Friday, October 22, 2010

Success vs Technology!

Well, thanks to a phone call this afternoon from Marcus Ammann, and some plain old fashion pressing buttons until something happened I now have Decoder Pro talking t the Power Cab, reading decoders from trains on my test track, and iPhone WiThrottle control.

It appears that I'd done everything correctly, except pick the right option for the Serial Port in the Settings section when you go into Preferences and then Connections in Decoder Pro. There was a choice of six, and the option it ended up being was "/dev/cu.SLAB_USBtoUART", who would have guessed? So for anyone using a Mac, try that one first if it is there.

So with that set Decoder Pro happily connected to the Power Cab, read the decoder on my Austrains 3531, and basically did what it should.

The next step was getting my iPhone to see the Mac using WiThrottle. Not much luck initially. I looked into the phone settings, it all looked ok, I mean my phone switches from 3G to my home wireless network once I get within about 50-100 metres or so of the house, and it was showing a full strength signal so that wasn't the problem.

Marcus and I had looked at the popup that Decoder Pro puts up when you launch WiThrottle and the I.P. like address it shows, but had not needed to use this at his place the other week so didn't look into it any further. After eating tea however I got it all up again and launched WiThrottle on the iPhone, and this time entered the numbers using the Set Server Manually option, and after putting in the into the appropriate four spots and then 49158 into the Port spot, what do you know, connection, and train control!

I wandered out from the spare room into the lounge room to demonstrate how I could blow the whistle on 3531 whilst equipped only with the iPhone. I was well impressed, but my wife gave me "that" look followed by "gee, isn't that great" in a not quite as impressed as I was voice. Having said that the new laptop was an unexpected surprise from her, bought because I'd been talking about down the track setting up Decoder Pro and the wireless iPhone control, so whilst she doesn't share the same excitement for it that I do, she is quite happy to let me have my toys.

I had a bit of a fiddle and then switched it all off, and then a little bit later launched Decoder Pro again to check on something. Upon picking up the iPhone and launching WiThrottle I didn't need to manually put in the address this time, it saw the laptop and connected straight up. It will be interesting to see if it automatically connects from now on. Oddly enough the I.P address Decoder Pro was generating was now and 49162 instead of 49158 the previous time. So it appears to generate another five digit code each time it is launched, but maybe once a connection has been made the iPhone connects anyway? I'm sure over the next few days I'll see a pattern, but either way I now know how to make it work.

All in all apart from figuring out that I needed to use the
"/dev/cu.SLAB_USBtoUART" in the settings and manually enter the I.P. address into WiThrottle on the iPhone it was a fairly straight forward job to get it all going thanks to Marcus's very clear instructions here .....

Hopefully there will be some info in this post to help others.

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