Why Mobile Phone Remote Control?
The ewiks-supplied motor switchgear is a very basic 'slam-on - slam-off' relay driven control system, where the motors are supplied with either 100% of electrical power, or none. If a more nuanced control is desired, where motors are driven with partial power, our MotorPac comprehensive motor control system should be considered.
From Android V6.0 upwards every app that requires the use of system resources such as the camera flashlight must get permission from the user before it can access these resources. The act of asking for these permissions is an Android-initiated activity that will pause the app. Once the user grants the necessary permission the app can be found paused on the Recent Apps screen and resumed.
If the mobile phone is set to Aeroplane Mode a warning message will be displayed accompanied by an audible alarm sound. In some cases the app will be able to override the Aeroplane Mode and initiate Bluetooth communication with the control unit. Otherwise the ap must be restarted after resetting Aeroplane Mode manually.
Running App Without Controller
The app CPX.APK may be downoaded and run on any Android mobile phone whether there is a control unit in range or not. When there is no control unit to communicate with some of the features of the app will be constrained or entirely inhibited. Running theapp without a controller connected is useful only determine the layout and positioning of controls, full evealuation requires that a controller be connected via Bluetooth.
If the mobile phone is equipped with a flashlight there will be a torch-like button at the bottom right of the screen where it can be turned on and off. If the Android level is V6.0 or higher and this is the first time it is used the Android system will ask for permission for the app to use the flashlight. This will pause the app and it must be resumed by tapping it in the Recently Used screen.
Caravan Mover Buttons
The Basic Remote Control Unit
The power switch panel should be located convenient to the doorway where it can be reached from outside, and in a place where it will not be inadvertently actuated. The switch panel at right is able to switch both batteries to supply the controller with raw as well as clean power and also float-charge the secondary battery when the system is switched off.
A convenient place to place the controller is on the underside of the tip-up lid of the dinette's seat since the mover motor's switchgear is often located inside the compartment as well. If a secondary battery is implemented the negative pole should be connected direct to the negative of the main battery, which is often also located under the seat of the dinette, with wire of at least 4sqmm.
Should the mobile phone go out of range the motors will stop within less than half a second.
Setting the MAC Address is a simple procedure that is normally done only once at the time of acquisition since the MAC Address never changes. However should the user wish to operate two remote controls from a single phone, such as when he owns both a caravan and a camping trailer both of which are equipped with movers, the necessity to change MAC Addresses when switching between movers would be quite inconvenient. To relieve this inconvenience we have the facility to enter and save two MAC Addresses and switch between these smoothly and quickly.
The Mobile Phone Remote Control unit requires a 12 volt power supply similar to that which powers the rest of the caravan. It draws a current of about 200mA while working. The cheapest and simplest way to supply it with power is to connect it to the caravan's battery system through a single-pole on/off switch. But there are ramifications to consider.
When not turning DC motors have a very low electrical resistance, which means that they draw a very large current until they get up to speed. Similarly when working hard to against a heavy drag their cuurent consumption rises steeply. The result may be that the caravan battery voltage drops so low that the microcomputer in the controller can no longer function correctly and the unit will diconnect from the Bluetooth network.
There are two solutions available if you do not have a MotorPac with current ramping:
1. Connect the trailing mains-cable to the caravan's power input before and while you use the ewiks motors. This will greatly reduce the power dips and help to keep the battery from discharging too deeply, especially if you keep the duty cycle low. To power the remote control unit from the main battery connect the bridge as shown on the schematic.
2. Power the remote control unit from a separate, dedicated supply battery such as a 12V gel-cell of the type used in burglar alarm systems. The gel-cell will keep the remote control powered for many hours, but not indefinitely. When the power switch set to Off the main battery (and its charger) will be connected to the secondary battery to keep it float-charged. The schematic details how the 2-pole switch assebly included with the controller should be connected between the batteries and the remote control unit and the switch is supplied with each wire tail labelled.
Displaying the Battery Voltage
The controller can meaure the voltage output of the main battery (the one used to power the movers) and display this value on the mobile phone's sceen. When the measured battery level is above 11.7 volts the background of the display is green, otherwise it is RED to indicate a potentially low battery condition. A battery can take several minutes to recover from a heavy discharge during which time the voltage output will slowly rise before stabilising.
As a benchmark value: we know that the voltage output of a healthy fully-charged battery after an hour at rest with no load will be 12,6V. As the battery ages this value will decrease through 12,5V 12,4V until at 12,3V the battery can be considered end-of-life since it's capacity is half of it's nominal value.
While discharging the output voltage of the battery will steadily decrease until, when about 90% of the available charge has been depleted, the voltage falls to the critical level of 11,7V. Most people do not want their battery voltage to drop below 11,7V because this is where the real damage occurs. Hard lead sulphate builds up on the surface of the plates and this permanently compromises battery capacity. Batteries can be ruined in a single deep-discharge event. To warn of excessive discharge the Voltage display will show a RED background when the measured voltage dips below 11,7V. Due to the internal resistance of the battery the output voltage does not accurately reflect it's stae of charge while it is being discharged (or charged). Therefore only measurements made while the battery is at rest are relevant.
In the Bluetooth Communications world the master device (the mobile phone) needs to know the Media Access Control (MAC) address of the slaves (the remote control units). For security (to prevent others taking control of your caravan) the Caravan Pilot app (CPX.apk) needs to be given the MAC address of the remote control unit, which is given on an attached label. To facilitate easy switching between two control units from a single phone 2 MAC addresses can be entered.
When establishing a Bluetooth connection between the mobile phone app and the control unit for the first time you will be asked for a Pairing Pin. This is PIN is 1234.
To enter the MAC address double click on the Caravan Pilot heading. A list of progammable parameters shown at right will appear. These include the SMS target phone number for VanSecure alarm system, the 4 zone identifiers fornthe alarm zones, a check box to clear the sequential SMS numbering, and 2 MAC addresses. (If only one MAC address exists the lower line will show only spaces).
Edit the upper (or lower) MAC address to what is reflected on the product label and tap the Title again. The data as entered will be saved.
When installing app updates it can be expected that the data previosly entered in this area will be lost, and you will need to re-enter it.
From V6.0 upwards the Android operating system requires the user to grant permission for an app to use system resources such as the camers flash. The first time (only the first time) the flash is used you will be asked to grant permission for it's use. When this happens the app will be paused by Andoid and will have to be manually resumed.
Controller + Switch panel (including shipping via PostNet) R900
Free shipping via PostNet to PostNet or PAXI