Friday, June 19, 2015

Digital Dash Documentation, Part 9: Reading Time and Torque Data

This is a bit of a "rogue" task.  Where the other tasks in the system are triggered by some sort of external stimuli (e.g. a button is tapped, a new song comes on, app focus changes) this one is kicked off by the startup sequence, goes off into its own little world, and is killed when the system shuts down.  It spends most of its time sleeping, only to wake up every 25 seconds or so to see what's going on.  Its purpose is to update the time display on the main screen and let me know when it's time to start thinking about getting gas.


V3_TimeAndTorque (336)
A1: Variable Set [ Name:%mytime To:%TIME Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 
A2: Variable Split [ Name:%mytime Splitter:. Delete Base:Off ] 
A3: Variable Set [ Name:%mytime1 To:%mytime1-12 Do Maths:On Append:Off ] If [ %mytime1 > 12 ]
A4: Variable Set [ Name:%mytime To:%mytime1:%mytime2 Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 
A5: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_DispTime To:%mytime Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 

It would have been much easier to just link Tasker's built in %TIME variable to an on-screen display but, unfortunately, it only reports out in 24-hour time; and I wanted a 12-hour display, so I need to manipulate the data a bit.  

It's pretty straight forward: The %TIME variable is copied into a local variable (%mytime) and split into variables holding the hour (%mytime1) and the minutes (%mytime2).  We then subtract 12 from the hour, but only if it's greater than 12.  So, for example, 10 is left alone but 15 has 12 subtracted from it to yield 3.

We then concatenate the hours, a ":", and the minutes back into the %mytime variable and set the global variable %DispTime equal to it.  %DispTime, of course, is the source for a text element on the main display.

The Z3's analog gas gauge has the disturbing habit of going along saying, "Yup, Everything's fine; plenty of gas.  No problem here, Chief.  We can go a long way yet".  Until it gets down to about a third of a tank.  Then it starts sucking it down like a thirsty drunk on Dollar Pitcher Night.  That's one reason there are three displays dealing with gas mileage on the main screen.  The following part of the task is designed to wake me up if I'm not paying attention and let me know that it's time to start looking for some 91-octane go-juice.

A6: Run Shell [ Command:/data/data/burrows.apps.busybox/app_busybox/tail -1 /storage/emulated/0/torqueLogs/trackLog.csv Timeout (Seconds):0 Use Root:Off Store Output In:%obd_log Store Errors In: Store Result In: Continue Task After Error:On ] 

Every five seconds Torque adds a new line to its log file with several pieces of information, including the "Estimated Distance To Empty" (EDE) that it calculates using the current MPG and the vehicle profile I set up.  Since I only want to know the latest information, I use the "tail" command, which simply reads in the last line of the file (tracklog.csv) and stores it in a local variable (%obd_log).

A7: Variable Split [ Name:%obd_log Splitter:, Delete Base:Off ] 

I then split the base variable so that I can access the one piece of data that I really want.

A8: Test Element [ Scene Name:V3_LH Element:LowFuel Test:Element Visibility Store Result In:%lowdistanceindicator Continue Task After Error:On ] 

The line above tests the LowFuel element on the V3_LH scene to see if it is visible or not and stores the result in %lowdistanceindicator.

A9: If [ %obd_log6 < 60 & %lowdistanceindicator ~ false ]

The next thing we do is test to see if the indicator is still invisible and the EDE (stored in the 6th position of the data array) has fallen below my set point; in this case, 60 miles.

A10: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_LH Element Match:LowFuel Set:True Animation Time (MS):0 ] 

If both of those conditions are true, we make the LowFuel element (a translucent red square) be visible over the Distance To Empty element on the screen.

A11: Say [ Text:Warning. Range limit is under sixty miles. Engine:Voice:default:default Stream:3 Pitch:5 Speed:4 Respect Audio Focus:On Network:Off Continue Task Immediately:Off Continue Task After Error:On ] 
A12: End If 

We also give a verbal warning before ending the test started back in line 9.  The reason for doing it this way is that I want a verbal warning when low range point is first reached, but after that I only want the indicator to stay lit.  Once the conditions in the test have been met for the first time, the second part of the test will fail since the indicator is already on; so no repeated verbal warnings.  If I just tested the EDE, the system would be yelling at me about every 30 seconds.

A13: If [ %obd_log6 > 60 & %lowdistanceindicator ~ true ]
A14: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_LH Element Match:LowFuel Set:False Animation Time (MS):0 ] 
A15: End If 

This routine clears the visual indicator when the EDE rises above 60 again.  That is, when I fill up and tell Torque that I have plenty of gas again.

