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The Communications Manager

The Communications Manager is one of the two primary windows that open when you start the Configurator. It handles all application communications tasks, including both USB and Network connections. The Communications Manager also provides a graphic representation of a connected node’s position in the node tree, plus simplified node to node navigation.

USB Connection to the MASTER

The Configurator automatically scans USB ports upon startup in search of a connected MASTER node. If it finds no active USB ports, it will come up in a Disconnected state. If it finds one active port, it will attempt the connection protocol. If it finds multiple active ports, the Configurator will wait for you to manually initiate connection by selecting a port from the COM Port list then clicking Connect.

If you connect your MASTER to a USB port after the Configurator app has started, click Scan for Active Ports to scan for the node. As with the automatic USB scan, if it finds just one active port it will attempt to connect to it, otherwise it will list the active ports and wait for manual connection.

Sometimes the connection protocol does not complete correctly because of USB sync issues. When this occurs, the Connected Device will be identified as LCN 00 or Unknown Device. To clear the problem, just click Connect to restart the USB connection protocol.

Use the USB Connect button any time you want to reconnect with the MASTER and/or force a data refresh from the MASTER. Reconnecting always causes the MASTER to reboot and reload its data from EEPROM.

Communications Manager Interface

When you connect to your MASTER, the Communications Manager will look like this initially:

In this mode, the Communications Manager has successfully synchronized with the MASTER. The node tree shows the current state of children of this node — the node list is currently empty,.

At this point the Communications Manager has successfully connected to the MASTER via USB, but doesn’t know about the network yet. If you have previously saved your network data, click Load Node Data now to load load the data file.

The Communications Manager with Net data loaded. The node tree shows which child nodes are enabled and whether they are currently online. RED means the node is enabled but is not currently online. Online child nodes are rendered in GREEN. Disabled nodes are shown in PURPLE.

After the file is loaded, the Configurator will determine whether enabled child nodes are online and update the node tree accordingly. As shown in the above example, child nodes will be shown in one of three states: online, offline, or disabled.

Scanning the Network

Click Scan LCOS Network any time you want to update the active nodes list or find a new unconfigured Client Node on the default configuration channel 75.

The system will be unresponsive during the network scan. However, you will see messages in the main message window as the scan progresses.

The Child Node Buttons

The child nodes on the node tree are buttons, whose action depends on the current state of the child node:

  • If the child node is online (GREEN), clicking the node button will immediately navigate to that node and initiate a data load. The easiest way to navigate between online nodes is to use the node buttons on the node tree.
  • If the child node is offline (RED), clicking the node button will disable the node.
  • If the child node is disabled (PURPLE), clicking the node button will enable the node; if the node is also online, its state will be further updated to online.

Traversing the Network via the Node Tree

As you traverse the online nodes of your network, the node tree will be updated to reflect the location of the current node on the network. Once you navigate away from the MASTER, the node tree will be updated to include a button for the immediate parent of the current node.

Use the Parent Node button to navigate back up the node tree.

Use the parent node button to navigate back up the node tree.

In addition to the node buttons, you can randomly connect to any online node by selecting it from the Active Node List and clicking Connect.

You can immediately return to the MASTER at any time by clicking the USB Connect button.

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