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 Post subject: Extron Crosspoint Switcher TOUCHSCREEN Remote Control
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:04 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 678
Here's a YouTube video I made on controlling my Extron Crosspoint with a tablet (click the screenshot to view):

Image



For almost two years now I've been trying to figure out a way to control my Extron Crosspoint matrix switcher through a touchscreen device of some type. It's not that it's hard to load a preset or anything (which is simply pressing "Preset + Preset Number + Enter" on the control panel buttons), but it's that I've always liked nice looking GUI's (graphical user interfaces) and when you have a switcher which was well over $30,000 about 15 years ago, it would be nice to control it with something similarly impressive.

Earlier this week (after giving up on connecting it through Ethernet for the 3rd or 4th time) I was finally able to connect to my Extron Crosspoint 450 Plus 3232 HVA switcher using the same USB to Serial programmer cable I use to program my TVOne Corio2 240p downscalers. I loaded up the Extron Crosspoint Windows software and saw how really clunky that software was, and that just wasn't going to cut it:

Screenshot of Extron Windows software
Image



Through the software however I was able to turn on (mark the checkbox) for the "Use DHCP (Obtain an IP address automatically)" option. You find that by going to Tools > IP Options. I could then finally connect to it through the built-in web interface which is a little more user friendly:

Screenshot of Extron web interface inputs/outputs
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Screenshot of Extron Presets web interface
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At that point I stole the HTML code from the Extron Preset control webpage, and built a HTML webpage with nice per-console graphics (based off the label artwork I made for the physical back-lit buttons of the Crosspoint), and now you can click on each console's logo and it'll load that preset (the presets I already manually setup on the Crosspoint, although you can make those through the software or web interface as well I believe).

Screenshot of NEW web interface for switching Presets
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The Extron Crosspoint houses all the HTML files and acts as a server of sorts for those. The Crosspoint does need to be hard-wired/connected via Ethernet cable to the same network your tablet or phone is connected to (i.e. your home network). You can do this by running an Ethernet cable to it from your router, or you can even link a laptop to share it's internet connection with another device, or use a wireless ethernet dongle or one of those WiFi range extenders with Ethernet port or whatnot. I did need a USB to Serial programmer cable to be able to turn on HDCP (which was the only way I could connect to it via Ethernet and my network).

Please note not all Extron Crosspoints are network capable - please read the manual of your specific model to find out if yours can be controlled this way.

So that's about it. Next steps are to tweak the webpage I made so it fills the screen properly (currently have to zoom manually a little bit), see if there's a web browser for my iPad 2 (might use an ancient Android Nexus 7 I have as well) which can go full-screen without the navigation bar on top, and I want to get a flexible arm mount for the tablet so I can mount it to my desk so it's secure and easier to use for switching.


Last edited by Dochartaigh on Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:08 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 678
Click here to download my working files for this Extron Crosspoint Control Panel

Inside that file is the following:

Image

I don't know how many people have access to Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, but the InDesign document has the layout for the table with all the graphics inserted (which you can then edit with whichever graphics/logos/buttons you want).

The Photoshop file (which many more people use Photoshop at least) has guidelines setup for each graphic block, and it's then pre-sliced and named for each console. All you have to do to generate a HTML file is go to File > Save for Web, and choose "HTML and Images" on export and it'll automatically create a split-up table with all the HTML code.

For non-Adobe people (maybe using Gimp - a popular free Photoshop like program), I've included a huge 3000x2000 pixel high-res JPG as well (or just make your own graphic! I know people don't have the same exact systems as me so this will probably have to be done regardless).

All of these graphics are setup to run perfectly on the default Safari browser on an older iPad 2 with its 1024x768 pixel display (minus header bar). You'll have to do some scaling and centering to get it to display all on one page without scrolling on another browser or device (or build it with more advanced HTML/CSS/etc. which automatically scales to whichever display it's on).




