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User Developled Plug-Ins


Texan78
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Is it possible for users or other developers to make plugins for LORII like with other software? I know LORII is not open source but I have a plug in idea that would be the coolest thing since sliced bread and make this Software even more automated. I will explain more later if this is possible. It would take some additional hardware from the user to get on their own but you can get it for less then $100 bucks.

Oh heck I will give you a hint. I run a PWS (Personal Weather Station) and lets say some of you don't run your display in the rain like me. You are away or at work or stuck in traffic when the show is suppose to start but it is raining and you can not get to it to to stop it for the night. With this plug-in I am testing and working on will fix this problem. If the rain funnel is detecting and receving rain from the PWS it will abort the show for the night depending on a time a user sets. It will also use METAR forcasts to see the trend to determine if it is a brife shower or a long term condition. Their are still some varibles that need to be tweaked like snow, ice, etc. My PWS has a heated rain collector which will melt the snow to get the precipe vaules but not all do. So trying to find a work around that. One idea is before you leave out for the day for work or errands set LORII in a standby mode and if no abort as been triggered by a certain time it will run the show. Now How would you like to abort your show from a simple abort code using a text msg from your cell phone? This is something that is being worked on. This is a few month out from completion and you will need some other software but it is all free. All you would need is the PWS.

Any one interested in something like this?

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Why not just use the same rain gauage you would use on your sprinklers ($20 Lowes / Home Depot) on the common of the external power on your Director or M-Director. Or use it as a triger to run a empty show - when activated.


KISS Idea; the harder you make this the more points to troubleshoot when issues arrive.


Harrison

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I came up with a method to control my display from a telephone this past season. It's based on the fact that when the shows are enabled, Light-O-Rama constantly scans for changes to the weeksched.lsc and yearsched.lsc files. You can read more details on it here:
http://lightorama.mywowbb.com/view_topic.php?id=15756&forum_id=72&highlight=interactive
I ended up with the automated telephone attendant that gave users the ability to choose their song, but I also had a special sequence where I could disable the show. Before I utilized the auto attendant, I experimented with email. I would send an message from my cell phone to an email address at home. I set up rules in Outlook to run specific programs based on the subject. These small batch files would then copy the appropriate schedule files to the Light-O-Rama directory. This allowed me to start the show on demand, play specific songs or copy over an empty schedule effectively disabling the show.
It would be fairly easy to incorporate your weather station based on this concept. All you need is the ability to create a text file when the precipitation reaches your threshold. A small batch file can look for the existence of this file and execute the commands as I outlined above. I also agree with hbomb341 if you only want to disable the show based on precipitation, the irrigation rain switch would be much simpler.
PM me if you have any questions.

Mark

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michael.farney

Mark Steele wrote:

I also agree with hbomb341 if you only want to disable the show based on precipitation, the irrigation rain switch would be much simpler.
PM me if you have any questions.

Mark


Is there a good way to do this with a show running from the computer? I have the batch file thing down since I used it last year to sync LOR's beginning after preshow music. I never figured out how to use something like an irrigation switch to fire a batch file.
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michael.farney wrote:

Is there a good way to do this with a show running from the computer? I have the batch file thing down since I used it last year to sync LOR's beginning after preshow music. I never figured out how to use something like an irrigation switch to fire a batch file.


If you have a 15 pin game port on your PC, it can be used to provide simple input signaling. There are four button inputs available - two for each joystick. These are simple contact closures, so it would work with the irrigation switch. As I wrote in my interactive display thread, I wrote a small BASIC program that reads the status of theses ports to control the show. This is the basis for my jukebox kiosk concept.

Mark
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hbomb341 wrote:

Why not just use the same rain gauage you would use on your sprinklers ($20 Lowes / Home Depot) on the common of the external power on your Director or M-Director. Or use it as a triger to run a empty show - when activated.


KISS Idea; the harder you make this the more points to troubleshoot when issues arrive.


Harrison



It is actually it is not as hard as it sounds. Rain gauge would work but once you see what I am working on you would understand more because I think you misunderstand what I am talking about. I will elaborate later tonight, right now have to get off to work.

Think about this though, once the rain gauge for your sprinker cuts it off when does it cut it back on? You still need some coding to run this and not everyone runs a show director.
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Texan78 wrote:

Think about this though, once the rain gauge for your sprinker cuts it off when does it cut it back on?


It comes back on when the gauge drys out. Which is about the same time the yard is dry and SAFE to run electrical.

