801IPLEX - iOS Interface


The 801iPLEX is designed to be used with Apple iOS devices (iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone and iPod Touch). The E-Plex module is mounted in our new style enclosure which can be bulkhead mounted, or din rail mounted with an optional bracket.
It provides the following connections:

  • 10-30V DC power input
  • E-Plex positive and negative, on our new water proof 2 pole connector.
  • A serial port, used for communication to the network interface.
  • A USB port for power supply only; used to power the network interface.

The module is supplied with serial to either Wi-Fi or Ethernet bridge module, which connects to the E-Plex module via a short serial and USB cable (included). The 801iPLEX allows bidirectional communications between E-Plex and up to 4 iOS devices. 1)

A minimal system might consist of a 400ECM, 801iPLEX and an iPad. E-Logic is used to create the programming for the 400ECM as normal. The 801iPLEX object within the E-Logic software allows you to define the data that you want to send to the iPad, and the data that you want to receive back from it. The layouts for the iPad are created within a separate application, called Command Fusion. This allows more sophisticated functionality than is possible within the E-Logic layout editor currently, including support for multi-touch and gestures. Within the Command Fusion designer, you can assign the incoming data from E-Logic to the right buttons and controls. Detailed example files showing how this is done are included with E-Logic. The graphics libraries used in the example files can be freely used in other designs.

Command Fusion is principally used for AV and control applications, and it is possible to create a single integrated layout that merges E-Plex control, as well as controls for AV systems- you would just need to add a Wi-Fi to infrared bridge or similar. The same application can be used to design for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Because these devices have different screen sizes and resolutions, it would be normal to create a different layout for each device that you want to support. For this reason, we see the iPad as being the obvious choice to design for and supply.

The user runs an app on the iPad, called iViewer. This is a free application, downloadable from the iTunes store. A licence fee is required for designs that use more than one page; this is currently around £100 / €120 / $150, but single page designs are completely free. The Command Fusion software creates the configuration file file that will be stored on the iPad (this only has to be done once). Because of the need to install, configure and license the app, we would recommend that this is done by the dealer.

Right now, the 801iPlex is only designed to connect to local devices via Wi-Fi; we are not recommending that it is used to remotely access an E-Plex system.


Frequently Asked Questions

Note: These FAQs will usually only mention the iPad. However unless specifically noted otherwise, they apply to all iOS devices.

I have followed the instructions in the documentation, but CF iViewer will not display the received values correctly. What am I missing?

CF iViewer is a legacy application that does not work with E-Plex. Use iViewer 4 instead.

I am sure that my regex is correct, but when I use the regex tester in the CommandFusion guiDesigner it will not recognise the test data. What am I doing wrong?

Probably nothing.

The regexes used for E-Plex frames use the :xdigit: token to match hexadecimal digits. This is a posix extension to the regex standard so is not supported on Windows by default. This means that even if your regex is correct, it will not work with the regex tester. As a workaround, you can download our regex builder tool that will automatically generate the correct regex for you based on the information you provide.

If you still need to test an E-Plex regex with the regex tester, you can substitute all occurrences of :xdigit: with [0-9a-fA-F] which does exactly the same thing on Windows.

I am having trouble with the communication between the iPad and E-Plex system. What should I check?

Here is a list of things that you should check, in the order that you should check them. Some of them may seem trivial, but are easy to overlook, and may be required for later steps. This list should be sufficient to diagnose most common faults.

Note: There is a bug in the latest version iOS (V6 at the time of writing) which prevents iViewer from detecting the network connection when running in ad-hoc mode without a DCHP server. The work around is to either use a DHCP server, or manually assign an IP address. Refer to this FAQ for details on how to do this.

  1. Is the clock streaming? The clock must be streaming in order for the iPlex to send or receive data.
  2. What are the LEDs on the iPlex doing? The iPlex has 3 LEDs; Ack, TX, and RX.
    1. The Ack LED must blink when the clock is streaming (in a small design it may be blinking fast enough to appear as though it is always on; this is OK, but it must not be constantly off). If this is not the case, check that the module is addressed and programmed correctly.
    2. The TX LED will blink every time the iPlex sends information to the iPad. If this LED does not come on, check your E-Logic design to make sure the iPlex object is correctly controlled. If in doubt, use the simulator to watch the status of the wire on the module's TX pin.
    3. The RX LED will blink every time data is received from the iPad. This will usually be when a button is pressed. If this LED does not blink, then there is probably a problem with the wireless connection (see below).
  3. What are the LEDs on the Wi-Fi receiver doing? The Wi-Fi receiver has two LEDs; Wi-Fi (located next to the power connector), and Serial (located next to the serial connector).
    1. The Wi-Fi LED will blink rapidly at power-up, then stay solid on for a few seconds whilst it attempts to connect to the wireless network. Once connected, the LED should blink slowly. If the LED does not come on, check the power to the Wi-Fi. If the LED does not begin blinking slowly, then check the Wi-Fi network settings.
    2. The Serial LED will blink whenever data is received from or sent to the Wi-Fi network. Note: Although the iPlex is sending data to the Wi-Fi receiver, the receiver will only send the data to the Wi-Fi network if something is listening. Therefore the LED will only blink whilst iViewer is open and connected correctly (see below).
  4. Can the iPad connect to the Wi-Fi receiver? On the iPad, open Safari and enter the IP address of the Wi-Fi receiver in the address bar. The correct address depends on your Wi-Fi network settings, by default it is If the iPad can connect to the Wi-Fi receiver, you should see the receiver's configuration web page. If the page is not displayed, check that the iPad is connected to the correct Wi-Fi network, and has been assigned an IP address.
    • Note: The default configuration for the Wi-Fi receiver is Ad-Hoc mode (as opposed to infrastructure mode). In this mode, devices on the network talk directly to each other without requiring a Wi-Fi access point to manage the network. Because there is no central authority on the network, it can take the iPad a little longer to initialise the Wi-Fi connection (up to a minute). During this time, the settings app may indicate that the iPad is connected to a Wi-Fi network, but there will be no Wi-Fi icon in the status bar. Until the Wi-Fi icon appears, the iPad is not fully connected to the Wi-Fi network and will not be able to talk to E-Plex. Note that this procedure also happens whenever you unlock the iPad after it has been asleep for extended periods of time. See below for tips on speeding up network initialisation.
  5. Are the serial settings of the Wi-Fi receiver correct? From the Wi-Fi receiver's configuration page, tap on “Serial” on the left-hand side. The following settings should be used: multi port enabled, baud rate 57600, flow control none, parity even.
    1. Make sure that the settings are correct, then tap on save. Note: Tap on save, even if you haven't changed any settings.
    2. Saving the settings resets the error counters, so they should all be reading 0 now. Tap on “Serial” on the left again.
    3. Frame errors and parity errors should both still be zero (or at least single digits). Overflow errors should increase every time you tap on serial, until the number reaches 255. If the error counts are incorrect, check the connection between the iPlex and the Wi-Fi receiver.
  6. Is the IP address of the E-Plex system in the GUI layout correct? Make sure that the address specified in the system manager for the GUI layout; this should match the address that you entered into Safari in step 4.