The important part is the control.html file though. There's a <script> on the top of the HTML file which sets up all the controlling (this is what I stole from Extron's default preset switching webpage). After that all you need to do in your HTML file is append the <img> tag of every graphic with a little bit of extra code so the graphic acts as a button which loads a preset on the Crosspoint. The highlighted code below is what I used to switch to Preset #1 through #5, for my NES, TurboGrafx-16, Sega Genesis, SNES, and Sega Saturn for example:

Image

So just add
Code:
type="button" id="preset1" name="preset1" value="Preset 01   " onclick="getName(this)"

to your image tags as shown, and replace the numbers (please note the preset number is in that chunk of code THREE different times, so you need to change each of those every time) for whichever preset you want to load. Upload your HTML file via the Extron File Management tab (along with all the graphics), browse to the address you're Crosspoint is on and it should work.


Last edited by Dochartaigh on Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:05 am 



Joined: 29 Apr 2015
Posts: 18
Nice work. I have the Extron DXP HDMI 84 switcher which I will probably do something similar :)
Good luck embedding the video. I'll just check out the YT link on fb :)


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:47 pm 



Joined: 07 Apr 2016
Posts: 1191
Nice work! How much time would this save compared to pushing the buttons normally?


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:52 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 678
GeneraLight wrote:
Nice work! How much time would this save compared to pushing the buttons normally?


I mean....you're pushing 1 virtual button, versus 3 real buttons on the device itself, in order to load a preset (which the preset has to be setup beforehand like I mentioned)... but this really isn't about that. It's about having a nice modern interface with your 1980-2000ish-era deluxe gaming setup...and it doesn't hurt that the interface (to my eyes at least) is very pleasant looking.

To the thought of saving time though, I did have to mount my huge crosspoint pretty high in my server rack so I do have to physically get up now to switch consoles...but I swear that laziness had nothing to do with my motivation to get this working ;) . Also, they invented the remote control all those decades ago for this same purpose (so you didn't have to get up to change the channel or volume) - all this is just a fancy remote control for the Crosspoint.


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:03 am 



Joined: 06 Oct 2012
Posts: 1198
any possibility of having a pc version of this software available? its my main go-to for custom stuff like this.


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:15 pm 


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Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 11375
Location: Germany
Quote:
The Extron Crosspoint houses all the HTML files

really ? You were able to replace the html stuff on the Extron itself ? I would have expected these to by write protected in one form or another.

And I would second the request for a copy of the software. This is REALLY nice work and I'm sure plenty of users here would appreciate it.


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:43 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 678
mvsfan wrote:
any possibility of having a pc version of this software available? its my main go-to for custom stuff like this.


PC is perfectly fine. In fact any device which can view a web page will work for this - that device just has to be on the same network the Crosspoint is plugged into.




Fudoh wrote:
Quote:
The Extron Crosspoint houses all the HTML files

really ? You were able to replace the html stuff on the Extron itself ? I would have expected these to by write protected in one form or another.


Yes, the Extron houses all the files. They do not overwrite the stock files (which I don't think you could delete even if you tried).

The default IP address is 192.168.254.254 I believe. If you go to that it'll automatically load the Extron webpages to do things like control/setup/admin the Crosspoint. What you do is go to the File Management tab, and from here you can upload your own files (individually one-at-a-time...which is kinda annoying but a small price to pay to get this to work!).

You can name the files you upload whatever you want. I named mine "control.html", so I have a bookmark on my iPad's browser set to got to "http://192.168.254.254/contol.html". You can even name your HTML file "index.html", then when you go to the root 192.168.254.254 address it'll automatically load your control panel you built. If you then wanted to get back to the Extron's built-in/default web pages you would need to navigate to "nortxe_index.html” (if I'm reading the manual correctly), OR, delete your index.html file and it'll again go directly to Extron's default page again.

These things are kinda crazy for their time - you can even setup email alerts to different people when a certain exception or fault occurs on the Crosspoint! (like notify maintenance or the A/V setup people if a connection can't be made, or if a redundant power supply kicked in on, or a cooling fan died on a certain unit or whatnot).

Oh, and server space on the Extron is very limited BTW. I think it has something measly like 1.3mb of space (don't think I misplaced a comma there either - think it's a little over a single megabyte). My entire control panel is 196KB though including all images - so plenty of space for even a much more complicated version which I'm currently working on.




Fudoh wrote:
And I would second the request for a copy of the software. This is REALLY nice work and I'm sure plenty of users here would appreciate it.


See above – I uploaded my working files.

