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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


Can not find the answer to your question? Please send an email to support@idea-teknik.com and we will respond quickly!


General


Can I use a serial port on my Android device or on my PC with HMI Droid?

Currently there is no support for choosing and configurating a serial port for the connection. However, you can install a software port server on the PC and connect HMI Droid to the port server. Please contact us for further advice.


I have created a project in HMI Droid Studio. How do I distribute the HMI/SCADA solution to my customers?

Your customers have to download the HMI Droid app from Google Play, Amazon or App Store and then install your panels (pages) and any other files like images and text files in their devices.


Is the development tool HMI Droid Studio really free?

Yes, this software is absolutely free to use.


Is it possible to use a hostname or domain name instead of an IP-address in the communication settings?

Yes, many customers use HMI Droid with e.g. DynDNS services.


Is there a "Hello World" example?

Yes, you can download this file: hello world.led

HMI Droid - hello world


Can I use HMI Droid with my Arduino?

Yes, you can include a Modbus server library in your sketch.

HMI Droid has been tested with the following configurations:
Note: If this ModbusIP library is used, the line #define TCP_KEEP_ALIVE in the file ModbusIP.h must not be commented out.


Is it possible to purchase HMI Droid directly from IDEA-Teknik?

No, HMI Droid can only be downloaded from Google Play, Amazon or App Store.


Can I run HMI Droid on a PC?

Yes, you can use Android-x86 or an Android-emulator like e.g. BlueStacks 2 or AMIDuOS.

Installing Android-x86 in a virtual machine using e.g. Oracle Virtual Box is a fairly simple task and it can be used with both Windows and Linux PCs.

HMI Droid on Android-x86           BlueStacks           AMIDuOS

Please contact us if you want to try a Beta version of HMI Droid for Windows. Short YouTube movie here.


Is it possible to switch the HMI Droid on the Android device to fullscreen?

Yes, this feature is available from V1.6.2 and activated in view preferences.

HMI Droid in full screen mode

(Support for full screen mode is currently not available in the iOS version of the HMI Droid.)


How do I update the HMI Droid

The update is normally performed automatically unless manually disabled or if no internet connection is available.


When will the HMI Droid for iPhone/iPad be released?

The iOS version of HMI Droid is available on App Store as Odrid HMI.

This version only supports the protocols Modbus/TCP, Modbus RTU and Siemens S7 ISO-on-TCP and the connection type WiFi (tcp/ip).


What do I do if I need a special function or adaptation?

Get in touch with us, we try to successively add the features that are in demand.

Examples of features that has been implemented on request or as proposals from users:


Can I use HMI Droid on devices other than mobile phones and tablets?

Yes, you can use e.g. a media player, a PC with Android-x86, a Panel PC or a Raspberry Pi with Android.

It's also possible to run HMI Droid on Chromebook.


How long does it take to get help?

We normally respond to emails within 12 hours all days of the week.


Is there a demo version of the HMI Droid?

No, there is currently no demo. Development of versions for Windows, Linux, JRE™ and implementation of new features have higher priority. Most of the functions in the HMI Droid can also be tested using the Test panel feature in HMI Droid Studio.

You can also apply to become a beta tester and test new releases of the iOS-version of the app for up to 90 days.



Installation

How do I purchase and install HMI Droid from Amazon Appstore?

Please click here for instructions.


Why is there a message "File 'start.led' not found. Use HMI Droid Studio to create the first panel (page) start.led and then transfer the file to the work directory of HMI Droid." when you launch the app after installing it?

This message appears when there is no panel "start.led" in the app's working directory. Use the PC program HMI Droid Studio to create the panel start.led and store it on the PC. Then transfer the file to /Android/data/se.ideautomation.hmidroid/files/ in the Android device using suitable method. (Dropbox, USB cable, e-mail attachment etc)


If I want to install my HMI in many mobiles do I have to buy other licence?

License is per user and it should be possible to use your Google Account to install the app to several devices.


Why can I not install the HMI Droid on my Android phone?

You must have Android version 3.2 or later to install HMI Droid.

Note: Paid apps are not available in all countries.


     HMI Droid

Creating panels (pages)


Why are some texts truncated even though I have enabled the "Fit width and height option"?

