The basics

What is CAM?

CAM is an M&C (Monitoring and Control) solution to enable centralised control and monitoring of a variety of interoperating devices from different manufacturers at different locations.

What does CAM consist of?

CAM consists of server side software that is constantly monitoring all of the devices and client side sortware that is run as required to inspect the status and perform any control actions.

What is CAM Daemon?

CAM Daemon is the name of the server side software. It is usually running continuously on a computer that is able to connect to all the devices to be monitored. When there are devices at more than one location, it is usual to have a CAM Daemon running at each location and these are connected to a CAM Daemon running at any base station(s) where centralised management is performed.

What do I need to run CAM Daemon on?

CAM Daemon is designed to require very low computing resources and so as well as being able to be run on normal server format machines, it can be run on low power CPU cards without a display for use in embedded applications and Alphawave can also supply appropriate pre-configured cards or rack mounted custom made solutions if required. We recommend it is run under Linux for reliability, but it also runs under Windows and there is no functionaly difference between the two.

What is CAM GFX?

CAM GFX is the client side graphical user interface software used to visually monitor the status of the devices and control any settings on them. It can run on any computer and simply connects to a CAM Daemon as and when the user requires. In a centralised management scenario it would commonly be left running on a main display, but can be run on a laptop when away from base to connect in and perform any checks or actions required.

What do I need to run CAM GFX on?

Any desktop or laptop computer can run CAM GFX. It is compatible with Windows and Linux and we can slso supply OSX and Android versions if required. There is no difference in the look, feel or use of the software between the different plaforms and it does support touchscreen only use.

What is a CAM Site?

A CAM Site is an individual instance of a CAM Daemon and there is usually one per location that CAM is deployed in. If there are multiple seperate CAM networks being controlled from a single centralised base station, then it would usually have a CAM Site for each CAM network it is controlling.

What is a CAM Network?

A CAM Network is a collection of interconnected CAM Sites. Usually in the context of centralised management for physically dispersed equipment at a variety of locations each of which is a separate CAM Site with their own CAM Daemon.

How do I setup my CAM Site configuration?

On the computer running CAM Daemon for the CAM Site in question, there is a folder called “CAM-Site” for the user that the CAM Daemon sofware runs under. Within this folder is a plain text file called “config” (or “config.txt” on Windows) and this contains the configuration information for the CAM-Site and all the devices that it will monitor. Some device types have all their connection configuration information within this file as well.

How do I start CAM Daemon?

CAM Daemon usually runs on a specific server computer that has been configured to run automatically on power up. In instances where it’s only run manually as required, then there will be a desktop icon to launch it from.

How do I start CAM GFX?

CAM GFX is usually launched from a desktop icon although in certain embedded installations it will start automatically when the loaction is physically powered up.

What does CAM GFX look like?

CAM GFX at its simplest consists of a table view listing the individual devices on the right and a hierarchical tree view of the CAM Network on the left.

How do I know if there’s something wrong at a CAM Site?

When there is something wrong at a CAM Site a CAM Alarm will be generated. This makes a sound (which can be turned off) and flashes an LED by the Site device display in the tree view and by the device itself in the table view.

How do I know which device has a problem in the CAM Network?

By drilling down into the tree view on the left and following the trail of flashing LEDs you can get down to the device or devices that are generating a CAM Alarm.

What is a CAM Alarm?

A CAM Alarm is a condition under which CAM will generate an alarm for a device. There are varying levels of alarm (from a simple info alert to critical fault) and there can be up to 20 different conditions programmed for a device. E.g. connection fail, temperature over a threshold, voltage below a threshold, IO status change etc.

What is a device fault?

A given device from a manufacturer may well have a number of its own tellbacks to indicate conditions that are warnings of faults. CAM will report and display all of these and a individual CAM Alarm can be tied to one of thes device faults if required.

How do I know what the problem is with a device?

Between the initial alert raised by a CAM Alarm and then inspection of the device’s fault(s) and any other appropriate status information it has displayed in CAM, it should usually be reasonably straightforward to determine what the problem is with that device and therefore which remedial solution should be initiated or what further diagnostics should then be performed.

Can CAM alert me to a problem when I’m not by a machine running CAM GFX?