A16: Wait [ MS:0 Seconds:25 Minutes:0 Hours:0 Days:0 ] 
A17: Goto [ Type:Action Number Number:1 Label: ] 

The task finishes by going back to sleep again.  When it wakes up, it starts all over at line one.  Doing it this way means that the clock isn't accurate to the second, but it's close enough for what I want.

Digital Dash Documentation, Part 8: Torque Overlay Handling

This is the last profile (at least on the tablet) that I need to describe.  This one simply handles showing the four main overlay scenes when Torque is in the foreground, and removing them when it loses focus.

Profile: V3_TorqueOverlay (342)
Application: Torque
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_ShowMainOverlay (340)

A very simple profile.  Whenever we are in the system (i.e. %V3_DrivingMode is SET) and Torque comes to the foreground, we show the four overlay screens.  When Torque loses focus (i.e. we switch to another app) the scenes are hidden. 

A1: Show Scene [ Name:V3_TopMain Display As:Overlay, Blocking Horizontal Position:100 Vertical Position:0 Animation:System Show Exit Button:Off Continue Task Immediately:On ]
A2: Show Scene [ Name:V3_LH Display As:Overlay, Blocking Horizontal Position:4 Vertical Position:196 Animation:System Show Exit Button:Off Continue Task Immediately:On ]
A3: Show Scene [ Name:V3_Bottom Display As:Overlay, Blocking Horizontal Position:100 Vertical Position:200 Animation:System Show Exit Button:Off Continue Task Immediately:On ]
A4: Show Scene [ Name:V3_RH Display As:Overlay, Blocking Horizontal Position:200 Vertical Position:200 Animation:System Show Exit Button:Off Continue Task Immediately:On ]

The entry task just shows the previously created scenes.  All of them are blocking overlays because they all contain elements that the user can interact with.

Exit: V3_HideMainOverlay (341)
A1: Hide Scene [ Name:V3_TopMain Animation:None Continue Task After Error:On ]
A2: Hide Scene [ Name:V3_TopSources Animation:None Continue Task After Error:On ]
A3: Hide Scene [ Name:V3_TopEQ Animation:None Continue Task After Error:On ]
A4: Hide Scene [ Name:V3_CancelOverlays Animation:None Continue Task After Error:On ]
A5: Hide Scene [ Name:V3_LH Animation:None Continue Task After Error:On ]
A6: Hide Scene [ Name:V3_Bottom Animation:None Continue Task After Error:On ]
A7: Hide Scene [ Name:V3_FavoriteSongs Animation:None Continue Task After Error:On ]
A8: Hide Scene [ Name:V3_Destinations Animation:None Continue Task After Error:On ]
A9: Hide Scene [ Name:V3_RH Animation:None Continue Task After Error:On ] 

For the exit task, I took what my father would call the "brute force and awkwardness" approach.  That is, I don't check to see what scenes might be showing and selectively hide them; instead, I just hide any scene that could possibly be showing.  The "Continue Task After Error" lets that happen.

Digital Dash Documentation, Part 7: Incoming Phone Commands

When the digital dash system starts up, it makes a Bluetooth tethering connection to my phone.  There is a Tasker profile on the phone that listens for this connection to be made, and when it sees it, it runs a startup task of its own.  The details of that will be covered in a later part of the documentation, but the only thing we're interested in now is the fact that part of that sequence launches a low-priority looping task that repeats about every three minutes.

What that task does is to read the current ambient temperature from the phone's sensor (via Tasker's built-in %TEMP variable) convert it to Fahrenheit, append the degree symbol, and send it off to the tablet via an AutoRemote message.


Profile: V3_IncomingCommands (368)
State: AutoRemote [ Configuration:All Messages ]
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_HandlePhoneCommands (369)

This profile, running on the tablet, simply listens for any incoming AutoRemote message.  When it sees one, it fires off it's entry task.  Since I'm really only sending one message, I'm not making use of any of AutoRemote's filtering capabilities; I just look for any message and let the entry task figure out what to do with it.

A1: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_CurrentTemp To:%arpar() Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] If [ %arcomm ~ Temp ]

When it comes in, the AutoRemote message looks like this: "the temperature"=:=Temp (Where "the temperature" is the current ambient temperature, including the degree symbol.)  In AutoRemote terms, anything to the left of the =:=  is called the parameter(s) and is contained in the %arpar() local variable.  LIkewise, anything to the right of the symbol string is called the command and is found in the %arcomm local variable.  All this task does is check to make sure that this is a "TEMP" command and, if it is, sets the %V3_CurrentTemp global variable equal to the parameter payload.  %V3_CurrentTemp is used as the source for the temperature text element on the V3_RH scene shown on the main display. 