The fonts in Windows, iOS and Android are not identical and the kerning is probably different too. In iOS and Android the texts can therefore sometimes be truncated depending on the contence, the text size and the DPI. The workaround is to disable the "Fit width and height" option for the text object and manually increase the width.

Update: In HMI Droid Studio version 6.7.5.53 and later it's possible to disable the "Fit width and height" option for the Date and Time objects too.


Is it possible to use LEDs and bitadressing with register number greater than 4095?

The bitaddresses are currently 16-bits wide and the highest address is thus R4095:14. From version 1.7.5.75 (Android) and 1.0.10 (iOS) there is a workaround. The LEDs can read boolean data from a Numeric Variable object that shows the register. (The address range for bits will be extended to R65535:15 in a future version of HMI Droid.)

HMI Droid - bit address 64k reg

The sample panel is available for download.

bit address 64k reg.led


Is there an example for using the 'As Text' format?

Yes, please download these two files:

as text.led
wk_days.txt

HMI Droid - Text list example


Is it possible to display the high and low bytes of a 16-bit word?

In version 1.7.5.74 (Android) and 1.0.9 (iOS) you can extract the individual bytes from a Numeric variable object by using the Objects variable area.

HMI Droid - byte access

The sample panel is available for download.

byte access.led


How is the "Control word with life bit" addressed on a Siemens S7 PLC?

The address is an octal bitaddress and can be calculated by multiplying the (even) byte address in the PLC with 8 and then converting the result to octal.

Word-address in S7 Bit-address in HMI Droid
DBnn.DBW0 0
DBnn.DBW2 20
DBnn.DBW4 40
DBnn.DBW6 60
DBnn.DBW8 100
DBnn.DBW10 120

Use the 'Default DB' for the datablock number.


How is the "Control word with life bit" addressed on a PLC that uses Modbus?

The address is an octal bitaddress and can be calculated by multiplying the decimal address to the Holding register in the PLC by 16 and then converting the result to octal.

Holding register Modbus-address Bit-address in HMI Droid
R400001 0 0
R400002 1 20
R400003 2 40
R400004 3 60
R400005 4 100
R400006 5 120
R400007 6 140
R400008 7 160
R400009 8 200
R400010 9 220
R400011 10 240


How do I enter the bit address for a boolean variable?

Bit addresses for boolean variables are decimal by default. To enter the address in e.g. Modbus format (word:bit) or Siemens S7 format (byte.bit) you need to choose the correct address format.


How do I transfer the panel-file from the PC to my Android-device?

There are several ways to do this.

1. By connecting the Android-device to the PC with an USB cable and using the file explorer in the PC. The USB connection in the Android-device should normally be set to File transfers (MTP).

2. By copying the file from the PC to an USB memory stick and then to the Android-device. An USB-adapter might be required and a file explorer is needed in the Android-device.

3. By sending the file as an email attachment, downloading the file and then using a file explorer or the Import command in HMI Droid.

4. By exporting the file from Dropbox to the /Android/data/se.ideautomation.hmidroid/files folder.

Choose a method that is suitable for your Android-device.

NOTE: On some devices and when using app versions before V 1.7.5.78, the Import command can cause an ANR (App Not Responding) error.


How do I read Modbus Input Register 300001?

Choose variable area AI (Analog Inputs) and use address 0.
All addresses in HMI Droid are zero based i.e. the first variable of each data type has address 0.


Why does not the Test panel mode in HMI Droid Studio connect to my Siemens S7 PLC?

Only the Modbus/TCP and Modbus RTU protocols are currently supported in the Test panel mode in the development tool HMI Droid Studio. The other protocols e.g. the Siemens S7 ISO-on-TCP protocol and the UDP and Bluetooth connection types will be available later on.

Update: The Test panel mode in HMI Droid Studio V6.7.5.45 (Beta-version) now supports the Siemens S7 ISO-on-TCP protocol!!


When I try to change a variable in the Test panel mode, I get a "Not implemented!!" error message. Why?

The Test panel mode currently does not support all functions in HMI Droid. Use the Numeric variable object instead of the Input field object and tick the "Allow change of value" checkbox in the dialog. Formats that are available are 16 bits signed and unsigned integer.


Is Bluetooth supported in the Test panel mode of HMI Droid Studio?