When I use the iPad in Ad-Hoc mode, it takes a while to initialise the network connection. Is there anything that can be done to speed this up?

Yes. The reason that the network initialisation takes a long time is because there is no DHCP server on the network to assign IP addresses. When the iPad connects to the network, it waits for a DHCP server to assign it an IP address. After a while, it decides that there is no server present, and assigns itself an address. There are two things that can be done to speed up the initialisation:

  • Assign an IP address manually. If you assign an IP address to the iPad, it will not have to wait for a DHCP server every time it connects to the network.
    1. In the settings app, select Wi-Fi on the left-hand side
    2. Tap on the blue arrow on the right-hand side of the E-Plex Wi-Fi network
    3. Tap on Static
    4. In the IP Address field, enter
    5. In the Subnet Mask field, enter
  • Add a DHCP server to the network. This is usually achieved by using a Wi-Fi access point.

Note: Only use one of these approaches. If you use both, it won't work.

How do I configure the iTach to work with a router?

The default Wi-Fi configuration of the iTach is ad-hoc mode. In this mode, devices connect directly to each other without the use of a router. If a router it to be used, the configuration of the iTach must be changed. In order to do this, a device capable of connecting to an ad-hoc network and running a web browser is required. Laptops and iOS devices are suitable, but most Android devices are not.

  1. Power up the router, and make sure that it is correctly configured. Refer to the router documentation for information on how to do this.
  2. Power up the iTach, and wait until the LED above the power connector begins flashing slowly.
  3. Connect the laptop/iOS device to the iTach network (the network name will begin with GlobalCache). If the network does not appear, try resetting the iTach to its default settings by inserting a paper clip into the opening by the power connector. The LEDs will flash rapidly while the settings are reset, wait until the LED by the power connector flashes slowly before attempting to connect.
  4. Open a web browser, and navigate to A page titled iTach WF2SL Setup and Configuration should be displayed.
  5. From the list on the left-hand side of the page, select network.
  6. In the network configuration section, change the network type to infrastructure.
  7. If the network is managed by a DHCP server, select enable DHCP. If the network is not managed by a DHCP server, make sure this option is not selected, and enter the desired values for IP address, gateway, and subnet mask.
  8. Enter the name of the wireless network in the SSID field.
  9. Select the correct security type (this will usually be WPA2).
  10. If required by the selected security type, enter the pass phrase.
  11. Check all of the settings carefully. Once the settings are saved, if there are any mistakes, the only way to make any changes is to reset all values to their defaults and start again.
  12. Save the settings. The LEDs will flash rapidly and the iTach will reboot. If network name and password were entered correctly, the LED by the power connector should begin flashing slowly.
  13. Connect the laptop/iOS device to the router's network.
  14. In the web browser navigate to the new IP address of the iTach. The configuration page should be displayed.

If the LED by the power connector does not begin flashing slowly after changing the network settings, the SSID or network security settings have probably been specified incorrectly. If this happens, the iTach must be reset to its default configuration by inserting a paper clip in the opening by the power connector. Once performed correctly, the LEDs will begin flashing rapidly. Confirm the network name and security details, then re-start this procedure.

If the LED by the power connector begins blinking after changing the network settings, but the configuration page cannot be viewed from the web browser, the IP address of the iTach is probably incorrect. Either use the above procedure to reset the iTach and try again, or run the iHelp tool to determine the actual IP address that the iTach is using.

How do I replicate E-Logic's indexed text functionality in iViewer?

Refer to the indexed text demo project for an example of how to create indexed text in iViewer. The zip file is an exported project archive, so can be loaded directly into iViewer without being extracted. The guiUtils.js file will be included with the other iViewer template files in a future E-Logic release.

How do I change the appearance of an object on a page based on some other value in the design?

Refer to the binary theme changer demo project for an example of how to switch the theme of an object in iViewer based on the value of a join. The zip file is an exported project archive, so can be loaded directly into iViewer without being extracted. The guiUtils.js and logUtils.js file will be included with the other iViewer template files in a future E-Logic release.

1) Communication with more iOS devices is possible, by adding more 801iPLEXs to the system.
hardwarepub/modules/801iplex.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/22 11:29 by Bob Lynas
Recent changes RSS feed

Wiki help | Staff area