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v-control_extras

V-Control Extras

V-Control Extras is a collection of programs that are commercial tools. Without license, all of them run in Demo Mode, which means that the software is fully operational, but terminates every 30 minutes.

Getting a License

The software license is bound to a drive. If you want to use the software only on one computer, you can use the computer's hard drive. To use the software on different computers, use an inexpensive USB thumb drive to bind the license. To purchase a license, connect a USB drive to your computer (skip this if you want to use your hard drive). Then select File → Request License in the main menu.

Click the Get Drives button to get a list of all connected drives on your system. Then select the drive you want to bind the license to in the drop down box. If you want to use the software on a single computer you can select the computers hard drive ( for example in a fixed installation ). Otherwise select the USB drive. Now click the Create License Request button.

copy the text in the Key field and send us the key with the purchasing process in our shop.You can use the Order Notes field for that. Alternatively you can send us a mail with the key.

We send you a key file back. This file has to be copied in the root directory of the drive you choose for the license request.

V-Control Designer 3

V-Control Designer is the application to create user interfaces for V-Control. It integrates an Editor, a show mode that can run in full screen mode and a web server.

Without a valid license key, the software runs in Demo mode. This means that every 30 minutes the software will exit the run mode (if running) and shows a message box that you are in demo mode. How to get a license key is explained in the V-Control Extras section.

V-Control Designer uses three connections to communicate with V-Control and the Web Server. The Sender is sending commands to the V-Control instance such as Run Task. The Receiver is used to receive messages from V-Control to update the GUI with new status information. The Web is used to communicate with the Web Server. Because the communication with the Web Server is always local, there is no need (an possibility) to configure this.

If the connection is established, the label color becomes green. If a connection fails the color becomes red.

If V-Control Designer is launched, it opens a console window additionally. This is the running Web Server instance. Do not close this window if you want to use Web Pages, just minimize it.

Preferences

Edit→Preferences opens the Preferences window. To select an Autoload project click the button with the three dots.

Style Editor

In V-Control Designer, the look of the widgets is defined by styles. This is comparable to CSS classes in web development. A style contains all the information that is needed to draw the widget, except it's size, position and Z-Order.

There is only one type of style for all widgets. A Page, for example, has only one design element that can change, the Background. If a style is assigned to a page, only the Background Color is used to paint the Page, all other style elements are not used.

Buttons and Labels use much more style elements such as Text Color, Border Color etc. There is no limit to how many styles can be used. It is recommended to make a style for each category of GUI elements. For example one for menu buttons and one command buttons. Command buttons can split into other groups such as Power On/Off buttons, Input switching, Preset calling etc.

Undo / Redo

V-Control Designer has 50 levels of Undo / Redo. CTRL + Z is the Undo shortcut, CTRL + Y is the redo shortcut.

Publish Join Numbers

In a complex GUI project there might be a lot of Join Numbers used to update the GUI. V-Control Designer and V-Control will help to keep the overview. V-Control Designer can find a free Join Number automatically by pressing the J button right of a Join Number entry field. The Publish Join Numbers menu item distribute the numbers to V-Control's Join List.

Project Properties

To edit the Project Properties click the Project Properties button. This dialog is used to setup the GUI project.

V-Control IP: Enter the IP Address of the V-Control instance.

Use ALWAYS the ENTER key to apply changes, otherwise the value might not be overwritten.

Port Sender: The port that is used by V-Control for remote connections (10101 by default)

Port Receiver: The port that is used to receive commands from V-Control

Grid Size H and Grid Size V: To align the GUI elements (Widgets) it might be useful to have a grid displayed. The horizontal and vertical space between grid lines is defined here.

Snap to Grid: If checked, widgets will snap to the grid to make position adjustments easier.

Default Page:* This is a very important property. If the Designer switches to Run Mode, it needs to know which page to show by default. If nothing is selected here, it might end in an empty page in Run Mode. This is also important if you want to use the Web Server.

Autorun: If a project is selected for Autoload, checking this box will immediately switch to run mode after loading.

Fullscreen: If this box is checked, the GUI switch to Full Screen Mode if running. This does not work for Web Pages. If you use the Web Server, you have to set your browser to Kiosk mode to perform this.

License: Shows if you have a License or using Demo Mode.

Page: Select a page for editing.

Add Page: Adds a new Page to the project

Delete Page: Deletes the shown page.

