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Warning Messages, and Auto start GPS

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  • Warning Messages, and Auto start GPS

    Hi there,

    I am looking into Centrafuse and RideRunner for CarPC FrontEnds, Initally i was going to test on my laptop which will eventually go into my car. Anyways i will briefly explain what i am trying to achieve.

    I vollenteer at my local fire brigade, and respond to calls directly in my car with my gear. I have a system set up that tells me the pager messages i would receive on my pager, that is my emergency calls for my specific fire brigade, not others.

    What i want to do, is be able to display a message as part of the CarPC FrontEnd system, so when the pager goes off, the message would be shown on the screen. In addition i would like to pass the address within the message to the GPS system (either address, or i could geocode lat / long) so that when i get in the car to respond to a call, the GPS has the address and i just drive and get directions .

    I am not asking someone to do it for me, just after rough ideas of how it could be incorperated into either centrifuse or RideRunner. I know some of them allow plugins, but i was unsure if the plugins can actually run all the time. Which is what they would have to do, basically monitor the pager system or my server for the alert message, and display it and automatically enter it into the GPS system and start running GPS without requiring any confirmation.

    Thanks for any comments or assistance.

  • #2
    You have to solve a couple of problems here:

    1. How does this pager system get its information and can you somehow get that information out of the pager system?

    2. How does, or is there, a GPS program that allows you to auto-program a route into it? For example, can you put a location into your favorites file that is the current response location so that you can simply hit the 'route-to' button? Can you go further and interact with the program to tell it to build a route for you?

    3. Standby of the system. Will you have the system on standby or will you have it hibernate or cold boot? Time is the main variable here but also if you are constantly waking up your pc to have it up and running when you get in the car, what happens if you miss a call or the pc wakes up for some unknown reason? It could drain your battery leaving you with a dead batt just when you need to respond to a call.

    I'd investigate number 1 and 2 first. You can probably solve number 3 later on but first you must get and process the information for the call.
    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video


    • #3
      Sounds interesting.

      If you want help with developing a plugin for RR or CF let me know.

      PS, yes both systems have the plugins running while the frontend is running, so there just needs to be a way of telling the plugin a new message has arrived.

      Depending of the navigation you are using will determine whether, it can then route from those details.

      If you are running CF with the Destinator navigation it will be possible.
      If you are running RR with my Version of FreeDrive (based on the old destinator) running it will be possible.

      Other navigation engines, not so sure about.


      • #4
        The pager system works on a radio frequency, so that part is not to hard. Basically i have a scanner which is tuned into the frequency, from there it connects into the computers soundcard, and software on the computer decodes the messages (since they arn't decripted). And i just filter it for entries that have both NAWE (our brigade code) and @@ALERT which is an emergency call. I have software on a different computer which will do this. So it will act as a broadcast server on my local network only. And when the triggers come across, it will send the address details and call details to the CarPC plugin. I can also get it to geocode the address and just give lat and long.

        The hard bit is getting the plugin to read the details from the broadcast server (UDP Broadcast) and then tell the Nav system to route to that address automatically. Any tips would be great, or example plugins which show how to code in CF or RR.

        Thanks guys!

        Standby i will look at later .


        • #5

          That is an example of the feed the pager decoder software presents, then i would just code a program to parse the html page, extract the information and geocode it if needed. And pass it via UDP broadcast to any 'clients' listening.


          • #6
            Rather than having the plugin read the data, why not transform the data into a file for routing that your PC can retrieve when it wakes up?

            For example, if your computer is constantly listening to scanner broadcasts and decoding the information, why not have it run a script that transforms the information into a file on that computer.

            Then, when your PC starts up, the plug in checks your computer to see if a routing file is present and loads that into your nav program.

            This requires internet connectivity, but that was already an issue. Obviously in your driveway, not a problem via WiFi but if you are out running errands, your PC won't have WiFi.
            Originally posted by ghettocruzer
            I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
            Want to:
            -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
            -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video


            • #7
              If you have internet access in your then getting a plugin to read that webpage, look for your sign and alert and then send the deatils to CF or RR should not be too difficult.

              If you don't have internet access then you will have to doit before you set off, much like BB said.


              • #8
                Its really only when i am at home, or have internet access that i want to be able to do it. Given there is a 6 min turn out time, that is trucks are out the door in 6 mins, if i am at work, or outside the area there is very little point in responding. This would also prevent the issue of the system being triggered if i am away from the car.

                I think parsing the webpage is the way to go, that way as well possibly if there are numerous calls on the one day, within a predefined period of time, they could be put on the map as favorites or something. Basically id like to be able to visualise the calls i am going to, that is get a snapshot of the location, and routing information. And if there are other calls nearby, map them all there as well.

                Would you have any example apps (source code) that gets a html page, and displays the information from it in RR, or CF?

                Any help would be greatly appreciated.

                Kind Regards,

                Travis Hale.


