Testing and troubleshooting devices

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This page was written by Pluto and imported with their permission when LinuxMCE branched off in February, 2007. In general any information should apply to LinuxMCE. However, this page should be edited to reflect changes to LinuxMCE and remove old references to Pluto.

Next to each device is an "Advanced", or "Adv" button. This takes you to the advanced properties for that device, also accessible from the "Advanced", "Devices". Normally you don't need to go there, and if you do, be careful about making changes. Whereas the Wizard pages try to prevent you from making mistakes, the Advanced page gives you total control and you can change settings that cause devices not to work. However, there a couple useful links on the advanced page, primarely: Send Command To Device, and Follow Log. IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't forget concept #5. If you just added a new device or changed the settings for a device be sure to choose Wizard, Restart and "Quick Reload Router" before you try to send it commands or follow its log.

For simple devices you turn on and off, like lights, the "Send Command" link can be a quick way to confirm the device is working without using the Orbiter. Note that in such cases you send the commands to the child device, not the interface device. For example, if you have a lamp controlled by a Lutron master controller, and want to see if the light is working, go to the Advanced page for the lamp (the lighting device)--not the Lutron controller (the interface device). If you send it a command and it doesn't work, go back to the Wizard page and double-check the controlled via device and the parameters. If you make a change do a Quick Reload Router before testing it again.

If the device still isn't working the "Follow log" link can help troubleshoot. The log is usually fairly technical. Note that the log you want to follow is normally the interface device--not the child device. It's the reverse of the Send Command. Send the command to the lamp, not the Lutron controller, but follow the log of the Lutron controller. Technical Explanation: If you click "View" next to the Device Template on the device's advanced page, you will see which devices "Implement DCE". Devices with that box check, and with "Is Embedded" and "Is Plugin" not checked, are separate software modules. For example, the interface devices are normally always separate software modules. However, the child devices, like lamps, sensors, a/v equipment, etc., are not software modules--they don't implement DCE. Their commands are handled by the parent, the interface device. However you still have to send the command to the child device so the interface device knows which of it's children you want to control. The programmer's guide explains DCE in detail. But for now, the rule of thumb when troubleshooting is to send commands to the lowest device in the chain, and if it's log is empty, try the log for its "Controlled Via" device.