Creating a new Project

To start with a new project use the File→New menu command. Before we begin, we need to prepare V-Control to work with V-Control Designer. As mentioned before, we need two communication channels, one for sending and one for receiving data.

Prepare V-Control

To let V-Control accept commands from V-Control Designer, it is necessary that the remote option for TCP communication is switched on. Select Configure→Options in V-Control's main menu and select the Remote Services tab.

Select the TCP tab and make sure the Enable TCP Remote Service box is checked. If you want to change the Port or maximum number of clients you have to do this before.

If you want to change GUI elements from a V-Control script or cuelist, a Designer Sender device is needed.

The Designer Sender Device Driver is the instance that connects to V-Control Designer Receiver. So status updates for the GUI are sent from this device.

Adding Widgets

To add a Widget, first create at least one Page by pressing the Add Page Button. Then select a widget in the widget bar and click the Add Widget button.

A selected widget has a black frame and white corners. To drag a widget click and hold the left mouse button. To resize a widget click and hold one of the corners and drag it to the desired size.

To move a group of widgets, select each widget by holding the CTRL key. Do not release the CTRL key while moving.

Pages

A Page is the basis that is needed to add widgets. Every widget belongs to a page. V-Control Designer uses a Master Page concept. It is possible to declare ONE page of the project as Master Page. A Master Page is shown on all pages.

This is useful for menus for example. Declare one page with menu buttons as Master Page. Then create a new page for each menu button. The menu buttons are shown on all pages now. Make sure that the widgets of the non Master Pages do not use space that is used by widgets on the Master Page.

To show a Page send use the Designer Sender device in V-Control and send a value of 1 to the Page Show JoinNb.

Please keep in mind that there should be one page declared as default page in the Project Properties.

Buttons

Buttons are used to run Tasks. The look of a button is defined by a Style.

Style: Select a style for the button.

Mode: There are there modes for a button.

Click is the default behavior of a button. That means if the button is pressed it fires the command and change its color to the pressed values of the style. If the buuton is released it turns back to it's default unpressed style.

Toggle leaves the button in the pressed state, even if the mouse button is released. Only a second click releases the button.

One Time also leaves the button in a pressed state. The difference to Toggle is that this button will never release unless a State Join Nb message with the value 0 is received.

State Join Nb: This is the Join that receives the state change message. Any number > 0 is valid. A value of 0 means that the Join is not used. A click on the J button will find the next free Join Number. A value of 0 will set the button to released, a value of 1 will set it to pressed.

Fire State Changed: If unchecked, the button will not fire the selected task if the button press event came from a Join, only if the button is pressed by mouse button or touch event (if a touch display is used).

Caption Join Nb: A message to this Join can change the caption of the button.

Style Join Nb: A message to this Join will change the style of the button to the one that is named in the message.

Z Order When widgets overlap, the Z Order determines which is shown at the top and which at the bottom. The higher the Z Order the more top a widget is shown.

Task The task that should be fired if the button is pressed.

Refresh List: This refreshes the drop down box with the available tasks from V-Control.

Labels

Caption Join Nb: A message to this Join can change the caption of the button.

Style Join Nb: A message to this Join will change the style of the button to the one that is named in the message.

Z Order When widgets overlap, the Z Order determines which is shown at the top and which at the bottom. The higher the Z Order the more top a widget is shown.

V-Control Remote PC

V-Control Remote PC is tiny software to control a PC programmatically. It is not comparable with VNC or Remote Desktop, and the desktop of the remote controlled PC is not exported to another PC. The software is useful if one need to control an application e.g. from a show control system. V-Control Remote PC receives commands v ia UDP or RS232 and execute these commands on the machine were it is installed.

Powerpoint Control

On Windows, V-Control Remote PC has advanced PowerPoint control capabilities. If the Computer that is running V-Control Remote PC has Powerpoint installed, then you can launch Powerpoint Presentations, control the presentation with Next / Previous commands or go to a slide by it's slide number.

V-Control Remote PC also return the number of slides, the current slide number and the speaker notes. These data can be used to create a GUI for the presenter or show control operator. Use the Target text field to enter an IP Address that should receive this information.