Although I'm only sending one type of message at this time, the system is easily expandable if I want to add additional types.

Digital Dash Documentation, Part 6: Compass

A very simple profile and task this time.  This is the routine that updates the compass on the main display and the compass and speed on the Google Maps overlay.


Profile: V3_Compass (326)
State: AutoLocation Location [ Configuration:Location Report Name: V3_Compass ]
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_Compass (327)

Back in the system startup task, we initialized an AutoLocation routine that began tracking GPS data and gave it the instance name of "V3_Compass".  This profile watches for any updates in the data from that instance and fires off its entry task when something changes.

A1: Variable Set [ Name:%index To:((floor((%albearing+11.25)/22.5))%16+16)%16+1 Do Maths:On Append:Off ] 

The above line converts the bearing information into an index variable in the range of 1 to 16 with 1 representing North and 16 being all the way around the compass ring at NNW.

A2: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_Heading To:%V3_Compass(%index) Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 

This line just applies the index of the %V3_Compass array that holds the list of possible directions and sets the %V3_Heading value with it.  That variable is used as the source for a text element on both the V3_RH and V3_MapSpeedometer scenes.

A3: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_Sprnd To:round((%alspeed*2.236936290544)*10)/10 Do Maths:On Append:Off ] 

This line converts the speed returned by AutoLocation into miles per hour (rounded to the nearest tenth) and sets %V3_Sprnd equal to it.  That variable is used as a source on the V3_MapSpeedomter screen.  The primary speed display on the main screen does not use this value since Torque is able to read GPS data on its own and put it into a gauge display.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Digital Dash - Some Visual Changes

Among the many things that I'm not, one is a graphic designer.  But even I can tell when something needs a bit of improvement.  When I first started this project I was more concerned about functionality than appearance, and even when I tried to take a stab at that, the results were...adequate (at best).

So, I've made a few changes that, I think, improve the look of the system.  You can see the results, below.  But even if these aren't dramatic improvements, they have the happy coincidence of reducing the number of external graphics used.  Now, there are only four:  the display background used for the readouts on the right side of the screen, the low mileage indicator (which is really just a red-tinted version of the display background), and the two vehicle logos.  Everything else has been replaced with native Tasker elements.  If I get ambitious (or bored) I may try to cut that down even further.

The screenshots, below, show the system connected to the Jag, with the snarling cat logo, which I haven't shown before.



This is the main screen.  The connection indicators, which had formerly been non-descript yellow dots, have been replaced with standard icons that better represent what each connection does.  I also made the track and artist information white.  It had been yellow before, which I had hoped would add a little color to the screen, but just ended up hampering readability and looking a little out of place.



The audio sources sub-panel is now cleaner, with text buttons and simple bars dividing them.



Likewise, the EQ sub-panel has been been given a simplifying makeover.  The "PowerAmp EQ" on the left is just a label.  At this point I don't see a real need to be able access the full EQ settings from here, but if I change my mind it'll be easy to make it a live button and add another dividing bar to the left.

Not huge changes, but I think they're an improvement,  And certainly easier to manage.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Digital Dash Documentation, Part 5: Music Info

One of the functions the digital dash project is to provide an continual display of the currently playing music track and artist.  Since there are two possible sources for music (Pandora and PowerAmp) we need routines to extract that information from either app.

Profile: V3_GetPandoraInfo (281)
Event: AutoNotification Intercept [ Configuration:Event Behaviour: true
Notification Type: Only Created Notifications
Notification Apps: Pandora
Get All Fields : true ]
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_PandoraInfo (347)

Whenever Pandora is starts playing a new track, it adds a entry to the tablet's notification panel (after first destroying the previous one) that contains the name of the track and the artist.  I use AutoNotification to monitor for the creation of that entry.

A1: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_Track To:%antitle Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]
A2: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_Artist To:%antext Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]

The Pandora information comes into Tasker as the local variables %antitle, and %antext.  I simply copy those values to global variables that are used as the sources for text elements on the V3_TopMain scene.

Getting information from PowerAmp is a little more involved and uses an intent that PowerAmp fires off any time it starts playing a new track.

Profile: V3_GetPowerAmpInfo (345)
Event: Intent Received [ Action:com.maxmpz.audioplayer.TRACK_CHANGED Cat:None Cat:None Scheme:* Mime Type:* ]
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_PowerAmpInfo (346)

The profile is configured to listen for this specific intent.

A1: Variable Split [ Name:%track Splitter:, Delete Base:Off ] 

The intent payload from PowerAmp contains 18 pieces of information concatenated into a comma-separated bundle that comes into Tasker as the local variable "%track".  For my application, most of that information isn't needed, but I still need to split the variable in order to get at the information I do want. 

A2: Variable Set [ Name:%artist To:%track1 Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 
A3: Variable Split [ Name:%artist Splitter:= Delete Base:Off ] 
A4: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_Artist To:%artist2 Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 

After the initial split, the array variable %track1 contains the bundle start designation as well as the first piece of information I want. For example, it might look like this: Bundle[{artist=Queen.  So, I copy that to a temporary local variable (%artist) and split that, this time using an = as the Splitter. What remains in %artist2 after the split is the artist name, in this case, Queen.  That then gets copied into the global variable %V3_Artist, which is referenced as a source for one of the elements in the V3_TopMain scene (to be described later).

A5: Variable Set [ Name:%song To:%track14 Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]
A6: Variable Split [ Name:%song Splitter:= Delete Base:Off ]
A7: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_Track To:%song2 Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 

I perform a similar set of splits with the 14th entry in the %track variable array. This contains something like this: title=Bohemian Rhapsody.  I copy that to the local %song variable, split it with an = and copy the resulting %song2 value to %V3_Track, which is, again, linked to a text element on the main screen.

Digital Dash Documentation, Part 4: Tablet Power Status

This is a pair of very simple profiles that handle updating the main screen element that shows the tablet's current power status.  In addition to displaying the remaining battery percentage, it also shows whether or not the tablet is plugged in by underlining the battery value when it detects a external power connection

Profile: V3_TabletPluggedIn (337)
State: Power [ Source:Any ]
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_ShowTabletCharging (338)

Pretty simple profile.  Just watches for any power source when the digital dash is active and runs its entry task.  When power is removed, it runs the exit task.

A1: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_BatteryDisplay To:%BATT% Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]

This single-line task uses Tasker's ability to display HTML in a text element to wrap the battery value in underline tags. I don't use Tasker's built-in %BATT value directly because I want to add the % at the end.

Exit: V3_ShowTabletNotCharging (339)
A1: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_BatteryDisplay To:%BATT% Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]

The exit task just removes the HTML tags.

There is a separate profile to track changes to the battery level.

Profile: V3_TrackBatteryLevel (356)
Event: Battery Changed
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_UpateBatteryLevel (357)

Again, very simple.  When the battery level changes while the dash is running, this profile runs its entry task.  There is no exit task.

A1: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_BatteryDisplay To:%BATT% Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]
A2: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_BatteryDisplay To:%BATT% Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] If [ %PACTIVE ~R V3_TabletPluggedIn ]

The first line just updates the %V3_BatteryDisplay variable when the tablet is not externally powered.  The second line does the same thing, but it checks to see if the V3_TabletPluggedIn profile is currently active.  If it is, the the HTML underline tags are added to the display variable. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Digital Dash Documentation, Part 3: Tracking Connections

All three of the Bluetooth connections used by the system are actively monitored.  The audio link serves to start or stop the system (as described in the previous part of the documentation), but the network and OBD connections are watched simply to provide a status indicator.

The bottom center of the main screen contains the three connection icons, just above the audio controls:



The audio link is considered always active, but the icons for the other two connections may appear or disappear as controlled by the following profiles.

Profile: V3_ConnectToNetwork (297)
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
State: Not BT Connected [ Name:SCH-R970 Address:* ]
Enter: V3_ConnectToNetwork (298)

When the %V3_DrivingMode variable becomes SET by the V3_Startup task, as described earlier, this profile is fully enabled and is one of the first to activate.  It sees that there is no Bluetooth connection to my phone and attempts to remedy that by running its entry task.  The profile may also activate if the the network connection is lost at any time.

A1: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_Bottom Element Match:V3_Network Set:False Animation Time (MS):0 ]
A2: Secure Settings [ Configuration:SCH-R970 (9C:3A:AF:66:AB:DE) - Connect Package:com.intangibleobject.securesettings.plugin Name:Secure Settings Timeout (Seconds):0 Continue Task After Error:On ]
A3: Profile Status [ Name:V3_ConnectToNetwork Set:Off ]
A4: Wait [ MS:0 Seconds:5 Minutes:0 Hours:0 Days:0 ]
A5: Profile Status [ Name:V3_ConnectToNetwork Set:On ]

The above task sets the network connection icon visibility to false to indicate a lack of connectivity.  It then attempts to make a connection to the phone.  In order to keep the profile from firing constantly during this process, the profile itself is turned off for five seconds to give the system time to make a connection.  After that it is reactivated.  This means that the system will continue trying to make a connection every five seconds if its previous attempt was unsuccessful.  Currently, there is no limit on the number of tries (mainly because I haven't had a problem with this arrangement) but that could certainly be added.

Profile: V3_Network Connected (299)
State: BT Connected [ Name:SCH-R970 Address:* ]
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_NetworkConnected (300)

A1: Wait [ MS:0 Seconds:3 Minutes:0 Hours:0 Days:0 ]
A2: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_Bottom Element Match:V3_Network Set:True Animation Time (MS):0 ]

The above profile and task just notice that there is now a valid network connection and make the onscreen icon visible.  The three second delay, along with the five second delay in the connection routine, will make the icon blink slowly if the tablet is having trouble making the connection to the phone.

Because I use the system in two vehicles and want it to know which one it's connected to, I have two nearly identical profiles that listen for a connection to an OBD transmitter.  The profiles use the addresses of the adapters rather than the names since they are both called "OBDII" in the Bluetooth Devices list and renaming doesn't work due to an Android bug.  If I didn't care which one was connected, I could use a single profile with the name as the identifier and it would activate regardless of which one connected.

Profile: V3_Z3OBDTracker (372)
State: BT Connected [ Name:* Address:00:02:5B:00:A5:90 ]
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_BMW_OBDConnected (373)

This profile listens for the Z3 OBD adapter.

A1: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_Bottom Element Match:V3_OBD Set:True Animation Time (MS):0 ]
A2: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_CarLogo To:beam/BMW_logo.png Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]

The entry task just turns on the OBD onscreen indicator and sets the %V3_CarLogo variable to point to the BMW logo I have stored on the tablet.  The V3_RH scene has an image element tied to this variable, so when this task runs the system's main screen is branded with the BMW logo. 

Exit: V3_OBDDisconnected (374)
A1: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_Bottom Element Match:V3_OBD Set:False Animation Time (MS):0 ]

All the exit task does is turn off the OBD icon; the branding logo continues to be shown.

Profile: V3_JagOBDTracker (375)
State: BT Connected [ Name:* Address:00:0D:18:3A:67:89 ]
State: Variable Value [ %V3_DrivingMode Set ]
Enter: V3_Jag_OBDConnected (302)

This profile listens for the Jag OBD adapter.

A1: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_Bottom Element Match:V3_OBD Set:True Animation Time (MS):0 ]
A2: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_CarLogo To:beam/Jag.png Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]

The only difference in this entry task is the path to the logo; this one points to the snarling cat Jag logo.

Exit: V3_OBDDisconnected (374)
A1: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_Bottom Element Match:V3_OBD Set:False Animation Time (MS):0 ]

Both profiles share the same exit task.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Digital Dash Documentation, Part 2: Startup and Shutdown

This is the first part of the digital dash documentation that actually presents some code.  I'll be going through it in a fair amount of detail, but not generally line-by-line.

All of the project's profiles, except one, have two contexts; one of which is always %V3_DrivingMode is SET.  That keeps any of the profiles from firing unless I'm actually running the system.  For example, I may want to start Torque to change a layout or edit a vehicle profile and I don't need or want the overlays coming on at those times.

But, of course, there has to be an exception. The profile presented below (V3_AudioLinkActive) has only one context, so it can fire at any time.  All it does is listen for a connection to be made to the Miccus Bluetooth audio receiver.  When it sees that, the profile becomes active and runs its entry task (V3_Startup).  When the connection is lost (i.e. I shut down the receiver) the exit task (V3_Shutdown) is run.  It is, therefore, the starting and ending point for the project.

Here's the profile: 

Profile: V3_AudioLinkActive (370)
Restore: no
State: BT Connected [ Name:Miccus Mini-Jack Rx Address:* ]
Enter: V3_Startup (343)

And here's the entry task and it's breakdown, with explanations following the line(s) they are referring to:

A1: Keyguard [ Configuration:Keyguard dismiss Package:com.balda.keyguard Name:Keyguard Timeout (Seconds):0 ] 

The first line simply uses the Keyguard plugin to turn on the tablet.

A2: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_OnMain To:True Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]

Now the %V3_OnMain variable is set.  This variable is used to tell when the main screen is displayed.  Since the system starts up on that screen, this needs to be set. (Actually, it isn't really used at this point; I put it in because I'm going to need it for a planned future enhancement.)

