Watchout Position Output

Watchout Position Output allows you to send live motor data to other software and devices on your network.

To set up Watchout Position Output:

A dialog pops up with some configuration details that determine what data is sent to WATCHOUT.

From the Top the options are:

1 - Server Address

The IP Address of the WATCHOUT production computer. To send the position data to a backup you will need to use the broadcast address.

2 - Server Port

The port where WATCHOUT listens for incoming data. By default, WATCHOUT listens on 3040.

3 - Stagehand List

Each motor in your show is listed. If the “Active” box is checked, that motor’s position information will be sent to WATCHOUT. In the Watchout Name text box, you can enter a name that will be used inside WATCHOUT to identify the motor’s position. The Spikemark motor name and the WATCHOUT name can map however you like. For example, we could have called it “Logo Winch” in Spikemark and “fuzzy pink rabbit” in Watchout.

4 - Sending Position Data

Indicates whether Spikemark is currently sending UDP packets to the address indicated in Server Address.

5 - Update Interval (ms):

The frequency with which Spikemark will send position updates to WATCHOUT. The number entered here will determine how many milliseconds should elapse between updates. Higher numbers will result in a slower update cycle. In practice, 30ms is about the fastest rate consistently possible without adversely affecting Spikemark’s performance.

6 - Messages/second

The number of position updates that are actually being sent to WATCHOUT each second. This number will often bounce around by 1 or 2 messages.

7 - Include transition rate in messages

If checked, Spikemark will send WATCHOUT the number of milliseconds that have elapsed since the last position update. WATCHOUT can use this information to smooth the animation of the image as it tracks with the motor. This generally results in a smoother visual result, but can be slightly inaccurate. Feel free to experiment with either setting to get the most appropriate result for your show.

8 - Send Output

This is a toggle button to turn on/off the data stream from Spikemark. The data is sent via UDP, which is a connectionless protocol, so there is no harm sending out the packets even if WATCHOUT is disconnected from the network. UDP packets will blissfully fall into oblivion if the server is not around to receive them so you can start the output stream before WATCHOUT is running.

Stagehand FX Data To Watchout

Each FX is also listed. Unlike the motors in your show, FX’s don’t have a position to report. Instead, the FX will send data to describe which inputs and outputs are activated. The FX will send a value that maps the inputs and outputs as binary bits within a byte. These binary bit values have a corresponding decimal value that Watchout can be programmed to look for. The range for these values is 0-255.

Spikemark has indicators that represent when an input or output is on or off, showing either green or red. When represented as numbers, on (green indicator) is equal to (1) and off (red indicator) is equal to (0). When looking at Spikemark, you can compare the status of your inputs and outputs to see what binary number will be sent to WATCHOUT and read as the decimal value for the binary number. For example, all red indicators would show a binary number of (00000000), or 0 for your decimal value, while all green indicators would show (11111111), or 255 for the decimal value.

When looking at the below example, you can have a better visualization of how the indicators compare to their binary number. Each green indicator represents a (1), while each red indicator represents a (0). In the example, the full binary number would be (10101100), or 172 for the decimal value.

To convert the binary numbers into decimal values, you can easily search for a conversion in Google, a binary calculator application, or the programmer calculator in Windows. You could also do the math on paper or count out the bits, but that may take a bit longer.

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