New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

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New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby McGrinch » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:18 pm

I have been a fan of this site for many years, and have spent about that long designing how I want my home automated when it finally got built. My dream house is finally built, complete with over a mile and a half of cables (too many weekends of pulling them than I would like to remember!), and holes in the walls for my touchscreens. I know the holes are there because my wife asks me EVERY day when I am going to take care of them! I have collected hardware over the years for this precise moment, and now am ready to put it to work!

So, I am beginning my ML journey and thought I might document some things I am doing that might help someone else down the road. I am by no means an IT guru, but consider myself a solid power user, with some pretty good networking skills. Though some of my setups may not be the most optimal, they seem to work (so far), but I am always open to suggestions.

Project Description:
5 touchscreens will be located throughout the house. They will control typical home automation (Security - HAI, lights, sprinklers, Russound CAM 6.6, Video switcher (Extron - RS-232 controllable), DVD Player (Sony BDP-CX7000ES), etc.). I will be using DVDLobby, MusicLobby, and various plugins (CX7000ES, HAI, and others I am sure I will discover that I need).

Project Hardware:
I will start by saying that I am a self-described tightwad. So budget is something I try to keep in mind. I have spent several years accumulating hardware off EBay that can be used as part of my system. My touch screens are 12" ELO touchscreens that supposedly came out of Kodak photo kiosks. I purchased them for around $150 each several years back. They have 3 connections - power, USB, and VGA. The only downside since they are so old is that they are 800x600 resolution. SOOOOOO if anyone has any 800x600 scenes they would like to share I would really appreciate it, as I am getting to ready to try to take the 1024x768 standard scenes and convert them. Something that I think will prove to be more difficult than I think, especially being new to the software.

I am also using a WYSE S90 ($100 off EBay) to power each touchscreen. I originally purchased WYSE 3230LEs, but they were CE machines and I had trouble getting the ELO driver loaded and when I finally did (I had to FTP it into the unit), it still would not recognize the touchscreen. The S90s have a small footprint and run on Windows XPe so they recognize the touchscreens as soon as they power up.

The 5 WYSE machines connect to two laptops (older machines, but each have 2GB of RAM) that run XP Pro configured to allow multiple RDP connections into it. Each laptop can have 3 connections. I think there are some threads on this site that tell how to do this. The two laptops are tied into the network so they can see my ML Server.

I also configured each WYSE S90 to automatically make an RDP connection at startup (create RDP connection profile and copy into the startup folder). In order to do this, you have to log in as the Administrator, otherwise you can not access the startup folder. The machine automatically logs in as a user when it boots up, so logoff and change user. Hold down the SHIFT key when it reboots to get a login box. Username and password are administrator and Administrator.

Also, you can boot into the BIOS (hold down DELETE key while booting up, and use password Fireport) and change a setting that says the unit is always powered on. The advantage to this setting is that if the power goes out, it automatically starts back up when the power comes on without having to press the power button on the unit. Then it will automatically connect to the laptop with the RDP connection in the startup folder. This is key for me, as I am mounting these units inside the wall and will have limited access to them.

I have MLServer loaded and connect to it with my laptops that power my screens, so the next step (besides designing my scenes and getting all of the automation to work), is to mount the touchscreens and WYSE machines in the walls. I plan to do that this weekend and will post some photos of how I am doing that.

I hope someone might find this and my future posts helpful.

I'll also reiterate my plea for any 800x600 scenes, if anyone is up for sharing!

Thanks,
Kevin

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Re: New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby bigDvette » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:08 am

On you topic of screens. You don't need to do anything to the screens to get them to work on 800x600. If you launch Mainlobby client and go in to the menu you would use to build a screen. Click Options under teh panels section and then click the display button on the right. Click the 800x600 button and all the scenes will be scaled to 800x600 resolution. Make sure you click save and it will put that information in your mainlobby.ini file on that machine.

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Re: New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby DaveB » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:39 pm

Also, if you already own the Wyse terminals it is one thing, but if not, I would consider and iPad in there place. That is the direction the industry is moving at a very rapid pace.
Thanks!

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Re: New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby McGrinch » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:57 am

I certainly agree on the iPad. I thought the same thing as soon as I got mine last fall. They can be easily mounted in the wall, always plugged in and connected through wi-fi. Plus the screens are incredible. I will definitely have mine connected to my system.

If I hadn't spent a bunch of money on the other equipment already, I probably would go that route. I might even still do that for one or two locations.

Is ML working pretty good on them yet, to where all of the additional modules (Weather, DVD, etc.) will run it?

Kevin

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Re: New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby McGrinch » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:11 am

I changed the display option to 800x600, but all it seemed to do was resize the window, not rescale it. So, I can see the top left 800x600 of the scene, but not the whole scene.

Is there another step to make it rescale versus just resize?

Kevin

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Re: New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby DaveB » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:33 am

McGrinch wrote:I certainly agree on the iPad. I thought the same thing as soon as I got mine last fall. They can be easily mounted in the wall, always plugged in and connected through wi-fi. Plus the screens are incredible. I will definitely have mine connected to my system.

If I hadn't spent a bunch of money on the other equipment already, I probably would go that route. I might even still do that for one or two locations.

Is ML working pretty good on them yet, to where all of the additional modules (Weather, DVD, etc.) will run it?

Kevin


Nearly every function is exposed for all available modules. Some of those features are not in the current interface offering, but can be added. It will only get better with the MLS version 4 release, I am sure. Dave is also working on a screen builder, which should make HTML interfaces even better.

I am slowly converting. I am down to two standard screens from five at one point, and one iPad that has a wall bracket and is also portable. All of the family has iPhones and I am finding that they are using them more and more to control the music. I think that all we use the in wall screens for at this point is to arm and disarm the security system at the front door! and yes, we can do that via iPhone as well.

I must say that I do miss the feature rich flash interfaces!
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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Re: New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby mcascio » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:51 am

McGrinch wrote:I changed the display option to 800x600, but all it seemed to do was resize the window, not rescale it. So, I can see the top left 800x600 of the scene, but not the whole scene.

Is there another step to make it rescale versus just resize?

Kevin


Kevin,

Set your X and Y resolution to 800x600. Then set your X and Y Scale to 62.5 and hit APPLY. That will scale down a native 1024x768 screen to 800x600 without any changes.
Mario Cascio
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http://www.cinemaronline.com

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Re: New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby McGrinch » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:20 pm

Works like a champ!

Thanks Guys!

Now onward and upward with customizing my scenes!

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Re: New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby McGrinch » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:22 pm

Dave - What type of wall mount did you use for the iPad?

Kevin

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Re: New Home Installation - with Wyse Terminals

Postby mcascio » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:58 pm

Kevin,

Ideally, any scene development is done on a native 1024x768 or higher screen. It will may it easier and make sure you are future proofed for the iPad and other 1024x768 devices.
Mario Cascio

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