People can also PM me for other needed items... Extron is really bitchy about non-professional people having access to their portal site so you can't just download their Windows control software. People who can't connect to their Crosspoint via ethernet may need that Windows control software (like I talked about above in my initial post: i.e. having to connect to it via Serial cable first, then turn the option on to allow regular ethernet connection).


Last edited by Dochartaigh on Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:22 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 750
Dochartaigh wrote:
People can also PM me for other needed items... Extron is really bitchy about non-professional people having access to their portal site so you can't just download their Windows control software. People who can't connect to their Crosspoint via ethernet may need that Windows control software (like I talked about above in my initial post: i.e. having to connect to it via Serial cable first, then turn the option on to allow regular ethernet connection).

I may be misremembering, but I believe my CrossPoint Ultra 88 used DHCP upon factory reset when I bought it; so I don't think it's that complicated to get your mods up and running. The worst part would be having to reconfigure your presets, which is arguably easier with the web UI, or perhaps getting the switcher's IP from the DHCP lease list on your router.


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:54 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 678
nmalinoski wrote:
I may be misremembering, but I believe my CrossPoint Ultra 88 used DHCP upon factory reset when I bought it; so I don't think it's that complicated to get your mods up and running. The worst part would be having to reconfigure your presets, which is arguably easier with the web UI, or perhaps getting the switcher's IP from the DHCP lease list on your router.


Maybe different models act differently - I really don't know. I just know I've had three of these Crosspoints (Ultra 128 HVA, Ultra 1616 HVA, and this 450 Plus) and the very first thing I do when I get them is go through the ~3-5 different levels of resetting them the manual talks about. This 450 Plus, and at least one of the Ultra's (forget which I tried) wouldn't connect via Ethernet at first, and I was logged into my router at the time looking for any new connections popping up.


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:00 am 



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 2
Dochartaigh wrote:
Extron is really bitchy about non-professional people having access to their portal site so you can't just download their Windows control software. People who can't connect to their Crosspoint via ethernet may need that Windows control software (like I talked about above in my initial post: i.e. having to connect to it via Serial cable first, then turn the option on to allow regular ethernet connection).


All I did was explain that I was a hobbyist, and just wanted access to the software for the equipment I owned and they allowed my account sign up through. They don't seem to like gmail or similar addresses, though. Crestron on the other hand, they're extremely protective of their software, I haven't had nearly the same luck in trying to re purpose their older equipment, at least until recently.

Do the crosspoint 450s require using the extron SIS commandset? I've been playing with a similar idea for the two 300 series switchers that I own, which don't have ethernet. If you're able to host stuff on the switchers themselves, I imagine it's not as big of an issue as I've been having.


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:23 am 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 678
Splozion wrote:
All I did was explain that I was a hobbyist, and just wanted access to the software for the equipment I owned and they allowed my account sign up through.


You're lucky. I've tried the same on 3 or 4 occasions, with gmail, my CRT website, and my work (fortune 100 company) email address and they denied me every time. Thankfully though, I have a big long email chain with one local rep there who sends me files via FTP when I request something. I tried this maybe 1.5 years ago so maybe they're nicer about it now?



Splozion wrote:
Do the crosspoint 450s require using the extron SIS commandset? I've been playing with a similar idea for the two 300 series switchers that I own, which don't have ethernet. If you're able to host stuff on the switchers themselves, I imagine it's not as big of an issue as I've been having.


They use SIS, yes. I didn't have to deal with that however - there's a page on the stock HTML login portal (also hosted on the Crosspoint itself), which had all the code pre-written for switching presets, so I simply stole that and integrated it into my HTML file which is how I was (much more easily) able to do this. The next thing I want to try is a guy on Reddit told me about how you can integrate SIS commands into a URL link itself, which opens up all sorts of possibilities on what we can do with this touchscreen control web page (i.e. you're not stuck with ONLY being able to load presets...in theory at least).





On another note: do we have any web designers who wouldn't mind working on a little HTML/CSS for/with me? I'm so rusty at coding...and I'm trying to make my HTML template (basically a 5x4 table) responsive so it automatically fits the size (and is centered all on one screen) of the tablet or phone screen (in landscape or portrait orientation) which people are going to use this on. You would get full credit on this tutorial of course (which was just featured in the weekly RetroRGB podcast - so you can be quasi-CRT-world famous! ;)

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Extron Crosspoint Switcher TOUCHSCREEN Remote Control
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:01 pm 



Joined: 20 Apr 2016
Posts: 99
Dochartaigh wrote:
Splozion wrote:
All I did was explain that I was a hobbyist, and just wanted access to the software for the equipment I owned and they allowed my account sign up through.


