RedRat Device Manager
RedRat Device Manager is a simple software application intended to help with the installation and set-up of RedRat devices, providing basic testing of their functionality. It is not intended as an end-user application; once devices have been installed and configured, other software applications can then use them.
The first task when installing an irNetBox is to configure its IP address. When delivered, it expects to use a dynamically allocated IP address using DHCP, however it can be assigned a static IP address. For up to and including the irNetBox-III, this is done using the Lantronix Device Installer, which is delivered on the CD with your unit, or downloaded from www.lantronix.com. For the irNetBox-IV, this is done on the device itself using the navigation keys and display panel.
The basic configuration of using a dynamic IP address or providing a static IP address is adequate for most environments, but on networks with more restrictions it may be necessary for certain ports to be enabled in firewalls or filters. Setting an irNetBox’s IP Address via its MAC Address provides more information on this.
During program start-up an automatic search for devices on your network will commence. This uses a UDP broadcast and waits for a response from devices which are then listed in the main panel. Once the program has finished starting-up, a search can be initiated manually via the Devices → Find menu item. If UDP broadcasts are not permitted on your network, then you can add an irNetBox using its IP address from the Devices → Add (IP Address) menu item.
If one of the listed devices is selected, some general information about the device is displayed in the right hand panel of the application.
These are informal device identification fields that can be changed to help identify individual devices. The values are stored on the PC on which the RedRat Device Manager is running, and so are not network wide, but are used by all RedRat software so will appear in other applications run on the same PC.
For the irNetBox-IV, the name is also stored within the device itself and is visible across the network. It can therefore be treated as a global property. A connection to the device is needed to change the name of an irNetBox-IV – see Hardware/Firmware Configuration.
These fields show top-level information about the type of device. For the various irNetBox versions, this information is displayed in the following table.
|Type||Number of IR Outputs||IR Output Power Level Control|
|MK-I||16||LOW or HIGH power on port 1, otherwise LOW power only|
|MK-II||16||LOW, MEDIUM or HIGH power on all outputs|
|MK-III||16||Power controllable from 0 - 100 on all outputs|
|MK-IV||16||Power controllable from 0 - 100 on all outputs|
The method that software uses to find and so connect to an irNetBox, which can take two values:
For devices that have IR capabilities, double clicking on them will show an IR Input + Output window. For a selected device the window can also be shown via the Devices → IR Input + Output menu item or by right clicking on the device.
The right hand side of the window allows control of various aspects of the device. The purpose of this dialog is to validate that we have network communication with the device, to help install the stick-on emitters and to ensure that the A/V equipment under control responds correctly.
To test signal output, use this area to learn/capture an IR signal from a remote control. The application stores a single signal only – for full signal database management please use the RedRat signal DB utility.
For irNetBoxes, these areas allow the testing and validation of the IR outputs, for example to check that output number 4 is actually wired up to a particular device. A graphical representation of the ports reflects the state of the device’s front panel and selecting an output will enable/disable it. There is a default power level setting but the power levels of individual outputs can be changed by right-clicking on them.
Additionally, for the irNetBox-IV there are two display modes; Blink and Power. Blink replicates the display behaviour of the LEDs on previous versions i.e. on/off, while Power allows various power levels to be displayed. The display mode can be changed in the top-left hand panel of the window.
These parameters are used to adjust the exact behaviour of signal input. In cases of difficulty when capturing a signal, these values can be adjusted to improve signal learning, however this is not generally needed. The parameters are all returned to their default value if the device is restarted. They can be changed in the top-left hand panel of the window.
Network information is given in the left hand panel of the window for devices that can connect to a network.
When configuring an irNetBox’s XPort, by default, the configuration steps will not allow changing the irNetBox type. This, however, can be overridden in the options dialog (from the File → Options menu item).
Another issue that can happen if the XPort loses configuration information is that RedRat applications and software will not think it is an irNetBox, so will not list it. In this situation, the option can be selected to “Accept responses from hardware not explicitly labelled as a RedRat device…”.
Note: Care must be taken with this as there may be other devices on the network using XPorts and so these should not be configured as irNetBoxes! So only use this option if you recognise the IP/MAC address as an irNetBox.
If you find that you can’t communicate with an irNetBox because the IP address is not correct for your network, for example it has been moved from one network to another, and then this gives a mechanism for resetting its IP address. This can be found on the Devices → Set IP via MAC Address menu item. A change IP address instruction is sent to the XPort via UDP broadcast, but only the XPort with the correct MAC address will respond to it. The information you need to use this is:
Once you have performed this operation, then you need to wait for about 10 seconds while the XPort restarts. Following this, use the Devices → Find menu item to look for the units again.
On restricted networks, or if attempting to use an irNetBox from behind a firewall, the following ports need to be opened: