Controlling Lights from an eRVin Terminal Window
This post is for those of you that are eager to explore the inner workings of coachproxy/eRVin. And potentially for those of you that have a coach for which an eRVin configuration does not already exist and you need to create a ‘map’ of what commands are required to control individual lights.
A prerequisite to this post is that you have access to your eRVin Raspberry Pi (RPi) desktop, learn how to do that here.
Coachproxy users will not be able to access their system as described below because it does not support the Raspberry Pi Desktop or VNC . However, I believe coachproxy has SSH enabled and it is possible to accomplish the same thing by using an SSH client.
Here we go!
- Connect to your RPi desktop and open a terminal window, then type or copy and paste:
- Hit Enter and you will be presented with a screen like below, This is actually an error screen because no command parameters were specified, but it provides a convenient list of all the possible commands.
- The command to turn on a light will be as follows:
/coachproxy/rv-c/dc_dimmer.pl 13 2where 13 is the lighting channel or “instance” and 2 is the “on” command. To turn off the same light the command will be:
/coachproxy/rv-c/dc_dimmer.pl 13 3where 3 is the “off” command.
For now, don’t use any other commands except 2 and 3, more on this later.
So how do I know what the instance number is?
For Firefly panels 2015 and newer (G5 and G6), typically the instance number is equal to the number and light name printed on the front of the panel, or in the accompanying printed list mounted to the wall or a cabinet door nearby. For older Firefly panels there may be an offset between the printed numbers on the panel and the actual instance.
NEW! – in v0.6x configurations there is a new diagnostic tool that will display the instance number on your eRVin dashboard when you press a wall switch or Vegatouch button on your RV! Read about it <here>.
In the case of an offset, to determine what instance number goes with which light, a trial and error process can be employed. Simply send the command as shown in step 3 with a starting instance number and observe what happens, then send another command and increment the instance number by 1 – and so on. Build a spreadsheet or chart with the name of each light and it’s instance number.
The starting instance number can be 1 or an educated guess. In the case of one owner with the Firefly panel pictured below (from a 2014 Entegra) the offset seems to be 24 (although this has not yet been fully confirmed for all the lights).
In the circa 2012-2014 panel above, by observing the associated printed circuit list, we see the first 24 ports are circuit breaker loads and are not controllable instances. Positions 25 – 36 on the panel are lighting instances, these are probably dimmable. 37 – 44 are aux relay instances for the slide rooms. 45-64 appear to be standard relay channels that control non-dimmable lighting instances as well as the generator.
A standard Relay instance switches +12 volts on and off. An Aux Relay instance is typically a contact closure or possibly can be configured to switch +12 volts or a connection to ground.
Most likely the first light (Driver Side Sofa Lights # 25) will be at instance 1, the next light (Living Room Light Rail #26) will be instance 2 – and so on.
Tips and Other Notes
- When testing an instance, an actual light might not be activated, most firefly panels have a few instances with no physical light connected to it. Or it is possible you won’t notice the light, perhaps because it is outside or has a secondary manual switch. Even on the older Firefly panels, each instance has an LED indicator light that comes on when the light is supposed to be on, so if you don’t see a light coming on, watch the LED’s on the firefly panel itself.
- You should also be able to distinguish a dimmer instance by looking at and operating the wall switch buttons. Dimmer instances will often have up and down arrows printed on the wall switch and if you hold the button down the light should dim or brighten. Another way to tell if you are dealing with a relay instance or a dimmer instance is a relay will give a faint click at the Firefly panel when it is turned on and off. So use the 2 (on) and 3 (off) commands and listen for the click, if you don’t hear it most likely it’s dimmable.
- If you are SURE you have identified dimmable light instances, as an example you can send the following command:
/coachproxy/rv-c/dc_dimmer.pl 13 0 40
This will turn on and dim instance 13 to 40% (100 being brightest, 1 being dimmest)
DO NOT SEND THIS COMMAND TO A RELAY CHANNEL! If you do the relay will oscillate (you will hear it buzzing) and eventually burn out.
- Sending the following command:
/coachproxy/rv-c/dc_dimmer.pl 13 5
Will toggle the light – if it’s off it will turn on, if it’s on it will turn off. The wall switches mostly send toggle commands in my experience.
- The following command:
/coachproxy/rv-c/dc_dimmer.pl 13 0 125
Will turn a light on and restore the previous brightness value. For example if the light was dimmed to 40% when it was turned off, sending the dim command with a value of 125 will turn the light back on to 40% dimmed.