Yes, CAM Daemom can be configured to perform various actions on a specific CAM Alarm or Alarms and trigger an external device via IO, issue an SNMP trap, send am emeil or send an SMS to a phone.

GFX graphical client

What is the “Console screen”?

The “Console screen” is the main display on the right of the screen that shows the devices that are being viewed. This is normally in a Table view with a summary line for each device, but can also be Rack or Chain views if these have been created and devices assigned to them.

What is the “Device explorer”?

The device explorer is a tree like display on the left of the screen similar to the folder explorer available in Windows when you click the “Folder” button. This can be turned off as an option in the “Console screens” preferences or minimised/restored by clicking the centre of the drag bar that separates it from the “Console screen”.

Why are some/all Device/Site names not displaying what I expected?

Because the “Device display full name” option in “Console screen” option Preferences is not set to what you want.

If it’s not set, it will simply display the “name” of the device as per its “CAM Address” (last part).

If it’s set, then it will display the “full_name” of the device. This is set in the CAM/Identification panel for the device.

NOTE: this option affects both “Console screen” and “Device explorer” display.

What are Groups?

These are simply user definable collections of devices, usually for some logical purpose. The group name reference is stored within the CAM device object so any user logged in to any server that can see the device will be able to find it in its groups.

What are Racks?

These are similar to Groups, except that they are used to generate displays that resemble the physical racks the devices are in. Hence a device can only be in 1 rack.

The rack needs to be defined on the server it pertains to before devices can be put in it and can only be seen by users logged in to that server.

What are Chains?

These are also similar to groups, but they are used to create a reference group to a point to point communication link. There is both an Outbound and Inbound group to any chain, though one way links can be created by simply leaving the other direction empty.

The chain needs to be defined on the server it pertains to before devices can be put in it and can only be seen by users logged in to that server.

How do I stop the main Console screen from fading out?

Switch off the “Console fade” option in the “Console screen” option Preferences or on the popup menu to the left of the “Home” button.

Why are the buttons above the main Console screen greyed out?

Because “Console screen locked” is turned on in the “Console screen” option Preferences or on the popup menu to the left of the “Home” button. Or because “Lock windows layout” is turned on the the “View” menu on the top bar of the program window.

Why can’t I open, close or move around windows?

Because “Lock windows layout” is turned on the the “View” menu on the top bar of the program window.

How can I get further information about a data field, button, menu option etc.?

Put the mouse pointer over it and wait a second for the popup help to appear. Most (but not all) things do have popup help.

Why is there no popup help?

Because it’s been switched off in the “Data fields” Preferences.

Daemon server

Why is the Server starting but not working?

The licence file could be damaged or missing.

Why is the Server not starting?

The config file could be damaged or contain invalid information.

General questions

What are the legally allowed characters for Device / Site / Rack / Chain names?

a-zA-Z0-9 -_ (space, hyphen, underscore)

What is a “CAM Address”?

This is the unique specifier to refer to a device in the form of: ‘Net’.’Site’.’Type’.’Device’

  • ‘Net’ is the CAM Network name
  • ‘Site’ is the CAM Site name
  • ‘Type’ is the type of device (more specifically what it is)
  • ‘Device’ is the name of the actual unit itself.

There is also a numerical form of the “CAM Address” – because every unique branch of the tree maps to a unique number.

NOTE: Do not confuse these forms with IP addresses even though they look very similar.

Why does the middle button of the mouse (or TrackPoint, etc.) not work?

See the NOTE at the end of the “Keyboard & Mouse preferences” section of “User Settings” in the manual for solutions for Windows and Linux.

On Linux why does the Middle Click pasting of text selected in a different OS window not work?

It’s SHIFT + Middle Click instead, as middle click is used by GFX for the info menu of the variable(s) of an icon or text box.

CAM 200/CAM 250 unit

How do I know if the Server is communicating with any devices on a CAM200 / CAM250 unit?

The red LED will flash for every few packets of communication. If it’s off, then there’s no communication with any devices.

How do I know if the Server is running on a CAM200 / CAM250 unit?

The green LED on the front of the unit will flash while the Server is running. If both the green and red LEDs are on (but not flashing), then the Server is in the process of starting up.

Where can I find out more?
* Check out the QuickStart guide
* Read the full operation manual