You're lucky. I've tried the same on 3 or 4 occasions, with gmail, my CRT website, and my work (fortune 100 company) email address and they denied me every time. Thankfully though, I have a big long email chain with one local rep there who sends me files via FTP when I request something. I tried this maybe 1.5 years ago so maybe they're nicer about it now?


Yeah, Extron treated me the same way and didn't want to give me access to the software. I ended up contacting I'm guess what is one of their third party dealers who ended up selling me the pheonix connectors and also pheonix adapters and he was willing to give me the software but he didn't follow through. I'll have to eventually follow that up when I get around to it unless someone is willing to post it here on the forums.


Dochartaigh wrote:
The next thing I want to try is a guy on Reddit told me about how you can integrate SIS commands into a URL link itself, which opens up all sorts of possibilities on what we can do with this touchscreen control web page (i.e. you're not stuck with ONLY being able to load presets...in theory at least).


I want to start off by saying thank you for posting your work online for others to use. I'll have to get around to play testing with what you have created thus far. This was the one feature I had wish the Extron had so it's amazing to have someone in the community on working on a solution.

So with the ability to integrate SIS commands would it be possible to not only select presets but also to select input and output for video and audio together/ separately with out it being a preset? Essentially giving that exact functionality of the Extron Crosspoint to a internet capable device?


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 Post subject: Re: Extron Crosspoint Switcher TOUCHSCREEN Remote Control
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:50 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 678
Dragon89o wrote:
So with the ability to integrate SIS commands would it be possible to not only select presets but also to select input and output for video and audio together/ separately with out it being a preset? Essentially giving that exact functionality of the Extron Crosspoint to a internet capable device?


It you take a look at the second screenshot in this post, of Extron's "Set and View Ties" page of their built-in/stock web interface, it does exactly that. Problem is doing something like that on a small phone or tablet screen may be challenging (ok, it'll be less challenging for somebody who has the smaller and more common 12x8 type switchers instead of my HUGE 32x32), but I foresee a lot of pinch-and-zoom action going on to see and be able to hit a certain super-small button I'm sure. That code can likewise be stolen and made into a more aesthetically pleasing interface, but that would be a project for somebody else... (as I'm fine with just presets for now)


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:03 pm 



Joined: 06 Nov 2017
Posts: 2
Dochartaigh wrote:
Splozion wrote:
All I did was explain that I was a hobbyist, and just wanted access to the software for the equipment I owned and they allowed my account sign up through.


You're lucky. I've tried the same on 3 or 4 occasions, with gmail, my CRT website, and my work (fortune 100 company) email address and they denied me every time. Thankfully though, I have a big long email chain with one local rep there who sends me files via FTP when I request something. I tried this maybe 1.5 years ago so maybe they're nicer about it now?

I did have a similar problem, they wouldn't let me sign up with gmail, but my work address (software development company) plus the above information convinced them. This was in June, so it's possible things have changed.

Quote:
Splozion wrote:
Do the crosspoint 450s require using the extron SIS commandset? I've been playing with a similar idea for the two 300 series switchers that I own, which don't have ethernet. If you're able to host stuff on the switchers themselves, I imagine it's not as big of an issue as I've been having.


They use SIS, yes. I didn't have to deal with that however - there's a page on the stock HTML login portal (also hosted on the Crosspoint itself), which had all the code pre-written for switching presets, so I simply stole that and integrated it into my HTML file which is how I was (much more easily) able to do this. The next thing I want to try is a guy on Reddit told me about how you can integrate SIS commands into a URL link itself, which opens up all sorts of possibilities on what we can do with this touchscreen control web page (i.e. you're not stuck with ONLY being able to load presets...in theory at least).


