Dash OS for URC Home Automation

First, let us welcome you to the world of Dash!  It’s great that you have shown interest in digging deeper and implementing our platform into your URC Total Control System(s)!  As many of our users have already discovered, setup only takes minutes!  This page will serve as documentation to get you started with the platform.

Have you Registered for an Account?  Before you can install Dash OS and/or purchase from the Dash OS Store you will need to register for an account.  You can do so by clicking here: Register Now.

Need Assistance?  No Problem!  Our Community Support Chatroom (Click to Join) is generally very active 24 hours a day and one of our support staff or dealers are always happy to help!

Download App:

Driver Location:

My > IP Database > AUX > Dash Apps > System Monitor

Driver File:

Dash – System Monitor.csd

Dash OS Update History

Whenever an update is available for a Dash App, a log of the major changes in the version will be provided below.  This does not necessarily reflect every change that was made as some minor changes may have been made that are undocumented, but it should reflect any changes that affect the operation of the Dash App.

Version 1.0

  • New Feature: Introducing “System States.”  A new feature for tracking almost any static value such as a variables value or any state of any device that you can query within Accelerator.  It will also provide a timestamp of when that state changed.
  • Improvement: Dash DDNS used to update every 24 hours.  Your Public IP Information will now update every 3 hours to provide a better end-user experience with the service.

Download & Import the Dash App

In order for the Dash App to become recognized by the URC Programming Software we will need to import the provided TCM File into the Software.  Once this has been done properly the Dash App should show up in the “Add Other Devices” programming step in the “Accelerator Location” provided on the overview tab.

Import TCM

In your Programming Software locate the “Import TCM Files” button in the File tab of the top menu toolbar.  Click it to open the Windows File Browsing window.  Browse to the TCM file you wish to import and select it.

Import Dialog

Based on the Dash App / Module you are importing, a dialog similar to the belowwill appear.  This window indicates what interfaces are supported by the TCM File you selected.  System Plugins may only show “Driver” and “Base Station Files” when no User Interface is provided by the module.

Restart

After Importing your TCM File it is always safe to quickly restart your Accelerator Software to make sure your changes are properly made.  While this isn’t required every time, it is a good step to make sure everything is changed as needed.

Confirm

Confirm that the Dash App was successfully imported.  You can do this by navigating to the driver where the Dash App is installed (see Overview Tab) and making sure a checkbox is provided for “8. Select 2-Way Modules for Network Remotes / Keypads”

While there is not technically any right or wrong way to add Dash OS into your systems, the following information provides a clean & organized method of adding Dash OS and any of the Dash Apps that you plan to add with it.

URC Modules will load in the order they have been placed into the project tree.  There are times you will want to make sure certain modules have loaded before another module attempts to load.  This can help with features such as Cloud Logging, etc.

Making sure that this step is completed is one of the first troubleshooting steps that we will perform when you join the Community Support Chatroom.  It is best if you complete it now as there are times not having System Monitor as the first module in your system can cause things to not function properly.

Adding Dash OS to Your Project

Add a New Room

Start by adding a new room to your project.  This will not be a room accessible by your end-user, it will simply be used to organize all of our Dash OS Modules & Apps.

Drag to the Top

We will want Dash OS and any Dash Apps to load first whenever your controller is restarted.  To accomplish this, make sure that your newly created “Dash OS” room is at the top of your Project Listing.

Add Dash Apps

You can now add any Dash Apps to your new room. Be sure to place “System Monitor” first in this room so that it is the first module that loads.

System Monitor can be added from URC’s Step 4 “Add Other Devices.”

When adding System Monitor (or any other Dash App) to your system, always confirm that the check box is showing to the right once the Dash App is selected.  See below.

You may not have the devices shown above yet (those are all the Dash Apps).  Add System Monitor to your project tree into the Dash OS Room.

Hide the Room

We don’t want our End-User to see our new room when they navigate to the URC Rooms Menu.  We can hide the room easily by right clicking on our room and clicking on properties.  Once the properties menu pops up select “Room is Hidden” and press Ok.

Dash App "Network Setup" (Accelerator Step 6.)

This Dash App does not require that a specific IP Address is setup for it to operate.  However, it should be assigned an “Instance ID.”  When a module does not require a specific IP Address be setup, you can assign any IP Address to the Dash App that is unique from any other device in the list.