A3: Create Scene [ Name:V3_TopMain Continue Task After Error:On ]
A4: Create Scene [ Name:V3_TopSources Continue Task After Error:On ]
A5: Create Scene [ Name:V3_TopEQ Continue Task After Error:On ]
A6: Create Scene [ Name:V3_LH Continue Task After Error:On ]
A7: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_LH Element Match:LowFuel Set:False Animation Time (MS):0 ]
A8: Create Scene [ Name:V3_Bottom Continue Task After Error:On ]
A9: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_Bottom Element Match:V3_OBD Set:False Animation Time (MS):0 ]
A10: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_Bottom Element Match:V3_Network Set:False Animation Time (MS):0 ]
A11: Create Scene [ Name:V3_RH Continue Task After Error:On ]
A12: Create Scene [ Name:V3_FavoriteSongs Continue Task After Error:On ]
A13: Create Scene [ Name:V3_Destinations Continue Task After Error:On ]
A14: Create Scene [ Name:V3_Menu_Button Continue Task After Error:On ]
A15: Create Scene [ Name:V3_MapSpeedometer Continue Task After Error:On ]

Lines 3-15 create an instance of (almost) all the scenes used in the system.  I do that here because many of them have elements that may need to be changed before they are displayed.  For example, lines 7, 9, and 10 hide some scene elements whose visibility is controlled by other profiles and tasks.

A16: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_FavoriteSongs To:Song Search Data1,Song Search Data2,Song Search Data3,Song Search Data4,Song Search Data5,Song Search Data6,Song Search Data7,Song Search Data8,Song Search Data9,Song Search Data10 Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]
A17: Variable Split [ Name:%V3_FavoriteSongs Splitter:, Delete Base:Off ]

These two lines set up the Favorite Songs list.  In line 16, you would replace every occurrence of "Song Search DataX" with enough information that PowerAmp could locate an individual song from that entry.  For example, you might put "Lucy" (with no quotes) as one entry if you wanted to find and play "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".  That would work as long as you have no other songs with the word "Lucy" in the title and had no artists with that name.  Line 17 turns the %V3_FavoriteSongs variable into an array that can later be entered with an index provided by the Favorite Songs menu.

A18: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_Compass To:N,NNE,NE,ENE,E,ESE,SE,SSE,S,SSW,SW,WSW,W,WNW,NW,NNW Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]
A19: Variable Split [ Name:%V3_Compass Splitter:, Delete Base:Off ]

Lines 18 and 19 set up a variable array which is indexed from an AutoLocation profile/task to provide an on-screen compass.

A20: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_Destinations To:Address1, Address2, Address3, Address4, Address5 Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]
A21: Variable Split [ Name:%V3_Destinations Splitter:, Delete Base:Off ]

Lines 20 and 21 set up another array.  This one is used by the Destinations menu.  Again, you would replace each instance of "AddressX" with the full address that you would like to navigate to when you choose an entry from the menu.

A22: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_DrivingMode To:True Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]

%V3_DrivingMode is SET so that any other profiles in the system can now fire as needed.

A23: Variable Set [ Name:%V3_BatteryDisplay To:%BATT% Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]

Tasker's built-in %BATT Variable is converted to one that can be displayed on the screen.  The only real function of this line is to add the % after the value.

A24: AutoLocation Location [ Configuration:Starting Location Monitor
Location Report Name: V3_Compass
Interval: 1 seconds
Update Type: High Accuracy Package:com.joaomgcd.autolocation Name:AutoLocation Location Timeout (Seconds):60 Continue Task After Error:On ]

Line 24 starts the AutoLocation plugin running with a defined name (V3_Compass).  From this point on, it will track GPS data.  A profile will monitor for changes in that information and use it to display bearing and speed. (As will be explained in a later documentation entry.)

A25: WiFi [ Set:Off ]
A26: Media Volume [ Level:15 Display:Off Sound:Off ]
A27: Display Timeout [ Secs:0 Mins:0 Hours:8 ]
A28: Auto Brightness [ Set:Off ]
A29: Display Brightness [ Level:255 Disable Safeguard:Off Ignore Current Level:Off Immediate Effect:Off ]

The previous five lines simply configure some tablet parameters to the way I want them.

A30: Element Visibility [ Scene Name:V3_RH Element Match:V3_BrightnessAuto Set:False Animation Time (MS):0 ]

Since the system contains an onscreen brightness control that reflects the tablet's brightness state, I need to hide an element so that the display matches.  (In retrospect, I could have probably done this above when I was manipulating other elements.  Oh, well.)