Harrison
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Here is a scenerio. Say you are at work and you get a 30 min shower at noon and then it clears out the rest of the day with clear skys. Streets are dry making it safe for vistors to dry with out accidents. You are unable to get home in time to over ride the gauge then what? If you are running GFCI which you should be that will be deciding factor to weather it is safe or not. If the streets are dry and the GFCIs are not tripping then you should be good to go. Then the show will not run because the gauge might not be dry but the streets are. My rain gauge for my yard sprinkers disables the entire system for 24 hrs once a certain amount of rain is recevied. You would have to user override it otherwise. Are you saying even if the streets are dry but the yard is wet or damp you don't run your display? Heck this little shower could happen at 3 pm and be clear and dry at 5-6pm. You going to scrape your show for the night because the yard is a little wet and teh GFCIs are not tripping? If you are running GFCI you shouldn't have to. With the rain gauge you mention it would disable the entire show and you would have no way to over ride it. My method uses a rain gauge just one attached to a PWS. So I am sure I could program it around any kind of rain sensor. It is mostly software that controls all this so I am sure any kind of rain sensor. How does your show run now. It is scheduled to run at say 6 and it's raining and you are not home how do you shut it off now?

The program I am working on is for those running PWS giving users remote options to be able to disable or run their show depending on the weather conditions. It sounds complicated but it is actually not. The KISS method wouldn't really apply here. We are computer controlling Christmas lights, what is simple about that? This is just a simple plug in that would connect to your PWS. It would just give users more control over the lights during bad weather.

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Most irrigation rain switches use hydroscopic disks that expand when they get wet, turning the switch off. The disks are designed to dry at the same rate as the dirt. Thus, if a little shower turns them off, if the day is sunny they should dry out enough to turn back on.

However, most of these types of switches are for the purpose of conserving water, therefore they will not dry out enough to turn back on until the ground needs water again. This is well after the surface is dry enough to make it safe to run a show. It may be possible to modify a typical rain switch by making the hydroscopic disks smaller, and thus to let them dry faster.

I just run my show when it rains. If the GFCI trips, I figure out where that happened and arrange the wires better to prevent a path to ground.

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I understand their are some that are going to run their show regardless but thought I would see if anyone would be interested in something like this since I do not run my show during rain GFCI or not. Just a street/travel safety because I living on the main residental street. But if the show is scheduled to run and it is raining and I am not able to get to it to turn it off then add an automation way to controll this both pre programmed and remote through your cell phone with text toy technology.

My design wasn't going to use a irrigation rain sensor. I am sure it could but it is a small software plugin that will work with HamWeather in conjunction with LOR and your PWS. The rain sensor a lone will not work like you stated the ground could dry out way before the disc does so how you going to override that sensor so your show will come on. That is where the plugin comes into play. It will offer a lot more control of your show during bad weather. This wouldn't be for everyone but for those that might be interested I wanted to find out and get some feedback and share it when it is completed.

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The PWS interface might be useful, although I'm not sure how you would determine when you would need to call in to overide it. In your scenario where it was a heavy downpour in the afternoon and your rain guage picked up substantial amount of water. But the sun came out and dried up the streets by show time. How would your PWS know the streets are dry enough?

Mark

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I do run my show in the rain and have never had a problem, not even the GFIC tripping.

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Mark Steele wrote:

How would your PWS know the streets are dry enough?


It wouldn't know and that is where the remote operation where you are able to use your cell phone to send a text message to abort or override the rain detection sensor. You would be able to set it to abort the show at a the detection of rain, certain time of day it is detected etc. Then if you would wanted to override the rain sensors to run the show or abort it depending on the settings you have made in the plugin you would just send a text. It is a common text software that is used everywhere now. You would set a varible in the plugin such as your cell number. Then set a varible that will be a 6 digit access code. So you would send a text to for example 717550 which is your access code. You cell number is the password it would detect the access code is coming from that cell. Then it will text you back with options and you would go from there. It sounds a lot more complicated then it actually is. It still has a lot of tweaking but I think it could be a vaulable tool for those who might want remote option or more automation over their show.

So basically if you know the streets are dry you would just access the plugin remotely with your access code and just override the sensors to run the show for the night. Like for me I have a smart phone so I can monitior my CCTV and my PWS from my phone which comes in real handy so I can make that decesion a lot easier. Of course these days any web enable cell phone which most are you can do this with, doesn't have to be a smart phone. The texting doesn't have the be web enabled ether.
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