No, the Test panel mode currently only supports Modbus/TCP and Modbus RTU over TCP/IP but more protocols and connection types will be implemented later.


How many objects can be inserted into a panel?

The maximum number of objects in a panel is 65,535.


I have created a panel but when I copy the panel to the HMI Droid, it is not visible. It just gets gray. Why?

If the panel is edited using a newer version HMI Droid Studio than the app, the panel will not appear. You have to update the HMI Droid to latest version. (The *.led-files are backward compatible, it always possible to open an old *.led-file in a newer HMI Droid Studio or HMI Droid but not vice versa.)


Can you have different orientations on the panels?

No, the panel start determines the orientation to portrait or landscape and the other panels must presently follow this. Ability to change orientation will be implemented later.


Is there a panel size that fits most phones?

Many phones have a width of the screen of 320 or 360 dp. You can use 320 dp in width for the panels and activate the option center panel on the workspace in the settings. With the automatic scaling introduced in version 1.0.0.30, you can use the panels even on devices with the "wrong" size of the workspace.


Why do my images not appear on the device?

The image files must be transferred to the right folder on your phone / tablet device either by manually copy the files with any file manager or by using the function import image in the app. The file name can not contain a path, and it must be correct with respect to upper/lower case characters.


I have a variable that contains a temperature in degrees x 0.1, ie the value of 235 means 23.5 degrees. Can you get the Droid HMI to display a decimal point before the last digit?

You can accomplish this function by selecting the format PHYS and specify how the variable is scaled. See table below dialogue on this page PHYS in the manual. You can even include the unit eg °C if desired.


Communication


HMI Droid Studio connects to the PLC by I get no connection from my phone.

This is (normally) a network problem. Make sure the phone or tablet is connected to the same LAN as the PLC. Use a Ping or Traceroute app to verify that you can reach the PLC. Some common mistakes: Wrong IP-address, phone connected to guest network with restricted access, network configuration in PLC is missing default gateway, VPN-tunnel not setup correct.


HMI Droid connects but there is no communication and I get an error message when I try to change the value of a numeric variable in my controller using a Push button.

The panel (page) must contain at least one object that diplays the value of a variable in the controller to start any communication.


I can read some variables but the communication stops working if I add more variables of the same type.

The polling mechanism in HMI Droid contains a "lookahead optimizer" that will read large blocks of data if adjacent variables are used in the panel (page). This normally works fine with most PLC:s but in some cases it can cause problems e.g. if there is a limit in the Modbus slave for the max block size or if the Modbus variable map contains addresses that can not be read. Try to reduce the setting for "Modbus max block size (Reg)", the default value is 55. Please contact us for further advice.


My Modbus/TCP communication is not stable, it's switched on and off all the time

Make sure the setting for Timeout (Response Timeout in ms) is not too low. The default value is 3000 and normally you should not use a value lower than 3000. The setting can be increased if you are using slow Modbus devices or slow internet connections.

If you create your own Modbus server e.g. using an ESP8266, you have to keep the TCP connection open until closed by HMI Droid and not close the connection as soon as a Modbus response message is sent. Please contact us for further advice.


Is it possible to reduce the speed of the communication?

Starting with version 1.6 of HMI Droid, it is possible to set the minimum time between two polls to save battery or data traffic. This can be done in the settings for the controller in HMI Droid or in the communication parameters for the panel. The minimum time specified in milliseconds and can also be changed by using e.g. a Slider in the panel connected to system register R64516.


Why does not HMI Droid connect via mobile internet?

There are several settings that are important for it to connect. First, always select the correct link. At the mobile internet will you normally choose Wi-Fi, which really means TCP/IP over Ethernet. (The exception is if you use SattBus, then you should choose Ethernet UDP.) In addition, you should enter the address and port number. These three parameters have to be right for a connection to take place. Use the Diagnostics/Communication command in the menu that displays a dialog where you can see the most important settings.


Why does HMI Droid not connect via Bluetooth, although I paired the devices and did enter the MAC address?

The MAC address must be entered with alphabetic characters in uppercase and must not contain any trailing Enter or blank characters. The bytes should be separated by a colon. Example: 00:16:51:B7:27:5C
If you entered the MAC address in the panel's communication settings, this will override the address you entered in the settings in the HMI Droid.
In most cases, the SPP (Serial Port Profile) option must be selected.