A31: Launch App [ App:Torque Data: Exclude From Recent Apps:Off Continue Task After Error:On ]

Here we finally get around to starting Torque.  At this point the system is mostly (but not entirely) up and running and it's time to see the interface. Because we set the %V3_DrivingMode variable up above, the profile that controls the overlays is able to fire now.  Some things, like the network connection, OBD connection, and temperature will not be ready yet, but they are beginning to come online. Torque also begins writing data to its log file as soon as the OBD connection is made.
  
A32: Perform Task [ Name:V3_TimeAndTorque Priority:2 Parameter 1 (%par1): Parameter 2 (%par2): Return Value Variable: Stop:Off ]

The last step of the Startup procedure is to begin executing a low-priority, looping task.  This task repeats about every 30 seconds and is used to update the clock display and bring in the "Estimated Distance to Empty" value from Torque.

Within a few seconds, all the connections should be made and all the initial data displayed.  We are now at the the normal steady-state for the system.



When the connection to the Miccus is terminated, the V3_AudioLinkActive profile becomes inactive and runs its exit task, below.

Exit: V3_Shutdown (344)

A1: Variable Clear [ Name:%V3_DrivingMode Pattern Matching:Off ]

The first thing we do is clear the %V3_DrivingMode variable so that none of the system profiles can fire again.

A2: Go Home [ Page:0 ]

Now we display the tablet's home screen.

A3: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_TopMain Continue Task After Error:On ]
A4: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_TopSources Continue Task After Error:On ]
A5: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_TopEQ Continue Task After Error:On ]
A6: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_LH Continue Task After Error:On ]
A7: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_Bottom Continue Task After Error:On ]
A8: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_RH Continue Task After Error:On ]
A9: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_FavoriteSongs Continue Task After Error:On ]
A10: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_Destinations Continue Task After Error:On ]
A11: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_CancelOverlays Continue Task After Error:On ]
A12: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_Menu_Button Continue Task After Error:On ]
A13: Destroy Scene [ Name:V3_MapSpeedometer Continue Task After Error:On ]

Lines 3-13 destroy all the previously created scenes.

A14: Display Timeout [ Secs:7 Mins:0 Hours:0 ]

Line 14 sets the display timeout so that the system will turn itself off when it completes the exit task.

A15: Auto Brightness [ Set:On ]

AutoBrightness is returned to its default value.

A16: AutoLocation Location [ Configuration:Stopping Location Monitor
Location Report Name: V3_Compass
Update Type: No Power Package:com.joaomgcd.autolocation Name:AutoLocation Location Timeout (Seconds):60 Continue Task After Error:On ]

Location tracking is stopped.

A17: Stop [ With Error:Off Task:V3_TimeAndTorque ]

The task that updates the time and "Distance to Empty" check is stopped.

A18: Send Intent [ Action:org.prowl.torque.REQUEST_TORQUE_QUIT Cat:None Mime Type: Data: Extra: Extra: Package: Class: Target:Broadcast Receiver Continue Task After Error:On ]

Torque is shut down and stops logging its data.

A19: Secure Settings [ Configuration:SCH-R970 (9C:3A:AF:66:AB:DE) - Disconnect Package:com.intangibleobject.securesettings.plugin Name:Secure Settings Timeout (Seconds):0 Continue Task After Error:On ]

The Bluetooth connection to the phone is terminated.  This will cause the phone to run its own shutdown sequence and turn everything off.

A20: WiFi [ Set:On ]

Since we don't have network through the phone any more, we need to be ready to connect via WiFi.

A21: Run Shell [ Command:/data/data/burrows.apps.busybox/app_busybox/tail -1 /storage/emulated/0/torqueLogs/trackLog.csv Timeout (Seconds):0 Use Root:Off Store Output In:%obd_log Store Errors In: Store Result In: Continue Task After Error:On ]
A22: Delete File [ File:torqueLogs/trackLog.csv Shred Level:0 Use Root:Off Continue Task After Error:On ]
A23: Wait [ MS:0 Seconds:3 Minutes:0 Hours:0 Days:0 ]
A24: Write File [ File:torqueLogs/trackLog.csv Text:%obd_log Append:Off Add Newline:On Continue Task After Error:On ]

The previous four lines handle Torque's log data between runs of the system.  Since I have Torque set up to use the same log file each time, I want to delete it so it doesn't get too large.  However, if I just do that, the next time the Digital Dash starts up, it will see a null entry for the Distance to Empty value and think that I'm out of gas.  It announces that with a verbal and visual display, which can be a bit startling and I'd rather not have that come on.  So, I read the last line of the log, delete the file, and then write a new one with same name that contains only the line I just read.  That way, the systems starts up right where it left off with the same data.

