- Relay I/O and serial ports: in my opinion, the average home user does not need them; if so, then it's time to look at the Centro-C - AGREED

TARGET LAUNCH DATE - End September 2016

Regards,

Mike

cv27
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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by cv27 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:26 am

Mike,

Thanks for the info. Just wondering if your last name initial is 'C' ?

Mike DemoPad
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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by Mike DemoPad » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:02 pm

Yes apologies for the delay in replying! Its Mike Cain.

But the credit for the product is all down to Andy and his team Jonathan and James. Special thanks also to Alex and Utz for the LINUX server software core design.

So the Centro-8M will be ready in September probably towards the end of the month. We're looking for BETA testers to help us.

So what will your Centro-8M do? Well it will store all your system flag, number and regex status exactly as a Centro-8. You will need the DemoDesign Pro software to program it for schedules (it has an astronomical clock) can execute MACROS automatically or on demand etc. It can bridge diverse systems so for example it can monitor a TEXECOM Premier Elite alarm system and a NEST or HEATMISER heating control - so if you set the alarm (there is no one home) you can set the house to auto shutdown, turn off TV's, Lights, reduce the heating set-point etc. All the Centro 8 drivers work and you use the free Centro App in your projects.

Of course it will do much more but this is just a taste of what it will do. It has 3 IR emitter ports and 1 IR receiver port. So it can be used as a simple room controller for TV SATELLITE / CABLE and BLURAY for example. Network connection is initially wired to setup the device parameters then you can choose a wired or wifi connection to your router.

Another neat feature is to use it with a hard button remote of your choice but we'll explain more about this once you have one as the final capability is yet to be decided. But basically you send IR commands to the Centro-8M and it emits different IR commands (or MACROS including IR, IP and even linking to another Centro-8M in another room or another Centro C etc.) A universal remote capability for no extra cost.

Hope this gives you a flavour of whats included and apologies for the low key launch here but we want genuine Demopad enthusiasts to be involved in the development and make this very affordable. Hope you like it.

Mike DemoPad
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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by Mike DemoPad » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:26 am

Dominic sorry I forgot to mention your efforts on the project - anyway its your fault for leaving us! Working on space exploration vehicles after this is surely a step backwards? Good luck and come back soon.

cv27
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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by cv27 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:01 am

I'm assuming the Centro-8M documentation and working will be close to the Centro-8's. So, here are some questions, based on this assumption.

One central point to my personal confusion is this. Given that a project needs to be uploaded to the Centro, it seems any device (PC, IOS, Android), without requiring a local copy of the project, that initiates a Web communication with the Centro would have access to the project (similar to terminal mode). At the same time, it seems that IOS and Android devices with the project loaded locally could share variables (flags, numbers, labels) stored centrally on the Centro. Are both of these approaches possible?

Some of the following questions may not be relevant given the answer to the first question, but here goes anyway:

* How is sync done between Centro, PC and IOS/Android devices for:
1) Values
2) Variable creation & deletion, and renames

* How does a client device know to get a variable's value from the Centro?

* "In order to ensure that variables (perhaps spread over several iOS/Android projects) are kept in sync, all variables require a unique 'Processor ID'": not clear on the role of that Processor Id, more details would be appreciated

* Uploading to the Processor: How does it know which PC to load from? Normally, the device app config tells it what address and port to load from, but there seems to be no place to specify that on the Centro

* Uploading to the Processor / Upload Web Interface Pages: what pages, where?

* "The processor will initially boot up using DHCP to obtain its IP address. You will need to change this to a static IP address": is there any way to retain the DHCP approach? I tend to manage IP addresses centrally on my router, using DHCP reservations for cases like this that need a fixed address.

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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by DemoPad » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:43 am

cv27 wrote:I'm assuming the Centro-8M documentation and working will be close to the Centro-8's. So, here are some questions, based on this assumption.