The SIS command set does let you do a crazy amount, such as controlling volume if you use the switcher for audio, lets you give everything a roughly even volume to remove the need to adjust whatever audio system you have on the output. I've been toying with them with the intention of creating a serial to IR bridge to let me use my logitech harmony. I'd imagine there's ways of doing the same over ethernet/wi-fi with the 450 series.


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:11 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 678
Splozion wrote:
The SIS command set does let you do a crazy amount


You can even change the RGB levels with SIS - tons of stuff (which I'll probably never find a need to mess with, but it's there at least).

If you find a command to control the fan speed please let me know! Mine is way to loud and never gets hot (and getting inside these things is a pain...I gave up after around 45 minutes and 30 screws removed on my 32x32...and there's no way in hell I'm taking it out now that it's all wired up to put in quieter fans ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:14 am 



Joined: 04 Jun 2015
Posts: 180
Dochartaigh wrote:
Splozion wrote:
The SIS command set does let you do a crazy amount


You can even change the RGB levels with SIS - tons of stuff (which I'll probably never find a need to mess with, but it's there at least).

If you find a command to control the fan speed please let me know! Mine is way to loud and never gets hot (and getting inside these things is a pain...I gave up after around 45 minutes and 30 screws removed on my 32x32...and there's no way in hell I'm taking it out now that it's all wired up to put in quieter fans ;)


You probably already know this, but you can monitor the temperature and individual speed of the fans through the web interface and also by issuing SIS commands. I don't believe that there is a command to alter the speed of the fans however.

I ended up making a few loom adaptors so that I didn't have to cut any cables and replaced the Extron fans with Noctua fans and it is near silent now. The original fans are too loud for my liking.


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 Post subject: Re: Control Extron Crosspoint switcher with a Touchscreen!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:06 am 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 678
xga wrote:

You probably already know this, but you can monitor the temperature and individual speed of the fans through the web interface and also by issuing SIS commands. I don't believe that there is a command to alter the speed of the fans however.

I ended up making a few loom adaptors so that I didn't have to cut any cables and replaced the Extron fans with Noctua fans and it is near silent now. The original fans are too loud for my liking.


If I ever do a complete re-wire (talking literally 20 hours, no joke), I will definitely do that.

And it definitely tells you a lot - tells me my power supply and backup power supply are good, all the voltages, temp (at 33 celcius/91F now after been running for around 4 hours), tons of stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Extron Crosspoint Switcher TOUCHSCREEN Remote Control
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:04 pm 



Joined: 20 Feb 2018
Posts: 4
This is really awesome! I just upgraded from a 12x8 to a 32x16 Crosspoint, and I will definitely be setting this up on mine. I also have an Extron MPS 112 Media Switcher which does 4 VGA in to 1 VGA switching that is connected to an Extron 203Rxi which outputs to the Crosspoint. The same MPS 112 also does 4 S-Video in to 1 S-Video switching that goes to the Crosspoint (in the future it will goto an extron cd400 before the Crosspoint so that I don’t ever have to change video sources on my CRT - waiting for a good $$$ deal). It would be great aid I could find a way to make this switch play nice with the same software and work in conjunction but this one only has RS-232 control so I don’t know if it would be feasible. It would be awesome if the Crosspoint could connect to the MPs112 Serial-to-Serial and that would give the Crosspoint the ability to control the MPS112 over IPLink. I would just run everything through the Crosspoint on a loop back setup but I currently have 24 sources with more on the way and the loop back setup would make me run out of ports again (crazy I know it’s a freaking 32 input switch).
Anyway thanks for your awesome contribution.


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 Post subject: Re: Extron Crosspoint Switcher TOUCHSCREEN Remote Control
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:59 pm 



Joined: 19 Jul 2017
Posts: 750
Aquamentus wrote:
It would be great aid I could find a way to make this switch play nice with the same software and work in conjunction but this one only has RS-232 control so I don’t know if it would be feasible. It would be awesome if the Crosspoint could connect to the MPs112 Serial-to-Serial and that would give the Crosspoint the ability to control the MPS112 over IPLink.

This software could probably be expanded to remote-control another CrossPoint or networked unit using JavaScript and/or an iframe.

Unfortunately, since your MPS is serial-only, you'd have to have something like a RasPi running a webserver that could translate those commands from HTTP calls to whatever your MPS needs over serial. So, it's feasible; it'll just be a bit of work.


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