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Voyager works only on server-like hardware or it's hardware agnostic?

By @alex
    2022-02-25 14:17:15.165Z

    Hello,

    I can see everywhere on the website the word server. Manage your server, work with your server, USB port on your server.

    I want to find out if Voyager works or might work with any other hardware, not-server. :-) For my scenario, I have a HMI touch panel (see attached image) that basically runs on a PLC that has USB, HDMI, ETH and other type of ports. As for the OS that's running on it, I sincerely don't know how to find out.

    So, the question is, should Voyager work? How can make sure it works? Is there a more technical set of requirements to be checked?

    Many thanks.

    • 5 replies
    1. D
      Diego @diego2022-02-25 17:20:26.192Z2022-02-28 19:17:27.669Z

      Hello @alex !

      The TinyPilot Voyager 2 is mainly targeted at servers, but it can work with other devices, such as for example laptops. It may work on your touch panel as well.

      One thing I would verify is: try to connect a keyboard and mouse to the USB port of your touch panel, through a USB hub. If they work, then there are high chances the TinyPilot will work as well.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Have a great day ahead!

      1. A
        In reply toalex:
        @alex
          2022-03-18 10:13:48.902Z

          Hi, Diego,

          Thank you for your response.

          I have connected the keyboard and mouse to the USB port and they work.

          So I will be ordering the Voyager because I will also need the virtual storage mounting.

          Now, I will try to explain my project, maybe I will find some insights and ideas from this community.


          What I want to achieve

          I want to be able to fully remote-control a tablet, 24/7/365, including virtual storage mounting, by using a 3G internet connection. (like IoT)

          Device specifications

          • Tablet with available, working and never-used ports: USB, HDMI, ETHERNET
          • The ethernet port is configured to automatically get IP from DHCP.

          Possible solution

          The solution I'm thinking of is:

          • buy the Voyager
          • add a USB 3G modem
          • install a DHCP server
          • a sort of configuration of Voyager's Ethernet port to act as a switch so I can connect the HMI device in the same network.

          Solution flaw and questions

          1. Is this a decent idea? Is there any room for improvement or take out of the complexity?
          2. Is there a simple already-done configuration of the Ethernet port to act as a switch?
          3. Are there any software/ scripts that automatically reboots/ restarts if there is no internet connection?

          Thanks, any ideas are more than welcome!

          1. D
            In reply toalex:
            Diego @diego2022-03-18 19:55:58.490Z2022-03-21 20:33:06.765Z

            Hello @alex, welcome back and thank you for posting your questions here. Please see my comments below.

            • Your project looks interesting, but I just want to make sure your tests involve a USB hub. See, TinyPilot acts as a USB hub itself, that's why I recommended testing if mouse and keyboard work when you plug them into a USB port of the touch panel, but through a USB hub. That would be a very good compatibility test, and TinyPilot will likely work if following such test. It would look something like this: Table USB port -> USB hub -> mouse and keyboard.

            • Now, for the tablet, you did not specify which kind of tablet (brand/model), but it would be the same as with the touch panel (i.e. test mouse and keyboard work if plugged into a USB port, but through a USB hub). Again, if you test it like this, it is almost certain that TinyPilot will work as well. It would look something like this: Tablet USB port -> USB hub -> mouse and keyboard.

            • Using a USB 3G modem to provide the tablet with internet looks ok, provided you connect the tablet's ethernet port to a router. And the Voyager to that same router.

            • Ideally, the Voyager, the touch panel and the tablet would all be connected to that same router and installing a DHCP server shouldn't be necessary because the router would most likely be acting as a DHCP server. If this is not the setup you had in mind, then we're talking about a more complicated scenario, and I would need a detailed diagram of how you plan to connect everything.

            Is this a decent idea? Is there any room for improvement or take out of the complexity?

            Overall, the idea is good. You just need to ensure you are testing with a USB hub before buying.

            Is there a simple already-done configuration of the Ethernet port to act as a switch?

            It is theoretically possible to configure the TinyPilot to share the 3G connection with the touchscreen device via the Ethernet port, we unfortunately don't have a reference configuration for this.

            Are there any software/ scripts that automatically reboots/ restarts if there is no internet connection?

            Not that I know of, but this should not be hard to implement using a bash script that you could write. There shouldn't be any need though, TinyPilot will automatically reconnect once internet is available again.

            Please let me know if you have additional comments and/or questions.

            1. A
              In reply toalex:
              @alex
                2022-03-25 15:15:27.408Z

                Okay, so far so good:

                a. I have tried connecting USB devices (mouse and keyboard) over a USB hub and it works.
                b. I have tried the following setup (via Windows pc) and it seems to be working:

                I have connected the tablet (my device) and the pc via an ethernet cable with static IPs at both ends and it works. It seems that my device has a RealVNC server pre-installed so I was able to connect via a RealVNC client.

                But this setup doesn't solve my issue with virtual storage/ media mount, so now there's a new question(s) that has emerged.

                1. I guess I can connect both the Voyager and the tablet via an ethernet cable with static IPs so I can have both of them in the same LAN. So, does Voyager works with setup?
                2. Is there something I can test in order to pre-check if the virtual storage feature should work?

                Many thanks!

                1. D
                  In reply toalex:
                  Diego @diego2022-03-25 20:54:33.052Z2022-03-25 21:01:40.376Z

                  Hey @alex !

                  I guess I can connect both the Voyager and the tablet via an ethernet cable with static IPs so I can have both of them in the same LAN. So, does Voyager works with setup?

                  Yes, it is possible to configure the Voyager with static IP address. TinyPilot runs on top of Linux (Debian Buster). You would have to SSH in, and run a few commands. You would then have the tablet and the Voyager within the same LAN.

                  Is there something I can test in order to pre-check if the virtual storage feature should work?

                  Nothing comes into my mind to test this. The Voyager emulates a flash drive or a CD-ROM drive (depending on what you choose), when mounting virtual media into the target system. So I guess you could do the same test as you did before: try plugging a USB thumb drive into the USB hub and see if the touch panel or tablet recognizes it. That would be a good test, but still not a guarantee.

                  Let me know if you additional comments and/or questions. Glad to serve!