Your IP Address will be used as an “Instance ID” which will separate it from any other Dash Apps or URC Modules you have setup.  This ID is helpful when you want to create jumps to the Dash App in multiple rooms / areas of your programming.

In the example below we have added two Dash Apps, “System Monitor” and “Time Tools.”  Each has been given a unique value “0.0.0.1” and “0.0.0.2.”  If they were assigned the same value the Dash App would result in an error and would not start up properly.

Dash OS App Parameters (Accelerator Step 11.)

Properly configuring the Dash App Parameters in your Automation Programming Software is important in order to make the App work as you want it to.  These Parameters will be used each time the App starts up to configure how the App will operate.  Below we will go over each available parameter.

Dash Username=

Enter the Email Address that you use to login to your Account Dashboard at http://my.dashos.net/

Dash Password=

The requirement for this parameter has been depreciated.  You do not need to put your account password in here.

Dash DDNS=

The Requirement for this Parameter has been depreciated.  Dash DDNS is on by default.

Dash CPU=

The requirement for this parameter has been depreciated.  Changing this setting will not make any adjustments to the function of the module.

Adopting a New Project into Dash OS

In order to have your project listed on your Dash OS Account Dashboard you will need to adopt it onto your account.  This will require that you have followed the previous steps (Import & Parameters) and have loaded the Dash OS equipped file to the controller.

Step 1

Whenever a new system has become available for adoption a Dash Flash Event will occur notifying you (in the top-right corner of the screen) that a new system has become available for adoption.  You can click the link in this notification to adopt the system into your account.

In addition to this, any systems that are awaiting adoption can be seen in the “Adoption Menu.”

Step 2

Once you have selected to adopt the new system a pop-up should come up asking for some information about the project.  It is important that you fill out all of the information accurately for the project to show up properly formatted!

It is highly recommended that you take a picture of each project.  Doing so will greatly increase the brows-ability of your projects as you add more and more.  Taking a quick picture with your Smart Phone and emailing it to yourself only takes a few moments.

New: If you adopt from your Cell Phone (or edit the project later) you can select to use your phones camera to quickly take a picture of the system and upload it.

Step 3

Your System has now been adopted to your Dash OS Account.  You may begin using the many features provided to you within the Dash OS Web UI!  You should see your new project listed on your Dash OS Project Listing and it should show up on the embedded Google Map as shown below.

Dash OS Project Listing

When you first login to your account you will be greeted by your Dash Account Project Listing.  This page provides a general overview of your systems.  It has a map view at the top that shows each of your currently adopted systems on a map with their current status (Online/Offline).  Below this you will find an easily searchable / filterable table with all of your projects listed.

On-Map Details

By clicking on any of the projects on your Map View you can view some extra information about that project.  This is helpful when you are no sure which projects are showing offline or are in a specific area.

Online / Offline

If any of your systems go offline, they will be updated on the map view (and in the project table) in realtime.  You do not need to refresh the page to see any updated statuses.

Filter By Column

This is a very powerful feature when you want to be able to refine exactly what systems will show up in your project listing.  When you use the column-specific filtering, you can search each column for a specific set of data.  You can even add data in multiple columns to drill-down further.

Below we are showing all “MRX-10N” Systems that have been adopted to our account.

Dash OS Cloud Logging Overview

Dash Cloud Logging is one of the major features of Dash OS.  This feature was created to assist in troubleshooting the original modules created without having to remotely login, install various software, and run a troubleshoot log.

Essentially, Cloud Logs sends a trigger to each supporting module in the system letting it know that it should begin forwarding its internal data to the Dash OS Servers.  This is extremely helpful in troubleshooting any systems, especially those that use more advanced programming techniques.

Step 1

Cloud Logging is found within each projects “Project Menu.”  Start by navigating to the project you would like to run cloud logging on, select the “Project Menu” and click on “Cloud Logging.”

Step 2

On this page, you can begin the Cloud Logging System at any time by clicking on the “Start Debugger” button.  Once you have started the Cloud Logging System you will need to be patient.  In order to conserve bandwidth and make Dash OS as lightweight as possible, it could take up to 1 minute before all of your supporting Dash Apps report into the system.

You will know when your Dash App has begun reporting it’s information to the Cloud as they will tell you right in the logs.