                • #10
                  I think this is an area of software that should be pursued with a passion, I have the passion for it, but I do not have to programming skills. I have been trying to get on fire dept in MI, but there are few and far between actually hiring. But anyways...
                  I think a system that would allow fire/emergency responders to have a text translation of Sound Outs/Two-Tone that would allow for easy assessment of the call, and would take the information in the call and automatically put it as a POI in the GPS pane would be awesome.
                  There is a website: that gives a lot of information on EMS radio, and provides links to live m3u feeds. This would be invaluable to the development.
                  I think our emergency response professionals should be provided with only the best that we can offer, at no cost, due to the service that they provide.
                  - Project: Unified Car Control
                  - Original OpenMobile Interface Designer


                  • #11
                    My programming language of choice, for pure simplicity is Visual Basic. Cant beat it in terms of simplicity which is great for me since i am a simple self taught programmer. Cant say i know much, but i do have the ability to pick up and learn so i can see how i go.

                    I totally agree, i think systems that could be put in place that assist emergency personnel would be fantastic. I come across so many issues within my fire department that would easily be solved with some CarPuter systems, if you look at congested radio traffic, why not bring the standard radio messages (on scene, give incident a name, give incident info - false alarm, going etc) leaving a more simplistic approach. Have dual touchscreens, one for GPS / main, the other for a radio app that would let the radio operator touch the screen when they were responding, and it would send a data message to the dispatch, send more info on the screen to cut down on non urgent radio traffic. Just a few ideas.

                    Then there was looking at applying a mesh network, between vehicles and fire stations and repeaters etc much like the army have, it would help reduce communication blackspots by re routing radio / data traffic through the mesh network.

                    And my personal favorite, have a virtual radio system, so it forms a mesh network between trucks, and you have sort of like a confrence room style system. So say my truck is part of a strike team (team of 5 truckts + leader vehicle) called 1334, have a confrence room on the system for 1334, so comms goes across that, you can program in GPS tracks that get sent to all trucks in the same team, so everyone has same maps and directions, and finally, if there is a plan on how to attack, and associated maps, the leader could send them to the 1334 confrence, and all vehicles get it. If one vehicle gets it but the other doesent, next time the one who doesent have it could get near a vehicle that does, it would send the map to the one who didn't have it. kind of like Peer to peer VOIP, file sharing, etc.

                    And whilst it would have a cost associated with it, when you look at costs of radios they buy, our brigade looked at getting a new radio, at a cost of $3000 per unit, a simple CarPuter is actually not far out of the realm of budget. In order to apease the department, you could apply lockdowns, so that only certian things could be changed. Could even interface into the truck vehicle systems so in a breakdown it sends the vehicle diagnostics to the district mechanical officers. Or like you guys mentioned, have plugins to control pumps etc, one carputer, a few touchscreens, one outside for pumps, another inside for gps, another inside for radio, maps etc

                    All concepts, but the idea of a carputer is fantastic, and has such brilliant capacities.


                    • #12
                      I can program in VB due to its simplicity.

                      I love the concept of a carputer, so many apps. In my mind i see uses for team departments, so say your a strike team of fire trucks, each with a carputer and gps. You could have a big mesh network, sync gps track and routing points from the lead vehicle, and all know exactally where you are going and how to get there. Also sync up maps, mission documents, etc in one go, so everyone has the same information available.

                      A comms system to send data over a radio, instead of voice, so non urgent messages (all yes / no) etc could be sent and recieved over radio, preventing cross over, each message timestamped, so even if late it still enters the time it was sent.

                      So many ideas, looking forward to having a play and seeing different bits and peices, in my mind i sort of see a serverless Peer to Peer system running, for file transfers, VOIP between trucks if needed, Chat, all that stuff. And with brilliant plugins, could even have interfaces with engines to give the fire dept mechanics truck information before they come out for repairs.


                      • #13
                        I guess it would be a DHT overlay for file sharing, and include the POI for the maps etc in one file, or somehow transfer those across as well. That way GPS is updated with the correct POI's and routing information.

                        On a side note, how does CF, or RR function in terms of multiple touchscreens, are there issues with different input devices, in my head it would be great to have one touchscreen for comms, or pump control etc, and another 'main' one for Nav etc, but if both users were touching both screens, would it play up with the inputs?


                        • #14
                          It's one thing to have a car PC that helps you find the response location but a completely different thing to use RR or CF in mission critical applications such as pump control.

                          I'd advise against that.
                          Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                          I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                          Want to:
                          -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                          -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video


                          • #15
                            Your right, mission critical things would not be run on unstable platforms. But as a concept you can see it has lots of concepts.

                            Further development and stabilisation of carpc systems, and a stable linux platform could allow such systems to be used in the future with significant testing. But as i was saying, you get the point, ideas of usages of such systems are quite diverse and could have a strong place within emergency services with significant testing