Is bricking a NAC/SHAC possible?

Discussion in 'C-Bus Automation Controllers' started by tassiebean, May 10, 2019.

  1. tassiebean

    tassiebean

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    I've just received my 5500SHAC and diving into the steep learning curve. I haven't done a tear-down on the unit (and don't really intend to) but I notice that the manual talks about the internal micro SD Card, and also that you can FTP into it (but warns that you can accidentally delete system files, etc).

    So, my question is - if you get too adventurous on your lua scripting (or perhaps through some other mechanism e.g. unwise FTP activity), can you mess up the system to the point that a factory reset via the menu system is not possible?

    I've done a lot of work with Raspberry PI's, and they hold everything on a single SD card. As a developer, once you get a stable install, you just save an image of the SD card, knowing that should you irreversibly mess up the operating system files, you can simply write another SD card from your saved image, and away you go again.

    It would be comforting to know that a NAC/SHAC could work the same way, and that a working image was available to download. Alternatively maybe the architecture of the NAC/SHAC has the bootup parts of the system (and factory reset code) in non-writable/erasable memory. Does anyone know?

    Thanks,
     
    tassiebean, May 10, 2019
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  2. tassiebean

    MikeZ

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    Hi Tassiebean, here we are a year later and I too have just purchased a 5500SHAC to install into my C-bus network. Hopefully I will finally be able to control my system via smartphones and tablets but the more I look into the more I realise, as with other c-bus products ther will be steep learning curve to get things right.

    How has your experience been with it so far? Did you find an answer to your question and do you have any tips for setup etc?

    cheers
     
    MikeZ, May 6, 2020
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  3. tassiebean

    tassiebean

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    Hi MikeZ.

    I have to say this is the most wonderful system, but a steep learning curve. It helps a ton if you're a pretty experienced software programmer. And, I haven't bricked my system! I haven't really got any tips, since there is so much to impart. I've got the system directly controlling my C-Bus, my Philips Hue Lights, TP-Link wifi-controlled outlet plugs, and integrated to wifi-controlled garage door openers, remote temperature sensors (and home air-con), and even logging my power usage data to a server I run in the cloud. As I say, too much to teach, but there's a ton of help on lua on the net and my Tip of the Day is to learn Inkscape for doing great svg graphics to support your designs.

    I'm actually thinking of setting up a business to program these things since the result can be so good. I also developed a really neat iPad wall mounting product that has completely invisible mounting. The same visual display can be bought up on any phone or tablet in the house (actually every display can have the same display, or a unique one), and I even have it working remotely over 4G with full security. This replaced an older Clipsal CT2 display, which looked a little sad by comparison! I attach some photos to motivate you! As you might have guessed, I've spent many hundreds of hours on this system.

    Cheers, Phil
     

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    tassiebean, May 6, 2020
    #3
    philthedill, allanf, jboer and 2 others like this.
  4. tassiebean

    MikeZ

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    All I can say is wow, those pictures of the screens you have done are very nice indeed as well as the work you have put into your entire system, very impressive.

    My system up to this point has been very basic with not a whole lot of “automation” per se going on at all, it’s just been a very fancy and expensive bunch of light switches, as some relatives like to call it.

    Being an Electrician, I installed the system myself not long after I built the house in 2002. I did the basic c-bus course for getting it up and etc. in Brisbane. I had installed some c-bus gear on commercial jobs and I had to have it haha.

    Unfortunately I do not program software at all, I’m more of a hardware kind of guy and make things play nice with each other if possible via more mechanical means. Sure I can get a system to “work” by using a particular systems control program etc. but it’s not what I would call programming.

    I have had limited experience using and installing lua scripts on particular hardware but not actually programming/writing them.

    I know that I could get someone to do the graphical side of things and whatnot as I’ve seen people advertise the service. I have also seen an app that someone has written etc. and I’m sure these people have spent countless hours developing their ideas and product and even though they would no doubt save me a lot of time and most likely frustration, I really do not have the funds to pay someone for the products they have developed.

    I will just get the 5500shac working and talking to my c-bus network first, in a basic manner, using what I assume is the onboard configuration software if that’s the right idea, don’t know until I get it installed and see what’s what.