Step 3

When you are finishing with your Cloud Logging Session, all you have to do is either click “Pause Debugger” or navigate away from the page.  As soon as you leave the Cloud Logging page and are no longer viewing it, all of your Dash Apps will be told to stop forwarding their logs into the cloud.  This means your system will only try to contact the Dash OS Servers when you are viewing the logs they would be sending.

For events that you want to be able to log and view regardless of whether or not you were viewing the page at the time you should use Dash Timeline Events.

Dash OS Cloud Logging Features

In “Cloud Logging – Overview” we went over what Dash Cloud Logging is and how you can set it up.  On this page we will go over some of the features of Cloud Logging and how you can use them to make the feature more useful.

Timestamping

Cloud Logs are timestamped before they are sent to the Dash OS Servers.  By default your logs will be ordered so that the newest logs show up on the top of the page as new logs become available.  These logs are accurate to the millisecond.

Search & Filter

If you are going to be running your Cloud Logging for a good amount of time, you may want to search or filter the data that is being displayed so that you only see information that is relevant.  You have a few options that can be used to refine your search & filter.

First, you can search all data in the Cloud Logs by using the “Search” box on the top right.  This will search all of your data and instantly hide any rows that do not match your search.

Second, you can refine your search even further by using column-specific filtering.  This will search the column for the data you have entered and hide any data that does not match.  For example, we could search the “Module” column and select to only show logs that were provided by our “Time Tools” Dash App / Module.

So in the example below, we have filtered out all but the “Time Tools” Dash App.  While many other logs exist, it is now only showing us logs reported by Time Tools.

You can search multiple columns simultaneously to refine your search even further!

Run at Startup

You can view additional information as Dash Apps are first booted up by running your Dash Cloud Logging as you restart or download to the controller.  There may be some important information reported in these circumstances, so be aware of what information your specific Dash App may provide you.

Dash OS Cloud Logging Custom Output

In addition to a Dash App specifically outputting information, you can elect to manually write information that will show up into your Cloud Logs.  This is a powerful feature that can make troubleshooting your programming much easier, especially as we move into multi-tasking automation systems that utilize URC’s Device Events, Intervals, and more.

When you add a custom output to any macro, it will show up in your cloud logs with millisecond accuracy to show you exactly when it was triggered, and what was specifically triggered.

This is accomplished by using URC’s “TCL Command” feature which is built into the System Monitor Dash App.  Below we will take a look at how we used Custom Outputs to help troubleshoot the Time Tools Dash App during development

Step 1

In any macro, whether it is a Room Macro, Special Macro, or Automation Macro, you can add a “TCL Command.”  We will use this feature to allow us to write whatever we want and have that data show up in our Cloud Logs.  Bring up the TCL Command Window by selecting the proper icon from the Macro Programming Toolbar.

Step 2

In the resulting window (the “TCL Command” window), use the drop-downs to select your System Monitor Dash App from the “Available Devices” drop-down then select “Output to Cloud Logs” from the “Available Command” drop-down.

You can name the command anything you wish, for speed of programming, we generally just use “Output to Cloud Logs” so we can copy & paste this command throughout our system and simply change the “Message” parameter as needed.

Step 3

Write any message that you want to show up when viewing the Cloud Logs. A timestamp will automatically be added to the log entry and it will come from the “System Monitor” Dash App.

Once you press ok, you should see your command within the macro.  You can double click on it at anytime to change the message that is output to your cloud logs.

Example

Lets take a look at how this feature is used within the Time Tools Feature Tour to provide a look at the many features provided by Time Tools.

There are many examples in the file that can be downloaded from the Feature Tour page, but lets take a look at the “AM/PM” macro.  This macro sends a query to Time Tools asking whether it is currently “AM” or “PM” and will respond to our Dash Cloud Logging System with the response.

To make things a bit cleaner for the purposes of this example we have removed some of the unnecessary parts of the macro that do not have anything to do with Cloud Logging.  If you are following along using the Feature Tour, there may be slight differences.

