Author Archives: adventcontrols

IoT Product Development

We have a number of web-enabled product that we have developed ourselves or for third party companies. We have quite a wide range of code that we can re-use in development of your products in order to rapidly assist you on getting your products connected. This can significantly reduce the cost and lead time on product development.

How it works

Our IoT PCBs connect to our servers permanently. We use a proper IoT SIM which can use any network and is expected to maintain a data connection. They don’t send SMS messages or make calls however. Our servers have to do this so we use an Amazon Web Services Cloud server for reliability. If the PCB can’t connect it will retry every 2-4 minutes. Standard SIMs are not reliable.

The PCBs upload a data string with input data either on a timer or when prompted by something external. We have standard strings with voltages, signal strength, output settings etc… We also have some customised strings that the server recognises for various products. Some of these products are ours and some are for other companies we have developed products for.

The PCB server puts these strings in a file in a folder on the web-server so they can be accessed by a browser. They are normally stored as a php file so you have to be logged in to open them or a txt file if it doesn’t matter.

The web-pages will have a JavaScript section that reads these files and fills in the data on the page.

https://tobrowser.com/ademo

The above unit sends a string that the server knows to store as pmData.php in the individual unit’s own folder. The web-page keeps reading this page every second and updates the dials and charts with new data. There is a time stamp on this data so it knows if the data stops coming.

Turning to the PCB, we have common firmware across our products. 7.01 is the current GSM only firmware 7.05 is the combined WiFi and GSM firmware. We have an area in the code just for each product’s specific needs. We have firmware for I2C pressure, humidity and temperature sensors. We have SPI RAM storage and SPI sensors. We can read-in UART, RS-232 and RS485 data.

All of the sensor or UART/RS232 data can be sent directly to the web-page files as described above or stored in a log file. Additionally, we can read that data on the chip and look for specific words and raise events.

An event is used to trigger an email or SMS (or even call). For example, if an input voltage goes over a certain voltage it can create an event thus triggering a message. Similarly, if a certain string of characters are read in through the UART input then this can trigger an event to send a message.

We can also send data in reverse from a web-page. For example, you can change something on a Raspberry Pi through the UART command line interface via a remote web-page.

Our chips can be flashed remotely.

Current firmware versions 02/09/2019

The current security product firmware version by product are as follows:

C5S v7.01R29

Honeywell ADE v7.01R28

If you don’t want your device to use data you should make sure it’s up to date and then send:

web disable

If you want emails to work, you should send:

web enable

If your unit is out of date please get in touch with the number and network for an update.

Firmware Releases

This blog post is a change log for each firmware release

Current Firmware Releases

Beacon: v7.01 R20

C5: v7.01 R23

ADE Dialler: v7.01 R23

FDD Dialler: v7.01 R23

D47: v7.01 R23

AQM/AQP: v7.01 R20

Server adctrl.uk: 1.12-10

Server tobr.uk: 1.12-10

 

Release 23: Firmware updates without disconnecting from server. The restore stage happens after flashing during the same session.

Release 22: Added option to turn off data (web enable/disable)

iPhone bug fix for v7 firmware

Some models of iPhones appear to have a bug which sends all messages in the mode intended for smileys even when they should be sent as plain text. The iPhones we tried worked correctly and switched between both modes but evidently not all do this. Our latest firmware compensates for this as much as possible and allows compatibility with these defective phones. Please see the video for further information.

Advent Controls email not working

We have offered free emails from our systems since 2016. These have worked fine being sent from just a couple of our email addresses.  However lately, our email addresses have been blocked by our web host as they are being marked as spam by the email recipients. This means our emails system has stopped working.

There is unfortunately only one solution; individual email addresses owned and paid for by the user. If the email recipients mark these emails as spam in Hotmail or Gmail… then only this email address will be blocked and not everyone who uses our server.

If you have a contract SIM from us we will buy and pay for your own email address (tobrowser.com emails). If you are using the free server (adctrl.uk emails) we will have to buy an email address for your which will be charged to you at £10pa.

Please remove recipients of these emails from your device if they no longer wish to receive emails and please ask them not to just report the email as spam as this has consequences for everyone using our server. Once an email address is blocked due to it’s emails being marked as spam, it cannot be unblocked by us. The device can no longer send emails.

Server Updates

We have 3 servers running currently. We have two free servers on adctrl_uk and the paid server tobr_uk which is used by contract systems.

The tobr server was always ahead in terms of development. We’ve merged both IoT servers into one today which means for a few hours there was some outage.  The server which supported the Windows software remains as it was.