Launch Applications

Via LaunchApplication command it is possible to execute any shell command and start an application or script (with optional parameters). One can send key down events as well as mouse move and mouse click commands (not on Mac OS X). With the correct commands it is possible to reboot or shutdown the PC. To enable the remote control just click the Enable checkbox for the connection type you want. The Group ID is used to access indiv idual PC when using Broadcast Commands.

Note: V-Control Remote PC starts always minimized. After the first launch click the program icon in the task bar and setup the remote connection. Then click “Save Settings” and “Minimize”.

Remote Control Protocol

To control V-ControlRemotePC by a media control system such as V-Control or Medialon, a plain, easy to use ASCII protocol is implemented. The command string is composed as follows:

Group<2>Command<2>Parameter<CR>

Group: Each V-Control Remote PC instance is a member of at least one group, the group 0. A command sent to the group 0 is accepted by all V-Control Remote PC instances in the network. To make PC's individual accessible in a UDP Broadcast, you can add them to an extra group, for example Group 1. A command sent to units with the group 1 is only accepted by V-ControlRemotePC instances in that particular group. However, a command sent to group 0 is also accepted by units with a group > 0. To send a command to PC's that are members of different groups, just send a comma separated list with group IDs (for example 1,2,34,56,57). You can use an unlimited number of groups, and depending what you want to do it can be useful to give every V-Control Remote PC an individual group ID.

Command: The command that is sent to V-Control Remote PC (i.E. SendKeys)

Parameter: Some commands need a parameter to work properly

<2>: send the ASCII code 2 as separator for the command parts. Note: It is not allowed to send this as string, for example “2” or “02”. You have to send the separator as binary value. The correct function in a Basic program will be chrB(2).

<CR>: ASCII Code 13 (Return / Enter key). Send the ASCII code 13 as terminator for the command. Note: It is not allowed to send this as string, for example “13”. You have to send the separator as binary value. The correct function in a Basic program will be chrB(13).

Remote Commands

SendKeys

The command sendkeys send a keypress event to the application that has the focus. (Not available for Mac OS X)

Group<2>SendKeys<2>Modifier+Key<13>

Examples:

0<2>SendKeys<2>A<13>

Send the Key “A”

0<2>SendKeys<2>+a<13>

Send the Key SHIFT+a

0<2>SendKeys<2>^a<13>

Send the Key CTRL+a

0<2>SendKeys<2>%a<13>

Send the Key ALT+a

0<2>SendKeys<2>{F1}<13>

Send the Key F1

0<2>SendKeys<2>^{F2}<13>

Send the Key CTRL+F2

0<2>SendKeys<2>^{BACKSPACE}<13>

Send the Key CTRL+Backspace

0<2>SendKeys<2>{DELETE}<13>

Send the Key DELETE

Other allowed parameter values: BREAK;CAPSLOCK;DELETE;DOWN;END;ENTER;ESC;HELP;HOME;INSERT;LEFT;NUMLOCK;PGDN;PGUP;PRTSC;RIGHT;SCROLLLOCK;TAB;UP

LaunchApp

Group<2>LaunchApp<2>PathToFile<13>

Example:

0<2>LaunchApp<2>C:\programmfiles\msoffice\word.exe<13>

KillApp

(Not available for Mac OS X)

Group<2>KillApp<2>appname<13>

Example:

0<2>KillApp<2>word.exe<13>

MouseMove

(Not available for Mac OS X)

Group<2>mousemove<2>x y<13>

Example:

0<2>mousemove<2>100 345<13><code>
moves the mouse to position 100,345

=== MouseClick ===
(Not available for Mac OS X)
<code>Group<2>mouseclick<2>mousekey<13>

Example:

0<2>mouseclick<2>left<13> 0<2>mouseclick<2>right<13>

IsAlive

Use this command to check if the computer is available

Group<2>IsAlive<2><13>

Example:

0<2>IsAlive<2><13>

returns “living” if computer is powered on and network available

PowerPoint Commands

PowerPoint commands are available only on Windows with a valid PowerPoint installation.

pptnext

Call the next PowerPoint slide of the running presentation.

Group<2>pptnext<2><13>

pptprev

Call the previous PowerPoint slide of the running presentation.

Group<2>pptprev<2><13>

pptgoto

Jump to a slide defined by Slidenumber.