Can you use HMI Droid on a wired network?

Yes, select Wi-Fi that really means TCP/IP on ethernet whether it uses Wi-Fi, 3G or otherwise.



HMI Droid for iOS

How do I change the communication parameters on an iOS device?

To access the settings on an iOS-device, press the Home button, then press the Settings icon, scroll down the list and select Odrid HMI.


How do I transfer image files to Odrid HMI, it can not be done via e-mail client?

To import an image in the iOS version you have to take a detour via "Quick Look".

Tap the image and hold. Click on the "Quick Look" icon to display the image in full screen. Tap the image to show the toolbar. Press the "Open in" button. Scroll through the list to find Odrid HMI.

The procedure can be slightly different depending on the type of device and iOS version.

It's also possible to use Dropbox for transferring image files.

Import image in Odrid HMI


How do I transfer a panel (page) file to HMI Droid?

Use the feature "Open in Odrid HMI" (or "Copy to Odrid HMI") in e.g. the email client. Watch this YouTube film to see how it works.

NOTE: You have to attach the file in the email, using a link to a file on e.g. One Drive or Google Drive will not work!

Version 1.0.17 of Odrid HMI has support for iTunes files sharing. After transferring the files, Odrid HMI has to be restarted to reload the panels (pages).



XLogic PLC / Rievtech PLC

Why does ** or strange values appear when trying to read registers in xlogics PLC?

In xlogic's PLCs registers with address below 512 are 32-bits in length and address becomes in some cases wrong if you read more than one register in the same panel. Version 1.1 includes a selection between 32 and 16-bit registers in the settings for the controller and this solves the problem.


How do I check the status of a function block?

Status of the function block or 'Middle Coil' is displayed in the same way as outputs. This means that you should choose the variable area 'Q' in the HMI Droid Studio. You must also choose the protocol "Modbus/TCP class 1" to be able to read and write outputs (coils).



Siemens PLC

Can I access the block parameters in LOGO! 8 from HMI Droid?

Use the Variable Memory Configuration command in LOGO!Soft Comfort to map the block parameters on words etc in the VM. HMI Droid will read and write data in VM as Datablock 1. All addresses in VM/DB1 have to be even.


Is there a sample panel for my Siemens S7-300 PLC?

Yes, you can download this file: s7-300 sample.led

HMI Droid - Siemens S7-300 sample


Can I use HMI Droid with Siemens S7-1200 or S7-1500?

The Siemens S7 (ISO-on-TCP) protocol driver in V1.7.2 of HMI Droid does support the S7-1200 and S7-1500. For the 1200 both Rack and Slot must be 0. For the S7-1200, Slot should normally be set to 1. New parameters for Rack and Slot has been added in the settings for controller.

Only global DBs can be accessed.
The optimized block access must be turned off.
The access level must be “full” and the “connection mechanism” must allow GET/PUT.




Yes, it does work in version V1.7.2 or later of HMI Droid by setting Slot = 0. Please use the following setup for the LOGO!.

Siemens LOGO! setup for HMI Droid

Watch HMI Droid connected to LOGO! on YouTube:

Android version
iOS version

A ready to use sample panel (page) for Siemens LOGO! is available for download in the News tab.


How do I connect HMI Droid to a Siemens S7 300 PLC?

There are different possibilities, you can use a communication processor (CP 343-1) or the FB 210/220 function blocks.

The Siemens application note "FETCH/WRITE service in an S7-300/400 CPU via the integrated Ethernet interface" contains a detailed description of how to setup the PLC for using the Fetch/Write protocol.



Modicon PLC

How do I access the %MX variables in a TSX 57 PLC?

%MX variables are mapped on outputs (coils) in this PLC. Choose Modbus/TCP class 1 and use variable area "Q" for the objects in HMI Droid Studio.



IDEC PLC

How do I access the M variables in an IDEC FC5A PLC?

The M variables are mapped on outputs (coils) in this PLC. Choose Modbus/TCP class 1 and use variable area "Q" for the objects in HMI Droid Studio. The first M variable uses address 1000 on Modbus.

See table on page 7 in this document.


S7 and STEP 7 are trademarks of Siemens AG.



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