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Thread: Wizards or Walkthroughs?

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate Grrrmachine's Avatar
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    Wizards or Walkthroughs?

    Just downloaded the UberMDX package and it blew me away! Big chunky buttons, clear screen layout, easy button labels.... simple, I thought.

    Only once I start clicking buttons, I seem way over my head in a matter of seconds. Of course, its not easy when the Help buttons don't work (is that just my install?) but really, if you're not a programmer it's not easy to get a feel for the software. Im sure it's intuitive (the layout is great) for those who know what they want to do, but if you have no idea what Boolean Logic is to start with, then not knowing whether you need a NAND or a NOR gate on the page is useless, funky drag-and-drop interface or not. What IS a function? How do I use it? What will the results be? What's a Monitor Type Error?

    What this means is that adding functions have left me out of my depth. I have no Fusion Brain to start with, so I know Im limited in what I can make the software do, but maybe something like a demo session, or walkthrough to dumb it down for us regular guys would help.

    Or am I being even more stupid, and there is one already that I haven't seen?

  2. #2
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Just ask all questions here and I will answer.

    I am actually working on help right now. If I put the buttons in I am more likely to actually get it working. About 5% has help currently. It takes a long time between updates, new features, tutorials, and then the help all from me. If someone knows how to do something, that I havent outlined somewhere, then make a tutorial on it. I am not the only one that can post in the Documentation section, but I am the only one that has to. Version 2 had no help buttons at all as was in my mind more clear but a PITA to use... And it crashed a bit, but that is a different story!

    This new version will catch almost all errors. Usually the description part of the error is what you need to look at. Monitor Type Error has to do with the type of object you are trying to monitor is not valid. The types are usually Digital Output, Analogue Input, and Variable. There are others at some parts, but Monitor Type is like category. You probably didnt type it in all the way, or didnt input one. After selecting Monitor Type, then you can select the Monitor ID, which is the actual object to monitor which must be of the same type as in the Monitor Type part.

    As for boolean interfaces, if you right click the node, then hit about a little tooltip should popup explaining it. I will make a quick thread about this later this week as well.

    The interface for placing them isnt too funky once you get it down. It is a little odd at first maybe. Basically select the module you want by left clicking on the symbol in the toolbar. Then move it where you want. Left click and it gets placed. If you want to move it around after placing it, then left click it (no holding down) and move the mouse and place it somewhere else. If you want to connect 2 together, right click a node (node is the black circle things on a module) then left click another node and voila connected. That's it. Let me know if that doesnt help.

    Also functions and "if/then logic" are different. Functions can be called from if/then blocks, but are sort of like macros. Something that is generically based and can be called over and over without overlaying the same modules over and over. Functions are external xml files that any skin can use and are seperate from the main XML file FusionConfiguration.xml. But an if/then statement is built into the main XML file and cannot be shared outside the skin file because it relies on specifics in that file only.

    So for example, a function would be a voltage to temperature function for our temp sensor which is there. Now to use it, you make an if/then block that calls that temperature function. And you can call it for each of your temp sensors and use only 1 external function instead of copy/pasting the insides of that function inside the if/then many many times. Make sense?

    Also to experiment with the software without a fusion brain, just put in some filler in the Add a Brain form where it asks for the ID. As long as it isnt blank, it will be accepted. But make sure to change it once you get the Brain or nothing will work!
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  3. #3
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Also your thread title got me inspired. A wizard eh...?

    Well I think I can put something together for that. Man now I have more programming ontop of all of this!
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate Grrrmachine's Avatar
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    Yes, of course, I dont want to overload you with questions because that's tantamount to spoonfeeding, and I don't want to add to your programming demands because it's already an excellent product and you don't need to waste time pandering to the idiots

    I think what I'll try and do over the next few days is teach myself how to use it, and write some self-documentation in really simple English in basic steps. Then all you'd have to do is copy it from the document and put it into a series of forms or whatever for a wizard. THat way the Fusion Brain can have a bigger target market - 10 Simple Steps to Home Lighting Control, or Automated HVAC In 5 Clicks - no need to teach yourself logic and functions, just fill in the simple boxes with numbers and off you go.

    Also, your idea of creating a "ghost" brain to play with might be a nice permanent feature. Creating virtual brains and inputs to see how the brain (or the logic, or the skin, or the logs, or the graphs, or whatever) will respond whilst the brain is disconnected or installed elsewhere.

  5. #5
    It ain't easy being a green moderator meddler's Avatar
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    If you do write something, can you send it to me. I believe there is someone that is writing the FB manual and that would make his life a whole lot easier
    Never let the truth get in the way of a good story

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate Grrrmachine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    Functions and "if/then logic" are different. Functions can be called from if/then blocks, but are sort of like macros. Something that is generically based and can be called over and over without overlaying the same modules over and over. Functions are external xml files that any skin can use and are seperate from the main XML file FusionConfiguration.xml. But an if/then statement is built into the main XML file and cannot be shared outside the skin file because it relies on specifics in that file only.

