App Note:
Checking Your Projector's Health
Processing incoming data using a V16 Pro
One of the exciting new features of the V16 Pro and WinScript Live is the ability to read incoming messages and use that information in your script. You can do math, make logical decisions, send alerts and do all sorts of other things with the incoming message. When combined with one of our ShowTouch panels you can create a powerful maintenance diagnostic tool.
Applications Engineer
Show Control V16 Pro

WinScript Live

Modern video projectors use Ethernet to provide lots of diagnostic information. This app note shows you how to collect projector lamp status and display it. We’ll use a V16 Pro show controller programmed using WinScript Live, and a ShowTouch screen. (If you don’t need a touch screen in your installation, you could use our free Touch program on your PC instead of the ShowTouch.)

The Magic of Product Files

You’ll be amazed how easy it is to accomplish this application, because the projector’s Product File does nearly all the work. It contains a description of the projector’s command set, and associates those commands with variables in the V16 Pro. The Product File collects the data from the projector, formats it, and puts it in variables ready for you to use in your script.

The projector used for this app note is a Panasonic. While manufacturers’ protocols vary, these techniques work for pretty much any projector. And if your model doesn’t yet have a Product File, you can create your own, or we’ll be happy to write one for you.

In this example, the V16 Pro sends a “GetLampHours” message to the projector. (We could also send “GetMuteStatus” or “GetPowerStatus.”) The projector responds with the hours for each lamp. Through the magic of the Product File, the response appears in the variables Projector1.Lamp1Hours and Projector1.Lamp2Hours.

Hooking Up

Download and install your free copy of WinScript Live, Touch and this example from:

Connect the V16 Pro’s Ethernet port A, your PC, a projector, and (if desired) a ShowTouch to a network switch or router. (See the respective manuals for setup procedures.) We used these Ethernet addresses:

V16 Pro (factory default)
ShowTouch (we used port closest to the power input)

Launch WinScript Live, open the sample script and download it to the V16 Pro.

Launch the Touch software on your PC and open the .tca file.  It will be extracted to a directory you select. If you’re using a ShowTouch panel, select "File->Save To Remote Server...", enter the IP address of the ShowTouch and the login information, then click "Send". If you’re not using a ShowTouch panel, the Touch software will emulate it.

How It Works

Open the devices tab of WinScript Live and you’ll see:

That second line is what’s doing most of the work, and it all happens automatically. We simply added a device that we named “Projector1”, assigned to it the Panasonic projector Product File, and told Winscript it’s attached to the Ethernet A connector. This automatically created a set of variables associated with that projector. We can use these variables in our script in any way we like.

Getting data into these variables is as easy as saying, “Hey! Projector 1, how old are your lamps?” In a script, that command looks like this:

In this example we’re sending the maintenance staff an email message if the lamp is older than 2000 hours.

Adding a ShowTouch

Connecting a ShowTouch panel (or a PC running Touch) to the V16 automatically makes all the script variables available to the panel. So when you create a new text field on the panel, you can assign it to the Projector1.Lamp1Hours variable, and anytime that screen is displayed it will show you the last lamp hour value fetched by your script’s GetLampHours command. Of course, you could also add script logic to display different colored icons or messages.

As you can see, it’s quite easy to use the new message handling capabilities of the V16 Pro and ShowTouch. If you need a Product File not already included with WinScript Live, or would like to discuss your application, please contact us.

The Alcorn McBride Team

3300 S. Hiawassee Rd.
Bldg. 105
Orlando, FL 32835

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