Throughout this series of pages you’ve seen images containing the mini status panel. Here’s the full status panel, enabled from the Setup-General page.

There’s quite a bit more information shown on the left side of the page. Beneath the traffic light, and bonus SharksHead logo, you have the time, both local and UTC, the voltage, current, temperature, pressure, and humidity, all of which are on the mini status panel, and the health and pending lists. You might also note that the modules with a red dot against them are the same ones that are behind the red dot in the mini status panel.

The health list

The health list give you an idea of the health of the network connection to each module, indicated by the dot-colour and the percentage. The dot-colour is the most important, being:

RedModule is inaccessible
GreenModule is operational
YellowModule is enrolling
BlueModule locator is on
VioletModule has programmer attached

Red is bad. If a module has gone red-dot then it could mean there is no network connectivity to the module, or it could mean the module is on the fritz. In the images from my development system, modules 3, 6 and 12 are turned off, which is why they are red-dot.

Green is good. The percentage figure gives you a rough idea of the network health to the module. 100% is the best, lower than that and packets are being lost, the lower the percentage the higher the packet loss.

Yellow, rarely seen, indicates the module is enrolling.

Blue isn’t really a network health indicator, it simply says the module has locate turned on. You enable it through the Modules-{mo} page by clicking on the locate link. Turning locate on for a module will turn its LED blue, and the module shows as blue-dot in both status panels.

Violet means the module has a programmer attached:

You’ll notice Mo 5 (my Left BC) has gone violet-dot and its percentage has disappeared, and a new module has appeared, Mo 7, the programmer (PG).

And here is the mini status panel showing Mo 5 going violet-dot:

A quick side note about the PG and the dot-colour it shows. All other modules will go red-dot if connectivity is lost after a short while, but not the PG. The PG will spend, maybe, 99.9% of its entire life turned off and sitting at the back of some rarely used draw, so it does not normally go red-dot, it simply drops off the health list. However, if it is powered on, that is, attached to a module, it will appear in the health list, and if you are in the process of upgrading that module and the PG subsequently becomes inaccessible, then it will go red-dot; normal module health rules will apply.

Unplugging the PG from the module, Mo 5 in this case, will cause Mo 5 to go back to green-dot, and the PG, Mo 7, will disappear from the status panel, all after a couple of minutes.

The pending list

The pending list contains the commands that have been sent to modules for which no acknowledgement has been received. The low-power radio network we use can lose packets because of stray electromagnetic radiation or 802.11b WiFi transmitters. We’ve designed the network protocol so all important commands sent to modules must be acknowledged by the module. If we don’t receive an acknowledgement within a short amount of time, usually 1 second, we resend the command. The pending list shows the unacknowledged commands.

This works well when a packet or two goes missing; you’ll perhaps notice a slight delay between clicking on something on the web interface and the web interface updating or the action being performed by the module. In the case of my development system there are two commands, both to Mo 3, in my pending list (SI 3.0 and Lo 3.1) that will never be ack’ed because that module is not powered on.

The traffic light

The traffic light is composed of four vertically stacked “lights,” each conveying information about the alerts SharksHead has raised. Alerts come in four severities: Green, Amber, Red and Alarm, where Green means AOK up to Alarm meaning OhFI’mGunnaDie. Alerts are raised by Directors (see Control) in response to the events they monitor. The job of the traffic light is to convey to you the number of these events, and their severity, in a simple visual package.

The traffic light tells you something has happened. The Messages page tells you what has happened. Every alert raised by SharksHead is detailed in the Messages page. It shows the module, the severity (called Level), the time, and the message.

There are many different sensors or conditions that SharksHead monitors, and each is given one of the alert levels. These include BC relay life, sharp rises or falls in barometric pressure, and bus voltage. The traffic light relays all the alert levels to you.

The top light of the traffic light shows Alarm alerts. If there are any alarm alerts it will turn deep red and show you their number. Below that is the Red alert light, which will turn light-red, showing their number. Below that, amber, same again. The bottom light will only show green if there are no higher alerts to show. Another way of saying this is, if there are no alerts raised then the bottom light will be green. If there are alerts higher than Green then the green light goes out and the alerts are displayed as coloured lights along with their number.

As an example, if your bus voltage drops below 12.5V SharksHead will raise an Amber alert, so the green traffic light will go out and the light above it will go amber and show a “1” in text. Then, lets say, an AA battery pack drops below 15% capacity, raising another Amber alert, so the number in the amber light will change to “2”. Then, your bus voltage drops below 12V and its earlier Amber alert will change to Red, so the red light will turn on and show “1”, and the amber light will change to show “1”.  Now you have both the red and amber lights on, both showing “1”, and green will be off.

You also have some control of the handling of alerts. There are two states an alert can be in, unacknowledged and acknowledged. When an Amber, Red or Alarm alert is raised it is initially in the unacknowledged state. From the Messages page you can acknowledge an alert. Ack’ing an alert doesn’t make the condition that raised the alert go away, it simply means you’ve seen the alert and know about it. Lets see what happens when you acknowledge alerts.

To continue on with our example, suppose you go to the Messages page and ack the Red alert, the one about the bus voltage. Ack’ing this alert doesn’t magically make the bus voltage suddenly rise, but it does make the red traffic light turns off, and it leaves the “1” there. This indicates that there is one Red condition still active, and that you know about this condition. Next, lets say you ack the Amber alert, the low AA pack. Again, this doesn’t make the condition go away, but it does extinguish the amber traffic light and will still show a “1”, meaning there is one Amber condition active that has been acknowledged. And, now that both the Amber and Red alerts have been ack’ed, the green light comes on.

Acknowledging an alert at a particular severity means you have implicitly ack’ed that same alert at every lower severity. So, in our example, if the bus voltage should rise above 12.0V into the Amber alert region then your previous ack of the Red alert will mean this Amber alert is also implicitly ack’ed. However, if the bus voltage should fall even further, below 11.5V and into the Alarm region, your previous Red ack is ignored and a new unack’ed Alarm alert will be raised, removing the “1” from the red light and turning the top light blood red with a “1” in text.

Here’s how this example will progress visually:

Initial state
Bus voltage drops below 12.5V
AA pack drops below 15%
Bus voltage drops below 12.0V
Ack Red alert
Ack Amber alert
Bus voltage drops below 11.5V

Enough example, lets get down to brass tacks. The traffic light rules for Amber, Red and Alarm alerts are similar and go like this:

  • If there are unack’ed alerts, the light will turn on its respective colour and show the number of unack’ed alerts.
  • If there are no unack’ed alerts the light will go out. If there are any ack’ed alerts it will show their number.

And the rule for the green light is:

  • The green light will go on if there are no unack’ed Amber, Red or Alarm alerts, otherwise it goes off.

Other system indicators

The traffic light is a type of Actor (see Control) called a System Indicator. The HQ’s LED and buzzer, and the TPH’s LED when it is enabled, are also System Indicators. These indicators receive the same alert information as the traffic light, however, because the devices they control are more limited than the traffic light, they give you a more limited view of the alerts raised. The LED indicators show you the highest unack’ed alert (flashing red for Alarm), and the buzzer will give three short beeps on the raising of a new alert.