A25: Wait [ MS:0 Seconds:10 Minutes:% Hours:0 Days:0 ]
A26: Display Timeout [ Secs:0 Mins:2 Hours:0 ]

All of these tasks take some time, and some of them (like turning on WiFi) can cause screen activity.  The Wait command just gives those things some time to complete.  And at the end of 10 seconds, the tablet begins to power down. As a last step, we then set the display timeout back to two minutes.

At this point the system is shut down and everything is back to normal.




Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Few More Changes

I just can't stop fooling with this thing; Tasker is very addictive.

Although I created the system specifically for use in the Z3, I've also used it a few times in my Jag, especially since I found that there's a small gap at the top of the center console that can be used as an anchor point for the tablet mount.

The last time I did this I noticed that it seemed a bit odd to have the BMW logo down in the corner, so I made a small change.  I went out and grabbed a Jag logo (the snarling face version), cropped it to be a square, and transferred it to the tablet.  Then I changed the logo image element on the main screen to be a variable (%V3_CarLogo) instead of a hard-coded path.

I already had a pair of profiles tracking connections to the OBD transmitters in each car so that no matter which one linked up, the connection icon on the screen would come on.  It was a simple matter to add just one line to each of the entry tasks that sets the %V3_CarLogo variable to the proper path for the right image.

It's a completely aesthetic change, with no functional difference, but at least the interface is appropriately branded for each car.

The other change I made is even more whimsical.

Most people that know me think I'm a bit of a pyro; and they're not wrong.  Our house has a wood burning fireplace, but we've added a marble fireplace out on the patio, a gel fuel fireplace off the kitchen, a firepit at the back of the yard, a propane fire table on the back porch, and several portable gel fuel burners that we move around as desired.

We had some friends over this past weekend and were showing them a few of these.  Their reaction? "All you need now is a fireplace in your car."  And they were right.

A quick search on Google Play turned up all kinds of options, so I downloaded the free version of "Fireside" and made it part of the system.

Now, a long tap on the clock element on the main screen launches a virtual fireplace; just the thing for parking under the stars on these cool summer nights. An invisible scene that covers the entire screen goes back to the main display when I tap on it.

Not sure what I'll do next,  but a virtual aquarium is a real possibility.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Digital Dash Documentation, Part 1: Apps and Add-ons



This is the first part of my digital dash documentation.  Although the digital dash is, of course, a Tasker project, it relies on a number of other pieces for its functionality.  This section of the documentation lists those and briefly describes what they’re used for. Later sections will break down the Tasker code in great detail.

Apps

Tasker – Obviously.  Without this app I couldn't have created the project.  The mere existence of Tasker makes Android vastly superior to IOS for projects of this type.
Torque – The foundation app.  Provides engine information, mileage, and GPS data.  Other information on the main screen is provided by scenes overlaid on Torque.
Google Maps – Used for Navigation and just generally knowing where I am.
MyRadar – Provides localized weather radar; important when you are out in a convertible and there are dark clouds coming up in front of you.
TWC – The Weather Channel app.  Gives more detail about localized weather conditions and forecasts.
GPS Status – Used mainly to download updates of GPS Assist data.  It also has a wealth of information about satellite connections that is best viewed when parked.
PowerAmp – Local music playback.  Chosen because it is well-supported via Tasker actions.
Pandora – Internet radio.  Also easy to work with in Tasker.
Scanner Radio – Provides localized access to LEA radio and weather alerts.

Add-ons

ActionBox – Used to control PowerAmp's EQ functions
AutoInput – Used to simulate screen taps to turn multi-touch operations into programmatically controlled functions.
AutoLocation – Used to get GPS bearing data that drives the on-screen compass.  Also used to get GPS speed data for display over Google Maps.
AutoNotification – Used to scrape track and artist info from Pandora’s “now playing” notification and bring it into Tasker.
AutoRemote – Used to send messages from the phone to the tablet. (Mainly just temperature data at the moment.)
AutoShare – Used to play specific songs in PowerAmp by sending a “Search and Play” intent.  It also acts as the media control interface for PowerAmp.

(As you may have guessed from the last five entries, I’m a big fan of joaomgcd's AutoApps suite of Tasker plugins.)

BusyBox - Used for its inclusion of the “tail” shell command which allows for the reading of the last line of a file.  This is used to read Torque’s data log to bring in the “Estimated Distance To Empty” value to Tasker.
Keyguard - Used to turn on the tablet and phone.
Secure Settings – Used to initiate the Bluetooth tethering connection between the phone and the tablet.