    So for example, a function would be a voltage to temperature function for our temp sensor which is there. Now to use it, you make an if/then block that calls that temperature function. And you can call it for each of your temp sensors and use only 1 external function instead of copy/pasting the insides of that function inside the if/then many many times. Make sense?
    Now I've played with the software a bit, yes, that makes a bit of sense. Im not familiar with the nomenclature (I didn't get what you meant by "calling" to start with, because Im not a programmer.) What I don't get is how you make functions or blocks. What are they supposed to look like, how do they work? There aren't any tutorials that show you.

    I've played around and found all the wonderful images and pre-made functions, but it just looks insane to me. I dont see how a temp sensor means "yellow arrow and 25 linked to X links to green arrow." The whole idea of input and output of data is lost under all these mathematical functions.

    Im writing down everything as I work out, but this is the first big stumbling block.

  7. #7
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grrrmachine View Post
    Now I've played with the software a bit, yes, that makes a bit of sense. Im not familiar with the nomenclature (I didn't get what you meant by "calling" to start with, because Im not a programmer.) What I don't get is how you make functions or blocks. What are they supposed to look like, how do they work? There aren't any tutorials that show you.

    I've played around and found all the wonderful images and pre-made functions, but it just looks insane to me. I dont see how a temp sensor means "yellow arrow and 25 linked to X links to green arrow." The whole idea of input and output of data is lost under all these mathematical functions.

    Im writing down everything as I work out, but this is the first big stumbling block.
    From: http://www.fusioncontrolcentre.com/F...config_001.php
    Get to the logic mode to create if/then blocks (Section 5, Icon on the right):


    To make functions (Section 11):



    Functions and blocks are whatever you want them to be. The program when it communicates the Fusion Brain reads voltages from the analogue inputs. If you have a temperature sensor hooked up, it will NOT read some value in degrees. It will read voltage as always. Now this voltage is proportional to temperature. So the temperature function takes (((voltage - 0.4) * 1000) / 19.53) = temperature

    So the voltage is the input (yellow arrow). Then the subtract with the input and the number 0.4. So (voltage - 0.4). Then the multiplication is with that number it just found of (voltage - 0.4) and the number 1000. So ((voltage - 0.4) * 1000). And you see how it builds that way. Then the output is the other arrow and that is what is returned.

    So when I call that function from an if/then block, I pass in a voltage value from some analogue input, and it returns the equivalent temperature.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate Grrrmachine's Avatar
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    Ahaaaaa, that's what it means. So taking the temp sensor example you've provided:
    If voltage is 0, then you follow the equation and get a temperature reading of -20.5 degrees. If the voltage is five, then the displayed output is 235 degrees (heaven help us if it gets that hot anywhere in the car!) Or rather than degrees, just a number output (between -20.5 and 235) that you can send to the gauge software or multi-image section. And looking at the multi-images provided, those ranges for the temp guages are inputs from 70 to 80, so the input voltages must be between 1.75V to 2.0V. Am I right?

    I think doing this theoretically (with no brain purchased) is going to be a very lengthy process - especially if I have to learn the maths. As sensors are built and developed, the conversion mathematics will have to be figured out at the time, which is where the complexity lies.

    I'll order one ASAP and get to grips with it physically then Thanks for your patience Nick.

  9. #9
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grrrmachine View Post
    Ahaaaaa, that's what it means. So taking the temp sensor example you've provided:
    If voltage is 0, then you follow the equation and get a temperature reading of -20.5 degrees. If the voltage is five, then the displayed output is 235 degrees (heaven help us if it gets that hot anywhere in the car!)
    Exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grrrmachine View Post
    I think doing this theoretically (with no brain purchased) is going to be a very lengthy process - especially if I have to learn the maths. As sensors are built and developed, the conversion mathematics will have to be figured out at the time, which is where the complexity lies.
    Well with the virtual brain, you get a fully functional Fusion Brain all in software. So you can mess with it that way. Also we provide all the functions for every sensor we sell. Only time you need to make a function is if you are using a custom sensor, or if you have a macro to make.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grrrmachine View Post
    I'll order one ASAP and get to grips with it physically then Thanks for your patience Nick.
    No problem. That's why we are here.
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Woofnstuff's Avatar
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    I had/have the same problem tho that post above helped a bit.

    could you put a few more examples up.
    eg nubs guide to say..

    making a digital and or analogue trigger run an app in windows or something.


    ohh is it just me or are the lines hard to draw/connect between modules when making a custom function?
    edit:
    ahh right click on the output of a module then left click on the input of the destination.

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