History of development
Once upon a time ... - the history of LICHT24
There was a Disco that wanted to reopen. Unfortunately, the controls for the lightshow were no longer working. The question was how to control the old and new light effect devices? In this age of computer technology, it was obvious to control the lightshow with PC software. A well known electronic store offers a PC interface card, called 8255 I/O card, which has 24 channel outputs. They bought the card and installed it in the computer to verify how it would work. It turns out this card only provided a small example of BASIC progamming. This was of no use. Now what!
Licht24 was born ! The author decided to develop a surface for the 8255 I/O card, which should work with Windows. At the beginning there were only a few push buttons to control the outputs. In addition it came with a switch, status signs, and an emergency stop button. But a program that can only control outputs by hand is not enough... The channels should be inscriptable, and so on...
Thru the course of development, the functions that such a program should provide developed quickly. The ideas became reality. First there came a random-generator. This was extended quickly to control up to four outputs. Now the program was able to work 'alone' something without the need for manual control. Then the people wanted it to be programmable! This request became a reality. Now, effects like "walking-lights" can be realized via programming.
After many nights of use in the disco, the program proved to be extremely beneficial and worthwhile. However, they wanted more. Further development was needed. The next integration was a music-control, the programs respectively change in beat of the music. Each channel received it's own timer, allowing many other applications (e.g. switch the television on at 23.05 o'clock, or 6.25 o'clock the percolator, ...)
In the meantime many changes were taking place. There were more I/O cards and relay boards available on the market now. It was time to get Licht24 ready for those cards. The program title has now changed to Licht24 Pro. Licht24 Pro supports 6 different I/O cards and has been upgraded again. The daily alarm switch has become a weekly alarm switch, programs can have different sizes, small bugs have been worked out and a new skins-outfit was completed. Licht24 Pro is grown up now and many applications are waiting to be realized / controlled via Licht24 Pro
Licht24 Pro now supports 16 different cards. Support for parallel, serial and USB ports. Therefore it isn't a problem to use it also on modern laptop computers.
Many applications are using the build in automatic timers which have been enlarged and improved again. All timer's switching times are represented clearly within a graphical display. A new astro times feature has been added. By petition of longitude and latitude, as well as the time zone, it is possible to calculate the sunrise, noon, and sunset times for each day, to use it with each channel's timer.
From disco lights to home automation. With less effod and extremely low costs you can control a simple heating, elecrical shutters and the illumination of your house. Licht24 Pro has also found its way into the home automation now.
Licht24 Pro now supports the inputs of a Velleman K8055 USB card (5 digital and 2 analog inputs each card). As transmitter you can connect for example thermal switches, brightness sensors, inductive or kapacitive sensors, photoelectric sensors, switches or any other sensors. Through this many new interesting applications are possible.
Again new relay cards have been added to be supporded by Licht24 Pro. One innovation is for example the AVR-NET-IO card, which has a integrated netwok controller and is controlled via TCP/IP (socket connection). This way the controlled card isn't limited to be connected to the controlling PC, it can be located somewhere in the network or even in the internet.
By means of individual sound output for every channel it is now possible to play arbitrary sounds on HIGH and/or LOW. Using different sounds the corresponding channel can be detected acoustically or being provided a soundtrack for. The 2 default sounds which are included with Licht24 pro can play a higher sound on HIGH as well as a lower sound on LOW (high.wav and low.wav). By the use of speech files a function can explicit be announced, eg. "light on" and "light off" and so on. Search the internet for some more nice wav files! (http://www.freesound.org)
To be continued ...
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