One central point to my personal confusion is this. Given that a project needs to be uploaded to the Centro, it seems any device (PC, IOS, Android), without requiring a local copy of the project, that initiates a Web communication with the Centro would have access to the project (similar to terminal mode).
There is no way to access the .pad project file, no. An app without the project file will be able to send basic commands (IR, relay etc) but would have no details of timed events, flags etc. If by 'web' communication you mean the browser interface, this can be password protected, but only gives the user interface similar to the app.
cv27 wrote:At the same time, it seems that IOS and Android devices with the project loaded locally could share variables (flags, numbers, labels) stored centrally on the Centro.
Centrally shared variables are 'ticked' in the designer software. They each have a processor variable ID. Providing this ID matches, any iOS/Android device will keep those values in sync - even if the iOS/Android devices are running different projects.
cv27 wrote: Some of the following questions may not be relevant given the answer to the first question, but here goes anyway:

* How is sync done between Centro, PC and IOS/Android devices for:
1) Values
2) Variable creation & deletion, and renames
Values are kept in sync by the app - whenever a value changes, it tells the Centro, and the Centro then tells all connected apps. When an app first connects to a Centro, it asks for the current state of all shared variables.

Variable renames are not relevant, nor deletion, as the variable IDs will not be reused in a project. You just need to make sure all app devices have the latest project on so it knows which new variables to sync. The Centro does not need to know about which variables, it stores everything it is told to - it is the apps that initiate the sync.
cv27 wrote: * How does a client device know to get a variable's value from the Centro?

* "In order to ensure that variables (perhaps spread over several iOS/Android projects) are kept in sync, all variables require a unique 'Processor ID'": not clear on the role of that Processor Id, more details would be appreciated
For variables which are 'ticked' - the app knows to request their values from the Centro, and to store them on the Centro when they change. The ID is only used when you have different projects loaded to several apps - to make sure they sync correctly. Eg a Flag might have an ID of 20 representing an alarm status. If you create a new project for an iOS device & add a flag called 'alarm status', you want to give it the ID 20 as well so that it matches the other project.
cv27 wrote: * Uploading to the Processor: How does it know which PC to load from? Normally, the device app config tells it what address and port to load from, but there seems to be no place to specify that on the Centro
You send a project to the Centro, it doesn't pull it like the app does. You use the 'upload to processor' option & choose the Centro to upload to it.
cv27 wrote: * Uploading to the Processor / Upload Web Interface Pages: what pages, where?
A Centro is capable of being controlled via a web browser. You get the same interface as the app - but if you want to use this, you need to enable the web server, and also upload the web interface images to the Centro. These are options on the upload to processor screen.
cv27 wrote: * "The processor will initially boot up using DHCP to obtain its IP address. You will need to change this to a static IP address": is there any way to retain the DHCP approach? I tend to manage IP addresses centrally on my router, using DHCP reservations for cases like this that need a fixed address.
Yes you can leave it on DHCP in Step 1, but the apps need to know which IP address to connect to obviously - so provided it doesn't change, it will be fine.

cv27
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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by cv27 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:18 am

Sorry, I realize I'm asking questions in a theoretical setting, not having the real thing to play with, but...

Again looking at the Centro-8 manual, it says:
First Time Use — Configure the processor
Load up the DemoPad designer software, and select 'New Processor' from the 'Devices' menu,


From the DemoPad Designer (2.217), in the Devices menu, I don't currently see "New Processor"; selecting "New Centro-C" creates a device but not the "Processor Properties" tab where one could Configure the processor.

One explanation would be that the DemoPad Designer, when it loads, somehow checks on the network for the signature of a Centro and if found produces the appropriate menus and tabs. But I suspect not.

Your turn :)

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Re: CENTRO-M

Post by DemoPad » Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:22 am

cv27 wrote:Sorry, I realize I'm asking questions in a theoretical setting, not having the real thing to play with, but...

Again looking at the Centro-8 manual, it says:
First Time Use — Configure the processor
Load up the DemoPad designer software, and select 'New Processor' from the 'Devices' menu,


From the DemoPad Designer (2.217), in the Devices menu, I don't currently see "New Processor"; selecting "New Centro-C" creates a device but not the "Processor Properties" tab where one could Configure the processor.

One explanation would be that the DemoPad Designer, when it loads, somehow checks on the network for the signature of a Centro and if found produces the appropriate menus and tabs. But I suspect not.

Your turn :)
Users who purchase a Centro receive instructions on how to enable the menus within the software, the Centro-M will have its own similar menu in an upcoming version of the software.

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