  1. Connected Data (Time Tools, Check if it is AM or PM} – This line is a TCL Command that sends a query to the Time Tools Dash App and saves either “AM” or “PM into our “AM or PM?” String Variable based on what time it is when the macro is initiated.
  2. IF (Variable (AM or PM?) = PM – This IF/ELSE Statement will check if the response of the TCL Command above was “PM” and trigger the data on the top part of the IF/ELSE if it was indeed “PM” at the time the macro was triggered.
    1. TEXT (Currently: PM) – This is simply used to indicate on the URC UI that the response was PM, it has nothing to do with Cloud Logs.
    2. Connected Data (System Monitor, Output to Cloud Logs} – This is our TCL Command which will inform us that the response was “PM” whenever this macro is triggered.
  3. ELSE – This part of the IF/ELSE Command will be triggered IF the response from the initial TCL Command (Step 1) was NOT “PM” (if it was anything but)

The command continues on like this, but you should get the picture.  In the end, the idea here is that the TCL Command will be triggered to query if it is AM or PM and the IF/ELSE Statements are used to then output the proper value to our Cloud Logs to tell us what the response was.

Since this guide is being written during the “AM” the response to our Cloud Logs whenever this macro is triggered would look like this:

See it in Action

Dash OS Timeline Events Overview

While Cloud Logging is beneficial when wanting to view live data as it happens to troubleshoot many situations that may arise, Timeline Events are equally useful for logging important events while you are not actively monitoring the system.

Creating Timeline Events is a simple task and they can be created from any Macro within the system by just filling in a few parameters through the URC “TCL Commands” features.

Where

Timeline Events are shown on your System Overview Page as well as from within the “System Timeline” section of your Project Page.

Timestamp

A timestamp is automatically added to each Timeline Event letting you know exactly when the event occurred.  Events are also placed in chronological order with the newest events showing at the top of your page.

Icon & Color

You can choose the Icon & Color of your Timeline Events to outline different types & categories of events.  View the “Timeline Design” tab for more details on what is possible.

Purpose

Timeline Events should not be used to log every event that happens in the project.  They should be built as a means to become aware of things that you may need to monitor even when not viewing the page.  Many times Device Events for 3rd Party Modules will provide events you may be interested in monitoring on a daily basis.

Deletion

Timeline Events can be deleted when they are no longer needed easily from the “System Timeline” section.

Dash OS Timeline Events - Custom Timeline Events

You can have a Timeline Event show up when any URC Event occurs by adding TCL Commands to any macro or Device Event.  It can be helpful in diagnosing any issues that you may run into by knowing when various system events have occurred.

The Event

In our example we will be using the URC Nest Module to product a Timeline Event whenever the home has gotten colder than 60 Degree’s.  Below is a screenshot of our Nest Device Event which we will have to create first.

The Command

Now that we have the Device Event created, we can program our Timeline Event.  This is doing by using System Monitor’s “Dash Timeline Event” command from the TCL Commands Window.

You can use whatever name you wish to identify the command in your macros.  In our example we will use “Dash Timeline Event.”

Priority Level

You can select the priority level of the Timeline Event.  By choosing “Critical” the project manager will receive a notification whenever the event occurs and it will show up in the Critical Alerts drop-down on your dashboard.

Background Color

You can define the background color for your Timeline Event.  This will dictate which color will show on your project overview.

Title & Message

You can define the Title and Message that will show up with your Timeline Event whenever it is triggered from the system.

Quick Icon

The Icon will show up along side your message within the colored background (as shown above).  A list is given to you but many more will be available in the future!

View Permissions

FOR FUTURE USE

User & Group ID’s

FOR FUTURE USE

End Result

Dash OS Timeline Events - The Event Center

The Dash Event Center allows you to view the events across all of your projects in one place.  This area can be searched & filtered to only show the events you deem important so that you can quickly see if any specific events that you have defined are occurring and when.

Open Event Center

 

 

Dash Apps - Overview

Dash Apps allow you to extend the functionality of your system and add new features that were previously not possible.  Dash has put together a team of developers which continues to grow and provided a framework to interact with our Operating Platform.  This means it’s easy for developers to make use of our Cloud Logging, Timeline, Licensing, and more to bring you new functionality faster than you can imagine!

Dash Apps are purchased from the Dash OS Store.  These purchases may or may not include hardware.  Dash partners with manufacturers and distributors around the world to make it a one-stop shop to easily integrate hardware which has specifically been optimized for use within your Dash OS Systems.