    Cheers for the quick response.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
    MikeZ, May 6, 2020
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  5. tassiebean

    tassiebean

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    My advice is start very simple. There are instructional PDF files from Clipsal that give an OK introduction to the SHAC. Connect it up and have a play. Hopefully you can use Toolkit as I presume you used this to program your system. If you haven't realised, the SHAC can replace whatever means you previously used to access your Cbus system (i.e. can be used from Toolkit for that purpose). Then export your setup from Toolkit and import into the SHAC. Then you create a level and a plan, and then start placing text and objects (being your lights, for starters). I've attached a simple screen the likes of which you should be able to get up and running with reasonably soon. Good luck. Feel free to ask me simple stuff that stumps you. PM me if you wish.
     

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    tassiebean, May 6, 2020
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  6. tassiebean

    MikeZ

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    Thanks for that Tassiebean, that clears a few things up for me already.

    Yes, I have been using Toolkit for basic programming over the years and have a working knowledge of it so to speak. I tend to learn only what I need to make what I need to happen actually happen, bit of a character flaw maybe. I hammer away at something until I get what I need out of it and reach a certain level of knowledge and then move on.

    I initially accessed my system with a PCI and found that got old real quick so I installed a CNI which made any changes super easy to do from anywhere in the house either from the lan or over wifi.

    So I guess from what I read that I do not need the CNI anymore?

    My system thus far consists of:
    2 x 8 channel 1amp dimmers
    1 x 4 channel 2amp dimmer
    2 x 12 channel relay modules
    1 x CNI
    3 x 8 gang neo’s
    A couple of occupancy sensors and numerous other 1, 2 and 4 gang standard key input units
    1 x Minder (ancient) that I use for integrating my security system and roller doors with c-bus etc.

    There wasn’t a whole lot available when I installed my system near on 16 years ago so I had to make do.

    I installed whole of house lightning/surge protection in the main switchboard when the house was built and then filters on the lighting circuits, main A/V gpo circuit and the office gpo circuit as I didn’t want to have to replace any modules or electronic equipment and I must say, I have not had any failures of any equipment or c-bus modules at all.

    I may just take you up on your offer of help and if need be I will pm you, might be able to work something out.

    Thanks again.
     
    MikeZ, May 7, 2020
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  7. tassiebean

    tassiebean

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    Yes, the SHAC does the CNI function, so older one no longer needed, but you could keep as a spare. It needs to connect to your LAN via the wired ethernet connection, but then of course, you can connect to it via the wifi on your home network.
     
    tassiebean, May 7, 2020
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  8. tassiebean

    MikeZ

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    Ok, too easy, I can put it in the place previously occupied by the CNI then. Not really a massive fan of wifi, still prefer cable connections, especially where equipment really isn’t mobile. I find it more reliable but for mobile devices wifi is ideal.

    cheers
     
    MikeZ, May 7, 2020
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  9. tassiebean

    allanf

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    @tassiebean great work and those visuals are fantastic.
    Are these import/export able? you planning to share?
     
    allanf, May 8, 2020
    #9
  10. tassiebean

    tassiebean

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    Hi,

    Too much to share and some is my secret sauce, but here is the code to make a nicer slider. You cut and paste this into your Custom CSS screen (you'll find this on the "Vis. graphics" tab), and then type slider-green into the Additional classes: text box for all sliders you want to look like this.

    How it looks will depend on whether you have dark theme enabled or not (top one here is the dark theme, and the bottom one is the standard non-dark theme). If you want all sliders in your project to look like this, then you can simply delete the text ".slider-green " in all four places in the code below, and then you won't have to bother entering anything into the Additional classes: text box (as all will display like this).

    Slider-green.png

    Code is as follows:

    /* CSS code to make a nice green slider */

    .slider-green .slider {
    overflow: hidden;
    padding: 19px 0;
    }

    .slider-green .slider .progress {
    height: 15px;
    margin: 0px;
    margin-top: -5px !important;
    border: none;
    border-radius: 0;
    box-shadow: none;
    background-image: linear-gradient(#999, #666); /* Colour after the slider */
    }

    .slider-green .slider .touch .slider-handle {
    margin-top: 3px;
    }

    .slider-green .slider .slider-handle:before {
    background-image: linear-gradient(#2bed2b, #129812); /* Colour before the slider */
    padding: -8px 0px;
    content: ' ';
    height: 15px;
    left: -302px;
    pointer-events: none;
    position: absolute;
    top: 10px;
    width: 301px;
    }

    Cheers,

    TB
     
    tassiebean, May 9, 2020
    #10
  11. tassiebean

    allanf

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    Thanks @tassiebean, I will be trying things in the next couple of weeks. Will reach out for help and ideas.
     
    allanf, May 12, 2020
    #11
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