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Accessing and storing the NexSys™ datalog with your IPhone

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NexSys by Lakewood Instruments, LLC

NexSys Phone Browser Screenshots We are getting a great response from customers using the ethernet/remote access with their NexSys™ Control systems.Well, mostly.While you can access the controller from any HTML5 capable browser and view LIVE screens (Including color graphs) without having to try to remember a new layout or tapping through unfamiliar menus, the data log file is still just that…a CSV file.Android users can access the unit via their phone and save the data log file to their folders, or email it on to others, but Iphone users face a special dilemma. (Android users can also use this method for convenience of cloud storage).

The Iphone, as of this date, is reluctant to save files to the phone, thus making remote or local wireless file downloads   and manipulation somewhat difficult. We offer you a solution.

First, the hardware:

Even if you do not have 3G/4G broadband (WAN) access to the controller ( We get it…sometimes our products end up in deep dark places with no phone coverage) , you can access the controller conveniently from your phone with a local 802.11 (g-n) wireless hub/router acting as a transmitter. The units cost as little as $40. By connecting the NexSys™ to the hub via the Ethernet cable,  you create a closed access system (No connection to the customers Network or anything but the NexSys™). When you are near the unit, you access the hub using the 802.11 wireless feature of your Iphone, even if the 3G/4G has no bars.

If you have 3G/4G access, and the NexSys™ is on our EZWEB 3G wireless system (which is now very economically priced at $45 per month), you can use this same procedure to access and save data logs

Now the software:

We suggest you utilize one of the online cloud servers, like Dropbox, that also has a free APP for your smartphone.

We are not specifically endorsing Dropbox, but the APP/PC software combo are appealing and the setup allowed us to use our Iphones to save the files and view them later across numerous platforms. We used this simple setup below with ease.

A benefit of the cloud storage service is that your company can setup multiple users and purchase more storage, allowing your field personnel to “drop” files into customer specific folders while on site (or when they get out of a dead zone) and “synchronize” them to their PC’s later….automatically.

This may not be the most elegant solution, but it does allow you to economically (Most individual boxes are free up to a certain storage size) and quickly resolve the issue of accessing the controller data logs without having to crack open the controller cover, dig out a USB memory stick (which always ends up in the bottom of your service bag, gets left in the plug when you leave or always seems to be upside down when you first try to plug it in). With the local wireless hub, there is no need for you to make any sort of physical connection each time you visit. Wireless is considered convenient for a reason.

This process requires you to have the “Dropbox” APP installed on your device. This is accomplished by going to the APPStore on the device and installing Dropbox. After it is installed, you can either setup an account through the APP or log in to Dropbox with your existing account information (the same login information that you would use on your PC). To access it from the PC, you will have to install some software there as well.

Why Dropbox?

  1. This APP allows for cloud storage of files thus making them accessible from any device with Dropbox installed and either signed into the same Dropbox account OR that has access to a shared folder in Dropbox. This includes: Iphones & Ipads, Androids, MACs, PCs, and many others.
  2. Dropbox integrates into the Apple OS such that it is selectable from most other APPs installed on the same device.

Using Dropbox to save files from Safari:

  1. Tap Safari
  2. Enter the IP address of the NexSys™ you want to access and add “/sampling” to the end of the address (without quote marks).
  3. IP Address. (ex 166.250.129.30/sampling or if local wireless dead end hub use 172.16.0.4/sampling)

You will see a screen similar to this one:

touchlon datalog

  1. Tap on the second icon in the row of the data you want to collect
  2. A “CSV” format operation will occur and present a file for viewing. Once data is displayed:
    1. Tap the “X” on the address bar in the upper right hand corner of screen to show ‘Open in …’ and select “Dropbox”
    2. A Dropbox folder/file window will opendropbox 2
    3. Select where you want the file to be saved (We recommended a filing system by customer and system).
    4. Rename the file from ‘tl_cv_0t.cvs’ to something meaningful to you, so you’ll know where the data came from and on which date.
    5. Tap ‘Save’

When you have access to 3G/4G or the internet, you can synchronize your files with the cloud service. The next time you access your PC and fire up Dropbox, the folders will synchronize automatically. The The file is now accessible as mentioned above:

dropbox

 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how to achieve this, please call.

 


 

The AWT Annual Convention and exposition is here and we will be bringing the NexSys™ demo units for you to operate and program. Come by our booths #207-209 and say “Hi” to Tom, Paul and Jorge (Our distributor from Mexico). This is shaping up to be a great show!

 

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