License Types

Each Dash App may be licensed differently.  Depending on the complexity and function of the Dash App and/or how it is sold & distributed, there are three possible ways that a Dash App may be licensed:

  • Free – Dash’s Development team will create free Dash Apps from time-to-time to support the hardware we love most.  These are free to download and use (but generally do require that System Monitor is installed).
  • One-Time – When a Dash App provides general functionality it may be licensed as “One-Time.”  This means that a single purchase of a license will be able to be installed on any number of systems without providing the need to purchase a new license for that project.
  • Per Project – Complex, Time Consuming, and Dash Apps that require continual development (new features constantly added, updates consistently, etc) may be charged per project.  This means that each Controller will need an instant of the Dash Apps which would be purchased through the Dash App Store.   In all cases, the license is one per controller and as many instances of the Dash App can be installed as desired on that controller.

Why the Cost?

License fees are never fun and nothing feels better then getting free software and being able to use it on your systems without issue.  URC themselves provide many great modules that cost nothing to install onto your projects.

Dash’s Development teams take special care to work directly with dealers of the products we offer to build a deeper integration than can be found elsewhere.  We carefully compare what is done on all platforms and make sure we are offering more integration features than anywhere else.

We spend a lot of time and care to make the perfect integrations.  In our mind, the more you can do the better.  Sometimes we add options that we can’t even think of how they may be used – but when combining all of these options together, our users have been able to do things we never even considered as an option!

All of this time & effort means that we need to survive somehow!  We made System Monitor absolutely free and that costs us a ton in server & bandwidth just to keep our doors open!  You are supporting Dash by purchasing licenses for your projects while at the same time you are adding new & exciting functionality to all your projects!

Showroom

Dash Apps - Installing a License

When your Dash App Starts up, the first thing it will do is check to see if a license is currently activated on your specific controller.  It will report it’s findings into the Cloud Logs if you are running them as the system boots up.

Installing a License is very easy to do and should only take you seconds!  First you will need to make sure that Dash OS (System Monitor) is installed onto your system and that it is showing up within your Project Listing (see “Project Listing” tab).

Open “Dash Apps”

Open the Project you wish to install a purchased licensed onto to open it’s project details page.  From the Projects Menu (see below) select the “Dash Apps” option to open the Dash Apps page for that project.

Install Your License

Your next step will be to install a license that you have purchased from the Dash App Store.  Do this by pressing “Install Dash Apps” to bring up your license dashboard.  This will show you how many licenses of each Dash App are currently available for activation.

Dash Notes & Tasks

Notes & Tasks is a simple feature which allows you to save any notes you may have about the selected project.  For example, you may want to save logins & passwords that you will need to know, ports & input setups for future reference, network information, or anything else.  You can keep multiple notes for each project for better organization.

Step 1

Notes & Tasks is found within each projects “Project Menu.”  Start by navigating to the project you would like to create or edit your notes for, select the “Project Menu” and click on “Notes & Tasks.”

Step 2

New Notes can be created by clicking on the  button once you are viewing the Notes & Tasks page.  You can then write into your new note

Step 3

You can view and edit your notes by selecting them on the right-hand column.  The title will automatically be the first line in the note and the second line will be the viewable description of the note.

You can also delete notes by hovering over them on the right-hand column and clicking the “x” as seen above.

Dash Project Widget: System States

System States is a Dash OS Widget that allows you to track the various states your systems may have.  These are accessed by a URC TCL Command and can be changed from any URC Macro.  How you use this feature is up to you!  Below you can see a screenshot of this Widget tracking the current Nest Occupancy Status (based on it’s sensor) as well as the last time the system was reset (By using the Device Event Trigger Startup Macro).

Let’s take a look at how we can program a System State using the TCL Commands within the System Monitor Module.

Step 1

Create a new TCL Command within any URC Macro.  We will select “System Monitor” from the Available Devices dropdown and “System States” from the Available Command dropdown.

Step 2

For “Action” we can select either “Create / Update” or “Delete.”  With the Create / Update Action we are able to first create a state that we would like to report to our System States Widget and/or update the state in the future to a different value.

TIP: The actual timestamp of the state change will only change if the value has changed, otherwise it will remain the same!

Lets create a new System State, select “Create / Update” for the action.

Step 3

For the “State ID” input we need to either provide a unique ID if we want to create a new system state or provide the ID that was used when creating another state that we would like to update.

In this example we will create a state that is going to track whether the user has the “Automation Mode” we have programmed into the system ON or OFF.  We will use the ID “auto-mode” for this State ID.

Step 4

In the image below you can see where the next two inputs will be placed within the Widget.  Fill them in as you would like them to be displayed.  You can update either value in the future as the state of what you are tracking changes.

Final Result