Group<2>pptgoto<2>Slidenumber<13>

Example:

Group<2>pptgoto<2>4<13>

Jumps to Slide number 4

pptblack

Set the Presentation to black

Group<2>pptblack<2><13>

pptrun

Unmutes a black presentation

Group<2>pptrun<2>Slidenumber<13>

pptload

Loads a presentation. The complete file path is needed as parameter.

Group<2>pptload<2>PathToPresentation<13>

Example:

Group<2>pptload<2>D:\Data\Presentation1.pptx<13>

pptstart

Starts a loaded presentation. As parameter the filename (without path) is needed.

Group<2>pptstart<2>PresentationFileName<13>

Example:

Group<2>pptstart<2>Presentation1.pptx<13>

PowerPoint Return Values

If a new presentation starts or a slide changes, then V-Control Remote PC send information about the presentation status to the address that is defined in the Target textfield.

pptstart

If a Presentation starts. As in the commands before, the values in the <> has to be send as binary value.

0<2>pptstart<2>PresentationFullPath<4>

Example:

0<2>pptstart<2>d:\Data\MyPresentation1.pptx<4>

pptstop

if a presentation is finished or stopped.

0<2>pptstop<2>PresentationFullPath<4>

Example:

0<2>pptstop<2>d:\Data\MyPresentation1.pptx<4>

pptslidechange

If a new slide is shown

0<2>pptslidechange<2>CurrenSlideNum of NumberOfTotalSlides<5>SpeakerNotes<4>

Example:

0<2>pptslidechange<2>2 of 10<5>Here are the notes of the current shown slide<4>

KeyToUDP

KeyToUDP does principle what it's name suggest. It catches key presses from a keyboard and send the captured keys via UDP. KeyToUDP can use three different protocols to do that. Send Keys, V-Control Remote PC and Art-Net.

As all the other Extra tools, you need a license to use it permanently (see Getting a License). Without a license the program terminates every 30 minutes and has to be restarted.

Interface Setup

Select the Network Interface which should be used to send the data. The UDP Addres is the address where the data is sent to, the UDP Port determines the port. Router Hops determines the number of routers the data can pass.

If Send Mouse Button and / or Send Mouse XY is selected then also mouse movements and button clicks are send.

Note: This does not work with Art-Net. Only the left Mouse Button is detected.

Note: After any change press the Connect button to make the changes active.

Send Keys Protocol

If Send Keys is selected, KeyToUDP send simple ASCII strings. The string contain the Key Name. So if F1 is pressed for example, KeyToUDP sned F1, if A is pressed it sends A.

You can see the Keyname that is sent in the Keycode label. In the Example above the ENTER key was pressed. It has the keycode 36. The string that is sent via UDP is ENTER.

If the left mouse button was pressed and the Send Mouse Button box is checked, then KeyToUDP send MouseDown, and if it is released it will send MouseUp.

If the Mouse is moved and the Send Mouse XY box is checked it send MouseX:XPosition Y:YPosition

V-Control Remote PC Protocol

If this protocol is selected you can use it to send key presses and mouse data to V-Control Remote PC. The protocol is a little more complex, but also very easy.

For a Key-press event, KeyToUDP send

0<2>SendKeys<2>KeyName<13>

Note: values in <> are binary values. <13> is the code for the ENTER key for example. So KeyToUDP does not send a 1 and a 3, it sends a byte containing 13 as value.

For a mouse button click the string is as follows:

0<2>mouseclick<2>Left<13>

If the mouse was moved:

0<2>mousemove<2>MouseX MouseY<13>

Art-Net

KeyToUDP can also use Art-Net as protocol. In this mode, no mouse data is sent.

Universe: select the universe that is used for the data.

DMX Channel ALL: If All is selected, then KeyToUDP sets the DMX Channel, which number is the same as the Key-Code, to High (255).

The key-code of a pressed key is shown in the Keykode label.

In the example above the W key was pressed, which has the key-code 13. In this case the DMX Channel 13 is set to High (255).

Single DMX Channel: If one of the 512 available channels is selected, then only this single DMX channel will change. The value of the Channel will be the value of the key-code.

Hold Time (16ms Steps): If set to 0, then the channel is set to High as long as the key is pressed. If a value > 0 is entered here, the channel will hold the value as determined here. a value of one means 16 Milli seconds, a value of 10 means 160 Milli seconds.

Note: KeyToUDP will not recognize any further key press events during the hold time.

v-control_extras.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/24 09:09 by admin